Modifying the Mattress

Last July we bought a new mattress, first one in many years, as tends to happen.  After Mike’s typical thorough research (I usually let him be the shopper, cause he’s much better than I am at it), we ended up at Innomax in Denver.  They make their own mattresses and if you visit their showroom you can try out about every kind of mattress you can think of…  And when I say “try out” I mean it cause they give you a pillow and let you “sleep” on any one you might be interested in for about 15 minutes.  Fun, an informative visit.  We came home with a Memory Gel Mattress.  We hadn’t anticipated buying that day, so we went down in the BMW, but have no fear, the mattress fit in our backseat, compressed and rolled up.

That was July, making a 20 year investment.  Then in October we decided to move into an RV full time.  Neither of us wanted to give up our mattress.  Many RV’s have a smaller than normal bed size.  A standard Queen is 60×80.  RV Queens are 60×75 or 74, 5 or 6 inches shorter.  But you can get a full size queen bed in some, so that became one of our criteria in selecting our RV, and indeed that is what we bought.

So a few months later, when we went down to pick up the RV at Josh’s house, imagine our surprise to realize that when the slide with the bed comes in, the mattress fits 8 inches under the bedroom closet.  That mattress is 8″ thick.  Our mattress while not too long, nor too wide, at 12 inches was too thick!

So.. we were unsure how to make it work, and both Mike’s and my brain were each spending some time each day trying to solve the conundrum.  Neither of us considered just keeping the mattress that came with the RV as an option.

My first thought was to cut the last 8 inches off, from the bottom up about 10 inches or so, then folding the section back over top of itself.  One downside of this option was that when the slide was in, the bed would be 16 inches shorter, rather than 8 inches that the closet alone makes it.

Mike had the idea to put a 2×6 on the top of the foot of the bed and another on the bottom, then clamp the two together to squish the bed down, after all it had come compressed in a roll that fit into our car!  I wish I had pictures of that experiment, but you can imagine.  As good of an idea as it was, the mattress came popping out on both sides of the 2×6, making it difficult to be effective… Plus it would require us to carry and store the hardware.

Thinking that the mattress might be easier to squish 8 inches out the the length, than it is to squish 6 inches out of the thickness (10% squishing vs 50%).  We experimented with wrapping the perimeter with a ratchet strap and cranking it down, which was difficult to keep in place, and sort of squished the corners making the mattress an odd oval shape, but not so much the length.  Again, sorry, no photos.

I also was unsure if any of these methods would damage the integrity of the mattress.  I decided to call Innomax and see if they had any bright ideas.  Well, it took a few days to get the right question to the right guy, and in the end I decided to stop by and discuss it with them, and perhaps take a look at the nifty models they had showing the construction of the mattress.  They did not have models of the construction for me to look at, but they had a video.  Also, they had been brainstorming, and had a suggestion.  They suggested we get a “Turkey Carver” (electric knife) and take the cover off, then slice from the foot of the bed at roughly 6 inches from the bottom, the full length of the blade.  Then flip the mattress over an slice down to the cut, Effectively cutting a 10×6 chunk out of the bottom of the mattress at the foot of the bed.  Then, with the piece out, the mattress would droop down, allowing the mattress to slide under the closet.  We could save the chunk (most likely in our shower), and when the slide goes out, we can lift the foot of the bed and stick it in.  Most importantly the guy said the mattress integrity would be fine.  If we didn’t like the result we could always glue back in the chunk and it would be good as new!

I left there and went off to find a Turkey Carving Knife.

Mike picked one up Friday afternoon following my visit, and Saturday morning we work up early, ready for the challenge.  After flipping the mattress over and slitting the cover, we found out the first layer of foam was 7 inches thick!  Perfect!  When we stuck the knife into the joint, we found it was only glued at the perimeter.  We just pealed the layer back, and cut it off at 16 inches from the foot of the bed, perhaps more than we needed, but we wanted to insure the drooping.














The whole project ended up being simpler than we thought and droops plenty to fit below the closet.  With the piece installed we can’t even tell anything was done.  One more project completed toward our full time RV status.

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