Sammy FairclothSee other Advice articles filed in ‘General motorhome advice’ written by Sammy Faircloth
I love my sleep and get grumpy if I don’t get a decent night – or so my children tell me!
And I often sleep better in my motorhome than I do at home.
Motorhome beds have improved significantly in recent years with better foam cushions and more fixed beds.
However, there are many people who disagree and are desperate to resolve their insomnolence.
Here, we explore the many options available to aid a better night’s sleep while on tour.
Are sleeping bags the answer?
Children are often restless sleepers, throwing their duvet off during the night.
During our winter trips – we like to tour all year – this has become a nuisance as invariably the duvet ends up covering the heating vents and tripping out the heating.
It is no fun waking up at 3am shivering.
Sleeping bags today cover temperature rating, insulation type, bag shape, and come in adult and children’s sizes.
For me, they are constricting, I like a little more wriggle room. Having to battle with a zip in the night is no fun.
Duvalay has resolved this problem by coming up with a combination duvet and mattress topper.
It is one cover with two pockets: the bottom one houses high-quality memory foam and the top, a single duvet.
There is a choice of three thicknesses of memory foam: 2.5cm, 4cm or 5cm depending on preferred comfort levels, and you can choose between summer or winter duvets.
The cover is machine washable, reversible and packs down into a small bag.
No more duvets on the floor and my son Daniel can now sleep with his leg out!
For the younger generation, Duvalay sells a Dinky Duvalay, which is suitable for ages two to eight years.
The material is a funky animal print, includes a water resistant cover for those little mishaps and is complemented with a matching pillowcase.
A mattress topper’s main function is to act as a layer between the sleeper and the mattress to improve the comfort factor.
They help to smooth out the bed and eradicate those lumps and bumps that you can get with motorhome cushions.
Portable mattress toppers are ideal for those who have to make the bed up each day.
Companies like Jonic and Duvalay sell them in various sizes and they come in a zipped, washable, breathable protector, which aids temperature control.
For storage they simply roll up and are held together with strong straps.
Fixed beds in motorhomes come in various shapes and sizes from fixed island double beds to French double beds – the term used for a fixed double that butts up to the wall.
The latter invariably has a corner taken off to allow easy manoeuvrability around the ’van.
The mattresses vary in size and shape, so it is important to check that the mattress topper fits your particular mattress.
I can’t go anywhere without my pillow.
If it is not the right comfort level, then I end up getting a sore neck and having a restless night.
I bought my pillow at a caravan and motorhome show a few years ago, and it really is the best pillow I have ever owned.
It has spring-pocketed coiling, which simply means that it has springs at the centre of it.
That sounds painful, but you can’t feel them and the great thing is that my pillow still hasn’t lost its plumpness, even after two years.
There are also various pillows on the market specifically for people with back and neck problems.
For those who aren’t sold on the spring-coil concept, a contoured neck pillow made of memory foam is a good option.
There have been some significant developments in the construction of upholstery in recent years.
Bailey’s new ‘Dream Sleep’ system, which can be found in its Autograph motorhomes is made from a new honeycore foam and breathable anti-bacterial fabric that is similar to what you would find in your own home.
The base seat is multi-layered, so when making up the bed the top layer unfolds on to the opposite seat’s top layer, thus allowing a smooth, flat surface to sleep on – there are no knee rolls to contend with.
Weight can be a big issue in motorhomes. Elddis recently introduced a mattress system called Ozio in its ’vans.
This is 30% lighter than traditional foams and the breathable design allows airflow and moisture through the hypo-allergenic fibres.
Overall, the product flexes to relieve pressure points, thus enhancing a restful night’s sleep.
If, like me, you like to test the products, then I recommend that you visit one of the many leisure vehicle shows that are held all over the country.
They offer you the opportunity to see what’s available, speak to the experts in the field on technical matters, and hopefully make an informed decision on what suits your specific needs.
It depends on our age, but the amount of recommended sleep that we get in a night is approximately seven hours.
It is during sleep that the body repairs itself and replenishes its energy stores, while our mind files away memories.
Having invested in and made a commitment to motorhome holidays, the last thing you want is your experience ruined by a poor night’s sleep.
It is important to ensure that we get the sleep we need and this can be helped by buying pillows, duvets and mattress toppers that will enhance our slumbering experience.