Airstream Mattress Replacement | Tuft & Needle

After living for the first three months in our newly remodeled Airstream, we quickly realized where we went wrong. The biggest regret was not building in two work stations. The second biggest regret was the two twin bed set-up. We thought this was the best way for space concerns but when we decided we desperately needed a second work station, we decided the two beds needed to go. We came back to Atlanta in March to begin round 2 of our remodel. We basically just swapped our living area with our sleeping area. We opted for a full-sized bed in the front of the Airstream with a desk in the corner. In the rear, where the twin beds used to be, we built in a sofa on one side and a desk and storage on the other. Where we lost some floor space up front, we gained even more in the back. We are thrilled with the new layout.

Here’s a look at our first remodel with the twin beds in the middle of the trailer and the sofa in the front:

Here is a look at the new (unmade) full-sized bed in the front of the trailer. Details on the build of the bed are here.

The awesome folks at Tuft & Needle sent us one of their amazing mattresses for our new bed build in Mavis. This mattress is a dream. We slept on a Sleep Number bed for the first seven years of our marriage and thought that was the greatest mattress. Nope, not even close. I’ve tried a few foam mattresses at stores over the years and nothing has compared to Tuft & Needle. Also, they’re American-made and Certi-PUR verified so you can rest assured you aren’t sleeping on a bed of poison like many foam mattresses you find these days on Amazon. Another big reason for foam – they are a perfect Airstream mattress replacement as they can be slightly nipped with an electric knife for the perfect fit. When you center the bed in the front of the trailer, you keep from having to cut the mattress to an odd shape on the ends to accommodate the curve. In the following photo, you can see where the mattress doesn’t quite conform to the rear wall curve.

We started by removing the zippered cover on the Tuft & Needle mattress. Underneath that is a surged mesh cover. We split this cover at the seam to expose the foam.

To trace the curve, you’ll need a piece of cardboard, a marker and some sort of guide to trace with. In my case I used a metal rectangle I found laying around in the trailer from the remodel process. You then drag the object (my metal rectangle) along the wall and hold the marker at the end of the object to trace the curve on the cardboard. It’s hard to explain but hopefully you can see what I’m talking about from the photo below.

You should come up with something like this below. I then cut along my line and held the shape up to the curve to verify it was the right size. This guide can be used for both sides of the mattress if you have centered your mattress in the front of the trailer.

Below, we have flipped the mattress to be able to easily make the cut. My mom traces the curve with our cardboard cut-out.

Next, you make the cut with the electric knife. If you want to be more precise, you can flip the mattress and trace the same curve and cut from the bottom. We just made two passes with the knife from the top since the mattress is a beast to flip.

Below if the finished curve. We then stitched the mesh cover back on and then zipped the mattress back up! It’s a perfect fit!

Find details on the bed build and finished space here.

Sheena is a free-spirited adventurer who designed and renovated a 1975 Airstream in 2016 and travels the US with her husband and mohawk-sportin’ poodle. She’s a business owner, self-taught carpenter, blogger, yogi, professional photographer and a lover of the outdoors and healthy living.

6 Comment

  1. I am starting to think about what to do with our bed/dining situation. My plan has been to do the fairly standard convertible dinette/bed. I noticed the tuft & needle mattress is pretty thick at 10″. Any thoughts on how well it would work as a sitting cushion for the dinette? (assuming the base height was adjusted to accommodate the tall mattress) My plan has been to buy a full/queen mattress and cut it up into sections that can be rearranged into the bed or dinette setup.

    1. It’s a very solid mattress – the lower part of the foam is dense so I think it’d be good for a convertible dinette/bed situation. Much more so than your standard, thinner foam mattresses that are so flimsy – I wouldn’t think there would be enough rigidity in those. We used our old 6″ foam mattress for our new sofa but we kept thinking another Tuft & Needle would have been a better choice. Good luck!

  2. Your designs and style are so very beautiful! We’re hoping to buy a vintage airstream tomorrow for renovation. I LOVE the blanket you’re sitting on in the third picture. Where can I find one?

    1. Thank you! It’s actually a tapestry and it’s from Urban Outfitters. Here’s the link for it. 🙂

  3. Great updates! Thanks for sharing your journey.

    Do you have any pictures of the updated living/work space now that you’ve moved the bed to the front of the trailer? I apologize if you’ve already posted those and I just missed them.

    1. Hello! Click here for the living space built-ins. Click here for the work area. I’m still needing to post the living space including the new sofa! 🙂

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