Tech Wiki

Cushion Comfort Improvement Ideas

Any ideas/opinions about the cushions in order to make the berths more comfortable?

I wanted to get some ideas/opinions about what you all have done with the cushions in order to make the beths (V-berth in particular because that's where we sleep) more comfortable. At boat shows, I always inquire about mattresses, but the cost is always unbelievable. My thought was to go to a local foam shop and get something about a few inches thick, a bit more harder than the current cushions. Then I was thinking about either putting it under the existing cushions (sort of like a box spring), or lay it on top. I would appreciate any thoughts on this and other ideas that any one of you may have. Thanks, Roc, Sea Life #1477

  • JoAnn made a bed roll of a feather mattress pad and an egg crate foam pad. She used a large sheet to make a pillow cover like bag to cover the pads. We just roll the bedroll to one side of the V-berth when it's not being used. Use a colored sheet which complements the fabric on your cushions and it looks fine. Before the bedroll, she was unable to sleep comfortably. There's no problem now. The egg crate is on the bottom. I could have used a "duvet cover" to cover both layers as a single unit, but the cost was ridiculous so I just made the "pillow case" like cover out of a queen flat sheet. One more slight modification to the set up is during the winter when we use a sleeping bag, unzipped on top, to keep the "chill" down when I'm on board. George & Jo Ann Sedgwick, SchatzSea #1031

  • We have purchased a good thick mattress pad that covers the V-berth cushions. With a couple of hours work, we cut and fitted it to the cushions with elastics at the corners. We then purchased queen-size sheets and sewed them to fit. We now make up this bed and leave it made with a nice seashell bedspread over it. Why unmake it? I don’t strip it every night at home. As to its comfort…after two nights I am ready for my home bed. Capt Al, Kindred Spirit #55

  • We had the foam in our cushion replaced with latex foam as is used in home mattresses and have improved it immensely. The best way would be to buy a foam mattress and cut it down to fit your existing cover (or better yet, hire your local canvas/cushion expert to do it). Colin Ward, C-42, Mandalay, St. Pete, FL

  • I live aboard my C34 and sleep in the aft berth on an Aero Bed that was purchased at Bed, Bath & Beyond. Best sleep I've ever gotten. A water bed without the water that can be adjust quickly with the attached air pump. I keep my V-Berth open for guests and to be used as my TV room. Ron Euler, GONE WITH THE WIND, Naples, FL

  • I bought one of the beds from Handcraft Mattress Company ( and I'm very satisfied with it. I got the latex foam version with an integral mattress pad. It fits pretty nicely in the v-berth, and it's very comfortable. It was somewhat expensive, but not surprisingly so for a custom made piece. For example, they sent an agent out to my boat to take measurements. Just coming to the boat, taking measurements and handling paperwork would have come to 2.5 to 3 hours of labor. (Remember he had to travel to my boat and back). For what it's worth, here's a description of the construction. Maybe something here will lead to a useful idea. Inside, there is a block of "latex foam". I don't really know how to describe it, but when you compress it, it doesn't feel like the usual polyurethane stuff. I think partly it is just more firm, but I suspect there is more to it than that. Maybe the latex foam stretches in addition to compressing. The foam is wrapped in a covering much like the regular cushions. There is a waterproof looking material on the bottom and regular mattress-looking material on the sides. The top has a half-inch or maybe an inch of quilted padding. It resembles the quilted padding you would find on a nice mattress at a bedding store. I suspect the significant factors that make it better than the original cushions are the different properties of the foam and the fact that the quilted padding layer is there.

  • We were having new slipcovers made anyway, so we just added 2 inches of foam to the existing 4 inch foam (using foam adhesive) and it makes all the difference in the world. While Joe falls asleep no matter what he is sleeping on, I (the delicate one in the family) tossed and turned, feeling the hard surface under the 4 inch foam with every toss. Now with the 6 inches of foam, I sleep like the proverbial baby. I'm even thinking about adding another 2 inches of foam. Joe & Candance Sabella, Can't Dance, Gulfport FL

  • We had an AeroBed we used for in-laws/outlaws, so we tried it on the boat per a previous post by Ron. Although it is comfortable, we felt the attached pump made it awkward and it takes up a lot of room. Also, the bed must be at least 12" high when inflated which made the aft berth claustrophobic not to mention more difficult to turn over in. We ended up buying an ordinary high quality air mattress which is about 4" thick when inflated and using it on top of the cushions. Use a good quality mattress cover over it and it has worked great. Jack, #1169, Port A, TX