With the success of three camping trips in our Prius with a cobbled-together mattress, I wanted to make something more fitted. Please note, do not do all of these steps. There is an easier way.
Lloyd and I agreed that a three-inch mattress would be plenty comfy. (Note: We are in our forties. It’s almost enough padding. We did have slight backaches in the morning.) Back in December, Wal*Mart had a 3-inch full-sized mattress topper (2 inches of regular foam, 1 inch of memory foam) on clearance for $30. Score!
It is vacuum-sealed, so I took it out and let it off-gas in the guest room for a couple weeks. Bleh. Do not do this project if you want to immediately use it. It is so, so stinky.
Once enough time passed, I started to cut it down to fit. (Note: I now know that it is not necessary to have a perfect fit. If I were to do this over, I would just slightly cut down around the wheel wells. The mattress – cut down so precisely – leaves a gap and I have to stuff a pillow in there to be comfortable. Mind you, I’m a big baby.) I used the floor mat as a guide. If you do this, leave at least 2 inches on each side. Stupid me.
See how it fits here? You could just leave it like that. Or, just shave a little from the wheel-well areas.
This was a mistake. If I could communicate with Past Lauren, I would. “Stop!!”
Too late now.
I also trimmed around the top so it would fit nicely against the seats. A good step, but not necessary.
When we first tested it, we were sleeping with our heads toward the front of the car. Lloyd didn’t like that his toes were dangling over the edge, so I spliced some of the cut foam to the end. As it turns out, with the Habitent we prefer having our heads at the rear of the car, so this step isn’t quite as crucial. (Although, there is the small matter of trying to keep your pillows from falling out of the car, but that’s another post for another day.)
Now, here is another part that I would do over if I weren’t so cheap. I bought a twin-sized flannel sheet set for $15 and cobbled-together a removable, fitted cover. I wanted to be able to remove it when it got dirty. This was stupid. Next time I would pony up money for two flat sheets and just sew an envelope.
So, the only benefit of having the mattress cut down is that it folds nicely into thirds and fits the back space wonderfully. However, this is foam, so it could certainly just squish into place as well.
TL/DR: Get a 3-inch foam topper. Put a sheet on it. Go camping.