Clicky

3/4 mattress: What is it, Buyer’s Guide and Best Options on the market

This research is supported by you, our readers, through our independently chosen links, which earn us a commission with no extra cost to you. Learn More

Written by: Alex Savy
Read 18 minLast updated on July 23, 2021

In the era of standardization, those with unique bed sizes have a problem when shopping for mattresses. Whether it is for a beautiful inherited antique bed or for a non-standard size RV bed, we will show you how to choose a 3/4 mattress and propose some of our own favorites.

A Quick Preview

Brooklyn Signature Hybrid
Editor's Choice - Best for Home-Based Antique Beds

Brooklyn Signature Hybrid
Read more about this mattress
Brooklyn Wanderlust Memory Foam RV Mattress
Best for Dual Home and RV Use

Brooklyn Wanderlust Memory Foam RV Mattress
Read more about this mattress
PlushBeds 8
Best for Allergy Sufferers

PlushBeds 8" Eco Green Natural Latex RV Mattress
Read more about this mattress
MattressInsider Luxury Gel Foam RV Mattress
Best for Customization

Mattress Insider Luxury Gel Foam RV Mattress
Read more about this mattress
Bear RV Mattress
Best ¾ Specialist RV Mattress

Bear RV Mattress
Read more about this mattress

What is a 3/4 Mattress?

A 3/4 mattress, also called a three quarter size mattress or a short full mattress, is one that fits a 3/4 or three quarter size bed, and a 3/4 bed is a hangover from the 18th century when shorter and narrower beds were more widespread. That is why this mattress is sometimes called an antique mattress, because it fits antique beds with the peculiar measurements of 48 inches wide and 75 inches long. 

But people in the 18th century were pretty bad at bed size standardizations, which is why the sizes of antique 3/4 beds even vary, with some being 74 or 72 inches long and some being 49 inches wide.

In the 20th century, manufacturers and consumers sensibly agreed on standardizing bed sizes to limit the chaos of shopping for beds and mattresses, but many people are understandably attached to their beautiful antique beds, so the 3/4 bed and mattress survive until today.

In fact, in the second half of the 20th century when motor homes, camper vans, and prefabricated trailer homes increased in popularity, the 3/4 mattress gained a new following among people who needed to fit smaller-than-standard beds into their various types of recreational vehicle.

Furthermore, as our cities are becoming increasingly densely populated and the apartments in which we live become smaller, some people may even be attracted to the 3/4 bed because it takes up less floor space in bedrooms that are already too small.

So, the 3/4 bed is here to stay for good.

How to Choose the Best 3/4 Mattress

Choosing a three quarter size mattress is a bit more complicated than picking a normal mattress for home use; the most complicating factor being the lack of standardization in the three quarter bed size.

Consider the following when buying a 3/4 mattress:

  • Size. To ensure that your new mattress fits, you will have to measure your antique or RV bed and find a mattress that is the same size. That is why we prefer mattresses that come in many different sizes. You do not want your mattress to hang off over the sides of the bed; neither do you want to climb over a piece of bed foundation before you find your way onto the mattress.
  • Shape. Because we are dealing here with uniquely made antique beds or beds that are made specifically to fit into tiny spaces, it sometimes happens that notches or corners need to be cut out of the mattress to fit the headboard, bed posts, or rounded corners of the bed. That is why at least one of our favorite 3/4 mattresses is produced by a manufacturer that is willing and able to customize mattresses.
  • Location of use. You need to ask yourself whether you will use your three quarter size mattress at home or in an RV. Thicker, heavier, and larger mattresses are better for home use because the spaces in which you will move them are larger. Moving a monstrous 14-inch king-size mattress in and out of an RV is difficult and often completely impossible, which is why some of our favorite RV 3/4 mattresses are 10 inches or thinner.
  • Frequency of use. A six-inch thin mattress is good for occasional use in an RV, but it is unlikely to last long if you use it at home every night, because your weight will wear it out quickly. In fact, it probably won't be hugely comfortable for regular use either. Therefore, we like mattresses that are six or eight inches thin for occasional RV use, mattresses of 10 inches thick for dual use, and thicker mattresses for frequent use, either in a brick-and-mortar home, or in a prefab trailer home. Most of the best RV mattresses are slightly thinner, as you can see here.
  • Firmness. When a research team asked their 313 participants to sleep on various beds and rate their experiences, those who slept on medium or medium firm mattresses reported less overall pain, less pain on rising, less disability, less pain while lying in bed, and less daytime back pain than those did who slept on firm or soft mattresses.(1) That is why we tend to go for medium or medium firm, but include some outliers for stomach sleepers and heavy-weight sleepers who need firmer mattresses.
  • Construction materials. Latex, memory foam, and hybrid mattresses are all attractive options. There is a study that shows that thicker diameter coils and a larger number of coils distinguish a comfortable medium firm spring mattress from a bad one.(2) that's why our favorite is a hybrid with a large number of thick coils for good support. Research also shows that latex is good at reducing peak pressure points, such as on the shoulders of side sleepers.(3) Memory foam has also been found to be better than normal foam at reducing pressure between your body and the mattress.(4) thus, you cannot go wrong with any of these materials.
  • Cool sleeping. Cotton and celliant covers get a good shake from the available studies, as both these materials are good at drawing heat away from your body.(5)(6) Latex also cannot absorb your body's heat, and hybrid mattresses with their springs below their foam layer can also let through some air. But if you don't have a specific problem with hot sleeping, you can pick a memory foam mattress with no concerns.
  • Hypoallergenic features. All the foam mattresses on our list have been CertiPUR-US certified, which means that they all exclude Mercury, lead, other potentially harmful heavy metals, formaldehyde, and harmful phthalates. But unfortunately, foam does attract more dust mites and dust mite feces than other construction materials do.(7) Cotton covers have proved to be quite effective at preventing dust mites from passing, so we like them a lot.(8) A GreenGuard Gold certification is the highest third-party verification of the mattress' hypoallergenic character, as it confirms it to be free of more than 10,000 metals and chemicals, low on gas emissions, and suitable for use in hospitals.(9) 
  • Motion transfer. If you want to buy a normal-size 48x75-inch three quarter size mattress to fit your three quarter bed size, you and your partner will sleep in fairly close quarters and a foam mattress will help to prevent movements from traveling to the other side of the mattress. As you can see from a list of the best full mattresses here, a 3/4 mattress is five inches narrower than a normal full mattress.
  • Price and perks. Free delivery, a sleep trial period of at least 100 nights, and a warranty of at least 10 years are our minimum requirements. You can expect to pay more for the short king and queen sizes, but most of the normal 3/4 size mattresses hover around the $500 to $600 mark, which seems more than reasonable for a quality mattress.

Our Reviews of the Best 3/4 Mattresses

Editor's Choice - Best for Home-Based Antique Beds — Brooklyn Signature Hybrid

Brooklyn Signature Hybrid

Highlights

  • 48x74" and many larger shorts for couples who want space.
  • Thick and strong support for durable every-night home use.
  • Three firmness options.

This mattress comes in the standard short full measuring 48 inches wide and 74 inches long, which is large enough for close sleeping couples, but it also comes in a short queen of 60x74", and a short king of 72x75 for those who have antique beds large enough to leave both partners some proper space. 

With an eight-inch-thick spring base of up to 961 thick coils, higher gauge coils on the edges for extra edge support, and a six-inch dense and memory foam pillow, this is no thin, cost-cutting RV mattress to use only occasionally. This is a monster that is large to carry around and that has enough support to bear your weight every night for years. As such, it is ideal for your home rather than for your RV. It does come compressed in a box, however, so the delivery and original setup should be simple. 

Since it comes in three firmness options, side and light-weight sleepers can pick the soft or medium, back and middle-weight sleepers can pick the medium, and stomach and heavy-weight sleepers can pick the firm. 

At below $700 if you buy from the Brooklyn website, with a 120-night trial, and free shipping and return, this is great value for money.

Best for Dual Home and RV Use — Brooklyn Wanderlust Memory Foam RV Mattress

Brooklyn Wanderlust Memory Foam RV Mattress

Highlights

  • Many thickness options to furnish both your home and RV.
  • 48x74" and lots of other custom size and specialist RV options.
  • The most cost-effective 3/4 mattress.

This mattress comes in six, eight, 10, 12, and 14-inch thickness versions, which gives you a wide choice of usage and firmness options. The thickest two consist of three foam layers and are therefore the softest, but they are large to carry and fit into your RV. The 10-inch model is a medium-firm dual-layered foam mattress, which is the healthiest firmness level recommended by research and a good RV size. The eight and six-inch models are firmer and ideal for back or stomach sleepers, but the memory foam prevents it from being too firm. 

48x74, 60x74, and 72x75-inch models, together with several specialist RV king and bunk sizes. Accordingly, this mattress is not a home-use 3/4 mattress that just happens to fit your RV, it is specifically made in RV sizes.

If you buy this from Brooklyn's own website, you can pay less than $400, unless you buy the thickest and largest ones. Together with the 10-year warranty and 120-night sleep trial, this is a pretty great deal.

Highlights

  • Free of harmful chemicals for allergy sufferers.
  • Fully natural latex for the most even weight distribution.
  • 8" thick and especially made for RVs.

This mattress is GreenGuard Gold certified, which means that it is frequently third-party tested and confirmed to be free of more than 10,000 chemicals with their accompanying emissions. This means that it is so hypoallergenic and healthy that it is suitable for use in healthcare facilities. 

Since research shows that latex is the best surface to distribute our weight equally across the mattress, and that it is the best at reducing peak body pressure, such as on the shoulders of side sleepers, this mattress is right on target with its two inches of latex cushioning on top. It increases the likelihood that you won't wake up with aches and pains.

It's designed especially for RVs, as its eight-inch thickness measurement testifies, but its six-inch foam support layer below the latex provides more than enough support for more regular home use too.

Highlights:

  • The manufacturer builds custom-size mattresses.
  • Flippable with different firmness levels on the two sides.
  • A cotton cover for cooler sleep than other foam mattresses.

This mattress comes in the standard 3/4 size of 48x75 inches, but also in a huge number of other sizes. Even better, the manufacturer can build custom sizes and shapes if your bed is a really unique size or if the mattress needs corners to be cut out to fit. Since some beds' rounded corners are one of the biggest frustrations while buying a mattress, this is a huge help.

The mattress is flippable with gel memory foam on the one side and higher density foam on the other. This is great because it gives you a choice of sleeping firmness, between the softer cradling memory foam on the one side and the firmer foam on the other. It also gives you the opportunity to flip the mattress to a fresh start when the one side becomes worn out

Its organic cotton cover on both sides of the mattress ensures that it won't sleep as hot as most foam mattresses do, as cotton has been proved to be better at cooling than many other textiles.

At eight or 11.5 inches thick, it is suitable for both home and RV use.

Best ¾ Specialist RV Mattress — Bear RV Mattress

Bear RV Mattress

Highlights

  • A specialist RV mattress in various sizes.
  • Eight inches thick for easy RV fitting.
  • A celliant cover for cooling and pain relief.

You can find this mattress in an RV bunk size of 33.5x74 inches, an RV queen size of 60x74 inches, and an RV King size of 72x80 inches. As such, you have sleeping options for the kids and the adults.

At only eight inches thick, it is light and small and easy to maneuver into the tiny spaces of your RV or trailer.

It has a celliant cover, which is a material that is becoming increasingly common in athletic clothing. It is designed to absorb the heat energy produced by your body, to convert it into far infrared radiation, and to reflect this type of energy back to your body where your skin, tissue, and muscles can absorb it. This is meant to keep your body cooler, to prevent the loss of energy through heat, and to facilitate better blood flow for muscle recovery, especially for athletes.

While the research is still thin on the ground, a compilation of studies published in 2020 showed that it could indeed reduce arthritis and muscle pain enough to facilitate longer and better sleep.

This mattress also follows the research that recommends a medium firm mattress for spinal alignment and sufficient lower back support, which is produced by a bit over six inches of high-density foam and a bit over one inch of memory foam on top.

F.A.Q.

Isn't a 3/4 mattress just a larger single mattress?

In the United Kingdom, Australia, and many other countries that are members of the Commonwealth, a 3/4 bed is what Americans call a twin XL or single XL: a normal-length bed that is wider than a single/twin but narrower than a double/full. That is not what Americans and Canadians mean by a 3/4 bed, however, so buy an American-made mattress to ensure that you use the same definitions. Check out the different bed sizes here.

Where is the best place to buy the Best 3/4 mattress?

Most people want to buy everything from Amazon these days, but the best place to buy these mattresses are from the manufacturers' own websites. This ensures that you receive the largest discounts, the sleep trial period, the free returns, and other perks. In fact, Amazon reviewers often complain that they miss out on the perks because they didn't know that the perks required direct purchases from the manufacturers'.

Which are the best foundations for these 3/4 mattresses?

The manufacturers of our favorites do not require any specific foundation for their mattresses, so long as the foundation on which the mattresses is placed is not elastic or flexible. A platform, a slat base, a box, and even the floor will work.

Conclusion

We picked our favorite 3/4 mattresses based on their size, their flexibility of use, their firmness, their construction materials, their ability to sleep cool, their hypoallergenic features, and their lack of motion transfer for couples.

If you have an antique bed or an RV with a three quarter bed size and you can think of any selection criteria that we have forgotten, please let us know in the comments below.

References:

  1. Francisco M. Kovacs et al. (November 15, 2003). Effect of Firmness of Mattress on Chronic Non-Specific Low-Back Pain: Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled, Multicenter Trial. The Lancet. Retrieved from: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(03)14792-7/fulltext
  2. Li-ming Shen et al. (2010). Performance of Pocket Spring and Body Pressure Distribution Characteristic of Pocket Spring Mattress. Retrieved from: https://www.scirp.org/journal/paperabs.aspx?paperid=14352
  3. Fan-Zhe Low et al. (March 2017). Effects of Mattress Material on Body Pressure Profiles in Different Sleeping Postures. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1556370716300116
  4. Tom Defloor (February 2000). The Effect of Position and Mattress on Interface Pressure. Applied Nursing Research. Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0897189700800130
  5. Susan Sokolowski (August 28, 2020). Cool touch shirts can make you feel cool on hot days, but which materials work best? Retrieved from: https://theconversation.com/cool-touch-shirts-can-make-you-feel-cool-on-hot-days-but-which-materials-work-best-144475
  6. Various (April, 2020). Celliant Published Studies: Compilation of Clinical, Technical and Physical Trials. Retrieved from: https://www.drapertherapies.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Celliant-Published-Studies-Compilation-of-Clinical-Technical-and-Physical-Trials-April-2020.pdf
  7. M. A. Schei et al. (June, 2002). House-Dust Mites and Mattresses. Allergy. Retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12028120/
  8. David Clarke et al. (April 1, 2015). Dynamics of House Dust Mite Transfer in Modern Clothing Fabrics. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Retrieved from: https://www.annallergy.org/article/S1081-1206(15)00005-8/abstract
  9. Underwriters Laboratories. UL GREENGUARD Certification Program. Retrieved from: https://www.ul.com/resources/ul-greenguard-certification-program

Our research

27

Mattresses Considered

112

Hours of Research

2

Sleep Experts Consulted

Subscribe to get updates and new deals!

Zero spam. Unsubscribe at any time

Leave a comment