How to Make a Jack Knife Sofa Comfortable in An RV?

“The words ‘Jack knife sofa’ and ‘Comfortable’ should never be used in one sentence”- says a senior member of IRV2 forum.

Well, with due respect, we have to disagree with him/her. Jack knife sofas might be a space-svaging RV furniture. But being a bit handy, it can be turned into a comfy surface to lay on.

But not every comforting means you might know about won’t play right with a jack knife sofa. And that was the exact reason why we decided to write an entire guide on it.

We, in this well-crafted piece, will talk about 8+ ways to make a RV jack knife sofa comfortable. And we bet at least one of them will be just ‘the thing’ for you.

Let’s jump right in-

What Makes A Jack Knife Sofa Uncomfortable?

Let’s take a moment and figure out what’s discomforting us regarding that jack knife sofa of yours-

Uneven parts

When the seat part of the sofa is lower than the back, or vice versa. It would make the sleeping surface uneven while folded flat. And that’s a real uncomfortable surface to sleep on.

Seam Between The Foam and Couch

Although they are meant to lengthen the lifespan of jack knife sofas. But those seams can be really uncomfortable while you’re sleeping on the jack knife.

The Crack Between The Back and Seat

When the jack knife isn’t in bed mode, you might not notice it. But when spread out to a bed, this becomes something that you need to take care of. Otherwise, it’s going to bother the comfort to a great extent.

5 Ways to Make A RV Jack Knife Sofa Comfortable

Use Egg Crate Foam Pad

The simplest way to make your rv jack knife sofa is to use an egg crate foam pad. These are also called convoluted foam. What makes it comfortable is the soft, egg-shaped bumps on the top surface of it. On top of that, these pads come to be breathable as well, as they can promote air circulation through them.

While looking for egg crate foams you have to decide about these features of them-

The Material and Thickness

Egg crate foams can be made of polyurethane, urethane, memory foam and visco-elastic foam. As per the market is concerned, you will find foam thickness to range between 1-½ to 4 inches.

Now, both thickness and material will bring you a variety in comfort, firmness, density and of course, price. Depending on how many days of service you’re expecting the foam to provide you with, you have to make the choice right.

The Size

Jack knife sofas come within any length within 58 inches to 72 inches, depending how much space you have in your RV. And while in bed mode, it can be 30-40” wide.

The problem is to match the sizes of your jack knife sofa bed and the egg crate pads available in the market.

We’ve done some research to pick up some, considering the diverse lengths of jack knife sofas-

Best Egg Crate Foam Pad for RV Jack Knife Sofa

Product Size Thickness Material
LUCID LU20TT30ZT 38” x 75” 2” Memory foam
Zinus AZ-SWFT-150T 37” x 73” 1.5” Memory foam
Linenspa LS30TT30CSGT 37.5” x 74” 3” Memory foam
Beds & Accessories 8541811084 33″ x 72″ 4″ Standard foam

With A Mattress Topper with Foam Pipe Insulation

Putting a mattress topper might be a simple but effective idea to comfortize your jack knife sofa. But unlike egg crate pads, you need to think about the gap between the seat and the back of it. When it’s opened up into a bed, this gap is going to de-level the sleeping surface and hamper the comfort whatsoever.

Therefore, we suggest filling up the crack with a foam pipe insulation or kid’s pool noodles and then put the mattress topper on it.

The thickness of the topper is supposed to be around 2 inches. So that you can fold it up and store it when you’re not using it. If the topper is thicker, you might find difficulties in that(exception is the foldable ones).

Once you get the right crack-filler and the topper, laying a bed sheet on top of it will turn into a real comfy sleeping arrangement.

Note: In case you can’t find the exact fit topper to your jack knife sofa, you need to cut it down as per the sofa’s size. If so, don’t forget to sew it up properly.

Our Recommended Best Mattress Topper

Product Size Thickness Material
Sleep Innovations F-TOP-13220-TW-WHT 75” x 39” 2” Memory Foam
Best Price Mattress BPM-4TM-XS(Foldable) 75” x 33” 4” Memory Foam
Mattress Insider Mattress Topper for RV 30” x 75” 2” Memory Foam

Use Self-inflating Air Pads

If you’re looking for great storability along with comfort on your jack knife sofa, then self-inflating air pads are the best bets available in the market. Heard it or not, we’ve verified it from a number of real RVers.

These pads have a combination of open-cell foam insulation inside them. And while you open the valve, it brings air in automatically. That’s where the adverb ‘self-inflating’ comes from. These are comfortable, supportive and durable. Plus, you don’t need to fill up the crack between the sofa back and seat while using these air pads.

Apart from the comfort, the biggest benefit of these pads is- you can empty them up and roll lengthwise. In such a way, it takes significantly less space to be stored.

These self-inflating pads come in a number of sizes, warmth and therefore, cost. We’ll try to recommend some for RV-using.

Best Self-inflating Air Pads for Jack Knife Sofa

Product Size Thickness Material
KingCamp Double Self Inflating Mattress 51.2” x 78” 1.6” 75D Polyester
Klymit Double V Sleeping Pad 47” x 74” 3” 75D polyester
HIKENTURE Double Sleeping Pad 47.5” x 79” 3.75” Polyester Pongee
KingCamp Deluxe KM3586 29.9” x 77.95” 3.93” 150D Oxford
Better Habitat NatureReady Single Sleeping Pad 24” x 74” 2” 75D Nylon

Use A Futon

At this point, let’s welcome our little friend from Japan- The Futon. And ‘what is a futon?’. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of ways people would answer that. So, let’s clear the cloud first.

In a traditional japanese bed, there are three parts-

  1. Shikibuton- the mattress
  2. Kakebuton(duvet)- the comforter
  3. Makura- the pillow.

Simply put, the shikibuton is what the western world calls as ‘Futon’ or ‘Shiki Futon’ or ‘Futon Mattress’.

Alright. Now it’s time to focus back on our jack knife sofa and see if they solve our problem or not. If yes, we’ll talk about which kind of suits your jack knife sofas as well.

With the futon in mind, you can do two things with our jackknife-

  1. Renovate it over(without reupholstering it).
  2. Cover it with a futon mattress while sleeping/using.

About the first option, we believe most of the RVers will go with this one. Here goes the step of this renovation of jack knife sofa with a futon mattress-

Steps of RV Jack Knife Sofa Renovation with Futon Mattress

  • Find a futon cover that matches the sofa size while it’s in ‘bed’ mode.
  • Fit the futon to the sofa. You need to do some tucking in while doing so.
  • All set! If you want, you can get a set of matching cushions for the sofa as well.

For the other options of our list, it’s just a get-set-go. Match the size of your sofa(bed mood), and find the closest size match of a futon mattress. With this option, you can enjoy a bit of liberty about the thickness of the futon. But make sure that you can fold it up while you are not being used.

For both of the options, we’ve hand-picked some futons that you can buy-

Our Best Futon for Jack Knife Sofa

Product Color Mattress Size
EMOOR 6piece Futon Set White 39” x 79”
EMOOR Japanese Ultra-Compact Futon Set Navy Blue 30” x 77”
EMOOR Japanese Igusa (Tatami) Mattress & CLASSE Futon Mattress Set Grey 39” x 79”
Luxton Home Japanese Shiki Futon with Sheet White 55” x 83”

Folded Quilt

Quilts might not look like that thick of a comforting medium for a hard surface. But for jack knife sofas that happen to be hard, folded quilts can be decently comfortable to seat and lay on. Plus, they are super affordable than many other options in this list.

Quilts are however, made of three layers- the top, the inner batting and the bottom. On the top, usually it’s fabric, stitched together into patterns. In the middle, the batting is made of thick wool or fown. And lastly, the bottom is a solid piece of fabric. And all three layers of a quilt are stitched together through hand or sewing machines.

However, for making a jack knife sofa comfortable, one single quilt won’t work well. Therefore, we recommend folding it and making a match to the sofa-turned-bed. And for that, you need to get quilts that are at least double the size of your sofa.

We’ve dug down a bit to find some for you.

Here are our best quilts for comforting a jack knife sofa-

Best Quilts for RV Jack Knife Sofa

Product Size Core Material
AmazonBasics Oversized Quilt Coverlet 118” x 106” Ultra-soft microfiber
Linenspa Quilted Oversized King Comforter 116″ x 98″ Microfiber
Bedsure Quilt Set 106” x 96” 100% microfiber

Foam Pipe or Pool Noodles

This item in our list, is not to put over the whole jack knife sofa, but to fill up the crack between the back and the seat of it. While the sofa is turned into a bed, this crack often bothers your comfort, no matter whatever you lay on it.

Therefore, putting something like a kid’s pool noodles or a foam pipe will fill the crack up. Then, you can put anything like a quilt, comforter, etc to make it to it’s best comfort.

However, if you’re planning to use something thick(air mattress, or thick futon), you might not need to use a crack filler anyways. But otherwise, it’s kind of a must.

Considering the size of usual jack knife sofas, we’ve put together some crack fillers from the market.

Best crack filler pool noodles or foam pipes for jack knife sofa-

Product Length Diameter
Fix Find Foam Noodle 52” 2.5”
Oodles Monster Pool Noodle 55” 3.5”
Fix Find 5 Pack Pool Noodles 48” 2.5”
Coast Athletic CA8700 58” 2.25”
Noodle Builder 10 Pack Noodles 24” 2.25″
Duck Brand Insulating Foam Pipe Covers 36” 0.75”

In Case You’re Looking for A Change

Although this part of the content isn’t a compulsory one to this article. But in case you are really bothered by the discomfort of your RV jack knife sofa, we would really suggest replacing it with something more comfortable.

We’ve got a quick list that might interest you-

  • Try Dual Recliner.
  • Sleeper Sofa/Sofa Cum Bed.
  • RV Dinettes- The Smart Solution.
  • Magic Bed
  • Air Over Coil w/ Electric Pump and Dump

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