Campervan Beds – a comparison of the most popular camper beds

One of the most important features of any campervan is the bed. If you intend to sleep in your campervan, you want a comfortable and easily accessible bed. Luckily, today you can install some fantastic beds in your van that offer exactly that.

In this ultimate guide, we look at the different types of campervan bed available. This includes models like the RIB, Smart Bed, and Reimo. We also look at how to choose a campervan bed, and the considerations you should make.



  • Crash-tested
  • Detachable or integrated headrests
  • Folds-down to reveal a fully flat sleeping area
  • Available in various dimensions

Why choose this type of campervan bed?

RIB is a well-known model of folding bed and possibly one of the most used for UK campervans, especially VW’s. The RIB Altair is made by SCOPEMA who is a French company. This model of seat is crash-tested which is a huge plus, but it is also incredibly functional.

The seats sit on a sturdy frame, and they fold over to reveal a fully flat sleeping surface. The rear section also folds down, and you can have optional storage panels at the back which can give more boot storage. You can get a RIB Altair bed in a range of sizes, but they traditionally fit in vans that have a side unit such as a sink/hob combo.  

One downside is that the flat surface of a RIB Altair may not be the most comfortable. If you want the best sleep, a mattress topper is ideal.

  • Customizable and available in many sizes
  • The seats are relatively stylish and comfortable
  • Can fit in narrower van spaces
  • Crash-tested
  • Quite expensive



  • Great safety and is M1 certified
  • Available in fixed or sliding variants
  • Excellent build quality and durability

Why choose this type of campervan bed?

Reimo is another popular campervan bed model and there are several options available. The Reimo 333 is a great option and is one of the few beds that has an M1 safety rating and certification. It is similar to the RIB Altair and is available in both fixed and sliding options.

The typical Reimo 333 operates on a sliding rail and the from and back sections fold over to form the sleeping surface. These beds are some of the best quality available and have impeccable German engineering. This of course comes at a premium and a Reimo 333 can be considerably more expensive.

  • Has a range of optional extras for customization
  • Fantastic safety rating
  • Multiple seat and track positions available
  • Quite expensive compared to other beds
  • Not as comfortable as the RIB

Smart Bed


  • One-touch closure system
  • M1 tested models available
  • Has space for under-bed storage

Why choose this type of campervan bed?

A Smart Bed such as the Smart Bed Evolution II is another popular option. This manufacturer has a range of beds available in various sizes including full-width, and ¾. The Smart Bed Evolution II is a ¾ bed and is M1 tested.

It is a rock and roll bed style that has two sections that slide down on a rail to form the bed surface. If you want a simple bed system that is easy to operate, this is a great choice as it has a one-touch closure system. The Evolution II also has 5 different reclining positions.

Despite the great features, Smart Beds still remain relatively affordable too, even when you have added the optional extras like seat belts and, leather fabric, and installation.

  • Easy to set up and put away
  • Highly affordable even with extras
  • Offers great comfort
  • Not as much storage as other beds

Rock n Roll


  • Versatile as car seats and a bed
  • Simple folding mechanism
  • Comfortable seats

Why choose this type of campervan bed?

The Rock n Roll style of campervan bed is one of the most popular. It is highly functional, not too expensive, and offers great functionality as both a seat and a bed. This type of bed will fold out, usually on a sliding rail system. 

The front seats will fold downwards and move out and will slide next to the rear section. Depending on the design, the seats will either have headrests that fit into slots when folded or have to be detached. Usually, there is space underneath the frame for additional storage too, and the frame can be boxed-out with paneling.

  • Can be easily upholstered by most upholsterers
  • Great customization and a range of models
  • One of the smallest bed designs
  • Not particularly comfortable to sleep on

Customer Fabricated

These come in all shapes and sizes. Some campervan conversion companies weld together their own custom bed frames into a rock n roll style.


  • Whatever you want

Why choose this type of campervan bed?

Finally, there is always the option of fabricating your own bed. This can be a rewarding venture, but you must of course be handy and have knowledge of fabricating and installation. You would have to essentially create everything from scratch such as the frame, seats, and sleeping surface.

A fabricated bed should really only be considered by those who know what they are doing. The positives of fabricating your own bed are greater control, and you don’t have to pay expensive installation fees. However, the downside is the sheer time and effort that this type of project involves.

  • You have full control over the bed design
  • May be cheaper than off-the-shelf beds
  • These do not typically come with the same safety accreditations as popular brands

What to Look for When Choosing a Campervan Bed?

Now that you have a clearer idea of the different types of campervan beds available, you may wonder which is the best option? This depends on your circumstance, what you intend to use the campervan for, and of course what type of van you have.

Before choosing a bed, ensure you have a detailed plan of the area you have to work with. This should include exact measurements, clearance, and maximum load capacity etc. 

Also, consider what trips you intend to use the van for. Will you use it mainly for day trips, or do you plan to venture into Europe for longer road trips? This will impact what type of bed you choose and if you prefer maximum comfort over maximum space. We have also provided a list of other important considerations to make below:

Electric vs Manual campervan bed

Did you know that you can get electric folding beds for your campervan? Traditionally, beds like the rock and roll have always been manual – you must fold them down yourself. However, a select few manufacturers can make electrical versions.

There are pros and cons to both types of folding beds. For example, electric campervan beds offer greater convenience and are much easier to use. However, these are much more expensive than simple manual beds.

In contrast, manual beds are quicker to fold down but require far greater force and effort. However, these are considerably cheaper as there are no complicated motors or electrics needed.


Different folding bed designs have different levels of comfort. With some beds, it may be beneficial to place an insulated mat on the top, for example. Alternatively, other bed types may be relatively comfortable, and you may only need a sleeping bag.

Think about how easily you sleep, and if extra comfort is something you will need. Also, consider who will use the van and how tall they are etc. Some smaller beds may not be suitable for taller people and could result in their head or legs hanging over the edge!

Overall Footprint / Space Required

You should also look at the space required. Folding campervan beds take up a decent amount of space in the back of a van.

Think about the space you have, and the other features you want to be installed in your van. For example, if you want a kitchen unit and storage, you may have to have a narrower bed. Alternatively, if you just intend to use your van for sleeping, you could opt for a bed that is the full width of the inside.


Finally, you must of course look at the cost of the bed. If you are converting your campervan, you may have a set budget, for example. This may limit which type of bed you can install.

The basic cost of each folding bed is a large chunk on its own. You then have to factor in additional costs such as seatbelts, and upholstery. You can easily spend £2000+ on just the bed!

Roof vs Downstairs – Which is Better?

Aside from the folding bed in the back of a campervan, there is course another option – the roof bed! Campervans like the VW Transporter have the option to have a pop-up roof section that can be used as a bed. This provides a spacious area and can allow you to keep space below for storage, and day to day living functionality.

Alternatively, having a roof bed and a folding bed could allow you to sleep four people and thus make the campervan more accessible for families. When considering this, you must think about comfort, however.

The rooftop beds may not be as comfortable as a folding bed. Also, the thinner material sides of the pop-up section can make it noisy, especially in bad weather.

We hope you have found this guide useful. Your head should now be filled with the different types of campervan beds available. This is an important aspect of your campervan build/conversion so ensure that you give it proper thought and consideration!

We recommend you read our guide to beds for campervans next.

Joe Tannorella

Joe Tannorella

Joe grew up wanting to live the van life. In 2020 he and his wife bought their first VW Transporter campervan (called Vinnie) and have been enjoying it ever since. Together they write about their experiences of van life and provide useful information, reviews, and more via their writing on Camperbrain.

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