How To Make A Jack Knife Sofa Comfortable In A RV? 7 Creative Ideas!

If you’re wondering how to make a jack knife sofa comfortable in your RV, you’re in good company. Many people find them uncomfortable, especially when they lie down on an RV jack knife sofa.

That’s because of the gap between the back and the seat of the jackknife sofa. 

Of course, if you know how to build a jackknife sofa for yourself, you’ll get the best comfort from it.

But you can easily make a jackknife RV sofa comfortable by following some creative ideas, below.

jack knife sofa rv

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn how to make a jack knife sofa comfortable and more, including:

First, let’s start with the basics.

What exactly is a Jack Knife Sofa?

And why are they so darn uncomfortable?

What Is A Jackknife RV Sofa?

A jackknife RV sofa is a kind of sofa bed where you can lie down for sleeping and also fold the sofa up for sitting.

That way, you maximize the use of your RV space.

It is different from traditional sofa beds since it does not require a mattress and therefore, takes less space in your RV. 

When you’re ready to go to sleep, simply unfold it and you can retire for the evening.

Benefits of A Jack Knife Sofa

Jack knife sofas are very popular among RVers, because they are easy to move and lighter in weight. 

The best part is you can turn the sofa into a bed easily. You just need to pull down the seat and then the sofa will turn into a flat surface for sleeping.

Depending on how big your rig is, you may be sleeping on it yourself, or just want the space for extra guests.

Both the sofa & bed are perfect in size to use in a RV.

Related Article: Tips for RVing with Your Grandchildren

Size of a Jack Knife Sofa

jack knife sofa comfort

The size of a jack knife sofa depends on your RV size.

If you own large RV, then you can choose a big jack knife sofa. But if you have a smaller RV, then you should choose a small size jack knife sofa to fit the space. 

Most Jackknife sofas range from 68-72 inches in length with a depth of about 26-28 inches (when folded).  

The main area you have to consider is when a jack knife sofa is in bed mode.

Because in bed form, it takes a lot of space.

If you’re wondering what size sheet fits a jackknife sofa, it will vary with the furniture itself, but you’ll most likely be able to find home sheets that will fit.

That’s because the different bed sizes include twin, queen, full, and king.

You can choose one depending on your RV size. Just make sure whatever size you choose, it will fit in your RV. 

What Makes A Jack Knife Sofa Uncomfortable? 

Though the jack knife sofa is very convenient, some people find them uncomfortable to sleep on.

Here are reasons that contribute to making a jack knife sofa uncomfortable:

  • It’s surface is too hard to sleep on
  • The cushion gap between the back and the seat makes it very uncomfortable when the jack knife sofa is in bed form
  • Since the jack knife sofa is designed for space saving and versatility, comfort is not the first priority
  • Jack knife sofas made from leather or leatherette is especially uncomfortable for sleeping
  • It does not include a mattress to sleep on.

So, how do you make your RV sofa bed more comfortable for sleeping?

The first step is to unfold it.

Then, you’ll want to use some creativity.

Let’s have a deeper look at how to make a jackknife sofa comfortable, below.

7 Creative Ways to Make A Jack Knife Sofa Comfortable In A RV

rv couch sleeper

While a jack knife sofa is a great piece of furniture for your RV, there’s no denying that sometimes it feels uncomfortable while sleeping.

But, no worries. Here are some creative methods to make your jack knife sofa comfortable in a RV.

1. Use A Folded Quilt or Comforter

You can make a jack knife sofa comfortable quite simply by using a quilt or comforter.

You just have to spread it over the jack knife sofa to soften that hard surface. Usually a quilt has three layers of fabrics and sometimes wool, and comforters can be very fluffy! 

So if you fold a large quilt or home comforter over your jackknife sofa, you will get more layers beneath you while sleeping.

That should be thick enough for better sleeping comfort.

2. Get A Mattress Topper

You can use a mattress topper to make your jack knife sofa surface more comfortable.

They are thick, usually around 2-3 inches and are made of a layer of foam or memory foam.

For the most comfortable situation, make sure the mattress topper is the same size of your sofa.

3. Top With An Egg Crate Foam Pad

An egg crate foam pad is one of the best options for a jack knife sofa.

It is very soft and the egg shaped bumps make it more breathable.

As with any topper, you have to consider the size of the egg crate foam pad and how it will fit on your jack knife sofa before buying it. Ideally, it should be the same size as the sofa.

In some cases, you can cut them to size, but it’s always better to try for a good fit to begin with.. 

4. Pool Noodles to the Rescue!

This idea is an especially creative solution, since you’ll be using pool noodles

When you turn the sofa into a bed, you will find it creates a gap between the seat cushion and the back cushion.

This gap is the main reason it’s so uncomfortable while sleeping. 

So, you need to fill up the gaps with–you guessed it–pool noodles to level it off.

5. Top with an Air Mattress

If the idea of sleeping on pool noodles doesn’t sound much better, you can also layer a mattress topper or air mattress on top. 

The pool noodles will still fill in the gap making the overall sleeping experience better, but some air mattresses are so high, you won’t even need to fill in the gap. 

Either way, when you top your jackknife sofa with an air mattress, you’ll get a fabulous, comfortable night of sleep.

6. Make Your Own Sofa Pad

You can make your jack knife sofa more comfortable by making your own sofa pad.

Then, you can customize it according to your needs. 

This is especially useful if you can’t find the right size, or you want the sofa pad to be a certain thickness or match your decor.

To make a sofa pad you will need:

First, you’ll have to cut the cotton fabric into two pieces that match the size of your sofa bed. 

Then, with the fabric design (if any) facing each other, sew three sides of the fabric together and leave one side unstitched. This will create an envelope, of sorts.  

Next, fill the envelope with wool or cotton batting to the desired thickness. 

Finally, stitch the open side to seal it up.

Now, you can spread the pad over the sofa bed for a comfortable night’s sleep.

7. Use A Self Inflating Air Pad

Self inflating air pads are the best way to make your jack knife sofa comfortable.

These pads can import the air in automatically & make you feel comfortable when you are on the jack knife sofa.

You can also release the air from the pad and fold it up when you don’t want to use it.

Final Thoughts on How to Make A Jack Knife Sofa Comfortable

Jack knife sofas are best for RVs when you know the techniques to make it comfortable for yourself.

Now, you have 7 easy and creative ways to make you more comfortable when you or a guest sleeps on your RV jackknife sofa.

Sweet dreams!

Need more ideas to enhance your RV travels? Check out this round-up of the 25 best items for RVers.

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18 thoughts on “How To Make A Jack Knife Sofa Comfortable In A RV? 7 Creative Ideas!”

  1. We RVed for 8 years and bought 2 RVs between. My husbandbsaid never buy one with a jackknife sofa. Now I know why from your descriptions. But you have 7 ideas of how to cope!

  2. A very good insight into how to make a jack knife sofa comfortable. Although the concept is new to me it did make me interested and read on. Although you mention they are normally uncomfortable to sleep on, when camping and moving around in a RV it certainly looks more than comfortable to me.

    • Yes, it is definitely more comfortable than sleeping in a tent, for sure. RV life can be quite comfortable, especially when you enhance the comfort of your jackknife sofa. 😀

  3. There was once a time where I could sleep on any surface, and likely the jack knife sofa being too hard to sleep on likely wouldn’t have bothered me. But not anymore! The hard surface, the cushion gap and the size would impact my sleep. So great tips shared on how to improve the comfort of these while camping.

  4. I have one of this sofas in my little Amsterdam studio. It is not the most comfortable place to sleep but has hosted some of my friends on their visits to my home. The idea about adding and inflatable mattress is really good and even if quite obvious I had not thought about it myself. Thanks for sharing these useful tips.

  5. These are some great tips Jackie! I have never heard of a jack knife sofa before so this was interesting. A mattress topper and extra quilt would be the first things I think of. Pool noodles however?! I had to look up what this was!

  6. I had no idea about Jack knife sofa. It was good to learn about something new. It definitely looks versatile and very useful inside an RV. And all your suggestions to make it comfortable are just so helpful. I am sure readers will pick on these techniques to add to their comfort.

  7. Jack knife sofas are definitely an essential furniture of an RV to relax comfortably and sleep.
    These are some of the very useful tips on making sleeping on Jack knife sofas comfortable. Using comforter, quilts, air mattress, egg pads or creating your own is the best way indeed. Traveling in an RV is my dream to accomplish. And sleeping in a jackknife sofa while traveling is the ultimate comfort statement.

  8. An informative post for those who travel around in a camper van. I hadn’t heard the phrase jackknife sofa (as I’m in the UK) so it was interesting to find out what it was and how to make it comfortable.

  9. I’ve never slept in one of those but found your solutions very ingenious and a great problem solver. An air mattress seems like the obvious answer for bringing something that is compact and has multiple uses for play or sleeping well.

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