How To Make A Jack Knife Sofa Comfortable? Comprehensive Guide

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
17 min read

You can use pool noodles and a pad to make a jack knife couch more comfy. The pool needles can be used to fill in any holes, while the pad can add to the sofa’s comfort. If you don’t want to spend the money on the ubiquitous egg crate foam, we’ll go over some alternatives.

To be sure, jackknife couch beds aren’t the sole option for sleeping in an RV. You can find helpful information on how to improve the comfort of a couch bed in a recreational vehicle in this post.

What Are Jack Knives?

The standard RV couch is a sofa bed that can be folded out into a bed and used for both lounging and sleeping. However, because it is bulky, jackknives are now more typically used in recreational vehicles. A jack knife sofa bed is similar to a standard sofa bed, however it has the advantages of both a conventional sofa and a flat bed.

Both the bench and bed modes are reasonably compact, making the jack knife sofa bed useful for the RV. However, people often comment about the gap you can feel when you lie down on this RV couch. The great news is that it’s easy to make the jack knife sofa comfortable by filling the gap and then placing more padding on the surface as discussed earlier.

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What Size Is A Jack knife Sofa?

The jack knife sofa bed is convenient for an RV because it can be used as a bench or a bed and takes up very little space in either configuration. However, when lying down on this RV couch, a noticeable gap may be felt. The good news is that, as we’ve already discussed, it’s simple to make a jack knife sofa comfy by filling the gap and then adding padding to the surface.

Keep in mind that the jack knife sofa is just one option for a sofa bed in a recreational vehicle. Sofa beds for RVs can be anything from a standard fold-out couch to an inflatable mattress. Never assume that something is the right size unless you measure it.

Can you put a regular sofa in the RV?

A standard sofa can be used in an RV, but it will need to be modified to fit inside. In addition, the sofa requires multiple set-up steps to guarantee it won’t slide about during transport. An RV-specific sofa will give you more comfort and be easier to set up.

Are Jack knife Sofas Comfortable?

Providing adequate support and improving the sofa’s sleeping surface with high-quality pads, coverings, and pillows, jack knife couches can be rather cozy. Cleaning and maintaining your sofa regularly can keep it looking its best and delay the inevitable droop that comes with age. Learning when it’s time to replace anything is essential for ensuring that everything you’re using is in peak condition at all times.

How Do You Cover A Jack Knife Sofa?

Most furniture retailers will have a sofa cover that will fit your jack knife sofa. The dimensions of the RV couch can be used to create a slipcover. In conclusion, the jack knife sofa’s lifespan can be extended by using a protective cover.

How To Make A Jack Knife Sofa Comfortable For The RV

1. Use Pool Noodles to Fill the Voids

The first approach may seem off-putting, but bear with us. When the jackknife sofa is converted into a bed, there will be a space between the seat and back. If you’re having trouble sleeping, this is probably the main culprit.

Fill the void with one or two pool noodles. The foam construction of pool noodles makes them a decent alternative to traditional mattresses. You will be completely oblivious to their presence.

If you sleep on a futon, a mattress topper, or nothing at all, the pool noodle method may help you feel more comfortable. You can usually get away with not using them if you are resting on a more stable surface, such as a foam pad.

2. Use A Mattress Topper

Using a simple mattress topper will make a big difference to the level of comfort of your jackknife sofa, and you’ll have a better nights sleep for it. You don’t have to spend a lot either, this Easeland padded mattress topper will do the job and it won’t cost you much.

Simply placing a mattress topper on your jackknife couch will greatly improve the quality of your sleep on that piece of furniture. This padded mattress topper from Easeland will do the trick and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

When camping in hot weather, it is important to use a breathable mattress topper; those made of cotton or microfiber are ideal. Gel-infused foam mattress toppers can further aid in temperature regulation and provide an excellent night’s rest.

On the other hand, if you plan on taking your RV to a cooler area, you should bring along a memory foam mattress topper to help you stay as toasty as possible while you sleep.

3. Make Your Own Wool Sofa Pad

Make your own sofa pad to sleep on if you prefer a more stable surface. The added thickness over a mattress topper means even more luxurious sleep.

You may make the pad to the exact dimensions of your jackknife sofa, and you can even tailor it to the style of your RV.

They won’t take long to whip up, and you’ll notice a dramatic improvement in your rest (and your back). For this, you need only:

  • Thread
  • Measuring Tape
  • Scissors
  • To sew with cotton
  • Wool

Before cutting fabric for your jackknife sofa, you’ll need to determine its dimensions. Take dimensions of the jackknife sofa bed when it is open. You should extend the fabric by a few inches to allow for stuffing.

Make sure the fabric is the right size, and then sew up the side seams. After you’ve stitched together three of the pad’s sides, stuff it with the wool. This can be made as thin or thick as desired.

Once you’ve achieved the desired thickness, finish stitching the open end. You can now relax on your custom-made sofa cushion. Enjoy!

4. Use a Quilt or blankets

Your jackknife couch can be made more comfy using quilts and blankets if you don’t have access to a mattress topper or can’t afford to buy one.

You should use as many blankets and quilts as you can find and spread them out flat on the foundation to eliminate any lumps and bumps. Before laying down blankets, you should also add pool noodles to fill in any empty spaces.

5. Use an Egg Crate Foam Pad

An egg crate foam pad is the most comfortable option if you can afford to spend a little more money. This inexpensive egg crate memory foam mattress topper is infused with relaxing lavender to help you fall asleep.

The form of the pad makes it highly breathable, helping to keep you cool and the pad fresh, giving the impression of sleeping on a luxury bed at a fraction of the price.

If you want a pad to accommodate your jackknife sofa, you’ll need to know how big it is.

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6. Clean and Flip the Sofa and Pad

All the techniques to physically make the jackknife sofa more comfortable have been listed above, including things like filling in the gaps and smoothing out the bumps and lumps. However, jackknife sofa comfort can be greatly improved by simply maintaining its cleanliness.

Before you turn the jackknife sofa into a bed, you should clean it thoroughly with a handheld vacuum to remove crumbs and a damp cloth to remove stains, etc. You shouldn’t overlook the comfort that a freshly cleaned jackknife sofa can bring to any room.

If you want your mattress topper or sofa pad to retain its bouncy shape, turn it over each night. Because of this, you may extend the amount of time that you can enjoy its cozy qualities.

7. Use Fresh Sheets

Just like a freshly cleaned sofa, a set of clean bedding may work wonders for your mood. Like a bed with clean sheets, a jackknife sofa feels wonderful as you sink into it.

Don’t forget to make the bed every day; nothing beats climbing into a neatly made bed after a long day. This kind of detail is crucial.

8. Get the Right Size Jackknife Sofa

Because of the constraints of RV interior design, this is a challenging question to answer. Consider how many individuals will be using the jackknife couch and how often. When purchasing a bed for a couple, it is recommended that they choose the largest size available.

A larger bed typically provides more comfort, but the ideal size is something only you can determine. It’s important to take into account the number of people that will be joining you on your RV trip when choosing a sofa size.

9. Add More Cushions

And last but not least add more cushions and pillows, you can always fill gaps and even use them for a base. Comfort can be increased by adding more pillows, though.

If you have any leftover wool and cotton from constructing a couch cushion, you can even make your own.

But don’t cram them in there, or you’ll have to keep them on the couch during the day.

5 Best Jackknife Sofa Reviews and Buying Guide

Kathy Ireland Jackknife Sofa – Best Overall

Just by looking at it, you can tell that this jackknife sofa is the best option we provide. It’s chic and disguises its jackknife construction so well that no one will guess it’s in an RV.

The steel framework has a 5-year warranty to ensure its longevity. It’s just what you need for RV seating because it’s lightweight and easy to store.

If you’d rather install the sofa on a platform, the legs can be detached. If you want to make the most of the space in your RV, you can slide the bed forward and put the couch back against the wall.

This material looks and feels like leather and is very low maintenance. You can use it as a couch or a bed thanks to the thick cushioning all around.

THOMAS PAYNE Jackknife Sofa – Best for Storage

Every camper van owner is aware of the value of every square inch of their rig, which is why multipurpose furnishings are a must. The jackknife sofa is a triple threat because it serves as seating, a bed, and a storage unit.

Thomas Payne designed a jackknife sofa that attaches to the coach wall, creating extra space for storage underneath.

In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, this bed will provide you with a peaceful night’s sleep with to its supportive steel spring seating.

The metal frame keeps the weight down while providing enough of strength and durability for years of use.

If you are not mounting directly onto a platform, the universal leg kit must be purchased separately.

RecPro Jack Knife RV Sleeper Sofa – Best Looking

You can’t go wrong with this RecPro jackknife sofa if aesthetics are your top priority. It seems to be a fashionable sofa in the same vein as any other.

This jackknife couch, upholstered in a sophisticated dark grey linen, is an elegant addition to any recreational vehicle. One caveat is that this one will be more challenging to clean if you happen to spill something on it, but that’s to be expected when you prioritize fashion above practicality.

Also, it weighs a mere 160 pounds, making it a breeze to transport. It’s fantastic because it’s lighter than conventional RV furnishings. The sturdy metal construction and plush padding enhance to its great quality.

This modern sofa, when pushed up against a wall, easily transforms into a bed. If you want to use your couch as a bed without any snagging, leave at least three inches of space between the back of the couch and the wall.

Lippert Components Sofa – Best for Low Maintenance

The Lippert jackknife couch is upholstered in PolyHyde, a high-quality material that is not only attractive but also very low maintenance. Those who value an option that is low maintenance in the face of the presence of pets or young children will find this to be an excellent choice.

It’s soft, and the high density foam inside provides excellent support so you can sleep soundly.

The Lippert is extremely minimal maintenance because it is sturdy, converts with a single motion, and lasts a long time.

Kathy Ireland Jiffy Jackknife Sofa – Best Price

The Kathy Ireland Jiffy sofa is an excellent choice if saving money is your top goal. It’s the least expensive option here, and you can choose the size and color to suit your RV’s interior.

It has a metal frame that is both lightweight and strong. Due to its design and mechanism, this sofa can be transformed with a single swift motion, making it convenient and space-saving.

It’s great for lounging and sleeping thanks to the ample padding. This jackknife couch won’t cost an arm and a leg, and it won’t hurt your back either.

How do I Pick The Best Jackknife Sofa – Buying Guide

In case you’re interested in purchasing a jackknife sofa but aren’t sure where to begin your search, I’ve compiled a list of the key points you should bear in mind.

Quality of Materials

Jackknife couches are multipurpose and are likely to see heavy use; during the day they serve as seating, and at night they transform into beds.

A jackknife couch with a cheap frame won’t last long. Choose a frame constructed of steel or another strong metal for maximum durability and service life.

All RV furnishings and fixtures must be sturdy to withstand the frequent motion experienced when on the road, thus a sturdy frame is perhaps the most crucial thing to look out for. The jackknife sofa you buy must be able to withstand daily use as both a couch and a bed.

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Having a robust frame isn’t enough for a jackknife sofa; it also needs to be comfortable as a couch and a bed.

Test its comfort by sitting on it as a couch and lying down on it in bed configuration before making a final decision. If you, like the majority of us these days, prefer to do your shopping online, take a look at the reviews to get a sense of how comfortable the product is.

While some people may sleep better on a spring mattress, others may prefer foam. Check the jackknife sofa’s mattress type to make sure it meets your comfort needs before making a purchase.


A recreational vehicle’s amenities are no exception to the rule that more is better. Be sure to take accurate measurements of the available space and choose a suitable size accordingly.

A jackknife sofa with extra storage space is another option for making the most of your RV’s limited space.


A jackknife couch should be as light as feasible without sacrificing durability or comfort.

Overloading your RV might cause it to become unsteady or, at the absolute least, cause you to spend more money on gas.


Though jackknife couches are low maintenance, you should keep in mind that camping isn’t exactly the cleanest pastime. It’s recommended that you choose a sofa that can be easily cleaned; leather is a great option in this regard.

Ease of Use

If you want to know how to change the jackknife sofa into a regular couch, you should read the instructions first. You wouldn’t want it to be permanently converted into a sofa or bed, for example.


Constantly keep in mind how much money you want to spend, and don’t go above that amount. In a perfect world, you’d have an endless supply of cash to spend on your recreational vehicle’s interior. Don’t go over your budget!


The jack knife sofa’s adaptability and small footprint make it a common choice for recreational vehicles. However, in order to get the most out of a jack knife sofa, you need to know how to make it comfy. Fill the space between you and your mattress with pool noodles, and then add more padding.

And with that, I’ll end this! If you remove the empty space and add more padding to your jack knife sofa, you should find it to be much more comfortable.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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