Owning a Jeep Wrangler is like owning a gateway to adventure; its go-anywhere, anytime reputation is proven and deserved. Using it for weekends and longer holidays therefore places some more demands on it, and a common theme asked by owners is its ability to cater for a mattress.
While a full mattress measuring 74 inches by 54 inches will not fit in a Wrangler Unlimited, you can find some options that are closer to a twin mattress (which officially measures 75 by 38 inches). We will look at the feasibility of using a Wrangler to sleep in, and cover off some important facts about interior dimensions and practicality.
Measuring Wrangler Unlimited interior dimensions
Firstly, the short-wheelbase Wrangler will not fit a mattress of reasonable length; its cargo area is too small with its 20-inch-shorter wheelbase.
(NOTE: That said, it is definitely possible for one person to sleep in the back of a 2-door Wrangler in some comfort, but it requires you to sleep diagonally and sliding the front passenger seat forward to the easy-entry position. You can squeeze out 72 inches and, with some elbow grease and clever cutting of a pair of foam squares, sleep inside your Wrangler in relative comfort. One very clever enthusiast shows you how here)
Now that’s out of the way, measuring the 4-door Unlimited is pretty straight-forward. Dealers and reviewers all quote the total cargo volume for the JKU and JLU models between 31 and 32 cubic-feet, and between 72 and 73 cubic-feet with the rear seats folded down. That doesn’t tell owners much about the overall practicality, though.
The floor width of the cargo area ranges from 41 to 43 inches, depending on where you measure. The tailgate opening is 41.5 inches, but that won’t impact possible mattress widths. The interior width is closer to 44 inches as you get higher, which makes building an elevated false floor very tempting for some Wrangler enthusiasts if storage space is also a high priority.
The length from tailgate to center console/armrest is approximately 66 inches, but with the front seats slid forward there is over 6 feet available, which means most people will be able to sleep with a modicum of comfort.
Minimum height from the floor to the structural sports bar is about 35 inches, but to the top of the roof is a more generous 40 inches. It means most people should be able to sit upright without being too hunched over if a mattress is directly on the floor.
There are a number of mattress options out there, both specifically for the JKU and JLU and also generic in design. However, there are some other solutions that might be more tempting for Wrangler Unlimited owners. If there is one thing we’ve learned, it’s that the options are almost endless when it comes to maximizing a Jeep’s utilitarian value.
Custom false floor and drawer storage
ARB Outback Solutions roller drawer system
This drawer system from Australian 4×4 accessory specialist ARB is designed to fit behind the rear seats of a Wrangler Unlimited, providing more secure storage in the trunk (and with the optional cargo barrier, a separate cargo area with the rear seats folded or removed). With a little bit of elbow grease, some extra flooring can be easily built in front of the drawer system to create a perfectly-flat floor, which is ideal to put a mattress on.
Rear seat removal
If you’re never going to use the rear seats, then excess weight and wasted space can be removed easily and a rear seat delete like this can go in its place. A flat floor is the perfect base for a mattress, as well as for storing supplies and spares for any off-road adventure.
OK, it isn’t inside the Wrangler, but a rooftop tent allows for much more sleeping space while not sacrificing on any use of the cargo area in the vehicle itself. Options like this have a sleeping area 94 inches long and 51 inches wide. Once initially installed on a suitable rack system, the tent itself takes just minutes to set up.
Wrangler Unlimited mattress options
1. Highly-rated air mattress
The Onirii SUV inflatable mattress has had plenty of feedback leaving an average score of 4.0/5. Its 73×43-inch dimensions makes it the perfect size for the back of the Wrangler Unlimited, and the included 12V pump makes inflation easy and painless.
2. AirBedz Inflatable Air Mattress
An air mattress is perfect for the rear of a car, being able to snugly fit into the shape of a JK or JL, with the rear seats folded or removed. This particular mattress is designed to fit right up to the rear doors, making it almost as wide as a full mattress at one end. Tall men and women might struggle with the short overall length, but for a night or two we think it is still acceptable. Width is more important for a couple in any case.
This inflatable mattress comes with its own compressor, making it very easy and practical to use. It comes in three colors; tan, blue, or a cool camouflage motif.
3. Xprite NitePad
Dimensions: 72.6″ x 43″ x 1.5″ (JKU)
74.8″ x 41.7″ x 1.7″ (JLU)
If you want to maximize space, both in terms of sleeping area and storage, then the NitePad ticks both boxes. Its storage versatility is achieved by being less than 2 inches thick and able to be stowed flat against the rear seat back. Weighing only 12 pounds, it is easily unfolded and laid into position in seconds.
Despite the minimal thickness, the dense foam is still reasonably comfortable, and also easily removed so the cover can be washed when required.
4. Deepsleep Solo Mat
Dimensions: 72”x25”x5” (approximate)
With a minimum width of approximately 21” it is technically a single mattress. This means it leaves half the trunk area free for storage of supplies, or the option to double up, letting you use the full 72×42 inches in the back of a JKU or JLU for sleeping comfort.
It comes in a practical travel bag and a compressor is also available, which can inflate the mattress in less than 5 minutes. If you know you’ll frequently camp as a couple, they offer a double version as well.
5. 2-door air mattress
Don’t trade in your SWB Wrangler just yet; a made-to-fit option is also available for the 2-door version. It maximizes the entire area behind the front seats and, while that’s only about 4 feet, the separate pillows can be used to rest against the seat backs.
It is probably more day lounge than slumber party, but it is better than nothing. The mattress is about 62 inches diagonally, so while squeezy, it could be ok for one person’s sleep for a night or two.
6. JeCar sleeping pad mats
This set of six foam mats is tailor-made for the JLU, and are sized in two ⅔ and ⅓ rows, allowing for some sleeping flexibility if you’re alone and have some gear that needs to be stored in the cabin.
The mat set is a very light 10 pounds, and given the various sizes packing them in or around the cabin should be easy when camping in the wild.
So we’ve established that, while a full mattress will not fit in the back of a Jeep Wrangler, there are multiple options available for utilizing either a 2-door or 4-door Unlimited for sleeping in. Don’t be put off by its relatively compact size; the Jeep Wrangler really can do almost anything.