Best Mattress for Heavy People
Jake Comfort | Updated: April 2, 2021
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This guide will cover the different factors that heavier sleepers should be sure to take into account when shopping for a new mattress. Finding a mattress with the right mix of qualities can be tedious for anyone, so we’ve also included a handy chart at the end to give you a good overall idea of what mattress we think are best for heavy sleepers.
Finally, we feel that we should note that the terms we use to describe the folks this article is intended to help are being used to refer to the overall body weight of a person, and we’re referring to sleepers over 200 lbs. We recognize that not everyone who weighs more than 200 lbs is overweight, and that someone can be overweight while weighing less than 200 lbs. Our objective is not to support or engage in any harmful or negative associations with the term we use, and we recognize that all bodies are beautiful.
The first thing that heavier sleepers should consider is the thickness of the mattress. You’ll want to find a mattress that is at least 12” thick or more to get the best night’s sleep. Granted, there are some exceptions to this guideline, especially if the mattress in question has a thicker than average support layer or is designed to offer a greater amount of deep compression support.
Deep compression support, after all, is the reason you should be looking for a thicker mattress. Heavier sleepers create more pressure of the mattress, so a thinner mattress might not be able to provide the support or comfort that you deserve.
The thickness itself isn’t the only thing that matters. Nearly all mattresses are made with layers these days, and understanding how thick each layer is while also understanding what function that layer serves is important. For example, a 16” mattress with a 10” comfort layer still won’t offer the deep compression support you need.
The best way to determine what kind of firmness you need is by what kind of sleeper you are. We have a guide that gives you a good idea of what firmness you should look for relative to your sleeping position. Most heavier sleepers will want to increase our recommendations in that guide by a bit, as many heavier sleepers will want a mattress that is medium to medium-firm. On a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the most firm and 1 being the least firm, heavier sleepers will want to look in the 4-7 range.
It’s also important to note that heavier sleepers experience more sinkage and hug from a mattress than lighter sleepers do. As a result, a firmness that is rated as a 7 may feel closer to a 5 for a heavier sleeper. In general, sleepers over 250 lbs will get 1-2” of additional sinkage from any given mattress.
Edge support is important for heavier sleepers because strong edges will help prevent sagging or collapsing while you’re sleeping near the edges of the mattress. Moreover, mattresses are used for more than sleeping, and more edge support is best for things like sitting or sex.
One of the biggest challenges for heavier sleepers is sleeping cool. Foam mattresses tend to sleep warmer than hybrid or spring mattresses, but many of the more advanced foam mattresses use different technologies to solve this problem.
We’ll briefly go over the different types of mattress so you can have the best idea of what kind of mattress you should consider buying given the mattress qualities you’re looking for.
Memory foam is a great option for larger sleepers because of the flexibility in the amount of firmness you can get from a mattress, and because these mattresses provide support in a way that helps to relieve pressure points and offer consistent support.
Memory foam mattresses can sleep hotter than other mattress, so look for one with an open cell structure, gel, or layers designed for cooling.
Latex offers many of the benefits of memory foam mattresses with better bounce and cooling, as it is more resistant to heat absorption. Moreover, latex mattress tend to produce less contour than memory foam, which can help to balance the sinkage.
For heavier sleepers, innerspring mattresses can be great or they can be terrible. Low quality innerspring mattresses result in pressure points because of the way they’re constructed. Coil-on-coil options are best here, offering good deep compression support and more consistent support overall.
Hybrid mattress use a combination of materials and construction types. They offer a number of features, like better cooling because of the airflow that coils offer, or a series of different foam layers to get more bounce and better deep compression support.
Best Mattresses for Heavier Sleepers
|Nolah's 12" mattress is a good option for heavy people because the layers of the bed work to spread out pressure, eliminating pressure points and providing a great night's sleep!||$1,269|
|Bear's Pro mattress uses innovative copper-foam technology to distribute weight evenly across the mattress. That means no awkward sinking spots and a comfortable night's rest for heavy sleepers||$1,090|
|Amerisleep is a great option for heavy sleepers because all of their beds have custom firmness options. That lets you get the qualities you want without giving up the support you need||$1,199|
|Nectar takes great pride in the fact that their mattress is engineered to be perfect for almost anyone. That means heavy sleepers can get the support they need.||$1,199|
Why We Made These Picks
We made the mattress choices we did based on several factors. We mention the factors in our descriptions, but we feel like it’s important for you to understand what each factor is and how they play a role in our decision making.
One of the things we look at is the thickness of a mattress. That’s because heavier sleepers need a thicker mattress to get the support they need without finding themselves laying on the bedframe itself.
Thicker mattresses allow a company to use a combination of foams and/or materials. That means you can get very soft layers on top, followed by more layers for your weight to work through. The thicker the mattress, the less the odds that your weight will settle on a layer that’s not ment to provide the support you need to rest well and feel good in the morning.
Additionally, thicker mattresses have a better chance at providing some of the other factors that we looked at when trying to determine what the best mattresses are for heavier sleepers, including deep compression support and cooling abilities.
One thing that heavier sleepers should take note of is that they’re more likely to benefit from hybrid mattresses than pure foam mattresses. That’s because the coils in a hybrid mattress can’t compress as much as foam can. As a result, you’re more likely to get comfortable base support instead of pushing through to the very bottom of the mattress.
Deep Compression Support
The next factor we considered was the deep compression support you get from each mattress. Deep compression support refers to the mattress’s ability to push back the deeper you get into it. Some mattresses that are extremely soft don’t have excellent deep compression support. Instead, these mattresses have the same support no matter how much compression the mattress experiences. As a result, they’re more likely to result in uncomfortable pressure points and pain when you’re trying to sleep.
However, there are several options for ways to improve deep compression support. One of the best ways is to create a hybrid mattress. The deep compression support provided by hybrid mattresses is second only to innerspring mattresses. However, hybrid mattresses let you take advantage of foam layers and other mattress innovations that you don’t get with innerspring mattresses.
One of the ways you can test how a mattress will work for deep compression support is to find out the density of the foam it uses. Mattresses that have a high-density core foam or that use high-density foam for all of their layers will have more compression support than mattresses that use a lower density foam. That’s because high-density foam doesn’t have as much room to compress as low-density foam. The result is more pushback earlier into the bed, and more support for your body.
Cooler Sleep Experience
Finally, we looked for mattresses that have innovations that help keep them cool. Hybrid mattresses do this well because they have air channels between the coils used in the coil support system. Air channels help your mattress move hot air away from your body and circulate cold air to help keep you cool.
Heavier sleepers tend to have a problem with sleeping hot because the increased compression on a mattress that comes with the weight prevents proper air circulation. That’s another reason why we avoided mattresses that are made primarily of low-density foams. A lower density foam compresses more, so there’s fewer air channels to take hot air away.
Additionally, we also focused on mattresses that use some kind of infusion to provide cooling. These techniques work in two ways. First, things like gel or copper-infused foam don’t compress as much and have more air channels even when they’re under maximum compression. That means there’s a greater ability for the air to circulate through your mattress removing the heat that builds up as you sleep.
Another way that these infusions help is that they increase the overall surface area of the foam itself. The greater the surface area of a substance, the more interaction it has with the air outside of it. This increased interaction means there’s a greater amount of heat transfer from areas of high heat (the mattress) to areas of lower heat (the air in your bedroom). As a result, these mattresses will do a much better job at helping you stay cool while you sleep. That’s important because most people sleep better when they’re cool than they do when they’re hot. It also helps prevent moisture from accumulating on and around your body.