Best Mattresses for Heavy People
Sleeping on a mattress that maximizes your comfort is essential for a good night’s rest. While mattress comfort is subjective, every mattress has its own thickness, firmness, and material composition that might make it more comfortable for certain body types than others. Bodyweight does play a role in determining what mattress will best support your sleep needs. For individuals who weigh more than 230lbs, there is a level of quality that you will want to look for in your mattress in order to sleep with maximum comfort, support and pressure relief. In this guide, we explore the different mattress options available to you, while providing our best recommendations for your unique sleep needs and body type.
What Should Heavy Sleepers Look for in a Mattress?
Sleepers who weigh more than 230lbs tend to report the following issues about their mattresses:
- Premature softening and breakdown
- Poor or inadequate support
- Sleeping hot
The construction of your mattress will directly inform all of the aforementioned issues. The materials used in mattresses are arguably even more important for heavier individuals, who need beds built with materials that will minimize these discomforts. Keeping this in mind, you should consider the following when choosing your next mattress upgrade:
- Level of Support: You need to ask yourself if the mattress you have in mind can hold your weight without sinking or sagging. Heavier people carry more weight, which can make softer mattresses feel less supportive, or lower profile beds more likely to sink.
- Personal Preference: Do you prefer a softer or firmer feel to your mattress? While we recommend that sleepers with heavier body weights use medium-firm to firm mattresses, no one mattress suits all sleep needs. You need to choose a level of support and firmness that is comfortable for you.
- Sleeping Position: Your primary sleeping position determines the kind of support and pressure relief you need from a mattress. Those who sleep on their back or stomach usually need a firmer mattress than side-sleepers to maintain appropriate alignment of the neck and back.
What Types of Mattresses Can Heavy Sleepers Choose From?
The mattress type, or mattress construction, determines the firmness, support, and temperature regulation of the mattress. The most common types of mattresses are:
- Innerspring: Innerspring mattresses use coil systems to provide relatively sturdy support. Because the coils are responsive to body weight, traditional innerspring mattresses are known to have firm, bouncy core structures that help prevent excessive sinking. The overall supportiveness of a traditional innerspring mattress depends on the coil count. Additionally, innerspring mattresses generally promote steady airflow to help keep you cool.
- Latex: Latex foam is made from the sap of the rubber tree, allowing it to provide cushion without substantial sinking. What makes latex stand out is its natural responsiveness, giving heavy sleepers pressure relief without sacrificing a strong support system. However, in exchange for this responsiveness you may experience more motion transfer than on a memory foam mattress. Latex is very durable, so it does not deteriorate or lose shape as quickly as other mattress options, and the support it offers is long-lasting. This material is naturally cooling, meaning heavy sleepers should not overheat at night.
- Memory Foam: Memory foam mattresses are known to relieve pressure points, minimize motion transfer, and contour to the body no matter the sleeping position. They are constructed with layers of polyurethane foam, conforming slowly to pressure and minimizing motion transfer to provide consistent support night after night. The level of memory foam firmness varies depending on the manufacturer and the composition of the foam, ranging from soft in feel to very firm. If you sleep hot at night, look for a memory foam mattress with cooling or temperature regulation technology.
- Hybrid: Hybrid mattresses are unique because they utilize both coils and layers of foam, giving you the best of both worlds. The coils offer responsive support and stability while the foam layers provide pressure relief and body conforming comfort. Hybrid mattresses offer something called deep compression support, which allows the body to sink into the top layers of the mattress without sinking too deep into the foundational layer.
What Mattress Features Should Heavy Sleepers Consider?
Additional mattress features can make or break the level of comfort and support a mattress will provide for sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds. Every mattress model is constructed differently, meaning they each have features that make the bed better suited for different kinds of sleepers. The following attributes are what heavy sleepers should think about when upgrading their mattress:
- Firmness: Mattress firmness is measured on a scale of softest to firmest. Those weighing over 230lbs tend to find medium-firm and firm mattresses (middle to higher end of the firmness scale) to be the most comfortable. Softer beds are ideal for people who weigh less because they are prone to sinking.
- Thickness: Mattress thickness can affect how a mattress feels to the sleeper. There are three defining categories of thickness: low-profile (less than 10 inches), medium-profile (10-12 inches), and high-profile (more than 12 inches). Higher-profile, thicker mattresses have more height for comfort layers and materials. The general consensus is that a thicker mattress, medium or high-profile, will offer more consistent support for heavier sleepers.
- Responsiveness: The responsiveness of a mattress is basically its ‘bounce’. Memory foam mattresses would be considered non-responsive because they are made to minimize motion transfer. On the other hand, hybrid, latex, and innerspring mattresses are considered responsive because they conduct more surface level movement. Responsiveness is a matter of personal preference.
- Contouring: When it comes to contouring, there is a thin line between too little conformability and too much. For heavy sleepers, there needs to be enough contouring to reduce pressure along the shoulders, spine, and hips, while having the perfect level of support and firmness to stop uncomfortable sinking.
- Edge Support: Edge support isn’t typically what you think of when you think of important qualities in a mattress, but that doesn’t make it any less important. If you sleep or even sit on the edge of the bed regularly, you will need substantial edge support. A mattress with strong, stable sides can prevent sagging or collapsing when you get in and out of bed.
What are the Best Mattresses for Heavy Sleepers?
Based on all of the information detailed above, we do have recommendations regarding the best mattresses for heavy sleepers, but the choice is still very subjective to personal preference. Hybrid mattresses are typically a great choice for sleepers weighing over 230lbs because the combination of coil support and foam comfort layers offers a healthy balance of support and pressure relief. For sleepers who prefer close conformity and need more substantial pressure relief, medium-firm to extra firm memory foam mattresses are highly suggested. Mattress support becomes even more important as the weight of a sleeper increases. Finding the perfect mattress can be tough, but with all of the insight above, we hope to make your search for the perfect mattress a little easier.