Best Mattress For Heavy Sleepers
Guide to Finding the Best Mattress for Heavy Sleepers
Choosing a mattress is an important decision because the quality of your sleep affects your health, work, and relationships. If you don’t sleep well, you can’t live well. If you’re a heavier person, it’s even more important to do your homework so that you get a bed that is durable, supports you, and won’t aggravate any health conditions you might have.
In the mattress industry, the definition of a “heavy sleeper” varies. Anyone over 250 pounds or that exceeds a BMI of 30 can be considered a heavy sleeper. Perhaps you’re just a big, tall person that naturally weighs more even though you’re fit. Alternately, you might be carrying extra weight. No matter the reason you weigh more, you need a more supportive mattress.
If you’re a bigger person, you probably carefully consider what kind of car you drive so that you’re comfortable and safe. The average time spent shopping for a car is 14.5 hours, according to a study by Cox Automotive. You may spend a few hours a day commuting in that car, but you spend 7-9 hours a night in your bed, shouldn’t you take that decision just as seriously?
This guide will help you figure out the best bed for you, and we’ll start by looking at special concerns for heavy sleepers.
Special Concerns for Heavy Sleepers
For those struggling with their weight, quality sleep is essential. The less sleep you get, the more likely you are to gain unhealthy weight because you don’t have the energy to exercise. Disruptive sleep can also affect your metabolism, further complicating health issues. If you’re just a large person and the weight is healthy, these concerns might not apply to you.
Here are some reasons you need to be careful when shopping for a mattress if you weigh 250-300 pounds or more or have a BMI of 30 or greater:
Do you have sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common issue for heavier sleepers, and if you were diagnosed with this health issue, your mattress selection is critical. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you’ll likely benefit from sleeping on your side and on a firmer bed that doesn’t let you sink in too much.
Do you have back pain?
Carrying extra body weight can cause or aggravate lower back pain. If your back aches, selecting a quality mattress may help. While some with back pain assume a very firm bed is the answer, research from Harvard suggests medium-firm is more beneficial.
Do you have joint pain?
Joint pain can also come with heavier weight and may benefit from a softer comfort layer that relieves pressure points. This can be a balancing act since you’ll need an overall firmer bed, but a softer upper layer to relieve your aching joints.
Next is a glimpse of our top five picks for best beds for heavy sleepers then we’ll dig into the buying guide starting with a look at mattress firmness.
Our Top Five Mattresses for Heavy Sleepers
|Big Fig||Latex Hybrid||7-8||$1,699|
|WinkBeds Plus||Foam Hybrid||Custom||$1,499|
*All prices are for a Queen-sized bed before seasonal promos/discounts are applied.
Soft vs. Firm – What’s Best for a Heavy Sleeper?
If you’re heavier, you should know right off the bat that you need a firmer mattress. The industry rates mattress firmness on a scale of 1 to 10. If you’re carrying more weight, you want a mattress on the firmer side of the scale, somewhere between 5-10. Choosing the best mattress for heavy sleepers is about finding the bed that feels comfortable to you, meets your needs, and is durable.
Any mattress material (foam, latex, or innerspring) can be part of a firm bed. What determines firmness is the support core of the bed that, in a high-quality bed, should keep your spine aligned in its natural position. If the support core can’t hold your weight as it should, you could wind up with low back pain and a poor night’s sleep.
The softness of a bed is determined by the comfort layers on top of the support core. These determine how much you’ll sink down into the mattress and how well your pressure points are comforted and contoured. With more weight, you’ll need to be careful not to buy a bed with thicker comfort layers, or you might sink in too deeply and have difficulty changing position.
Here is what the numbers mean to you, as a heavier sleeper:
- Mattresses rated very soft (1) will have you sinking in too deeply.
- Beds that are rated soft (2-3) will let you sink in probably more than you want.
- Mattresses rated medium to medium-firm (4-6) offer more support, which you need.
- Beds that rate as firm (7-9) offer much better support for heavier body weights.
- Mattresses rated very firm (10) might be too rigid for good sleep.
No matter the bed’s rating on the firmness scale, the deciding factor should be how the bed feels to you and how it performs over time. That’s why sleep night trials are important. Research shows that most people that choose a bed after lying on one in a mattress store for a few minutes are ultimately dissatisfied with their purchase.
Next, let’s look at your sleep style and preferences to help guide your buying decision.
Assessing Your Sleep Style
It’s not just your weight that’s a concern when choosing the best mattress for heavy people. There is more that defines your sleep style and preferences. All of these should be part of your research and decision-making process when buying your next bed. Consider the answers to the following questions to inform your purchase decision.
In what position do you sleep?
For heavier people, side sleeping is usually a better choice for your spine. Sleeping on your back can pull your spine out of position if you sink into the mattress too much resulting in lower back pain. Stomach sleeping can cause neck pain and may not be comfortable depending on where you carry your weight. However, side sleepers need adequate comfort layers to cushion joints.
Do you sleep alone?
If you co-sleep with someone, you must also consider their needs. If you have drastically different sleep needs from your partner regarding firmness or cushion, you might want to look at a dual design bed where each half of the mattress is tailor-made. A custom bed can let you both sleep well without bickering over whose needs to prioritize while mattress shopping.
Is your partner also heavy?
For those that are heavy and have a heavy partner, durability of materials, as well as firmness and support are critical. Your bed will undertake more wear and tear than with lighter sleepers, so you may need to invest in a better-quality bed that’s more durable and will last longer, so you don’t deal with the awful side effects of materials breaking down.
How hot do you sleep?
Most heavier people tend to sleep hotter, plus hormones and some health conditions and medications can leave you sweaty at night. If you sleep hot, avoid a standard memory foam comfort layer because those radiate your body heat back at you. Firmer mattresses usually sleep cooler, as do latex, hybrid, and innerspring beds. Foam beds tend to sleep hottest.
How much do you move around at night?
Are you a person that constantly shifts in your sleep? Does your partner move around a lot? When you move, the energy from your body shifting can move the mattress. This is motion transfer and can wake you from a sound sleep. Firmer beds tend to have greater motion transfer, particularly innerspring mattresses. Latex and memory foam are better at reducing motion transfer.
Do you sleep with a CPAP mask?
If you sleep with a CPAP mask for sleep apnea, it can be a challenge to find a comfortable position. Larger masks may demand you sleep on your back although this position isn’t recommended for sleep apnea. Stomach sleeping may be almost impossible with a standard mask. Side sleeping is usually best with a CPAP mask and consider investing in a pillow designed to accommodate the gear.
Next, let’s look at why purchasing a durable mattress is so important.
Mattress Durability Is Vital – Warranty Concerns
When mattress shopping, you might find it more convenient and less frustrating to shop online rather than in a brick and mortar store. Salespeople might push you to the “best mattress for fat people” without considering everything else important about your sleep experience, like those factors mentioned above. When assessing beds, durability should be a top concern.
Here are some of the problems you can experience if you don’t purchase a durable, high-quality bed:
- Hammocking: When a bed is too soft or has inadequate support, you can sink down into it like you would in a hammock. With no lower back support, you can wind up with pain. It’s also hard to shift positions and get out of the bed when it hammocks.
- Excess Softening: When mattress materials are poor quality or wear out, they break down and get softer. When they get too soft, you’ll sink in, won’t get the support you need, and won’t get a good night’s sleep. Better design and durable materials prevent this.
- Sagging: A mattress might start out fine, but then begins to sag sooner than it should. If your mattress has a distinct impression in the shape of your body, that’s sag, and it’s no good for your sleep health. A high-quality mattress shouldn’t sag.
- Poor Edge Support: If the edge of your bed droops, you may be forced to bunch up in the middle. It can also be a hassle when sitting to tie your shoes and doing other activities. Avoid an all-foam bed unless it is designed with a firm perimeter to prevent edge sagging.
- Shifting: Another problem some mattresses have is materials shifting around leaving you with an inconsistent sleep surface that doesn’t perform as it once did. Look for mattresses with tufting if you’ve had this problem before with a mattress.
If you think a mattress warranty covers these issues, think again. Mattress warranties are typically limited to defects in craftsmanship meaning a problem in manufacturing. If the bed came to you made to its specifications, but you put it through greater wear and tear because you’re a heavier sleeper, the warranty might not cover these problems.
To protect yourself, buying a high-quality, durable mattress from the start is the best way to go. Also, consider investing in a strong and supportive foundation if you don’t already have one. You don’t need a box spring, and, in fact, a box spring may be a poor choice. Foundations with more slats and more rigid support can increase both performance and durability of your new mattress.
Best Mattress Materials for a Heavy Sleeper
Before you jump into the reviews of our top five picks for best mattresses for heavy people, let’s look at mattress materials. There are three materials in beds: innerspring, latex, and foam. Hybrid beds are the fourth category and have an innerspring core with foam, latex (or both) as the comfort layer(s). Also know that heavier sleepers tend to benefit from thicker mattresses.
Here’s what you need to know about mattress materials:
Mattress foams fall into two main categories: polyfoam and memory foam. Polyfoam (also known as polyurethane foam) is a synthetic material that comes in three types: regular, high-density (HD), and high-resiliency (HR). Regular foam is the cheapest of all mattress materials and least reliable. Memory foam is put through additional processing to make it denser and thicker.
All-foam beds are generally not recommended for heavier sleepers. Without additional components for support, foam beds will break down faster under the rigors of heavier body weight. Foam beds also sleep hotter which is a drawback. Memory foam is comfortable, but you want an evolved version with gel, copper, or other enhancement to help it sleep cooler.
Innerspring mattresses have been around for more than a century and are wire coils fastened together for support with comfort layer(s) on top. Most modern innerspring beds are pocket coils which are coils of wire sleeved in fabric envelopes which are sewn or glued together. Innerspring beds sleep cooler, but often have terrible motion transfer and can be noisy.
For heavier sleepers, innerspring mattresses can be good or bad, depending on the quality. Cheap coils can push on your pressure points and make sleeping in any position uncomfortable. Heavier mattress shoppers should consider coil-on-coil designs with two layers of coils. These have thicker and thinner layers of pocket coils with a buffering material between them.
Latex can be synthetic or natural with natural latex made from rubber tree sap. Latex is durable, contouring, and sleeps cooler than other mattress materials. It has a bit of bounce and hugs your body, but more gradually than memory foam. Latex beds are the costliest type of mattress but also offer the greatest advantages, particularly for heavy sleepers.
Latex beds have the greatest durability of all types of mattresses and should perform better for those with higher BMI than other types of beds. There is a greater initial price point, but since the mattress will last longer, you may wind up spending the same (or less) by investing in a latex bed than once of cheaper materials. Another option to consider is a latex hybrid.
Hybrid mattresses are those that use pocket coils as the support core with one or more comfort layers on top for contour and hug. The innerspring coil layer allows the bed to sleep cooler and provides excellent support, which is a top concern for heavier sleepers. Hybrids also offer better edge support than other materials.
Hybrid beds use latex, foam, or memory foam in the comfort layers – or some combination of these. A latex hybrid can be an excellent choice. For those with greater BMI, look for a hybrid that has a dual support core with two layers of pocket coils, one thicker and one thinner. When evaluating a hybrid bed, be sure to check out the quality of all the individual components.
Reviews of Our Top 5 Best Mattresses for Heavy Sleepers
In the end, the best mattress for you is the one that meets all your needs, fits your budget, and feels right to you. Choosing a mattress is highly subjective and should be about your preferences. That’s why you may benefit from shopping online rather than in-store, so you can avoid pushy salespeople looking to score a commission rather than helping find the best mattress for you.
Now you’re ready to see our detailed reviews of our top five picks for best mattress for heavy people. We’ll tell you what’s inside the mattress, pros and cons of that model, price point, and why the bed made our list.
The Avocado Green is a latex hybrid made of organic materials, all sustainably sourced. The 8” support core is pocket micro coils zoned for improved support. There is a 1” base of latex for increased stability and a 2” latex comfort layer under an organic wool layer all wrapped in an organic cotton cover.
If natural materials are important, Avocado Green has that. More importantly, the latex layers are durable and supportive. The bed comes in two firmness levels, but heavier sleepers should consider the medium-firm (7) option. At $1,399, the bed is a good price point for high-quality materials.
While the price is good for the quality of materials, it might be high for some budgets, but remember you’re investing in your quality of sleep. Also, with materials this durable, the bed will last longer which makes it more of a value. Avocado is a newer company, so it’s still building a track record.
Why Avocado Green Stands Out
There are sturdy handles for ease of movement and a 100-night sleep trial to evaluate this bed. Also nice is the optional $199 white glove delivery where pros set up your bed and take away your old mattress. This bed sleeps cooler because of the combination of innerspring and quality latex.
The Big Fig has a 7” support core of 1,200 pocket coils and a 1.5” polyfoam base level. The comfort layers are ½” gel-infused latex for responsiveness. Three 1” thick layers of varying foam densities enhance support and contour and a 3” thick firm polyfoam perimeter gives edge support.
Big Fig is meant for heavier sleepers and with a firmness rated 7-8, provides exceptional support for bigger people. The anti-sag features inherent in the design contribute to durability, and they stand behind their claims with a 20-year non-prorated warranty. Customers love this bed and rate it highly.
The price tag of $1,699 is the barrier for some but consider that the Big Fig was designed for heavier sleepers and that price also comes with a foundation, so you don’t need anything else but bedding, and you’re ready to sleep.
Why Big Fig Stands Out
Big Fig is the only mattress firm solely focused on creating products for bigger people. Their mattresses are thoughtfully architected for those that weigh 300-500 pounds. The foundation that comes with each mattress is a vital component since it helps with support and durability.
The Layla is a four-layer flippable design. The dual support core is 4.5” polyfoam with 2” of convoluted support foam. Two outer comfort layers are on each side. One side is 3” of copper-infused memory foam, and the other is 1” of the same. The cover is reactive Thermogel® for cool sleep.
The dual design is a big selling point of the Layla, but as a heavier sleeper, you’ll want to use the 7-rated side that has the thinner memory foam comfort layer. The copper in the memory foam helps this bed sleep cooler and research says it promotes circulation.
The edge support may be inadequate for some but is a matter of personal preference. As a newer company, Layla is still building its reputation in the industry and with customers. The 120-night sleep trial comes with a 14-day mandatory break-in before you can request a refund.
Why Layla Stands Out
The Layla has the lowest price point on our top picks list at just $899. The memory foam is of high quality, and the warranty is lifetime so long as the initial purchaser owns the bed. As a heavier sleeper, you may enjoy the firmer side of this flippable design.
The WinkBeds Plus is a foam hybrid. The perimeter of high-quality foam gives edge support and inside is a layer of pocket coils zoned for support. Next are a lumbar support pad and the second layer of micro air springs for bounce. The dual contouring comfort layer is in a cooling TENCEL® cover.
The dual coil layers allow greater support and high-quality foam in the comfort layers allows you to sink in, but not to excess. This bed is rated 6.5 for heavier sleepers but feels firmer if you’re lighter. WinkBeds designed the bed for stomach, back, and side sleepers and the patented cover cools.
The price point is $1,499, but this is a bed specifically designed to benefit heavier sleepers, so you might want to make room in your budget for this one. WinkBeds is a newer company, so they’re still establishing a track record, but things look promising.
Why WinkBeds Stands Out
This bed was developed specifically for those weighing 300 pounds or more. The firm design is supportive yet still allows comfort on pressure points. This bed ranks extremely well with consumers, has optional white glove delivery, and a 101-night sleep trial.
The Zenhaven mattress is 100% natural latex with five layers in its flippable design. Two latex support cores are 3” thick and surrounded on each side by 1 ½” thick comfort layers. There is a thick organic New Zealand wool layer with an organic cotton cover encasing it all.
Because the Zenhaven is a flippable, you can choose from luxury plush (i.e., softer) or medium firm. Heavier sleepers should do better on the firmer side rated 7-8. Latex is one of the most durable mattress materials, and so it’s perfect for those with greater BMI.
At $1,899, this is the costliest on our list, but it’s also a bed that will be long-lasting because of the premium Talalay latex. Zenhaven is a newer mattress on the market by Saatva, so it’s still building its reputation, but reviews are outstanding so far.
Why Zenhaven Stands Out
The Zenhaven has five-zone support, and the patented cover detects when you’re hot and reacts to cool you which is an excellent choice for heavy, hot sleepers. The mattress should last for years and is comfortable and supportive for heavier sleepers.