The Best Mattresses for Heavy People
There is no one size fits all when it comes to mattresses. We all have unique preferences and needs. Weight and body type are two important considerations—out of many—to keep in mind when selecting the right mattress for you.
Individuals who are on the heavier or larger side simply have different requirements than those of average or below-average weight. Whether someone considers him or herself heavy is subjective, but for the purposes of this guide, we’ve found that individuals over 230 pounds have unique mattress needs. Body type is also a factor to consider. Someone who weighs less than 230 pounds but has a larger frame might still want to consider some of the tips in this guide.
When choosing a mattress for a heavier sleeper, design and functionality are key. Certain features simply work better than others. In this guide, we’ll run through which mattress types are best for larger individuals, specific features for heavier people, other general considerations and finish with our top five picks of mattresses for heavy people.
For anyone purchasing a new mattress, there are two things a mattress needs to accomplish, regardless of body weight:
- Spinal alignment: Our spines naturally have an S-shaped curve. A good mattress supports and maintains that curve. It’s the job of the bottom support layer of a mattress to ensure proper curvature. A truly supportive—or responsive—mattress does this by providing additional support under the heavier parts of the body, like our shoulders and pelvis, to make sure they don’t sink too far into the sleep surface.
- Pressure point relief: While the heavier parts of our body need support, they also need cushioning. A soft, conforming comfort layer will ensure that you don’t toss and turn to get comfortable, or wake up with aches and pains.
Choosing the Right Mattress
What Kind of Mattress Should You Consider?
The four main mattress types all have pros and cons for heavy sleepers. See what they're constructed of and how they rate below:
|Comfort Layer||At least 1 layer of polyfoam or memory foam||2” or fewer of foam||2” or more of foam or latex||At least 1 layer of latex, some have polyfoam or memory foam|
|Support Layer||High-density polyfoam||Steel coils with high-density polyfoam base||Pocket coils with high-density polyfoam base||At least 1 layer of latex, some have polyfoam or memory foamLatex or high-density polyfoam|
|Average Thickness||7” - 14”||9"-15"||10"-16"||7"-13"|
|Temperature Neutrality||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good||Fair to Good|
|Edge Support||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good||Fair to Good|
|Lifespan||6-7 years||5-6 years||6-7 years||8 years or longer|
|Heavy Back Sleepers||Good||Fair||Good||Good|
|Heavy Side Sleepers||Fair||Fair||Good||Good|
|Heavy Stomach Sleepers||Fair||Poor||Fair||Good|
What Mattress Features Should You Look For?
There are a variety of mattress features that are especially important for heavier sleepers to consider.
Mattresses come in a variety thicknesses, anywhere between 6 and 15 inches. Individuals over 230 pounds simply put more pressure on their mattresses, so will want a thicker model to prevent sinking too far into the mattress. Look for a mattress that’s 11-12 inches or thicker for superior compression support.
Mattress firmness is measured on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest possible and 10 being the hardest. Because heavier individuals sink more into their mattresses—usually 1-2 inches more than those of average size—they tend to prefer a somewhat firmer rating. Somewhere between 6 (medium-firm) and 8 (firm) is ideal. Some conforming is great for pressure point relief, but if a person sinks too much, spinal alignment is thrown off.
If you choose a mattress with foam components, then density is key to how well it will perform for heavier sleepers. Density is measured in pounds per cubic foot and indicates how much weight the material can support. Polyfoam and memory foam density are measured differently, but in both cases, higher density foam provides better support for larger people. That means more than 1.8 PCF for polyfoam and more than 5 PCF for memory foam.
We don’t often think of the edge of our mattresses, but a supportive edge is important, whether we use it for getting out of bed or sitting to tie our shoes. As with the rest of the mattress, more weight means more sinkage. Innerspring and hybrid mattresses tend to have the most reinforced edges.
Heavier individuals often suffer from sleeping hot. Some mattress types can exacerbate this issue, especially inexpensive polyfoam or memory foam. If you do choose a foam mattress, look for cooling technology, like gels or open-cell design, or layers of latex. For some people, any type of foam is too hot, so these individuals might want to opt for a hybrid or innerspring mattress.
If you sleep with a partner, you have even more to consider when choosing a mattress. If one person in a couple is over 230 pounds, the mattress might begin to sag near that person. You might consider a dual-firmness mattress that allows for a different firmness rating on each side of the mattress. If both people are over 230 pounds, you can follow the tips outlined above.
Other Considerations When Buying a Mattress
In addition to factors that are related to body weight, there are general considerations everyone should keep in mind when mattress shopping.
Almost all mattress companies offer some sort of trial period so shoppers can try a mattress and send it back if it doesn’t work for them. Keep in mind that trial terms vary by retailer. Generally, online retailers offer longer trial periods—usually 100 nights or more—compared to the 30 - 60 found in brick-and-mortar stores. Some retailers have a trial minimum, typically 30 days, meaning you won’t be able to return your mattress before that minimum has been met.
If you do decide to return or exchange your mattress, you might run into challenges with some retailers. Many companies will allow you to return your mattress for free, but others may charge a fee or not offer a full refund. Be sure to check return policies before making a purchase.
In a nutshell, a mattress warranty guarantees that your mattress will be replaced if it has structural flaws or defects. Warranties come with a variety of stipulations. Most warranties cover sagging to a certain depth (usually 1.5 inches), broken/bent coils, seams that break and irregular bunching. Generally, warranties do not cover “normal” wear and tear that occurs over time, structural damage caused by the owner or if you decide you don’t like the mattress outside the trial period.
While it’s possible to find a quality mattress at a variety of price points, a mattress should still be considered an investment. Mattresses with higher quality materials tend to be more expensive, but they also tend to last longer. For example, latex mattresses cost more than innerspring, but they’re also more durable. Some mattress companies overstate the quality of their materials to justify high prices, so be skeptical of any claims that seem too good to be true.
Heavy Sleeper Mattress Reviews
Best Overall: Sapira
The Sapira by Leesa is an 11” hybrid mattress featuring 6” of pocket coils in the support core. The coils are surrounded by 1” of high-density polyfoam on top and bottom. The comfort layer features 1.5” of memory foam topped with 1.5” of Avena® foam, which is perforated for cooling. The mattress is encased in a polyester blend cover.
At medium-firm, the Sapira is likely a good fit for most sleepers, especially heavier individuals. Sapira is offered by Leesa, which has made a good name for itself in terms of customer service.
A slightly thicker comfort layer could provide better conforming properties. The mattress is also at a higher price point than many hybrids.
Why We Picked It:
For heavier individuals, the Sapira offers superior support by featuring high-density polyfoam in both the support and comfort layers. One layer of memory foam provides good pressure point relief without allowing sleepers to sink in too far. Avena® foam in the top layer means the Sapira sleeps cool, which makes it a great pick for those who wake up in the middle of the night to kick off the covers.
Editor's Choice: DreamCloud
The DreamCloud is a 15” hybrid mattress that features eight, distinct layers. Its support core features zoned pocket coils, supported on the top and bottom with high-density memory foam. The comfort layer includes four components: standard memory foam, natural latex, quilted memory foam and gel memory foam. The mattress has a cashmere blend Euro pillow top.
The DreamCloud offers luxury materials at a relatively low price point. The mattress is medium-firm, and its support is complemented by plush layers, like the cashmere blend pillow top.
The DreamCloud website has limited information about their material specifications.
Why We Picked It:
At 15”, the DreamCloud is excellent at preventing sinkage, something that’s important for heavier sleepers. Most mattresses only offer a small layer of memory foam, but the DreamCloud has multiple layers of memory foam at various densities. That means this mattress provides fantastic pressure point relief. The DreamCloud also comes with a 365-night sleep trial so you can be extremely sure this mattress is right for you.
Designed for Heavy Sleepers: WinkBed Plus
The WinkBed Plus is a hybrid mattress designed specifically for individuals over 300 pounds. The support core includes 14.5 and 15-gauge pocket coils surrounded by 1.8 PCF polyfoam. The comfort layer starts with a “lumbar pad” made from compressed cotton topped with latex and 1.5 PCF gel polyfoam. The mattress comes with a stretch-knit cover made from Tencel® (lyocell) fabric.
The WinkBed Plus has the support of high-density foam and coils but is more conforming than most hybrids, meaning you don’t have to make a trade-off between support and comfort. It has a 6.5 (medium-firm) feel for those who weigh more than 300 pounds. The Tencel® cover helps the mattress sleep cool.
There is a 30-night minimum for the 101-night sleep trial.
Why We Picked It:
The WinkBed Plus is made especially for heavier sleepers. High-density, quality foam prevents against sagging, and pocket coils are arranged in three distinct zones for compression support. Instead of relying only on foam for the comfort layer, latex provides durable cushioning and is zoned with seven different densities.
Best Value: Saatva
Saatva offers an innerspring mattress with coil-on-coil construction, meaning it has two layers of different types of coils. Its support core contains hourglass-shaped coils that are encased in foam. The comfort layer includes 14.5 gauge pocket coils topped with memory foam and polyfoam. A Euro pillow top provides additional cushioning, and the mattress is encased in an organic cotton cover.
The mattress comes in multiple firmness levels, though we would probably recommend the firm model for heavier sleepers. Saatva is well-known for excellent customer service, and the mattress comes with a generous 120-night sleep trial.
Innerspring mattresses are known to have a shorter lifespan than other mattress types. Saatva also charges a $99 transportation fee if the mattress is returned.
Why We Picked It:
The Saatva’s unique coil-on-coil construction provides ample support for larger sleepers while offering more contouring than traditional innerspring mattresses. The mattress comes in 14.5” and 11.5” designs, and we would recommend the 14.5” option for heavier sleepers to minimize sagging potential. The Saatva is an excellent choice for those who enjoy the supportive feel of innerspring but who want better motion isolation and conforming abilities.
Best Luxury: Zenhaven
The Zenhaven by Saatva is an all-natural latex mattress. It has a unique flippable design with two distinct comfort layers, each made from Talalay latex. The Luxury Plush side has a medium-soft feel while the Gentle Firm side is more of a medium-firm. Both comfort layers have Zenhaven’s “5-Zone” design, which features denser material under the heaviest parts of the body, like the shoulders and pelvis. The support core is also made from Talalay latex, and the mattress has an organic cotton cover.
The Zenhaven features primarily natural, premium materials. Heavier sleepers can have a firm mattress that still feels plush and luxurious. Latex mattresses also tend to be more durable than other mattress types.
At 10”, the Zenhaven is at the low end of the thickness spectrum for heavier individuals, though latex tends to perform well when it comes to compression support. There is also a $99 transportation fee if you decide to return the mattress.
Why We Picked It:
Natural latex is a very durable material so heavier sleepers don’t have to worry about sagging over time. The Zenhaven offers great conforming properties without the deeper sinking associated with memory foam. We would recommend the Gentle Firm side of the mattress for larger sleepers.
Best Mattresses for Heavy People Picks
|Designed for Heavy Sleepers||WinkBed Plus||$1,499|