Finding a comfortable mattress is difficult when you are heavier than the average consumer. Industry reviews rarely account for our experiences, and it is hard to tell what mattresses will hold up to the test of time from a brief experience in the store.
Finding the best mattress for heavy people is stressful, whether you, your partner or both of you are heavy. Here are some things to keep in mind while looking for a new mattress.
Our Expert’s Top Picks
What Do I Look For?
Mattress Thickness Is Key
One way to determine if a mattress will withstand your weight is thickness. Thinner mattresses offer less support and do not hold their shape as long as thicker mattresses.
If you or your partner are over 250 pounds, the supportive part of your mattress needs to be at least 6 inches thick. The cushy top layer of foam does not count.
Motion Transfer Is Important For Couples
If you are heavier than your partner, then you should look for a bed with minimal motion transfer. Your movements are disruptive to your sleeping partner.
Certain types of mattresses are better at limiting motion transfer than others. Memory foam and latex are better than innerspring mattresses at reducing motion and jostling.
You Need A Supportive Frame
Innerspring mattresses tend to sag more in the middle than memory foam or latex mattresses. However, part of the problem with your sagging bed could be your frame.
Split box springs offer more support in the center of the bed to prevent sagging in the middle. Platform beds with solid frames are another option for heavy people.
The density or firmness of your mattress helps determine if it is the best mattress for heavy people.
Firm beds offer more support to your body and also tend to last longer. A regular, coil mattress usually comes with the manufacturer's rating. Look for a firm or medium firm mattress.
Memory foam gets a different firmness rating. The firmness is determined by the density of the foam. Memory foam usually ranges from 2.5 pounds to 5 pounds.
There are pros and cons to high and low density for heavy people. Lower density mattresses are softer but less supportive. Higher density mattresses are more supportive, but the foam sleeps hot. The higher the density, the higher the price.
Memory foam activates to your body temperature. This is how it conforms to the curvature of your body. Higher density foam tends to feel warmer than lower density.
A mattress with a 4 or 5-pound density is probably the best mattress for heavy people despite the heating effect.
Mattress toppers provide additional support.
Firmer mattresses are better for heavy people. Unfortunately, some of us enjoy sleeping on a soft surface. Mattress toppers can help create a softer and cooler sleeping surface for both memory foam and innerspring mattresses.
Mattress toppers come in several different materials: memory foam, gel memory foam, latex, microfiber, and feather down. Microfiber toppers or egg crates are usually the cheapest options.
Memory foam, gel foam, and latex provide pressure point relief which is important for firm mattresses. Gel memory foam and latex are cooling, making them good toppers for high-density memory foam mattresses.
What Are The Best Types Of Mattresses For Heavy People?
Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory foam is a polyurethane foam injected with other chemicals to provide a supportive and comfortable foam mattress. The top layers of the mattress are soft, giving the illusion of sinking into the mattress while the inner layers are denser and offer support for your spine. Memory foam mattresses are used by people with back pain to help keep their spines in alignment.
Memory foam is a good option for heavy people because the foam virtually eliminates pressure points while still providing support. The foam has very low motion transfer. This means that your tossing and turning will not keep your partner awake.
Gel Memory Foam Mattresses
Gel memory foam provides the same support as memory foam without the heating effect.
The gel infused foam reduces the sleeping surface temperature by up to 5 degrees. Gel foam is a good solution for heavier people who like to sleep cool but still want the support and pressure point relief of a memory foam mattress.
Memory and gel memory foam mattresses are actually better for heavier people than for lighter people. The foam offers more support for heavier people because it responds to weight. It supports the weight of your body while also offering a firm mattress without triggering pressure points.
This is especially important for side sleepers who suffer from hip and shoulder pressure point pain.
Latex mattresses are more expensive than memory foam and gel memory foam. This partly because they come without some of memory foam's drawbacks.
Latex mattresses can be made of 100% latex, which is an all natural material, or of a blend of synthetic material and latex. Latex blends are less pricey but do not last as long. They are also easier to find than all natural latex beds.
Latex mattresses are the heaviest type of mattress on the market. Be careful installing it as you do not want to hurt your back lifting a mattress (if you do hurt your back, a latex mattress is a good mattress for back pain).
Compared to memory foam, latex is easier to move around on because the material responds more quickly than temperature sensitive memory foam. Latex does not have a hot sleeping surface like memory foam. However, when it comes to pressure point relief and back pain, memory foam and latex perform about the same.
Our Expert's Reviews of Our Top Picks
Best Price Mattress 8-Inch Memory Foam Mattress
This 8-inch memory foam mattress from Best Price Mattress is a reasonably priced mattress suitable for heavy people. The 8-inch mattress is thick enough to provide support while the memory foam cushions pressure points. Memory foam technology prevents motion transfer and helps keep your spine in proper alignment.
This mattress is CertiPUR-US certified which means you don't have to worry about harmful chemicals in the foam. It also comes with a 10-year warranty.
This 8-inch mattress is suitable for people up to 300 pounds. For those of us who weigh more than that, a slightly thicker mattress like the one below is probably the best mattress for heavy people like us.
Best Mattress 10-Inch Memory Foam Mattress
Best Mattress also makes a 10-inch memory foam mattress. This mattress offers more support than the 8-inch mattress with the same benefits and a slightly higher price.
The body conforming foam cradles your body and provides support while also easing pressure points. Eliminating trigger points is important for heavy people who prefer sleeping on their sides.
This mattress has an addition inch of memory foam and an additional inch of high-density support foam. Like the 8-inch, it comes with a 10-year warranty and is CertiPUR-US certified.
Memory foam has a distinct gassing smell when you first unroll your mattress. This smell dissipates after a few days but takes a little while to get used to.
Brentwood Home 11-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress
Brentwood Home carries an 11-inch gel memory foam mattress that could be a contender for the best mattress for heavy people. The company carries many different sizes and is CertiPUR-US certified.
11 inches is an appropriate thickness for heavier people, especially with this mattress' 6.5-inch therapeutic foam support base. The gel technology keeps the mattress surface cool for sleeping, unlike standard memory foam.
Pressure point relief and minimal motion transfer help you sleep better without waking your partner by eliminating the need to toss and turn along with their ability to feel your movement.
This mattress comes with a 25-year warranty and a bamboo cover. The top layer of the mattress is lined with a wool sleep surface. Wool is all natural and wicks away body moisture to help keep regulate your body temperature. The mattress is anti-microbial, hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites.
Ultimate Dreams 12-Inch Latex Mattress
Made in the USA, this 12-inch latex mattress from Ultimate Dreams is pricier than memory foam but is custom tailored to your firmness preferences. The mattress is made of Talalay latex and high-density foam and covered with a quilted bamboo top.
The customizable density offered by the manufacturer gives heavy people room to customize their comfort level. It also means you need to know your firmness preferences. The manufacturer allows one density exchange for a small fee.
Latex does not have the hot surface issue that comes with memory foam mattresses and the natural material is hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant.
Milliard 2-Inch Gel Foam Mattress Topper
This gel foam mattress topper from Milliard is a way to improve your mattress' comfort level for a reasonable price. If you are satisfied with your firm innerspring mattress and have not noticed any sagging, then this 2-inch gel foam topper could give you pressure point relief.
The cooling gel in this topper helps get rid of the hot sleeping surface associated with memory foam. Putting a gel foam topper on your memory foam mattress gives you added support while also cooling your sleep. Mattress toppers are an affordable solution to some of the mattress issues faced by heavy people.