The Best Mattress For Heavy People: An Insider’s Guide To Finding A Supportive And Comfortable Mattress
Let’s face it, not everyone fits the boilerplate recipe that the mattress industry uses to design virtually all of their mattresses, whether an innerspring, memory foam, air bed, or hybrid bed. The best mattress for heavy people requires more supportive components, and many foam mattresses sold online often fall short of delivering support and comfort.
Designed to target a person of typical height and weight, the industry largely focuses on building beds that use the least costly materials available.
These materials are easily mashed and compressed over time, and typically fail within a few months after purchase.
The fact of the matter is that most mattresses are far too soft, even for people of typical weight and height, but for heavy people, sinking in, being unable to turn easily, and not being able to sit on the edge of your mattress are real problems.
So, who offers the best mattress for heavy people? Our mattress industry veteran spent 25 years designing mattresses and found five great options he’d recommend.
I’ve reviewed hundreds of options trying to find just the best mattress for heavy people, and surprisingly I found only a handful of options. Why?
You first need to rule out foam mattresses that do not contain a coil or innerspring system underneath.
It’s important to incorporate foam and textile layers above a layer of pocketed coils to offer transitional and comfort layer support.
Mattresses made using all foam layers are not typically designed to accommodate concentrated weight, such as when lying on your side.
Further, stacking layers of foam on top of one another only results in the design being easily subject to collapse and failure, whereas a continuous pocketed coil layer can be made to last a lifetime.
Sharing A Mattress With A Partner Can Be An Issue For Heavier People
That’s right- purchasing a mattress that is way too firm can sentence the more petite partner to an eternity on a concrete slab, while the heavier partner enjoys a comfortable night’s sleep. Foam mattresses typically are either way too firm for the smaller partner, or too soft for the heavier partner, that digging out of the mattress destroys restorative sleep.
When both partners are heavier than average, the problem often becomes a tendency to roll into the center of the mattress. If each partner weighs, say 225-250 lbs. each, that means 500 lbs. or more in a confined area with little or no ability to lift, elevate, and reduce pressure points. Even the firmest polyurethane high density foam materials are simply not designed to act as the underlying support foundation.
Finding the best mattress for heavy people requires insight about what larger people need when resting. Spine alignment is critical, leg support, and shoulder and neck support all need to be addressed. Heavier people, whether struggling with obesity, or simply taller and larger in frame, deal with arthritis, joint pain, and even metabolic issues which make restorative and deep REM sleep a necessity to thriving.
I’ll offer five mattress options below which take into account couples as well as individual sleepers. Typically, my best recommendations are mattresses that “self-adjust” meaning that the materials used respond proportionately to pressure, materials like memory foam, specialized gel foams, and latex foam.
Another issue with couples tends to be sleeping hot, and several of my recommendations include mattresses specifically engineered with cooling textiles, ventilated fabrics. and other design features that promote healthier sleep. It’s well known that your mattress surface should be ten degrees cooler than your body temperature, preferably lower.
I have interviewed dozens of heavier folks who present the same complaints about inferior mattresses, including pressure, pain, and lack of support in areas like the lumbar region, and between shoulder blades.
In fact, when you scroll through reviews on many mattress sites, heavier people tend to favor hybrid mattresses containing both a coil system as well as supportive layers of foam and pillow.
In my Best Mattress For Heavy People research, an overwhelming number of satisfied customers steered clear of all foam mattresses, air beds, and water beds, citing “lack of support” and “sinking into the mattress” as their driving force for returning the mattress.
But what kind of foam layers should a mattress have placed above the coil section to offer the best pressure point relief? The answer depends upon personal preference, but let’s get into some options.
As an aside, you might be aware that any mattress should be replaced every eight years or so because of component deterioration and accumulation of dust mites, bacteria, sweat, and particulate matter. Check out our page on when to replace your mattress here.
For Heavier People, Mattress Shopping Can Be Painful
Shopping for a mattress is confusing and miserable enough, and it’s even worse for consumers that are obese, or simply bigger in stature than the average mattress owner. First of all, it can be embarrassing for a person of stature to have to test drive mattresses in a retail showroom with hovering sales people and other customers looking on.
Sales people often have little or no knowledge of the components that are part of a well designed mattress that are needed to properly support a person over let’s say, 225 lbs. Because highly specialized materials must be used to provide comfort and support, and lifespan, there are only a handful of acceptable mattresses that will work, both being comfortable and supportive.
During 25 years of being a mattress components designer and a manufacturer, I have designed several mattresses specifically for larger people. It took time to figure out the proper combination of foam layers on the bottom used for proper support and the appropriate comfort layers on top that offered pressure point reduction.
The use of individually pocketed coil systems that can act as the core of a supportive mattress has advanced exponentially in the last five years, and they can even be rolled and compressed (more like folded up like an accordion) so that a mattress can be delivered directly to your door for easy handling and installation.
“The best advice I can offer, after doing this for 24 years, is to advise a person of stature to buy a bed with a decent no questions asked trial period, a solid warranty from the manufacturer, not just the retailer, and preferably get it from a company that’s been around awhile”
“Go with a mattress made using high density foam layers, and if possible, the kind of foam should be what is called “H.R.” foam, or high resiliency foam. And it’s important that the density of these foam layers is high enough to resist compaction. I always suggest 30-36 ILD high resiliency foam (ILD stands for Indentation Load Deflection. The ILD rating is going to tell you how hard or soft a material is. Indentation Load Deflection is a measurement in firmness level.
The higher the number, the more firm it is and vice versa for lower numbers. When measuring ILD, there have been standards put in place that the industry uses to ensure you have a clear idea of just what the numbers represent. To test, a foam sample of material measuring 15 inches x 15 inches x 4 inches is used. A 50 square inch circular indenter, which applies the pressure, is used to compress the material a total of 25 percent of its thickness.
Another excellent top layer, which will provide a melting sensation and distribute your weight sideways, rather than downward, helping to eliminate pressure, is gel memory foam, but it has to be the right density,” he suggests.
According to industry veterans all across the board, if you are a person of stature looking for a mattress that will last, here’s a punch list of what you should be looking for.
Mattress should be made using specialized foam, preferably with support, or support foam layers made with 30-36 ILD density.
An advanced gel foam top layer, to distribute pressure and weight sideways rather than downward.
- A pocketed or wound coil system made with 12 gauge steel, hinged, allowing for proper weight distribution.
Get at least a 90 day trial period-make sure you get a full refund.
The mattress should be equipped with a decent warranty, say 15- 20 years, from the manufacturer themselves.
Avoid over stuffed pillow top comforters or duvets, since they will mash down and then to sleep hot.
- Opt for breathable outer fabrics and quilting to promote active ventilation and respiration.
There are several companies online who offer foam or pocketed coil mattresses made using much higher density foam layers and stiffer coil systems to allow for higher weight capacity, providing effective support and comfort. But finding them may be difficult.
If you are shopping at a brick and mortar retail store, you’re going to be better off sticking with a good pocketed coil mattress made with firmer support and comfort layers. Make sure you are offered a trial period of at least 100 nights, to give time to adapt to what is most likely going to be a firmer bed.
If you are considering a bed in a box, I recommend finding a mattress with one or more highly supportive foam layers to provide proper support, without sacrificing comfort for your partner, who is often a bit tinier. This is a common problem with couple who have weight disparities. For my Best Mattress For Heavy People category, I’m offering five options that are coil/foam hybrid mattresses.
Here are some good options to consider that will provide good back and side support, and will work well if one partner is more petite than the other.
best mattresses for heavy people that deliver comfort and support
The Saatva HD Mattress is specifically designed for heavier people, and is handcrafted with a tufted Euro pillow top piece, beneath which is a five zoned 2.5 inch layer of natural Talalay latex.
The hand tufted top section delivers the soft, yet supportive and cradling sensation that anyone would expect from an investment grade mattress.
The Saatva HD distributes weight laterally, to the outside edges of the mattress and not downward, making sleeping on your side, turning, and snuggling with your partner effortless. M
Many owners describe the “sense of freedom” when they compare the Saatva HD Mattress to previous brands they’ve owned.
With 19 factories in the United States, close tabs is kept on the manufacturing process, and that’s one thing I like about the brand.
It costs right around the same price as Sealy/ Simmons Black model, but with far more support, better comfort foam layers, and the five zoned natural latex is better designed to fit all body types.
The Saatva HD Mattress sells for $2795 and includes a 180 day no questions asked trial period, free in bedroom setup service, and a 20 year manufacturer’s warranty.
The mattress is 15.5″ tall, so placement on a foundation that is either low profile or less than 8″ may be desirable.
Saatva is one of the most established online mattress companies I’ve worked with, having reviewed their mattresses for almost five years.
The Nolah Evolution Mattress is another outstanding mattress you can consider if you are a larger person, as it’s a great option. With extra edge support and a quilted
Looking for a bit more sumptuous and nest like feel? This mattress has a plusher pillow top section that you can sink into a bit more. Outfitted with I tested this mattress for two weeks and loved it.
Advanced cooling materials, graphite infused foams (remove odors and wicks away heat), and specialized Tri-Zone pocketed coil system.
What makes The Nolah Evolution Mattress different is the zoned coil system which provides additional support to your hip area, making side sleeping and “center of the mattress snuggling” more comfortable.
One reason I’m a big Nolah Evolution Mattress Fan is because of the built in firmer perimeter edge support. I’m a pretty big guy at 6’2″ and 198 lbs. myself, and being able to sit on the edge of a mattress without sliding off is a bonus in my mind.
For the foam components, Nolah uses their own proprietary “Ice Foam”, which keeps you cool all night long. At 15″ tall, it offers state of the art components and a well though out design.
Even the outer covering up top, which is quilted along with a 1″ layer of springier, high quality high density foam, feels soft, inviting, and doesn’t bottom into the graphite infused cooling foam layer beneath.
For the money, it’s hard to beat, considering the design, the components, warranty, and customer reviews.
Christopher, from Drexel Hill, PA, called his Nolah Evolution Mattress “life changing” after he experienced a full night’s sleep on his, after years of tossing and turning.
Want to feel like you’ve upgraded your room at a cozy chic hotel, but don’t want to sink into a mattress that’s too soft?
The DreamCloud Premier Mattress has been on my top ten overall mattress list for years. And it’s not just the cashmere quilted pillow top that blows customers away, it’s also the support it delivers.
I tested the DreamCloud Premier Mattress for five nights, and as a side sleeper at 200 lbs., I felt cradled, supported, and woke up with no shoulder or hip pain.
While targeted at customers who appreciate the finer appointments in life, this mattress still delivers a solid suspension using stiffer individually pocketed coils, and a whopping 4″ of combined contouring memory foam, motion transfer reducing foam, and support foam.
Overall, The DreamCloud Premier Mattress is really designed to provide a bit more cushion and softer pressure relief at problem areas, especially hips and shoulders.
If you are a heavier person dealing with arthritis, joint pain, shoulder issues, and back pain, the extra foam thickness gives a plusher feel, without sacrificing underlying support.
While sleeping on The DreamCloud Premier myself, I felt as if the mattress was lifting me up, not so much embracing and cradling as more buoyant. This made turning totally effortless.
Thoughtfully designed, adored by your joints and back, this mattress aims to give you a “winning at life” little bit of luxury. For heavier people, it is an ideal option offered at a far lower price than higher end retail store brands.
Designed with an 8” core of premium, individually encased TitanCaliber™ coils, The Titan Luxe Hybrid Mattress was created and engineered strictly for larger people insuring extra lift and extra durability for the life of the mattress.
Up top, you’ll get the soothing and nestled in benefits of gel memory foam with underlying support so you never have to dig your way out of the center of a mattress again.
You can opt for an additional cooling panel if you are a hot sleeper. We tested this mattress and did not find it to be hard, and you can sit on the edge and easily transfer, put on shoes, and get the support you’ve been trying to find.
If you weigh over 250 lbs., we recommend strongly considering this option. The brand commands a solid following, garnishing an average 4.6 out of 5 stars in a review field of 782 sampled owners.
In queen, The Titan Luxe Hybrid Mattress is just $1079, with free shipping, a 120 night no questions asked trial period, and is made in Arizona, with all materials and textiles in the U.S. Backed with a solid 10 Year Factory Warranty.
practical advice for big and tall people when mattress shopping
Even more important, you want to make sure you are getting a really solid warranty. I’d look for at least a 20 year factory warranty with a 10 year full replacement component.
That way, if the mattress fails, and likely it would be caused by premature indentations and depressions, you’d be entitled to a free replacement, including the shipping charges being fully paid for by the vendor.
Keep in mind that these kinds of mattresses tend to weigh more than other conventional mattresses, therefore the shipping charges are much higher.
There are only a handful of web sites and retails stores that have taken the time and trouble to create mattresses designed for larger people.
Most conventional mattresses, whether made using coils, foam, air, or other ingredients typically fail within a short period of time
The reason for this is the kinds of materials used in the construction of these beds. They’re simply not built to support people over 200 lbs.
Look for mattresses that are produced by companies which makes several models ranging from “plush-firm” to “firm-firm”, meaning that while firm and supportive underneath, the top layers are designed to offer softness, some relief for pressure points such as hips and shoulders, and a nicer, nestled in feel, or opt for a bed that is simply firm and resilient, with little or no give.
Another option to consider for Big and Tall, and a good option for folks over 250lbs., is a coil mattress with no foam.
There are a variety of extremely firm coil systems available, usually finished off up top with several highly supportive but still yielding comfort layers, like memory foam, gel foam, or even very dense latex foam.
Also, when searching for a mattress for people of stature, use search terms that are direct, and don’t be shy. You’re going to find better search results using terms like “best bed for obese people” rather than “beds for overweight persons”, because the term obese applies to more specific connotations.
I really like the concept of an all foam mattress for this kind of mattress, using field tested ingredients that stand the test of time.
For example, a specialized high resiliency foam made by Firestone (the same company that builds high quality racing tires) is a great support layer in the ideal bed for an obese person or couple as the supportive layer of the mattress.
According to bedding manufacturer Bill Beuhrle, who owns Capitol Bedding, Inc., and builds extra heavy duty mattresses for heavier people, the company has been using the Firestone high resiliency foam in their product line because he claims it is essentially “bulletproof”. “
“My father started using this material in mattresses a half century ago, and it just doesn’t collapse or fail. Knowing which components to build into a mattress for heavier people is an art form”, Bill claims.