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Buying guide for Best mattresses for heavy people

In order to be successful and healthy while awake, you need quality sleep. A proper mattress is the foundation for sleeping well through the night and feeling refreshed when you rise. Mattresses vary in size, design, and benefits, and it’s important to find one that fits your body type, lifestyle, and sleeping habits.

If you’re a heavier person, you may be wondering if a certain type of mattress would better suit you. In fact, the average mattress is designed for people of average weight. Heavier individuals may wish to look for a thicker mattress that offers better longevity and tailored comfort. What else might a heavy person wish to consider when mattress shopping? We explore that in this buying guide.

Read on to find information about mattress type, sleeping positions, motion transfer, and more. We also answer your frequently asked questions, offer tips, and provide the details on some of our favorite mattresses for heavy people.

“Combination” sleepers who change position often are typically served well by a thick, medium-density foam or hybrid mattress.

Key considerations

Mattress type

There are three main types of mattresses from which to choose: innerspring, foam, and hybrid.

Innerspring: Innerspring mattresses generally offer worthy support for heavier individuals. This classic type of mattress tends to be relatively inexpensive and on the firm side. Springs or coils support the sleeper, though coil type can vary. Notably, a lower cost often translates to a shorter lifespan for the mattress. Depending on the type of coil, an innerspring mattress may be a bit noisy.

Foam: Foam mattresses may be on the softer side, though the type of foam influences the degree of firmness. These mattresses tend to cost more, and in some cases, they trap heat and spread motion. Soft foam is not generally advised for heavier individuals, but medium-firm foam may be adequate.

Hybrid: Hybrid mattresses combine the qualities of innerspring and foam via a soft layer (typically foam or latex) and a coil layer. These mattresses are usually the priciest options, but softness and support are balanced nicely. A heavy person may appreciate a hybrid mattress with a comfortable, responsive top and a strong, firm bottom.

Sleeping position

Your preferred sleeping position significantly influences which type of mattress is best for you. If you’re not using the right mattress, you’re likely to feel sore or achy during the day. Over time, this can lead to issues with your neck or spine.

Back sleepers require the fewest considerations. As the head and beck are supported by a pillow, the focus is on the lower back when sleeping. A thin top layer is adequate for such a position. The firmest mattresses are not advised for back sleepers; instead, look at foam and hybrid options.

Side sleepers adhere to the most popular sleeping position. The body curves notably when sleeping on the side, so you need a mattress that contours with your body. These mattresses lessen pressure and strain on the neck, shoulders, and hips. A mattress with a thick, soft top is typically enjoyed by side sleepers.

Stomach sleepers need proper support for their neck, shoulders, spine, and hips. Thin layers with a balance of softness and support are required. The reason: you don’t want to depress your stomach and cause your spine to sag, but you need enough resistance for your shoulders and hips so they don’t sink, either.


If you opt for a foam or hybrid mattress, look for something with high-density foam. It lasts longer than low-density foam and is better able to withstand extra weight.

One of the drawbacks of foam — especially low-density foam — is that it may start to sag over time. A high-density mattress is less likely to sag in the short-term. What’s more, a high-density mattress can make it easier to get in and out of bed.

Back pain

Those who suffer back pain should look for a mattress that supports the alignment of the spine. If you have back pain, it’s much more important to select a mattress that complements your sleeping position: firm for stomach sleepers, medium-firm for back sleepers, and soft for side sleepers. If you tend to move around, a medium-firm mattress may be best.


Most mattresses range in thickness from around 6 inches up to around 14 inches. Generally, heavier persons will want a slightly thicker-than-average mattress. Once you settle on a style, opt for something between 10 and 14 inches thick.

When manufacturers discuss mattresses for heavy people, they tend to be referring to those who weigh 230 pounds or more, though specific needs vary just as weight varies.



Sleep trial

Some mattresses, particularly high-end foam and hybrid options, offer customers a sleep trial. During the trial, you can test out the mattress at home to determine its effectiveness. This is the ideal way to see if a bed is right for you, as lying on it for just a few minutes in a store won’t really give you a great idea of how it would serve you over days and weeks. Some sleep trials are as short as a month; others are as long as a year.


If you sleep with a partner, a queen or king mattress would likely be ideal. If you or your partner tend to move a lot in bed, a king size mattress may be the best choice. A California King is a specialized mattress that’s even larger. Full-size mattresses may suffice for single individuals, while twin beds are often best for children and teens.

Motion transfer

If you sleep with a partner, consider a bed that limits motion transfer — especially if either of you is prone to moving throughout the night. Innerspring mattresses with pocketed coils tend to be most effective, though some hybrid options also limit motion. Foam typically doesn’t help with motion transfer, though some select options may be effective.


If you tend to give off body heat while you sleep, or if you sleep in a space without a breeze or air conditioning, you’ll want to opt for a mattress that balances out warmth. This is especially true when sleeping with a partner. Look for a mattress that is “temperature neutral” or “sleep cool,” such as a gel foam option. Generic foam mattresses tend to trap heat, but there are an array of hybrid mattresses that actually increase breathability.

Did You Know?
 The lifespan of a mattress varies by type and usage. Typically, you can expect a mattress to last between 7 and 10 years before needing to be replaced.


Pillow: Coop Home Goods Eden Memory Foam Pillow
The right pillow will support your head and neck and complement the benefits of your mattress. We recommend this soft and cool memory foam pillow from Coop Home Goods.

Bed sheets: Nautica 400 Count Cotton Sheet Set
While the mattress is important, it’s the sheets that will touch your skin. We like this inexpensive and breathable option from Nautica that comes in a variety of colors.

Mattress protector: Luna Waterproof Hypoallergenic Mattress Protector
Keep your mattress free from dust, dirt, and any oils or accidents. Invest in a mattress protector like this waterproof and hypoallergenic one from Luna.

Throw blanket: Chanasya Faux Fur Throw Blanket
A throw blanket can adorn your bed and provide extra warmth when needed. This gorgeous option from Chanasya is extra-soft, large, and low-priced.

A new mattress, particularly one made of latex, may come with an odor caused by manufacturing. This should dissipate within a week and can be aided by ventilation.


Mattresses for heavy people: prices

Inexpensive: You can find some budget-friendly queen-size mattress for under $600, though these are likely better for those who sleep alone. Mattresses in this price range are not usually hybrid products.

Mid-range: For $600 to $1,200, you’ll find an array of mattresses for heavier people, including breathable foam and hybrid selections.

Expensive: For over $1,200 and even over $2,000 in some cases, you'll find high-end mattresses that support heavier individuals and boast breathability and durability.


  • Track your sleep. Most fitness trackers or smart watches will monitor your sleep, informing you of its quality. This can help you determine if you have the right mattress for your needs.
  • Rotate the mattress. Rotating your mattress every few months helps balance out its usage and keeps foam options in particular from molding and sagging too quickly.
  • Prep for arrival. Like all big pieces of furniture, be sure there is a clear path into your house and bedroom. It’s advised to clean, dust, and air out your bedroom as well.
Balancing your sleep needs with those of your partner can be tricky. Opt for a large, breathable mattress that limits motion transfer and boasts multiple layers to accommodate two sleepers.


Q. What are some ways to help get a better night’s sleep?

A. While sleeping on a quality mattress with proper support goes a long way toward helping you feel rested and comfortable in the morning, there are many other ways to enhance sleep quality. The right pillow can provide necessary head and neck support. The right sheets and comforters can keep you cozy. Try to avoid screens, particularly blue light, within an hour before bed, and refrain from eating or drinking alcohol or caffeine before heading to bed.

Q. What kind of foundation do I need for a mattress?

A. Most foundations are acquired separately from the mattress, but the two items should work harmoniously together. A metal slatted frame can be useful for larger mattresses designed for heavy people, as they offer the most durability and support. Box springs and wood frames are also options but take note of the maximum weight they will hold before investing in them.

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