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Bodyweight is an important factor to consider when selecting a new mattress, particularly for heavier individuals. People in the above-average weight group (more than 230 pounds) tend to prefer beds that provide extra support and cushioning to areas of the body where more weight is concentrated, such as the abdomen and hips.
For many, firmer, thicker mattresses are the best option. The sleep surfaces of these beds will align the spine and alleviate pressure points without excessive sagging, and the higher thickness profile eases the process of getting in and out of bed. While few mattresses are specifically designed to accommodate larger sleepers, heavier individuals can choose from a wide selection of beds that are firm and thick enough to properly support them.
Read on to learn more about mattress options for larger people, including our top six picks among beds sold today. Our choices are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.
The Titan from Brooklyn Bedding – a hybrid model and our Editor’s Pick – is one of the firmest and most supportive mattresses for larger sleepers on the market. The bed is considered ‘Firm’ (8) and provides minimal yet consistent conforming, offering an even, supportive surface for heavier individuals, particularly those who sleep on their back and/or stomach.
The Titan also sleeps quite cool, due in part to strong air flow within the coil layers and its breathable cotton-polyester cover. The mattress isolates motion well and produces minimal noise, as well, but it is also responsive enough for sex. Another key strength is edge support; thanks to its 2″ high-density foam base layer, the mattress is well-reinforced and can withstand sinkage around the perimeter of the bed where people tend to sit.
Brooklyn Bedding offers free shipping for customers anywhere in the contiguous U.S. The Titan is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
A chief complaint from heavier individuals about memory foam mattresses is that the beds are too thin, too soft, and prone to sagging. The Nectar is a notable exception. This mattress measures 11″ in height, which is thicker than average, and is constructed from four individual foam layers for optimal support.
The comfort system contains layers of gel memory foam and standard memory foam, both of which conform to the sleeper’s body to help align the spine and alleviate pressure throughout the body. The support core is constructed with two layers of high-density polyfoam to reinforce the sleep surface and minimize sagging. And because the bed is ‘Medium Firm’ (6 on the 1-10 firmness scale), most heavier individuals will not sink too deeply.
Additionally, the Nectar has a cotton and lyocell cover that allows the mattress to sleep cooler than other foam beds. It also absorbs and minimizes motion transfer to a significant extent and is virtually silent when bearing weight, which makes it a good option for couples – particularly if one or both of the sleepers awaken easily due to noise or motion.
The Nectar is our Best Value pick because its price-point is more than $250 below that of the average memory foam mattress. Customers may test out the mattress for 365 nights and still receive a refund if they decide to return it; this is one of the longest sleep trials available anywhere.
Our Best Luxury pick is the Saatva HD, a recently unveiled innerspring model that offers resilient support and a ‘Firm’ feel that won’t sag beneath the sleeper’s heaviest areas. The Talalay latex comfort layer is divided into five zones based on the sleeper’s body. As a result, the sleeper experiences consistent contouring around their head and neck, shoulders, lower back and hips, and legs. At 15.5″ thick, the mattress also has a generous profile that is particularly well-suited to heavier people.
The Saatva HD’s support core is constructed with durable, 12.5-gauge bonnell coils encased in high-density foam. This layer helps to maintain an even sleep surface and reinforce the edges to prevent excessive sinkage. The coils also generate strong airflow, allowing the surface to sleep cool and comfortable for most. A breathable organic-cotton cover helps the bed remain temperature-neutral, as well.
Saatva offers free shipping for all orders within the contiguous U.S. The mattress is also backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.
Heavier side sleepers typically prefer mattresses that offer a combination of body conforming and strong structural support. Some cushioning is needed to ensure good spinal alignment – a common issue associated with the side position – while the bed’s support core must maintain a sag-free sleep surface to prevent further aches and pains. The WinkBed Plus – our pick for larger side sleepers – is one of the only mattresses sold today that is specifically designed for larger individuals.
A ‘Medium Firm’ (6.5) option for the standard WinkBed, the WinkBed Plus is constructed with gel polyfoam and latex comfort layers, a compressed-cotton lumbar pad that targets lower back pain, and a pocketed coil support core encased in high-density foam. These materials provide a balanced sleep experience for most heavier individuals; the latex conforms to a moderate yet consistent extent while the support core reinforces the entire bed to prevent sagging in the sleep surface and sinkage along the edges. The WinkBed Plus also sleeps very cool due in part to strong air circulation through the coil layer and a breathable cover made of Tencel® lyocell.
Customers in the contiguous U.S. qualify for free shipping when they order a WinkBed plus. The mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.
For many heavier stomach sleepers, latex mattresses offer more support and better alignment than beds made of memory foam and other, generally softer materials. The Avocado Green is a prime example. Available in ‘Medium’ (5.5) and ‘Medium Firm’ (6.5) designs, this eco-friendly latex hybrid is exceptionally supportive and built to last. The mattress also has a comfort layer of New Zealand wool, a material that wicks away moisture and provides year-round temperature neutrality. An aerated Dunlop latex secondary comfort layer and good airflow through the pocketed coil support core also ensure cool, comfortable sleep for most.
The Avocado Green is also highly responsive, making it good for sex. Other benefits for couples include strong motion isolation and minimal noise when bearing weight. Because it contains Dunlop latex – a highly durable material – the mattress has an expected lifespan of at least eight years, and the latex should withstand wear and tear without developing excessive sagging or indentations.
Avocado provides free standard shipping to customers in all 50 states, along with White Glove delivery for an additional charge. The Avocado Green is backed by a 365-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.
Back sleepers generally require mattresses with strong support systems that maintain an even, relatively sag-free surface; otherwise the sleeper’s body will sink excessively in certain areas, which frequently leads to added discomfort. The Saatva luxury innerspring is an exceptionally supportive bed due in part to its innovative coil-on-coil design. A pocketed coil transitional layer reinforces the bed’s memory foam and polyfoam comfort layers, resulting in close, consistent conforming, while steel-tempered bonnell coils in the support core stabilizes the surface and prevents sagging and sinkage from developing.
The Saatva is offered in three firmness settings – Medium Soft’ (4), ‘Medium Firm’ (6), and ‘Firm’ (7.5) – along with 11 1/2″ and 14 1/2″ profile options. This range should accommodate most heavier back sleepers regardless of their firmness preferences, while the two high-profile options ensure the sleeper is comfortable getting on and off the bed. Strong air circulation throughout both coil layers also ensures great temperature neutrality for hot sleepers.
Saatva offers free White Glove delivery throughout the contiguous U.S. and Canada. The mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty.
Body weight plays a significant role in our experience with different mattress types and models. This is particularly true with individuals who weigh 230 pounds or more, since people with above-average weights often require certain mattress conditions and qualities in order to feel comfortably and properly supported while sleeping. Important considerations for heavier sleepers include mattress thickness, firmness, density, and temperature, as well as personal factors like sleep position.
Below we will look at the unique design and functionality needs of people with above-average weights when it comes to finding the right mattress. Read on to learn more about key mattress shopping considerations for heavier individuals.
Please note: for the purposes of this page, we have defined anyone who weighs 230 pounds or more as having ‘above-average weight’. This can be somewhat misleading, since some people in this weight range are not technically ‘overweight’, while some people who weigh less may be considered ‘overweight.’ But in terms of mattress evaluation, we have determined that 230 pounds is the most suitable benchmark.
Mattress Thickness: Mattress thickness generally ranges from six inches to 14 inches or more, and often varies by mattress type; all-foam mattresses, for instance, tend to be thinner than innersprings or hybrids.
People who weigh 230 pounds or more tend to put more pressure on their mattresses. As a result, they tend to feel most comfortable on thicker beds because they often provide better compression support. If the mattress is too thin, then the sleeper may experience uncomfortable sinking (especially in the center).
As a general rule, a mattress should be at least 12 to 13 inches thick in order to properly support a heavier individual. The table below features a detailed breakdown of mattress thickness for people with above-average weights.
|Mattress Thickness||Quality of Sleep for Individuals Weighing 230 Pounds or More|
|Less than 6″||Very Poor|
|6″ to 7″||Poor|
|7″ to 8″||Poor to Fair|
|8″ to 9″||Fair|
|9″ to 10″||Fair to Good|
|10″ to 11″||Good|
|11″ to 12″||Good to Very Good|
|12″ to 13″||Very Good|
|More than 13″||Very Good|
Mattress Firmness: Mattresses sold today are often rated for firmness on a 1 to 10 scale, with one being the least firm and 10 being the firmest. Most models fall between 3, or Soft, and 8, or Firm.
People who weigh 230 pounds or more will sink more deeply into their mattress than lighter individuals, sometimes two inches deep or more depending on their body type. Because they exert more pressure, mattresses that are firmer may feel more comfortable and provide more pressure relief. Firmness is especially important for side- and stomach-sleepers; their weight is not distributed as evenly as back-sleepers, and they are more susceptible to pressure points in the neck, shoulders, lower back, and hips.
Generally speaking, heavier individuals tend to feel most comfortable and supported on mattresses that rate between 6, or Medium Firm, and 8, or Firm.
Mattress Foam Density: Most mattresses sold today, regardless of their support core, are constructed with at least one layer of polyfoam or memory foam in the comfort system. Foam density is used to determine how much weight the mattress can sufficiently support, and measured in pounds per cubic foot (PCF). Density is also related to overall mattress durability (see below for more information).
Polyfoam and memory foam each fall into the same three density categories, although the measurements for each differ. The table below provides a detailed breakdown.
|Type of Foam||Density Category||Measurement (PCF)||Suitability for Heavy Sleepers (230 Pounds or More)|
|Polyfoam||Low Density||Less than 1.2 PCF||Poor to Fair|
|Medium Density||1.2 PCF to 1.7 PCF||Fair|
|High Density||1.8 PCF to 2.5 PCF||Fair to Very Good|
|Memory Foam||Low Density||Lower than 4 PCF||Poor to Fair|
|Medium Density||4 PCF to 6 PCF||Fair to Good|
|High Density||Higher than 6 PCF||Good to Very Good|
It’s important to note that many mattress manufacturers do not openly disclose foam density specifications, but this information is generally available to those who contact customer service representatives online or over the phone.
Coil Gauge: The gauge, or thickness, of steel coils used in innersprings and hybrids can help shoppers determine how supportive the mattress will be. Gauge is expressed in numerals, and typically ranges from 12 (thickest) to 18 (thinnest). Certain coil types are linked to average gauge ranges. Offset coils, for instance, tend to be lower-gauge (or thicker), while pocketed coils (found in hybrids) tend to be higher-gauge.
Edge Support: In addition to sleeping, mattresses may also be used for sitting — particularly at the edges where people often sit as they get up from or onto their mattress. Some mattresses are reinforced at the edges to provide maximum support and prevent sinkage where people tend to sit. Other mattresses offer little to no edge support, and owners frequently report significant sinkage at the edges.
Innersprings and hybrids tend to offer the strongest edge support, while foam and latex mattresses usually offer the least amount of edge support (if any at all).
Temperature Neutrality: Some mattress types, such as innersprings and hybrids, retain low amounts of body heat from sleepers and tend to be temperature-neutral during the night. Other mattress types — notably foam and memory foam models — can trap body heat and sleep hot as a result.
Sleeping hot is an issue for some overweight sleepers; they have a higher body mass than others, and thus produce more heat. The general rule-of-thumb is that polyfoam and memory foam mattresses will usually sleep too hot for people who weigh 230 pounds or more, but some models include layers of foam designed to keep them cooler, such as gel memory foams or latex. These mattresses may be more suitable than those built from inexpensive polyfoam or memory foam. But for those who sleep excessively hot on any type of foam, an innerspring or hybrid will likely be their best bet.
Mattress Durability: The lifespan of a mattress is linked to several other factors, including thickness, foam density, and edge support. As a result, people who weigh 230 pounds or more should research the expected longevity of any mattress they are considering. The table below lists average lifespan expectations for the five most commonly sold mattress types.
|Mattress Type||Expected Lifespan|
|Innerspring||5 to 6 Years|
|Foam||6 to 7 Years|
|Latex||8 Years or Longer|
|Hybrid||6 to 7 Years|
|Airbed||8 Years or Longer if Properly Maintained|
Weight Limit: Most mattress manufacturers list a ‘weight limit.’ Mattress owners that exceed the weight limit could potentially cause damage to the mattress. The weight limit will vary by brand and model, so be sure to inquire about this figure for every mattress you are considering. The vast majority of Queen- and King-size mattresses sold today can support at least 600 pounds.
In addition to qualities and capabilities of the mattress itself, here are a few more factors for heavier people to consider when shopping for a new mattress.
Sleep Position: As stated above, your experience with a mattress often comes down to whether you sleep on your back, side, or stomach.
Considerations for Couples: If you have an above-average weight and share your bed with another person, then it’s important to consider the following:
The table below looks at common qualities and characteristics found in the five most commonly sold mattress types: innerspring, foam, latex, hybrid, and airbed.
|Mattress Type||Innerspring||Memory Foam||Latex||Hybrid||Airbed|
|Comfort Layers||At least 1 layer of foam||At least 1 layer of polyfoam or memory foam||At least 1 layer of latex
May have memory foam or polyfoam layers
|At least two inches of memory foam and/or latex
May have polyfoam and/or microcoil layers
|Some models have one to two polyfoam or memory foam layers|
|Support Core||Steel coils
Base polyfoam layer
|High-density polyfoam||May be latex or high-density polyfoam||Pocketed Coils
Base polyfoam layer
|Individual, adjustable air chambers|
|Average Thickness||9″ to 15″||7″ to 14″||7″ to 13″||10″ to 16″||8″ to 15″|
|Average Firmness||Medium Firm to Firm||Medium Soft to Medium Firm||Medium Soft to Medium Firm||Medium to Medium Firm||Varies
Most airbeds have adjustable firmness
|Heat Retention/Sleeping Hot||Good to Very Good||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good||Fair to Good||Fair to Good|
|Edge Support||Very Good||Poor||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good|
|Average Lifespan||5 to 6 years||6 to 7 years||8 years or longer||6 to 7 years||8 years or longer if properly maintained|
|Heavy Back Sleepers||Fair||Good||Good||Good||Good|
|Heavy Side Sleepers||Fair||Fair||Good||Good||Fair|
|Heavy Stomach Sleepers||Poor||Fair||Good||Fair||Fair|
|Dual Firmness Options||Not usually available||Somewhat common||Available from select manufacturers||Somewhat common||Not usually available|
|Average Price Point||$800 to $1,100||$1,000 to $1,500||$1,500 to $2,000||$1,500 to $2,000||$2,000 to $2,400|
A sagging surface can greatly undermine the bed’s ability to provide comfort, support, and pressure relief. Many mattresses will sag over time, and this is to be expected of most models. However, excessive sinking and indenting can lead to major pain and pressure — and in some cases, this will be covered under the mattress warranty.
When looking at different mattress models, be sure to inquire about sagging and indentations that are covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. Most warranties explicitly state how deep the sagging/indentations must be in order to qualify as a defect, but this figure varies from brand to brand. Generally speaking, most warranties will cover sagging and indentations that measure 1″ to 1 1/2″ deep. This sagging depth is associated with above-average pain and pressure. Some warranties will cover sagging and indentations that measure as little as 1/2″ deep, while some make no mention of covering sagging or indentations of any depth.
If sagging and indentation is covered under the warranty, also be sure to inquire about owner fees for repairing or replacing mattresses that develop this defect. Most warranties require mattress owners to cover shipping and handling costs associated with mattress repairs and returns; these usually fall between $100 and $200. However, some manufacturers will impose extra fees.
Nonprorated and prorated coverage are also important. Nonprorated coverage means that the owner will not pay to repair or replace their mattress on top of shipping and handling costs. Prorated coverage means that owners must pay a certain amount of the original product price based on how long they have owned the mattress; prorated charges tend to increase on a year-to-year basis. For people who have owned their mattress for 10 years or more, the prorated charges can amount to as much as 90% to 95% of the original mattress price. Some mattress warranties are entirely nonprorated for 10 to 20 years in length, while others offer only two to three years of nonprorated coverage and are prorated for the remainder of the warranty period.
The bottom line: when comparing mattress warranties, be sure to ask about sagging/indentation depth, mattress owner costs for repairing or replacing sagging defects, and how long the warranty will offer nonprorated coverage.
As you’ve seen, individuals who weigh 230 pounds or more must take several factors into consideration when shopping for a new mattress. Here is a final checklist for you to use when comparing different models:
For more information on different mattress types, please click the links found at the top of the mattress type data table in the previous section.