Best Mattress for Heavy People and Overweight Individuals

Studies and surveys from consumers show that your weight plays a role in the mattress you should get. While it’s unfortunate that weight is a factor, choosing the wrong type of product can hamper sleep quality. Worse, it can leave your with back or hip pain.

In this article we discuss in depth the best mattress for heavy people. To clarify, we use the term “heavy” to cover anyone over 200 pounds. This includes muscular, overweight, large and tall individuals.

We cover the different types of mattress as well as their features. This way you’ll know which products to choose and what to avoid.


Overview of Our Top Picks


Defining Heavy and Overweight

One of the things to consider when you’re choosing a mattress is you size and weight. The taller you are the bigger mattress you’ll need. In the same manner, how much you weigh will determine the most suitable product for you.

In this section, we clarify what we mean by heavy, overweight and obese. In general, a large person, whether you’re muscular or plus size, requires a thicker mattress. This gives you more layers of cushioning. It also provides better support so your back and hips don’t sink down as the night goes on.

The simplest way to measure this is by using the BMI (body mass index) chart. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these is the breakdown of BMI levels.

  • If your BMI is less than 18.5: you are underweight.
  • If your BMI is between 18.5 and 25: you are normal.
  • If your BMI is between 25 and 30: you are overweight.
  • If your BMI is 30 or higher: you are obese.

They also divide obesity into 3 classes:

  • Class 1: BMI between 30 and 35
  • Class 2: BMI between 35 and 40
  • Class 3: BMI of 40 and above.

A quick way to calculate your BMI is to use this online BMI calculator. Just enter your height in feet and inches along with your weight. It will tell you your BMI and under what category you belong.

A note about BMI: Body Mass Index is just a general guideline. It only takes into account height and weight. This simplifies things. But it also skips a few things. This makes it not totally accurate. Here are a few examples.

  • It will classify you as overweight if: You’re large person, muscular person with low body fat percentage. Technically, this is a fit person.
  • It will classify you as normal even if: You’re thin, but have high body fat percentage. Technically, this is what you’d call “skinny fat”.

Between the two, the former is healthier. But, they’ll be considered plus-size, or overweight if you base only on BMI standards. The second person, who’s less healthy, is seen by the BMI chart as healthier than the first person.

As far are mattresses go, the terms, “overweight”, “large”, “heavy”, “plus size” and “obese” are grouped together. The reason is the mattress doesn’t know your body composition. All it feels is your weight. As such, BMI is appropriate for this purpose.

In our guide, all these descriptions are meant to refer to anyone who weighs over 200 pounds. This doesn’t take into consideration your body composition, or how tall you are.


Choosing a Mattress for Heavy People: Buying Guide

Below is a list of the most important factors to consider when choosing a mattress for heavy people.

1. Choose the Right Thickness

Mattresses today are available in varying levels of thickness. You’ll find products ranging from 6 inches thick to those over 14 inches. Research tells us that the more your weigh, regardless of your height or body composition, the thicker mattress you’ll need.

Thicker mattresses come with more layers. Each layer is also thicker. This gives you more support as well as cushioning. At the very least you’ll want to get something that’s 6 to 8 inches thick. Anything less, you’ll likely feel the foundation of your bed’s frame.

If you weigh over 200 pounds, here are some general rules.

  • 8 inch mattress: average to poor comfort and satisfaction.
  • 9 inch mattress: gives you average satisfaction.
  • 10 inch mattress: offers average to good comfort and satisfaction.
  • 12 inch mattress: offers good overall satisfaction.
  • 13 or more inches: better satisfaction.

To go further into specifics, we break then down in 50 pound increments.

If you weigh 200 to 250 pounds,

  • Mattresses that are 8 and 9 inches thick will give you an average level of comfort.
  • Mattresses that are 10, 12 and 14 inches offer good satisfaction.
  • Anything less than 8 inches was found to be less comfortable.

If you weigh 250 to 300 pounds,

  • Mattresses that are 10 inches thick offer average level of comfort.
  • Mattresses that are 12 and 14 inches offer good satisfaction.
  • Anything less than 10 inches was found to be less comfortable.

If you weight 300 to 400 pounds,

  • Mattresses that are 12 inches thick offer average level of comfort.
  • Mattresses that are 14 or more inches offer good satisfaction.
  • 10 inch mattresses were found to be less comfortable.
  • Anything less than 10 inches are rated as poor.

Research tells us that as far as comfort and satisfaction go, weight is directly correlated to mattress thickness.

We broke down the comfort and satisfaction ratings to give you a better understanding of what people felt about different mattress thickness. We also did so to help you decide on which thickness to get. The reason is thickness is a factor is pricing. Thicker mattresses cost more.

By showing the breakdown, you get to choose where price and comfort balance out for you.

2. Firmness

The second factor to consider is the mattress’ firmness. Large individuals tend to do better with firmer mattresses. One reason for this is that they exert more pressure on the mattress. This means they don’t feel its firmness as much as a lighter person would.

As such, we’ve found that bigger, larger or heavier individuals tend to get more support and comfort from medium-firm to firm mattresses.

Depending on your sleeping position, the does vary a bit.

  • Back sleepers: prefer medium-firm to firm mattresses.
  • Side sleepers: prefer medium to medium-firm
  • Stomach sleepers: prefer medium-firm to firm

Side sleepers tend to go down one level of firmness. This is because their shoulders and hips rest against the mattress. So, something softer works better.

3. Density

Next to thickness and firmness, you want to consider mattress density. Mattress density refers how packed the foam is on a mattress. It is expressed in pounds per cubic foot. The higher the number the more dense the mattress is.

Foam Mattresses

You can think of mattress density as how many pound each cubic foot of the mattress weighs. The heavier this cubic foot is, the denser it is.

A dense mattress is heavier. But it also contains more foam. This means it gives you more support. It is often firmer as well. Just as importantly, high density makes them more durable. As you’d guess, a denser mattress costs more as well.

In general, mattress density is broken down into 3 categories.

Low density: 3 pounds per cubic feet or less.

Medium density: 4 to 5 pounds per cubic feet.

High density: 6 pounds per cubic feet or more.

For Innerspring Mattresses

For innerspring mattresses, density will refer to the number of spring coils there are in mattress, or its coil count. The higher the coil count the more support you get. And, the less likely it sinks over time.

Another component to consider with spring mattresses is their coil gauge. Coil gauge refers to how thick the coils are. The thicker the coils the stronger and more durable they are. Coil gauge is rated similarly to metal gauge. As such, a lower coil gauge means it is made of thicker material. This means a 12 gauge coil is thicker than a 15 gauge coil.

What to Look For

For large individuals,

– A high density mattress is ideal if you’re going with a foam mattress.

– If you choose an innerspring, you’ll want to go with one that has a high coil count and lower coil gauge.

The higher density will offer more support. It will also make the mattress more durable. And, it will prevent the mattress from sinking over time.

4. Edge Support

For heavy and overweight people, a mattress with good edge support is key. This prevents the edges from giving way when you sit on it. More importantly, it keeps the mattress’ shape and prevents it from sagging or collapsing at the corners.

5. It Doesn’t Sleep Hot

Memory foam is one of the most popular types of mattresses around. Unfortunately, it also tends to sleep hot. This is because foam tends to retain heat.

As such, sleeping on foam mattresses can make it difficult to get a full night’s rest. You may end up waking up in the middle of the night sweating.

A solution to this are cooling mattresses or those infused with gel. Many memory foam mattresses use this, along with ventilation to reduce their heat retention.

Alternatively, latex, innerspring and hybrid mattresses don’t have this problem.

6. Pick a Suitable Mattress Type

According to surveys and research, not all mattresses are created equal. When it comes to large and heavy individuals some types of mattresses perform better than others. We’ll go through them in order of satisfaction, beginning with the best ones.

Memory Foam: Very Good

Memory foam offered the best results for larger individuals. They offer good support and adjust to the contours of your body. In addition, they provide pain and pressure point relief.

With memory foam, you can choose the firmness and feel. We recommend going with a product that has high density.

Do note that because of their conforming nature, a heavy or overweight person will sink down. This is normal. Though it does make it a bit more difficult to get up from when using thicker memory foam.

If you don’t like sleeping hot, pick one that is gel-infused. This keeps the mattress cooler.

Latex: Very Good

Coming in a very close second to memory foam is latex. Latex is firmer than memory foam which is a good thing when it comes to larger people.

It doesn’t have the heat retention problem memory foam has. And, it offers comfort and some conforming features as well.

We do like latex because it is dense and durable. Though it is more likely to leave your body’s imprint more than the other types.

One of the downsides of latex is its price. It costs the most among the types of mattresses featured here.

Hybrid Mattresses: Very Good

Hybrid mattresses are a mix between two different types. This can be any combination. For large or heavy individuals, one that’s made with an innerspring lower layer and memory foam upper layer works well.

This gives you the benefits of memory foam and innerspring. As a result, it sleeps cooler and you get better bounce and edge support without sacrificing the contouring qualities of memory foam.

This way you get the support and comfort without the heat issues.

Air Beds: Good

While it may be counterintuitive for a heavy person to sleep on an air bed, consumer feedback seems to show that air mattresses are well suited for large individuals.

With air beds, you’ll want to get the full height ones. This gives you the thickness needed.

Another feature to consider is the internal construction. The more supported the beams are inside the mattress, the more supportive and durable the product is likely to be.

Water Beds: Good

Water beds also performed above average according to their owners. With this type of mattress, thickness wasn’t as important as how strong the bed’s build was.

The biggest factor was how strong the water bed’s construction was. The better the construction quality, the higher the owner satisfaction.

This meant foregoing the more expensive, high end bed with extra features and choosing those made with high quality material and construction.

Innerspring: Average

In general, innerspring mattresses aren’t a good choice for larger individuals. The only exception are high quality innerspring mattresses. These are the ones with good construction, high coil count and low coil gauge.

If you do choose an innerspring, do get one that’s firm as well. This lets you sleep better. And, make it easier to get out of bed as well.

While they’re more affordable than memory foam, latex or hybrid mattresses, innerpsrings can sag and lose support over time.

Lower quality products also don’t offer the support needed by heavier people. This results in sinking as well as eventual back pain.

More likely to sag, which means will lose support and later cause pain.


Best Mattress for Heavy & Overweight People Reviews

Brentwood Home Bamboo Mattress, Gel Memory Foam, 13-Inch

This is our top pick because of the comfort it gives to heavy individuals. This thick 13 inch mattress works well for people who weigh up to 300 pounds.

We like the besides the thick layers, it also offers good quality in between. This means you get a supportive base layer and cooling memory foam layer. Plus, a softer upper surface to lie on.

This gives you the support that’s essential so you wake up well with no aches. And, the soft comfort that lets you sleep easier.

The bed is offered in 11, 12 and 13 inches. You may go down a bit if you don’t feel like sleeping that high up. As with the other products in our mattress reviews, this one is available in twin size all the way up to king. It also has a California King option for the tall individuals.

This product comes with medium firmness. And you get a lot of ventilation in its memory foam. We like this feature as it does away with the heat retention properties of memory foam. This means no more waking up all soaked in sweat at night.

  • The bottom layer is made from 7.5 inches of therapeutic foam. This thick, high density foam is the key for its support. It is what makes it ideal for plus sized and larger individuals.
  • Above the base layer is a 2 inch ventilated foam layer. This gives you a more comfortable feel. It, along with the memory foam layer on top of it give you that medium firmness. We also like that it’s ventilated. This helps in dissipating the heat that’s trapped from the memory foam.
  • The top foam layer is a 3.5 inch gel memory foam. This offers a cooler surface compared to regular memory foam. Yet, it retains the other good properties, including its pressure relief and conforming feature.

Zinus Memory Foam 12 Inch Green Tea Mattress

This is a thick 12 inch mattress. It also has a slightly firmer feel at medium-firm.

Offered in all sizes, you can select from twin and full all the way up to California King. For our purposes, we’ll use the queen size to standardize our product comparisons.

While it isn’t as thick as the Brentwood Home mattress above, it does offer comparable composition as far as its foam layers go.

  • The bottom 7 inches are made from high density support foam. We especially like this for anyone who weighs over 200 pounds. This thicker the base layer, the more supportive it is. An additional feature we appreciate is that the high density foams used here are designed to facilitate air flow. This helps them keep you cool as you sleep.
  • Above the high density foam layers is a 2 inch comfort foam layer. This gives you a bit more softness. And, it transitions from the harder support foams to the foams you’ll be lying on.
  • The top layer is a 3 inch memory foam. Combined with the comfort foam you get a nice surface to sleep on. While it doesn’t have gel infused into it, the air flow system of the lower layers allow heat to get out and not stay trapped.

In addition, the memory foam is infused with green tea extract and castor natural seed oil. Both work to prevent bacteria and odors from forming.

Sleep Innovations Shiloh 12-inch Memory Foam Mattress

This is for the big and tall. It works well for anyone weighing up to 300 pounds. And, you get to choose the California King size as well if you’re a tall person.

This Sleep Innovations bed offers a medium feel. And, it is very comfortable.

We like that it doesn’t sag down. Plus, if offers excellent support. This allows your body to stay aligned as you sleep instead of curving. Doing so prevents poor posture as well as aches and pains in the morning.

We also like that it keeps temperature cool fairly well. It doesn’t run hot like your regular memory foam. Although it isn’t as cool as gel infused ones.

  • For a large or heavy person, the thick 9.5 inch support foam layer is great. This is among the thickest we’ve found. The thicker layer ensures that you not only get support today, but also for a long time.
  • The upper layer is a 2.5 inch memory foam. This gives you the softer medium feel. In addition to comfort, it also helps keep your body aligned and offers pain relief.

Made in the USA, it comes with a 20 year warranty.

LUCID 10 Inch Plush Memory Foam Mattress

For those who weigh between 200 to 250 pounds, this is a good option. It will give you above average comfort. Of course it works for those weighing less as well.

It can also work for those between 250 and 300 pounds. But, it may give you something closer to an average sleep comfort.

As with many of our mattress reviews, the products are available in a variety of sizes and thickness. This LUCID mattress lets you choose from 6, 8, 10 and 12 inches. You may also select from all sizes including twin, full, queen, king and California king.

Basically, the thicker the mattress the higher its price. Also, the larger the size, the more costly it gets.

For plus size or heavy individuals, we recommend going with at least 10 inches. You may go up to the 12 inch version for extra comfort if you wish.

We like this product because it is affordable. It gives you good value for your money. What you get is:

  • A 3 inch thick ventilated memory foam upper layer.
  • And, a thick, 7 inch high density support layer.

This gives you a cooler surface to sleep on. And, its medium to plush feel makes it comfortable as well. The memory foam adjusts to your body’s size and shape. Plus, it helps with pressure points.

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