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Mattress Reviews > Best Mattress For Large People

unbiased Mattress Buyer's Guide For Larger People (240+ Pounds)

Based on 1,541 Consumer Experiences

December 29, 2015

What You Need To Know

1. Mattresses that rate high for people in general do not necessarily rate high for larger people. More.

2. The weight limits provided by mattress manufacturers / retailers should not be taken too seriously. More.

3. Heavy and big people should pay special attention to mattress thickness. More.

4. Because larger people tend to be more likely to sleep hot than the average person, beds with an above-average likelihood of retaining heat should probably be avoided. More.

5. Poor mattress longevity correlates somewhat with heavy sleeper weight. Therefore, larger people should place extra emphasis on getting a mattress with good durability potential. More.

6. Some mattress types rate better than others for heavy and big people. More.

Take Owner Satisfaction Ratings With Grain of Salt

Mattress owner satisfaction rates are determined by a sample of mostly average sized-people (130-230 lbs). Therefore, large people should not assume that a highly rated mattress will suit them. Indeed, some of the newer and highly rated-by-consumer mattresses come in only one model that may not have the thickness that is ideal for large people.

Take Weight Limits With Grain of Salt

The mattress weight limits provided by mattress manufacturers / retailers tend to be – in the opinion of Sleep Like The Dead – exaggerated and mostly unreliable. Basically, if it sounds too good to be true it usually is. For example, if a $500 mattress is claimed to have a 600+ pound weight limit, you should probably be skeptical.

Mattress Thickness

A mattress is often available in various thicknesses, such as 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 inches and even thicker. Our collected owner experience data confirms that the heavier a person is the thicker the mattress they will probably need.

Specifically, the support part or bottom portion of the mattress (whether it consists of springs, foam, latex, or air) should be at least six inches thick and ideally make up the majority (51%+) of overall mattress thickness.

Sleeping on a mattress that is too thin for a person's weight will often result in "bottoming out" and excessive firmness, especially for side sleepers. If you prefer a firm mattress, however, then it is possible you may be satisfied with a thinner model regardless of your weight or sleep position.

The charts below show owner satisfaction levels for different mattress thickness based on weight categories.

mattress thickness mid chart

As the above chart shows, 240-300 lbs individuals should probably not purchase a mattress that is less than nine-inches thick.

mattress thickness heavy person chart

As the above chart shows, 301-400 lbs individuals should probably avoid a mattress that is less than 10- or 11-inches thick.

mattress thickness heavy person chart

As the above chart shows, 400+ lbs individuals should probably purchase the thickest mattress they can with a thick support system.

Sleep Temperature

Mattress owner experience data shows that compared to the average person, heavier people tend to have a greater likelihood of sleeping hot. Sleeping hot can undermine both sleep quality and quantity. As a result, big people should remember the following chart which compares the different mattress types on the issue of sleeping hot.

mattress large people sleeping hot comparison

It should also be noted that soft mattresses of any type tend to sleep hotter than mattresses with medium or firm firmness.

Learn more: mattress heat retention.

Durability / Longevity

Owner experience data suggests that there is some correlation between poor mattress durability / longevity and heavy sleeper weight. Therefore, larger people should place extra emphasis on mattress durability / longevity and remember the following chart which compares the different mattress types on the issue of durability / longevity.

mattress lifespan heavy person comparison

Learn more: mattress lifespan comparison.

Mattress Type Suitability For Larger People

The different mattress types – air, latex, foam, spring, hybrid, and futon – are rated below for their suitability in general for big and heavy people.

Latex

All-latex mattresses tend to be strong, durable and dense. This may allow a large person to have a relatively thin latex mattress without sacrificing comfort. However, latex beds are somewhat known to compress resulting in the creation of body impressions, and large people may be more likely to create such impressions. These impressions can cause the mattress to be difficult to move on and get up off.

Adequate thickness available Good to Excellent
Durability / longevity Good to Fair
Sleeps cool Fair to Poor
Overall heavy person rating Good to Fair


Memory Foam

Owner experience data suggests that some memory foam mattresses are well suited for heavier people.

Memory foam, especially higher density memory foam, is pressure and weight sensitive. This means that the heavier a person is, the more contouring support they will likely receive from the mattress.

Good contouring support can result in comfort, (back) pain relief, and minimization of pressure points.

On the downside, the fact that heavier people may sink substantially into the foam may make moving on the bed or getting up off the bed somewhat of a struggle, especially if the memory foam is high density. Sinking substantially into the foam will also likely increase heat retention.

Heavier people should likely choose a memory foam mattress with at least a 7-inch base / support layer and a total thickness of at least 9 inches.

Adequate thickness available Good
Durability / longevity Good to Fair
Sleeps cool Fair to Poor
Overall heavy person rating Good to Fair


Spring

Innerspring mattresses are the lowest-rated mattress type because as a group they are about two times more likely than other mattress types to sag and, as a result, become uncomfortable or pain causing. Also, heavy people are more likely than lighter people to report noise coming from an innerspring mattresses. Heavier people should probably buy an innerspring mattress with a high coil count (above 600 for a queen) as this may provide improved support and mattress strength.

Adequate thickness available Good to Excellent
Durability / longevity Fair
Sleeps cool Good to Fair
Overall heavy person rating Good to Fair


Air

Owner experience data suggests that permanent-use air beds, such as the Sleep Number Bed, tend to support heavy, large owners fairly well. However, larger people may want to avoid the thinner models as they may allow for bottoming out especially if a softer adjustment setting is used.

Adequate thickness available Good
Durability / longevity Good to Fair
Sleeps cool Fair
Overall heavy person rating Good to Fair


Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses often refer to beds that consist of both springs and memory foam. Therefore, they have the previously mentioned characteristics of both these mattress types.

Adequate thickness available Good to Excellent
Durability / longevity Fair
Sleeps cool Fair to Poor
Overall heavy person rating Fair


Futon

Futon mattresses tend to not be well suited for larger, heavier people (especially side sleepers) because they often lack adequate thickness. However, if a big person seeks a highly firm mattress, then a futon mattress may be suitable.

Adequate thickness available Fair to Poor
Durability / longevity Fair to Poor
Sleeps cool Fair
Overall heavy person rating Fair to Poor


About our research

Our mattress research is based on over 22,300 actual consumer experiences that were collected from diverse, credible sources. Learn more about our research methodology.

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