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Mattress Reviews > Best Mattress For Large People

unbiased Mattress Buyer's Guide For Larger People

January 12, 2015

What You Need To Know

1. Based on our mattress research, the mattress types, brands and models that rate highly tend to be suitable for nearly everyone, including heavy and big people.

2. Heavy and big people should, our research shows, pay special attention to mattress thickness because it can strongly affect owner satisfaction. (See details below.)

3. If you are over 450 pounds as an individual or you and your partner together weigh over 750 pounds, your options are unclear because mattress manufacturers often say that these are the weight limits for their mattresses.

Proper Mattress Thickness Is Important

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 of the mattress (whether it be springs, foam or latex) should be at least 6 inches thick and ideally make up the majority of the mattress' overall thickness.

Sleeping on a mattress that is too thin for a person's weight will often result in excessive firmness and lack of comfort, 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 sleeping position.

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

mattress thickness mid chart

As the above chart shows, 200-250 lbs individuals are often satisfied with a 9-, 10-, or 11-inch thick mattresses. Consequently, buying a mattress thicker than 11 inches may be a waste of money considering that mattresses are often priced by their thickness.

mattress thickness mid chart

As the above chart shows, 250-300 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, 300-400 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, or at least one that is 12-inches thick.

Mattress Type Suitability For Large People

Memory Foam

Suitable For Big People Score: 82 out of 100

Our collected owner experience data suggests that memory foam mattresses may be particularly 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 supportiveness they will likely receive from the mattress.

Good contouring supportiveness can result in comfort, pain relief, including 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 at least somewhat.

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


Suitable For Big People Score: 80 out of 100

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.


Suitable For Big People Score: 77 out of 100

Our collected owner experience data suggests that permanent-use air beds, such as the Sleep Number Bed, tend to support heavy, large owners fairly well.


Suitable For Big People Score: 73 out of 100

Owner experience data tends to suggest that strength of construction is more important than the thickness of a waterbed. This means that heavier persons should avoid the less expensive waterbeds which often skimp on strength of material and construction.


Suitable For Big People Score: 71 out of 100

Innerspring mattresses are the lowest-rated mattress type because as a group they are 2-3 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 supportiveness and mattress strength.


Suitable For Big People Score: 66 out of 100

Futons 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. Also, futon mattress frames typically lack sturdiness of construction needed to support people 220+ lbs, especially over the long term.

Mattress Lifespan / Longevity and Owner's Weight

Our collected owner experience data shows that people of all sizes and weights tend to keep their mattress about the same length of time.

This suggests, rather surprisingly, that a person's weight does not tend to be much of a factor in how long a mattress lasts.

In other words, overall, heavier people do not go through mattresses significantly faster than lighter people. The main mattress longevity problem – mattress sagging or compression – occurs at about an equal rate for both heavier and lighter people.

The fact that heavier people tend to buy thicker mattresses than lighter people may help explain why the sagging rates are about the same as greater thickness may provide more durability.

About our research

Our mattress research is based on over 18,400 actual consumer experiences that were collected from diverse, credible sources. Learn more about our research methodology.

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