The Best Mattress for Heavy People [2021 Ultimate Guide]

Unfortunately, many standard mattresses aren’t designed with plus-sized sleepers in mind. As a result, heavier individuals may find that mattresses wear out with use sooner than expected. 

This can cause spinal misalignment and uncomfortable pressure on the neck or back. That's why it's important to find a mattress that offers ample support and durability for a more comfortable night's sleep.

That said, there’s a comfortable mattress out there for everyone. No matter your weight, height, body type, or any other physical characteristic, you don’t need to compromise on mattress quality—you just need to know what to look for.

What Is the Best Mattress for Plus-Sized Sleepers?

The best mattress for heavier individuals is firm yet comfortable and durable yet affordable. On your quest to find the perfect mattress, keep the following features in mind:

Pressure Relief 

If you sleep on your side, you need special support in sensitive pain point regions to prevent you from sinking into the mattress. Back and stomach sleepers are also not immune to lower back pain from a bad mattress, as the spine can still curve uncomfortably into the bed in a supine position.

Heavyset individuals may experience more pressure build-up throughout the day as body weight shifts onto the joints. A pressure-relieving mattress can help alleviate this pressure while providing the support you need for proper spinal alignment.

Look for a mattress that supports and contours to your body without making you feel like you're sleeping in quicksand.

Firmness

A medium-firm to firm mattress is the best choice for heavyset individuals. This firmness level is ideal for supporting the body without letting you sink or giving too much pushback.


Sleeping on a too-soft mattress can cause your spine to fall out of alignment, leading to aches and pains in the morning. That doesn't mean, however, that you need to sleep on a rock. If your mattress is too firm, it can put increased pressure on your joints, which also causes pain and discomfort.


A medium-firm, pressure-relieving mattress is the best choice for plus-sized sleepers. This type of best mattress provides soft support while also cradling the body like a hug. It allows you to sleep comfortably while still supporting your weight and relieving pressure on your joints.

Thickness

The best mattress for heavier individuals is 10 to 14 inches thick, providing extra cushioning without causing back strain when climbing in and out of bed. Just beware of mattresses that add excessive padding, as these mattresses don't offer the support you need.

Bounce

A good mattress for heavier sleepers should offer bounce and flexibility, also known as responsiveness. A bed that does not bounce (think traditional memory foam) can make it feel like you're fighting against the material to get out of bed or switch positions. For the same reason, it can also make intimacy a challenge.

Temperature Regulation


Sleeping hot is a common concern for plus-size sleepers, so the best mattress for heavy people is one that's breathable and temperature neutral. That means that the mattress dissipates heat rather than trapping it within the material. Look for cooling properties designed to dispel body heat for cooler, more comfortable night's rest.

Durability

Mattress durability is a concern for every shopper, but particularly for plus-sized sleepers. A high-quality, durable mattress will retain its pressure relief and comfort for the mattress's lifespan and not sag within just a couple years of use. 

Keep an eye out for mattresses made of high-quality materials. If you opt for a foam mattress, look for firmer, higher-density foams that stand the test of time.

Price

A new bed can get pricey, especially if you find yourself needing to spring for a customized mattress. Just keep in mind that spending a little more upfront for durable, quality materials will save you more money down the line than buying a mattress that will need replacement in a  few years.

What Mattress Type is Best for Heavier People?

With all these features in mind, let's dive into the benefits and drawbacks of specific mattress types to help you find the bed of your dreams.

Memory Foam

A traditional memory foam mattress is probably the worst choice for heavyset sleepers, as memory foam—especially cheap memory foam—tends to sag and sink easily. 

Memory foam contains viscoelastic chemicals that give it its "memory."  Essentially, your body print remains in the foam as you move around, creating sinkholes. Many people report feeling swallowed up by their memory foam mattresses. Memory foam is also notorious for trapping body heat, making matters worse for individuals who tend to overheat and sweat at night. 

If you still want a memory foam mattress despite these common issues, opt for the most supportive option available. In general, the best memory foam mattress for a heavy person is a memory foam hybrid.

Innerspring

An innerspring mattress may be a good option for heavy people, as they tend to offer excellent edge support.

However, the main drawback of innerspring mattresses is a lack of pressure relief. Springs condense where weight is heaviest and push back against the body. This often causes discomfort and puts additional pressure on sensitive areas like the hips and midsection.

If you do opt for an innerspring mattress, look for one with individually wrapped coils. The pocketed design allows for some contouring, though not as much as fully foam or latex mattresses. 

Latex

If cost isn’t a concern, a latex mattress might be a good, firm mattress for a heavier individual. That’s because latex is a naturally sturdy and durable material that will stand the test of time.

Latex also has the advantage of providing cushioning support without “that sinking feeling” you get from sleeping on memory foam. A quality latex mattress should make you feel uplifted and comfortable. 

AirFoam™

Nolah’s AirFoam™ technology creates a “happy-medium” mattress that offers contouring and cushioning without sinkage. With a higher density than memory foam, AirFoam™ provides more support and pressure relief. It’s also three times more durable, temperature neutral, and breathable, making it ideal for plus-sized sleepers who sleep hot. For heavier individuals, we recommend the firm side of our flippable Nolah Signature 12” Mattress

Conclusion 

There are many types of mattresses to choose from, but not all suit the needs of plus-sized sleepers. That's why choosing a mattress with a free trial from a reputable online retailer is the safest way to choose a new bed. You get to enjoy the mattress in the comfort of your own home, often for 100 nights or more, with free delivery and free return. Just make sure to read the fine print!