Best Memory Foam Mattress for Heavy People
When selecting a new memory foam mattress, if you weigh more than the average person you may want to make sure that you take certain factors into consideration when searching for the best mattress for heavy people.
In addition, if you are heavier than normal or significantly heavier than your sleeping partner (if you share a mattress), you also want to make sure that you make the right choice when shopping for a memory foam mattress.
Most of the time, the best mattresses for heavy people are the same for those for thinner people, except as it may relate to support, motion transfer, sleeping hot, and other factors.
These functional and construction needs which a memory foam mattress should have for heavier people to experience good sleep are extremely important to get right.
In our case, I am roughly twice the weight of my girlfriend Kaye, as I am 6’1” and around 230 pounds. For some mattresses, this causes me to sink down lower than her and for her to “roll” over into me due to the different weight being placed onto the mattress when we sleep at night.
We had this problem with cheaper memory foam mattresses during our search for the right bed for us, so we know firsthand how important it is to get a well-built and well-designed mattress, especially a memory foam or hybrid combination foam mattress.
These factors we discuss below are very important when purchasing a memory foam mattress, and purchasing a mattress that has the correct characteristics for heavier people or a combined heavier couple will ensure you the best night’s sleep.
FAQ: Read about our overall favorite mattresses in our Top 10 Best Mattresses of 2017 Guide
Most heavier sleepers tend to require and prefer a mattress on the medium to medium firm side (around a 6-7 on the firmness scale, with 10 being firmest). These firmer mattresses will hold their shape better and provide lasting support for years to come for heavy sleepers.
In addition, as it relates to memory foam mattresses, they tend to soften up over time so choosing a firmer mattress will enable it to break in and adapt to your body weight.
Medium to firm memory foam mattresses tend to offer more consistent support and feel, as the increased densities of the foams or other materials help provide necessary push back to counteract the weight being placed on them.
This is important, as it keeps heavier people supported by the comfort layers of the mattress and prevents sinking into the less comfortable support foams or base materials.
However, the best mattress for heavy people also has to be comfortable, and too firm mattresses may also cause stiffness or pain if not soft enough.
Mattress thickness is something that is very important when selecting a memory foam mattress if you are heavier than normal. For sleepers under 200 pounds, a 10” mattress is usually sufficient. If you are heavier than this, we suggest you look for a mattress that is at least 12” thick or thicker and combined of a variety of different foam densities.
Heavier people create a larger amount of pressure on the mattress so more compression support is needed, which many thinner mattresses do not provide.
There are some 10″ mattresses that utilize advanced foams and other design features that improve deep compression support and can allow them to function well for heavier sleepers as well.
However, for the most part it’s best to find a mattress with a thicker profile as it will more likely be able to offer consistent support and deep compression support. The heavier you are, or the heavier that your combined weight of a couple is, the more important a thicker profile and deep compression support are.
Sinkage / Motion Transfer
Sinkage is quite important for heavier people, as the heavier you are, the more you will compress the foam in your mattress.
As mentioned above, if you share a mattress with a partner and weigh significantly more than they do, in some cases you may cause them to roll into you due to this pressure difference on the mattress.
Choosing a well designed memory foam mattress with varying level of foam densities will help with this, as will selecting a firmer mattress.
Motion transfer is also something to take into consideration as a heavier person sharing a mattress. Turning over or adjusting your sleep position during the night can often cause significant motion transfer if your memory foam mattress does not have motion dampening features or is “bouncier” as many latex or hybrid foam mattresses are.
Choosing a pure memory foam mattress will often alleviate these effects, as they are less springy than ones containing latex or pocketed coils as well as memory foam.
A common complaint from heavy people that purchase a memory foam mattress is “sleeping hot”. This term is used for memory foam mattresses that do not ventilate or breathe well throughout the night.
When you are sleeping together with a partner, and are heavier than normal, it can get uncomfortable quickly if you don’t have a well designed and constructed mattress that addresses this.
For heavier sleepers, there is more mass, hence more heat is generated. Without a mattress that breathes, you may find yourself waking up in the middle of the night sweating and shedding covers or feeling like you are sticking to the mattress.
Many advanced memory foam mattresses and latex mattresses have largely solved the problems with heat retention using more advanced cooling materials, open cell foam, gels, breathable covers, etc..
These are generally a feature of better memory foam mattresses, and often not a feature of inexpensive or basic models. Cheaper memory foam mattresses are more likely to be the type of basic memory foam that absorbs and retains heat and result in a hot, sticky, sweaty sleeping experience – even more so for heavier sleepers and even more so for heavier couples as well.
Memory foam mattresses with strong and stable edges will help prevent any significant sagging or collapsing near the edge when sleeping towards the sides of the mattress.
In some cases, memory foam mattresses struggle with this, especially the softer models which will compress and sag when sitting on the edge or sleeping near the edge. This is usually the case with cheaper memory foam mattresses which don’t have the more advanced foam densities or layers within them.
As mattresses are often used for more than just sleeping at night, such as sitting on the edge or more intimate acts, making sure to have proper edge support if you are heavier can be important. Choosing a firmer memory foam mattress model will often alleviate these issues.
Some mattresses offer edge support foam layers to make things firmer and prevent sinking down when sitting on the edge of the bed.
Memory Foam Benefits for Heavy People
Memory foam mattresses are great options for heavier individuals, as they are supportive and are known to relieve pressure points by providing even, consistent support that contours to your body, no matter what position you sleep in.
When choosing a memory foam mattress, make sure to take into consideration the material construction, breathability, and cooling materials used in them to ensure you don’t sleep hot.
Features such as a gel or latex used in the cooling and comfort layer, open cell structure, and breathable cover are important things to take into consideration, as well as mattress technologies such as Celiant and copper as well can help ensure a great sleeping experience for heavier than average people.
Summary: Best Mattresses for Heavy People
There are so many factors to consider when shopping for the best memory foam mattress for heavy people.
Overall, you’re going to want a mattress that:
- Is a 6-8 on the firmness scale, where 10 is the most firm
- Is on average, at least 11-12” thick
- Provides an exceptional level of deep compression support
- Provide great support to spine, hips and neck
- Sleep cool (due to a combination of construction and materials)
Best Mattress for Heavy People
Our top picks for the best mattress for heavy people are: