Larger sleepers deserve a good night’s sleep just like everyone else, but they often have unique needs that mean the average mattress doesn’t do the job.
For this guide, we classify heavy sleepers as those weighing over 230 pounds, or above the societal average. We find this benchmark to be the most helpful when evaluating mattresses, acknowledging that “normal” weight can be very subjective. As the average weight in Western societies has been trending upward for a while, more people are entering this category—which means more people looking for suitable mattress options.
Sleepers in this category have a range of specific needs. They may sleep hotter, for example, which demands a cooler mattress. They may need extra support and a bed with a better durability rating. They might also need to consider firmer mattress options so that they don’t experience excessive “sink” when they sleep. All of these can make choosing a mattress tricky.
In this guide, we take a look at how being a heavier sleeper will affect your choice of mattress. We’ll also give you our top picks for the best mattresses for heavy sleepers of 2020.
Our Top Picks: Summary
The Best Mattresses for Heavy Sleepers: Our Top Picks
A heavy-duty mattress for heavy sleepers.Check Price
Why We Picked It
The Titan mattress from Brooklyn Bedding is an 11-inch hybrid bed. The 1-inch top layer is quilted memory foam, sitting on top of 2 inches of proprietary Titanflex foam. These layers rest on 6 inches of pocketed, individually-wrapped coils for strong support and high-quality motion isolation. The base layer is 2 inches of high-density foam that provides the bed with a solid foundation.
The Titan comes with a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty. Shipping is free in the contiguous US.
For heavy sleepers, the Titan has a lot to offer. The deep upper layers are quality foam that offers pressure relief and limits sinkage, while the pocketed coils offer excellent motion isolation and support. Rated firm, it will resist deformation and offer ample support for heavier sleepers. The optional top cooling panel is the perfect extra for those who sleep hot.
Keep in Mind
Lighter sleepers may find it too firm, so it’s not the perfect solution for couples in different weight categories. Couples in a similar weight range will get the most benefit.
In a Nutshell
- Deep foam layers resist impressions and sinkage
- High-gauge coils for strong support
- Optional extra cooling layer for hot sleepers
Luxury materials at an unbeatable price.Check Price
Why We Picked It
The Nectar mattress is a 4-layer, 11-inch memory foam bed. The quilted gel memory foam top layer provides comfort, with the deeper memory foam layers providing strong support. The mattress is of medium firmness.
The materials used in the Nectar are impressive at this price point, and you aren’t likely to find similar materials available at a cheaper price.
Beds for heavy sleepers can be on the expensive side, but not everyone can afford the premium. We picked the Nectar for its combination of quality and low cost. The mattress offers deep layers of memory foam for support and comfort and unparalleled quality at this price point.
Nectar’s “Forever” warranty is perfect for heavy sleepers, as many find that mattresses sag or lose their firmness before their expected lifespan.
Nectar also offers free delivery within the contiguous US.
Keep in Mind
A lack of edge support might not be ideal for edge sleepers, but this is a common memory foam issue and not unique to the Nectar.
In a Nutshell
- Extraordinary value for money
- Excellent contouring
- “Forever” warranty
The luxury expected of Saatva upgraded for heavy sleepers.Check Price
Why We Picked It
The Saatva HD is tailored specifically to heavy sleepers in the range of 300 to 500 pounds, extending the expected luxury of a Saatva mattress to larger weight ranges. It’s a hybrid 15.5-inch bed, combining an organic cotton top, a Talalay latex 5-zone layer of support, and a high-durability base featuring high-gauge coils. Sandwiched between the latex and coil layers is a contouring foam layer.
The option to customize your mattress is always a pro, and in that respect the Saatva HD offers foundation options of 4.75 inches, 8.75 inches, and a metal frame to accompany the mattress. This is ideal for sleepers looking for a whole bed upgrade.
Heavy sleepers will benefit especially from the high-gauge coils, which will provide the springiness of a coil bed without the coil fatigue and short mattress lifespan that heavy sleepers can sometimes experience.
The Saatva HD comes with white glove delivery including old bed removal and a 20-year warranty, which will ensure the bed lasts.
Keep in Mind
High price point means the luxury does come at a cost, though it’s a justified price.
In a Nutshell
- 20-year warranty
- Luxury materials for maximum support and comfort
- Optional foundations
Organic and natural materials for a back-to-nature bed.Check Price
Why We Picked It
The Avocado Green is an 11-inch (13-inch with pillow top) hybrid mattress with Dunlop latex and wool top layers, creating a breathable, temperature-controlled and organic bed.
The support layer consists of fabric-encased floating coils, arranged to create 5 separate zones of support for the joints and spine, and reduce motion transfer.
With a medium-firm rating, the Avocado Green mattress strikes a compromise between support for the spine and joints and the comfort of a soft mattress. The encased coils will create zones of support where they’re most needed.
Heavy sleepers may choose to purchase the add-on pillow-top, which provides an extra 2 inches of thickness and can help to limit impressions.
Avocado mattresses come with a 25-year limited warranty, broken down into a 10-year non-prorated period and an 11-25-year prorated period. Shipping and returns are free, and there’s a 100-night sleep trial included.
Keep in Mind
The Avocado Green may seem pricey if you aren’t looking for organic and natural materials.
In a Nutshell
- Organic and natural materials
- Wool construction wicks away moisture and offers more cooling
- Medium-firm rating is perfect for heavy sleepers
How We Chose the Best Mattresses for Heavy Sleepers
To choose our top mattress picks, we look at the key categories that help us put together an overall rating for the mattress. Here’s a quick look at the categories we use—you can find out more about our process here:
- Material Quality
- Edge Support
- Temperature Neutrality
- Motion Isolation
Special Considerations for Heavy Sleepers
To choose the best mattress possible, larger sleepers should keep the following in mind while shopping around:
Heavy sleepers tend to compress their mattress as they sleep. Strong support is a must-have to support the sleeper and to keep the bed’s shape. Sagging in the middle is a common symptom of a poorly-chosen mattress. High densities in latex and memory foam beds resist this kind of sagging, as do higher-gauge coils in innerspring and hybrid mattresses.
Heavy sleepers will usually want to aim for a mattress at least 11-12 inches thick. Compression, especially over time, is likely to become an issue. Choosing a thicker mattress will limit the impact compression has on the bed’s effectiveness.
Heavier sleepers place more stress on a bed, so durability ranks as one of the top considerations for larger sleepers to avoid issues like sagging. Durability is often a matter of quality, but it’s also important to take mattress type into account. For instance, a denser foam mattress will typically be more durable, and higher-gauge coils will have a longer lifespan.
A typical sleeper will look for a mattress in the medium to medium-firm range—anything firmer than this will be too much like lying on a marble slab for most people. Heavier sleepers may opt for something firmer than the average, however. This will prevent excessive “sink” into the mattress during sleep, which can compromise the bed’s ability to provide support and can lead to an uncomfortable night’s sleep.
Larger bodies more effectively retain heat, so many heavier individuals find they sleep hot as a result. This isn’t universal due to the differences between your core and perceived temperature. If you sleep hotter, you may need to choose a mattress with enhanced cooling technology or avoid mattress types (such as memory foam) that could make the problem worse.
For heavy sleepers with partners, choosing the right mattress can be trickier. If your partner is also larger, then you’ll need to essentially double the considerations above. For instance, you may choose a mattress suited for higher weight ranges than either of you individually. But a partner who’s lighter than you can also cause complications. The right mattress for you may be too firm for them, for example, which may result in more of a compromise. Motion transfer can also be a problem for larger couples, as even small movements can carry through the mattress.
Particularly with traditional innersprings, noise can be a real concern for larger sleepers. A creaky bed is likely to wake a partner and even the sleeper with the slightest movement. Choosing a quiet bed and materials like memory foam or latex can help to minimize this problem.
The Best Mattress Types for Heavy Sleepers
With so many options on the market, one of the most difficult parts of choosing a mattress is finding the right type for you. Some of the most popular options include memory foam, latex and innerspring, with hybrid mattresses combining elements of multiple types.
Heavy sleepers will need to think carefully about their needs when choosing a mattress type, as some will be more suitable than others. For instance, many heavy sleepers have experienced the short service life of a poor-quality innerspring. If choosing an innerspring mattress, a heavy sleeper should aim for a specialized design with better durability.
While memory foam mattresses can provide excellent, all-over comfort, they can sleep too hot for larger sleepers. A latex mattress might offer the right level of cooling while lacking edge support, and an innerspring may not offer the right level of comfort. By being aware of the potential cons of a design, you can decide whether these matter to you—and if they do, you can find an example of that mattress type that avoids the common drawbacks.
May sleep hot
Low-density memory foam can sink and lose its shape
Other Considerations When Choosing a Mattress
There are a few extra considerations to think about when choosing your mattress—ones that have nothing to do with your body weight.
It may be tempting to sacrifice material quality to lower the price, but better materials will often last longer. That makes settling for cheaper materials a case of false economy. Poor quality materials may also be more susceptible to other problems, like excessive off-gassing. When choosing your mattress, make sure that the materials are of a high enough quality to be durable, and check reviews for indications of the material failure rate.
With mattresses representing such a large investment, it’s important to shop around for the best price. It can be hard to determine the value of a mattress with so many variables involved, but doing the research could save you a considerable amount of money. By doing the legwork, you can often buy cheaper without compromising on features.
Choosing the right mattress is a personal matter and every sleeper has different needs. A mattress that looks good on paper won’t always be sure to suit you in practice. A sleep trial helps you decide whether a mattress is right for you without any commitment. Many mattress vendors provide generous sleep trials, so you can be sure your investment will work for you.
Take note of whether the seller also offers free collection on their sleep trials, or you may have to cover the return postage.
A quality mattress often comes with a large price tag. The best way to make sure you get your money’s worth is to choose a bed with a good warranty. If your mattress begins to show signs of failure—due to defects, not normal wear and tear—before its lifespan is up, you’ll be able to get a replacement without investing in a new mattress. For heavier sleepers, this is essential, as larger sleepers can put more stress on their mattress.
While you’re here, take a look at some of our other in-depth guides for sleepers: