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Best Mattresses for Heavy People
Our Top Picks and Key Criteria

Last updated on August 19, 2020

In recent years, mattress makers have begun to design new options that cater more specifically to the needs of larger people. We’ve tested a number of these models, highlighted below along with some ‘regular’ mattresses that we also found to perform well for heavier folks (generally those over 250 lbs).

 

Which Mattresses Perform Best for Bigger People?

It's important to note that even for the heaviest person, weight is just one of many key factors to consider when choosing the right mattress for you. That's why we created the GoodBed Quiz. In just a few minutes, this quiz will help you assess your full mattress requirements, and will search across thousands of available mattresses to create a personalized “best mattress” list for you – based on all of your unique needs and preferences. No generic list of the "best mattresses for heavy people" (including the one below) can be nearly as useful or relevant as this, so we strongly urge every mattress shopper to start by taking the GoodBed Quiz.

That said, following is a list of mattresses that excelled in our tests for people at the heavy end of the weight scale. Read on below the list for more general guidance on what unique criteria larger people should consider when shopping for a mattress.

Saatva HD (read our review)

  • Why: The HD from Saatva is designed specifically for heavier folks, with heavier/stronger springs. It excelled in our tests for all sleeping positions, and for almost all weights, making it a great choice for couples where perhaps one person is big/tall and the other is petite. The body impression warranty is 1.5” – about average – and it has a Medium-Firm softness.
  • Pros: Supportive for all sleep positions, and for a wide weight range. Excellent pressure relief. Great edge support.
  • Cons: Isn’t compatible with an adjustable base. More expensive than some.

Titan (read our review)

  • Why: Designed for big/tall people, the Titan uses heavier gauge coils (coils made from thicker, stronger wire) for added support and durability. In our testing, support and spinal alignment were good to exceptional for a wide range of sizes and sleeping positions, although we did think it would be better for back and stomach sleepers than side sleepers. The body impression warranty is 1” – better than the industry average. It has a Firm softness level.
  • Pros: Great for both lighter and heavier back and stomach sleepers. Very good motion isolation and edge support.
  • Cons: Not as great for side sleepers as other positions. Good, but not great, pressure relief.

King Koil World Extended Life (read our overview)

  • Why: Designed for heavier sleepers, this King Koil bed comes in four softness levels, from medium-firm to extra firm on our scale, giving you a choice of feels. Its unique alternating row coil design provides support and comfort for both extremes of the weight spectrum simultaneously, which is difficult to achieve. It has the best warranty against body impressions we’ve seen – just 1/2” – which is especially impressive for a mattress that is specifically marketed to larger people.
  • Pros: Choice of feels (ranging from Extra Firm to Medium-Firm). Best-in-class warranty against body impressions. Excellent edge support.
  • Cons: Cannot be ordered online and can be hard to find in local stores.

WinkBed Plus (read our review)

  • Why: Designed for plus-size people, the WinkBed Plus uses a heavy-duty zoned coil system to provide extra support while still allowing for some conformance, a nice combo. In our evaluations, we found that the WinkBed Plus provides very good to excellent support in all sleep positions for a wide range of weights, from lighter to heavier. Pressure relief may not be the best for the lightest and curviest people, but is still good. The body impression warranty is 1.5” (average), and the softness level is Medium-Firm.
  • Pros: Very good spinal alignment across the board. Terrific edge support.
  • Cons: Pressure relief is not the best for the lightest people. Body impression warranty only average.

Helix Plus (read our review)

  • Why: This is Helix’s mattress designed for heavier people. In our tests, it was excellent for heavier back and side sleepers, with excellent pressure relief. We didn’t think it would be as supportive for the heaviest stomach sleepers. Its body impression warranty is 1” – better than average. It has a Medium-Firm softness level.
  • Pros: Excellent for back and side sleepers. Excellent pressure relief. Less expensive than many. Very good warranty.
  • Cons: Not as supportive for the heaviest stomach sleepers.

Brentwood Home Cedar (read our review)

  • Why: This hybrid mattress isn’t specifically aimed at heavier people, but in our tests, it performed quite well for back and stomach sleepers in the over-250 lb. range. It was okay for occasional side sleepers, but not for those who sleep primarily in that position. At 2”, the body impression warranty is worse than average. This mattress has a high degree of natural materials, and we rate it a Firm in terms of softness.
  • Pros: Exceptional for back and stomach sleepers of all sizes. Uses many natural materials.
  • Cons: Not the best for side sleepers. Body-impression warranty trails the competition.

Avocado (read our review)

  • Why: This mattress isn’t specifically designed for plus-size people, but in our back-support tests, it performed almost perfectly for heavier back and stomach sleepers (it was only fair for side sleeping). It’s made with a high degree of natural materials and has a better-than-average body-impression warranty of 1”. We classified it as a Firm on our softness scale.
  • Pros: Exceptional for back and stomach sleepers. Very good body-impression warranty. Uses a lot of natural materials.
  • Cons: Not recommended for side sleepers or for pressure relief.

Hybrid Infinity (read our overview)

  • Why: While not specifically marketed toward heavier folks, the Hybrid Infinity line uses what may be the heaviest gauge (strongest) coils in the industry. It features gel-infused memory foam on top for added comfort and pressure relief, and a cooling cover. It offers an exceptional non-prorated lifetime warranty with a much better than average body impression definition of ¾”. This product is sold exclusively by Sit N Sleep, the largest mattress retailer in Southern California, but is shipped nationwide.
  • Pros: Choice of feels (ranging from Firm to Medium). Very strong coils. Long warranty. Cooling features. Less expensive than many.
  • Cons: Memory foam may sleep warmer than other materials, and "memory feel" isn't for everyone. No refund if you return the mattress – exchange only.
  • Price$$

Pricing Key (queen-size): $ = less than $500; $$ = $500-$1,000; $$$ = $1,000-$1,500; $$$$ = $1,500-$2,500; $$$$$ = $2,500-$4,000; $$$$$$ = $4,000 and up

 

What Should Heavy People Look for in a Mattress?

For bigger people and couples (we’re talking about those over about 250 pounds), there are a few unique aspects to consider:

Stronger mattress support materials

The hardest thing for a heavier person to avoid in an ordinary mattress is sinking too far into the bed. The trouble is that most mattresses are designed with an average-sized person in mind. But an appropriate amount of ‘give’ to a 175-lb person can be far too much ‘give’ for someone who weighs twice that much. In addition, when a support unit is being compressed more during the night, it will wear down more quickly – so durability can be a much bigger concern. To find adequate support and proper spinal alignment as a bigger person, look for support materials that are both firmer and stronger.

With coils, this comes down to both the absolute quantity of steel as well as the design of the innerspring unit. The quantity of steel will be reflected in not only the number of coils, but also the number of working turns per coil and the thickness (aka, “gauge”) of the wire used to make the coil. All else being equal, more coils, more working turns, and a lower (thicker) gauge of wire will equal more rigid support and more durability for a heavier person. From a design standpoint, most higher-end mattresses today – even those designed for heavier people – utilize pocketed coils, which offer the added benefits of conformance and motion isolation. But it’s worth noting that heavier folks, especially stomach sleepers, are one group for whom connected coils can also be a good option.

Foam or latex support cores are generally not as good for heavier people but can work in some cases.  Once again, the key thing you’ll be looking for is more raw material. With foam, this means a combination of higher-density foam and a thicker slab of support foam. Heavier folks will be best off with a support foam layer that is at least 6” thick and that has a foam density of at least 2.0 pounds per cubic foot (vs. a typical good-quality all-foam online mattress, which has a support core density of 1.8 lbs.).

Higher quality comfort materials

The second-biggest mattress problem for heavy people involves inadequate pressure relief caused by sinking through the comfort layers of the mattress. In addition, added wear and tear on mattress padding can also lead to accelerated formation of body impressions on the surface of the bed.

To minimize the impact and/or likelihood of these issues, look for better-quality foam in the comfort layers of the mattress, as well as thicker layers of pressure-relieving foam.  Bigger folks will typically want a mattress that is at least 11” thick to make sure they don’t bottom out on it from a pressure relief standpoint. Stay away from thick quilting layers, which will have a tendency to pack down over time. In terms of foam quality, you'll want to look for higher density foam as the best, albeit imperfect predictor of longevity. Check our Durability Guide for more specific guidelines on what densities are good for different types of foam.

Better warranties

Although we typically caution consumers not to put much stock in warranties when comparing mattresses, we do believe that a warranty for a mattress that is specifically marketed to heavier people can be a strong and useful signal of the manufacturer’s confidence in that product. The biggest complaint about mattresses – especially amongst larger people – is that they stop springing back into shape, resulting in permanent body impressions that make you feel like you’re stuck in a hole.

Mattress warranties do include a guarantee against this, but they vary in terms of how deep that impression needs to be before they will repair or replace the mattress. This is the most important term in any mattress warranty – far more important than the length of coverage (see our Warranty Guide). The industry standard definition of an allowable body impression is 1 1/2”  for spring and hybrid mattresses and 3/4" for memory foam mattresses. Anything better (i.e., smaller) than that is a vote of confidence by the manufacturer. This would be true for any mattress, but it is particularly true for a mattress that is specifically marketing to a heavier customer base. Applying a heavier weight load on a mattress night after night will undoubtedly accelerate the formation of body impressions. So if a manufacturer is willing to offer a strong warranty on a product that will be used mainly by larger people, that gives us some real confidence in how that mattress is built.

Suitability for smaller partners

As part of every GoodBed mattress review, we discuss how spinal alignment and pressure relief will vary based on a person’s size and body shape – from small-framed side sleepers weighing less than 150 pounds, to bigger 300-pound stomach sleepers. In several cases, we were surprised to find that a mattress designed for heavy people was an equally good fit for certain lighter sleepers as well. Such mattresses can be a particularly good option for couples that have varying weights, as well as for people who simply want a mattress that is less likely to sag or show body impressions.

 

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