Tips and comparisons to help you choose the best mattress.
Every person has unique set of considerations when it comes to finding the best mattress, including sleep position, health concerns, firmness preferences, and personal size and shape. The best mattress for a plus-size person will account for these differences, while still providing comfort and durability. In this article, we will go over survey results regarding weight and mattresses, and then cover best mattress types and tips to keep in mind when shopping.
Best Mattress for Plus-Size People, According to Research
We scoured the internet looking for scientific research, sleep trials, and owner surveys to see what the experts found created the best mattress for plus size people. While there does not seem to be much clinical research done so far on mattresses for heavier people (aside from bedsore prevention), one helpful source of information comes from SleepLikeTheDead.com. They compiled a sample of several mattress reviewers and identified a few trends to consider:
- People between 200-250 lbs ranked 10, 12, and 14 inch mattresses as above average for overall satisfaction. 8 inch mattresses ranked average and 6 inch mattresses ranked close to poor.
- People between 250-300 lbs ranked 12 inch and 14 inch mattresses as above average, with 10 inch mattresses ranking closer to average.
- People between 300-450 lbs ranked 14 inch mattresses as good, with 12 inch mattresses coming in closer to average. 10 inch mattresses came in below average, with 8 and 6 inch beds ranking as poor.
- In SLTD’s mattress rating surveys, heavier people reported the highest satisfaction for memory foam mattresses and latex mattresses, in that order.
So, what does all of this mean for the average mattress shopper? Well, it shows that mattress thickness is consistently important. In terms of thickness, the best mattress for plus-size people is around 12 inches thick. While people under 250 lbs report similar satisfaction with 10 inch beds, people over 250 lbs consistently report greater satisfaction with 12 and 14 inch beds. This is likely because thicker mattresses are able to better contour to the sleeper’s body, providing better pressure relief.
Overall, memory foam and latex ranked as the best mattress types over spring beds for two reasons – the materials are better at preventing pressure points and contouring than spring beds, and typically last years longer than spring beds. Water ranked higher than springs, but lower than foam, with mixed reports of comfort and durability.
How to Pick the Best Mattress for Plus-Size Comfort
Just to get it out of the way, there’s no need to be ashamed about mattress shopping as a “plus-size” buyer – everyone deserves to be comfortable and any store that makes you feel awkward isn’t worth your time.
But, know that not every sales person may be well-versed in plus-size mattress options. Doing your own research, learning about the various mattress materials, checking weight limits, and reading online reviews are all good ideas to ensure you come away with the best mattress for your needs.
Regardless of mattress type, the best mattress for larger people will need to have the following qualities:
- Thickness between 10-14 inches (or more possibly, if buying innerspring).
- Firmer mattresses will hold up better over time (and can be used with a topper for added softness).
- No low-quality foams or fiber fluff that is likely to compress and break down quickly.
- Trial period of at least 30 days, so you can ensure the bed will provide necessary support and durability.
- Total weight limit above you and your partner’s combined weight (if specified, many will only specify foundation ranges though industry average is considered about 750 lbs for queen/king sizes).
- A solid mattress foundation/frame or adjustable base that is rated to support you and your partner’s combined weight, plus the mattress weight. Many people prefer sturdy platform beds to boxsprings, which may be less durable over time.
Pressure point relief and support are very important to everyone, but can be of particular concern for larger people. Below are the most common mattress types, their pros and cons, tips for shopping and recommendations based on our research.
Latex is one of the most durable and supportive mattress materials available. Good quality, firm latex offers moderate contouring while maintaining support, and the strong, resilient foam holds up longer then comparable polyurethane foams.
The natural buoyancy of latex mattresses also makes them easier to move and get out of then memory foam. Since the layers are made of all-latex rather than lower-density poly foams, they often prove more durable as well. Brands that offer unglued mattresses may be preferable since individual layers can be replaced when they wear out.
When shopping for a latex mattress as a plus-size buyer, you want to select a firmer option at least 9″ thick, composed of all-latex (no springs or other foams). 100% natural latex is considered ideal for healthy materials and longevity, and comes in a range of firmness and thickness options.
All natural, all latex mattresses may be difficult to find locally, but can be found online from several retailers with decent return policies. The average price range of a latex mattress with these specifications can range from $1500-4000 or more. Based on our previous article comparing latex beds, we suggest natural latex mattresses from Astrabeds and Flobeds.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory foam is one of the best mattress types for pressure point relief because it molds to the sleeper rather than resisting pressure. This type of mattress also provides good support as it contours and allows the sleeper’s body to settle into a natural position.
Memory foam can also prove quite durable in medium and high density formulations. However, some people find slow-response memory foam difficult to move on, and may sleep hot on high density, temperature sensitive foams.
For plus-size shoppers, the ideal memory foam mattress would have a density over 4.0 lbs in the memory foam layers and over 2.0 lbs in the core support layer. It would also have a minimum of 4″ of actual memory foam, with the memory foam as close to the mattress surface as possible.
Mattresses with these specifications should run in the $1000-2500 range, though some luxury brands may be more expensive. From our articles comparing memory foam brands, we suggest Amerisleep, a plant-based temperature-neutral memory foam line, or higher density models from Serta iComfort , a gel-infused line.
Innerspring mattresses consistently rank least satisfactory both in general and among heavier owners. The leading issue is that, while initially comfortable, innerspring beds lose comfort as the upper layers compress which can happen within a few months to a few years depending on the brand and wear.
Another is that springs can place excess pressure on hips and shoulders while leaving a sleeper’s lower back unsupported, causing or exacerbating back pain. Motion transfer between partners and noisy springs are other common complaints.
While the addition of quality latex or memory foam layers can help, it does not solve the core issues with springs. However, innerspring beds are more widely available and can be cheaper so they remain popular. They can also be easier to get out due to their ‘bouncy’ nature, and some professionals recommend springs as the best mattress type for people with mobility issues.
If you prefer an innerspring mattress, look for one with at least 2 inches of firm blended or natural latex, or medium to high density memory foam. Offset coils may offer the best contouring and durability, th0ught pocketed coils will be best at motion isolation. Firm mattresses without fluffy pillowtops are likely to be most durable, and can be paired with a mattress topper for added comfort.
A decent innerspring mattress should run between $500-$2000 depending on materials included and thickness. Within the medium price range, the innerspring brand that seem to receive better ratings from plus-size reviewers online is Sealy, particularly models with offset coils.
Summary & Comparison
|Brand||Type||Avg Rating||Thicknesses||Durability||Warranty||Price Range|
|Astrabeds||Organic Latex||4.6 / 5||7"-13"||B+||25 yr ltd (0.75")||$1799-2999|
|Flobeds||Latex||4.1 / 5||9"-12"||B+||20 yr ltd (1.0")||$1779-2899|
|Amerisleep||Memory Foam||4.5 / 5||8"-14"||B||20 yr ltd (0.75")||$849-1899|
|iComfort||Memory Foam||4.1 / 5||8.5"-13.5"||C||25 yr ltd (0.75")||$1074-2774|
|Sealy||Springs||3.7 / 5||7"-22"||C-||10-20 yr ltd (1.5")||$500-2500|
Choosing the best mattress requires some research and time no matter what your needs are. There are many variables that affect personal comfort and durability, so be sure to look at the bigger picture. Based on others’ experiences, a plus-size person is most likely to be comfortable on a 10-14 inch latex or memory foam mattress.
While your individual preferences may vary, this can provide a helpful starting point for research and shopping. And, don’t forget to check warranty terms and return policies, especially when trying a new mattress type. In sum, when looking for the best mattress for a plus-size person, the primary factors to keep in mind are the materials used in the bed, the depth of the mattress, firmness, and guarantees.