The type of mattress you buy depends on several factors. But to ensure you get a great night’s sleep every night, there is one very important consideration to include. That’s your weight. So what are the best mattresses for heavy people? And what do you need to consider when making your choice?
If you’re a little on the larger side, to achieve that optimum comfort level, you may need to look at the types of mattresses for heavy people. They are a little firmer and should support you more, ensuring a good night's rest.
While there is no specific evidence to suggest that the two are linked, anecdotal reports do suggest that overweight or larger people can also suffer from aches and pains. To counteract this problem, choosing the right mattress is essential. After all, we do spend up to a third of our lives in bed!
What sleep issues could affect heavier people?
While snoring may be regarded as simply an annoyance to your partner, it can be an indication of a more serious respiratory issue. In heavier people, snoring can indicate that fat around the neck is pressing on the soft tissue of the throat. This can in turn lead to sleep apnoea. In particular Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, which is when you stop breathing for short periods during the night.
Sleep apnoea can set up a cycle of poor health. Constantly interrupted sleep or poor-quality sleep can lead to much more serious health conditions over time.
Other problems that can affect heavier people are aches and pains, with back and joint pains a particular issue. The correct levels of support and comfort can make a huge difference and help to alleviate lower back and hip pain.
Position matters - are you a back, front or side sleeper?
The consensus is that sleeping on your side is the best option. Not only does it ensure that your airways stay open (which can help to reduce snoring). But it’s also the best way to achieve a ‘neutral spine’ position. This is when the spine sits in a straight line from neck to lower back, without curving or bending.
A neutral spine position reduces the pressure placed on joints as well as minimising the possibility of pressure points at the neck, lower back, and hips. Find out how to pick the right mattress in our in-depth guide – Best Mattresses For Side Sleepers.
If you prefer to sleep on your back, it is possible to achieve a neutral spine position. But you will need to look at a slightly softer mattress. However, if you suffer from sleep apnoea, sleeping on your back may make things worse, especially if you’re carrying a little extra weight.
If respiratory issues are interrupting your sleep, you may need to try and ‘retrain’ yourself to sleep on your side.
Front sleepers can also be at risk of respiratory issues. Any excess fat around the neck and throat will compress the soft tissue of the throat, restricting the airways. While a firmer mattress may help if you’re a front sleeper, again, it’s an idea to try other sleeping positions if at all possible. Most notably on your side or in the foetal position.
What are the best mattresses for heavy people?
There’s a huge variety of mattresses on offer these days, from space-age memory foam mattresses and latex foam mattresses to the more traditional pocketed spring mattress. So, there are mattresses for heavy people and to suit all body types.
Hybrid mattresses offer the best of both worlds. While innovative designs such as the Silentnight Miracoil mattress are taking night-time comfort to a whole new level.
Memory foam mattresses
If it’s good enough for NASA, it’s good enough for us! Memory foam was originally designed for the space program. But has found its natural home in mattresses around the world. This dense foam moulds and shapes to the contours of your body. But immediately regains its original form as soon as the weight is removed.
The density of memory foam means that it doesn’t compromise on support either. It ensures that the spine is kept in that all-important neutral position, and that pressure points are minimised. Because the foam cushions and moulds around the body, it’s easier to find a comfortable position and to maintain that position for longer. So there’s less chance of tossing and turning interrupting your night’s rest.
Our top pick for a memory foam mattress is:
This technologically advanced mattress uses memory foam layers and their Octaspring® matrix of foam ‘coils’ that allow the air to flow through. This creates a cooler sensation. So if you suffer from night sweats, this is the mattress to choose. The natural latex layer moulds to the shape of your body, giving you cushioned support from your neck down to your ankles.
- Memory foam and latex layers deliver outstanding cushioned support
- Octaspring® matrix allows the mattress to ‘breathe’, creating a cooler, healthier environment
- Even weight distribution eliminates pressure points and also prevents ‘roll together’ and movement transference for a more peaceful night’s sleep
- Multi-zone design responds to your body, making it ideal for heavier sleepers of 230lbs (104kilograms) and above
Hybrid mattresses combine the best of both worlds by marrying up a sprung core with memory foam layers. The sprung core gives you that additional firmness and support. While the memory foam layers provide a more cushioned feel that moulds to the shape of your body.
Our top pick for a memory foam/pocketed spring hybrid mattress is:
Using Silentnight’s patented and unique Miracoil system, this mattress delivers outstanding support and comfort. The medium to firm support is ideal for heavier users of around 230lbs and above. The design incorporates a sprung core with layers of memory foam.
- 800 Mirapocket springs work with the reactive memory foam layer for greater support
- Eco Comfort Fibre is 100% recyclable
- Hypoallergenic, for a healthier sleeping environment. Ideal for those with allergies or respiratory conditions
- Medium-firm rating suitable for heavier sleepers. Ideal for side and back sleepers
Pocketed spring mattresses
The traditional method of creating a mattress is to use high-tensile steel springs that are then positioned in a matrix and surrounded with layers of soft fibre filling. This fibre is then hand-tufted to keep it from moving around.
Today, pocketed spring mattresses use individual cloth pockets to encase the springs. This is so that they can act both independently and as part of a matrix. This stops motion transference and delivers a more balanced, supportive feel with optimum comfort.
Our top pick for a pocketed spring mattress is:
Comfort and support should also have that all-important third factor – luxury. They don’t come much more luxurious than this premium quality mattress. It uses natural fibres including silk and wool for an unbelievably comfortable and soft feel.
- Fine-quality British wool fibres and silk damask cover makes this a luxurious choice
- 2000 individually pocketed springs deliver outstanding support and a medium-firm feel
- Double-sided so can be flipped and turned regularly
- A greater level of support makes this perfect for front and side sleepers and those who are a little heavier.
What to consider when choosing your mattress?
When choosing the right mattress, it’s important to consider the construction and the level of support provided. For heavier people (those over 230lb), a firmer rating should deliver the right amount of support.
If you prefer the feel of a softer mattress, an option would be to combine a medium-firm or firm mattress with a soft mattress topper. This will give you the cushion-soft feel but with no compromise on the amount of support provided.
Don’t forget about your pillows, either. The right pillow can make all the difference to the quality of sleep you get. If you’re a back sleeper, a slimmer pillow may be better as it will keep your upper spine and neck aligned. It will also avoid any compression of the throat (especially important if you suffer from sleep apnoea).
How firm should a mattress be for heavy people?
Generally, the firmness rating should fall between medium and medium-firm. However, if you are a front sleeper, a firm mattress may be a better option. Orthopaedic mattresses deliver a greater amount of support. But they can sometimes feel a little too firm. In that case, a mattress topper may be a good compromise.
A soft mattress won’t give you the support you need to achieve that neutral spine alignment that can prevent aches and pains. So our advice when you’re looking for the best mattress for heavier people is to choose a firmer option.
Check out the range of mattresses available at MattressNextDay and you’ll discover a huge selection of memory foam, hybrid, pocketed spring and even natural fibre mattresses. They are all available with free UK delivery across mainland Britain.