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What Are The Best Mattresses For Heavy People?

How to choose the perfect mattress for a plus-size person, plus our top picks.

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. 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, you might be wondering ‘What is the best mattress for large people?’ Well, to achieve that optimum comfort level, you’ll need to learn about the different types of mattresses on offer to support heavier bodies. They are a little firmer and should support you more, ensuring a good night's rest.

While there is no specific evidence that the two are linked, anecdotal reports do suggest that overweight or larger people can be more likely to also suffer from aches and pains. Sound familiar? To counteract this problem, choosing the right mattress is essential. After all, we do spend up to a third of our lives in bed!

Plus size lady stretching 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 apnea 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. 

We’ve got a guide filled with tips on how to stop snoring while sleeping if this is something you’re struggling with. 

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 the neck to the lower back, without curving or bending.

A neutral spine position reduces the pressure placed on joints as well as minimises 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.

Plus size woman sleeping on her side in bed.

What is the best mattress 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 mattresses. So, there are mattresses for heavy people and to suit all body types.

Hybrid mattresses offer the best of both worlds. Innovative designs such as the Silentnight Miracoil mattress are taking night-time comfort to a whole new level with their specially designed, firmer-feeling open coil springs.

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.

Memory foam mattresses are available in a range of firmesses, from soft to extra firm, as well as various thicknesses and densities. Our Memory Foam Thickness and Density Guide will help, as it's important that you get the right memory foam mattress for your weight.

Our top pick for a memory foam mattress is:

Dormeo Octaspring Tribrid Latex Hybrid Mattress

This technologically advanced mattress uses memory foam layers and an incredible Octaspring® matrix of foam ‘coils’ that allow 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
Cropped image of the end of the dormeo octaspring tribrid mattress on a beige divan bed.

Hybrid mattresses

Hybrid mattresses combine the best of both worlds by marrying up a pocket-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. The best of both Worlds! For more information on how hybrid mattresses work, read our Hybrid Mattress Buying Guide.

Our top pick for a memory foam/pocketed spring hybrid mattress is:

Silentnight 800 Mirapocket Memory Mattress

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, which contour to the unique shape of your body.

  • Up to 800 Mirapocket springs work with the reactive memory foam layer for greater support
  • Eco Comfort Fibre is 100% recyclable and highly breathable
  • 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, with orthopaedic support
Close up of the corner of the silentnight 800 mirapocket mattress on a white background.

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. Pocket springs are able to provide fast, targeted relief to your pressure points for super effective support - our Pocket Spring Mattress Buying Guide will give you more information.

Our top pick for a pocketed spring mattress is:

Tuft & Springs™ Ortho Brilliance 2000 Mattress

This incredible orthopaedic mattress is firm, which is ideal for heavy people as you won't sink into the mattress, preventing you from getting the support you need. Instead, this traditionally hand-tufted mattress provides maximum support and posture control.

  • Up to 2000 firm pocket springs provide orthopaedic, targeted support to your heaviest pressure points
  • Layers of silk, wool, cotton, and cashmere cushion your body for intense relief
  • A 29cm depth is perfect for heavier people, letting you lay 'on' the mattress, rather than 'in' it
  • Highly breathable, hypoallergenic damask cover and air vents ensure maximum air circulation for consistent freshness
The tuft and springs ortho mattress on a grey divan with yellow accessories.

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 so you still get the support you need.

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 large people or the best mattress for overweight people is to choose a firmer option. If you need help understanding firmness, read our Mattress Firmness Guide.

Check out the full 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.

If you’ve found this helpful, we’ve also got a guide on all you need to know about the best beds for tall people, as well as many other helpful tips and guides.