How to choose a mattress for a heavy person

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How to choose a mattress picture of a couple on a mattress

This is a collaborative post.

Being heavy doesn’t have to mean discomfort at bedtime. The right mattress can provide support to avoid that sinking feeling while cushioning your body, helping relieve pressure whether you sleep on your back, front, or side.  

When choosing a mattress, you should focus on three elements:

  • Firmness.
  • Thickness.
  • Composition (materials).

Firmness

A mattress’s firmness level determines how much weight it can take before it dips and buckles. Since heavier people put more pressure on a mattress, finding one that evenly distributes your weight is crucial.

A mattress that is too soft will let your body sink into the bed, causing pressure points that can lead to pain and make it challenging to move around.

Generally, the best mattress for a heavy person is a firm mattress because the support system will stay rigid under load. Firmness is relative, so while firm mattresses feel rock hard to light people, they are relatively soft for heavy people. 

Another option if you have a lighter partner, or want something squishier, is a medium-firm mattress. Medium-firm mattresses are ideal for heavier side sleepers because the medium comfort layer helps reduce pressure points.

Thickness

A mattress’s thickness indicates its overall quality, with a thicker mattress generally having a better support system to distribute your weight.

However, firm mattresses are typically thinner than soft and medium mattresses because less material is required to deliver support. This can lead you down a rabbit hole where you look for a super-thick firm mattress that doesn’t exist.

Look for firm mattresses at least 25cm thick – a 25cm mattress is more likely to offer advanced support than a 22cm or 24cm mattress.

Composition (materials)

The best mattress technology for a heavy person is pocket springs because these springs operate independently, providing enhanced motion isolation and zoned support versus the cheaper open coil technology.

A higher spring count is generally better, but 1,000 pocket springs are all that is needed for a firm, supportive sleep surface.

The comfort layers above the springs are also critical to comfort. Memory foam and memory gel are soft with low responsiveness, contouring your body, while fibre and rebound foams respond almost instantly.

For heavy people, we recommend memory gel or rebound/reflex foam. Memory gel performs similarly to memory foam with enhanced heat dissipation, while reflex and rebound foam bounce back, assisting mobility.

Natural fillings are another option with mattresses like the Silentnight Mirapocket 1,400 Puriel. Natural mattresses are chemical-free, and the natural fillings are breathable, making them a decent option for heavy people.

Mattress recommendations


Pictured: Sleepeezee Jessica Support 5FT Kingsize Mattress. Available from Bedstar.

Sleepeezee Jessica Support

Price: £659 (king).

Built specifically for support, the Sleepeezee Jessica Support combines 800 zoned pocket springs with platinum and white fibre comfort layers for firm, lofty support. It has excellent motion isolation and keeps you cool with breathable materials.

Sleepeezee Pocket Gel Balance Plus


Pictured: Sleepeezee Pocket Gel Balance Plus 5FT Kingsize Mattress. Available from Bedstar.

Price: £759 (king).

The Sleepeezee Pocket Gel Balance Plus is 26cm thick with advanced Staycool gel foam, Sensifil fibres for a lofty feel, and 1,200 SoftTech pocket springs. This is a firm mattress with outstanding edge support and motion isolation.

Giltedge Beds Tranquillity


Pictured: Giltedge Beds Tranquility 2000 5FT Kingsize Mattress. Available from Bedstar.

Price: £799 (king).

The Giltedge Beds Tranquillity boasts 2,000 pocket springs and reflex/rebound foam fillings for a responsive sleep experience. It responds instantly to your movements, making it easy to move around and get comfortable.

Silentnight Mirapocket 1,400 Puriel


Pictured: Silentnight Mirapocket 1400 Puriel 5FT Kingsize Mattress. Available from Bedstar.

Price: £799 (king).

The Silentnight Mirapocket 1,400 Puriel is 28cm thick with 1,400 pocket springs and a sumptuous comfort layer filled with wool. The lofty surface is backed by firm support, with the best motion isolation in the business.

Summing up

When shopping for the best mattress for a heavy person, focus on firmness, thickness, and composition.

A mattress that is too soft will cause pressure points and make it difficult to move around, so look for a firm mattress with responsive materials.

Pocket springs are the best technology for support and motion isolation, and comfort layers should be either memory gel, rebound foam, or fibre.

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