Best Mattress for Heavy Sleepers
There is no one mattress that’s right for everyone, as people have different sleep needs, sleep styles and naturally, different bodies. And those who are heavier sleepers may feel intimidated into believing that finding a mattress that can fully support them is an arduous task.
But your body type shouldn’t keep you from sleeping on a high-quality bed. And that is why we’ve put together this guide to finding the best mattresses on the market for heavier people.
Our First Recommendation: Zoma Mattress
The Zoma Mattress may not seem like the obvious first choice for a heavy sleeper. Though the mattress is made and marketed to boost athletic performance, the Zoma bed is designed to promote better sleep in general.
We created the Zoma Mattress to bolster your daily performance by helping you get deeper and better rest. We designed this bed with cutting-edge mattress technology to be comfortable for the majority of sleeping positions and promote healthy spinal alignment.
The Zoma Mattress stands at 11 inches, with three layers of foam to provide you with a supportive mattress that will still cradle you throughout the night.
When examining the Zoma’s layers, we’ll find:
- A mattress cover that’s made with a polyester blend that includes elastane. Elastane is an elastic material that adds breathability by creating air channels in the cover.
- The first layer is soft and conforming, 2 inches of gel-infused memory foam with a density of 2.5 pounds. The cooling gels keep you from sleeping hot and promote breathability. The memory foam relieves pressure and can ease pain as you sleep.
- The first layer also contains the unique Triangulex™ material and design. The layer’s foam is solid in the midsection to support where most of your body weight will be. The foam is then segmented into triangle-shaped cutouts at the shoulders and legs. The triangles provide added comfort to needed areas, while not skimping on support where it’s most needed.
- The second layer is designed to promote muscle recovery with 2 inches of a highly-responsive foam called Reactiv™. Reactiv™ is closer to the feel of latex than traditional foam with its bouncy responsiveness. The layer has a density of 3 pounds to provide support and transition between the plush top layer and the support core beneath.
- The third layer is 7 inches thick with a density of 1.8 pounds, a core of durable foam known as Support+. This is the foundation of your bed and promotes stability and longevity.
The Zoma Mattress is capable of taking on a large load, as it’s able to hold 400 pounds per side for an 800 pound total. And with a price tag of $699 for a queen mattress, the Zoma Mattress is an absolute bargain when it comes to getting what you need for a good night’s sleep.
The Zoma Mattress comes with a risk-free 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty. If during the sleep trial you decide the mattress isn’t for you, Zoma will work with a local partner to pick up and recycle your mattress. No need to hang on to the box.
Our Second Recommendation: Zoma Hybrid
We designed our Zoma Hybrid to offer bouncier, firmer support than our original memory foam mattress. The responsive coils are sturdy, able to stand straight even under great amounts of pressure. The top comfort foams ensure that the Zoma Hybrid offers the same restorative features as the classic Zoma Mattress.
The Zoma Hybrid has four layers, wrapped in a mattress cover:
- The cover fabric is a stretchy polyester blend.
- The first layer is 2 inches of gel memory foam for a cool night’s sleep. This layer also includes triangular cutouts in the shoulder and leg areas. These cutouts improve the bed’s contouring and cooling abilities.
- The second layer contains a bouncy material known as Reactiv™. Reactiv™ foam adapts to your movements and prevents you from sinking in too deep.
- The third layer is 7 inches of pocketed coils. Coils are “pocketed” or wrapped in packets to improve their motion isolation. Otherwise, the slightest movement you make could cause the entire mattress to bounce.
- The fourth layer is an inch of firm foam. The foam gives the coils a sturdy surface to push off from, promoting stability.
A queen size Zoma Hybrid costs $999. Every Zoma mattress includes a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
Finding The Mattress Best For You
It can be intimidating shopping for the best mattress, with the wide selection that’s available on the market. To truly know what is the right mattress for you, you’ll need to have a thorough knowledge of all that you should consider as you look.
Your typical sleeping position is always something to have in the forefront of your mind as you shop for your perfect mattress, as it will majorly influence what firmness of a mattress is right for you. Take note of the positions you fall asleep in and the positions you wake up in.
Side sleeping is the most common sleep position, and may be the best position to prevent back pain. But as a side sleeper, your hips and shoulders can take a lot on your body weight as you sleep.
You’ll want a medium or soft mattress as a side sleeper. If the mattress is too soft, and your hips and shoulders may sink too far into it. Too firm, you may spend more of the night tossing and turning from your arm falling asleep, and wake up in the morning with hip pain.
Heavier sleepers may prefer to sleep on their back, as it distributes your weight more evenly. When looking for a mattress, think about how it will support and care for your spine’s natural alignment.
Back sleepers should look for a medium-firm to a firm mattress. Too soft will have you sinking too deeply into the mattress, leading to pain. Too firm, and the curve of your lower back will lack support, another path to pain.
If you’re a stomach sleeper, we recommend changing up your sleep style if you can. It’s seen as the unhealthiest sleep position because of the damage it may do to your spine. As you sleep on your stomach, your center of gravity moves to your midsection. Your stomach may then sink into the mattress and overextend your spine, if your mattress isn’t firm enough.
If switching to a new sleeping style isn’t feasible, then a firm mattress can help to prevent harm from sleeping on your stomach.
A majority of people are combination sleepers, which means they change positions throughout the night. If you are one, you’ll want a mattress that’s a good balance between the sleeping styles you shift between.
There are four mattresses you’ll want to keep in mind as you shop: memory foam, latex, innerspring and hybrid. While there are a few other types on the market, these are the main ones you’ll want to concern yourself with.
Memory foam takes its inspiration from NASA technology and has grown in popularity through the idea of a bed-in-a-box, where a company can compress and roll up a mattress for easy home delivery.
The appeal of memory foam is in how well it takes a sleeper’s weight. The material is made from polyurethane with additional viscosity for better responsiveness. Bodyweight is dispersed and the foam contours to the sleeper’s body without any resistance or pressure. This relieves pressure points across the body and provides lower back support.
You may have been told that as a heavier person, you shouldn’t use a memory foam mattress. That is not true, you simply have to be a smart shopper when it comes to selecting a memory foam mattress, looking at the layers, thickness, and support each one offers. It may take time, research, and some trial and error, but it will be worth it to wake up without aches, soreness, or back pain thanks to the foam’s pressure relief.
Memory foam also absorbs and isolates movement, ideal for those sharing a bed with a partner. The bed will prevent your partner’s movement from disturbing your sleep. Different densities of memory foam are available to provide the support needed for a wide variety of sleepers.
The foam that makes up most memory foam is heat activated, which can lead to an uncomfortable overheating sensation that will disturb your rest. Some companies combat this by using cooling gels in their foam mixture, others copper or graphite. Others such as Amerisleep use plant-derived oils and extracts. Not all memory foams are made the same.
When you’re looking at a foam bed, check if the density is listed for each layer. The density refers more to the support a bed offers than to its inherent firmness. A high-density bed should offer more support than a low-density bed. The top layer of the mattress should be the densest layer, as that will be where support is most needed.
Latex mattresses are made from natural or synthetic rubber. It allows for a more breathable material than basic memory foam and has more of a bounce to it, while memory foam is a more cradling material.
There are two processes that are used to create the latex, Dunlop and Talalay. Dunlop is the more common and uses less energy to make the latex. Talalay has a few more steps to the process, so it takes more energy to create it.
Latex is strong and durable thanks to its structure, increasing its average lifespan and ensuring that long-term use won’t leave the deep body impressions you may find in other mattress types. But because of latex’s natural density, its mattresses can be on the firmer side. Some brands counteract this with plusher or softer top layers.
If you’re considering a latex bed, we recommend choosing one with a natural latex rather than one with a synthetic blend. However, if you have a latex allergy, you should avoid these types of mattresses altogether.
The popularity of innerspring mattresses is on the decline, with other mattress types on the market that seek to provide a better’s night sleep than the original mattress. But there’s still quality innerspring mattresses being manufactured.
High coil counts with enough padding can offer the firmness needed to sooth moderate pain in the neck, shoulders, back, hips and your legs. We do not recommend any innerspring mattress with a coil count that’s lower than 340, as they may not provide sufficient support.
Innerspring mattresses typically lack customization options. The fact that it can’t mold to your body as well as other mattress types may mean a lack of critical support needed to alleviate or prevent any chronic pain.
A hybrid mattress is, as the name implies, a sort of a mixed mattress, taking foam layers and pairing them with the coiled springs of an innerspring mattress. Often the layers are memory foam or latex foam, but sometimes you’ll find a mix of the two.
Hybrids are often some of the more expensive mattresses on the market, as they are a combination of high-quality materials.
As a heavier person, you need to consider how your bodyweight will be distributed around the mattress while you sleep. And you don’t want to wake up in the morning with any soreness or pain because of a mattress that could not provide you with adequate support. For a good night’s sleep, you’ll likely want a mattress that’s on the thicker side.
Why a thicker mattress? A general rule of thumb is that a taller, thicker mattress offers more support and will be better equipped to prevent you from unneeded sinking into it. As you lie down and sleep, your shoulders, hips, and stomach may take too much pressure from your body weight falling into those areas. Extra support can help provide extra cushion for these spots, preventing any aches or injury and ensuring you get a better night’s sleep.
So where to start? Mattresses can come in a wide range of thicknesses, from 5 inches thin to 20 inches thick, so what should you get? That can depend on the exact mattress type and the construction and combination of its layers. But ideally, look for a mattress that’s at least 12 inches thick, and it would probably not be a good idea to go for anything less than 10 inches.
It can depend on the construction of the mattress, though. Some have layers specifically designed for more support, which can allow you to have a thinner mattress suitable for a heavier person.
And take a close look at the first layer’s height. A thicker comfort layer will allow your body more room to comfortably sink into the mattress.
It’s all relative when it comes to the firmness of a mattress. Think of a reversed Goldilocks and the Three Bears, with three people and one mattress. One may say the mattress is too soft, one may say it’s too firm, and the last could declare it to be just right.
That said, we’ve discussed how sleeping styles can play a part in what firmness is right for you. And as a heavier sleeper, a mattress that’s designed to be soft may not provide the needed support for your body weight.
A firmer mattress is more likely to be durable enough to last you several years and still deliver the support you need to sleep well. For a heavier sleeper that likes a softer mattress, try a medium-firm for a good mix of solid support and plush cushioning.
Edge support is used to describe how well a mattress keeps you up when you’re lying down near or sitting upon the mattress’s side. A lack of it means you may roll off your mattress or be unsupported if you sleep near the edge.
A larger sleeper will want a mattress constructed with enhanced edge support, for a mattress that’s sturdy throughout and provides maximum surface area.
Sleep Trials, Returns, and Warranties
Thanks to the bed-in-a-box movement, sleep trials are everywhere when it comes to today’s mattresses.
Typically, they’re offered for 90 to 120 nights. A nice long stretch of time is needed to determine if a mattress is the right fit for you, as the time it takes for you to fully acclimate to a new mattress is about a month. Don’t set your opinion in stone after only the first few nights, but don’t feel like you’re settling when it comes to your mattress either.
Warranties are often factored into the mattress’s price, so a lengthy warranty can be worth it to know you won’t have to instead spend the money on a new mattress too soon.
And never buy a mattress that lacks a warranty. When buying a mattress you’re buying something that’s meant to last you years and years, and if a company isn’t willing to guarantee you those years against defects such as sagging, then what does that say about its faith in its product?
Frequently Asked Questions
Just a quick definition, a foundation is a wooden or metal frame with a sturdy, flat board attached to the top. This is to be placed on the bed frame between the headboard and the footboard or used on its own, to give your mattress even support. It is not the same thing as a box spring. Ultimately, the best support system for your bed will depend on the mattress type you use.
For all-foam beds, particularly memory foam, a box spring is a big no-no. A traditional box spring can shorten your foam mattress’s lifespan by damaging its support and consistency. Using a box spring can even void the warranty on your mattress. Instead consider adjustable bed frames, foundations, and platform beds for a foam mattress.
Hybrid and innerspring mattresses allow for a bit more flexibility, typically pairing well with either a box spring or a foundation. They also pair well with most bed frames.
Much like you would for a mattress, check what the listed weight capacity for a foundation is as well, to be sure it can provide the support needed. Check also its trial period and its warranty. Many have limited warranties that last between three to 10 years.
Mattresses can run the price gamut from less than $300 to more than $3000. With such a wide selection, it can make it intimidating to know whether or not you’re buying a quality product. The answer, not to sound like a cop-out, depends on what exactly you want and need out of a mattress.
To start, you’ll want to approach your purchase as an investment you’re making— a mattress is meant to last you for years to come. But you needn’t buy the most expensive mattress available to ensure you have a quality bed. In fact, many people can find a top-rated mattress for under $1000.
And when you buy a mattress, you’re buying not just the physical mattress but also a guarantee of quality with its sleep trial and limited warranty. Think about what each mattress comes with when you compare prices, as you’ll want to be confident that a bed is right for you instead of settling for a mattress that’s not a perfect fit.
Consider also what else you might need to buy besides a mattress. If you’ve used a boxspring with a previous innerspring mattress, but now you want to purchase a memory foam mattress, then you’ll likely need to buy a foundation as well. Factor that into your budget as you shop.
When you’re searching for a mattress that’s suitable for a heavy person, always look for a listed weight limit. A good queen mattress should be able to hold between 300 and 500 pounds per person. Reach out to the company if no listed weight limit is immediately obvious, and consider it a warning sign if there’s no easy way to contact them or your question goes unanswered after a lengthy period of time.
And take the time to skim through the customer reviews for a mattress as well. See what customers are saying about a mattress’s firmness— if it alleviated or added to any back pain or other body aches, or if there’s a noticeable new mattress smell or not. And read any stories about how the company handled any defects. Consider what’s important to you in a mattress as you read along, and if what is being said lines up with what you need.
Know What Mattress You Want Now?
Our aim in compiling this guide is to leave you with the knowledge needed to browse the mattress market on your own for the bed that’s the absolute right fit for you. Remember that material, type, edge support, thickness, your sleep style and the reviews of other customers are all factors other than price to consider as you shop. And please feel free to reach out to us with any comments or questions in the comment section below!
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.