7 Features Heavy Sleepers Should Look For in a Mattress

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Heavyweight sleepers have specific mattress needs that must be met in order to get a good night’s rest. A mattress that is too soft will sag, creating uncomfortable pressure points and preventing proper spinal alignment. A mattress that’s too firm won’t provide enough give, resulting in an equally uncomfortable sleep.

So, what should a heavy sleeper look for when shopping for a new mattress? Here are seven features to keep in mind.

1. Medium Firm to Firm Feel

Most mattress companies classify heavy sleepers as being over 230lbs. If you fall into this category, it’s important to look for a mattress with a firmness level that’s at least medium firm. Ideally, somewhere in the 7.5 to 8 range would be best, which would be considered a firm feel.

At this firmness level, the mattress will provide enough support to keep your spine aligned correctly while also being soft enough to cushion pressure points.

2. Hybrid Construction

Memory foam likely won’t be supportive enough when it comes to heavyweight sleepers. Instead, look for a hybrid mattresses.

A hybrid mattress combines both coils and foam layers to provide the perfect mix of support and comfort. The coils offer excellent spinal support, while the foam layers provide pressure relief for hips and shoulders.

3. Pocketed Coils

While we’re talking coils, it’s important to look for a mattress with pocketed coils. These are individually wrapped coils that move independently from one another, providing targeted support while also reducing motion transfer.

This is an important feature for heavyweight sleepers, as traditional innerspring mattresses can often feel bouncy and unstable. You don’t want your bed to feel like a trampoline, so pocketed coils can help create a supportive feel.

4. Pressure Relief 

Heavyweight sleepers are more at risk of waking up with aches and pains if they’re sleeping on an unsupportive mattress. Why? Excess weight equals excess pressure on your pressure points—particularly your knees, hips, and ankles.

To avoid waking up in pain, look for a mattress designed to relieve pressure, either through adjustable air chambers or a layer of memory foam.

5. Cooling Technology

Heavyweight sleepers tend to sleep hot. One study even found that having a higher body mass index (or BMI) contributed to more frequent hot flashes for women during menopause.

If you find yourself waking up in a pool of your own sweat, look for a cooling mattress. These may feature anything from special cooling gel memory foam to an airflow system that circulates air throughout the mattress.

6. Excellent Edge Support

If you sleep on the edge of your mattress to save space, or because you have a partner who hogs the middle, you know how important edge support can be. The last thing you want is to feel like you’re going to roll right off your bed in the middle of the night.

When shopping for a mattress as a heavyweight sleeper, look for one with reinforced edges. This will provide added support and help you get a good night’s sleep—even if you do end up sleeping on the edge. Check out our couples guide for more tips!

7. Responsiveness

A responsive mattress is one that quickly adapts to your body as you move throughout the night. This is important for all sleepers, but it’s especially important for heavyweight sleepers.

Why? A mattress that is slow to respond can cause you to sink too deeply into the mattress, which can create pressure points and won’t support a healthy spinal alignment. A responsive mattress will catch you before you sink too deeply, providing the support you need to stay comfortable all night long.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is memory foam better for heavy people?

Hybrid mattresses are generally the best option for heavy sleepers, as they provide a mix of support and comfort. However, memory foam mattresses can also be a good option for heavyweight sleepers.

Should a heavy person have a firm mattress?

Yes—a firm mattress is generally the best option for heavyweight sleepers, as it will provide the support you need to stay comfortable all night long. Look for one with at least a rating of 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale.

What qualities should I look for in a mattress?

Firmness level, material, edge support, and responsiveness are all important factors to consider when shopping for a mattress.


We all deserve to get a good night’s sleep. But if you’re a heavy sleeper, finding the right mattress can feel like an uphill battle. The good news is that there are certain features you can look for to find a mattress that will provide the support and comfort you need to sleep soundly all night long.

When shopping for a mattress, keep an eye out for firmness level, hybrid materials, pocketed coils, pressure relief, cooling technology, edge support, and responsiveness. These features will help you find a mattress that will provide the support you need to stay comfortable all night long.

Source List

Okifuji, A, et al. (2015). The association between chronic pain and obesity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4508090/

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). (2017). Obesity can lead to more severe hot flashes and other menopause symptoms. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170531084443.htm