Sleep Guide is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. In addition, we occasionally receive free product in exchange for our honest opinion. Learn more

Being overweight can add a lot of undeserved stress and discomfort to your life. Sleeping should restore your energy and relieve your chronic pain, not make it worse.

So, when your mattress seems to be causing more pain than it relieves and saps more energy than it restores it’s time to purchase a new mattress…one that meets your specific needs.

Whether you realize it or not, as a heavier person, you need better edge support, better cooling technology, better support and better construction.

How Does Being Overweight Affect my Sleep

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines obesity as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater.

You can determine if you are overweight or obese by calculating your body mass index, which is determined by dividing how much you weight by your height, then dividing the total by your height again.

Weight(kg)

BMI=     ________________

Height (m)²

Obesity is an epidemic in the United States. According to the National Sleep Foundation ,65% of Americans are now overweight or obese, including 15% of children between the ages of 6 and 19.

That is terrible news for a country that is already running low on sleep. Obesity is a grave medical concern because the disease can have a tremendous effect on nearly every aspect of your health and wellness.

Obesity exacerbates existing health issues, degrades your body’s physiological defenses and contributes to the development of new health problems, such as:

  • Heart Disease and Stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gout
  • Sleep Apnea

In general, obesity makes everything more difficult, even sleeping and breathing. The excess body fat carried by those who are heavy or obese accumulates in the obvious areas around the stomach, hips, thighs, neck, arms, and face.

However, excess body fat also accumulates around the lungs, esophagus, and tongue which reduces the volume of air that can be drawn into the lungs and crowds the airway, making it harder for your body to take in the oxygen it needs.

According to the International Journal of Obesity obstructive sleep apnea is present in more than 50% of patients with a mean BMI higher than 40.0. Obesity can also lead to:

  • Snoring
  • Hypoventilation
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Overall decrease in sleep quality

What’s more, the combination of obesity and obesity related sleeping disorders exasperate each other’s symptoms.

According to the sleep specialists at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center, those who are suffering from sleep-related breathing issues or are overweight may be less motivated to incorporate diet and exercise into their daily routine.

Daytime sleepiness caused by sleep apnea can make it difficult to get effective daily exercise, which, in turn, makes it challenging to lose weight.

Research shows the best thing you can do to end the vicious cycle of obesity-related sleep disorders is to start getting the sleep your body needs to fight back against its obesity.

A mattress that is specially designed to alleviate obesity-related sleeping disorders is the key to achieving a great night’s sleep and waking rested enough to take on the extra challenges presented to the overweight.

What Does a Mattress Designed for the Overweight Do?

A mattress that is designed to alleviate the symptoms of obesity and obesity-related sleep disorders includes features that enable a healthy sleeping posture, provides support for the spine and relieves excess pressure.

The ideal sleep posture varies from person to person. In obese patients, however, most patients will also suffer from breathing-related sleep disorders, so the healthiest sleep posture is one that puts the least amount of stress on the airway and enables you to breathe easy.

According to a study found in the Journal of Sleep Medicine Reviews, most anatomical and effects of sleep apnea related illness is due to the effect of gravity on the upper airway. It has been shown in many individuals who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea that more than half suffer from at least twice as many apneas during sleep on the stomach as on the back.

In layman’s terms, that means that obese people have twice as many sleeping issues during the night when they sleep on their back, as opposed to when they sleep on their side.

Gravity exerts a force on the airway and allows the tongue to relax at the back of the mouth, further obstructing the airway.

A mattress that is designed for the overweight will not only be comfortable for those who carry excess body weight but will also make it easier to breathe, thus providing a comfortable, supportive and more restorative nights rest.

Choosing the Best Mattress for Heavy & Overweight People

When choosing the best mattress for heavy and overweight people, it is important to determine the answers to 5 questions.

How thick is the mattress? The thickness of the mattress is significant because heavier sleepers exert a more significant amount of pressure and weight on the mattress. If a mattress is too thin, you risk compressing the mattress beyond any benefits that it would provide.

For sleepers who weigh more than 200 pounds a mattress that is at least 12-inches thick is recommended as it will be more likely to provide greater deep compression support.

How firm is the mattress? How firm your mattress should be will ultimately be determined by your weight and what type of sleeper you are.

In general, the firmness level of a mattress is determined on a scale of 1(very soft) – 10(very firm). The ideal firmness for heavier individuals will fall between 5-7. Keep in mind, individuals who weigh more than 250 pounds will, on average, experience an extra 1-2 inches of sink on a mattress than lighter individuals.

Does the mattress have edge support? A mattress that lacks significant edge support can sag and slope toward the outer edge over time and with use.

Edge support is particularly important for heavier and overweight individuals who are more likely to need the extra support when getting in and out of bed.

How well does the mattress regulate temperature? Temperature regulation is an important facet to consider with any mattress; however, one of the most often heard complaints from overweight sleepers is “sleeping-hot” on standard mattresses.

A mattress that is well ventilated and remains cool throughout the night is recommended for sleepers who are heavy or overweight.

What type of mattress is it? In general, there are 4 types of mattresses, hybrid, latex, innerspring and memory foam.

The type of mattress that is best suited for you will be the one that provides the most supportive, comfortable sleep while enabling a sleep posture that is beneficial to your breathing.

Best Mattresses for Heavy & Overweight People

To be considered one of the best mattresses for heavy and overweight people the mattress should be at least 12-inches thick, fall between firmness level 4 and 7, and provide significant deep compression support.

It should also have superior edge support, regulate temperature and provides as much hip, shoulder neck and spine support as possible. Extra consideration is given to mattresses that are affordable and compatible with adjustable bed frames.

The final consideration is given to mattresses that provide the greatest benefit to sleep-related breathing disorders like sleep apnea and snoring which, studies show, are one of the greatest contributing factors to achieving restorative sleep when overweight.

Best Overall – Big Fig

Big Fig

The best overall mattress for heavy and overweight people is the Big Fig mattress because it is the only mattress specifically engineered to accommodate the special needs of overweight sleepers comfortably.

The Big Fig steams right to the front of the pack when it comes to mattresses advertised to heavier individuals. The Big Figs durable construction and special foundation enable it to provide extra support for individuals who weigh up to 500 pounds.

It also manufactured from high-quality materials that are known for regulating temperature and dissipating body-height.

The Big Fig is engineered with 5 distinct layers and a specially designed foundation that combine to provide all the support larger individuals could ever need.

The first layer consists of a quilted cover that blends gel and foam to provide the first inch of soft, enveloping comfort. The second layer is manufactured from 1.5 inches of gel-infused latex that provides a little bounce and the first level of responsive support for the spine, hips, and shoulders.

Beneath the layer of latex three individual 1-inch layers of polyfoam combine to provide the ever-so-important deep compression support. A 3-inch layer of high-density polyfoam provides edge support and is configured on top of a 7-inch-thick pocketed coil layer that are individually wrapped to provide superb motion isolation and reduce motion transfer.

The final section of The Big Fig mattress and the feature that makes it stand out from other mattresses is the foundation that is included with the Big Fig. The foundation is constructed from 16 1×3-inch slats of wood and 2 center rails that support the entire mattress and is specially designed to accommodate heavier weights.

The Big Fig is the best overall mattress for heavy and overweight individuals because it isn’t just a standard mattress that works well for overweight sleepers, it’s the only mattress that is designed especially for those who are overweight.

The Big Fig meets all of the qualifications of the best mattress for heavy and overweight people. It is well over 12-inches thick and thoroughly re-enforced to provide extra support and stand up to heavier weights. It provides the comfort of a soft, enveloping mattress with the firm support of a firm sleep surface designed for neutral spine alignment.

Most importantly is how well The Big Fig comfortably enables multiple sleep postures. Sleepers who choose to sleep propped up on a pillow or on their side to alleviate sleep-related breathing disorders can do so comfortable all night long.

Runner-Up – Winkbeds Plus

Winkbeds Plus
The Plus by Winkbeds mattress slides into runner-up on our list of best mattresses for heavy and overweight people. It is a formidable foe to the Big Fig mattress and only falters slightly because it doesn’t come with a reinforced base and the advertised target weight is slightly less (350 lbs).

The Plus mattress is a terrific mattress that performs exceptionally well for all sleepers, especially those who are heavy and overweight. If you’re a plus-size person and your partner is not they’ll likely find this mattress to be extremely firm. If that suits them then you’re both going to love this bed.

The Plus mattress excels at “sleeping-cool.” It features a Triple Layer material that disperses heat and maximizes heat reduction for comfortable sleep. As they put it, “Micro Airsprings sit beneath the Euro-pillow top, allowing your bed to breathe, and maximizing airflow around your body to reduce moisture.”

Another feature important to individuals on the heavier side of the spectrum is edge support. Our experience with Winkbeds is that their extraEDGE Support System provides a larger sleep area (say 15%) through enhanced edge support. Without fear of rolling off the bed, larger people are able to utilize more of the mattress throughout the night.

Now for the technical stuff. The Winkbeds plus offers an incredible 7-zoned support layer in addition to a separate 3-zone individually wrapped coil zone pinpointing different areas that need extra attention. Combine the lumbar layer and you’ve got an exceptionally well designed and constructed mattress that more than exceeds a heavier sleepers needs.

We’d be wrong not to mention that an independent lab put this mattress to the test and found that “the Plus by WinkBeds retained 99.2% of its loft and 98% of its firmness” over a 20 year span. This was a simulation using a 350lb person as the target weight.

Since we already loved Winkbeds (and hybrid mattresses in general) it’s a no brainer that a company who went out of their way to design a mattress specifically for heavier individuals should be given deep consideration. None of the other mattresses below on our list (or anywhere) go to such lengths.

Honorable Mention – Ghostbed

The Ghostbed mattress achieves honorable mention because it meets all of our qualifications for best mattress for heavy and overweight people while remaining affordable enough to purchase on nearly any budget.

The Ghostbed sleeps very cool. It is designed with gel-infused memory foam beneath a layer of aerated latex foam which prevent overheating and regulate an even temperature throughout the night.

Heavy and overweight individuals will love the variety of sleep postures that the Ghostbed makes comfortable. Sleeping on your side is just as comfortable as sleeping propped on a pillow which is great for sleepers who suffer from sleep apnea as a result of obesity.

The Ghostbed combines an extra soft latex comfort layer with a layer of memory foam beneath which allows you to sink into the mattress and alleviate pressure, without sinking too deep as to exert uneven pressure on the hips and neck. The uncomfortable pressure exerted on the hips, spine, and shoulders is almost entirely alleviated on the Ghostbed.

Durability scores are also high for the Ghostbed. All of the foam used in its construction are extra high-density which not only provides the Ghostbed’s terrific support but also increase the mattresses ability to withstand heavy use.

Upgrade to the Luxe for even more support and comfort.

Honorable Mention – All New Purple

Purple Mattress

Sleepers of all sorts cannot stop raving about the Purple mattress. Purple achieves an honorable mention for its innovative solution to a common problem faced by most heavy and overweight individuals.

The Purple mattress stands out from other mattresses in nearly every category because of the hyper-elastic polymer grid used in its design and construction. The hyper-elastic polymer grid is specially designed to evenly distribute weight and relieve uneven pressure, which coincidentally makes it ideally suited for anyone suffering from obesity.

Pressure maps indicate that the optimal sleep posture on the Purple mattress is sleeping on your side which makes it a comfortable choice for anyone who sleeps on their side due to obesity-related sleeping and breathing disorders.

The Purple mattress provides nominal support and pressure relief for the spine, hips, and shoulders regardless of sleep posture. That’s because beneath the hyper-elastic polymer grid is two layers of high-density polyfoam which provide the deep compression support that is so vital to achieving a good night’s rest.

Purple ranks between 6 and 6.5 on the mattress firmness scale placing it at the firmness level recommended for heavier individuals. It is also affordable, light and completely compatible with adjustable bed frames.

Honorable Mention – Casper Wave

The Casper mattress brand has been around for a long time and has a reputation for producing some of the better mattresses on the market today. That experience is clearly evident in the Casper Wave mattress.

The Casper Wave mattress, at 11.5-inches thick, falls just short of our qualification of 12-inches, but we’ll forgive them the half inch for the incredible amount of value that the mattress provides heavy and overweight sleepers.

The Casper Wave mattress is incredibly supportive and comfortable regardless of sleep posture. Casper combines 5 soft foam layers with responsive materials to provide significant pressure relief. It also provides incredibly strong support for back, side and stomach sleepers.

Those features rank the Casper Wave high amongst other mattresses concerning comfort, however, it is how well the mattress supports side sleepers that wins it the honorable mention on the list of best mattresses for heavy and obese people.

Those who sleep on their side will love the Casper Wave mattress. It enables the spine to remain neutral and free of uneven pressure.

This feature greatly contributes to the mattresses overall comfort levels and provides the most benefit to overweight individuals suffering from obesity-related sleep apnea.

Casper didn’t forget the importance of a luxurious feel when they designed the Casper Wave which is very impressive when you consider that it is one of the more affordable mattresses recommended to heavy and overweight sleepers.

Conclusion

The BigFig excels in every feature and provides the extra pressure relief and deep compression support that heavy and overweight sleepers need to achieve a restorative night’s sleep.

The BigFig mattress blows away the competition for the best overall mattress for heavy and overweight people because it is the only mattress designed specifically to meet the needs of heavy and overweight people.

Tim

Remember how your parents told you that you were going to sleep your life away? Well that would be perfectly fine with Tim. He's been in search of the most comfortable nights sleep for years and shares his findings with any willing ear.

View all posts

Add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sleep Like a Baby

Get tips, tricks and product recommendations to help you sleep through the night.

You're in! As a thank you enjoy $25 Off Our Favorite Pillow.

Pin It on Pinterest