Choosing A Mattress For Large People: Ten Tips To Get It Right

Photo of author

This post may contain affiliate links, and we will be compensated if you buy after clicking on our links.

mattress for large peopleChoosing A Mattress For Large People Needs Some Extra Thought

So, you need to buy a new mattress. You want to make sure you get it right the first time, which can be hard and overwhelming if you’re looking at all your online options. We all have different requirements when it comes to what we need from a sleep surface, and choosing a mattress for large people is a task that needs some special attention to get right.

If you weigh about 230lb or over, this article outlines exactly what you should be looking for in a mattress that is best going to support YOU.

  1. We will look at the technical aspects you need to understand to help you find the mattress that is going to be the most comfortable and supportive for you.
  2. We will also cover some of the other things you may need to consider that will have an impact on the mattress you choose.

Seven Factors You Need To Consider When Deciding On A Mattress

1. Quality Materials

You will want to make sure that whatever your mattress is made from, be it a hybrid, foam or latex, that those materials are excellent quality.

  • High quality materials will mean your mattress will last longer, keeping you comfy and well rested for longer.
  • Some quick indicators of good quality materials are:
    • Dense foams
    • Natural latex
    • Natural cover materials with hand tufting (hand tufting helps hold everything in place, and is a really nice touch)

2. Mattress Type

In general, a hybrid mattress is a great mattress for large people. This is because the support system in a hybrid mattress is made from individually wrapped pocket springs, which tend to be a better support for heavier body weights. That is not to say that you MUST choose a hybrid. 

Latex mattresses are also very supportive, and a memory foam mattress CAN be a good choice but you must choose very carefully if you are choosing memory foam. In fact, in all my research I have done on mattresses, I have actually only come across ONE memory foam mattress I would feel comfortable recommending to you. Other review sites will disagree with me and recommend you some other brands, but I feel that this one is the only one I can happily recommend you try.

Each mattress type has a different lifespan, but you can typically expect to get about eight years of really comfortable sleep from a good quality mattress if you look after it.

3. Mattress Height

When choosing a mattress for large people, you are best to go for a mattress that is at least 12 inches high. This will instantly rule out many of the flimsier mattress in a box companies for you, as 10 inches is a common standard for cheaper mattresses. The higher a mattress is, the more layers of material , and the more durability and support you can usually expect from it.

However, just like everything else in this world, there are exceptions to the rule. I have come across some excellent mattresses for large people that are less than 12 inches in height. They have other amazing qualities that make them work despite their lower height. One of the mattresses specifically designed for heavier people comes in at 11 inches. You can read all about that mattress and my only other picks for heavy people here.

4. Firmness

Heavier people need firmer mattresses. Therefore, you are going to want to choose a mattress that is rated at least medium firm, or about 6.5 – 7 out of 10 for firmness. The reason for this is that when your body weight is heavier, you put more pressure through the mattress when you lie on it. For the mattress to be able to give your body the support it needs and deserves, it needs to be firm. A soft mattress will have you feeling like you are falling through the bed.

memory foam vs latex mattress

5. Temperature Control

With a larger body mass, you produce more heat as you sleep. Choosing a mattress that has excellent temperature control will help dissipate that heat and keep you comfy through the night. This is another good reason to choose a hybrid mattress over one with a foam base, as air circulates better through the coil support system than it can through a foam support.

Look for mattresses with natural materials such as cotton or wool in the cover, or technology that is cooling. Memory foam can be an acceptable choice if the comfort layers are infused with gel particles and the support layers have design features such as channels or holes to allow air circulation. Latex naturally dissipates heat so a latex mattress or a hybrid with a latex component is great.

6. Edge Support

Strong edge support is important if you sleep near the edge of the bed (or kids or pets join you in the night and push you off) or if you like to sit on the side of your bed. Again, hybrids are usually the best choice in this regard, because the pocket springs are usually encased in a layer of high density foam that runs right around the whole outer of the bed. Memory foam mattresses tend to perform poorly for edge support.

7. Sleep Trial

Buying a mattress online is a big deal, and you want to be sure you’re getting it right. It can be hard to get your head around the fact you haven’t tried the mattress in store. It can take anywhere from two weeks to a whole month to feel confident that a mattress is actually the right fit for you. And as a larger person who needs the right support, this is especially important. Look for companies that offer you a sleep trial of 100 nights or more.

Three Other Considerations For Your Purchase

  1. Do you share a bed with a partner? If you do, and they are lighter than you, they might find a firm mattress too firm. Lighter people tend to need a softer mattress as they need it to “give” a little underneath them. Choosing a medium firm mattress with some quality comfort layers should please the both of you. On the other hand, if your bed partner is also a larger person, make sure you check the weight limit of the mattress you are considering. Some mattresses out there only allow for up to 300lb per person, or 600lb total. Look for one that allows for at least 700lb total if this applies to you.
  2. Do you want a more environmentally friendly choice? There are lots of mattresses that are made from polyurethane foams. All the foams used in the mattresses I review are safe, but if this is a concern for you, you will want to choose either a natural latex mattress or a hybrid of latex and coils.
  3. What sort of foundation are you putting the mattress on? A box spring is considered a poorer choice for large people due to the fact that they wear similarly to a mattress, and if you put a new mattress on an old box spring, the mattress will sag and not support you no matter which one you choose.

Ready to buy your new mattress? Read my in depth run through of the top 8 mattresses for larger people right here.


Emily Johnstone

Emily is the creator and owner of Emily's scientific background gives her an analytical, critical, and discerning eye to bring unbiased, thorough, and helpful content to the site. Your good sleep is her top priority. Find out more about Emily and here.