Lightweight v Heavyweight – Does your body weight affect which mattress you should purchase?


Humans come in all different shapes and sizes. Tall, short, fat, thin, we have different weight distribution and therefore different needs. So when it comes to something like a mattress, something we spend a lot of time on, it’s important that we don’t take for granted that all sizes fit all. Lots of mattresses are designed and tested on men and women of average weight, but that doesn’t mean they are suitable for everyone. Sleep is very important for health, and an unfit mattress can be detrimental to that. It can also cause injuries.

Mattresses are meant to support our weight whilst we are at our most vulnerable. They’re essential for our comfort. Sleeping on the wrong mattress can negatively impact our posture moving forward, and by the time we realise something is wrong (usually when we show symptoms), it can be too late to correct the damage we have done.

To help you, here’s our advice on how to choose the best mattress for your body type.

First, work out your BMI

In order to determine which mattress works best for your body type, you’ll want to work out your BMI. We know that BMIs are not an exact science, someone with high muscle mass is going to have a higher BMI without being obese, but not many people fit into this category, so provided you’re a ‘normal’ person, you should be able to use BMI to determine the best mattress for you.

To work out your BMI, use this handy BMI calculator.

If you’re bigger, look for thickness

If you have a BMI of 25 or above, it is important you consider the thickness of your mattress. Mattresses are available in a range of thickness, from 6 inches to 16 inches or more. The heavier you are, the more likely your mattress is to sink when you are on it, so if you want long lasting and durable comfort, you’ll need a mattress that is on the thicker side.

As a rule of thumb, the heavier you are, the thicker your mattress should be. People weighing between 250 and 400 pounds should look for a mattress at least ten inches tall. Those heavier than 400 pounds should aim for a mattress 14 inches or thicker.

What type of mattress should I buy?

There’s a whole host of advice online about what type of mattress bigger people should buy. Latex mattresses, memory foam and adjustable air mattresses are popular choices for people who are heavier set. You should be aware that lots of box spring mattresses have a weight limit of three hundred pounds.

You should look for mattresses that are strong and durable. Firm mattresses are best for bigger people, but if you prefer a softer mattress, you can always add a soft topper to a firm mattress.

If you get hot whilst you sleep, look for mattresses that regulate your temperature. Mattresses made from natural materials are breathable and regulate body temperature. They’re also usually moisture resistant, which will help if you sweat. Look for mattresses made from wool and horsehair.

Long lasting mattresses

If you’re a little heavier, you might worry that your mattress won’t last as long. A good way of alleviating that worry is to look for a mattress company that offers a long warranty. Companies like this believe in their products, and have manufactured their mattresses to last a long time whatever the body type of their sleepers.

What if I’m thin?

If you’re thin, you probably need a softer mattress. A firmer mattress might feel softer to a heavier person, but if you’re light, you might need an extra bit of comfort. Lighter people don’t need to worry too much about the thickness of their mattress, so you can choose your mattress based on softness level.

Since lighter people don’t have as much weight distribution, you’ll need to think about a softer comfort layer to support gaps between your body and the mattress. The weight from the parts of you that make contact with the mattress, like your bum and your shoulders, is not enough to force the material up to support your back, so you’ll need a thinner, softer upper layer.

Curvier people

If you’re curvy, it’s possible there are gaps between the mattress and your back. If you sleep on your side, there might also be a gap where your waist is. Our advice is the same, look for a softer comfort layer, which will make it easier for you to sink.

Body weight should be considered when you’re thinking of buying a mattress, particularly if you’re lighter or heavier than the average person. Look for thick, firm mattresses if you’re on the heavier side, and softer mattresses if you’re underweight. Whatever your shape or size, a good night of sleep is of paramount importance.

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