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Heavy guy needs mattress advice 26 Oct 2016 07:46 #1

  • tonedef407
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So, I am about 6'5" and around 300 lbs. I obviously need something pretty durable and probably towards the firm side. I do wake up with hip pain on occasion on my current mattress. I'm looking for a queen and will just be me sleeping in it. I've debated between all of the online bed in a box options. I'm afraid, though, that they aren't going to be strong enough or durable enough for me. I've looked at spring mattresses, and would kind of like to avoid a pillowtop. The last pillowtop I had sagged quick. Original Mattress Factory was the option I was researching for that. Can anyone point me in what direction I should follow?

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Heavy guy needs mattress advice 26 Oct 2016 10:16 #2

  • phoenix
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Hi tonedef407,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :)

So, I am about 6'5" and around 300 lbs. I obviously need something pretty durable and probably towards the firm side.


A high BMI presents special challenges and generally requires firmer materials (in the support layers especially), just as you mentioned. This could be firmer latex or innersprings (the type of support component would be a personal preference and in the right design either could be suitable) or even a zoned construction. The same overall guidelines apply with higher weights though that PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) along with using high quality durable materials that will maintain their feel and performance for longer periods of time are the way to make the best choices. Heavier people in general will need firmer and thicker comfort layers and firmer support layers than those who are lighter and because no materials will last as long with much higher weights the quality and durability of the materials and components is even more important than normal. I wouldn't "rule out" any types of mattress and base your choices on your own personal testing.

As with any mattress purchase ... the best way to know which mattress is most suitable is with personal testing and the guidance of a manufacturer or retailer that has good experience with higher weights because there are too many variables, unknowns, and personal preferences involved to use "theory at a distance" as a way to make a mattress choice (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here ). Taking some time to read the mattress shopping tutorial will be your first step in making sure you are choosing a product with appropriately durable componentry for your specific needs.

I do wake up with hip pain on occasion on my current mattress


This could be the result of the mattress gradually losing comfort and having less ability to assist with pressure point distribution, a lack of proper support, or both. Since you’re already out looking for a new mattress, the reason isn’t as germane as going about the proper methods for finding something that is appropriate for your specific needs.

I've debated between all of the online bed in a box options. I'm afraid, though, that they aren't going to be strong enough or durable enough for me. I've looked at spring mattresses, and would kind of like to avoid a pillowtop. The last pillowtop I had sagged quick.


Pillowtop is a method of construction, not comfort. Pillowtops do generally have a poor reputation, but that is mostly a result of many of the “major” brands who construct pillowtops in an inferior manner and use very low quality / low density materials in them. A properly manufactured pillowtop product can offer good durability for someone in a high BMI range.

Can anyone point me in what direction I should follow?


I'm not sure what you've read since you found the site but just in case you haven't read it yet ... the first place to start your research is the mattress shopping tutorial here (which I also linked above) which includes all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choice ... and perhaps more importantly know how and why to avoid the worst ones.

Two of the most important links in the tutorial that I would especially make sure you've read are post #2 here which has more about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress (either locally or online) that is the best "match" for you in terms of "comfort", firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for and post #13 here which has more about the most important parts of the "value" of a mattress purchase which can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability (how well you will sleep), durability (how long you will sleep well), and the overall value of a mattress compared to your other finalists based on all the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

I would keep in mind that the first "rule" of mattress shopping is to always remember that you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved that are unique to each person to use a formula or for anyone to be able to predict or make a specific suggestion or recommendation about which mattress or combination of materials and components or which type of mattress would be the best "match" for you in terms of "comfort" or PPP or how a mattress will "feel" to you or compare to another mattress based on specs (either yours or a mattress) or "theory at a distance" that can possibly be more accurate than your own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial) or your own personal sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here ). The key will be finding componentry that will be of appropriate quality for your specific situation, which will then give you the best chance at have a successful comfort life, so I would always make sure that you find out information listed here so you can compare the quality of the materials and components to the durability guidelines here to make sure there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress that would be a cause for concern relative to the durability and useful life of a mattress before making any purchase.

You said you were considering online product, so when you can't test a mattress in person then the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed phone conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart and who can help "talk you through" the specifics of their mattresses and the properties and "feel" of the materials they are using (fast or slow response, resilience, firmness etc) and the options they have available that may be the best "match" for your BMI based on the information you provide them, any local testing you have done or mattresses you have slept on and liked or other mattresses you are considering that they are familiar with, and the "averages" of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about "matching" their specific mattress designs and firmness levels to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences (or to other mattresses that they are familiar with) than anyone else.

In its simplest form ... choosing the "best possible" mattress for any particular person really comes down to FIRST finding a few knowledgeable and transparent retailers and/or manufacturers (either locally or online) that sell the types of mattresses that you are most interested in that are in a budget range you are comfortable with and that you have confirmed will provide you with the all the information you need about the materials and components inside the mattresses they sell so you will be able to make informed choices and meaningful comparisons between mattresses and then ...

1. Careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial) to make sure that a mattress is a good match for you in terms of "comfort", firmness, and PPP ... and/or that you are comfortable with the options you have available to return, exchange, or "fine tune" the mattress and any costs involved if you can't test a mattress in person or aren't confident that your mattress is a suitable choice.

2. Checking to make sure that there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress you are considering relative to your weight/BMI range that could compromise the durability and useful life of the mattress (see the durability guidelines here ).

3. Comparing your finalists for "value" based on #1 and #2 and all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

I look forward to learning about your progress.

Phoenix
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