Best Mattresses for Big People

Haniya Rae

Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site.

Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site.

Mattresses don’t offer the same support for all body types. That’s why in CR’s mattress tests, we evaluate how well each mattress supports three distinct groups of people: petite, average, and big or large/tall. If you’re taller than 6 feet 2 inches and/or weigh more than 220 pounds, you fall into our large/tall category. 

“Finding a mattress that supports a larger body is tricky,” says Christopher Regan, who oversees CR’s mattress tests. “You need to make sure that you won’t sink too much and that the mattress is maintaining the natural curve of your spine when you sleep on your back.”

To find the best mattress for big people, we combed through our data to find the ones that perform the best in two particular categories in our tests: large/tall side-sleeper support and large/tall back-sleeper support. We provide ratings for both. And we also pay attention to other aspects that could affect a good night's sleep, such as whether a mattress tends to sag in the middle.

How We Test Mattresses
At CR we buy and test queen-size mattresses because that’s the most widely sold size. Using lab equipment and human subjects, we evaluate how well a mattress supports the body for both back and side sleepers of various sizes, how easily sleepers can shift their weight without disturbing their partner, and how well the mattress keeps its shape over time.

To simulate the typical eight- to 10-year useful life span of a mattress, we conduct a mechanical test in which a 308-pound roller is passed over each model 30,000 times. For firmness, rather than take a manufacturer’s word for it, we apply a load of up to 1,000 newtons (4.4 newtons equal a pound) to each mattress, then plot the results on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the firmest.

We test mattresses from the big names, such as Sealy, Serta, Stearns and Foster, and Tempur-Pedic. We also evaluate direct-to-consumer brands, such as Casper and Tuft & Needle, and bring in mattresses with innovative construction, such as the Reverie, which consists of foam springs you can arrange to adjust firmness, and the Purple, which has a rubberlike grid as a top layer to promote airflow.

CR members with digital access can read on for ratings and reviews of seven mattresses that are great for big people. The list is organized to show our overall top performer, then mattresses that are great for back sleepers, then by beds that are best for side sleepers.

Check our mattress ratings to dive into the details on all the mattresses we test.



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