Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for Heavy People

Last Updated on July 13, 2024

by Marc Werner, Founder - GhostBed

Are you shopping for a mattress? If you’re on the heavier side, you need the right amount of support, without sacrificing comfort. Keep reading to find out our tips for selecting the right mattress for you.

Overview: Best Mattress for Heavy People

The best mattress for heavy people is one that offers the right balance of sturdy, high-quality coils for a bit of extra support and just the right amount of comforting and contouring memory foam. Reinforced edges can also help to provide a larger sleeping surface. For all that in a medium-luxury feel, we recommend the GhostBed Flex.

Queen GhostBed Flex

No matter what size a person is, all require the best night’s sleep possible. Heavy people are presented with specific issues when it comes to sleeping. Extra weight laying on organs can cause a number of problems that may impede sleep.

With 65 percent of Americans now being called overweight, it stands to reason that those who carry extra pounds may be seeking a way to sleep better. One thing to take in mind is that the heavier person may require a specific type of bed complete with the best mattress for heavy people.

Sleeping Problems for Heavy People

Disrupted Breathing

Being heavy can cause a disruption in breathing that can lead to snoring and sleep apnea. Excessive fat restricts airways in the throat. This can make the airway collapse, presenting a breathing disruption. For those who have mild issues the fat will lead to snoring. More severe problems will result with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea means that the person is having problems with absorbing carbon dioxide. This means that he or she is not breathing like they should, as breathing will stop and restart throughout the night and into waking hours.

Restless Legs

Restless legs is a syndrome that creates leg discomfort in the laying down position, with the only relief to the individual is to constantly move the legs. Research has indicated that the dopamine released from the brain in an overweight person is involved but it is not completely clear why.

Sleeping Positions for Heavy People


The ramp position has the heavy person flat on their back but with the entire bed tilted up at the headboard. Surgeons have found that heavier patients’ breathe better in this position with the head tilted up at a 25 percent angle from the feet. Oxygen can be increased by 23 percent. Raise the entire head of bed to create a ramp like surface to sleep on. This can be accomplished by shimming up the feet at the head of the bed by about four inches with blocks of wood.


Another way to keep the head raised and air flowing for a better sleep for heavier people is to sleep on the back in a reclined position. This can be done by using a special sleeping recliner chair as a bed or to have an adjustable base that can raise the head as if in a recliner.


Sleeping on the side has been determined to be healthier for breathing purposes when heavy people are sleeping. Researchers have determined that those who are very overweight can have more problems with sleep apnea when laying on their back as opposed to the side. The upper airway will have less chance of collapsing when laying on the side, thus allowing for a better sleep.

Sleeping Tips for Heavy People

  • Positional therapy will help those with positional obstructive sleep apnea. This is when one is sleeping on their back and the tongue folds back into the throat to prevent airflow. Professional therapists work with patients to train them to sleep on their sides. The bumper belt is a great positional therapy tool. Bumpers sit on the back of the belt that keep a person sleeping on their side.
  • An adjustable base for the bed is a wonderful option for the heavy person to gain comfort when it comes to sleeping. This can be a best bed frame for heavy person since it works much like a recliner chair for optimal positioned comfort. The frame allows for the head to be raised as well as knees so that the heavy person will retain a comfortable position in order to sleep through the night. A memory foam mattress is a great mate for the adjustable base since it is easily bendable.
  • Adding a combination of shaped slanted positioning pillows known as wedge ramps can be used to provide an opportunity for raising the head and adding comfort raising the knees as well. The pillows work together as well as apart to create a customized comfort platform to sleep on.

Sleeping FAQs for Heavy People

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Does being heavy affect sleep quality?

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Is a special bed foundation needed for an overweight person?

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What mattress is best for heavy people?

Marc Werner - Founder, GhostBed

Marc Werner

Founder - GhostBed

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Marc has spent the last two decades designing & manufacturing mattresses and other sleep products, drawing on a lifetime of experience working with the material sciences. With several patents to his name, he works closely with the GhostBed team to create products with the perfect balance of comfort & support. Learn More

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