How to Choose a Mattress Topper for a Heavy Person
Buying a mattress topper for a heavy person can be a different kind of challenge, because the mattress topper would need to be (amongst other things) more durable, able to handle larger loads and evenly distribute the weight across the surface. Read this article from the International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics titled, “Study on the Influence of BMI Difference on Pressure Distribution of Mattress,” to find out more about the correlation between people with higher weight and the pressure that is exerted on their bodies whilst sleeping.
When buying a mattress topper for a heavy person, choose a mattress topper made of latex or memory foam with a thickness of 2–4 inches and a density of at least 4 pounds per cubic foot to provide sufficient support, comfort, ventilation and durability.
Buying a mattress topper for a heavy person needs to be carefully considered to be sure that the topper will be robust enough to endure the added strain, and still provide the desired comfort level. Factors to consider when looking for a mattress topper for a larger person are the thickness of the topper, as well as its density and the materials used in production.When choosing a mattress topper for a heavy person, the thickness of the mattress is important for comfort, but the density of the topper is crucial to provide sufficient support.
Generally, the denser the topper, the more support it will provide, especially for a heavier person. The thickness and materials of the topper will alter the comfort of the mattress, and help make it feel softer or firmer depending on the selection. Mattress toppers come in various densities ranging from 3 Lbs/Ft3 up to 6 Lbs/Ft3 and over. The density of a mattress topper will determine the body weight that can be properly held and will affect the overall resilience of the topper. Read our article about the different types of mattress toppers, where we tabulate the densities and provide examples of mattress toppers. A higher density mattress topper will help to relieve the pressure that is often exerted on the spine and joints, especially for a heavier person.
What is a Mattress Topper?
A mattress topper makes it possible to alter the feel of the mattress without having to buy a new mattress and is a great way to make changes to the plushness and comfort of an existing mattress. A mattress topper enhances the support of the underlying mattress, but it is not a solution to a completely worn out mattress, as the topper is meant to elevate the sleeping surface. Read our article about how to soften a mattress with a mattress topper to find out how a mattress topper adjusts the feel of a mattress.
A mattress topper is a bedding item that rests on a mattress and improves the comfort and support of the existing mattress. A mattress topper can assist with making a bed feel softer or firmer depending on the type of mattress topper that is chosen.
A mattress topper is placed on the mattress and underneath the fitted sheet and blankets or duvet. If a mattress protector is to be added into these layers then it should be placed on top of the mattress topper and under the fitted sheet, so that the protector can prevent moisture or spills from seeping into the mattress topper as well as the mattress. To find out more about the correct installation of a mattress topper read our other article. You may also find useful information in how to fix a mattress topper that's too warm.
How to Choose a Mattress Topper for a Heavy Person
Choosing a mattress topper for a heavy person requires paying special attention to the composition of the topper, particularly its density, thickness and the materials used.
Step 1. Choose a Natural Latex or Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Latex foam is inherently buoyant and resilient which means it can offer the heavier person a greater degree of support and bear the constant pressure of a hefty body. Natural latex is considered one of the best materials used in mattress topper construction because of its superb contouring abilities, its temperature regulation during sleep, and its natural repelling of dust mites and bed bugs. It is also hypoallergenic for those who don’t have a latex allergy. We like this natural latex mattress topper from Amazon because it is made from naturally derived, renewable resources.
Memory foam is a good choice for a mattress topper for a heavy person because it cradles the body well. The sturdiness of memory foam means that it is robust and able to withstand the constant compression from a heavy body, and still be able to resume its original shape. Memory foam does tend to retain heat, so for those who tend to sleep hot there are ways to fix a mattress pad or topper that makes you sweat that we cover in our other article.
Step 2. Choose a Mattress Topper With a Thickness of 2–4 Inches
The thickness of a mattress topper will make a noticeable difference on the feel of the mattress. Mattress topper thicknesses generally range from 1 inch to 6 inches—though there are mattress toppers of 8 inches and even 10 inches. This gel infused memory foam mattress topper comes in 6 inch, 8 inch and 10 inch thicknesses. A thicker mattress will alter the softness or firmness of a mattress, but doesn’t make a significant contribution to the support which is needed for a heavy person. A thicker topper should however be considered if the person wants to transform the way the mattress feels.
Step 3. Choose a Topper With a Density of 4 Lbs/ft3 or Higher
The most important factor to consider when choosing a mattress topper for a heavy person is the topper’s density. The density will directly determine the level of support and cradling that the topper is able to deliver. A higher density mattress topper will provide more support than a lower density one, because the density influences the weight-bearing ability of the topper. A high density mattress topper of 5 Lbs/Ft3 will provide substantial support for a heavy person as well withstand strenuous use without sagging. We like this 5 pound density mattress topper from Amazon because of its remarkable contouring abilities. Bear in mind that a denser mattress topper will be heavier and more difficult to move around.
Mattress Topper Materials that Support Heavier Weights
Choose a mattress topper made from natural latex or memory foam to properly support a heavier person. Mattresses made from microfiber or down feathers are not good choices because they only increase the cushioning or softness of the mattress and don’t provide additional support.
Pillow Top Mattress Toppers
A pillow top mattress topper will make a mattress feel softer and more voluminous—as if sleeping on a cloud. However it is not an ideal mattress topper for providing the kind of support that a heavier person will need. For that cloud-like feeling have a look at this quilted pillow top mattress topper from Amazon.
The pros of pillow top mattress toppers include its ability to make a mattress feel plush and cushioning, as well as its easy installation on the bed because it is lighter in weight and easier to move. The cons of a pillow top mattress topper include it’s inability to provide sufficient support to a heftier body and also the constant refluffing that needs to be done regularly to regain its plush cushion.
Memory Foam Mattress Toppers
Memory foam mattress toppers can provide enough support for a heavy person when the correct (higher) density is chosen. Memory foam is also robust enough to withstand intense use, like this ThermaGel mattress topper from Amazon.
The pros of memory foam mattress toppers include its ability to contour to the body and provide good support to a heavy person. The cons of memory foam mattress toppers include its heat retention, because this can make a person sleep too hot and get sweaty during the night, as well as its motion isolation feature, which can cause a heavier person to sink deeper into the surface and have difficulty getting up off the topper.
Latex Foam Mattress Toppers
Latex foam is regarded as the ultimate material for mattress toppers because of its superior contouring and support for a heavy person. Latex foam is also very responsive and resilient so it can bear considerable weight without sagging or deteriorating under the strain. This PureTree mattress cover has a certified organic core.
The pros of latex foam mattress toppers include its ability to provide better support for a heavy person, as well as naturally regulate the temperature during sleep, especially if it has additional ventilation features included in the design. The cons of latex foam mattress toppers include its sometimes higher price tag, as well as the potential for a reaction to the latex that is the result of a latex allergy in some people. Also, make sure to take a look at our tips to store a latex mattress topper too.
Down Mattress Toppers
Down mattress toppers are naturally breathable and a quick solution for adding softness to a mattress, but they don’t provide the necessary support for a heavy person. This D&G mattress topper will quickly add softness to a mattress.
The pros of down mattress toppers include their lightness and breathability which help for those who tend to get hot when sleeping. The cons of down mattress toppers include their lack of adequate support for heavier people and their tendency to flatten out and require regular refluffing to make them snug again.
Wool Mattress Toppers
Wool mattress toppers are great toppers if temperature regulation is a concern, because they offer fantastic air circulation when it is hot and splendid heat retention for when it is cold. This Sleep & Beyond mattress topper from Amazon is made with pure Merino Wool.
The pros of wool mattress toppers include their natural cooling and heating abilities as well as their tendency to repel bed bugs and dust mites. The cons of wool mattress toppers include their limitations when it comes to support for heavy people, because they aren’t buoyant enough to withstand and carry a larger weight.
What is the Ideal Density of Mattress Topper for a Heavy Person?
The higher the density of the mattress topper the better support it will provide for a heavy person. Read this article from the University of Central Lancashire titled, “Determining the Ideal Mattress Firmness Based on Anthropometric Measurements” to find out more about how different body shapes and weights require different levels of support.
Buy a mattress topper with a density of at least 4 pounds per cubic foot for a heavy person because this density will provide sufficient support as well as contouring that will alleviate pressure on the spine and joints, and contribute to a more rejuvenating sleep.
When additional support is essential, a heavy person can even find a mattress topper with a density of 5 Lbs/Ft3 which will help relieve pressure points and distribute the body weight evenly during sleep. We like this Pure Green mattress topper from Amazon because of its firm pinpoint support.
Take a look at our mattress topper density guide for more useful information too.
Should a Heavy Person get a Thick or Thin Mattress Topper?
A mattress topper for a heavy person doesn’t necessarily mean the thickest mattress topper—a mid-range thickness will be suitable in most instances. A thicker topper is necessary when the softness or firmness of the mattress needs to be improved, in other words a thick topper will provide a greater change and a thinner topper will provide a smaller change. Strictly speaking the thickness of the mattress topper will improve the comfort of the mattress and won’t provide substantial support, unless a firmer topper is chosen. Read our mattress topper hack to find out more about the different ways a mattress topper can improve a mattress.
Buy a mattress topper with a thickness of 2–4 inches for a heavy person because this will alter the feel of the mattress and add to the comfort of the bed. A thickness higher than 4 inches can be used for a heavy person if the mattress topper is firm because this will prevent the person from sinking too deep into the topper which will cause difficulty in movement when changing sleeping positions or getting up from the bed.
Because the denser and thicker mattress toppers weigh more, they will be difficult to move around, and this needs to be considered if the topper is to be used on a portable bed or moved from one room to another. Read our article on mattress toppers that can be used on air mattresses to find out more about making these portable beds more comfortable. You may also find interest in our article what's the weight of a mattress topper for more general information.
Finding a Mattress Topper That Doesn't Smell
Some people sleep hotter and can get quite sweaty during the night, which could result in a mattress that holds onto body odours. If this is a concern, consider investing in a mattress topper that has unique temperature regulating features or a washable cover. This cooling gel and charcoal mattress topper also comes with a breathable removable cover, so it's perfect for temperature control and easy cleaning.
A mattress topper made of gel infused memory foam can help reduce night sweats and odors because the gel has a cooling effect that creates a more comfortable sleeping environment. The gel infused memory foam mattress topper offers the support of memory foam with the refreshing benefits of gel.
Should a Heavy Person Get an Orthopedic Mattress Topper?
A heavy person should get an orthopedic mattress topper if they need to support painful joints or alleviate pain in the spine. An orthopedic mattress topper can also assist with improving blood circulation for heavy people.
Recommended Mattress Toppers for a Heavy Person
A higher density topper is recommended for a heavy person because it can provide the necessary support to ensure a good night's sleep. The mattress topper also needs to be durable and resilient so that it can withstand the strain of a heavier body.
Recommended Mattress Toppers available for a heavy person:
|Product Name from Amazon||How does it benefit a heavy person?||Price of Mattress Topper|
|Inofia Mattress Topper Full, 3-Inch Latexpur||The natural latex provides sufficient support and is resilient and robust enough for strenuous use.||~$160|
|Subrtex 4-Inch Gel-Infused Memory Foam High Density Mattress Topper||The high density memory foam supports the body weight and the gel assists with temperature regulation.||~$220|
|Tempur-Pedic Tempur Supreme 3-Inch Mattress Topper||The Tempur material responds to the body’s weight and shape. The topper is also durable and reliable.||~$320|
In a Nutshell
The specific needs of a heavier person when choosing a mattress topper need to be carefully considered so that the topper can provide the correct support and comfort desired. While density is one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a mattress topper, the materials used, as well as the thickness of the mattress topper also need to be thoroughly examined. A person who is heavier isn’t limited in their choice of toppers, because the various thicknesses and densities available make it possible to find the perfect topper to ensure a restful slumber. Read our article on choosing a mattress topper for back support to find out how a mattress topper can relieve an aching back.