It is important to consider your body type when shopping for a new mattress. For example, mattresses for heavy sleepers are usually not the best choice for petite sleepers and vice versa.
We provide a quick overview of what to look for in a mattress for different body types. Knowing what to look for will make your shopping easier.
Types of Mattresses to Consider
Before we talk about the best mattress for different body types, we will give a brief overview of the four main mattress types. Many of them are suitable for any sleeper, with different feels corresponding to different personal preferences.
Memory foam mattresses are perhaps the most conforming mattress type on the market. The material is sensitive to body heat and pressure, molding to your every curve for pressure relief and body support.
Latex mattresses contour to your body like a standard foam mattress, but with a bounce that lifts you more than memory foam does. Some sleepers find a latex bed feels firmer than they expected, which is why many mattress companies offer pillow tops.
Innerspring mattresses are the traditional mattress. They are still prevalent even as other types have grown in popularity. Innerspring mattresses are the only bed type that may require a traditional box spring. Even then, many modern models don’t require one to feel comfortable.
Hybrid mattresses contain both foam and innerspring coils, offering sleepers the benefits of both materials. A true hybrid mattress has 2 to 3 inches of foam on top of a pocketed coil support core. Hybrid mattresses are an excellent blend of bounce and cushion.
About Our Amerisleep Mattresses
At Amerisleep, we believe that there’s no such thing as one mattress that’s right for everyone. We focus on creating five firmness models instead, each of which is the perfect mattress for certain groups of sleepers.
Every Amerisleep mattress has a comfort layer of Bio-Pur® foam, a plant-based alternative to traditional memory foam. Bio-Pur® is a breathable material that regains its shape within seconds. Its coolness limits sleep interruptions while it’s responsiveness makes movement easier.
All of our bed in a box mattresses come with a 100-night sleep trial and a generous 20-year warranty. The sleep trial allows you to try out your mattress at home. You can return or exchange it if you’re not satisfied with your sleep quality.
Best Mattress for Heavier Sleepers
Heavy sleepers weigh more than 230 pounds. More body weight means you place more pressure on your mattress, so we recommend staying away from soft mattresses. When a heavy sleeper lies down on a too-soft mattress, they may sink too far and misalign their spine.
Firmer mattresses are usually recommended for heavy people because of their durability and lift. A firm mattress can contour to the body for pressure relief, but it is not so conforming that a heavy sleeper can sink in and misalign their spine.
That’s not to say a heavier person must sleep on a firm mattress. They can consider a soft mattress if the bed has supportive features such as bouncy springs or zoned support:
- A spring base often lifts a sleeper more than a foam base, so a heavy sleeper might want to try a soft hybrid instead of a soft foam mattress.
- Often, a responsive transitional layer prevents the sinkage that leads to back pain.
- Zoned support features provide firm support where it’s most needed, while ensuring the mattress feels soft under sensitive areas. Targeted back support is especially important since it prevents misalignment and back pain issues.
We usually recommend mattresses at least 10 inches tall for a good night’s sleep. However, heavy people often benefit from sleeping on thicker beds. A 12-inch mattress is able to withstand greater body weight better than a thinner mattress.
Overweight sleepers also face an increased risk of sleep apnea. Heavier sleepers might want to consider pairing their mattress with an adjustable base. The base can raise the head of the mattress and a sleeper’s upper body. Elevating the upper body prevents the collapse of soft throat tissues that promote sleep apnea and snoring.
Best Mattress for Petite or Lightweight Sleepers
Thin sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds often need a softer mattress to feel comfortable. Most smaller sleepers won’t sink in enough on a firm or even medium feel mattress, limiting the pressure relief they experience. A too-firm mattress may also throw a small sleeper’s spine out of alignment.
Best Mattress for Taller Sleepers
It’s no fun to be a tall person on a too-small mattress. You may have your neck at an awkward angle or your feet dangling over the end. Choosing a large mattress size will ensure you have plenty of room to sleep comfortably.
A twin or full mattress may feel too small for single sleepers who are over 6 feet tall, with both measuring 75 inches long. A twin XL or full XL mattress has an extra 5 inches of length, which can keep a tall sleeper from feeling cramped. Queen and king mattresses are also 80 inches long, perfect for single sleepers who want some extra space or couples sharing a bed.
For maximum legroom, a tall sleeper might want to consider a California king size mattress. Cal king beds are 6 feet wide and 7 feet long, so the mattress can comfortably fit two tall people for a good night’s sleep.
All of our Amerisleep mattresses are available in twin XL, queen, king, and California king sizes.
Best Mattress for Pregnant Women
Pregnancy changes a woman’s body, which may necessitate a new mattress to avoid a night of insomnia or morning aches and pains. Pregnant women are advised to sleep on their left side to promote blood flow to the fetus. Women might want to shop for a soft to medium mattress for side sleeping.
The mattress’s surface should promote ease of movement. Pregnant women often wake up at night to use the bathroom, which can be more complicated if the mattress is too soft or slow to respond to their movements. Motion isolation is also a key consideration, so her partner can rest undisturbed if she wakes up.
It’s not uncommon for pregnant women to sleep hot due to their increased metabolism. A cooling mattress such as a gel memory foam bed can keep a woman from waking up sweating, which would limit her time spent in the deep, restorative stages of sleep.
The Amerisleep AS3 mattress is an excellent choice for a pregnant woman. The memory foam and hybrid models are responsive, ensuring that she won’t get stuck in bed.
What if I Plan on Sharing a Bed?
Buying the best mattress for your body type can get complicated if you plan on sharing with a partner. The two of you may have similar builds, making shopping easy. However, it’s quite possible you may not have similar body types, which can make your search more difficult. Still, it’s possible to buy a mattress that works for two different people.
The simplest solution can be a split mattress. As the name implies, a split mattress is halved into two separate mattresses, allowing partners to sleep on different firmnesses if they want. A split king mattress is the most common kind of split mattress, but you can also find split queen and split California king mattresses.
The drawback of split mattresses is their cost. If you’re shopping on a budget, you may need to compromise and find a firmness that feels reasonably comfortable. A medium feel mattress is usually an excellent choice since it can accommodate a variety of sleeping styles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it better to sleep on a hard or soft mattress?
There’s no one answer to this question because everyone has different sleep needs. What works for one person may feel uncomfortable to you. What is the secret to finding a comfortable and rejuvenating mattress? Consider your body type and sleep position.
A firmer mattress is good for back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and heavier people. A softer mattress is right for side sleepers and smaller people.
Is a firm mattress good for side sleepers?
No, firm mattresses are not a good choice for side sleepers because they lack the contouring needed for pressure relief. When a side sleeper lies on a firm mattress, their hips and shoulders remain raised, interfering with their spine’s neutral alignment. A mattress for side sleeping should fall into the soft to medium range.
Which mattress is best for back pain?
If you’re experiencing back pain, a medium-firm mattress might be the best option. Studies suggest a medium-firm mattress maintains optimal spine alignment while promoting a comfortable night’s rest.
You may also want to try sleeping on your back if you’re not already. Lying on your back evenly distributes body weight and prevents pressure point build-up.
Why does my back hurt after sleeping on memory foam?
The most likely reason is you’re sleeping on the wrong firmness. Memory foam is a naturally conforming material. If you have the right firmness, it should relieve pressure and pain instead of worsening it. To find the best mattress firmness, you need to consider your body type and sleep position.
Side sleepers need a soft to medium mattress. Otherwise, their hips and shoulders can raise their spines out of alignment.
Back sleepers typically benefit from sleeping on medium-firm to firm mattresses. A medium feel bed can also work if it has targeted back support.
Stomach sleepers require a firm mattress. The firm feel prevents their stomachs from sinking in and shifting their spines out of alignment.
Do mattress toppers cause back pain?
A mattress topper suited for your sleep style shouldn’t cause back pain any more than a good mattress would. However, if you choose a too-soft or too-firm topper, you may not sleep well and wake up with various aches and pains.
You may also need time to adjust to a topper even if it’s the correct firmness. Most of us develop bad sleeping postures when we sleep on an unsupportive surface. As your posture adjusts, it can feel painful even if the changes are objectively better for your body.
What are the disadvantages of a memory foam mattress?
The main disadvantage of a traditional memory foam mattress is the material’s tendency to retain body heat. Because memory foam “hugs” the body, it’s quick to absorb heat but often slow to release it. Many manufacturers mix in cooling gels and other materials for better heat dispersion.
Your body type can affect how a mattress feels to you, so it’s important to pick one suitable for you. For example, small sleepers might develop aches on a firm mattress. Larger sleepers might develop chronic back pain on a soft mattress.
When shopping, make sure to look for a mattress with a sleep trial. You will have the freedom to return your mattress if it’s not right for you.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.