Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for Heavy People

Last Updated on January 10, 2022

by Marc Werner, Founder - GhostBed

Are you shopping for a mattress on a budget? Read our comprehensive guide on getting the best mattress for your money.

I. Sleeping Problems for Heavy People

II. Sleep Positions for Heavy People

III. Heavy People Sleeping Tips

IV. Heavy People Sleeping FAQ’s

V. GhostBed Heavy Sleeper Reviews

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 specific type of bed complete with the best mattress for heavy people.

I. 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.

II. Sleep 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’ breath 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.

III. Heavy People Sleeping Tips

  • 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.

IV. Heavy People Sleeping FAQ’s

Does being heavy affect sleep quality?

Obviously, this answer depends on the definition of determining how heavy the person is. Those who are very obese will have more discomfort as they will find it difficult to move in bed as well as have issues with obstructed airways when laying down.

Is a special bed foundation needed for an overweight person?

Heavy people should be sure that the bed they are sleeping on is not atop a delicate base that may break just by moving around in bed. Just as a heavier person will need a more supportive chair, he or she need a very supportive bed base that can handle a few extra pounds. A sturdy bedframe will be sure to have a support beam in the center for beds bigger than a twin size. Reinforced metal frames are sure to hold heavier people.

What mattress is best for heavy people?

Heavy people need optimal support in a mattress that can support extra weight. It is important to purchase a quality mattress crafted from layers that add up to a minimum of 10 inches thick. Be sure to have a bed with deep compression support that will be able to handle the extra weight. Also, be certain that the mattress has good edge support with an edge that will not break down when sitting on it. With a heavy person tending to sleep hotter than it is necessary to shop for a bed that will allow for ventilation.

V. GhostBed Heavy Sleeper Reviews

Seeking the best mattress for heavy people should be a priority to getting on the road to have the best sleep possible. Not only can being plus-size result in health issues but not having a proper sleep can also result in even more weight gain.

GhostBed is an ideal mattress for overweight customers reviewing their experience.

Marc Werner - Founder, GhostBed

Marc Werner

Founder - GhostBed

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After undergoing three neck surgeries, Marc knew what it was like to live and sleep in constant pain. In 2001, after searching fruitlessly for a comfortable pillow and mattress that supported his neck and back ... Learn More


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