Recommend a mattress for a 400lb man.

I need to put in a request for a new mattress as the current one isn’t holding up. Given my weight, is there anything to add to the request?

A firmer mattress?
Memory foam?
water bed?:wink:
A mattress stuffed with feathers from unmolested pigeons?:smiley:

When I get the new mattress, should I look into a mattress topper?

Thank you.:slight_smile:

What I always recommend: a multi-layer latex mattress on a (sturdy, in this case) euro-slat base. You choose the foam densities based on body weight and sleeping style; you adjust the support using clips on the support slats. And you can keep fine-tuning it year after year. Also, latex does not break down the way poly foam of any quality does, so you can get a decade or more from your top layer and a lifetime from the lower layers, even as much stress as you’ll put on it.

I’d go with a four-layer mattress (three is usually enough) and advice from a latex mattress pro like

I’m not 400 pounds, but I’m pretty big, and our bed like this is over seven years old without showing any age, wear or sagging… and I’ve tweaked it for each of our comfort a couple of times a year. There’s really no better choice, no matter how glossy the advertising.

How long should a good mattress be expected to last w/ typical wear and tear?


Not even remotely appropriate for this thread. Don’t post in here again.

When mattresses were properly made, ten years was not unreasonable - and that’s nine or more good years and then a year of slightly declining comfort. We bought a mid-line Stearns and Foster around 2000 and got eight or nine hard years (bigger people, kids, dogs) out of it in part because it could be flipped and turned. A memory foam topper bought us another year.

Mattresses today flat out suck, even the most premium brands and highest models. Most are single-sided and can’t be flipped or even turned to even out wear. Foam has gotten so expensive that they use every trick to reduce the amount and use lesser-quality versions wherever possible. It’s like the 1970s with cars: the performance was abysmal but man could they lay on the plastic spoilers, tape, paint and hype. (Make that eighteen inches of special layers of foam, luxury fabrics, and gimmicks top to bottom.)

A few makers now specifically turn out “old school” mattresses, often custom-built to order, but they are very plain and have to compete against the whorehouse flash of retail mattresses in the same price range.

So if you spend around $3k on an old-school king, you should be able to get ten good years from it, with care. That same $3k or more from a strip-mall mattress seller will get you far fewer years, no matter how wonderful the first year feels. The problem is the foam: poly foam breaks down. The plastic is brittle and more foam cells rupture every time you compress it. A few years in, there’s your body-canoe in the ultra super plush memory foam topper - and if you think about it a minute, it’s not hard to understand why piling up the layers of foam just makes this worse.

Europeans have always considered innerspring mattresses second-rate, and for good reason; they were invented to reduce the amount of foam and padding by replacing those costlier parts with cheap springs. So ever ad talking about their fabulous springs and pockets and lacing and so forth is basically gushing over how tasty and foamy their white bread is, trying to convince you that exquisite engineering and metallurgy overcome the basically crappy option of using springs in the first place.

Latex - real latex, not blends, not substitutes and not a thin layer of it in an otherwise crap luxo mattress - latex doesn’t break down. It’s vastly more elastic than poly, and the cell rupture rate is some tiny fraction of plastic’s. A real Talalay latex mattress layer can last 20-30 years or more with absolutely no sag or collapse.

So you put three or four layers of latex in a high-quality wrapper with a ventilated top, and choose the layers (all across or by sides) to match the weight and sleeping preference of each occupant, and put it on a slat base that allows you to move extra support around under hips and back… and what you have is a bed that’s configured perfectly on the first night and can be reconfigured (by restacking or sometimes replacing the layers of foam) and adjusted (by changing the slat braces around) as you age and your body changes and your sleep needs change. Expensive, yes - but only into the upper third of retail mattress costs, and far cheaper than some of the ridiculously priced luxo ones… and with a little care it can last you the rest of your adult life in like-new condition.

I’m pretty big; my wife is not a waif; we have Great Danes sprawl on the bed nightly. I just had to move the bed to do some work and pulled the mattress assembly apart to help with that (they are quite heavy compared to innerspring) - and not one layer, even the extra-soft top on my wife’s side, showed the slightest loss of density or compression, after more than seven years.

Buy a cheap mattress if that’s all you can afford or if you know it’s only good for about two years. But if you’re going to spend a couple of thousand, I think it’s a huge mistake to buy anything but real latex over a slat base, no matter how glossy the Sealy and Simmons ads are and how assured the mattress store salesman is. For one thing, nobody - nobody - can properly choose a mattress from a quick lie-down at the store, but that’s how it’s done… and six months later when the fit turns out to be bad, you’re stuck. With latex, you just readjust and go back to sleep.

But sign me Zathras. :rolleyes:

I wouldn’t recommend a waterbed. Ivylad had one when we first met and over the years that thing sucked for back support. I was so glad when we finally got rid of it.

We saved up and got a Select Comfort mattress. It’s quite comfortable.

Do your research.

I don’t have a specific recommendation, but this website is unbiased when it comes to mattresses.

I would also disagree with the 10 year number for a mattress. Most of them are shot after about five years unless you buy a higher end type like a memory foam or a top-shelf model from a known manufacturer.

Aw, I loved mine back in the day. Maybe I wouldn’t find it so comfortable at my starting-to-creak age.

They do take some getting used to and the first few nights or week can leave you with a backache until you get used to it. If you only spent irregular nights in it, you might never adapt.

I am also talking about the old-school waterbed: a bag of water in a box. A lot of things came along later that weren’t the same - super-waveless ones that had a completely different feel, and the small-bag-of-water-in-a-regular-mattress kind (even less so).

I’d love to try out an old bag-o-water bed for a week, but the logistics…

Thanks for the replies!

I wasn’t clear that I am NOT BUYING the mattress. I’m filling out a request for “a reasonable accommodation”, the Hotel/Agency will get the mattress for me if approved. I doubt a custom mattress would be approved.:frowning:

The waterbed & pigeon feathers were jokes. (is there such a thing as unmolested pigeons?):wink:

The SleepEZ site did suggest a firm mattress for my weight & height.

I was also thinking I might be able to buy a mattress pad or topper to help, if not too expensive.

Thanks Again:)

Maybe a Go Fund Me page for new sheets & pillows (and EggNog of course).:D:p

Just saw the Foggy’s post clarifying the OP, negates most of what I wrote below… :slight_smile:

To address latest post…

Toppers can help but expect to pay a couple hundred for a good one. Most will be too thin to really give you additional support and what they will help most with is airflow and cooling.

Not sure how the agency works, but first choice would still be Tempur or similar memory foam mattress. You need support across your entire body and memory foams tend to do that better than any other mattress. Downside is heat build-up, few foam mattresses deal with that well throughout the night. Still, the pressure relief is worth it.

Mattresses are very personal, you’ll want to try a couple and see what fits you best.

Mattress toppers are usually a bandage for a bad or old mattress. If you buy a new mattress and need a topper you have the wrong mattress.

You want to go to a store where you can spend a little time laying on a couple. Be sure to try them out in all positions you normally sleep in. Firm mattresses are not necessarily the best choice as they could leave you without good support across the entire body since you can’t sink into them as well as in a softer mattress. Especially on your side, a softer mattress may allow for better weight distribution.

I’d look at a full foam mattress but hybrid mattresses (with coils underneath to support) can be good to. Expect a quality one to list for at least $2000.

Full foam mattress will offer the most pressure relief and comfort as there are no coils to push back at you. You sink into the bed until your body is fully supported. The downside is that without the springs’ push-back, moving around in the bed can be difficult as there is little bed push to help out. If you like your in-the-bed activities with your partner, you have to work a bit harder, there is no bounce-back to help out. Temper-pedic is certainly the premiere and their Breeze mattresses are very good at dealing with the heat build-up. However, try other brands out there to see how they feel to you.

Hybrid mattresses offer a thick layer of memory foam over a traditional coil support system. You will still have some pressure against your body from the coils but it is largely mitigated by the foam. Sealy makes what I think are some of the best.

HOWEVER… Once you find the mattress, you will need a base for it. You can go flat or adjustable. The best thing you can do is spring for the adjustable base that lets you sleep in the zero-g position with elevated head and feet even if you have to buy a less expensive mattress to afford it. You can find bases for as little as $800. The zero-g position really will help you sleep better. Any mattress rep worth their salt will be happy to put you on an adjustable base so you can feel how it takes tension from your back and shoulders. I’ve had buxom women tell me how they loved having their upper body elevated as it lets gravity move their bosom out of their face so they can sleep better at night.

Finally, when you go shopping, remember that all prices except those on Tempur-pedic are negotiable. (Tempur prices are contractually regulated, no store can sell for less than the MSRP). The rep wants the sale (most are on commission) and is authorized to get the price down to the value the product has for you.