Weight guidance and heavy sleepers

Most mattress manufacturers have a weight limit of 18 stone per sleeper which means if you are of this weight of above you’re going to struggle.  There are a number of reasons why you may need such a mattress and the market is very limited when it comes to finding them.  Mattresses for heavier or larger sleepers need to follow slightly different rules to ensure they last and provide enough comfort.  This article explains exactly what you should be looking for.Resilience 2

We know that custom and manners mean we should never ask your age or your weight, but when it comes to mattresses customs and practices need to be excused to ensure you get the right mattress.  We guarantee it will just be between us and by discussing the subject we can offer you a much more suitable product and allow you to understand the effect that weight has on a mattress and its comfort.

Many customers come to us because they are completely confused when trying to find a mattress to suit two different weights of a sleeper.

The majority of mattresses are manufactured to accommodate a certain weight of sleeper, usually with a maximum tolerance set of 18 stone.

Anything that’s plus size is usually ignored over this limit. This is usually as far as it goes. You’re not told whether this is in total or per sleeper and does this change per bed size.

There is also no information given on what the feel, longevity or response the mattress will give when pushed to its weight limit. This is a very difficult specialist area so we empathise with the retailers on their decision to avoid it. We however quite like the tricky questions it keeps us on our toes and allows us to show how we, the experts, differ to the misguided sales staff.

Our new Resilience Mattress range for heavy sleepers / plus size sleepers has been designed specifically to offer both comfort and support for sleepers 114kg / 18 stone plus. So whether you’re a 6ft 6 20 stone rugby player or you simply prefer a really firm mattress we have a range that is suitable for you.

Two different weighted sleepers

If you and your partner are very different in terms of weight, ie 8 stone vs 18 stone, then it will be very hard, if not impossible, to get one mattress to suit you both. Most retailers will hedge their bets and go either for a very firm mattress to suit the heavier or put you somewhere in the middle. We, however, don’t like this approach, as it gives you the one size fits no one response.

If you and your sleeping partner are very different weights then it may be more practical to get two different beds. It’s not as extreme as it sounds. In traditional pocket sprung beds, such as our Artisan Bespoke you can have dual tension springs, with one side softer and one firmer or zip and linked mattresses to achieve this. If you want Hybrid or Latex Foam we can still provide this through our bespoke service.

How do you do this?

By having two different mattresses both sleepers can get the right mattress for their individual needs without compromising. Due to our dual construction method, we can supply you with two different mattresses, ie two 2”6 small single beds to make a kingsize when put together, combined with a matching topper. So visibly it looks like one bed but underneath you have two separate mattresses for each of your requirements.

What are the benefits?

You both get a side of the bed that is suitable for your body weight, firmness preference, and comfort.

What are the limitations?

It wouldn’t be very wise if we didn’t give you the full picture and there are limitations to this.  The mattresses have to be the same depth or else you will end up with a ridge down the middle of the bed where they join. We can advise on which in our range go together to address this. It may also mean that you don’t have as large a choice of a mattress as you can’t simply match any of our mattress range together. That said it has to be miles better than the retail equivalent of giving you both a bed that meets neither of your requirements. The other limitation is for sleepers that want to regularly change or swap sides of the bed. You would need to move and rotate the mattresses into the other side to do this.

Bigger Sleepers

Now for another subject. Mattress retailers do not accommodate bigger sleepers. This is defined by us as anyone over 20 stone. Most mattress ranges limit the weight to 18 stone or 252lbs with a combined weight of 30 stone. As you can understand the heavier the sleeper the more stress is put on the mattress which if exceeded causes the mattress to fail, dip or reduces its lifespan.

Resilience 1

Resilience 1 Heavier Sleeper Mattress

The retail shops will at best simply try and sell you an expensive incredibly firm mattress if you fall into this category.  We believe this is highly unfair and unsuitable. We are one of the only companies out there to specialise in bespoke beds for bigger sleepers.

Resilience 2

Latex heavier sleeper mattress

Beds for people who weigh 20 stone plus follow different rules to standard mattresses, as support requires much more attention.  Unfortunately, the truth is that bigger sleepers will need to replace their mattress much more frequently than the lighter sleepers. This is an inevitable fact. What we want to offer is not just a bed that ‘will do’ but a bed you’re actually comfortable on. Not just a firm slab of heavy weight foam. Whilst you may need to replace a standard bed more frequently than a lighter sleeper, with our dual construction design we can limit the need to replace the entire mattress. Our Resilience mattresses offer you the solution.

Where we differ is we are foam specialists; we can offer a range of high support reflex and PU foams for the support aspect of your mattress. We then match this with a higher density range of hybrid or latex Foams using our dual construction method. This means that any wear or sagging that occurs over time can be reduced by having a removable replaceable topper.

Resilience Mattresses Specifications

Below you will find the makeup of the Resilience mattresses which is useful when comparing to other bariatric or reinforced bed manufacturers.

 Resilience 1
Total Depth32.5cm + 3-5 cm for the quilted cover
CoverMicro-quilt John Ryan Cover with tape edged damask sides
17.5cm of 60kg Laygel Foam
25cm V39 Medium Support Foam
315cm of V38 Firm Support Foam
45cm V39 Medium Support Foam
Resilience 2 Layers

Resilience 1 layers

 Resilience 2
Total Depth30cm + 3-5 cm for the quilted cover
CoverMicro-quilt John Ryan Cover with tape edged damask sides
15cm of 70kg 100% Natural Latex
25cm V39 Medium Support Foam
315cm of V38 Firm Support Foam
45cm V39 Medium Support Foam
Resilience Layers v2

Resilience 2 layers


We believe we are one of the only suppliers who can offer a supportive and comfortable bed for bigger sleepers. The replacement topper service ensures that you’re reducing your future outlay where parts need replacing.  Again please contact us for a friendly chat about your requirements where our bespoke team can assist you.

Regardless of your size, we believe everyone should be able to find a bed that provides them with a supportive and comfortable nights sleep. Don’t settle for any less.


View Comments
  • Con Lambert says:


    Incredible site.Hopefully it will make it a bit easier for my wife and I to select a mattress that will suit both of us. In the past we have always slept well on the sprung mattress we have used for several years.The base is also sprung.The mattress is now sagging a bit and in the last 18 months I have suffered with a back problem which has persisted.I wake up in the morning aching from head to toe.A neighbour gave us a ‘memory foam’ topper which we put on our bed and it seemed to assist with my problems. This lasted a few weeks but then reverted to the way it was previously. For the last 7 weeks I have been sleeping on this topper on the bedroom floor.I have slept really well and the back pain has gradually improved.I now feel ready to cuddle up to my wife again but am concerned about my back problems getting worse.Prior to locating your very informative site we visited several bed shops to look at Tempur mattresses. We didn’t realise how expensive they were but were prepared to consider buying one if I could be conviced that they would suit both my wife and myself.Having discovered your site I have decided to get your advice with a view to buying a mattress you think would possibly fit the bill. We are both 74.My wife is about 10.5 st. and I am about 13st. She feels the heat and suffers from restless leg syndrome. I have a pacemaker but sleep quite well, mainly on my back.My wife is a bit restless but I sleep without moving throughout the night. I will be ringing you but in the meantime I would appreciate any advice.I have been looking at your Hybrid and Fusion ranges.

    Regards, Con.

    Hi Con, I think it maybe easier if I split the advice into sections to help with the issues you have mentioned. You’re half way there in that you’ve tried a number of things that have worked in part and a number of things that haven’t worked so I will use this to tailor our advice! Let me put my detective hat on and see.

    So memory foam worked for a while for you which I think was the pressure relieving property of the foam. Then it stopped working, which maybe in part due to the compression and the fact that underneath it the support was the older pocket sprung bed. This would indicate that pressure relieving is something that helps you but you need better support. This is further supported by the firm floor helping your back. Although in the long run I would hazard a guess that this is a)unsuitable for practical reasons b)would eventually cause further back issues from being too firm. I think you would benefit from a pressure relieving memory foam or natural latex foam.

    Your wife is a warm sleeper so I would avoid memory foam and hybrid foam. Even though Hybrid foam is cooler than memory foam if your wife is a warm sleeper I believe she may find this unsuitable. If someone specifically mentions heat we usually discount these two as there is no point having a really supportive comfortable bed thats just too warm for you! I would however suggest natural latex which is the coolest of the foams and most advanced in terms of pressure relief. It is the most responsive, ie returns to its original position almost immediately unlike the slow to reform memory foam materials.

    As for restless legs and turning during the night I’d discount memory foam as its slow to respond and people often comment its hard to turn over quickly in it. Hybrid foam would be faster and more responsive but due to the heat issue we have discussed I’d point to natural Latex.

    One thing that would help me is which tempur bed you tried, the original, cloud or sensation as it will help me establish the tension of the mattress you’re looking for. From your weights I’d actually advise a medium to give the pressure relief, comfort and support for your body weights. It will be a balancing act between your wifes light body weight and your preference, implied, for a firm support unit. Can I ask you have a look at our Fusion Natural Latex range here as a first point of contact. We do have a pocket sprung version, fusion 0 which is a blend of the pressure relieving foam and the traditional pocket sprung support unit you require. It maybe that a traditional pocket sprung support unit and a latex topper are the best fit for you and your wife. When you are ready please give us a call to assist further. Lee

  • Comment via Email says:

    Hello, please could you recommend a suitable mattress for me and my husband. We’re different weights (17 stone and 10 stone). We currently have a Dunlopillo Firmrest (about 12 years old) which suits my husband very well but which I find too hard especially now as I am pregnant and some previous back injuries have come back. Which of your range of latex or mixed latex and other materials mattresses would you recommend to accommodate different weights comfortably?

    In short, there is no way to have one tension of mattress to meet both your needs, not without compromising both of your requirements to some degree. Based on the weights I’d recommend the 10 stone choose a medium mattress like our Fusion 3 which will allow pressure relief but enough support for this weight. The 17 stone sleeper will need a firmer rest as they would find the medium a lot softer than the 10 stone! Ideally you would need a medium and a firm in latex to suit you both. You have come to the right place because unlike many mattress manufacturers and retailers we do have a number of options for such split tension mattresses.

    You have two ways of attaining a split tension mattress. Either a zip and link traditional mattress or a split tension mattress. A split tension could be attained by either dual tension springs or using two different density latexes. In the contemporary fusion range you could have a bespoke mattress crafted from the solid core latex which would accommodate both a medium and a firm side complimented with a one piece topper. This would give the look and feel of one bed but with two very different side tensions.

    The zip and link is probably the most robust method especially if you’re going to want to keep splitting and rejoining the beds for example bed and breakfasts often do this. Due to the nature of latex you can’t get a zip and link solid core latex mattress. This is because the weight and the moulding nature of the bed means it would require a far thicker tough cover to hold the two sides via a zip, this then defeats the object of the soft latex and quilted soft cover! They are also much more malleable than a traditional pocket sprung bed so the zip and link could create a firm ridge down the centre of the bed which again would be a massive draw back. Latex mattresses are heavy so they really wouldn’t need a zip and link if matched with a single topper.

    My advice would be that if you really like latex and the pressure relieving the bespoke offering would be ideal. If you prefer a more traditional mattress then one of our John Ryan By Design zip and link or split tension mattresses would be a good choice. Can I please ask that you give us a call to discuss this further please Judi as I know there is a lot of information to take in!

    Many thanks


  • Andy says:

    Hi, I’ve been in touch with Gary about a mattress, but only just seen this!

    I’m 20+ stone, and my wife is 13-14 stone. We were looking at a Zip and Link, possibly Origins pocket latex 1500/2000 or an Artisan 1500.

    I’d willingly try one of the new ones?

    Thanks for getting in touch.

    The new range of John Ryan firm core mattresses have been designed for the heavier sleeper. We don’t do them in zip and links as they are solid core contemporary foam based mattresses. The difficulty, which I’m sure Gary has taken you through, is the variance between you and your partner in weight. This mattress may be suitable if your wife doesn’t mind a firmer support feel. If she’s looking for medium or soft then you may need to go down the zip and link route.

    The Firm core 1 would be a medium feel for you but a firm support unit for your partner. The core mattress is double sided and comes with a thick 7.5cm lay gel topper giving a soft top layer but a substantial support unit which people at 18 stone+ require. This lay gel topper will give a softer top feel for your partner mitigating some of the firmness that the core unit provides.

    If you are interested the specs are as follows:

    Firm core 1 which is suitable from 18-25 stone sleepers. Its matched with a lay gel topper which is a hybrid foam, similar to synthetic latex. This lay gel layer will give both of you comfort to the top layers giving a progressive sink before the support.

    The mattresses are fully turntable so you can use both sides. The tech spec is a 6″ extra firm reflex foam core layered either side with 2″ of softer support core then the topper is used on top of this. In this case the topper is lay gel 7.5cm.

    If you need any more advice please get back in touch. If you are interested in one of the prototype firm cores please let me know what size. – Lee

  • Rod says:


    I’m really struggling because at nearly 30 stone I know that nearly every mattress on the high street will be unsuitable and probably dip within a matter of months. Further more I’m embarrassed when at the thought of going to try them all in their stores given my weight. I know that being obese usually limits my choices but I found your site and like your advice for bariatric mattresses. I’ve been left asking, what kind of bed a heavy person like me should look for?

    I want a bed that’s going to be comfortable and supportive for my weight without being patronised or humiliated.

    Can you advise me as a heavy sleeper which of your bariatric mattresses would be best for me? I obviously need enough support so I don’t wake up aching but also quite like a soft top layer in a bed. Is this even possible given my weight?

    Cheers Rod

    Hi Rod, Thanks for getting in touch and can I say I’m sorry that you feel you’re in such a difficult position. I can empathise that given your requirements going into say dreams and having to try out a number of mattresses is not something you want to do. That said I’m sure we can help you, hopefully reassuring you about your options given your weight. We ask everyone what their weight is so its not unique to you, but weight in incredibly important when choosing a mattress.

    Your mattress choices do reduce when you weigh more than 18 stone due to the fact that most mattresses are made for this tolerance and no higher. We are different in we have two specially design resilience mattresses for the heavier sleeper. These have been designed with not only the support you will need but the resilience that the mattress doesn’t collapse within say 3 months! This is why we use heavy grade reflex foam because its made to last and recover. Our resilience mattresses are two sided meaning you can turn it and even out the initial wear making it last even longer. These are then matched with complimentary toppers to provide the comfort. It also means as a heavy sleeper you can replace the topper if this compresses over time.

    My recommendation Rod would be to look at the resilience 1 which is suitable for your body weight and also provides a soft bounce feel topper with the laygel layer. As always if you need any more advise please call us at John Ryan By design in regard to bariatric mattresses where we are more than happy to help. Lee

  • Anon says:

    Wondering if you can help me please.

    I weigh 27st and have been looking for a new king size mattress. I mainly sleep on my stomach or side.

    After reading some reviews I was considering buying a latex mattress. I have lower back pain which is definitely being exacerbated by my current spring mattress.

    I can see that you have a couple of matresses for ‘heavy sleepers’. I definitely need a firm matress as I sleep much better, whether spring or foam. Both of the heavy sleeper matresses say that they will feel medium to me. How do they compare firmness-wise with the Fusion 4 range? Would a Fusion 4 matress cope with 27st? Are there any spring mattresses in your ranges that would cope with my weight?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Thanks for getting in touch with us. Sorry to hear your current mattress is causing you some pain and issues.

    The issues you will face given your weight is that standard mattress manufacturers and retailer don’t cater to sleepers over 18-20 stone. In fact most mattresses are only guaranteed up to 18 stone, so if it develops a fault the manufacturer will claim that being over this weight has caused the issue. Annoying isn’t it?

    For people over 18 stone theres a different set of mattress manufacture rules to follow. Most retailers will simply point you to the firmest most solid mattress going with little regard for comfort or the top layers, which at any weight are vital. You need a mix of adequate support, thats forgiving, not simply solid as a rock and some top comfort layer to counter to your body and relieve pressure.

    We have our resilience mattress range which as you point out is a medium tension. We have designed these to be robust enough to withstand higher weight tolerances without them collapsing or failing as a standard mattress would do. We use resilient reflex foams and use varying tensions to give both support and comfort. They are also two sided so you can turn and extend the life of your mattress.

    What we always advise against is a rock solid mattress at any weight. You may as well sleep on the floor to get this feel and in reality making a mattress like this exacerbates back problems over time. A medium feel will still be supportive but will allow you to find your own comfortable spot.

    We do a resilience with a latex topper giving the feel of latex but with the support you need. No latex will be supportive enough on its own for your weight I’m afraid and would just be an expensive waste of your money.

    If you want to discuss further please give us a call.

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