How to Find the Best Mattress for a Lightweight Person: Shopping Tips and 5 Top Picks

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 24 minLast updated November 5, 2020

When I was a teenager, my grandma used to say that I didn’t have enough meat on my bones.

And sometimes I could really feel that. When?

When I was sleeping on my old, firm spring mattress. It felt more like concrete than a bed.

You see, every body type requires a proper mattress construction. When a skinny person lies down on a mattress that doesn’t work for them, it could feel like simply sleeping on the floor. Zero comfort, zero satisfaction.

I don’t want that to happen to you. That’s why I’ve prepared a review of 5 best mattresses for a lightweight person. Let’s see who managed to make it to the list and learn how to find what works for you.

A Quick Preview

Puffy
Best Overall – Editor’s Pick

Puffy
Type: foam
Layers: 3
Sleep trial: 101 nights
Warranty: lifetime
Check Current Price on Puffy.com
Read more about this mattress
Nolah
Best for Lightweight Back Sleepers

Nolah
Type: foam
Layers: 3
Sleep trial: 120 nights
Warranty: 15 years
Check Current Price on Nolahmattress.com
Read more about this mattress
DreamCloud
Best Hybrid Mattress for Lightweight Sleepers

DreamCloud
Type: hybrid
Layers: 5
Sleep trial: 365 nights
Warranty: lifetime
Check Current Price on Dreamcloudsleep.com
Read more about this mattress
Layla Hybrid
Best for Flippable Firmness

Layla Hybrid
Type: hybrid
Layers: 5
Sleep trial: 120 night
Warranty: 10 years
Check Current Price on Laylasleep.com
Read more about this mattress
Nectar
Best Value Mattress for Petite People

Nectar
Type: foam
Layers: 3 + quilted cover
Sleep trial: 365 nights
Warranty: Forever Warranty
Check Current Price on Nectarsleep.com
Read more about this mattress

Our Reviews of the Best Mattresses for Lightweight People

Best Overall — Editor’s PickPuffy

puffy mattress review

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Highlights

  • close conforming for instant relaxation and good pressure relief;
  • stain-resistant cover for effortless cleaning;
  • good motion isolation for uninterrupted partnered sleep;
  • lifetime warranty for your peace of mind;
  • patented Climate Comfort foam for cooler sleep.

What makes the Puffy one of the best mattresses for lightweight people is the overall feel of this model. It is cradling, hugging, and heavenly comfortable, which means you don’t have to be a larger sleeper to enjoy a decent hug. 

The Puffy’s layers are nicely balanced and combine support with pressure relief. The top layer is rather plushy and allows for a good amount of sinkage suitable for skinny sleepers. With this mattress, you aren’t going to feel like your bones are crushing into the mattress surface. At the same time, you won’t feel stuck in the Puffy’s material thanks to the 2-inch Climate Comfort layer (which also contributes to temperature regulation).

Best for Lightweight Back Sleepers — Nolah

nolah mattress

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Highlights

  • proprietary AirFoam for cooling pressure relief;
  • breathable and soft Tencel cover;
  • suited for partnered sleep thanks to its motion isolation;
  • high-resilience transition foam to combat the quicksand feeling;
  • sturdy polyfoam base for reliable support.

Another model that can be called the best mattress for a lightweight person is the Nolah. Using a soft comfort layer and offering a gentle hug, the Nolah is perfect for skinny back sleepers who need some sinkage combined with sturdy support.

The company uses proprietary foams to achieve a very balanced feel. The Nolah envelops the body but doesn’t sleep hot. It absorbs shock from motion but offers resilient support. It is soft enough to allow the hips to sink in when lying on your back but supports the spine properly.

Best Hybrid Mattress for Lightweight Sleepers — DreamCloud

DreamCloud

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Highlights

  • quilted cashmere Eurotop for extra comfort;
  • sturdy coil core;
  • proper air circulation for cooler sleep;
  • reinforced edges for increased sleeping surface;
  • lifetime warranty and a year-long sleep trial.

If you are dreaming about luxurious comfort, the DreamCloud might be a precious find for you. This hybrid combines the best materials to achieve high comfort levels. It would work for skinny back and stomach sleepers the best thanks to the sturdy support it provides.

Thanks to the quilted Eurotop, the DreamCloud shouldn’t seem too stiff to lightweight individuals. This mattress uses pocketed coils for support and memory foam for comfort. It has a little bounce to it but doesn’t transfer motion that much, so you can share it even with a restless partner.

Best for Flippable Firmness — Layla Hybrid

Layla Hybrid

 

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Highlights

  • flippable design with two firmness options;
  • breathable cover, soft and pleasant to the touch;
  • sturdy coil base for reliable support;
  • integrated handles for easier flipping;
  • zipped cover for easy cleaning.

This is the best mattress for a lightweight person who wants versatility. The Layla is a flippable hybrid that has a soft side for side sleepers and a firm side for skinny stomach sleepers. 

Not only does the Layla offer you the freedom to choose your firmness level but also it guarantees proper support for your spine. The mattress has rather thick comfort layers for pressure relief. The comfort layers on both sides are infused with gel and copper, which prevents the foam from trapping heat. Therefore, the Layla sleeps cool.

Best Value Mattress for Petite People — Nectar

Nectar

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Highlights

  • cooling Tencel cover, soft and pleasant to the touch;
  • responsive transition layer to prevent sleepers from feeling stuck;
  • gel-infused memory foam for cool pressure relief;
  • 1-year in-home trial for indecisive shoppers;
  • quilted cover for a luxurious feel.

Another cool mattress on our list is the Nectar, which offers great value for money thanks to its quality components, smart construction, and attractive pricing. The mattress has a medium feel that would work great for petite back sleepers.

The Nectar has it all: reliable support, comforting pressure relief, neutral temperature during sleep, and good motion isolation. Even though this mattress has only 3 layers, it maintains a rather balanced feel. The cover is quilted for an extra hug and a luxurious touch.

What Makes a Good Mattress for a Lightweight Person?

Generally speaking, the best mattress for a lightweight person shouldn’t be overly firm. In fact, plushier models are more likely to make you feel comfortable during sleep. Why? Because this way, your body will not crush into the firm surface of the mattress. Instead, it will be hugged by the mattress materials, reducing tension and pressure points.

At the same time, a mattress has to offer sturdy support for the spine. Therefore, it should have a dense supportive layer underneath the comfort materials. Such a construction will help with proper weight distribution.

Another point you may want to consider is motion isolation, especially if you share a bed with a partner who is significantly larger than you. If your mattress does not absorb shock from motion well, your partner’s every move will be transferred to your side of the bed. And that can be disturbing. In this case, the best mattress for a skinny person and their partner shouldn’t be too bouncy.

How to Choose Mattress Firmness When You Are a Skinny Sleeper

To answer shortly, yes.

Let me explain. Your weight can determine how a bed would feel to you. The more you weigh, the deeper you will sink into your mattress. Just like that, skinny individuals often can’t enjoy decent cushioning simply because their body weight isn’t enough to compress the mattress material.

At the same time, you need proper support for your spine, as it can help you relax more and maintain a healthy back. However, when petite sleepers often find themselves too supported, meaning sleeping on overly firm beds. In this case, the spine cannot stay neutral during the night. 

So, clearly, it is important to consider your weight when shopping for a new mattress. Here are a few points you might take into account:

  • If you are a lightweight side sleeper, you need plenty of cushioning for your hips and shoulders. The comfort layers of your mattress should be rather plushy and allow your body to sink nicely into them. If we look at the mattress firmness scale, where 1 is the plushiest and 10 is the firmest, petite side sleepers should pick something rated around 3.
  • If you are a skinny back sleeper, you require slightly more support and less cushioning (just a moderate amount to let the hips and the buttocks sink in). Back sleepers are recommended to choose medium mattresses, but petite users need something a bit softer (around 5 on the firmness scale).
  • If you are a lightweight stomach sleeper, you need sturdier support. This sleeping position doesn’t require sinkage, so you might want to choose a firm mattress rated around 7.
  • If you are a combination sleeper, you need a mattress that will not restrict your movements, so perhaps sticking to the medium rating would be a good solution in this case.

A quick note: comfort is subjective. Therefore, these recommendations may not work for everyone, and that’s totally fine. To be on the safe side, you can buy a mattress with a long sleep trial. This way, you will test your new bed at home, and if it doesn’t feel comfortable enough, you will return it for a full refund.

What Is the Best Mattress Type for a Lightweight Person?

If you are a petite sleeper, you may be wondering which mattress type would work for you the best.

Let’s take a look at the most common types on today’s market and see how each of them may perform for a lightweight person:

  • Foam. Now, you can come across memory and polyurethane foam. In most foam mattresses, manufacturers use both types (with memory foam serving as comfort layers and polyfoam for transition and support, in most cases). Foam is generally very adaptive (1). It reacts to one’s body heat and weight, which causes the material to compress under pressure and adjust to the body curves. As a result, foam can offer good pressure relief and even weight distribution.  Foam mattresses are a great option for skinny users as this material can be squishy enough to allow for a decent amount of sinkage. However, keep in mind that foam tends to retain heat and might not work for hot sleepers. If you are one of them, consider a mattress that uses either gel-infused or open-cell foam.
  • Latex. Similar to foam, latex is adaptive and offers close conforming. However, the material itself is bouncier and tends to offer a bit less sinkage. For petite sleepers, latex can be an excellent choice if you pick a suitable firmness level. Such mattresses are very durable, temperature-neutral, and naturally antimicrobial. At the same time, latex is quite pricey. Plus, it’s heavy and can be challenging to transport. This might be an issue for someone who’s planning to move, for example.
  • Hybrid. Hybrid mattresses don’t just use one type of material. They pair up multiple layers to reach a balanced combination of support and cradling. Usually, hybrids have an innerspring core (pocketed coils) and foam (or sometimes latex) comfort layers. For skinny people, hybrid mattresses can often seem too stiff (courtesy of the resilient support core). Therefore, petite users are advised to pick softer hybrids, preferably the ones that have thicker comfort layers. Luckily, many hybrid beds have a plush Eurotop that adds a bit of an extra cushioning. Now, keep in mind that hybrid mattresses are usually expensive and heavy (hence, hard to move). However, this mattress type is quite durable. Hybrids also ensure proper air circulation during the night and don’t sleep hot.
  • Traditional innerspring. Let’s cut right to the chase: innerspring mattresses are very cheap and widely available. However, they aren’t ideal for petite sleepers. An innerspring mattress simply will not allow for much sinkage. Such beds usually have a thin comfort layer over the coils, which means your body will simply crush against the bed surface. And that’s far from favorable conditions for sleep. An innerspring mattress might only work for strict stomach sleepers. However, keep in mind that this type isn’t very durable.
  • Pocketed coils. In this case, each coil is wrapped in fabric and separated from its “neighbor”. Such a design gives these mattresses an ability to adjust to one’s body and allows for some sinkage. Of course, it’s not as good as with other mattress types, but if you pick a suitable firmness, there’s a chance you can feel quite comfortable sleeping on a mattress that has pocketed coils.

How to Pick the Best Mattress for a Lightweight Person: Buyer’s Guide

I know it can be hard to find the best mattress for a skinny person. Many of them are advertised as the ones able to give you “cloud-like comfort”. But not all of them actually work for petite individuals.

And there’s a lot more to pay attention to than just the comfort level. To find something that would work for you, you need to consider multiple factors

  • Type. As mentioned before, there are several common types of mattresses you can come across these days. While the choice would probably be based on your personal preferences, allow me to share a couple of suggestions. For instance, if you appreciate a deeper hug and want to be enveloped by your mattress, foam is your “guy”. If you prefer sleeping “on” your bed rather than “in” it, latex would probably be a more suitable option. And if you want to find a compromise between resilient support and gentle cradling, a good hybrid mattress could do that for you.
  • Firmness. You already know that each sleeping position requires suitable mattress firmness. Mattresses are typically rated on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the stiffest. There are companies that offer comfort kits (extra layers, if we put it simply) in case you want to alter the feel of your new bed. Also, some latex mattress manufacturers use layers of different density and allow the users to remove the cover and swap the layers to achieve a slightly different comfort level.
  • Size. Many shoppers don’t really bother with picking a proper bed size and go with the most popular one – Queen (2). However, if you are a skinny sleeper, you may want to give the size choice a bit more thought, especially if you sleep with a larger partner. As mentioned before, motion transfer can be quite noticeable if your significant other isn’t as petite as you are. If that’s the case, you may want to try a larger mattress, so that you can put a bit more distance between you and your partner. Chances are, the motion transfer from their movement won’t even reach you in this case.
  • Price. Setting your budget is a good idea if you want to prevent yourself from overspending. Keep in mind that most great mattresses cost around $800-$1,000 these days. If we’re talking about hybrid mattresses, those are a bit pricier. As for latex, such mattresses tend to be among the most expensive ones. Innerspring and pocketed coils are more affordable, so if you are on a tight budget, you might go for a cheaper option. However, to add a touch of luxury and give yourself a bit more cushioning, you can add a foam topper to your spring bed. That’s a budget-friendly solution, although it isn’t ideal in terms of comfort and durability. But hey, I want you to be aware of all the options you have.
  • Durability. If we’re talking about foam, high-density is much more durable than cheaper low-density foam. If you are considering a hybrid bed, check the coil gauge – the lower the number is, the thicker (and more durable) the coils are. As for latex, such mattresses have a pretty long lifespan, so there’s nothing you should worry about (3).
  • Sleep trial. An extended sleep trial will give you a chance to test your new bed, see how your body responds to the new materials, and perhaps try different sleeping positions. Typically, manufacturers offer around 100-120 days. However, there are brands with a 365-day sleep trial, which is a great option for hesitant shoppers. Keep in mind that some mattresses have a mandatory break-in period (usually, 30 days), only after which you can return the mattress. Such conditions are normal, as some mattress materials need time to adjust to your body curves. For example, many foam mattresses feel too stiff at first, but after a few nights, they learn to mold to your body and start feeling more comfortable.
  • Motion isolation. This aspect is important if you share your bed with a partner and one of you can be a restless sleeper. Remember that foam and latex mattresses are the best ones in terms of motion isolation. Hybrid beds could also work, but you need to make sure that the comfort layers are quite thick. As for innerspring, it’s better to give your preference to pocketed coils (although this isn’t an ideal choice when it comes to motion absorption).
  • Temperature. I bet there aren’t many people who like to sleep hot. To avoid waking up all sweaty, you may want to consider temperature-neutral materials such as latex or innerspring. Hybrid beds usually also sleep cool. As for foam mattresses, they tend to trap body heat (4). Therefore, check out models that use either gel-infused or open-cell foam.

 

F.A.Q.

What is considered a lightweight sleeper?

Generally, people who weigh less than 130 pounds are considered lightweight individuals.

What is the best sleeping position for lightweight sleepers?

Sleeping on your back is considered to be the healthiest sleeping position if we’re talking about proper sleeping posture and maintaining a healthy spine. The rule is universal for all body types. When sleeping on your back, the spine has the best conditions to maintain a healthy neutral shape.

Does body weight affect a mattress?

Yes. If you are heavier, you sink in deeper and a mattress can seem too soft and unsupportive to you. If you are skinny, your body weight might not be enough to compress the comfort layers and, in this case, a mattress could seem way too stiff.

What mattress size is the best for lightweight individuals?

It really depends on your preferences. If you share your bed with a partner, you may want a larger mattress to put yourself further and prevent the motion from your partner’s side to transfer to your side of the bed. If you are a solo user, a Full would suffice. A Queen will give you a lot of room to roll around, so it’s a perfect option for solo sleepers who like to sprawl in bed.

Are memory foam mattresses good for petite users?

Yes, if you choose a suitable firmness level for your favorite sleeping position. Memory foam mattresses gently envelop the body and usually allow for a generous amount of sinkage, which is great for lightweight individuals who need more cushioning.

How do I choose mattress firmness?

Consider in which position you sleep most of the time. Side sleepers are recommended to choose softer mattresses, petite back sleepers are advised to pick medium or soft-to-medium beds, and stomach sleepers should choose firm mattresses.

Are thicker mattresses better?

Not necessarily. High-profile mattresses usually have a thicker base that makes them taller. If you want extra cushioning, consider a mattress with either a Eurotop or a pillow-top instead.

Conclusion

Every body, big or small, deserves to feel comfortable, especially when sleeping. Luckily, gone are the days when petite individuals had to add extra layers or toppers and pile those up on top of their mattresses to receive a bit more cushioning. These days, there are many great mattresses for petite people. And when trying to pick one, don’t forget to take your favorite sleeping position into account. Check what materials the manufacturer uses and how much the warranty covers. Plus, check the measurements to figure out which mattress size would work the best for you. As for me, I already know which mattress I would love to use nightly. Can you guess? Yes, it’s the Puffy. Its deep hug is simply irresistible. Moreover, this mattress can offer balanced support to lightweight sleepers without making them feel trapped or stuck. It comes at an attractive price and is backed by a lifetime warranty. What else is there to wish for? Is there another mattress that managed to impress you? And what do you think makes a great mattress for petite people? Share your thoughts in the comments!

References

  1. Annie Stuart (February 08, 2010). Memory Foam: Pros and Cons. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/memory-foam-pros-and-cons
  2. Statista Research Department (September 03, 2019). How wide is the bed you mainly sleep on at home? Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/673201/mattress-size-among-us-adults-by-age-group/
  3. Freshome Team (October 28, 2020). How Long Should A Mattress Last? Retrieved from https://www.mymove.com/mattress/guides/how-often-should-i-change-my-mattress/
  4. Beth Sissons (August 27, 2020). Memory foam vs. gel memory foam mattress: Pros and cons. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/memory-foam-vs-gel-mattress

Our research

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