In the past, it was difficult to find a good mattress for heavy people, and many larger people had to settle for an extra firm mattress regardless of their specific sleeping preferences.
Thankfully, there are now some fantastic mattresses built specifically for larger sleepers. The Big Fig and Helix PLUS, for example, are two mattresses designed to be durable and support heavier weights.
This comparison article will go through the construction of both mattresses in detail and highlight the main takeaways consumers should know about before making a decision.
- Both mattresses are made for heavier people and they are both hybrid mattresses.
- Both are breathable and should keep people from overheating while they sleep.
- The Big Fig is designed to handle much heavier weights and is noticeably firmer than the Helix PLUS.
- The feels are slightly different; the Big Fig has a bit of a pillow-top feel, and the Helix PLUS has a bit of that slow-sinking, memory foam feel.
Big Fig Construction
- The Big Fig is 13” tall and features seven separate foam layers.
- The cover is 1″ of quilted ThermoGel foam to give the mattress some extra softness and breathability.
- Then there is ½” of a gel-infused latex foam, which provides bounce, responsiveness, and durability.
- This is followed by three 1” layers of polyfoam that are progressively firmer and more supportive.
- Next, there are 7” of individually wrapped coils that are highly supportive, breathable, and durable.
- The base layer is 1.5” of high-density polyfoam for the support coils to rest on.
Helix PLUS Construction
- The Helix PLUS is 12” tall.
- The cover has two layers. The top layer can be zipped off and replaced with an Ultra Cool Cover.
- First, there is 1” of Helix Dynamic Foam. It is a latex-foam hybrid.
- Then, there is a 1” layer of Ultra Dense Memory Foam.
- This is followed by a 1” High-Grade polyfoam transition layer.
- Next, there are 8” of individually wrapped coils.
- Finally, there is 1” of a Dura Dense foam.
- The covers of these two mattresses are quite different; the Big Fig has a tufted cover that is quilted with polyfoam, and the PLUS has a dual cover that is breathable.
- While these are both hybrid mattresses, the top comfort layers are somewhat different. The Big Fig has higher density foams on top, and the Helix PLUS has a softer foam on top. Because of this, the PLUS will have more of a slow-sinking, memory foam feel.
- Both mattresses have taller coils, but the Big Fig has more coils across the mattress. They should both be able to handle heavy weights, but the Big Fig should be even more supportive for much larger people.
- These should both be cooler sleeping mattresses and the coils in both should allow for good airflow. The Big Fig also has a perforated layer of gel memory foam that should promote even more airflow. The PLUS has the optional Ultra Cool Cover, which can also help dissipate heat.
- While both should be longer-lasting mattresses, the Big Fig has higher-density foams and more coils, which should make it a bit more durable.
In terms of firmness, the Big Fig felt like an 8/10 and the Helix PLUS felt like a 7/10. They are both firmer than average, but the Big Fig is definitely the firmer of the two without question.
Here’s how it felt on the Big Fig in different sleeping positions:
- When I was on my back, the Big Fig was actually a bit too firm. My hips didn’t sink in, and they were even pushed up somewhat, so I felt like I was arching my back on the Big Fig.
- On my side, I also felt too much pressure on my shoulders and hips. Note that I am 230 lb, and the Big Fig is rated for up to two 500 lb sleepers, so I may be too light to activate the top layers.
- On my stomach, this firm mattress was definitely firm and supportive enough.
This was how it felt sleeping on the Helix PLUS in various sleeping positions:
- I felt better lying on my back, because my hips sunk just a bit but not too much. I felt well supported, and the top foam layers pressed into the lumbar area.
- On my side, I did feel some pressure on the shoulders and hips, but not as much as I felt on the Big Fig.
- On my stomach, I was supported, but not as well as I was on the Big Fig.
Both mattresses have a balanced hybrid feel overall, but their top layers do make them feel a bit different. The quilted polyfoam on the Big Fig gives the mattress a slight pillow-top feel. The softer foam layers on top of the Helix PLUS give it a bit of that classic memory foam feel.
The Big Fig has a bit more bounce and, partly because it is firmer, I had an easier time moving around on the mattress.
See more about what I thought of the Big Fig’s firmness and feel in the video below.
Now compare this to the memory foam feel on the Helix PLUS in the video below.
Motion Transfer Differences
During my tests, both mattresses performed about the same in regard to motion transfer, and the glass was disturbed a bit on both mattresses.
However, both the Big Fig and Helix PLUS should ensure that people don’t feel too much of their partner’s movements on their side of the mattress. They could both be decent options for couples who don’t want to be disturbed by their partner’s movements.
See how the Big Fig fares when it comes to motion transfer in the video below.
See how the Helix PLUS’s memory foam absorbs my motion with the video below.
Edge Support Differences
If someone is a larger person, they also should think about how much of the mattress’s surface they can actually use. This becomes doubly important if they sleep with a partner.
When it comes to edge support, I felt more secure sitting on the edge of the Big Fig. Likewise, when I was lying down, I felt very secure even when I was close to the edge of the Big Fig. It is the firmer mattress, and it compresses less than the Helix PLUS.
See the edge support differences in the photos below.
Who Should Pick Big Fig…
- People who weigh between 300 and 500 pounds- The Big Fig is rated for heavier weights than the Helix PLUS. It is designed to be even more supportive for people within this higher weight range. If someone is over 300 pounds, this should be the better choice without question.
- Heavier stomach sleepers- This is definitely the firmer of these two mattresses. It should ensure that your hips don’t bow in and take your spine out of alignment while lying on your stomach. If you are larger and a stomach sleeper, the Big Fig is probably the one to pick.
- People who are looking for a long-lasting mattress- Between these two mattresses, the Big Fig has a more durable construction, because the foams are very high-density, and the high number of coils should add some life to the mattress.
Who Should Pick Helix PLUS…
- Heavier side sleepers- While I did feel some pressure on my shoulders and hips while lying on my side on the Helix PLUS, between the two mattresses, the Helix PLUS is a better fit for side sleepers. I definitely felt some serious pressure when I was side sleeping on the Big Fig.
- Heavier sleepers under 300 lbs- The Big Fig might be too firm if someone is under 300 lb. If someone is larger, but not over this weight, they should get a good balance of comfort and support on the Helix PLUS.
- People who prefer a softer memory foam feel- Overall, the PLUS has a balanced hybrid feel, but people do get some soft memory foam on top. If someone likes a bit of that slow-sinking, memory foam feel, this is the mattress to go with.
If people consider their weight and sleeping preferences, the decision between the Big Fig and Helix PLUS should be an easy one.
The Big Fig should be a good fit for much larger sleepers and heavier stomach sleepers, while heavier side sleepers who like a classic memory foam feel should choose the Helix PLUS.
Please leave any specific comments or questions about the Big Fig or the Helix PLUS in the comment section below.
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