If you are a heavier sleeper, the perfect mattress can be elusive. Support and durability are especially difficult to find when you are larger.
The good news is there are mattresses that deal with these issues very well. The Big Fig mattress and new Purple mattresses could both be a great fit if you are a heavier person. I reviewed the Big Fig and the Purple 4, the tallest of the new Purple line and the best pick for heavier sleepers like me.
So, how do you choose between them? I have the information you need to make that choice. Read on for my full comparison.
- Both mattresses should be a good fit for heavier people.
- They are both hybrid mattresses, which means they contain coils and foam.
- They have similar base layers.
- Both mattresses should be durable, long-term investments.
- The Big Fig is firmer than the Purple 4.
- The mattresses incorporate different materials into their comfort layers.
- They have very different feels.
Big Fig Construction
- The Big Fig is 13” tall.
- The cover is a quilted, 1” layer of ThermoGel foam.
- Then there is ½” of a gel-infused latex foam.
- This is followed by three 1” layers of polyfoam.
- Next, there are 7” of individually wrapped coils.
- The base layer is 1.5” of high-density polyfoam.
Purple 4 Construction
- The Purple 4 is 13″ tall.
- The first layer is 4” of a hyper-elastic polymer. It is firm and pressure-relieving at the same time.
- Then, there is a 0.5” transition foam layer.
- Next comes a 7.5” layer of individually wrapped coils.
- Finally, there is 1” of a foundational foam.
- The covers are different in that the Big Fig is tufted and quilted with some polyfoam. The Purple 4 has a thin cover that lets you get right down to the gel grid.
- The main difference between these two mattresses can be found in their distinct comfort layers. The Big Fig has polyfoam with some gel foam, and the Purple 4 has a unique, hyper-elastic gel polymer.
- Because of different comfort layers, the mattresses feel very different. The Big Fig has a balanced hybrid feel, and the Purple 4 has a unique, squishy-but-firm gel feel.
- The Purple 4 should be the more breathable mattress. The gel grid promotes a lot of airflow throughout the mattress. The Big Fig shouldn’t be sleeping hot either, but the Purple 4 should be the cooler sleeping mattress.
- In terms of durability, I think both mattresses should last for some time. However, I think the Purple 4’s gel grid should add some more longevity to the mattress.
In terms of firmness, the Big Fig felt like an 8/10 and the Purple 4 felt like a 5/10. I weigh 230 pounds, so lighter and heavier people may have a different experience.
I am heavy enough to activate the gel grid on the Purple 4, but I am not heavy enough to get the full Big Fig experience. Lighter people may think the Purple 4 is too firm, and people heavier than me may find the Big Fig feels softer to them than it did to me.
For me, the Big Fig felt too firm when I was on my back. The mattress didn’t allow my hips to sink in, so I actually felt like my hips were being pushed up. I did not feel like my spine was in alignment. Also, on my side, I felt some real pressure on my shoulders and hips. On my stomach, I felt well supported.
On the Purple 4, I felt fantastic when I was on my back. My hips sunk in the right amount, and I was held up everywhere else. On my side, I felt almost no pressure on my shoulders and hips. Finally, when I was on my stomach, I was supported.
In terms of feel, the Big Fig had a balanced hybrid feel with a bit of pillow-top. The Purple 4 had a unique, squishy-but-firm gel feel. Both mattresses are responsive, so I don’t have trouble moving around on either.
See more about the firmness and feel of the Big Fig in the video below.
Now see Joe explain how the Purple 4’s hyper-elastic gel polymer works.
Motion Transfer Differences
While neither mattress handled motion transfer particularly well, the Big Fig did perform a bit better. The foam layers absorb motion more than the gel grid on the Purple 4.
Between the two mattresses, you should feel less of your partner’s movements on the Big Fig. For this reason, it is probably the better choice for couples.
See how the Big Fig cut down on motion transfer in the video below.
Now compare this to the motion transfer on the Purple 4.
Edge Support Differences
Between these two mattresses, the Big Fig features better edge support. It is the firmer mattress and barely compresses when I sit near the edge. Also, when I’m lying down, I feel more secure near the edge of the mattress.
The Purple 4 is actually designed to collapse, and it is also a softer mattress. I am not surprised that the Big Fig had better edge support.
See the edge support differences in the photos below.
Pick The Big Fig If …
- You are a larger person (between 300 and 500 pounds). The Big Fig is designed for much larger people. If you are over 300 pounds (and especially if you sleep with a partner), the Big Fig should be the more supportive mattress.
- You are a heavier stomach sleeper. If you sleep primarily on your stomach and you are a heavier person, the Big Fig should give you better support. Even if you are over 300 pounds, you shouldn’t feel your hips sinking in too far.
- You prefer a balanced hybrid feel. If you like a hybrid feel with a bit of soft foam on top, the Big Fig is the better choice. You can feel firm top layers of foam and the coils beneath that. If you have had success with a standard hybrid mattress, this is the way to go.
Pick The Purple 4 If …
- You are a heavier side sleeper. The hyper-elastic gel polymer is designed to collapse once you apply enough pressure. If you are larger and sleep on your side, you should feel the gel grid collapse and relieve almost all pressure on your shoulders and hips.
- You sleep hot. Between the two mattresses, the Purple 4 should be the cooler sleeping mattress. The gel grid allows for very good airflow, so you shouldn’t be overheating on this mattress.
- You are a heavier back sleeper under 300 pounds. Being that I am 230 pounds, I believe I was too light for the Big Fig. My hips didn’t sink in enough for my spine to stay in alignment. On the Purple 4, my hips and butt sank into the mattress, but I felt held up everywhere else.
If you consider your weight and sleeping position, the choice between these two mattresses should be simple. The Big Fig is a great choice if you are a heavier stomach sleeper or you are over 300 pounds. Heavier side sleepers and hot sleepers should consider the Purple 4.
Please leave any specific comments or questions about the Big Fig or the Purple 4 in the comment section below.
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