If someone is a heavier sleeper, the perfect mattress can be elusive, because support and durability are especially difficult to find for bigger people.
The good news is there are mattresses that deal with these issues very well. The Big Fig mattress and new Purple mattresses, for example, could both be a great fit if someone is a heavier person. This 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 should be a good fit for heavier people, because they are both hybrid mattresses, which means they contain coils and foam.
- They have similar base layers and both mattresses should be durable, long-term investments.
- The Big Fig is firmer than the Purple 4 by a significant amount.
- The mattresses incorporate different materials into their comfort layers and as a result have very different feels.
Big Fig Construction
- The Big Fig is 13” tall and features seven separate layers of coils and foam.
- The cover is a quilted, 1” layer of ThermoGel foam, which adds softness and cooling to the mattress.
- Then there is ½” of a gel-infused latex foam, which adds bounce and responsiveness.
- This is followed by three 1” layers of polyfoam, which get progressively firmer.
- Next, there are 7” of individually wrapped coils, which are highly supportive, breathable, and durable.
- The base layer is 1.5” of high-density polyfoam that the support coils can rest on.
Purple 4 Construction
- The Purple 4 is 13″ tall and features four distinct layers.
- The first layer is 4” of a hyper-elastic polymer, which is firm and pressure-relieving at the same time.
- Then, there is a 0.5” transition foam layer to act as a buffer between the comfort and support layers.
- Next comes a 7.5” layer of individually wrapped coils, which are very supportive, breathable, and durable.
- Finally, there is 1” of a foundational foam that the steel coils can rest on.
- 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 people get right down to the gel grid and doesn’t affect the mattress feel too much.
- 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, because 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 out of the two.
- In terms of durability, both mattresses should last for some time, but 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 overall.
I am heavy enough to activate the gel grid on the Purple 4 but 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 it 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 and thought the mattress had the appropriate firmness level.
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 but think pure stomach sleepers should look at a model with a thinner comfort layer.
In terms of feel, the Big Fig had a balanced hybrid feel with a bit of pillow-top, and 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 in the video below.
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, people should feel less of their partner’s movements on the Big Fig. For this reason, it is probably the better choice for couples who don’t want to be disturbed by their partner’s movements.
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 with the video below.
Edge Support Differences
Between these two mattresses, the Big Fig features better edge support, because 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, so I am not surprised that the Big Fig had better edge support.
See the edge support differences in the photos below.
Who Should Pick The Big Fig…
- Larger people (between 300 and 500 pounds)- The Big Fig is designed for much larger people. If someone is over 300 pounds (and especially if they sleep with a partner), the Big Fig should be the more supportive mattress.
- Heavier stomach sleepers- If someone sleeps primarily on their stomach and they are a heavier person, the Big Fig should give them better support. Even if someone is over 300 pounds, they shouldn’t feel their hips sinking in too far.
- Those who prefer a balanced hybrid feel- If someone likes a hybrid feel with a bit of soft foam on top, the Big Fig is the better choice. Sleepers can feel firm top layers of foam and the coils beneath that. If someone has had success with a standard hybrid mattress, this is the way to go.
Who Should Pick The Purple 4…
- Heavier side sleepers- The hyper-elastic gel polymer is designed to collapse once people apply enough pressure. If someone is larger and sleeps on their side, they should feel the gel grid collapse and relieve almost all pressure on their shoulders and hips.
- People who sleep hot- Between the two mattresses, the Purple 4 should be the cooler sleeping mattress. The gel grid allows for very good airflow, so people shouldn’t be overheating on this mattress.
- Heavier back sleepers 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 people consider their 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, and 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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