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Unique Mattress Provides Deep Sleep For Heavy Sleepers

One of the things I love most about my job is the opportunity to be involved in a wide range of projects, all aimed at improving the lives of individuals living with severe obesity.

After hearing persistent complaints from my patients about their inability to find suitable beds or mattresses that would easily bear their considerable weight, I began to pursue the idea of finding a mattress manufacturer, who may be able to design a mattress that would meet their needs.

It turns out that I did not have to look very far.

Right here in Edmonton, Araam Inc. manufactures a range of standard and custom made mattresses. Surprisingly enough, this company even holds a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, making them the only bed manufacturer to actively supply the British Royal Family and the Royal Household with their Hypnos brand of mattresses (also found around the world in the finest palaces, estates and hotels).

Our project started with focus groups in which several of my patients and ergonomy experts from the Canadian Obesity Network met with the mattress folks in their West-Edmonton showroom to first discuss the limitation of current mattresses and determine the specifics of an ideal ‘bariatric’ mattress for home use.

Based on the input from this focus group Araam then produced five prototypes from a wide range of materials and specifications, which was followed by another in-house focus group session to test the prototypes.

However, given the wide range of shapes and sizes of 250+ lb individuals with varying dimensions around the upper, mid and lower section of their bodies, it turned out that the prototype that felt great around the head and shoulders, was too firm around the butt. The prototype that felt great around the calves and feet was too soft in the mid section. It soon became clear that any single mattress would simply not be good enough.

For this Araam came up with a novel solution: a mattress that consists of three separate sections, each of which can be chosen to suit the specific dimensions and needs of each body section. The final product is then fused together into a single mattress that exactly meets the individual needs of each client.

With four materials to chose for each section (memory foam, memory foam plus, latex, gel), each providing a different level of support, aeration, and firmness, clients can literally chose from a seemingly endless combination (believe me it would take several hours to try all permutations on this one).

In addition to the specs for each section the focus groups provided to additional important criteria: 1) the materials had to withstand considerable loads – enough to support even clients in the 500 lb range; 2) the mattress would have to be affordable to users with a limited budget.

Aaram took all of these requirements and met them in its new line of LitBeds – even the most expensive combination comes for just under $2,500.

As a bonus for all the support they received in the design of this mattress, they have agreed to donate a proportion of all sales to the Canadian Obesity Network.

Obviously, this mattress is not only for large and heavy clients – it is in fact perfect for anyone seeking a fully customizable sleeping experience – I might just get one myself.

Edmonton, Alberta


  1. Excellent idea and a much needed product to enhance the quality of life for persons living with obesity. As an OT it is nice to see some more options for my clients to consider.

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  2. I swear by my Tempurpedic bed. Before I lost 125 lbs,it was crucial for me in getting sleep. Two reasons:
    1. Good for my cervical disc disease.
    2. Boxspring allowed elevating the head (like a hospital bed) was better for my sleep apnea.

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  3. I’m…gobsmacked. One thing my obesity—and at one time my BMI was 74—never caused me problems with was my mattress. At 400 pounds, I was sleeping on a $150 mattress, quite comfortably. 8 years later and 175+ pounds lighter, I’m still sleeping on the same mattress, equally comfortably.

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  4. I, too, am kind of gobsmacked. It seems like a nice idea, and I’m sure there’s a market for it. I’ve always been happy with a multi-layer futon or an inexpensive memory foam mattress, but I know that my own experience in that area is probably meaningless for people who are hundreds of pounds heavier than I am.

    However, I’m sure I’m not the only person who switches sleeping positions during the night. Also, the bed is not just for sleeping, if you know what I’m saying. It seems like a bed with a moulded surface could be… awkward?
    For both of those reasons, actually.

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  5. The concept of using just any matress for any one now seems very stupid. It is kind of like just eating anything and expecting to loose weight. I wonder if Alberta Aids to Daily Living will cover the cost of this type of matress for lower income people–most people with lower incomes cannot afford a specialized matress. A very good consept, Thanks

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  6. This would also be a great product for people in chronic pain. Someone with a bad back would want a different model than someone with bad hips.

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  7. I’m going to blunt. What about people’s sex lives? If you have a bed with a moulded surface, what do you do? Get it going on the floor? The sofa? The dining room table?

    I’m completely serious. I know people who weigh 400+ pounds who value their sex lives, and I myself have kept it going with barely a break through a hip replacement. If it was a choice between a less than perfect sleeping surface and celibacy, I’d take the less than perfect sleeping surface.

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  8. @DeeLeigh – apologies if there was some misconception about the nature of this mattress, there is nothing moulded about them. Even the memory foam (the most giving of the materials) springs right back to its original form when you roll over or move around (believe me there was plenty of romping around on the protoypes during the focus groups. The differences between the materials are in their firmness, level of support, and (most importantly for some) its ‘coolness’ that allows air to pass through the surface and also help dissipate heat and moisture – very sophisticated high-end stuff this. Other features that the focus group wanted and likes was the ability to sit on the edge of the mattress without slipping off (our heaviest ‘tester’ was well over 350 lbs).

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  9. Interesting results from the focus groups! It seems though to find the perfect “one mattress fits all” type. there is a market for the idea but the high level of customization required may be a problem for feasibility and profitability.

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  10. Do these beds work on adjustable frames? I need a 39” x 80” twin bed and I’m 300 pounds

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