Can A Memory Foam Mattress Work For A Heavier Person -- Over 250 lbs?
Memory foam is soft by nature, and while a memory foam bed can work well for a person over 250 lbs, it is important to look at the densities of the foam used in the bed to make sure that they are sufficient to support someone 250 lbs or more.
In my experience, the memory foam mattresses I carried had higher than ordinary densities in the core foam -- the foam that is on the bottom of the bed and forms the support layer for the top memory foam layers.
Typically, the memory foam beds I carried had a core foam density of 2.2 lb or higher, and this was sufficient for someone up to 250 lbs or so. If you are at about that weight, I would suggest staying away from those memory beds whose core foam is lower at 1.6 lb or 1.8 lb density since I don't believe that they will stand up over time (they will lose their support and/or develop dips in the bed over time).
As for the memory foam portions, I've found that up to 250 lbs that a 4 lb density foam or 5 lb density memory foam does seem to work well. At weights higher than this, you would want to get a bed whose memory foam layers were 5 lb or higher to insure that the memory foam will stand up over time.
If you are over 250 lbs, you may have a hard time finding a memory foam bed that offers a core foam with a density of 2.3 lb or higher. So another way to go is natural latex foam which typically has a density of 4 lb. This should last over time, although the downside is that you do pay for this extra density -- latex beds aren't cheap. But natural latex is supportive and has a nice bouncy feel that should stand up over time for those heavier than 250 lbs.
And if you find the natural latex too firm, you can always add on a memory foam topper to give it the soft, conforming feel of memory foam. The nice part about using a topper is that if it does wear out over time, you can just replace the topper rather than the whole mattress.