Four letters for a restful night’s sleep: HEIA body types can serve as a guide when buying the ideal mattress. This is a standardised model based on the assumption that height, weight distribution and physique affect our requirements for maximum lying comfort. Which letter are you? We will introduce you to the different body types and tell you what you should pay attention to when buying a mattress!

Why do body types exist? HEIA-Körpertypen

People are built differently and have individual sleeping habits as well as comfort needs. The body types based on letters are the consequence of a rating system developed by Stiftung Warentest and are intended to do justice to this fact. The letters H, E, I and A symbolise the most common body shapes and are supposed to make the decision to buy a new mattress easier by taking body size and weight distribution into account. The aim is to find a suitable mattress for your personal sleep type based on your physique, thus enabling a pressure-free and ergonomic lying sensation.

What are the characteristics of each body type?

The body type model distinguishes between four different basic shapes, which are inspired by the appearance of the following letters: H, E, I and A. While the H-type and E-type are usually tall and male, the letters I and A stand for female body shapes.

  • This is what the H-type looks like: H-types are usually compact and relatively large. They are characterized by broad shoulders and a strong body centre, while the hips are narrow and straight. The wrong mattress can therefore quickly lead to a hammock effect in which the stomach area sinks in too deeply.
  • This is what the E-type looks like: The typical E-type is also male, tall and of normal to slim build. The shoulders are usually not much wider than the hip area and the middle of the body is not very prominent. When lying down, the weight is evenly distributed over the shoulders, stomach and pelvis.
  • This is what the I-type looks like: I-types describe small and petite people, so they often fit female body shapes, but also very slim men. As the shape of the letter suggests, shoulders, hips and pelvis form a straight line. Similar to the E-type, this means that the weight is evenly distributed when lying down and no area of the body is stressed excessively.
  • This is what the A-type looks like: The A-type is also classically small and has narrow shoulders. Here, however, the body’s centre lies in the hip area, so the pelvis sinks in more than the shoulders. When lying on their back, A-type sleepers should make sure that no hollow back is created.

This is what body types reveal about the right mattress

You have probably already noticed that the respective weight distribution of HEIA body types places special demands on the support of a mattress. Due to the comparatively high body weight, the H-type generally benefits from a firm lying surface with strong support and a pressure-relieving shoulder comfort zone that ensures a pleasant sleeping experience, especially when lying on the side. For example, the Swissflex mattress versa excellence, which is even available in an extra firm degree of firmness, offers reliable body support and a fitting pressure relief.

Matratze versa excellence

The usually low, evenly distributed body weight of I- and E-types predestines them for a softer mattress with comfortable 7-zone support. Thanks to the division into 7 comfort zones, every part of the body receives the appropriate pressure relief and support. If you belong to the E- or I-type, you have a wide choice of Swissflex mattresses. Try a natural latex mattress, for example, which offers 7 comfort zones, good ventilation and flexible body adaptation.

Matratze versa 22 Naturlatex

The suitable mattress for A-type people should have a higher firmness in the hip zone in order to perfectly support the body’s centre and prevent it from sinking in too deeply. The SF Hybrid 26, for example, is suitable for this body type. Its three-layered middle zone provides special support and relief for the pelvis.

Matratze SF Hybrid 26

Is the classification into HEIA body types useful?

Critics of the body type theory argue that the classification does not cover all body shapes represented in the population and is therefore inaccurate. They also say that important criteria such as height and weight are not taken into account sufficiently. In fact, the standardized system does not fully describe every person – so if none of the four HEIA body types suits you, there is no reason to worry.
The body types are not suitable as the only criteria for buying a mattress, because many factors for good sleep are ignored. To narrow down the mattresses that are suitable for you, you can use the body types as a general guide. Simply orientate yourself using the HEIA type which best matches your personal body characteristics – regardless of the classification as a typically “female” or “male” body type.

How to find your suitable mattress

Good sleep is an individual matter. When buying a mattress, various factors are therefore important, from your physique and weight to your preferred sleeping position and your temperature perception. Thus, the division into different body types should only be seen as a possible guideline and you should seek professional advice from a specialist retailer. A specialist retailer will make it easier for you to find a suitable mattress by taking your individual preferences and personal sleeping needs into account. Swissflex offers you a wide range of mattresses, so that more than the four HEIA body types will find what they are looking for. Different degrees of firmness, innovative mattress cores and different sizes enable a comfortable, ergonomic sleeping experience for every body shape and size! You can find a Swissflex retailer near to your location by using the store locator. There you can try out the mattresses and choose the one that feels simply out of heaven for you!