Illustration: Eight stick figures; men and women of differing heights and sizes standing beside one another.

H, E, I or A – Which Type Are You?

Every individual is unique but for science, it makes sense to define different general body shapes. A distinction is made between four types, H, E, I and A, based on size, weight and physique. When buying a new mattress in particular, it is important to know your body shape so that you can find the optimal sleeping pad.

The HEIA Classification

The classification according to HEIA is based on the appearance of the letters describing the different body shapes. Thus the H type looks like a solid “H”, the E type is a big, strong “E”, the I type the slender “I” and the A type the “A”, which widens at the bottom.

The body types are described in more detail as follows:

THE H TYPE

The H type has the following characteristics:
⁃ predominantly male
⁃ large, solid build
⁃ shoulders, chest and stomach propor­tionately powerful
⁃ narrow hips
⁃ stomach more extensive than backside

➔ Heavy, solid man

Illustration: Body type H: solid, strong man

THE E TYPE

The E type can be described as follows:
⁃ predominantly male
⁃ tall, rather slender build
⁃ shoulders wider than the hips
⁃ backside and stomach not pronounced

➔ Large, powerful man

Illustration: Body type E: tall, thin man

THE I TYPE

The I type is described as such:
⁃ predominantly female
⁃ small to medium-sized, slender build
⁃ hips and shoulders the same width
⁃ backside and stomach not pronounced

➔ Small light woman

Illustration: Body type I: thin woman

THE A TYPE

Finally, there is the A type:
⁃ predominantly female
⁃ small to medium-sized build
⁃ narrow shoulders and slim waist
⁃ backside and thighs tend to be heavier

➔ Small, curvy woman

Illustration: Body type A: woman with curves


Do you tend to be more the H, E, I or A type? Do you recognise yourself? The vast majority of the population fits into one of the existing categories. In addition to the “pure” H, E, I or A types, there are so-called mixed forms, which have character­istics of several types. Body shape differs from person to person. Simply use the type that best approxi­mates you to orient yourself. If you find you fall between two body shapes, it is best to choose a mattress that is suited to both types.


Illustration: Mixed types H and E: a tall, solid and a tall, thin woman
Illustration: Mixed types I and A: a thin and a corpulent man

HEIA as a Reference Point When Buying a Mattress

The typology according to HEIA is especially important when buying a new mattress. Depending on the physique, certain conditions must be met if sleep is to be restful. For this reason alone, it makes sense to ask yourself which category you fall into. Small, light people – i.e. the I and the A type – hold the best cards when it comes to buying a mattress. They do not sink into the mattress surface as much while sleeping, and the mattress has an easier time fulfilling its support function. For large, heavy people, on the other hand, the mattress has to “do more work”. At night, the muscles relax and can no longer optimally fulfil their support function for the entire skeletal system (in particular for the spine). At this point the mattress comes into play and must provide adequate compen­sation for this. For this reason, a mismatched mattress can cause back pain and other discomfort. If a heavy person belonging to the H type lies on his or her side, for example, the mattress must compensate for the difference between the pelvis, waist and shoulders. Otherwise, it leads to a cramped lying position, which adversely affects the entire body. The same is true for an A type woman with a wide pelvis. The differently shaped regions of the body are also pressed into the mattress to varying degrees. An adaptation is essential here. When one considers that a night’s sleep lasts on average seven hours per day, and thus that we spend about one third of our life in bed, it is possible to guess the extent of the impact that an insuf­ficiently supportive mattress can have.

One Fits All – With the BODYGUARD®, You Are Always Lying Comfortably

Stiftung Warentest introduced the four body profiles from the compre­hensive HEIA typology to its mattress tests in 2012 in order to test lying and sleeping comfort. The testers repeatedly found that many mattresses are indeed suitable for small and light people, but not for tall and heavy ones.

The BODYGUARD® Anti-Cartel-Mattress optimally supports all body types, in both a back and a side position. So it comes as no surprise that the BODYGUARD® meanwhile has been sold more than two million times and therefore is Germany’s best-selling mattress.

Stiftung Warentest confirms: “All body types sleep well on it.” (“test“ 10/2018 – tested: 90 x 200 cm, medium firm)

A High Degree of Resting Comfort Due to Ergonomic Modules and QXSchaum® Mattress Foam

The high resting comfort of the BODYGUARD® Anti-Cartel-Mattress is achieved through various ergonomic modules which adapt best to the individual body zones. These are specially shaped and have different widths. The result: regardless whether you are an H, E, I or A type, every body type is optimally supported in every position – which ensures a restful sleep.

In addition, the specially developed QXSchaum® Mattress Foam is highly durable, which preserves the ergonomic properties of the mattress for years to come. Stiftung Warentest performed a laboratory stress test, which simulated use of the mattress for eight to ten years and clearly proved the following: the BODYGUARD® barely lost any height and retained its shape for an above-average length of time. No nightly body impressions formed, and a hammock effect and other uncomfort­able deformations did not occur. Moisture, for example due to heavy sweating, and temperature effects from body temperature like­wise did not affect the quality. In addition, thanks to its special dimensional stability and moisture resistance, the QXSchaum® Mattress Foam does not require a regeneration phase, unlike most conventional mattresses.

The combination of these properties ensures that the ergonomic properties of the BODYGUARD® Anti-Cartel-Mattress for all body types will last for years.


In a nutshell:

⁃ The different body types can be described by the letters H, E, I and A
⁃ Everyone is different: in addition to the “pure” H, E, I and A types, there are mixed shapes
⁃ A personal assessment according to the HEIA principle is especially important when purchasing a mattress
⁃ Which letter best reflects my physique and does the selected mattress optimally support that physique?
⁃ The BODYGUARD® Anti-Cartel-Mattress from bett1.de optimally supports all body types, in both a back and a side position