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NEW YORK — Americans are still waiting for their “Goldilocks” moment — four in five say they’ve never found their perfect fit for certain items. According to a new poll of 1,000 people who weight over 250 pounds and another 1,000 people under 250 pounds, many struggle to find clothing (52%), mattresses (40%), and bathtubs or shower enclosures (38%) that fit their body types.

In fact, two-thirds (67%) find themselves struggling frequently with finding items that fit their body size needs. This was especially true for those 350 pounds and over, as 41 percent admit they “always” struggle, compared to only 23 percent of those under 250 pounds.

Despite the frequency, almost three-quarters (74%) of all respondents find themselves feeling frustrated when they are searching for an item that accommodates their needs.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Big Fig Mattress, the survey asked respondents how they go about their everyday lives despite challenges they may face because of their body type. Results found that seven in 10 respondents feel less confident when they struggle with finding items that fit their size needs.

When asked about other emotions respondents experience, those 250 pounds and over are more likely to feel set apart from others, citing “embarrassed” (59%) and isolated (53%). While those who are under 250 pounds tend to lean towards “disappointed” (51%).

Even so, those 250 pounds and up were more optimistic than those under (35% vs 23%).

Don’t have my size? No sale

The average respondent has crossed off about five brands or retailers because they don’t carry products that meet their physical needs. However, for those who are 250 pounds and over, 72 percent have eliminated between three and eight stores.

Almost one in five (18%) of those under 250 pounds cite that all stores carry their size, compared to only two percent of those in the 250+ group.

“This survey makes it clear that the ‘all’ part of ‘one size fits all’ couldn’t be further from the truth,” says Jeff Brown, president of Big Fig Mattress, in a statement. “Almost two in five respondents haven’t found something that they felt was made for them. Everybody and every body deserves a long-lasting and comfortable mattress to support a good night’s sleep, regardless of your size.”

Products made for all body types are an issue no matter what the product, with respondents needing to stand on furniture to reach something (46%) or finding that clothing is either way too long or too short (46%).

Ill-fitting items aren’t just an inconvenience, more than half of respondents say that clothing (61%), vehicles (59%), and mattresses (50%) that aren’t made for their body type have a big impact on their quality of life.

Is life more challenging for people over 250 pounds?

More than half of those 250 pounds and over (53%) believe their life is more difficult than for someone who is considered “normal sized.” That doesn’t mean respondents are only dwelling on the negative — almost half (44%) frequently make light of their struggles. When asked how they do so, respondents outlined things like, “I speak to myself. I’m beautiful and special. I’m impeccable,” and “Remind myself that if this is the biggest problem I have, then I am doing just fine in life.”

The survey also asked about relationships and how respondents are navigating integrating their lifestyles with another uniquely sized person. Seventy-four percent of all respondents are in a relationship and living with their significant other. Almost half (45%) are mixed-size couples, meaning they have a noticeable difference in body size or type. Because of this, couples face challenges like finding a place to live that accommodates both people (40%), struggling to share a mattress comfortably (40%), and having items that one person uses but the other never would such as step stools (34%).

In the end, more than two-thirds (68%) of all respondents agree that it’s difficult to navigate a one-size-fits-all world when people have varying body types.

“We believe and support being body positive, in body acceptance, and in making positive life choices,” Brown notes. “Bigger figured people deserve the same level of quality products and choices as everyone else. It’s important to accept that all bodies are different and require more from product manufacturers, and I think the data makes that clear.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 1,000 Americans under 250 lbs and 1,000 Americans 250 lbs and up was commissioned by Big Big Mattress between September 8 and September 21. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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