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Mattresses that offer a plush, cloud-like feel are appealing to many sleepers. People who weigh less than 130 pounds often feel most comfortable on soft mattresses because they cradle and contour to the body. The same holds true for side sleepers because this position usually requires extra cushioning for the shoulders and hips to ensure even alignment and less pressure along the spine.
Our team brings years of experience and expertise to our hands-on mattress testing. We focused on mattresses with soft feels for the list below, but all of our top picks excel in certain areas that make them stand out from the competition. Performance criteria we took into account include durability, quality of design and materials, temperature control, and motion isolation. Since soft mattresses typically contain more layers than firm models – and thus cost more – pricing and value were also key considerations.
Watch the video below to get a more in-depth look at our top picks for Best Soft Mattress.
To learn more about each of our top picks and where to buy them, check out the detailed descriptions below. Further down, you’ll find our comprehensive buyer’s guide that covers the pros and cons of soft mattresses, average prices for these models, and people who benefit most from sleeping on a softer bed.
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The Softer WinkBed features a plush, adaptive surface to cushion the body, but its coil system provides extra reinforcement around your midsection to keep you aloft. The result is a comfortable, pressure-relieving mattress that also feels exceptionally supportive.
The WinkBed is a luxury hybrid available in four different firmness levels. The Softer WinkBed is medium soft (4), but we were impressed by how stable and supportive this mattress felt. A plush pillow-top paired with zoned coils make this mattress feel exceptionally balanced.
How It Performed
The Softer WinkBed’s most favorable ratings came from our side and back sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds, but heavier side sleepers also felt comfortable on the mattress. The two foam layers contour closely to cushion the spine and alleviate pressure in the shoulders and hips, two areas prone to soreness for people who primarily use the side position.
As a medium soft model, the Softer WinkBed performed well in areas where firmer hybrids typically fall short during our tests. When we evaluated the mattress for motion isolation, we found that the foam layers absorbed movement and reduced transfer to a significant extent. Our pressure relief tests also revealed little buildup.
What It’s Made of
The Softer WinkBed begins with adaptive polyfoam quilted into the Euro-top cover, giving the mattress an invitingly plush surface. A secondary foam layer provides transitional support by cushioning your body while keeping you aloft. Zoned pocketed coils make up the base layer. Thicker coils rest beneath your midsection, creating extra pushback for your torso and hips, and perimeter reinforcement prevents the mattress from sinking too much when you sleep near the edges or get in and out of bed.
A cover made of Tencel fabric encases the mattress. This eucalyptus-derived material has cooling and moisture-wicking properties to offset heat retention from the foam and help you sleep comfortably. At 13.5 inches, the Softer WinkBed is considered a high-profile mattress.
The WinkBed is also available in medium firm and firm designs. Shipping is free throughout the contiguous U.S., and WinkBeds backs each purchase with a 120-night trial period. You may exchange the Softer WinkBed for a firmer model during the trial at no extra cost if you aren’t satisfied with your initial choice, and the replacement mattress comes with an additional 60-night trial. All WinkBed mattresses are covered under lifetime warranties.
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The Leesa Original is a prime example of an affordable mattress made from high-quality materials. Adaptive, open-cell foam layers absorb movement and alleviate pressure without retaining too much body heat.
The flagship Leesa Original is an all-foam mattress with a medium (5) feel. With a price-point that falls well below average, this model is a great option for shoppers with limited budgets who want to invest in a high-quality mattress. As an added bonus, shipping is free to all 50 states.
How It Performed
Our tests show the Leesa Original is a great option for side sleepers. The most favorable ratings came from our side sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds, though heavier testers also felt comfortable in this position. Back and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds received adequate support from the mattress, as well.
We detected minimal heat buildup when testing the Original for temperature control. This can be attributed to the open-cell foam layers, which promote circulation and resist heat retention better than standard polyfoam or memory foam. Our testers also felt little to no pressure, and we noticed a low amount of movement transfer during our motion isolation tests.
What It’s Made of
The Leesa Original contains three foam layers that are progressively denser and firmer from top to bottom. This creates an invitingly soft surface when you get into bed, but the base layer provides enough stability to prevent you from sinking excessively. The entire mattress is encased in a breathable, stretch-polyester twill cover bearing Leesa’s signature stripe design.
All mattress purchases include two down alternative pillows at no extra cost. Leesa’s sleep trial spans 100 nights in length, and those who keep their mattress also receive a 10-year warranty against structural defects.
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The Helix Moonlight Luxe features a plush, Euro-top surface reinforced with zoned coils. The result is a mattress that cushions and supports the body in equal measure, and a moisture-wicking Tencel cover helps reduce heat retention.
Helix Sleep’s mattress lineup includes more than a dozen hybrids, and the Moonlight Luxe is one of the softest models in the bunch. A deep comfort system provides exceptionally close contouring, but the support core should provide enough reinforcement to keep your body on an even plane.
How It Performed
During our hands-on tests for the Moonlight Luxe, side and back sleepers under 130 pounds awarded the mattress its highest ratings. The foam layers contoured closely enough to cushion the spine and minimize pressure buildup, but the mattress didn’t sink excessively for these testers. Heavier testers on our team preferred other Helix Sleep models with firmer, more supportive designs.
The Moonlight Luxe outperformed firmer hybrids we’ve tested in a few key areas. Our testers did not notice much transfer of movement when lying side by side, indicating above-average motion transfer, while the zoned coils pushed back around the midsection to help them move across the surface with ease. Temperature control was another highlight. The coils generate enough airflow to keep the interior cool, and the moisture-wicking cover helped maintain a comfortable surface.
What It’s Made of
The Moonlight Luxe’s comfort system consists of three polyfoam layers, all of which deeply contour to cradle your spine and alleviate pressure in sensitive areas like the shoulders and hips. These layers are encased in a Euro-top that adds luxury to the design, and a breathable Tencel cover helps the surface stay cool.
Pocketed coils and high-density base foam make up the mattress’ support core. The coils are zoned to feel stronger beneath your midsection and gentler for lighter areas of your body. Thicker coils also line the perimeter to push back against compression when you get in and out of bed or sleep close to the edges of your mattress. At 14 inches, the Moonlight Luxe is a high-profile mattress and one of Helix Sleep’s thickest models.
Shipping is free of charge to customers in all 50 states, and each order includes two Helix Dream Pillows at no extra cost. The sleep trial runs for 100 nights, during which you may return the mattress for free if you are not satisfied. Those who keep their Moonlight Luxe receive a 15-year warranty against structural defects, and you can add an accident protection plan covering stains and other types of physical damage for a small surcharge.
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The innovative Saatva Classic uses a coil-on-coil design to provide excellent overall support, but the Plush Soft model offers plenty of cushioning and contouring. Free White Glove delivery and a year-long sleep trial further sweeten the deal for high-end shoppers.
Saatva’s mattress lineup has grown considerably in recent years, but the flagship Classic remains one of the brand’s most beloved models. The mattress boasts a luxurious design complete with a Euro-top and coil-on-coil support system. You can choose from three firmness levels, including a soft (3) option if you prefer deep contouring and cushioning. The Classic is also available in profiles of 11.5 and 14.5 inches.
How It Performed
Our team has personally tested each Saatva Classic design. The Luxury Plush earned its most favorable ratings from our side sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds, and back and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds. We noticed little difference between the 11.5-inch and 14.5-inch profiles, though the latter provides more overall support.
While these versions of the Classic feel quite soft on the surface, the dual-coil construction created plenty of pushback during our tests for edge support and ease of movement. Our testers also noticed exceptional cooling thanks to steady airflow through both coil layers and the breathable organic cotton cover.
What It’s Made of
The Saatva Classic features a Euro-top cushioned with foam and fiber fill. We found the surface exceptionally soft and adaptive. The transitional layer consists of pocketed minicoils for extra cushioning. In the support core, low-gauge bonnell coils are reinforced with high-density foam rails. The coils measure 4 inches thick for the 11.5-inch mattress, and 7 inches thick for the 14.5-inch mattress.
The cover is composed of organic cotton certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard, a leading authority for sustainably sourced fabrics. Each Classic is treated with Guardin, an antimicrobial agent intended to safeguard the mattress from mold, mildew, and harmful bacteria. In addition to the Luxury Plush design, you can also opt for a medium firm (6) or firm (8) feel for the mattress.
The Saatva Classic is reasonably priced compared to other innersprings and hybrids. All customers in the contiguous U.S. qualify for free White Glove delivery, which includes a scheduled delivery date, full assembly in a room of your choice, and removal of your old mattress and box spring upon request. Saatva’s sleep trial spans an entire year, and those who keep their mattress also receive a lifetime warranty.
Best for Side Sleepers
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The Aurora Luxe from Brooklyn Bedding is a luxuriously soft mattress engineered to sleep exceptionally cool. The medium soft version features a deep comfort system with three foam layers to cushion and contour to your body.
The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe is available in multiple firmness levels. For the medium soft (4) model, three foam layers conform closely to cradle the spine, promote even alignment, and alleviate pressure in sensitive areas. These qualities make the mattress particularly well-suited to side sleepers.
How It Performed
Our hands-on tests showed the medium soft Aurora Luxe was comfortable and sufficiently supportive for side sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds. Back and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds also gave the mattress favorable ratings. Those who weigh more should consider the medium firm (6) or firm (7) Aurora Luxe, as these models provide excellent support and don’t contour as closely.
We detected minimal heat retention during our temperature control tests. Phase change material and copper infusions in the topmost foam layers effectively cool off the surface, and none of our testers felt excessively warm. The zoned coils also helped maintain an even surface for our bodies, and the extra perimeter reinforcement reduced sinkage when we tested the mattress for edge support.
What It’s Made of
The medium soft Aurora Luxe features three foam layers in its comfort system. The topmost polyfoam layer is infused with copper and phase change material, so bothersome heat absorption shouldn’t be an issue. The second layer is made of TitanFlex, a proprietary polyfoam designed to cushion the body while providing latex-like responsiveness. Memory foam forms the transitional layer.
The Aurora Luxe’s pocketed coils are divided into three firmness zones, ensuring extra reinforcement for the torso and hips and gentler cradling for lighter areas of the body. A layer of high-density base polyfoam completes the hybrid design. The entire mattress is encased in a polyester cover, which also contains phase change material.
The Aurora Luxe is available in 10 sizes, including a split California king for couples who use adjustable beds and three RV-friendly options. Shipping is free throughout the contiguous U.S., and each order is backed by a 120-night sleep trial. Those who choose to keep their mattress after the trial period expires also receive a 10-year warranty against structural defects.
Best for Spinal Alignment
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The medium-feel Nolah Evolution strikes the right balance between cushioning and support. Four foam layers provide ample cushioning to promote spinal alignment and reduce pressure, but the zoned coils prevent you from sinking excessively.
The Nolah Evolution 15 is a luxury hybrid with a foam comfort system resting over zoned pocketed coils. Three firmness levels are available, including a medium (5) option that contours closely for those who prefer softer mattresses. The open-cell foams are engineered to promote circulation and resist heat retention, allowing the mattress to sleep cool despite its deep conforming.
How It Performed
Our side sleepers awarded the Evolution 15 favorable ratings across all weight groups, but the mattress was especially comfortable for those up to 230 pounds. Back sleepers weighing 230 pounds or less and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds also received adequate support. The mattress is available in medium firm (6) and firm (8) feels.
We were impressed by the Evolution 15’s cooling abilities. The comfort system contains open-cell foam layers that circulate air, rather than trapping heat, and the coils promote enough airflow to maintain a comfortable interior temperature. The coils are also zoned to reinforce the midsection and cradle the rest of the body, resulting in easy movement across the surface, and thicker perimeter coils provided good pushback during our edge support tests.
What It’s Made of
The Evolution 15’s comfort system consists of four polyfoam layers that are progressively denser from top to bottom. You’ll notice a plush, adaptive feel when you get into bed, but the underlying foam layers should prevent you from sinking too much. All of these layers feature breathable open-cell foam, and the second layer is framed in a border gusset intended to dissipate heat.
Pocketed coils and a recycled plant fiber base layer make up the support core. Thicker coils rest beneath your torso and hips for enhanced support, while the perimeter is reinforced to reduce sinkage when you sleep near the edges of the mattress or get in and out of bed. A moisture-wicking cover encases the mattress.
Nolah offers free ground shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. The Evolution 15 comes with a 120-night sleep trial, but you can opt out of the trial period and decrease the cost of your purchase by as much as $150. You’ll also receive a lifetime warranty against structural defects that kicks in when the trial ends, and you can purchase a 10-year accident protection plan covering stains and other physical damage.
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As Helix Sleep’s softest mattress, the Sunset Luxe provides exceptionally close contouring for a hybrid model. We recommend this mattress to anyone who wants deep cushioning without sacrificing overall support.
The Sunset Luxe from Helix Sleep features a mixed-foam comfort system that contours very closely to the body. At the same time, a zoned support core provides decent reinforcement for heavier areas of your body — especially if you sleep on your side
How It Performed
Our team was mixed when we tested the Helix Sunset Luxe. Side sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds gave the mattress its most favorable ratings, but most of our back and stomach sleepers reported uncomfortable sinkage. If you primarily use the back or sleep position, check out one of Helix Sleep’s firmer hybrid models.
Because the Sunset Luxe is exceptionally soft, it outperformed other hybrids we’ve tested in some key performance areas. We detected little transfer of movement during our motion isolation tests, and testers up to 230 pounds did not feel any pressure buildup. Our thermal body sensors also picked up minimal heat retention, which we attribute to the moisture-wicking cover and steady air circulation throughout the coil system.
What It’s Made of
The Sunset Luxe’s Euro-top is cushioned with a top layer of memory foam, followed by two polyfoam layers. These components give the surface an exceptionally adaptive feel, but the Tencel cover provides good cooling and excessive heat retention shouldn’t be an issue for most people.
The support contains pocketed coils and a base layer of high-density polyfoam. The coils are zoned to feel more supportive beneath your torso and hips, and gentler under the head, shoulders, and legs. The Sunset Luxe measures 14 inches thick, making it a high-profile mattress and one of Helix Sleep’s thickest models.
The Sunset Luxe is competitively priced for a luxury hybrid and shipping is free to all 50 states. Each order includes two Helix pillows at no extra cost. The mattress comes with a 100-night trial, and you’ll receive a 15-year manufacturer’s warranty if you decide to keep it after the trial period ends.
Best for Couples
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The GhostBed 3D Matrix is soft and adaptive, but the mattress is also engineered to sleep exceptionally cool. Great motion isolation, a reinforced perimeter, and a surface that responds to movement make the mattress particularly well-suited to co-sleepers.
GhostBed offers a wide array of mattresses designed for excellent temperature control. The 3D Matrix sleeps cool even compared to other GhostBed models, but also features a deep foam comfort system that contours closely and isolates motion very well. We’re recommending this mattress for anyone who wants a balance of cushioning, support, and thermoregulation.
How It Performed
The GhostBed 3D Matrix earned excellent ratings from our testers under 130 pounds across all sleep positions. Side sleepers weighing 130 to 230 pounds also felt comfortable on the mattress and enjoyed the deep cushioning from its foam layers. People who weigh more should consider another GhostBed model, as the 3D Matrix is one of the brand’s softest mattresses.
Our thermal sensors detected very little heat buildup when we tested the mattress for temperature control. This can be attributed to the heat-dissipating cover, gel infusions in the foam layers, and a coil system that promotes air circulation. The foam layers are highly adaptive, so we gave the mattress strong ratings for motion isolation and pressure relief. Edge support was also above-average, especially compared to other soft mattresses.
What It’s Made of
The 3D Matrix’s comfort system consists of four individual layers. The topmost layer is made of polyfoam coated in gel polymer material meant to dissipate heat on contact. Next is a gel-infused memory foam layer, followed by two layers of dense polyfoam. The mattress has a medium (5) feel, so you should expect deep contouring as your body settles into the surface.
The support core contains pocketed coils and high-density base foam. Since the coils are zoned, you’ll feel more pushback beneath your midsection and a gentler feel for the head, shoulders, and legs. The mattress is encased in a cover made of proprietary Ghost Ice fabric, which feels cool to the touch at all times.
GhostBed ships the 3D Matrix for free to customers in the contiguous U.S. Your order includes a sleep trial that runs for 101 nights, during which you may return the mattress for free if you aren’t satisfied. The standard manufacturer’s warranty covers structural defects for up to 25 years, and you may purchase a 10-year accident protection plan covering stains and physical damage.
Best Pressure Relief
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The Bear Elite Hybrid’s Luxury Plush design provides deep contouring to alleviate pressure along the spine, but zoned transitional and coil layers should prevent you from sinking too much. A cooling cover and steady airflow through the support core also allow the mattress to sleep exceptionally cool.
If you wake up with stiffness or sore spots along your spine, you should consider a mattress that excels at pressure relief. The Bear Elite Hybrid is a prime example of a mattress that contours closely without sacrificing support. This model is available in three firmness levels, including a medium (5) option for those who prefer a softer sleep surface.
How It Performed
Our team tested all three of the Bear Elite Hybrid’s firmness levels. The Luxury Plush model received favorable ratings from side and back sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds, and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds. The medium firm (6) and firm (8) designs were more comfortable for our testers over 230 pounds.
We were impressed with the Luxury Plush Elite Hybrid’s performance during our motion isolation and pressure relief tests. Thanks to the cooling cover and internal layers that promote airflow, our testers also noticed minimal heat buildup. The zoned transitional and support layers effectively reduce sinkage along the perimeter, as well, so you should have an easy time getting on and off the mattress.
What It’s Made of
The Elite Hybrid’s topmost layer is composed of memory foam infused with copper, which has natural cooling properties. Convoluted polyfoam makes up the transitional layer. This component is divided into five firmness zones to provide extra reinforcement for heavier areas of your body and a gentler feel elsewhere. The convoluted shape allows air to circulate near the mattress’ surface.
The pocketed coils are also zoned to create enhanced support for your torso and hips. High-density base polyfoam completes the hybrid design. The entire mattress is encased in a polyester cover woven with Celliant, an innovative fabric engineered to capture and dissipate body heat.
The Elite Hybrid is reasonably priced for a luxury hybrid and shipping is free of charge to customers in the contiguous U.S. Each order comes with a 120-night sleep trial. Bear’s standard mattress warranty covers structural defects for as long as you retain ownership. You may also purchase accident protection plans covering stains and other types of physical damage for 3, 5, or 10 years.
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The Lytton Sleep Signature Comfort Plush is a luxuriously soft pillow-top hybrid designed for deep cushioning and contouring. Sturdy, zoned coils push back against the heavier areas of your body and circulate air to help you sleep cool and comfortably.
If you enjoy the feel of a soft mattress, then you’re a great candidate for a pillow-top model. The Lytton Sleep Signature Comfort Plush features a classic pillow-top design cushioned with plush, adaptive foam that molds to your body’s unique contours. Transitional and support layers feel denser and firmer, so excessive sinkage shouldn’t be an issue.
How It Performed
The side sleepers on our testing team weighing up to 230 pounds felt very comfortable on the Signature Comfort Plush. The same was true for back and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds. For those who weigh more and need stronger support, Lytton Sleep also offers the Signature Comfort Firm.
Overall, we were impressed by the balanced construction of this mattress. The foam layers absorbed motion and reduced transfer of movement during our motion isolation tests, and none of our testers experienced painful pressure buildup. At the same time, the zoned coils provided plenty of pushback when we tested the mattress for edge support and none of us felt “trapped” when moving across the surface.
What It’s Made of
The Signature Comfort Plush’s pillow-top is cushioned with an inch of plush polyfoam. Denser polyfoam makes up the transitional layer, cushioning closely while providing a buffer between your body and the pocketed coil support core. The coils are zoned to feel stronger and more responsive beneath your midsection. Thicker coils also line the perimeter to prevent deep sinkage when you get in and out of bed.
The entire mattress is encased in a cover made of breathable organic cotton. Measuring 13 inches thick, the Signature Comfort Plush is considered a high-profile model. We’ve rated its firmness as medium (5).
Lytton Sleep offers free ground shipping to customers in the contiguous U.S. The company backs each purchase with a 100-night sleep trial, during which you may return the Signature Comfort Plush after testing it for at least 30 nights. The manufacturer’s warranty covers structural defects in the mattress for up to 20 years.
Our testing team at Sleep Foundation has evaluated hundreds of mattresses using rigorous, hands-on testing methods. Our testers not only have years of experience in the sleep product industry, but also represent a wide range of body types, sleep positions, and general preferences. This allows us to incorporate as many perspectives as possible when conducting our mattress evaluations.
For this guide, we focused on mattresses with a medium firm (6) feel or lower. These include mattresses available in one firmness, as well as flippable beds with two surfaces – one of which is on the softer side – and models with multiple firmness options. During mattress evaluations, our testers focus on performance areas such as durability, motion isolation, edge support, and ease of movement. We also use special tools to measure body heat retention and track pressure buildup in different areas of the body. The top picks listed above represent the soft mattresses that performed best during our tests.
To learn more about our testing process, please check out the product research methodology breakdown below:
Soft mattresses usually appeal most to side sleepers and those who weigh under 130 pounds. Lightweight sleepers exert less force on a mattress than heavier sleepers, which means firmer mattresses often don’t compress enough to provide lightweight sleepers with cradling and pressure relief. When a mattress is too firm, side sleepers are particularly prone to pressure buildup in their hips and shoulders. A soft mattress will allow a side sleeper’s hips and shoulders to sink in more, promoting better spinal alignment.
Back and stomach sleepers below 130 pounds who like a plusher surface may also enjoy a softer mattress. However, since back and stomach sleepers often prefer a slightly firmer feel, a soft mattress may not be as important for these sleepers. Back and stomach sleepers frequently need extra support to prevent their midsections from sinking in too deeply. The right soft mattress should be able to support your body and without sacrificing plushness.
Sleepers who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds who prefer a plush feel may also enjoy soft mattresses. This is especially true of side sleepers, who may experience sharp pressure points on an overly firm mattress. Some side sleepers weighing more than 230 pounds may also appreciate the hug of a soft mattress, though sleepers in higher weight groups may experience excessive sinking in the hips and shoulders, which could place a strain on the spine.
|Weight||Side Sleepers||Back Sleepers||Stomach Sleepers|
|Less than 130 Pounds||Soft – Medium||Medium Soft – Medium Firm||Medium Soft – Medium Firm|
|130 to 230 Pounds||Medium Soft – Medium Firm||Medium – Firm||Medium Firm – Firm|
|More than 230 Pounds||Medium – Medium Firm||Medium Firm – Firm||Medium Firm – Firm|
In the video below, we discuss how your sleeping positions affects your mattress firmness needs for proper spinal alignment and pressure relief.
Soft mattresses are usually most compatible with side sleeping. When you sleep on your side, the widest parts of your body (their hips and shoulders) put the most pressure on the mattress. For pressure point relief, a mattress must have sufficient cushioning in these regions. To promote proper spinal alignment, the mattress must also have enough support to prevent your hips and shoulders from sinking in too deeply.
Soft mattresses are not usually as conducive to back and stomach sleeping. Back and stomach sleepers often require more support to prevent their midsections from sinking too far into the mattress. Some soft mattresses may give sufficient support for these sleep positions, especially if they contain zoned layers. Many back and stomach sleepers favor a slightly firmer feel.
While individuals from any weight group may enjoy a soft mattress, sleepers who weigh under 130 pounds usually gravitate to this feel more than other weight groups.
We’ve found that sleepers in this weight range put less pressure on the surface of a mattress. Firmer mattresses may not have enough give to allow lightweight sleepers to sink in, which can interfere with spinal alignment and cause you to feel more severe pressure points. Softer mattresses generally provide more conforming for lightweight sleepers, relieving pressure points and encouraging better spinal alignment across all sleep positions.
Shopping for a mattress online is convenient because you can compare multiple models quickly and easily. However, without trying the mattress in person, you don’t always know how to anticipate what the mattress will feel like. Paying attention to the firmness rating can give you a clearer idea of how a mattress might feel. Reading customer reviews will also give extra insight.
Many direct-to-consumer mattress companies offer sleep trials during which customers can return their mattress for a refund of the purchase price. Before purchasing a mattress online, we encourage you to take a company’s trial period and return policies into account.
With so many mattresses available online, deciding where to shop may be the first big obstacle in your mattress-buying process. Deciding which mattress features you prioritize can help narrow your options. From there, reading mattress reviews can further refine your search.
Some mattresses will offer additional options like different heights and firmness levels, White Glove delivery, or optional add-ons. After you add your selection to your cart and proceed to checkout, you will generally be asked to input your contact and shipping information and pay via credit card.
Many mattresses run promotions throughout the year, so you might find discounts or offers for a free item with your mattress purchase at any time. However, some of the best deals usually fall on holiday weekends around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Black Friday.
To save additional money shopping for a mattress online, you might check for special offers through your credit card or a cash back program like Rakuten.
Some companies may use confusing words that distract you from more important considerations. For instance, some companies may describe a mattress as “more comfortable” or “the most comfortable.” However, since comfort is subjective, this may not be true for everyone. Similarly, shoppers may be drawn to proprietary materials with appealing names. Some of these materials are unique, but their presence doesn’t mean one mattress is inherently superior to another.
Focusing on the following considerations can give shoppers a clearer idea of how a mattress may affect their sleep experience.
Below, we’ll detail the most common mattress types. All mattress types are available in soft designs, but the materials and build can affect the overall sleep experience. While some features and characteristics tend to be consistent between different models within one type of category, individual models vary quite a bit due to design, materials, and build.
Definition: Hybrid mattresses combine a thick comfort system with a coil support core. The composition of the comfort system varies between models, but many hybrids contain layers of cotton, wool, polyfoam, memory foam, latex, microcoils, and/or a combination of several different materials.
Highlight: Balanced Benefits. Hybrid models often combine the best traits of innerspring mattresses and latex or foam mattresses. The coil layer usually gives hybrids more bounce, breathability, and edge support than most all-foam or all-latex models, while the substantial comfort layers provide more contouring, motion isolation, and pressure relief than most innerspring models.
Definition: Innerspring mattresses are generally considered more traditional than foam, latex, or hybrid models. An innerspring mattress’s most notable component is its metal coils. Some innerspring mattresses may also have a thin layer of cotton or foam for extra softness, but the coil layer is the most significant factor impacting the sleep experience.
Highlight: Affordable. Innerspring mattresses are often lower-priced than other mattress types, so they may appeal to shoppers on a budget.
Definition: All-latex mattresses can be constructed of synthetic latex, natural latex, or a blend of the two. There are two main types of natural latex: Dunlop latex and Talalay latex. The different processes used to craft these types of latex lead to differences in their feel and performance. Dunlop is usually denser and more durable, while Talalay tends to be bouncier and more breathable.
Highlight: Contouring Without Sinkage. Latex contours gently to relieve pressure points. Rather than compressing exclusively under your weight, the compression is spread out over a wider surface area, which may make you feel like you’re are floating on top of the mattress rather than sinking into the mattress.
Definition: Airbeds contain air chambers that can be filled or emptied to adjust the firmness of the bed. Modern airbeds often include remotes or apps to adjust the bed easily, while others may use a hand crank. Materials vary between models, but they may include thin comfort layers of memory foam, polyfoam, latex, cotton, and/or polyester. The support cores frequently use PVC, rubber, and/or polyurethane.
Highlight: Customizable Firmness. Airbeds are easy to adjust, allowing sleepers to change the feel based on their preference, even if that varies between nights. However, since most airbeds have a thin comfort layer, it might not be possible to achieve the plush feel some sleepers look for from a soft mattress.
Definition: All-foam mattresses are generally crafted from multiple layers of foam, which may include memory foam, polyfoam, or a combination of the two. Latex may also be included in some all-foam models.
Highlight: Close Conforming. Memory foam and polyfoam compress directly under a sleeper’s weight rather than spreading the compression across a wider area. Because of this, most soft all-foam models conform closely to the sleeper’s body, creating a hugging sensation. This can help relieve pressure points.
The right sleep accessories can complement your soft mattress to create a plush and appealing sleep surface. You can use these accessories to adjust the feel of your existing mattress or fine-tune the feel of a new mattress.
Since soft mattresses tend to allow you to sink in more deeply than you would on a firmer mattress, the best pillow may be a softer, lower-loft pillow. A pillow that is too firm or too lofty may lift your head excessively and put more pressure on the neck.
Side sleepers may benefit from a medium-loft pillow. Due to shoulder width, a side sleeper’s head usually needs more support to keep the spine properly aligned. Ideally, side sleepers should aim to find a pillow that fills the gap between their neck and the mattress without lifting the head or neck up too much.
Back sleepers may prefer a pillow on the lower end of the medium range. The goal is still to fill the gap between the neck and mattress, but this gap is not as large with back sleepers, so they usually do not need as lofty of a pillow as side sleepers.
Stomach sleepers usually prefer the thinnest pillows or no pillow at all to avoid placing added pressure on the neck.
A mattress topper can be an affordable way to adjust the feel of your current mattress. Mattress toppers generally aren’t a long-term solution to an uncomfortable mattress, and they do not provide the same benefits as a new mattress. However, toppers can tweak the feel of the mattress and provide some extra plushness.
If your existing mattress is too firm, a thicker topper will likely provide a more noticeable change than a thinner topper. However, sleepers looking for a subtler variation may prefer a thinner topper.
A soft mattress – which rates as a 2 or 3 on the 1-10 firmness scale – is well suited to sleepers who need extra cushioning and close body contouring to feel comfortable. The best candidates for a soft mattress include people who weigh less than 130 pounds, particularly if they sleep on their sides. Back sleepers in this weight group may also find soft mattresses comfortable, though many prefer a medium soft (4) feel instead.
Sleepers who use thinner low-loft pillows should also consider a soft mattress. Because they’ll sink more deeply into the mattress, a thicker pillow can elevate the head excessively, and this may lead to poor spinal alignment and added pressure.
An excessively soft mattress can lead to back pain. If a mattress is too soft to support your hips and shoulders properly, these areas of your body may sink in too deeply. This can place additional pressure on your spine.
Generally speaking, the best mattresses for your back have medium feels that offer a balance of soft cushioning and firm support. This ensures the mattress will conform to your body and evenly distribute your weight – reducing aches and pains in the process – without sinking too much around heavier areas of your body like the torso and hips.
However, the best mattress for your back also depends on your weight and sleep position. Someone who weighs less than 130 pounds and sleeps on their side or back might not experience any back pain or pressure points on soft mattresses, but heavier individuals probably won’t feel as comfortable on these beds.
Depending on your weight and sleep position, either a soft or firm mattress may be better for back pain. Soft mattresses provide more conforming, which may promote better spinal alignment for sleepers who weigh under 130 pounds, especially those who sleep on their sides. However, individuals who weigh over 230 pounds, particularly those who sleep on their stomachs or backs, may benefit from a firmer mattress that supports their midsections and prevents them from sinking in too deeply.
A mattress that is too soft can cause hip pain. Soft mattresses compress under the hips to conform to the sleeper’s body. If the mattress is too soft, it could overcompress and create pressure points.
Personal preferences aside, the best firmness for any given sleeper largely depends on two factors: body type and primary sleep position. Our testing has shown that people who weigh less than 130 pounds tend to favor a soft or medium soft feel, those who weigh 130 to 230 pounds likely prefer a medium to medium firm feel, and sleepers weighing more than 230 pounds will probably feel most comfortable on a medium firm to extra firm mattress.
Side sleeping usually requires more cushioning and conforming. This position does not promote even alignment, so sleepers need a mattress that cradles the spine while contouring to the shoulders and hips. This should improve alignment and reduce pressure in the process. Back and stomach sleeping naturally aligns the spine, so people who favor these positions need more support to keep their entire body on a flat, even plane. Although individual preferences vary, most back and stomach sleepers prefer firmer mattresses than side sleepers.
Mattresses soften naturally as they age, so the feel may change on its own over time.
Adjusting your mattress foundation may also contribute to the feel. Using a box spring may make a memory foam mattress feel firmer, so removing the box spring can soften the feel. If you have a hybrid or innerspring model, using a box spring may make it feel softer. Before adjusting your foundation, review the information from the manufacturer so that you don’t risk voiding the warranty.
If you sleep on a memory foam model, increasing the temperature in your bedroom may soften the mattress slightly. Using a mattress topper, especially a thicker topper, can soften the sleep surface.
Babies should not sleep on soft mattresses due to rebreathing and suffocation risks. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep on a firm sleep surface that complies with their safe sleeping guidelines.
Memory foam mattresses may be either firm or soft depending on their construction. Foams can be produced in a wide range of firmness levels, and materials can be layered to create a firm or soft surface.
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