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Best Soft Mattress

Logan Foley

Written by

Logan Foley, Certified Sleep Coach

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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.

The Sleep Foundation 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.

The Best Soft Mattresses

Leesa Original

Best Value

Leesa Original

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Helix Moonlight Luxe

Most Comfortable

Helix Moonlight Luxe

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Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Hybrid

Best Cooling

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Hybrid

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Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-ProAdapt

Best Pressure Relief

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-ProAdapt

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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.

Product Details

Softer WinkBed

Best Overall

Softer WinkBed

Softer WinkBed
Price Range: $1,149 - $2,049
Mattress Type: Innerspring
Firmness: Medium Soft (4)
Trial length: 120 nights (30 night requirement)
Trial length: 120 nights (30 night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • Those who want a responsive mattress that conforms to their body shape
  • Side sleepers
Highlights:
  • Euro-top hybrid design balances responsiveness and conforming
  • Zoned support core delivers targeted support
  • Excellent airflow and breathability
Softer WinkBed

Get $300 off all mattresses

The WinkBed comes in four firmness options, including the Softer WinkBed with a firmness level that rates as a 4 on our 10-point scale. While the mattress is a hybrid with a robust support system, the plush initial layers contour closely to alleviate pain and pressure points.

What It’s Made of

The Softer WinkBed features a Euro-top quilted with gel-infused foam engineered to pull heat away from the body. The comfort system also includes a transitional foam layer meant to provide extra cushioning while hindering sinkage and maintaining an even surface for sleeping.

The support core features coils that are pocketed to allow them to move independently of each other. A zoned arrangement provides targeted support to the midsection and softness for lighter areas to help align the spine. The support layer also includes a sturdy, reinforced edge to increase the usable surface area of the mattress.

How It Performed

Our testing shows the Softer WinkBed performs well with side sleepers, especially those who weigh less than 130 pounds. Back sleepers under 130 pounds may also enjoy the mattress. Both foam comfort layers significantly relieve pressure while the coils provide great overall support.

Despite a plusher feel, the Softer WinkBed offers great edge support, so most sleepers can sit on the edge without slipping off. The coil support core circulates air throughout the mattress to regulate the temperature. Hot sleepers should stay relatively cool throughout the night.

The Softer WinkBed comes with a lifetime warranty and a 120-night sleep trial. Ground shipping is free for all customers in the contiguous U.S.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“A lot of hybrid beds with coil systems feel somewhat bouncy, but our test team experienced very little motion transfer on the Softer WinkBed. Side sleepers on our test team found excellent pressure relief from the quilted Euro-top.”

Leesa Original

Best Value

Leesa Original

Leesa Original
Price Range: $799 - $1,299
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium (5)
Trial length: 100 nights (30 night requirement)
Trial length: 100 nights (30 night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Value seekers
  • Side sleepers
  • Hot sleepers who like the close contouring of memory foam
Highlights:
  • Stretchy and breathable polyester and spandex blend cover
  • Mixed foam comfort system creates a more responsive feel than some other all-foam models
  • Free shipping to all 50 states
Leesa Original

Up to $500 off mattresses + 2 free down alternative pillows

The Leesa Original is a high-quality foam bed at an affordable price-point. The mixed-foam design and medium (5) feel offer responsiveness without sacrificing the cushion many seek in an all-foam mattress. It should also appeal to hot sleepers who need close contouring to relieve pressure but without excessive heat retention.

What It’s Made of

Polyfoam in the top comfort layer alleviates pressure without too much sinkage. Underneath is a memory foam comfort layer that deeply contours to the body and evenly distributes weight across the surface. The support core features a thick, high-density polyfoam layer that lifts the body and prevents uncomfortable sagging and spinal misalignment. A stretchy polyester and spandex twill cover encases the mattress. This fabric is breathable to facilitate airflow and keep the surface cool.

How It Performed

The Leesa’s mid-range feel and all-foam construction best suit side sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds and back sleepers weighing under 130 pounds. The foam comfort layers cradle a side sleeper’s joints to relieve pressure-induced pain. Meanwhile, the medium feel supports a back sleeper’s hips and keeps the body on an even plane.

Thanks to the responsive polyfoam top layer, the Leesa outperformed many other all-foam models in terms of temperature regulation. This layer doesn’t conform to the body as closely, and the breathable cover helps reduce heat retention on the surface. The more responsive feel earned the Leesa higher marks in sex and ease of movement. The mattress also excelled in pressure relief and motion isolation like other foam models.

Leesa offers free ground shipping to customers in all 50 states and a 100-night sleep trial, allowing customers to return a mattress after a 30-night break-in period. Leesa Original mattress purchases are backed by a 10-year warranty.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“Our testing team found the Leesa Original performed exceptionally well for most side sleepers. The price-point is also pretty hard to beat.”

Helix Moonlight Luxe

Most Comfortable

Helix Moonlight Luxe

Helix Moonlight Luxe
Price Range: $1,099 - $2,349
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Soft (4)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 15 Year, Limited
Warranty: 15 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • People who experience painful pressure buildup
  • Sleepers who enjoy feeling “hugged” by their mattress
  • Side sleepers
Highlights:
  • Plush foam layers excel in pressure relief
  • Pocketed coil system is zoned for enhanced support to the lower back
  • Cooling fabric cover helps maintain temperature neutrality
Helix Moonlight Luxe

Get up to $350 off + 2 free Dream Pillows

Helix offers an extensive lineup of mattresses at various firmness levels, and the Moonlight Luxe is one of its softest models. With thick foam layers up top and a pocketed coil core, this model has a medium soft (4) feel that should be comfortable for sleepers who prioritize plushness.

What It’s Made of

The mattress begins with a cooling pillow-top quilted with plush polyfoam that contours closely to the body, followed by a polyfoam layer that further enhances contouring. Next is a polyfoam transitional layer with a bit more firmness. This layer conforms to the body but also generates more support than the previous layers, keeping the body from compressing too deep into the bed. The support core contains pocketed coils that respond to your body while offering solid support. The coils are zoned to offer enhanced support to the lumbar region.

How It Performed

The Moonlight Luxe has above-average softness compared to other hybrid models. The thick plush layers cradle joints closely and offer excellent pressure relief for sleepers who tend to wake up with sore shoulders or hips. The deeply plush feel makes this bed most well suited for side and back sleepers under 130 pounds. Side sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds may feel comfortable on this model if they enjoy beds with strong contouring, but most sleepers over 130 pounds will sink too deep to receive proper support.

Hot sleepers may find the plush surface traps too much heat around their body. That said, the coil layer allows air to flow through the interior, which helps with ventilation. The cover is also composed of a cooling fabric that helps reduce heat retention. Shoppers can pick between two cover fabrics – Tencel, known for its breathability, or a GlacioTex Cooling Cover, designed to draw heat away from your body.

The Moonlight Luxe comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty. Helix provides free shipping to all 50 states.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“When it comes to plush mattresses, you can’t beat the Moonlight Luxe. The pillow-top combined with the soft foam layers felt extremely comfortable for many of the side sleepers on our team.”

Saatva Classic

Best Luxury

Saatva Classic

Saatva Classic
Price Range: $887 - $2,296
Mattress Type: Innerspring
Firmness: Soft (3), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)
Trial length: 365 Nights ($99 Return Fee)
Trial length: 365 Nights ($99 Return Fee)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, California King, Split California King
Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers who enjoy the feel of a bouncy mattress
  • Hot sleepers
  • Shoppers who want or need assistance with new mattress setup
Highlights:
  • Innovative coil-on-coil construction offers excellent support and responsiveness
  • Choose from two profiles and three firmness levels
  • Free White Glove delivery and 365-night trial period
Saatva Classic

Buy more, save more. Get up to $450 off.

The Saatva Classic  is a luxury mattress with an ingenious design that builds on the classic innerspring model. Shoppers willing to spend a bit more on a high-quality and durable bed may want to consider this pick.

What It’s Made of

The Saatva Classic is available in three firmness levels, including a soft (3) option for sleepers who need close contouring. This version of the mattress features plush foam quilted into a Euro-top, followed by a layer of memory foam that serves as a lumbar pad. These materials create a plush surface that should satisfy anyone in search of a soft mattress without compromising stability from the coil layers. The mattress features a coil-on-coil construction with pocketed minicoils over a support core of robust, low-gauge hourglass coils. These components work together to keep your body on an even plane, reducing aches and pains in the process. You can also choose from profiles of 11.5 or 14.5 inches, depending on your ideal mattress thickness.

How It Performed

Hot sleepers will find the Saatva Classic comfortable. Both coil layers generate a fair amount of airflow throughout the interior to help the mattress maintain a cool temperature. The cover, made of GOTS-certified organic cotton, is also quite breathable and resistant to heat buildup. All firmness options significantly relieve pressure in the hips and shoulders. The medium firm and firm options have great edge support and rank highly for sex. Couples should be able to use the full area of the bed comfortably.

While many online mattress brands ship their products free as a mattress-in-a-box via ground delivery, Saatva offers free White Glove delivery to all contiguous U.S. customers. This service includes a scheduled delivery date, full setup in a room of your choosing, and complimentary removal of your old mattress and box spring. Saatva further incentivizes buyers with a 365-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty against structural defects.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“Our testers typically associate soft mattresses with a certain amount of sinkage, but the innerspring layer in the Saatva Classic makes this bed feel more robust. The bed is also great for testers with different body types, thanks to the three firmness options.”

Nolah Signature 12

Best for Side Sleepers

Nolah Signature 12

Nolah Signature 12
Price Range: $849 - $1,499
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium (5)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Side sleepers
  • People who normally find foam mattresses excessively hot
  • Couples
Highlights:
  • Medium (5) feel provides excellent cushion
  • Proprietary open-cell foam shouldn’t retain too much body heat
  • All-foam construction isolates most motion and prevents transfer
Nolah Signature 12

Get an additional $20 off the Nolah Signature Mattress for total savings of $320 with code: SF320

The Nolah Signature 12 is an all-foam mattress with a medium (5) feel that provides excellent cushion for a side sleeper’s pressure points. The foam is designed with cooling features that enable the bed to run cooler than many competing memory foam models.

What It’s Made of

The mattress has a comfort system comprised of three foam layers. The top layer is made of plush AirFoam, a proprietary open-cell material engineered to promote air circulation and resist the buildup of body heat. This is followed by a more responsive foam layer that prevents you from sinking too deep into the bed, and then another layer of AirFoam that is firmer than the top layer. The base is constructed of high-density foam for durability, and a breathable organic cotton cover helps the surface stay fairly cool.

How It Performed

The thick foam layers provide deep contouring and pressure relief for side sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds, and back and stomach sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds. Couples should be able to sleep soundly on the Signature 12. The foam layers absorb movement quite well, creating very little motion transfer across the surface – a common source of nighttime disturbances for co-sleepers. As an all-foam model, the mattress is also completely quiet and won’t produce disruptive creaking sounds when you or your partner get up in the middle of the night.

Ground shipping is free of charge for all Signature 12 buyers who reside in the contiguous U.S. Nolah backs the mattress with a 120-night sleep trial, but you can opt out of the trial period and save some money on your up-front costs. A lifetime warranty is also included with every order.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“We rolled around on the Nolah Signature 12 and barely felt each other’s movements, thanks to the excellent motion absorption on the foam surface. The bed felt especially comfortable for side sleepers.”

Helix Sunset Luxe

Best Extra-Soft

Helix Sunset Luxe

Helix Sunset Luxe
Price Range: $1,099 - $2,349
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Soft (3)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 15 Year, Limited
Warranty: 15 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Side sleepers
  • People who tend to sleep hot
  • Couples
Highlights:
  • Luxury pillow-top design with an exceptionally plush feel
  • Zoned coils provide extra perimeter reinforcement
  • Breathable Tencel cover and steady airflow throughout the interior
Helix Sunset Luxe

Get up to $350 off + 2 free Dream Pillows

The Helix Sunset Luxe is one of the company’s softest luxury models. Thanks to the plush comfort system and soft (3) feel, the mattress is a highly-comfortable choice best suited for sleepers under 130 pounds.

What It’s Made of

Featuring a plush pillow-top cushioned with soft, adaptive foam, the mattress cradles the body closely to reduce pain and pressure points along the spine. The Sunset Luxe is constructed with a memory foam comfort layer reinforced with two layers of polyfoam. These materials contour deeply to create a cloud-like feeling of sleeping “in” – not sleeping “on” – the mattress. Pocketed coils make up the support core. Extra reinforcement along the perimeter makes the mattress feel a bit more stable along the edges, though most people will notice some sinkage.

How It Performed

Many softer mattresses underperform when it comes to temperature control because closer contouring often means more heat retention. The Sunset Luxe’s coils circulate air currents to cool off the interior and a breathable, moisture-wicking Tencel cover regulates temperature on the surface, so the mattress should be comfortable for hot sleepers who usually feel uncomfortable on softer beds. The mattress is well suited to side sleepers, particularly those who weigh less than 130 pounds. Those with different body types or primary positions may find more comfort and support from one of Helix Sleep’s other hybrids.

The Sunset Luxe has a high-end price-point. Shoppers on a budget can opt for a standard Helix Sunset, which costs significantly less. This model does not include the pillow-top or zoned coils but it will still feel comfortable for people who enjoy an exceptionally soft feel. Helix Sleep backs the Sunset Luxe with a 100-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“I typically find soft mattresses run hotter than other beds, but the Helix Sunset Luxe was noticeably cool for a soft bed. The pillow-top also feels supremely plush.”

GhostBed 3D Matrix

Best for Back Pain

GhostBed 3D Matrix

GhostBed 3D Matrix
Price Range: $2,300 - $4,600
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium (5)
Trial length: 101 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 101 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 25 Year, Limited
Warranty: 25 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin XL, Queen, King, California King, Split King
Who it's best for:
  • People who experience pressure points
  • Those who weigh up to 230 pounds
  • Hot sleepers
Highlights:
  • Hybrid design with a reinforced perimeter
  • Foam layers relieve pressure
  • Innovative comfort system targets heat retention
GhostBed 3D Matrix

30% off all GhostBed mattresses & 2 free pillows. Free weighted blanket ($479 Value) with a minimum $1.5k order.

The GhostBed 3D Matrix is a hybrid mattress that delivers pressure relief and temperature regulation by using innovative materials and design elements. The seven total layers work together to respond to your body’s unique shape, and the balanced feel helps to promote spinal alignment and alleviate pressure buildup in the lower back.

What It’s Made of

This mattress ranks as a 5 out of 10 on the firmness scale, which correlates to a medium feel best suited to sleepers who weigh under 130 pounds. People who prefer more robust support may want to consider one of GhostBed’s firmer models. Two layers of polyfoam help evenly distribute your weight and increase the mattress’ overall responsiveness. Next, is a layer of gel-infused memory foam that conforms to your body to alleviate pressure points. The 3D Matrix’s pocketed coils are reinforced at the perimeter to enhance edge support.

How It Performed

Our sleep lab trials found this mattress excels at controlling temperature, thanks in part to its uppermost layer made from gel-polymer infused polyfoam. This material is engineered to draw excess warmth away from you to prevent overheating. The foam layers also absorb a significant amount of motion, so couples should notice fewer sleep disturbances. Sleepers with pressure-induced pain in the hips and shoulders should also appreciate the relief from the close contour.

You can choose between five standard sizes and opt to bundle your mattress with a compatible bed frame at checkout. Your purchase includes a 101-night sleep trial as well as a 25-year limited warranty. Shipping is free within the contiguous U.S.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“I tend to overheat on beds with soft foam surfaces, but the GhostBed 3D Matrix has a unique design that helps it run cooler than other plush beds. It’s also great for pressure relief.”

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Hybrid

Best Cooling

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Hybrid

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Hybrid
Price Range: $999 - $2,199
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Custom Sizes
Who it's best for:
  • Individuals who experience back pain
  • Hot sleepers
  • Those who prefer a balance of support and pressure relief
Highlights:
  • Copper-infused foam and cooling cover help regulate temperature
  • Foam comfort system evenly distributes weight to promote spinal alignment
  • Zoned coils enhance support
Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Hybrid

Save 20% on a Brooklyn Bedding mattress with this code: sleepfoundation20

The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Hybrid successfully regulates temperature by using proprietary cooling technology and hybrid construction to its advantage. This model is available in three firmness levels: medium soft (4), medium firm (6), and firm (7).

What It’s Made of

The Aurora Hybrid’s construction starts with a top comfort layer is memory foam infused with copper. This material provides substantial hug and helps draw excess heat and moisture away from your body. The upper comfort system includes two more layers of foam beginning with a layer of patented TitanFlex foam in a soft formulation that’s designed to adapt to your body’s movements. The medium soft version of this mattress has a transitional layer made from gel-infused memory foam that contours deeply.

The support core is made from pocketed coils that have distinct support zones. This increases push-back beneath your lower back while compressing a bit more under pressure-prone areas. As a result, your spine is evenly supported and should remain level throughout the night. The coils are also individually wrapped to increase motion isolation. Instead of moving together as one unit, the coils adjust separately to cut down on disturbances.

How It Performed

Our in-house testing found that the medium soft Aurora performed well for many side sleepers as well as back and stomach sleepers who weigh under 130 pounds. Softer mattresses can tend to trap more heat than their firm counterparts, however, even the softest version of the Aurora has above-average temperature control. This model also scored highly in our durability tests, making it a worthwhile long-term investment.

Those wishing to try the Aurora Hybrid can take advantage of its 120-night trial. Brooklyn Bedding requires that you use the mattress for at least 30 nights before opting to return it. Your purchase carries a 10-year warranty and ships for free to addresses within the contiguous U.S.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“Brooklyn Bedding manages to pack lots of high-end features into the Aurora Hybrid. It had the right blend of support and contouring and I felt cool all night despite the amount of foam the mattress has.”

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-ProAdapt

Best Pressure Relief

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-ProAdapt

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-ProAdapt
Price Range: $2499 - $4998
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Soft (3), Medium (5), Firm (7)
Trial length: 90 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 90 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King, Split California King
Who it's best for:
  • Side sleepers
  • Those with pressure-induced pain in their joints
  • Couples who value motion isolation
Highlights:
  • Memory foam comfort system deeply contours the body to relieve pressure points
  • Three firmness levels
  • Complimentary White Glove delivery to customers in the contiguous U.S.
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-ProAdapt

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Tempur-Pedic mattresses

All-foam mattresses typically excel in pressure relief, and the Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-ProAdapt is no exception. The mattress comes in three firmness levels – soft (3), medium (5), and firm (7) – so customers can choose the feel that best suits their needs.

What It’s Made of

The mattress’ comfort system is composed of two memory foam layers that deeply contour to the body to relieve pressure buildup. These layers also ensure weight is evenly distributed across the mattress to promote spinal alignment. The support core features high-density polyfoam. This layer prevents you from sinking too deeply into the bed and keeps the body on an even plane.

How It Performed

Customers who prefer a softer-feeling mattress should opt for the soft and medium models. The soft feel offers particularly close cradling for pressure points, making it a strong choice for side sleepers who weigh under 130 pounds. Side sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds and back sleepers under 130 pounds may appreciate the medium feel’s plush but slightly more supportive feel.

Like its all-foam competitors, the mattress earned high marks in motion isolation. The thick foam comfort system absorbs most movement and prevents it from transferring across the surface. These layers also absorb most noise. Sleepers who are easily disturbed by their partner’s movement at night should notice very few sleep interruptions.

Tempur-Pedic offers free White Glove delivery to customers in the contiguous U.S. The company will deliver the new mattress, set it up, and remove your old mattress. Purchases come with a 90-night sleep trial, where you can return the mattress after trying it for the 30-night break-in period. TEMPUR-ProAdapt purchases come with a 10-year warranty, covering structural defects.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“As a side sleeper who often feels pressure in my shoulders, I really liked the Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-ProAdapt. The complimentary White Glove delivery is also a huge plus.”

Why You Can Trust Us

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.

How We Evaluated These Mattresses

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 our mattress evaluations, the 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:

  • Motion Isolation: This criteria refers to how well a mattress absorbs movement and reduces transfer across the surface, which can be beneficial to people who share their bed with someone else. Softer mattresses generally perform quite well in terms of motion isolation.
  • Temperature Control: Some mattresses are equipped with components that provide passive and/or active cooling to help maintain a comfortable surface temperature. These include ventilated foam or latex layers, coil systems that promote airflow, breathable cover fabrics, and cooling panels designed to dissipate body heat.
  • Pressure Relief: To evaluate this criteria, our testers wear body sensors that measure pressure buildup in different areas of the body. Mattresses that contour closely tend to alleviate the most pressure, so softer models often fare well in this category.
  • Off-Gassing: New mattresses often emit a chemical odor known as off-gassing that can linger for a few days and make sleeping somewhat unpleasant. While odor potential largely depends on material composition, softer mattresses tend to off-gas more because they contain more layers.
  • Ease of Movement: Some mattresses facilitate movement across the surface and minimize sinkage better than others. This is not a common strength of soft mattresses, particularly those with thick foam layers.
  • Edge Support: Sturdy perimeter support ensures push-back and minimal sinkage when you sit along or sleep near the edges of a mattress. Most soft mattresses struggle with this criteria, but support core materials can make a world of difference.
  • Sex: While opinions vary, most romantic partners agree the best mattress for sex is bouncy, sturdy along the edges, breathable, and relatively silent. Soft mattresses may or may not be suitable depending on personal preference, but they tend to rate lower in this category than firmer models.
  • Body Weight: We always consider the body weight of our testers during mattress evaluations because how much a person weighs will largely determine their ideal sleep surface. In our research, we’ve found people who weigh up to 230 pounds tend to favor softer mattresses – especially those who primarily sleep on their sides.

Who is a Soft Mattress Best for?

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 the sleeper and add 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 suffer from 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

Sleeping Position


Sleep position is one of the key factors that affects how an individual interacts with a mattress. The position a person sleeps in influences which parts of the body press against the mattress. It can also impact the amount of pressure placed on the spine.

Soft mattresses are usually most compatible with side sleeping. When an individual sleeps on their side, the widest parts of their 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 the 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.

Body Type

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.

Sleepers who weigh less put less pressure on the surface of a mattress. Firmer mattresses may not have enough give to allow lightweight sleepers to sink in, which may put the spine out of alignment and cause the sleeper to suffer from 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.

How to Shop for a Soft Mattress Online

Shopping for a mattress online can be incredibly convenient and allow you to compare multiple models quickly and easily. However, without trying the mattress in person, customers don’t always know how to anticipate what the mattress will feel like. Paying attention to the firmness rating can give shoppers 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 customers 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 the mattress-buying process. Some shoppers like to start by looking at well-known brands like Casper, Leesa, Nectar, Purple, Saatva, and Tuft & Needle. Deciding what 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, different firmnesses, 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.

How to Save Money on an Online Mattress

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.

Important Mattress Considerations

Some companies may use confusing words that distract customers 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.

  • Mattress Type and Materials: Mattresses use different materials that significantly affect their feel and performance. Some materials naturally lend well to a soft mattress, but construction matters, so even materials that are frequently firmer (like Dunlop latex) can be used to craft a soft mattress. Materials also contribute to performance across all other categories including motion isolation, pressure relief, edge support, and cooling properties.
  • Price: Mattress prices run the gamut, ranging from just a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Budget-friendly options can put more money in your pocket for other sleep accessories like mattress toppers and pillows. However, some high-end mattresses may last longer. Balancing a mattress’s price-point with its benefits can give you a clearer idea of whether it is a good value for your money.
  • Motion Isolation: Motion transfer occurs when movements on one part of the bed spread across the surface of the mattress. A mattress that absorbs motion may prevent a sleeper from feeling the movement when their partner changes position during the night.
  • Pressure Relief: Pressure points frequently occur where a sleeper’s body makes contact with the mattress. Mattresses with more contouring often relieve these pressure points by cradling the body for even support and cushioning.
  • Edge Support: Edge support refers to the sturdiness of a mattress’s perimeter. When a sleeper nears the edge of a mattress without a strong edge, the compression may make it feel like they could accidentally roll off the edge. People may also have a harder time getting into or out of a mattress with weak edges since sitting on the edge may not feel secure. A sturdy, reinforced edge may allow sleepers to use the mattress surface more fully.
  • Cooling Properties: Some mattresses tend to trap heat against a sleeper’s body, while others wick it away. Sleepers who tend to sleep hot may prioritize mattresses with cooling features and extra airflow to promote a cooler night’s sleep.

Types of Soft Mattresses

Below, we’ll detail the most common mattress types. All mattress types offer a soft option, 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.

Hybrid

Definition: Hybrid mattresses combine a significant comfort system with a coil support core. The composition of the comfort system varies between models, but many 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.

Innerspring

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.

Latex

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 is usually bouncier and more breathable.
Highlight: Contouring Without Sinkage. Latex traditionally contours enough to relieve pressure points. However, rather than compressing exclusively under the weight of the sleeper, the compression is spread out over a wider surface area, which may make the sleeper feel like they are floating on top of the mattress rather than sinking into the mattress.

Airbed

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.

Foam

Definition: All-foam mattresses are generally crafted of 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 generally 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.

Accessories to Complement Your Soft Mattress

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.

Pillows

Since soft mattresses tend to allow sleepers to sink in more deeply than they 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 the head up beyond the point of proper alignment 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 beyond the point at which the spine is straight.

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.

Mattress Toppers

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who are soft mattresses good for?

    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.

  • Are soft mattresses good for your back?

    An excessively soft mattress can lead to back pain. If a mattress is too soft to support your hips and shoulders properly, they 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.

  • Is a hard or soft mattress better for back pain?

    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.

  • Can a soft mattress cause hip pain?

    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.

  • What mattress firmness is right for you?

    Personal preferences aside, the best firmness for any given sleeper largely depends on two factors: body type and primary sleep position. 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.

  • How can I make a firm mattress softer?

    Mattresses often 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.

  • When can my baby start sleeping on a soft mattress?

    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.

  • Are memory foam mattresses firm or soft?

    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.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market. Send an email to [email protected] with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

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About Our Editorial Team

author
Logan Foley

Certified Sleep Coach

Logan has extensive experience testing sleep products and producing sleep content. She is also a Certified Sleep Science Coach.