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Soft mattresses are great for sleepers who weigh under 230 pounds and prefer a plusher surface. The soft feel allows sleepers to sink in more, providing extra conforming that can help relieve pressure points.
While soft mattresses can offer a comfortable night’s sleep, a mattress can also be too soft. A mattress that is too soft may allow a sleeper’s hips and shoulders to sink in too deeply. This can overcompress the foam, creating more pressure points around the hips and shoulders. It can also lead to improper spinal alignment, which may place strain on the spine.
When buying a mattress online, customers don’t have the benefit of being able to lie on a mattress while they’re shopping. Relying on the 10-point firmness scale is the easiest way to judge whether a mattress matches your firmness preference.
In this guide, we’ll share our picks for the best soft mattresses, explain what you may need to consider as you shop, and discuss the different types of soft mattresses.
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The AS5 is Amerisleep’s softest model. This all-foam mattress is crafted to gently cradle the sleeper but regain its shape quickly when you change position.
The plant-based foam comfort layer has an open-cell structure, allowing airflow to pull heat away from the sleep surface. Like most foam mattresses, the AS5’s comfort layer contours to each sleeper’s body to relieve pressure. However, it is also engineered to be more responsive than some foams.
Underneath the comfort layer, a five-zone transition layer gives targeted support to better align the spine. There is extra support for the sleeper’s head, back, and legs, and extra cushion for their hips and shoulders.
An additional transition layer is designed to balance cradling and responsiveness, relieving pressure without the “trapped in the bed” feeling of some all-foam models. A foam base layer is engineered to provide lasting support for the rest of the mattress.
Amerisleep offers a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty for the AS5 Mattress.
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The Layla Mattress is a flippable all-foam model designed for two distinct feels. One side of the mattress is firm (7), while the other is medium soft (4). Both surfaces feature comfort layers of memory foam. The softer side is thicker to provide more cushioning and contouring, making it well-suited to side sleepers in any weight group, as well as back and stomach sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds.
The memory foam layers are infused with copper, which has natural antimicrobial properties to keep bacteria away from the mattress and control odor. Copper is also quite breathable, so the foam shouldn’t trap too much body heat – a common complaint about this material.
The Layla Mattress should appeal to couples. The two memory foam layers and the shared polyfoam support core absorb movement quite well to reduce transfer across the surface and help prevent nighttime sleep disruptions. Additionally, the mattress does not produce any noise, so co-sleepers won’t notice any squeaks or creaks if their partner gets out of bed in the middle of the night.
The mattress is very reasonably priced – especially for a flippable model – and ground shipping is free throughout the contiguous U.S. Your purchase will include a sleep trial that allows you to test out the mattress for up to 120 nights before deciding whether to keep it or return it, as well as a lifetime warranty that covers structural defects such as excessive sagging or indentations.
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For many people who weigh more than 130 pounds – back and stomach sleepers in particular – a soft to medium soft mattress won’t provide enough support. At the same time, these individuals still need some cushioning and contouring to feel comfortable while they sleep. We recommend the Saatva Latex Hybrid because of its zoned comfort layer, which is divided into five different zones. Firmer latex supports the torso, stomach, and hips to prevent excessive sinkage, while softer material cradles the head, neck, and legs.
Latex is a naturally durable material that resists deep impressions and sagging over time, so the hybrid should provide a decent lifespan compared to models with foam layers. A zoned support core of pocketed coils provides extra reinforcement along the perimeter to reduce sinkage and help you feel more stable sleeping near the edges.
The mattress also sleeps quite cool. The latex shouldn’t absorb too much body heat and the organic cotton cover is quite breathable, while the coils promote air circulation to maintain a comfortable sleeping temperature.
Another major perk of ordering from Saatva is free White Glove delivery anywhere in the contiguous U.S. This service includes full in-home setup and removal of your old mattress or box spring. This makes the company a good option for people who need assistance assembling their bed.
Each purchase also includes a 180-night sleep trial, allowing you to test out the mattress for nearly half a year before deciding to return it. Those who keep their hybrid also receive a warranty that covers structural defects like deep sagging for up to 15 years.
Best for Back Pain
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The WinkBed Mattress comes in four firmness options: soft (4), medium (6), firm (7-8), and Plus (7-8). While all four of these options use a hybrid design, the exact construction varies slightly between models.
The soft, medium, and firm mattresses have a Euro-pillow top, which is quilted with gel-infused foam engineered to pull heat away from the body. Underneath the Euro-pillow top, the WinkBed’s comfort system also includes a layer of pocketed microcoils. The microcoils allow for extra cooling airflow. The Plus version of the mattress uses polyfoam and zoned latex in its comfort system.
Each firmness option uses a zoned coil support layer. The coils are pocketed to allow them to move independently of each other, while the zoning provides targeted support and softness to help align the spine. The soft version of the mattress uses a 5-zone coil system. The medium and firm models use a 7-zone system. The Plus uses a 3-zone system. The WinkBed’s support layer also includes a sturdy, reinforced edge to increase the usable surface area of the mattress.
The WinkBed Mattress comes with a lifetime warranty and a 120-night sleep trial.
Best for Side Sleepers
Sleep Foundation readers get the best price on the Tuft & Needle Mint mattress.
Due to its medium firm (6) feel, the Mint Mattress from Tuft & Needle is a bit firmer than our other top picks and may not conform as closely. However, the mattress is constructed with a 3-inch comfort layer of adaptive open-cell polyfoam that offers ample cushioning for side and back sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds. Transitional and support layers of denser polyfoam reinforce your body to prevent you from sinking too much – a common complaint regarding softer mattresses.
The top two layers are infused with graphite and gel, both of which have cooling properties to help draw heat away from your body. Open-cell polyfoam is also fairly breathable on its own, so overall the mattress should sleep noticeably cooler than many competing all-foam models. Additionally, the cover is embedded with antimicrobial protectant to stave off bacteria and other harmful contaminants that can decrease the quality of your mattress and shorten its lifespan. Couples should experience fewer sleep disturbances on the Mint Mattress too. The foams absorb movement and reduce transfer quite well, and the bed does not make any noise.
The Mint Mattress has a sticker price that is on par with the average all-polyfoam model. Tuft & Needle offers free ground shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S., and backs the mattress with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
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The Bear Hybrid has a medium firm (6) feel, resulting in solid support for people who weigh 130 pounds or more, but the comfort layer is constructed from adaptive polyfoam that cushions and contours to the body. This allows the mattress to provide good overall stability without feeling too stiff. Transitional polyfoam reinforces the comfort layer to prevent sagging, while a support core of pocketed coils creates a responsive surface feel and prevents deep sinkage across the sleep surface.
The Bear Hybrid’s Celliant fabric cover is another strong selling point. This innovative material is designed to absorb heat from your body, convert it into infrared energy, and transmit it back into you through your skin. This process can aid with recovery after burly workouts or physically demanding days on your feet. Cellians fabric sleeps quite cool, as well.
Since the mattress is considered medium firm, it is best suited to people who weigh 130 pounds or more. That said, back and stomach sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds may also find the Bear Hybrid comfortable because these positions generally require more support and less contouring.
Compared to other hybrids, this model’s sticker price is quite reasonable. Bear also offers free ground shipping anywhere in the lower 48 states. The mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial, as well as a warranty that covers structural defects for 20 years after you make your purchase.
Best for Back Sleepers
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The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora is a hybrid model that pairs multiple layers of foam with a zoned coil support core. This construction combines the benefits of both foam and innerspring mattresses.
The Aurora’s two comfort layers cradle to the sleeper’s body, relieving pressure. The foam also isolates motion to a significant extent, so sleepers might notice when their partners change position during the night.
Because the Aurora uses pocketed coils in its support core, the coils can move independently of each other, further reducing the spread of motion across the surface of the mattress. A zoned design ensures plenty of support for heavier areas of the body and gentler cradling elsewhere. The coil layer also gives the mattress bounce and edge support.
While foam comfort layers have a reputation for trapping heat, the Aurora fights that trend with phase change materials that make the mattress cool to the touch. The innerspring layer is breathable, allowing more airflow to further dissipate heat.
The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora is one of our picks for the best soft mattresses, but it comes in three firmness options to accommodate more needs and preferences. It is available in medium-soft (4), medium-firm (6), and firm (7-8).
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The Puffy Lux is an all-foam model that has the close conforming that many sleepers look for in a soft mattress without skimping on the support needed to promote proper spinal alignment.
The Puffy Lux has two layers in its comfort system. The top layer is constructed of Cooling Cloud Foam, a visco polyurethane foam. This layer has a gel-infusion to help wick away heat and promote a cooler night’s sleep. The second layer uses Dual Cloud Foam, which is engineered to soften under a sleeper’s pressure points while supporting the body.
The Puffy Lux’s transition layer uses Climate Comfort foam, which is crafted to resist shrinking or expanding when the room temperature fluctuates while preventing sleepers from sinking in against the support core. The support core uses firm polyfoam to stabilize the sleep surface.
The mattress cover is stain-resistant and washable for easy cleaning.
The Puffy Lux has a medium feel, rating around 5 on the 10-point firmness scale. While it is designed to adapt to all sleep positions, the Puffy Lux’s exceptional contouring may make it particularly appealing to side sleepers looking for pressure point relief.
Puffy provides a 101-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty for the Puffy Lux mattress.
Best Pressure Relief
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The Zotto Mattress is a memory foam bed that uses multiple layers of foam to provide a strong blend of pressure-relieving comfort and full-body support. The bed has a medium firm (6) feel that is well-suited to a wide variety of different kinds of sleepers. Each foam is specialized to add a unique benefit to the bed. Zotto’s foams are all CertiPUR-US certified to be made without a number of harmful chemicals, as well as ozone depleters.
The Zotto Mattress starts with a top layer of responsive, yet cushioning proprietary polyfoam. This polyfoam is then bolstered by a layer of memory foam, which redistributes a sleeper’s weight around their pressure points for thorough comfort. Although memory foam has a reputation for trapping heat, the Zotto uses cooling, gel-infused foam technology and a breathable design to draw excess heat away from sleepers and allow it to dissipate before it builds up.
A transitional polyfoam layer is built to lend the bed additional bounce and pressure relief, while acting as a buffer to keep sleepers from sinking into the support core. The bed’s core is constructed from durable, high-density polyfoam, adding sturdy pushback to keep most sleepers comfortable and supported throughout the night. The entire mattress is wrapped in a smooth polyester cover.
The Zotto Mattress ships for free to the contiguous United States. The bed is backed by a 100-night sleep trial as well as a 10-year limited warranty.
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 back and stomach sleeper. 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 weight 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|
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.
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.
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.
Many mattresses run limited time 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 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.
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 category, individual models vary quite a bit due to design, materials, and build.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 sleepers to sink in more deeply than they would on a firmer mattress, sleepers may require 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.
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, 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.
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. People who weigh less than 130 pounds tend to favor a soft or medium soft feel, those who weigh 130-230 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 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 may 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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