We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
- Best soft hybrid mattress: Saatva Classic Mattress
- Best medium-soft mattress: Brooklyn Aurora Hybrid
- Best soft mattress for side sleepers: Helix Sunset Luxe
- Best soft mattress for back pain: Casper Nova Hybrid Mattress
- Best soft foam mattress: Nectar Lush Mattress
- Best rated soft mattress: Amerisleep AS5
- Best budget soft mattress: Serta SleepTrue 13-Inch Plush Pillow Top Hybrid Mattress
- Best soft pillow top mattress: Avocado Green Mattress
Trying to find the mattress that will give you the best night’s sleep can leave you feeling a little like Goldilocks. You want one that’s not too soft, not too firm, but just right.
If you prefer a plusher, more cloud-like feeling when you sleep, a soft mattress can be a super comfy option, but it’s important to make sure the mattress you choose doesn’t compromise on support.
Read on to find our picks for the eight best soft mattresses that can help you find that happy medium of both plush softness and comfortable support.
Ultimately, how soft or firm you want your mattress to be is up to your own personal preference. But, soft mattresses are excellent for people who enjoy a body-hugging, cushioned sensation when they rest.
“The mattresses that you sink into are probably not the best for you, and the mattresses that are like a board are also probably not the best for you,” says Philip Mani Alapat, MD, a sleep medicine expert at Baylor College of Medicine.
“Depending on how old you are, how curved your spine is, and various other factors, you may find that a softer mattress that conforms to your body, supports you better, and has less pressure points may be a benefit to you,” he says.
But keep in mind that people with higher body weight might not get enough support or comfort from a soft mattress.
According to Robert Hayden, DC, PhD, FICC, of the Iris City Chiropractic Center in Griffin, Georgia, and active member of the American Chiropractic Association, individuals who weigh more than about 220 pounds need more support than a soft mattress can offer.
“If the mattress is too soft, with heavier individuals, the pelvis is going to sink into the mattress, which will create more curves [in the spine],” he says.
If you weigh more than 220 pounds, you might want to consider a firmer hybrid mattress. Hybrid mattresses use coil support systems to provide support and foam for extra comfort, so they are a good option for those with larger body types that still like a plush foam feel.
The firmness of your mattress can have a significant impact on your sleep and body. While sleeping on a soft mattress may sound like being on Cloud 9, soft mattresses aren’t for every type of sleeper. There are several pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to opt for a soft or firm mattress.
When creating this guide, we took into account various factors:
- Mattress firmness score. A lot of mattress companies will use a scale from 1 to 10 to describe how soft their mattress is. A softer mattress will usually fall between a 1 and a 6. You might also see them referred to as “plush,” “ultra-plush,” or just “soft.”
- Insight from experts. We talked to experts to find out what elements to look out for in soft mattresses to make sure you’re getting the best sleep and support for your body.
- Customer reviews and satisfaction scores. We looked at how customers rated these mattresses online to make sure they’re the most loved on the market.
- Risk-free trial periods. It’s important to purchase a mattress from a company that allows you to return your mattress if it’s not working for you. All of our picks have solid trial periods, so you can return them if you need.
The prices we reference below are based on a standard queen-size mattress.
- $ = under $1,100
- $$ = $1,100–$1,500
- $$$ = over $1,500
Best soft hybrid mattress
Saatva Classic Mattress
Nowadays, many mattresses are a combination of innerspring and memory foam, bringing together the best of both worlds.
“You have the innerspring part of it that forms a good, firm support and the top is a memory foam mattress, so some people are able to gain some degree of that soft comfort plus the backing of the innerspring mattress to form a very reasonable support underneath the memory foam,” Alapat explains.
The hybrid design of the Saatva Classic Mattress combines the classic innerspring coil system with memory foam layers and a luxurious-feeling pillow top to provide you with comfort and support around your hips and shoulders. This mattress is a great option for all types of sleepers who prefer more cushioning, thanks to its extra-plush Euro pillow top and layers of support.
Keep in mind that the Saatva mattress in plush soft is a level 3 on the firmness scale — much softer than other mattresses on the market. This makes the mattress less suitable for people with higher body weight, as it will not provide enough support for the shoulders, back, and hips.
Best medium-soft mattress
Brooklyn Aurora Hybrid
The Brooklyn Aurora Hybrid comes in three firmness levels: soft, medium, and firm. The medium option has added support without compromising on plushness. That makes it a great choice for side, back, stomach, and combination sleepers who prefer a hugged feeling when they sleep.
The mattress is also good for sleepers who tend to run hot. Thanks to its advanced cooling top and layer of copper-infused gel foam to help regulate the bed’s temperature, this mattress draws away excess body heat for a cool, comfortable sleep experience. It has received rave reviews for its versatility and is a winner among couples with different sleep styles.
Best soft mattress for side sleepers
Helix Sunset Luxe
If you’re a side sleeper, you’ll need a little extra support in your mattress to make sure your shoulders and hips don’t sink into the bed, which creates extra stress in those areas. The Helix Sunset Luxe was created specifically for side sleepers who prefer the plush comfort of a soft mattress.
Constructed with four layers of high quality foam, the mattress delivers on comfort and extra support to relieve pressure. The responsive coil layer is designed to be softer under the shoulders and firmer around the hips. This contours the body and helps align the spine while also providing lumbar support.
Best soft mattress for back pain
Casper Nova Hybrid Mattress
With seven zones of support to promote spinal alignment, the Nova Hybrid Mattress is a plush yet supportive mattress. It contains four layers that help relieve pressure around the shoulders and is ergonomically designed to align the waist, lumbar spine, and hips while you sleep.
Customers also praise this Casper mattress for its cooling technology. Its top two layers are not just supportive — they’re also made from breathable foam with small holes to release body heat out of the mattress and provide a cool, comfortable night’s rest.
Best soft foam mattress
Nectar Lush Mattress
Traditional memory foam is notorious for trapping heat, which can prevent your body from properly regulating its temperature and cause sleep problems.
So if you have your heart set on a foam mattress, be sure to look for ones that use gel foam to help regulate body temperature. The Nectar Lush Mattress is made with a gel-coated memory foam layer and topped with a cooling cover to help prevent overheating.
Even better, while most companies let you try out the mattress for 100 nights, Nectar offers a full-year trial to really figure out if this is the right mattress for you.
Best rated soft mattress
The softest option in the line of Amerisleep mattresses, the AS5 is an all-foam mattress. The company says it was specially designed for sleepers of all positions.
Amerisleep’s layers of memory foam cradle the body and relieve pressure off the joints. Their proprietary foam technology was designed so that the mattress is not only cooling and pain relieving, but also responsive enough for sleepers who tend to shift around at night. It limits motion transfer, which reviewers say makes it a dream to sleep on for couples who may be light or restless sleepers.
Best budget soft mattress
Serta SleepTrue 13-Inch Plush Pillow Top Hybrid Mattress
This Serta SleepTrue Plush Pillow Top Hybrid Mattress is a budget-friendly option that offers great support and comfort without breaking the bank. This mattress is made with gel memory foam, which means it’s super soft and contours your body without trapping body heat.
Reviewers love the plush feel and say it feels like it’s hugging your body. Some reviewers had issues with sagging — which is likely because memory foam tends to conform to your body shape.
Best soft pillow top mattress
Avocado Green Mattress
This pillow top mattress from Avocado Green provides an extra 2 inches of comfort to deliver a plush, hugged feeling as you sleep. But customers who buy the Avocado mattress won’t have to sacrifice support for the added cushioning.
The mattress has five ergonomic zones for proper spine alignment, even weight distribution, fewer pressure aches, and less pain. This mattress is also excellent for those looking for a natural, eco-friendly mattress. It’s made with certified organic latex, wool, and cotton that have not been chemically treated.
Picking out a mattress may feel intimidating due to the sheer amount of options. A mattress is an investment and an item that you will keep for a long time. To add to the importance, the structure of your mattress can have a direct effect on your sleep quality and health.
When choosing a mattress, you’ll want to evaluate your sleep habits. If you’re a side sleeper, a softer mattress is a better fit for you. Now that you’ve narrowed down the general type of mattress you need, you’ll want to determine your desired durability.
Visiting a mattress store can be a great first step in finding the right fit for you since you can experience the level of softness in person. If you’d prefer to order online, many online mattress companies have quality options at a variety of price points. Many companies also have generous return policies in place, so you don’t have to fear the dreaded buyer’s remorse.
Mattresses come in a variety of materials, which can affect their softness and support. Mattress types include innerspring, foam, latex, and hybrid — a combination of coiled springs and foam. Let’s take a break from the literal “fluff,” and get into the nitty-gritty makeup of your mattress.
- Innerspring. These mattresses have metal coils, with the support varying depending on the number of coils within the mattress. Innerspring mattresses provide plenty of bounce, but that doesn’t always translate to comfort for those in need of a soft bed.
- Memory foam. Memory foam hugs the body and creates the feeling of being held. Foam beds are some of the softest beds available due to their ability to cradle the body. Sometimes mattress manufacturers will add a layer of gel to a foam mattress to provide body cooling, since foam can retain heat.
- Latex. Like foam, latex mattresses provide body contouring and pressure relief. Latex provides less of a sinking feeling than foam and offers more bounce. The material is great for someone who wants to feel cradled but still seeks the bounce of a traditional mattress.
- Hybrid. Hybrid mattresses blend the best features of innerspring and foam mattresses to create a happy medium that achieves comfort and support. Materials in hybrid mattresses can vary, but they typically include multiple layers of cotton, wool, memory foam, latex, and micro-coils.
Depending on your preferred support level, there are quite a few types of mattresses that offer a cushy surface for hitting the sack.
Level of firmness
Mattress firmness is often measured on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest level available. If you’re looking for a soft mattress, you’ll want to consider mattresses between levels 1 and 5. Soft mattresses are categorized as between 1 and 2 on the firmness scale, while medium-soft mattresses range from levels 3 to 5.
Remember, your mattress will soften over time, so don’t completely rule out a medium-soft mattress.
“It’s what’s on the inside that counts” may sound cliché, but the sentiment rings true when it comes to mattresses. The layers of material within your mattress can be a game changer for your comfort level.
If you’re looking for a bed that you can melt into, memory foam will nestle your figure. If memory foam feels a bit like quicksand to you, latex mattresses offer a similar feeling of envelopment and an added bounce. For those serial snoozers who have a hard enough time getting out of bed as it is, memory foam may be your nemesis.
Hybrid mattresses are firm enough to offer edge support so side sleepers don’t feel like they are sliding off the bed, while also offering a cushioned surface to support your joints. A hybrid mattress will include memory foam or latex for malleability, but it will also have more internal structure.
Since hybrid mattresses combine features from innerspring and foam beds, they often come in an assortment of firmness levels. Hybrid mattresses are great for those looking to find a mattress that feels customized for their needs.
Once you’ve figured out your desired softness, it comes down to temperature. Dense materials like memory foam are prone to lock in heat. The compressed foam material doesn’t absorb moisture well, which can leave sleepers feeling overheated and sweaty. If you’re a naturally hot sleeper, look for a mattress with a layer of cooling gel or aerated memory foam to keep those pesky night sweats away.
Soft mattresses can provide comfort to side sleepers and ease joint pain, but they also contribute to one of the most vital factors to your overall health: sleep.
If you’ve suffered from a restless night, you know the type of immediate effects poor sleep can have on you. Lack of sleep can contribute to hindered concentration, poor productivity, and a decreased mood.
The effects of bad sleep can be far more sinister than expected crankiness. According to the National Health Service, lack of quality sleep can put you at risk of:
- coronary heart disease
Who said accessorizing was limited to the wardrobe? Adding accessories to your mattress can elevate your comfort and enhance your sleep experience.
A mattress topper can provide extra support and plushness, allowing you to further customize the feel of your bed. A topper may even help extend the longevity of your mattress since it’s a physical buffer between your body and the mattress.
Mattress toppers can be a great solution for adjusting a bed over time. If your soft mattress feels a tad too soft or not soft enough, a topper can be a suitable fix and adds a layer of customization.
Pillows can be just as vital to a restful night’s sleep. Without the proper neck and head support, you’re at risk of back, head, and neck pain.
If you’re a side sleeper, a thicker pillow can help create proper alignment while you sleep. Back sleepers may do best with a medium-loft pillow, since the height will keep your neck and shoulders from tilting up or down.
Using a mattress protector can help preserve your mattress and lengthen its lifespan. A mattress can be an expensive purchase, so adding a fitted mattress protector can safeguard your investment. Mattress protectors help to keep your mattress stain-free and prevent exposure to:
- dust mites
- dead skin cells
- sweat buildup
- potential allergens
A soft mattress can range in how soft it actually is (anywhere from 1-4 in the firmness scale), so it’s important to consider the body type(s) of who will be using the mattress when choosing one.
If the mattress is too soft, people with higher body weight may sink into the mattress at the pelvis, which will create more curvature in the spine, Hayden explains.
Additionally, no matter what your body type is, a mattress without enough support can put unnecessary stress on your body.
“While you’re sleeping, all the protective muscles that protect at the curves of the spine [and joints] are relaxed,” Hayden says. “That puts a lot of stress on the skeleton while you’re asleep.”
Buying a mattress is much like buying a car: You have to test it to make sure it’s right for you.
“Go someplace where you can sit on the mattress to give it that feel. Lie down and roll over to see how it supports you. If it’s too soft, rolling over will be difficult. It’ll be like you’re rolling uphill,” Hayden says. “If you lie on it on your side for as long as 2 minutes and you feel some soreness or burning at your hip and shoulder, that’s too firm.”
Once you choose your mattress, it’s important to make sure you’re getting a good trial period to determine if it’s the right fit. Mattresses are expensive, and the true test to determine if you’ll love one is sleeping on it.
Luckily, most companies offer at least 100 nights to sleep on the product, so take advantage if you can.
How can I tell if my mattress is too firm or too soft?
If you’re feeling pain after a night’s rest, your mattress may be the culprit. If you’re sleeping on an extra-firm mattress, you may notice aches in your hips, shoulders, and knees. Sleeping on a too-soft mattress may cause back pain and prevent proper spinal alignment.
If your mattress feels like it’s sagging or lumpy, the uneven surface can sabotage your alignment. A pillow can help to create a more comfortable and supportive alignment, but it’s only a Band-Aid to a problematic mattress.
What type of mattress should I get if I share a bed?
If you share a bed with a partner who is a back sleeper, you probably require different things from your mattress. A hybrid mattress could be a suitable option to accommodate both of your support needs, due to its mixture of foam and supportive coils.
Will my mattress be returnable?
Most mattress stores will have a return policy in place, though the number of days your return is eligible for may vary. Online mattress brands often offer a sleep trial that can range from 100 days to a full year.
Finding the right mattress may seem like an overwhelming experience.
With all the models, options, and new technology, it can be daunting trying to navigate an online or brick-and-mortar mattress store. Knowing your sleep style and sleep preferences before you start the search will help you narrow down your options.
Ultimately, you want to look for three things: support for your spine, comfort to your skin, and a solid at-home trial to give it a test ride.
Shanley Chien Pierce is a Houston-based freelance journalist, who specializes in covering health, science, and medicine. She earned her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 2015 and bachelor’s degree in English and media studies from UC Berkeley in 2011. Outside of writing, she loves exploring the vibrant restaurant scene in Houston, enjoying a glass of single malt scotch, hosting game nights with friends, working out, and practicing mixed martial arts.