Best Soft Mattresses of 2023
Jan 9th, 2023 •
Goldilocks didn’t want the bed that felt too soft, but a lot of sleepers (and Mama Bear) would respectfully disagree. For those who prefer a softer sleep experience, we’ve chosen our list of the best soft mattresses you can buy.
Check out our reviews of the top picks, read expert tips in our buyer’s guide, and get the information you need to find the soft mattress that’s just right.
Best Soft Mattresses: Our Top Selections
- Best Mattress for Side Sleepers – WinkBed
- Best Foam Mattress – Nolah Original 10″
- Best Mattress for Shoulder Pain – Layla
- Best Hybrid Mattress – Saatva Classic
- Best Mattress for the Money – Tuft & Needle Mint
- Best Mattress for Hot Sleepers – Brooklyn Aurora Luxe
- Best Flippable Mattress – Zenhaven Natural Latex
- Most Supportive Mattress – Purple Hybrid Premier
Here are some of the top-rated soft mattresses based on extensive testing and customer feedback. Some of these mattresses come soft by standard, while others offer the option to customize your firmness level, allowing you to choose a softer model.
Below, we’ll share a review of each of these beds. To get a deeper look, click through to our individual mattress reviews, featured for each mattress.
WinkBeds Luxury Firm
Best for Side Sleepers
- Near-perfect edge support
- Highly responsive
- Lifetime warranty
Medium firm: 6/10
If you’re a side sleeper interested in a top-rated hybrid mattress, don’t overlook the WinkBed. It’s a versatile bed with multiple firmness levels, but for the purposes of side sleeping, we recommend the Softer firmness (4/10). This option should allow enough pressure relief for side sleepers.
The Luxury Firm option earns a respectable score in pressure relief (7.75/10), meaning that the softer version recommended for side sleepers should do even better at cradling the hips and shoulders. Its Hypersoft foam Euro-top, gel foam comfort layer, and lumbar support pad all contribute to the overall comfort of the mattress.
Because of its hybrid construction, the WinkBed has impressive durability (it scored a perfect 10/10 on our test). While all-foam mattresses are more prone to sagging, the strong coils in the WinkBed should help it last a decade or more.
Best Foam Mattress
- Features breathable AirFoam
- Great for couples and co-sleepers
- Excellent spine alignment
Medium firm: 5 - 6 /10
The Nolah Original 10″ is an all-foam mattress built with proprietary AirFoam. This polyfoam material is designed to help keep the mattress temperature neutral, which has several benefits. Memory foam naturally expands and contracts in hot and cold temperatures, but AirFoam is engineered to resist those changes and make the mattress more durable.
The Nolah’s near-perfect spine alignment score (9.5/10) makes it a fine choice for people who want to maintain a healthy sleep posture, from their lower back to the base of the neck.
This mattress has a medium level of firmness (5-6/10) which is great for those looking for something a little firmer than plush. The mattress comes with a 120-day trial period and a 15-year limited warranty.
Best Mattress for Shoulder Pain
- Responsive and pressure-relieving
- Flippable with dual firmness
- Lifetime warranty
Soft side: 4-5/10; Firm side: 7/10
The Layla is a flippable mattress, but you can just put it on your foundation soft-side up and never worry about flipping. The soft side is a 4-5/10 on the firmness scale, a comfortable spot between plush and medium.
Also, we’ve picked the Layla as one of the best mattresses for shoulder pain because of its pressure-reliving qualities. In fact, we give it a 9/10 score for pressure relief. Its copper-infused memory foam makes the Layla more breathable and cooling, and copper is believed to help alleviate inflammation.
The Layla comes with a 120-day trial period and a limited lifetime warranty.
Best Hybrid Mattress
- Made with eco-friendly materials
- Provides great edge support
- Good for hot sleepers
The Saatva Classic is a top-rated hybrid mattress built with a coil-on-coil design, memory foam layers, and a euro pillow top to cushion the top layer of the mattress. You’ll probably want to choose the softest of the firmness options, the Plush Soft (3/10).
The Plush Soft Saatva has a super soft feel, yet the bed also earns a flawless 10/10 Mattress Advisor score for edge support. The innerspring layer that improves edge support also helps keep the Saatva Classic cool and breathable (9/10 cooling score).
The Saatva Classic comes with a 365-night trial period and a lifetime warranty. Saatva also provides free white glove-delivery and removal of your old mattress, so set-up is a breeze.
Tuft & Needle Mint
Best Mattress for the Money
- Supports most sleeping positions
- Scores well in spine alignment
- Open-cell foam sleeps cool
The Tuft & Needle Mint mattress, an upgraded version of Tuft & Needle’s original model, is a great combination of quality and value. This all-foam foam mattress is a 5/10 on the firmness scale, giving it a soft-to-medium feel that isn’t too soft.
Although it’s not the cheapest mattress featured on this page, the Tuft & Needle Mint (9/10 overall score) gives you a lot of quality for your dollar. Our review process finds that it performs particularly well in categories including spine alignment (9.5/10) and responsiveness (8.75/10).
The Mint comes with a 100-night sleep trial period, along with a 10-year limited warranty.
Brooklyn Aurora Luxe
Best Mattress for Hot Sleepers
- Great for hot sleepers
- Highly responsive
- Excellent spine alignment
Available in soft (3/10), medium (5/10) or firm (7/10)
The Brooklyn Aurora Luxe is a luxury hybrid mattress by Brooklyn Bedding built with patented foam and pocket coils on the inside layers. The firmness options include Soft (3/10) and Medium (5/10), so you can choose between an extra-plush feel or something closer to the middle of the road.
The Aurora Luxe’s hybrid design provides a comfortable, supportive, and cool sleep surface. It scores a 9.5/10 for cooling in our review, which makes it an excellent choice for hot sleepers. Performance highlights also include responsiveness (9.25/10), an encouraging sign for restless sleepers and combination sleepers.
The Aurora Luxe comes with a 120-day trial period and a 10-year warranty.
Zenhaven Natural Latex
Best Flippable Mattress
- Flippable, with dual firmness
- Superior edge support
- Free delivery and in-home set-up
Soft side: 4-5/10; Firm side: 7-8/10
The Zenhaven Natural Latex is made by Saatva, a renowned luxury brand. This all-natural latex mattress is flippable, with a softer side (4-5/10) and a firmer side (7-8/10).
A flippable mattress can come in handy even if you normally prefer the soft side. You might temporarily need something firmer in the event of a back injury or weight gain, to name just two examples. Regardless of which side you choose, the Zenhaven Natural Latex will provide solid cooling (8.5/10 score) along with responsiveness (9/10) and edge support (9/10).
As a Saatva product, the Zenhaven Natural Latex comes with a 365-night trial period and a lifetime warranty.
Purple Hybrid Premier
Most Supportive Mattress
- A great choice for side sleepers
- Available in two thickness levels
- Provides good motion isolation
Soft - 4/10
The Purple Hybrid Premier is Purple’s latest model and probably its most supportive mattress yet. The hybrid is made with a combination of hyper-elastic polymer and foam. These materials offer great support and pressure relief for sleepers.
The Purple Hybrid Premier Mattress is a very soft mattress with a firmness level of 4/10, which is rare for a hybrid mattress. Typically hybrid mattresses are built with innerspring coils as the support layer which adds extra firmness, but the Purple Hybrid Premier’s unique combination of materials allows it to stay super soft.
The Purple Hybrid Premier comes with a 100-day trial period and a 10-year warranty.
Read our full Purple Hybrid Premier mattress review.
Finding a soft mattress that’s right for you is a bit of a balancing act. If you sleep on a mattress that’s too firm, a lack of adequate pressure relief could cause soreness on your pressure points (shoulders, hips, heels, depending on your sleep position). If your mattress is too soft, you’ll suffer from back and neck pain due to improper spine alignment. Either way, the wrong mattress firmness can rob you of the sleep you need for health and wellness.
Mattress firmness may be the most important characteristic of your new bed. But it can be difficult to find the right firmness level without some guidance and a good at-home trial period. While personal preference plays a significant role in finding a mattress that you love, there are some objective guidelines that can help narrow your search.
In this buyer’s guide, we’ll explain how you understand the mattress firmness scale and other factors to consider in your decision when looking for a soft mattress including your sleeping position, body type, and several other mattress performance factors so you can find the best mattress for you.
Understanding the Firmness Scale
The traditional way to buy a mattress used to be visiting a mattress store (or two or three) and flopping down on mattress after mattress searching for the most comfortable one. The problems with that method are:
- After traipsing around to several stores, any mattress is going to feel comfortable.
- The situation, complete with the full-on assault of fluorescent lights and Muzak, hardly replicates normal sleeping conditions.
- Most mattress sales reps earn a commission, rendering any advice they give suspicious.
These days you have the convenient option of ordering a bed-in-a-box mattress online from the comfort of your home, finding it delivered to your front door, and testing it out in your own bedroom for a generous trial period.
But with the hundreds of mattresses available online, you need a way to zero in on the soft mattresses of your dreams. That’s where the mattress firmness scale (and reviews from Mattress Advisor) comes in.
The mattress firmness scale includes ratings from 1 to 10 indicating the relative softness or firmness of any mattress.
Most average weight sleepers tend to prefer mattresses in the medium firm range with ratings of 6/10 to 7/10, but if you’re looking for a soft mattress, you want to choose something no higher than 5/10 on the firmness scale.
And while you may think a super soft mattress will be great for your sleep, sleep experts recommend steering away from mattresses rated 1/10 or 2/10 because of the risk of spinal misalignment.
So that puts your focus on mattresses that rate 3/10, 4/10, or 5/10 on the mattress firmness scale. A soft mattress with a firmness rating of 3/10 or 4/10 feels very plush and body-hugging. Sleepers would most accurately describe themselves sleeping “in” the soft mattress rather than “on” it.
Related: Best Medium-Firm Mattresses
Pros and Cons of a Soft Mattress
Like a lot of things in life, many of the best things about a soft mattress are also some of the worst things about them, depending who’s sleeping on them. But there are some benefits of sleeping on a softer mattress no matter who you are.
|Pros of a soft mattress||Cons of a soft mattress|
|Better motion isolation||Sleeping hot|
|Better pressure relief||Feeling “stuck” in the mattress|
|Body-contouring||Poor edge support|
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of sleeping on a soft mattress.
Better motion isolation
All sleepers benefit when motion transfer is minimized. Motion transfer occurs when movements on one side of the bed disturb the other side of the mattress and, more importantly, the person sleeping on it.
That means, every time your partner rolls over, flips their pillow, or gets up for a drink of water, you’ll be jostled by their movement. Because many softer mattresses are made of at least some kind of memory foam, they usually do an excellent job of isolating motion so you can sleep through whatever is going on over there.
Better relief on pressure points
Firm mattresses can be really hard on the parts of your body that exert the most pressure on the mattress. Shoulders, hips, knees, and heels can take a beating on a firm mattress. Soft mattresses give under pressure to relieve strain on your pressure points.
If you’re looking for a good hug at the end of a long day, you can count on your soft mattress to always deliver. Because a soft mattress will yield easily under your weight, you will feel like you’re sinking into a soft cloud rather than skimming the surface of your mattress.
Unfortunately, there’s a downside to everything. Soft mattresses are no different.
Because a soft mattress will conform to your body, there is less space for air to circulate and dissipate your body heat. If you tend to sleep hot, be sure to look for a soft, cooling mattress with advanced technology such as gel-infused or open-celled memory foam or naturally cooler latex foam construction.
Feeling ‘stuck’ in the mattress
The increased cradling of a soft mattress can make it hard to get out of bed and even change positions. If you move around a lot while you sleep or have mobility issues, a soft mattress may require more strength and energy than you can exert at night.
You can avoid this problem by looking for a soft mattress that incorporates bouncier foam than most memory foams (like latex mattresses) to give you the push back you need to move with less effort.
Poor edge support
Some soft mattresses may collapse at the edge when you sleep or sit on them. Not only can that make you feel like you’re rolling off the bed if you sleep too close to the edge but can also lead to premature wear on your mattress. Be sure to find a soft mattress that has specific edge reinforcements to provide sufficient edge support.
Is a Soft Mattress Right for You?
While mattress firmness is partially a matter of personal preference, there are some body types and sleep styles that are better suited for a soft mattress.
Based on sleeping position
People who sleep on their sides need a mattress for side sleepers that will yield substantially to relieve pressure on shoulders and hips. A soft mattress may be the right choice to relieve pressure on your shoulders, hips, and knees that bear the brunt of your weight if you’re a side sleeper.
Soft mattresses are not a great choice for stomach sleepers or back sleepers. Soft mattresses will cause stomach and back sleepers to sink in too far and cause pain in the lower back from incorrect spinal alignment.
Based on body weight
No matter what their preferred sleep position, people who weigh less need a mattress that will yield easily to their lighter weight. The firmer the mattress, the less it will give under pressure. A mattress that is too firm will leave a light-weight sleeper perched on top of the mattress with too much pressure on their shoulders, hips, and heels.
Light-weight people (less than 130 lbs) are best suited for a soft mattress.
This also means that soft mattresses are not ideal for people with a heavier body weight. Heavy people (230 lbs or more) need a firmer mattress to support more weight.
Related: Best Mattresses for Heavy People
By temperature regulation
A soft mattress allows you to sink into the mattress rather than rest on it. Cradled by the mattress, you will be surrounded by your own body heat, making you feel warm and cozy in bed.
If you keep your bedroom cool and often wake up looking for more covers, a softer mattress will help keep you warm at night.
But if you’re a naturally hot sleeper who often wakes up sweating anyways, soft mattress is not ideal for you, especially plush mattresses that are extra contouring.
Related: What is Thermoregulation?
By who is sleeping in the bed
Motion transfer can turn your partner’s restless night into your restless night. Softer mattresses do a better job of isolating motion than firmer mattresses, so soft mattresses are great for couples.
How to Adjust Your Mattress Firmness
So maybe you overestimated how soft your soft mattress should be. Or your mattress has become too soft over time. Now what?
Don’t panic. There are several steps you can take to add a bit of firmness to your mattress.
- Make sure you have the proper mattress foundation. Depending on the type of mattress you have, possible options include box springs, slatted platforms, or a slotted platform. Make sure it’s on the manufacturer’s list of recommended foundations for your mattress. The easiest way to add some support to your soft bed is to slip a bunkie board between your mattress and your foundation.
- Add a mattress topper. Yes, there are some mattress toppers that can actually add firmness to your soft mattress. Look for a relatively thick topper made of high-density memory foam or latex.
- Adjust your room temperature. If your mattress is made from memory foam, it will be slightly softer in a warmer bedroom. Try turning down the thermostat to a cooler temperature. Not only will your memory foam mattress stay a little firmer, but you’ll sleep better, too. The Cleveland Clinic recommends you keep the temperature in your bedroom between 60 and 67 degrees for optimal sleep.
- Flip or rotate. If your mattress has gotten softer over time, but you’re not ready to buy a new one, flip it over, if it is a two-sided mattress. If it is a one-sided mattress, simply rotating will allow you to sleep on a less worn area while the mattress recovers its shape.
Related: Best Flippable Mattresses
Conversely, in spite of your best efforts to find a soft mattress, the one you chose is still too firm for your liking. Again, don’t panic. You can make your mattress softer a couple of different ways.
If you want to make your mattress even softer, you can:
- Add a mattress topper. Many mattress toppers can turn any mattress from firm to soft in a matter of minutes. But since there are some toppers that add firmness, be sure to check the description carefully.
- Adjust your room temperature. A memory foam mattress will become more supple in a warmer room. Just don’t exceed the recommendation of 72 degrees.
If all else fails, and you’re still not happy with your mattress you can return or exchange it. Make sure any mattress you buy comes with a generous trial period of at least 90 nights, and be sure to use it to the full duration of the trial. It can take as much as 30 days or more to break in your new mattress and even longer for your body to adjust to the change.
If you still are unsatisfied after sleeping on your mattress for 30 days or so and you’ve tried the above recommendations, you can ask to return your mattress or exchange it for a softer model. Be sure to only buy a mattress with a reasonable exchange policy.
Related: How to Make a Firm Mattress Softer
What is the softest mattress?
Foam combo and memory foam mattress with multiple layers of foam are the softest mattresses. Some mattresses even have specific comfort layers in the bed.
Can an innerspring mattress be soft?
Typically innerspring mattresses are medium to medium-firm. Some innerspring mattresses are topped with a plush comfort layer or pillow top, but generally innersprings are more firm since their base layer is coils. See the best pillow top mattresses to find innerspring mattresses topped with a plush layer.
Can you make a mattress softer?
Yes! By adding a mattress topper or turning up the temperature in your room (heat makes foam softer) you can make your mattress feel softer.
What if the mattress I choose is too soft? Can I make it firmer?
You can add a topper to make it more firm (look for a high-density topper) or make your room colder. Some mattresses can be flipped to a more firm side (like the Layla). Depending on which mattress company you purchased from, they may even help you exchange your mattress if you don’t like the firmness.
Recap: Our Picks for Best Soft Mattress
Here’s a summary of our top selections. For dual-sided mattresses and mattresses with multiple firmness options, we’ve listed the softest one.
|WinkBed||Softer (4/10)||Best for Side Sleepers|
|Nolah Original 10″||5.5/10||Best Foam Mattress|
|Layla||Soft (4/10)||Best for Shoulder Pain|
|Saatva Classic||Plush Soft (3/10)||Best Hybrid Mattress|
|Tuft & Needle Mint||5/10||Best Mattress for the Money|
|Brooklyn Aurora Luxe||Soft (3/10)||Best Mattress for Hot Sleepers|
|Zenhaven Natural Latex||Luxury Plush (4.5/10)||Best Flippable Mattress|
|Purple Hybrid Premier||4/10||Most Supportive Mattress|
- VeryWell Health: verywellhealth.com/top-health-benefits-of-a-good-nights-sleep-2223766
- PR Newswire: prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-sleep-survey-pulls-back-the-covers-on-how-we-doze-and-dream-184798691.html
- Cleveland Clinic: health.clevelandclinic.org/what-is-the-ideal-sleeping-temperature-for-my-bedroom/
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