Best Soft Mattresses

Sleeping on a soft mattress can feel like sleeping on a cloud…sometimes. Let us help you find the best soft mattress for your sleep style and body type.

By Andrea Pisani Babich

Finding the best soft mattress for your sleep style and body type can make you feel a bit like Goldilocks. It has to be just right. If you sleep on a mattress that’s too hard, you’ll wake up with fatigue and soreness on your pressure points (shoulders, hips, heels, depending on your sleep position). Too soft, and you’ll suffer from back and neck pain caused by a misaligned spine. 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. Take a look at our top picks, then see how you can find the one that’s right for you.

The 10 Best Soft Mattresses

Here are some of the top-rated soft mattresses based on extensive testing and customer feedback. Some of these mattresses come soft standard, while others offer the option to customize your firmness level, allowing you to choose a softer model.

Mattress Name

Tuft & Needle Mint

Description

Type: Foam combo
Firmness: Medium: 5/10
Trial Period: 100 days
Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
Summary: One-step up from the original Tuft & Needle while still being a budget-friendly mattress

MA Score
8.9 / 10
Mattress Name

Brooklyn Aurora

Description

Type: Luxury Hybrid: patented foam and pocket coils
Firmness: Available in soft (3/10), medium (5/10) or firm (7/10)
Trial Period: 120 days
Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
Summary: Luxury hybrid mattress that sleeps cool

MA Score
8.9 / 10
Mattress Name

Saatva

Description

Type: Hybrid: coil on coil and memory foam with euro pillow-top
Firmness: Available in plush soft: 3/10; luxury firm: 5.5-6.5/10; and firm: 8/10
Trial Period: 120 days
Warranty: 15-year limited warranty
Summary: Customizable luxury hybrid mattress

MA Score
8.7 / 10
Mattress Name

ZenHaven

Description

Type: All-natural latex mattress; flippable
Firmness: Soft side: 4-5/10; Firm side: 7-8/10
Trial Period: 120 days
Warranty: 20-year limited warranty
Summary: Durable natural latex mattress by Saatva

MA Score
8.6 / 10
Mattress Name

Layla

Description

Type: Copper-infused memory foam; flippable
Firmness: Soft side: 4-5/10; Firm side: 7/10
Trial Period: 120 days
Warranty: Lifetime limited warranty
Summary: Flippable memory foam mattress known to help people with back and joint pain

MA Score
8.8 / 10
Mattress Name

Nolah

Description

Type: Air foam mattress
Firmness: Medium firm: 5 - 6 /10
Trial Period: 120 days
Warranty: 15-year limited warranty
Summary: Temperature neutral AirFoam mattress known for offering great pressure relief

MA Score
8.9 / 10
Mattress Name

The New Purple Mattress

Description

Type: Hybrid: hyper-elastic polymer and foam
Firmness: Soft - 4/10
Trial Period: 100 days
Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
Summary: The softest of the New Purple Mattresses that cushions your body and provides great pressure relief

MA Score
8.5 / 10
Mattress Name

Brentwood Home Oceano

Description

Type: Hybrid: foam + coils
Firmness: Medium-soft
Trial Period: 120 days
Warranty: 25-year limited warranty
Summary: A handcrafted, eco-friendly hybrid mattress

MA Score
8.5 / 10
Mattress Name

Tomorrow Sleep

Description

Type: Hybrid: memory foam + coils
Firmness: Choose between medium soft and medium firm
Trial Period: 365 days
Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
Summary: Hybrid mattress designed for individualized support and airflow/breathability

MA Score
9 / 10
Mattress Name

Allswell Luxe Hybrid

Description

Type: Hybrid: memory foam and pocket coils
Firmness: Medium-firm to firm
Trial Period: 100 days
Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
Summary: Affordable luxury hybrid mattress

MA Score
8.6 / 10

How to Find the Best Soft Mattress Using the Mattress Firmness Scale

The traditional way to buy a mattress used to be visiting a mattress store (or two or three) and flopping down on a mattress after mattress searching for the most comfortable one. The problems with that method are:

  1. After traipsing around to several stores, any mattress is going to feel comfortable.
  2. The situation, complete with the full-on assault of fluorescent lights and Muzak, hardly replicates normal sleeping conditions.
  3. Most mattress sales reps earn a commission, rendering any advice they give suspicious.

These days you have the convenient option of ordering a 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.

While most average weight sleepers tend to prefer mattresses in the medium firm range with ratings of 6/10 to 7/10, you’re part of an elite group of sleepers. You’re looking for a soft mattress, so you want to choose from mattresses with ratings no higher than 5/10. And while you may think a super soft mattress will float you off to the Land of Nod effortlessly, 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.  

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. 

Decreased motion transfer.

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.

Significant cradling.

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, even when your partner can’t. 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.

Sleep warm.

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 mattress with some kind of cooling technology such as gel-infused or open-celled memory foam or naturally cooler latex foam construction.

Getting stuck in your 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) to give you the push back you need to move with less effort.

Ideal only for select sleepers.

Soft mattresses are not recommended for people who sleep on their stomachs (about 16% of sleepers) or backs (about 10%) or for people who weigh more than 230 lbs. The significant amount of give may not provide sufficient support to keep your spine in a neutral position, resulting in back and neck pain.

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.

Side sleepers.

People who sleep on their sides need a mattress 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 when you sleep on your side.

Light-weight people (less than 130 lbs.).

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.

Chilly sleepers.

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.

Couples.

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.

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, your foundation could be:
    • Box spring
    • Metal bed frame
    • Metal platform base
    • Slated bed foundation
    • Solid platform bed
    • Floor

Make sure your foundation is 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. This will add a firm, flat surface that may give you just the right amount of firmness you need. If you don’t mind altering your bedroom’s interior design, you could switch to a solid platform bed or simply lay your mattress on the floor.

  • 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 National Sleep Foundation recommends you keep the temperature in your bedroom between 65 and 72 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.

Conversely, in spite of your best efforts to find a soft mattress, the one you chose it still too firm for your liking. Again, don’t panic. You can make your mattress softer a couple of different ways.

  • 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.

Still need help finding the best mattress?

ake our mattress finder quiz and get personalized results based on your preferences and sleeping style.

Take Mattress Quiz

Sources
  • 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
  • National Sleep Foundation: sleepfoundation.org/bedroom-environment/touch

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