Best Soft Mattresses
Crawling into a plush bed each night can help you relax and get some much needed rest. A soft mattress creates an inviting, cloud-like sleep surface that immediately signals comfort. When shopping for a soft mattress, there are some important factors to consider.
It’s not enough to shop for comfort. A soft bed also needs to be supportive and prevent excessive sinking. If the heaviest parts of the body, the hips and shoulders, sink too far into the bed, it could cause spine alignment issues. If the spine is not kept neutral throughout the night, it can lead to aches and pains in the morning.
To help you select the right soft mattress, we have reviewed 7 of the most popular brands on the market. Plus, our buyer’s guide outlines important features to consider when purchasing a soft mattress.
Best Soft Mattress: 30 Second Summary
- Our Recommendation: The Amerisleep AS5 is our Editors’ Choice as the best soft mattress because it contains three inches of plant-based memory foam to cushion your body and a state-of-the-art pocketed coils to promote better sleep.
- Runner-Up: We also recommend the Zoma Mattress to those looking for a soft but cool bed. The Zoma offers plenty of cushioning comfort but it also contains cooling infusions to wick away night sweats and prevent overheating.
Best Soft Mattresses
Amerisleep has recently added three new hybrid models to their product line. Of the three, the AS5 Hybrid is the softest. Those looking for a soft bed with a slight bounce will love the comfort and support of this mattress.
Like the other Amerisleep mattresses, the AS5 Hybrid features Amerisleep’s Bio-Pur®. This foam contours close to the body to cushion pressure points and help relieve muscle tension. Since this plant-based foam is more breathable, you will sleep cool and relaxed every night.
Beneath the comfort layer is Amerisleep’s response foam, Active Flex. This material prevents excessive sinking and ensures the hips are aligned with the shoulder, so the spine is always neutral. The combination of both layers will help you find deep sleep and wake feeling rejuvenated.
The base of the AS5 Hybrid features a pocketed spring coil base that isolates movements and provides responsiveness.
As with all Amerisleep’s mattresses, the AS5 Hybrid comes with a 20-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial period.
AMERISLEEP AS5 HYBRID
- Active Flex response layer maintains alignment for a neutral spine
- Spring coil support base for better back support
- 20-year warranty and risk-free 100-night sleep trial period
The Zoma Mattress offers a combination of soft memory foam and a stable support base. When joints are cushioned, and the spine is neutral, muscles can relax and rebuild—helping you wake with fewer aches and pains.
This bed has a soft, stretch-knit cover that keeps the mattress’s surface cool and inviting. The comfort layer is a soft, contouring memory foam with Zoma’s Triangulex™ technology. This technology places hundred of triangular cutouts on the surface of the foam to provide a balance of cushioning and support. This material cradles pressure points and stabilizes the back and neck.
Beneath the top layer is Zoma’s response foam, Reactiv™. This layer has a bounce that keeps you from feeling stuck when changing positions during the night. Reactiv™ also promotes a healthy posture by preventing excessive sinking.
Supporting both of these layers is Zoma’s Support+ foam, which reduces indentations and sagging.
Zoma provides a 10-year warranty to cover any manufacturing defects. They also include a 100-night sleep risk-free sleep trial.
- Breathable, supportive memory foam comfort layer
- Response foam that prevents excessive sinking
- 10-year warranty and 100-night sleep trial
The Vaya Mattress features two foam layers that work together to create a soft yet buoyant sleep surface. Both foams used in this mattress are certified by CertiPUR-US® as low in VOCs. With this guarantee, you can rest assured the bed will have no harsh, chemical smell when brought indoors.
The cover of the Vaya features a soft, woven fabric that wicks heat away from the body. The top layer is made of Vaya’s soft foam, which contours to joints and ensures pressure points are cushioned and protected. Unlike traditional memory foam, Vaya foam offers more breathability and more bounce. This foam has an elasticity that keeps the torso from sinking and falling out of alignment.
Supporting this soft layer is a durable foam that helps reduce motion transfer and maintains structure. The Vaya mattress can be used on any modern bed frame—including a solid, slatted, or adjustable base.
Vaya is available on Amazon and is often available at a discounted price. This mattress also comes with a 10-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial.
- Plush comfort layer contours to the body to relieve pressure points
- Hypoallergenic and CertiPUR-US® foam for a safer, cleaner sleep surface
- 10-year warranty and 100-night sleep trial
Perfect Cloud offers several different mattress types. For a genuinely soft and luxurious sleep, we recommend their Ultraplush memory foam mattress.
The Ultraplush mattress has a stretch-knit cover that keeps air flowing throughout the surface of the bed. This feature works to disperse body heat quickly. The comfort layer features 1.5 inches of memory foam, which contours to the body for pain and pressure relief.
Following this layer is a gel-infused memory foam that provides spinal protection by keeping the body lifted. The gel microbeads in this layer pull warm air from the bed’s surface to prevent night sweats and sleep disruptions.
The high-density support foam in the base of the Ultraplush helps reduce motion transfer. Couples will no longer have to worry about jostling each other awake on the Ultraplush.
Perfect Cloud offers a 10-year warranty and a 100-night free sleep trial to ensure you are happy with the mattress.
PERFECT CLOUD ULTRAPLUSH
- Close contouring memory foam for pressure relief
- Gel-infused memory foam for cooling
- 10-year warranty and 100-night free sleep trial
The Nolah Signature is a 12 inch, medium-soft memory foam mattress. Unlike traditional memory foam, Nolah’s AirFoam™ is designed to be more responsive and breathable.
The Nolah Signature Mattress features a soft, lightweight cover made with organic cotton. This cover is quilted to increase airflow along the surface of the bed. Following the cover is a layer of Nolah’s proprietary AirFoam™. AirFoam™ contours closely to the body for maximum pressure relief without trapping heat.
The top layer is followed by a response foam that minimizes sinking, so sleepers feel more lifted rather than sunk in the bed. This layer also gives the mattress a slight bounce, making it easy to get in and out of bed.
The base of the mattress is made of a high-density poly-foam that complements the close contouring of the two top layers. Beneath this high-density layer is another layer of AirFoam™ with firmer support. By placing a firm memory foam layer on the bottom of this layer, sleepers can choose to flip the mattress if they prefer a firm comfort level.
To ensure you are happy with the quality of the Nolah Signature, it comes with a 120-night risk-free sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.
- Unbleached, organic cotton cover
- Responsive and breathable AirFoam™ comfort layer
- Lifetime warranty and 120-night sleep trial
Tulo offers a line of three different mattresses—soft, medium, and firm. For a plush yet supportive mattress, we recommend the soft model.
The Tulo Soft Mattress has a soft, breathable cover for better air circulation. Beneath this cover is 2 inches of Tulo’s cooling memory foam. This proprietary foam is infused with titanium particles that allow body heat to pass through the material quickly. With less heat stuck inside your mattress, you will sleep cool each night.
Beneath the top layer is Tulo’s response foam, which has peaks and valleys cut through the foam’s surface. This feature encourages airflow and prevents excessive sinking. These layers are followed by 2 inches of a high-resiliency foam that increases bounce and helps maintain a neutral spine.
Beneath all three foam layers is a base of high-density poly-foam that adds durability and structure to the mattress.
Tulo helps protect your investment by offering a 10-year warranty. You can also take advantage of their 120-night sleep trial to ensure the mattress is right for you.
TULO SOFT MATTRESS
- Cooling memory foam
- Response foam prevents spinal misalignment
- 10-year warranty and 120-night sleep trial period
Who Are Soft Mattresses Best For?
A soft mattress isn’t the most comfortable mattress for everyone. Your body type and sleep position often determine what firmness will feel most comfortable and supportive. Below, we’ve outlined those who are most suited to a soft mattress.
- Side sleepers: Those who rest on their side need more cushion around the hips and shoulders so they don’t develop pain in these areas.
- Lightweight sleepers: Those under 130 pounds will naturally sink less. Therefore, they need a softer bed to experience adequate contouring. When lightweight sleepers rest on a firm mattress, it can cause tension to build-up along the body, resulting in pain and discomfort.
The following individuals are less likely to find comfort on a soft mattress.
- Stomach sleepers: When resting on the stomach, the torso may sink too far into the bed, forcing the curve of the spine to become exaggerated.
- Back sleepers: For back sleepers, if the hips fall too far into the bed, it could cause alignment issues that leave you with aches and pains.
- Heavier sleepers (those 230 and up): Heavier sleepers may fall too far into a soft mattress. When this happens, it can result in spinal misalignment and difficulty changing positions. If you are a heavier sleeper who prefers a soft mattress, be sure to select a “plush firm mattress,” or “luxury firm.” These beds will provide the cushioning of a soft bed but the stability of a firm one.
- Those with chronic pain: People with chronic pain need a mattress that is soft enough to cushion the pressure points. These sleepers also need ample support to keep the body stable and prevent sinking. A medium to medium-firm mattress tends to be best for those with chronic pain.
It is also important to note that a soft mattress does not necessarily mean it is less supportive. A soft mattress can be supportive as long as it has a response layer or enough natural elasticity to prevent too much sinking.
Soft vs. Firm Mattresses
Mattress firmness ratings are not standard, varying from brand to brand. However, many brands stick to a basic firmness scale from 1 to 10—with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. Soft and firm mattresses are the two extremes of this scale, but it is rare to find a bed rated a 10 or a 1.
Firm mattresses tend to rate between a 9 and a 7 on the firmness scale. These beds have less give and offer very little sinking. When resting on a firm bed, you will experience less contouring, and will likely feel more lifted on the mattress rather than cradled.
Soft mattresses are often rated between a 2 and a 3 on the firmness scale. These beds compress with very little pressure and mold to the body. When resting on a soft bed, you will experience more contouring and sink further into the mattress.
Both soft and firm mattresses can be incredibly comfortable and supportive. The primary difference between them is the level of sinking and contouring that you will experience. Since soft mattresses allow for more compression, these beds need more responsiveness to keep you lifted and aligned.
The layers and materials that make up a mattress play an important role in the comfort and support they can provide. The following are the four most common mattress types.
Memory foam is an incredibly responsive material that forms to the body like a glove. This type of mattress contours to the joints to relieve tension so you can fully relax.
Memory foam is available in different firmness levels, from soft to extra firm. Therefore, these beds can accommodate a wide range of comfort needs. Back, side, stomach, and combination sleepers can all find adequate comfort and support on a memory foam bed.
Memory foam mattresses often receive the highest customer satisfaction ratings. This popularity is due to their pressure-relieving abilities. Those with chronic pain often find relief on a memory foam mattress because it contours so closely to the body. Contouring allows tension to dissipate, so healing can take place during sleep.
Since traditional memory foam tends to trap heat, it is best to look for one with cooling properties. Infusions such as gel, copper, charcoal, and graphite help to wick moisture and body heat away from the bed’s surface. Also, memory foams made with fewer petroleum-based oils are more breathable and more responsive than most on the market.
Couples will also appreciate that memory foam beds have little motion transfer. With this material, you will be less likely to wake your spouse when getting in and out of bed or if you toss and turn during the night.
Like memory foam, latex foam contours to the body for pressure relief and comfort. However, latex foam tends to have a firmer, more buoyant feel that keeps sleepers lifted rather than cradled.
Soft mattresses do not often feature latex foam in the top layer for this reason. Instead, latex foam can be used as a response layer beneath soft memory foam. A latex response layer will keep sleepers from sinking and forcing the spine out of alignment.
Latex mattresses are naturally breathable and suitable for hot sleepers. This material is also antibacterial and antimicrobial, so it tends to remain cleaner and germ-free for a longer period of time.
Latex foam can be either natural or synthetic. Synthetic latex is made with a combination of chemical compounds and is often less eco-friendly and more toxic for humans. Natural latex, on the other hand, is sustainably derived from the sap of the rubber tree. Keep in mind that organic latex can also increase the price of the bed.
Natural latex is available in two different types—Dunlop and Talalay. Dunlop has no chemical fillers but often has a firm feel. Talalay latex includes polyurethane fillers that soften the mattress. However, the Talalay process is not always environmentally friendly.
Latex foam mattresses tend to be more expensive than memory foam. However, they do have a long lifespan (about 15 years), and they are a good choice when shopping for an eco-friendly mattress.
Innerspring mattresses have a support system of steel spring coils. Above these coils is a comfort layer made of either foam or fabric. The support of the steel coils and the thinner top layer give these beds a firmer feel.
The thickness of the wire gauge can vary from brand to brand. Thinner gauges tend to be softer. However, thinner coils can break fairly easily. When they become bent or broken, coils can stick up and cause painful pressure points.
For this reason, innerspring mattresses are quickly falling out of favor. Memory foam and latex foam mattresses tend to offer more contouring for pain and pressure relief. However, an innerspring bed that’s also a pillow top mattress may be softer than most beds of this type.
Mattress toppers made of foam can also reduce the feeling of the hard, spring coils. Innerspring beds tend to be more cost-effective, but they can increase in price if you add a topper.
A hybrid mattress has a base of spring coils but a comfort layer made with 2 to 3 inches of foam—either memory, latex, or polyurethane foam. The foam’s comfort level can range from firm to soft, so these beds are suitable for many different body types and sleep positions. A thicker layer of foam will result in a much softer mattress, while a thin one will create a firmer feel.
The coil base of a hybrid is typically made with pocketed spring coils. These coils move independently of each other, so they adapt and contour to the body better than most spring coil systems. Pocketed coils also give the bed a slight bounce, which makes moving across the bed more comfortable.
As mentioned above, the position that you frequently rest in can determine the level of support you need. To help you determine if a soft mattress is right for you, we outline the firmness suited to each of the four common sleeping positions.
When resting on your side, your hips and shoulders bear the brunt of your body weight. If the mattress is too firm, tension can build-up in these sensitive areas, resulting in pain and stiffness.
The best mattress for side sleepers will be soft enough for these areas to sink further into the mattress and remain cushioned. To prevent excessive sinking that could force the spine out of alignment, opt for a soft mattress with a responsive foam or transition layer.
A memory foam or hybrid mattress with a soft comfort layer will be suitable for side sleepers.
Those who prefer back sleeping need a mattress that will keep the body weight evenly distributed. If one part of the body sinks more than another part, it could result in pressure build-up. Therefore, the best mattress for back sleepers will be medium to firm.
If you are a lightweight back sleeper, a medium mattress will likely be the best choice. However, if you are over 230 pounds, a medium-firm to firm bed will keep you from feeling stuck and make moving more comfortable.
Back sleeping can put pressure on the trachea, making breathable difficult. If you have sleep apnea or frequently snore, you may benefit from an adjustable bed. These bed frames lift the top portion of the mattress to open up airways and make breathing more comfortable.
When sleeping on your stomach, the curve of the spine becomes exaggerated. Over time, this puts pressure on the back and neck. Therefore, we recommend avoiding stomach sleeping wherever possible. It is especially dangerous for stomach sleepers to rest on a soft mattress because this exaggeration can become more pronounced on a plush bed.
However, we understand that sleep habits are sometimes hard to break. If you can’t avoid stomach sleeping, it is best to opt for a firm mattress. A firm bed will lift the hips and keep them aligned with the shoulders. This slight lift can lessen the curvature of the spine and alleviate pressure.
Some sleepers tend to toss and turn during the night and don’t favor any one position. Combination sleepers need a bed that is soft enough to cushion joints when side sleeping. However, they also need a bed that will keep the lower back stable and supported when back sleeping. We typically recommended medium mattresses for combination sleepers.
Sleep Trials, Warranties, Return Policies
To get the most of your new mattress, be sure it comes with a suitable sleep trial and warranty. Both of these offerings suggest that the company stands behind the quality of the bed.
A sleep trial is especially helpful when purchasing a mattress online. Researching a mattress and its comfort level online will clue you into the kind of support it can offer. However, you won’t know if it’s right for you until you sleep on it for an extended time.
Even a quick 10 to 15-minute mattress “test” in-store is not enough to determine how it will feel during sleep. Therefore, it is important to have a sleep trial period, whether you are shopping in-store or online. It can take up to 3 to 4 weeks to become accustomed to a new mattress, so you will need at least 30 days. Most online mattress in a box brands offer 90 to 120-night sleep trials, so a suitable trial period is not hard to find.
After 30 to 60 nights of sleeping on the mattress, you may decide that it’s not the best fit. If this is the case, many companies will work with you to exchange the bed for a different model. If you decide to return it instead, they will arrange for the bed to be picked up and issue you a full refund. Most brands make this a relatively seamless process, so there is little inconvenience to the customer.
A warranty protects the mattress from excessive sagging, indentations, broken coils, seam rips, and tears. The industry standard for a mattress warranty is 10 years. Since a high-quality mattress will last about 10 years, this length of time will likely cover the bed’s lifespan.
Warranties do not cover stains from spills or accidents, so it is best to use a mattress protector. A waterproof protector will ensure your bed stays clean throughout many years of use.
For most reputable brands, the sleep trial acts as the return policy. If you decide you are unhappy with the bed, they will donate the mattress to a local charity and issue you a refund.
However, if the company doesn’t offer a sleep trial, they may offer a return policy. When shopping, be sure the return policy is at least 30 days. One month should be enough time to sleep on the mattress and make sure it meets your specific needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do soft mattresses cause back pain?
Soft mattresses do not necessarily cause back pain. However, if the bed allows for excessive sinking, it could lead to alignment issues that result in back pain. A foam mattress with a natural elasticity or an added response layer can prevent the sleeper from sinking too far into a soft mattress and forcing the spine out of alignment. The best mattresses for back pain are usually medium-firm in firmness.
Be sure to also keep in mind your body type and sleep position when considering a soft mattress. Heavier sleepers tend to experience too much sinking on a soft mattress, which can often cause back pain.
How do you know if your mattress is too soft?
If you frequently wake with aches and pains that last throughout the day, your mattress may be too soft. If you are a side sleeper and experience pain in the hips and shoulders, it could be a sign that you are sinking too far into the bed. Back sleepers resting on a mattress that is too soft may experience lower back pain due to spinal misalignment.
Do side sleepers need a soft mattress?
The best mattress for side sleepers is one that is soft enough to cushion the hips and shoulders. Side sleepers also need to make sure the bed has enough responsiveness. A slight lift will keep the spine resting in a neutral position. In most cases, a soft to medium comfort level is best for side sleepers.
How do I make a firm mattress softer?
If your mattress is too firm, you can give it a softer feel by adding a pillow top. A soft memory foam mattress topper will contour and cushion the pressure points. Likewise, if your mattress is too soft, you can increase the firmness by adding a firm mattress topper.
How do I choose a good mattress?
First, it is essential to consider the right firmness level. This firmness will depend on your body type and sleep position. Next, consider the mattress type that is most suited to your needs.
Before purchasing, be sure you have an adequate sleep trial to test out the bed at home. A sleep trial is the best way to ensure you’ve made the right choice.
Did You Find Your Next Soft Mattress?
A soft mattress may not be right for everyone. However, those who prefer extra cushioning find great comfort on a plush bed. If you choose a soft mattress, be sure it also supports a safe spinal position. When the joints are cushioned, and the spine is neutral, the body will fully relax, so you can drift off to sleep peacefully.
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