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Best Soft Mattress

What is the Best Soft Mattress?

Sinking into a soft mattress at the end of a long day can provide comfort and relief. A soft mattress conforms closely to the shape of your body, relieving your pressure points and cushioning your shoulders and hips.

Whether you prefer a soft or firm mattress will often depend on multiple factors, including your weight, sleeping position, and personal preferences. If you weigh less than 130 pounds, you may have noticed that you do not sink deeply into mattresses. As a result, a soft mattress may feel more comfortable. And for people of average weight, a soft mattress can help relieve minor aches and pains.

In general, a soft mattress can feel plush, luxurious, and inviting. But how do you determine what soft mattress is the best one for you? We cover our top picks for the best soft mattresses, including memory foam and hybrid options. We take a closer look at sleeping positions, as well as how a soft mattress can affect back and nerve pain. There are also special considerations for heavier sleepers and couples. Lastly, if you have a firm mattress that you think could be a bit softer, we include tips on how to change your mattress firmness, too.

Our Top Picks

Puffy Royal – Best Zoned Luxury
  • Mattress Type: Foam
  • Firmness Level: Medium (5)
  • Price: $2,695
Nolah Signature – Best Flippable
  • Mattress Type: Foam
  • Firmness Level: Flippable: Medium Soft (4),  Firm (7-8)
  • Price: $1,299
Bear Pro Mattress – Best for Back Sleepers
  • Mattress Type: Foam
  • Firmness Level:  Medium Firm (6)
  • Price: $1,090
Helix Sunset– Best for Side Sleepers
  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Firmness Level: Soft (2)
  • Price: $999
Casper Wave Hybrid – Best Targeted Support
  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Firmness Level: Medium (5)
  • Price: $2,695
Brooklyn Bedding Aurora – Best Cooling
  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Firmness Level: Medium Soft (4), Medium (5), Firm (7-8)
  • Price: $1,699

Puffy Royal – Best Zoned Luxury

Price: $2,695

Height: 14"

Firmness: Medium (5)

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Pressure Point Relief: 4/5

Sleeps Cool: 2/5

Motion Isolation: 4/5

Edge Support: 3/5

Durability: 3/5

Ease of Movement: 2/5

Sex: 2/5

Off-Gassing: 2/5

Puffy Royal mattress

Highlights:

  • Relieves pressure points
  • Zoned support with Surface Modification Technology (SMT)
  • Lifetime warranty

Ideal For:

  • Side sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds
  • Couples who prioritize motion isolation
  • Those who want a washable cover

Thick comfort layers in the Puffy Royal mattress make this one of the best soft memory foam mattresses. If you are a side sleeper who weighs under 130 pounds, you will especially find that the mattress offers standout pressure point relief and contouring.

The cover of the Puffy Royal mattress is stain-resistant and washable. The top layer is 1.5-inches of gel-infused foam with cooling beads, allowing the Puffy mattress to offset some of the usual heat retention of memory foam. Beneath this top layer is 2 inches of polyfoam, which contours closely to the shape of your body and cushions your hips and shoulders. This layer has some bounce, which prevents the feeling of sinking in too deeply. A third layer of foam features cooling properties to regulate temperature and increase airflow throughout the mattress. Underneath, a layer of 5-zoned polyfoam with Surface Modification Technology (SMT) adds airflow and provides ample support. The five zones include soft foam under your head, neck, shoulders, and feet, and firmer support for your back.

Since the Puffy Royal mattress has thick foam layers, it excels in motion isolation and pressure point relief. The medium firmness is best for sleepers who weigh less than 230 pounds, especially those who sleep on their side.

Puffy offers a 101-night sleep trial. The quality construction and foams are designed to last, and Puffy backs the mattress with a lifetime warranty.

Read Our Full Puffy Royal Mattress Review


Nolah Signature – Best Flippable

Price: $1,299

Height: 12"

Firmness: Flippable - Medium Soft (4), and Firm (7-8)

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Pressure Point Relief: 4/5 (Medium Soft) and 2/5 (Firm)

Sleeps Cool: 2/5 (Medium Soft) and 4/5 (Firm)

Motion Isolation: 4/5 (Medium Soft) and 2/5 (Firm)

Edge Support: 2/5 (Medium Soft) and 4/5 (Firm)

Durability: 3/5

Ease of Movement: 2/5 (Medium Soft) and 4/5 (Firm)

Sex:  2/5 (Medium Soft) and 4/5 (Firm)

Off-Gassing: 2/5

Nolah Signature mattress

Highlights:

  • Reversible design with two firmness options
  • Relieves pressure points
  • Donation made to wildlife protection with every purchase

Ideal For:

  • Those who want to support a charitable cause
  • People who want to try two firmness options in one mattress
  • All body types and sleeping positions

The Nolah Signature mattress has a flippable design with two firmness options: medium soft and firm. If you are deciding between a soft and firm mattress, and want to try both out in the comfort of your home, the Nolah mattress makes it easy.

The organic cotton cover of the Nolah Signature mattress wicks away moisture. On the soft side, a comfort layer of AirFoamTM contours to the shape of your body and relieves pressure on the hips and shoulders. This helps keep the spine aligned. Underneath, 1.5 inches of high resilience foam offers deep support and increases the durability of the mattress. A 7-inch reinforced high-density core foundation provides support for both sides. The firm side has a thinner comfort layer of AirFoam, which is supportive and firm.

Both sides relieve pressure points and provide support. We recommend the medium soft side for side sleepers who weigh under 230 pounds. The firm side offers better support for heavier sleepers, especially if you sleep on your back or stomach.

You can try the Nolah Signature mattress for 120 nights to decide if it is the best mattress for you, with a required 30-night break-in period before a return can be initiated. The mattress is covered by a 25-year warranty.


Bear Pro Mattress – Best for Back Sleepers

Price: $1,090

Height: 12"

Firmness: Medium Firm (6)

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Pressure Point Relief: 4/5

Sleeps Cool: 3/5

Motion Isolation: 4/5

Edge Support: 2/5

Durability: 3/5

Ease of Movement: 3/5

Sex: 3/5

Off-Gassing: 2/5

Bear Pro Mattress

Highlights:

  • Celliant cover promotes muscle recovery
  • Pressure point relief from multiple foam layers
  • Copper-infused foam draws away heat

Ideal For:

  • Sleepers of most body types and positions
  • Couples who value motion isolation and ease of movement
  • People who want a contouring mattress with better than average temperature regulation

The Bear Pro mattress is one of our top picks for the best soft mattresses due to how well it cushions pressure points and contours to the shape of your body. It is firmer than some of the other choices on our list and offers support for most body types and sleeping positions.

The Celliant cover of the Bear Pro mattress is breathable and high-tech. Celliant fibers transform heat from your body into infrared light, which aids in muscle recovery and encourages better rest. The comfort layer of copper-infused foam is antimicrobial and temperature regulating. Gel memory foam in the second layer draws heat away from your body while contouring to your shape. A layer of responsive transition foam supports spinal alignment and relieves pressure points. The support core of high-density foam adds durability to the mattress and reinforces the layers above.

The copper and gel foam layers regulate temperature better than traditional memory foam, so the Bear Pro mattress is a good choice if you tend to sleep hot. The foam layers also isolate motion exceptionally well. The medium firmness of the Bear Pro mattress prevents sinking in too deeply, making it easy to change positions throughout the night. This firmness offers ample support and comfort for most body types and sleeping positions, though heavy stomach sleepers may sink in more deeply.

Bear offers a 100-night sleep trial for the Pro mattress, with a 30-night break-in period. The mattress is covered by a 10-year warranty.

Read Our Full Bear Pro Mattress Review


Helix Sunset – Best for Side Sleepers

Price: $999

Height: 12"

Firmness: Soft (2-3)

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Pressure Point Relief: 4/5

Sleeps Cool: 3/5

Motion Isolation: 4/5

Edge Support: 2/5

Durability: 3/5

Ease of Movement: 2/5

Sex: 2/5

Off-Gassing: 3/5

Helix Sunset Mattress

Highlights:

  • Soft foam relieves pressure points
  • Wrapped coils stabilize mattress and add bounce
  • Foam and wrapped coils isolate motion

Ideal For:

  • Side sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds
  • Those who want a plush mattress with some bounce
  • Couples who prioritize motion isolation

The Helix Sunset mattress is one of the best soft mattresses due to its standout pressure point relief and motion isolation. If you are looking for a plush mattress that still has some bounce, this hybrid mattress is worth considering.

The Soft Touch Design cover is breathable, which increases airflow around your body. The comfort layer of Memory Plus foam is plush and soft, contouring closely to the shape of your body and relieving pressure points. Helix Dynamic foam makes up the second layer and provides ergonomic support and further cushioning. The wrapped coils in the support core cradle the body as well while reducing motion transfer. This layer has a reinforced perimeter, though you may not feel as much support around the edge due to how soft the mattress is. A base layer of DuraDense foam adds support and durability to the coils.

The Helix Sunset mattress sleeps relatively cool for a soft memory foam mattress. The plush softness is best for side sleepers under 130 pounds, as it cushions your hips and shoulders. This is not our top pick for anyone over 130 pounds, just because it may not provide enough support.

Helix offers a 100-night sleep trial with a 30-night break-in period, which ensures your body has time to adjust to the mattress. Additionally, Helix covers the Sunset mattress with a 10-year warranty.

Read Our Full Helix Mattress Review


Casper Wave Hybrid – Best Targeted Support

Price: $2,695

Height: 13"

Firmness: Medium (5)

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Pressure Point Relief: 4/5

Sleeps Cool: 4/5

Motion Isolation: 4/5

Edge Support: 3/5

Durability: 4/5

Ease of Movement: 3/5

Sex: 3/5

Off-Gassing: 3/5

Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress

Highlights:

  • Targeted gel pods keep spine aligned
  • Open-cell foams help regulate temperature
  • Free White Glove delivery

Ideal For:

  • Those who tend to sleep hot
  • Couples who prioritize motion isolation
  • Sleepers who weigh less than 230 pounds

The Casper Wave Hybrid mattress has targeted support that promotes spinal alignment and relieves pressure points. It also regulates temperature better than the average memory foam mattress.

The wool-infused cover of the Casper Wave mattress offsets any humidity. The comfort layers of open-cell Comfort Flo foam and open-cell latex are perforated for added airflow. These features make the mattress a great choice if you tend to sleep hot. Memory foam beneath these layers relieves pressure points and contours to the shape of your body. The transition layer of high-resiliency polyfoam has targeted gel pods with robust support. The pocketed coil support base increases airflow, isolates motion transfer, and adds durability to the mattress.

Overall, the Casper Wave Hybrid mattress has a medium firmness, but it feels softer underneath your shoulders and hips. This is due to the targeted gel pods, which are firmer underneath the hips to keep the spine in alignment. Sleepers who weigh less than 230 will feel benefit the most from the firmness and support of the Wave Hybrid mattress.

If you want hassle-free set-up and old mattress removal, Casper offers free White Glove delivery for the Wave Hybrid mattress. The mattress also comes with a 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty.

Read Our Full Casper Wave Mattress Review


Brooklyn Bedding Aurora – Best Cooling

Price: $1,699

Height: 13"

Firmness: Three Options - Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), and Firm (7-8)

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Pressure Point Relief: 4/5

Sleeps Cool: 3/5 (Medium Soft) and 4/5 (Medium Firm, Firm)

Motion Isolation: 4/5 (Medium Soft, Medium Firm) and 3/5 (Firm)

Edge Support: 3/5 (Medium Soft) and 4/5 (Medium Firm, Firm)

Durability: 4/5

Ease of Movement: 3/5 (Medium Soft) and 4/5 (Medium Firm, Firm)

Sex: 3/5 (Medium Soft) and 4/5 (Medium Firm, Firm)

Off-Gassing: 3/5

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Mattress

Highlights:

  • Gel-infused to prevent heat retention
  • Cushions pressure points
  • Offers contouring without the feeling of sinking in

Ideal For:

  • People of all body types and sleeping positions
  • Those who tend to sleep hot
  • Couples

If you want a soft mattress but tend to sleep hot, the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora mattress is a compelling choice. Multiple layers work to prevent heat retention while contouring to your body and relieving pressure points.

The cover is woven with TitanCool, a phase change material that helps you maintain an ideal skin temperature. The top layer of CopperFlex foam is also infused with this phase change material. This layer draws heat away from your body and has the antibacterial benefits of copper. A 2-inch layer of TitanFlex foam is responsive and resilient, which makes it easy to change positions. A transition layer of swirl viscoelastic memory foam offers deep compression support with cooling properties. The support core is 8 inches of individually encased Ascension X coils, which isolate motion and support your body. A 1-inch layer of high-density foam reinforces the coils and increases the durability of the mattress.

Since there are three firmness levels to choose from, you should be able to find comfort and support regardless of your body type or sleeping position. We recommend the soft option for sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds. Most people will find the medium firmness comfortable, though heavier stomach sleepers may prefer the firm mattress for better support.

Brooklyn Bedding backs the Aurora mattress with a 10-year warranty. You can try out the mattress for 120 nights, which includes a 30-night break-in period.

Read Our Full Brooklyn Bedding Mattress Review


Who is a Soft Mattress Best For?

Whether a soft mattress is best for you will depend on multiple factors, including your sleeping position, weight, and comfort preferences. A soft mattress conforms closely to the shape of your body. The softer the mattress, the more you sink into it. This cushions sharper points of your body, like your hips and shoulders.

Mattresses are often rated on a firmness scale of 1 to 10, or extremely soft to extremely firm. Most soft mattresses range from 2 to 4 on this scale. The softness of the mattress is determined by the materials used and the construction of the mattress.

A soft mattress is often constructed with multiple layers: plush comfort layers on top of a support core. Some mattresses have a transition layer between the comfort layer and base. Memory foam and polyfoam are the most common materials used in soft mattresses. These materials respond to pressure and contour closely to your body’s shape. This relieves pressure points, making soft mattresses a good choice for anyone who has joint or muscle pain. Latex can also be used in soft mattresses, as it gently contours to your body.

While high-quality foams and durable support cores can increase the lifespan of a mattress, soft mattresses are more likely to sag or have deep impressions over time. This is often because softer foams with lower densities are less durable. The materials a mattress is made with directly affect how much support it offers, and how long it lasts.

Proper support is the most important element of a mattress. Soft mattresses are best for those who weigh under 230 pounds, especially side and back sleepers. Heavier sleepers, and those who sleep on their stomach, tend to need firm support to keep their spine aligned. Firmness and comfort in a mattress are subjective, so personal preferences about what feels good should be taken into consideration along with sleeping position and weight. You may find that you prefer the plush feeling of a soft mattress, even if it is not the recommended firmness for your body type or sleep position.

Are Soft Mattresses Better for Side Sleepers?

Soft mattresses are a great match for the needs of side sleepers. If you are a side sleeper, your shoulders and hips press directly into the mattress. In order to keep your spine aligned, it is essential that your hips and shoulders sink in the appropriate amount. If your hips sink in too deeply or not enough, your spine can be pushed out of alignment. This results in lower back pain. If your shoulders do not sink in enough, it can cause too much pressure and result in shoulder and neck pain.

Materials used in soft mattresses often provide the best contouring support for side sleepers. Memory foam adapts to the shape of your body and relieves pressure points. This helps prevent aches and pains.

For side sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds, you may find that a soft mattress is more comfortable. This is because it cushions your shoulders and hips, and does not need a lot of weight or pressure to do so. Sleepers over 130 pounds tend to put more pressure on the mattress and may need firmer support.

People who sleep on their back may benefit from the contouring and pressure point relief of a soft mattress as well, though it is important that the mattress prevents the lower back from sinking in too far.

Stomach sleepers, on the other hand, usually need more support than what a soft mattress will provide. This helps prevent their abdomen and hips from sinking in and putting undue stress on the lower back.

Is a Soft Mattress Good for Your Back?

Whether or not a soft mattress is good for your back will depend on your body weight and sleeping position. Support in a mattress measures how well your spine is aligned as you sleep. Numerous factors contribute to spinal alignment and back support in a mattress, and should be considered before deciding if a soft mattress will be good for your back.

A conforming mattress can help align the spine and reduce back pain. A soft mattress is usually best for those who weigh less than 130 pounds. It keeps your spine aligned and lets you sink into the mattress enough to relieve pressure points. If you weigh between 130 and 230 pounds, a medium soft mattress may provide a better balance of comfort and support. For heavier sleepers, a soft mattress may cause the hips to sink in too much. Additionally, the mattress could be more likely to sag over time.

Some soft mattresses have zoned support, which increases the firmness underneath the hips while cushioning areas like the shoulders and legs. This makes the mattress more supportive for a wider range of body types and sleeping positions. It also promotes proper spinal alignment and can help prevent back pain.

Can a Soft Mattress Cause Sciatica or Back Pain?

If you suffer from sciatica or back pain, you may be trying to decide if a soft mattress is right for you. Or, if you experience one or both of these issues, you may wonder if your mattress is to blame.

Sciatica is often caused by a herniated disc or bone spur that pinches the sciatic nerve. Since this nerve runs through the lower back and legs, symptoms include lower back pain and tingling in one or both legs. While sleeping on a soft mattress should not cause sciatica, it can aggravate symptoms if the mattress does not provide adequate support. People with sciatica need a mattress that offers gentle contouring and pressure point relief. The hips should be properly supported to prevent lower back pain.

Back pain, in general, can be caused by many factors. If you wake up with back pain that lessens as the day goes on, your mattress may be a contributing factor. An unsupportive mattress, or one that has a sagging or uneven surface, can cause unnatural posture while you sleep. This puts stress on the spine and results in back pain.

Soft mattresses can still offer ample support, depending on your weight and sleeping position. For those who weigh less than 130 pounds, a soft mattress often offers better support and contouring than a firm mattress would. For heavier sleepers, though, your spine may not be properly supported if the mattress is too soft.

It should be noted that a mattress that is too firm can also exacerbate back pain. One study found that a medium firm mattress was better than a firm mattress for individuals with chronic back pain. The most important thing you can do to improve your sleep quality if you have sciatica or back pain is to ensure your mattress is supportive and comfortable.

Are Soft Mattresses Good for Heavier Sleepers?

Soft mattresses tend to be less suited to the needs of heavier sleepers. If you weigh more than 230 pounds, you may notice that you sink into a mattress more. Because of this, heavier sleepers tend to prefer medium firm to firm mattresses. This prevents feeling trapped by the mattress, or sinking in so deeply that movement is restricted.

While some heavier sleepers like the plush feel of a soft mattress, it may feel too soft for others. With a soft mattress, there is always a risk that heavier parts of your body, like your abdomen and hips, will press too far into the mattress. This knocks the spine out of alignment, putting pressure on the lower back and causing aches and pains. While firmness and comfort are subjective, support is not. Whether you choose a soft or firm mattress, the mattress should still offer full-body support.

While we typically recommend a medium to firm mattress for heavier sleepers, we know that some will still prefer a softer mattress. Comfort and firmness are subject to personal preferences, among other factors.

There are certainly soft mattresses that provide robust support for heavier sleepers. If you decide a soft mattress is right for you, be sure to choose one with a thicker profile and sturdier base. This can ensure your body receives the support it needs each night, while also  reducing the likelihood of sagging or deep impressions in the mattress over time.

Is a Soft Mattress Good for Couples?

A soft mattress can be a good choice for couples, though both of your body types, sleeping positions, and preferences should be considered. Certain properties make a soft mattress ideal for those who share a bed, including motion isolation. Materials like memory foam isolate motion and prevent your movements from disturbing your sleeping partner.

On the other hand, the qualities of a soft mattress that allow it to isolate motion and conform closely to your body can also inhibit movement. This makes a soft mattress less ideal for sex. Closely conforming mattresses can also restrict airflow around your body and retain heat, so if one of you tends to sleep hot, a soft mattress might not be the best choice.

For couples with differing firmness preferences, there are a couple of options. Some soft mattresses, like the Nolah Signature mattress, have a flippable design. This means there are two firmness options to choose from in one mattress, so couples can try out both a softer side and a firmer side to see which one is best for them. Some mattresses are split with different firmness levels on the left and right side, or they have adjustable sides that allow you to pick your preferred firmness level.

How to Make a Hard Mattress Softer

There are plenty of scenarios in which you may find that you want to make your hard mattress feel softer. If your mattress is too firm and you are outside the sleep trial period, you may be looking for ways to soften your mattress. Or, perhaps you bought a new mattress that turned out to be firmer than you expected, but there is a minimum break-in period before initiating a return. And for anyone who has changed their usual sleeping position, lost weight, or started sharing the bed with a partner, changing your current mattress firmness may be necessary.

One of the simplest ways to change your mattress firmness is by adding a mattress topper. This is an extra comfort layer that sits on top of your existing mattress and changes the overall firmness and feel. Mattress toppers vary in thickness and materials. A plush mattress topper made with memory foam will add cushioning and contouring to your current mattress.

If your new mattress feels firmer than anticipated, know that it will soften over time. Some companies have a mandatory break-in process to account for this, so take advantage of that time to break in the mattress. It will feel less firm just with regular use, but you can also walk on it to soften the comfort layers. Keep in mind that memory foam reacts to heat and pressure, so it may feel softer as you lay on it. If you share the bed and have a different weight than your partner, rotate the mattress regularly so that it wears evenly.