Mattress softness is entirely subjective. The sensation of softness is different for each person. Soft mattresses have a balanced level of maximum hug, low push-back, and deep contour.
In bedding terminology, soft mattresses are also known as “plush”. The industry utilizes a scale of 1-10 to describe the softness or firmness of a mattress. The ones with a lower number feel softer, while the ones with a higher number feel firmer. Normally, mattresses feature multiple layers that work together to offer a sensation of firmness vs. softness. The top layers of a soft mattress provide the maximum hug and softness. The transitional is the mid-layer that provides extra body support by moving you from the softer top memory foam layer to the denser bottom support layer. Mattresses can any number of layers, from one to nearly a dozen.
Is your mattress too firm? Not sleeping comfortably? It’s time for a new soft mattress. Without proper sleep at night, you’re susceptible to sleep deprivation which can cause you to be short-tempered and unfocused. In addition to that, you’ll have challenges getting your work done. Lack of proper sleep also makes you prone to these issues. Therefore, it is paramount that you make the right choice when in the market for a new mattress.
- 1 Soft vs. Firm Mattress – Which is Better?
- 2 Soft mattresses are better (and bad) for?
- 3 Types of Soft Mattresses Based on Softness Levels
- 4 Our Recommendations for Best Soft Mattress
- 4.1 The Puffy Lux Mattress
- 4.2 Tuft & Needle Mint
- 4.3 Bear Mattress
- 4.4 Brooklyn Bedding Bloom Hybrid
- 4.5 Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Bedding
- 4.6 Brentwood Home Oceano Mattress
- 4.7 Nolah Original 10
- 4.8 The Classic Saatva Mattress
- 4.9 Zenhaven Mattress
- 4.10 Chill Mattress
- 4.11 The All-New Purple Mattress
- 4.12 TEMPUR-LuxeAdapt® Mattress
- 5 Final Words
Soft vs. Firm Mattress – Which is Better?
The obvious difference between a soft and firm mattress is the feel. While the latter has less give and is more rigid to your touch, the former compresses more easily when you apply pressure. The softness or firmness of a mattress depends on the materials used to make the mattress.
Whether you need a soft or firm mattress depends on an array of factors such as personal preferences, body, sleep position, weight, height, medical conditions, and many more. Because of the countless mattresses sold today, various firmness options are available in a variety of styles including hybrids, innerspring, latex beds, memory foam, and other types of mattresses.
That being said, it’s prudent to have a look at which groups of people can do better with soft and firm mattresses.
Soft mattresses are better (and bad) for?
Good sleep is a function of an array of factors including weight, health, sleep position, good sleep posture, mattress choice, environment, and other factors.
Soft mattresses may be better for:
- Side sleepers – Side sleeping is one of the most common sleeping positions. Although pinning down hard data can be difficult, according to estimates, one third to one-half of people sleep on their side. According to a study by the National Sleep Survey, 74% of those interviewed preferred to sleep on their side. A soft mattress is good for side sleepers because it cushions the shoulders, neck, and hips better compared to a firmer sleep surface. Although this is the case, be careful not to buy too plush of a mattress as it may cause issues with your spinal alignment.
- Cold sleepers – For many people, it’s common to wake up in the middle of the night feeling like they are laying in the middle of Antarctica. According to Dr Gordon Giesbrecht, a professor of thermophysiology at the University of Manitoba, cold sleepers are folks that shiver or wake up chilly at night. Generally, cold sleepers are more sensitive to cold air. They have difficulty retaining heat at night. For this reason, a soft mattress is a great option because it not only cradles them but also helps insulate their body heat thus keeping them warm all night long.
- Older people – Seniors tend to run colder, especially if they have heart disease. Because of this, a plush mattress allows them to sink in and revel in the insulating benefits. The thicker comfort layers in a soft mattress protect aging joints that may be fragile.
- Lightweight – Lightweight folks have a lower BMI (Body Mass Index). This simply means that they experience mattress firmness differently than heavy people. The lighter you are, the less mattress thickness you need to support your weight. Soft mattresses are great for lightweight people because they closely conform to their weight.
- Sleep apnea sufferers – According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, it is estimated that roughly 22 million Americans suffer from one of the three types of sleep apneas. The three types are Obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea and complex sleep apnea. Risk factors for this condition include excess body weight, enlarged tonsils, chronic sinusitis, and Down syndrome. The blockage of the airway causes OSA (Obstructive sleep apnea). One way of remedying airway blockage is by proper sleep position (read side sleeping). As aforementioned, soft mattresses are great for side sleepers for various reasons.
Soft mattresses may be bad for:
- Back and stomach sleepers – According to this study, back and stomach sleepers constitute 20% of the population. If you are a back or stomach sleeper, a soft mattress might let you sink too deep thus throwing you off your spine’s natural ‘’S’’ curve. Incorrect sleep posture causes backaches. You’re better off with a firmer bed if you sleep face down or face up.
- Hot sleepers – Hot sleepers need a cool sleeping surface. They do better on a firm mattress because they don’t sink in, hence there’s no heat insulation. Because of the comfort they derive from sleeping on a firm mattress, their body temperatures reduce by around 2 degrees according to Sleep Medicine Review.
- Heavier people – A research by Sleep to Live Institute indicates that people with higher BMI have the worst sleeping patterns especially if they choose the wrong mattress. A soft mattress is inappropriate for heavier people as it makes them sink in excessively hence creating a hammock effect that throws their spine out of alignment. Changing sleeping positions when hammocked can be challenging. This can increase discomfort.
- Arthritis sufferers – A research by Cleveland Clinic discovered that contrary to popular opinion, arthritis sufferers are better candidates for firm mattresses than soft ones. If you have achy joints, you’re better off with a mattress that features a firm support layer and a soft upper comfort layer. Firm mattresses allow easier shifts in sleep position, which goes miles to prevent joints from locking.
- Back pain sufferers – Medium-firm beds are better options than soft ones for back pain sufferers. The latter’s ‘’sinking in’’ effect doesn’t provide much support for your aching spine.
Types of Soft Mattresses Based on Softness Levels
Although how soft or firm a mattress is subjective to each sleeper’s sensations, the mattress industry utilizes a scale of 1-10 to evaluate the softness of a mattress. A soft mattress should be anywhere between 1 and 5 out of 10 on the firmness scale. 10 is the firmness. A plush mattress has considerable sinking and hug feel.
Here are the different softness levels:
- 1 out of 10 (Extremely Soft) – This type of mattress is astonishingly soft. It features a bizarre sinking feeling. An extremely soft mattress does not provide any form of support. If you’re suffering from an extreme type of soreness in the muscles and need to temporarily reduce the pain, then you should lie down on this kind of mattress.
- 2 out of 10 (Ultra Soft) – Similar to the extremely soft mattresses, ultra-soft ones also don’t provide too much support. They are a great option if you have a thing for soft pillows and mattresses or just need a mattress to sit in for reading. You can choose them if you need to take a quick nap.
- 3 out of 10 (Very Soft) – These have an elevated sinkage degree (1.5″-3″ range). They come in two forms – traditional deep contour memory foam or a deep cushion hug that features marshmallow-like comfort. They’re excellent choices for side sleepers.
- 4-5.5 out of 10 (Soft) – If you are looking for a soft mattress with a balanced and consistent feel, then a mattress in this range is the best choice. They offer the ideal spinal support without compromising on softness.
- 5-7 out of 10 (Medium) – The medium range is on the firmer side of the level. Mattresses in this range boast a certain degree of slight softness. They have the core option for hug and sinkage. This firmness range is very important. It caters to more than 80% of sleepers.
- 5-9 out of 10 (Firm) – Firm mattresses are extremely tough. They contain minimal hug or sinkage. If you are a heavy sleeper, this could be a great option.
- 10 (Firmest) – This is the highest level of firmness. Simply put, this is an extremely hard mattress. It does not let you ‘’sink in’’ at all.
Our Recommendations for Best Soft Mattress
The Puffy Lux Mattress
Enjoy exquisite spine support and luscious comfort from this wonderful mattress from Puffy. In terms of construction, the company kept is simple with a 2-layer, all-foam construction. A four-inch Cooling Cloud foam characterizes the top layer while the bottom layer features a six-inch Firm Core Support polyurethane foam. You can get this mattress in one firmness level; 5 making ideal for sleeping weighing less than 230 pounds. This mattress is a great choice if you sleep hot on other kinds of foam beds. Its removable, washable polyester cover is easy to clean.
You can work with this mattress on any surface or frame. Feel free to use it on slats, flat frames, box springs, or even adjustable frames.
- Upper Cooling Cloud foam perfectly contours pressure points without trapping excess heat
- Firm Core Support foam is great for spinal alignment
- 101-night sleep trial
- Above-average motion isolation
- Offers little edge support
Bottom Line: Puffy’s Lux mattress is an incredible option if you’re seeking a high-quality, soft bed at an affordable price. It’s also a solid choice if you desire a mattress that offers pressure relief and contouring without the associated downside of overheating. Choose it if you’ve been looking for a mattress that doesn’t produce noise when bearing weight.
Tuft & Needle Mint
This soft foam mattress from Tuft & Needle is basically a thick foam bed that’s abnormally comfortable and plush. It is designed to specially offer better pressure relief. Compared to the company’s original bed, the Mint is relatively softer. On top of being 2 inches thicker, it brings with it an additional layer of foam. You can look forward to a nice, soft-knit cover.
One the firmness scale, the bed is medium to medium-soft. Provided you’re petite to medium-sized, you should be comfortable with the Mint. If you or your sleeping partner has a larger build, it would be wise to buy a bed with coils. Although this one is fairly long-lasting thanks to its thicker bottom layer, it remains an all-foam bed.
Generally, it’s an incredible mattress for those that desire a super-soft and neutral foam feel.
- Great motion isolation
- Good edge support
- Moderate price point
- Amazing breathability
- Unbeatable support
- Not great for people with large builds (over 250 lb)
Bottom Line: Tuft & Needle’s Mint mattress is a great option for those looking for a neutral-foam, soft mattress. If you’re a couple that like to spread out, this mattress can be an attractive option as well.
The Bear Mattress is among the best soft mattresses in the market for various reasons. For starters, it features an advanced cover material, notable contouring, and competitive price point. On the firmness scale, it stands at 6.5. While that might be the case, it still feels soft all thanks to its comfort layer’s cloud-like cushioning. Stacked layers of a responsive polyfoam coupled with graphite-gel memory foam characterize the comfort layer. With its memory foam layer, the mattress provides excellent hug that relieves pressure points and provides a soft feel.
Its graphite-infused foam works effortlessly to not only prevent motion transfer but also reduce heat retention. Under the different top layers is a support core that’s made of high-density polyfoam.
A major feature of this mattress from Bear is that its cover is a mixture of Celliant and polyester. Celliant is a specialty textile. It is magical when it comes to capturing heat from your body and then converting it into infrared energy. Because of this textile’s ability to easily boost blood flow (which helps in tissue and muscle recovery during the night), the FDA has certified Celliant as a medical device.
- High-density support foam
- Excellent motion isolation
- Responsive transition foam
- Breathable Celliant® cover
- Graphite gel memory foam for a cooler sleep
- Limited to a single firmness option
Bottom Line: If you’re into the idea of Celliant technology and have been looking for a mattress that’s geared towards an active lifestyle, then you need to choose this mattress.
Brooklyn Bedding Bloom Hybrid
The Bloom Hybrid from Brooklyn Bedding is a culmination of unique buoyancy and superior pressure point relief. A great attribute of this mattress is the fact that it boasts 7 times more breathability compared to other latex beds. You can also look forward to superior support and motion isolation. Its inherently hypoallergenic properties provide for a cleaner, healthier, and more rejuvenating sleep.
This mattress has a 3-inch Talalay latex layer that delivers a highly unique buoyant feel to relieve tension and muscles. It lifts away all your day’s pressures as you sleep. Its 8-inch quantum edge encased coils that allow for better motion isolation and reactivity hence reducing sleep disturbance.
With its 1-inch high-density base foam, you’re guaranteed a durable mattress. The base foam also reinforces the individually encased coils whenever they compress.
- Eco-friendly construction
- 10-year warranty
- Great edge support
- 3 firmness levels to choose from
- Plush top cover featuring organic cotton and wool for exceptional breathability
- The price is a bit higher but that’s normal for latex mattresses
Bottom Line: This product is a great option if you’re looking for an all-round soft mattress. From excellent motion transfer and minimizing sinkage on the edges, to being eco-friendly and highly breathable, it has everything you need in a premium mattress.
Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Bedding
A great combination of high-quality memory foam and a set of pocket coils make this mattress from Nest Bedding one of the best luxury hybrid beds on the internet. The memory foam is for comfort while the coils are for durability. For this mattress, the company provides three firmness levels – luxury firm, medium, and plush. The most popular is the medium level. In terms of firmness, it is roughly medium to medium-soft.
The medium option is ideal for most body types. However, if you have a big build, it’s prudent to consider the luxury firm option. Since it is a fairly responsive bed, it can be an excellent choice for combination sleepers who are fond of switching positions during the night.
Its super plush cover is the main selling point. Honestly, it feels like soft cashmere. Sleeping on this bed will feel like you’re on a huge, bouncy, plush pillow. While it might not come cheap, it’s great value taking into account its three comfort levels, lifetime warranty, and construction.
- 3 firmness options
- Ideal for all sleeper types
- Supremely comfortable
- Relatively pricey
Bottom Line: It is the best mattress for those that desire a comfortable bed, which feels like a gigantic pillow. It suits all body types.
Brentwood Home Oceano Mattress
This luxury hybrid bed excellently combines the cooling abilities of its gel memory foam with the responsive comfort of a high-quality 5-zone coil support system that offers pressure relief. Enjoy peaceful sleep on a hand-tufted Euro-top design and an ultra-soft plant-based Tencel stretch cover. One of the major highlights of this mattress is related to its non-toxic materials. The company is committed to a healthy life and home meaning that it doesn’t use harmful chemicals, toxins or pesticides in the mattress.
In the hot summer nights, you shouldn’t lose sleep. That explains why this mattress has memory foam that utilizes open-cell tech to efficiently draw heat away from your body as well as prevent hot spots. The mattress features a wool layer that wicks away moisture and controls the temperature throughout every season.
- Non-toxic materials
- Cool sleep
- Excellent edge support
- Gold certified
- Premium support
Bottom Line: With different coil layers, this mattress boasts additional airflow that makes it a perfect choice for those looking for a comfortable and cool sleep.
Nolah Original 10
You can use your Nolah Original 10 mattress on all kinds of bed frames (adjustable bases, foundation, slatted base, platform, or box spring). For those that use a slatted box spring or slatted base, the slats ought not to be more than 4 inches apart for optimal support. This mattress is proven scientifically to offer four times less peak pressure on your back, shoulders, and hips in comparison to the high-end memory foam. The fact that it is 100% temperature neutral means that it is made without heat-trapping viscoelastic chemicals to offer a comfortable and cool sleep.
The mattress features high-resilience foam that’s been proven to be more long-lasting compared to the normal memory foam. You get to enjoy a durable mattress that’s developed to get rid of sagging over time. Its high-density base foam is breathable to reinforce the contouring and support of the top layers. It has a 1-inch deep supportive high-resilience foam that is more durable and stronger than latex. The foam offers a responsive and healthy bounce to ensure you sleep soundly all night.
Pain-free sleep entails removing pressure points. No mattress achieves this feat better than Nolah. With this mattress, you’ll manage to handle your back, shoulder, and hips pain better.
- Natural Viscose cover
- High-density base foam
- Deep supportive high-resilience foam
- Cooling Nolah AirFoam
- Not ideal if you prefer a more conventional innerspring feel
Bottom Line: Choose this mattress is you desire optimal pressure relief and cooling. It is also a great mattress if you want one that’s usable on all types of bed frames.
The Classic Saatva Mattress
This classic hybrid innerspring mattress from Saatva perfectly blends the support and durability of a coil-on-coil innerspring system that’s topped with memory foam comfort layers to guarantee the ultimate luxury feel. It brings with a host of great features that combine perfectly to form one high-quality mattress. From the organic cotton cover to the long-lasting steel coil support system, this mattress will certainly deliver nothing short of exceptional comfort.
Enjoy a deep, body-hugging feel courtesy of extra padding and softer foams in the pillow top. Its organic cotton cover has been specially treated with efficient botanical antimicrobial protection.
- Durable steel coil support
- Spinal zone technology
- Individually wrapped coils
- Perimeter edge support
- Potential odor
Bottom Line: It is certainly the best mattress for lightweight people and side sleepers that prefer extra contouring.
This mattress has natural latex that responds instantly to your body’s curves for incomparable comfort and pressure-free support on both adjustable and traditional bases. In addition to this mattress being microbe and mold resistant, its durability is on another level. Both sides of Zenhaven feature a flame-retardant barrier that’s made of 100% wool. The wool adds moisture-wicking and breathability properties.
Another impressive highlight of this mattress is the fact that it features a proprietary 5-zone design to provide firmer support whenever you need it for the ultimate comfort as well as spinal alignment. The side that is firm is 18% firmer compared to the luxury plush for folks that desire a slightly firmer feel. The gentle firmness offers uplifting and pressure-free support.
It has an open-cell structure that enables air to circulate freely, counter body heat, and guarantee a comfortable sleep. The natural airflow provides a mattress that is seven times more breathable compared to other latex types.
- Organic wool layer
- Latex ‘’5-zone’’ comfort layer
- Latex support cores
- Breathable and cool
- 20-year warranty
- Stitching could have been better
Bottom Line: With this mattress, you can now say goodbye to muscle soreness when you wake up.
By buying this soft mattress, you stand to benefit from several features that make your sleeping life comfortable and pain-free. For starters, there’s a premium stretch-knit cover that not only absorbs but also dissipates heat from a refreshing and cool-to-the-touch surface. The mattress has top-notch memory foam to excellently adapt to your sleep position, shape, and body size thus ensuring you enjoy a great night’s sleep. It is engineered from more robust and heavier foam for resilience and durability.
- Excellent support layers
- Perfect-fit memory foam
- Cooling technology
- No motion disruption
- Premium fabric cover
- Little edge support
Bottom Line: Choose this mattress is you want a mattress that delivers superior pressure relief and support while efficiently regulating sleep temperature.
The All-New Purple Mattress
With the all-new Purple mattress, bounce meets cozy luxury. It combines a hybrid design that combines the company’s proprietary hyper-elastic polymer with pocketed coils for an out of this world sleeping experience. Regarding the cover, it is built with a spandex and polyester blend to create a material that is breathable, stretchy, and thick. There’s a comfort layer that’s made up of the Smart Comfort Grid™ system. It is composed of a high-quality hyperelastic material that perfectly adapts to your body.
In terms of the transition layer, there’s a thin polyurethane layer that remarkably separates the pocketed coil system and soft comfort layer from below. The main objective of this part of the mattress is to transition you between different materials.
The support layer has 7.5’’ of responsive coils that not only support a sleeper but also offer excellent motion isolation. What is more, the pocketed coil system works brilliantly to effortlessly extend the top comfort layer’s pressure relief throughout the entire structure. The combination of the polymer grid and pocketed coil system creates such a bouncy mattress. The last thing you’ll have to be worried about is feeling stuck.
- Zero motion-transfer technology
- Superior comfort courtesy of responsive supportive coil base
- Cooler sleep thanks to temperature-neutral, open grid design and breathable materials
- White glove delivery available in 48 contiguous states
- Potential for off-gassing
Bottom Line: This is the best option if you want a bouncy and luxurious mattress.
This mattress is made with the company’s groundbreaking material that intuitively adapts to the unique shape of your body to provide ultra-conforming comfort. Among the many highlights of this mattress, two things that stand out – superior motion cancellation and maximum pressure-relieving power. Its next-generation technology features a zip-off, cool-to-touch outer layer, as well as super-stretch inner layer for the utmost comfort and convenience.
The mattress has a tighter and slightly rougher cell structure that creates a softer feel. It works in combination with other layers to ensure you relax and get the necessary support. The mattresses’ support layers deliver all the pressure relief of original APR for ultra-conforming comfort.
- 90-night trial
- White glove delivery
- 10-year limited warranty
- Excellent support and comfort layers
- Great edge support
- Relatively pricey
Bottom Line: It is an excellent choice for sleepers that want moderate pressure relief.
When it comes to choosing the best soft mattress, your choice narrows down to three main factors:
- Your weight
- Your sleeping position
- Whether or not you suffer from any kind of pain, such as back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, etc.
In addition to the 3 above-mentioned factors, comfort should also be an important consideration. Regardless of whether a mattress is ideal for your back or not, if you do not feel relaxed or comfortable on the bed, chances are high that you won’t enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Fortunately, your search for a top-rated soft mattress should be easy now that we did the hard work for you.
The mattress that carries the day in this roundup of best soft mattress is The Puffy Lux Mattress. In addition to having a great design to contour pressure points, it also offers above-average motion isolation. This mattress has a cooling gel to prevent overheating. Finally, yet importantly, it features pressure relief foam coupled with deep-compression support layers. Indeed, it boasts a combination of features that make it stand out from the rest.