When many people think of the perfect mattress, they imagine something that is comfortable, something that really lets them sink in and feel the pressure and worries of the day melt away – in short, they are thinking of a soft mattress.
In general, soft mattresses are a particularly good choice for side sleepers and those who need some extra comfort – while a lot of mattress companies claim they have the softest mattress, can we believe them?
Well, I’ve put together my list of the best soft mattresses – I have personally reviewed hundreds of mattresses- these are the cream of the crop so read on to find the best soft mattress!
Our Top Mattress Picks
These are our picks for the best soft mattresses:
- Layla – Best Soft Memory Foam Mattress
- Nectar – Best Soft Budget Mattress
- Helix Sunset – Best Soft Hybrid Mattress
- Amerisleep AS4 – Best Mattress For Side Sleepers
- Saatva – Best Medium Soft Mattress
- Nolah – Best Value Mattress
- Casper – Best Mattress For Combination Sleepers
- Puffy – Best Mattress For Lightweight People
There were a large number of contenders for this list, but we narrowed down the list to a few stellar options; here are some options that could potentially be a good match for folks who are looking for a comfortable, softer sleeping surface.
Best Soft Memory Foam Mattress
The Layla is one of the most innovative mattresses I have ever reviewed; it is actually flippable and includes both a softer and firmer side. Now, we are talking about soft mattresses today so, of course, let’s take a look at the soft side of this mattress – it is softer-than-average and, on our firmness scale, it was approximately a 5.5/10.
Based on my experience and our pressure map test (yay, science), the soft side of the Layla relieves pressure exceptionally well – side sleeping, I personally felt little pressure on my shoulders and hips, and the pressure map showed only slight pressure in those areas.
The softness and pressure relief comes from 3″ of copper-infused memory foam that is oh-so-comfortable; in fact, the Layla is flat out one of the most comfortable mattresses I have ever reviewed!
The copper found in the memory foam also adds some extra features to the Layla mattress – this material is both anti-microbial and heat-dissipating – those who want a clean mattress that doesn’t sleep hot will definitely be impressed!
So, those who are looking for a soft and extremely comfortable mattress with some great extra features should check out the Layla!
What Makes The Layla Stand Out?
- The mattress is flippable and offers two firmnesses in one mattress; the soft side is a 5.5/10 and the firm side is an 8/10.
- The softer side of the Layla mattress features excellent pressure relief and should be a fantastic option for side sleepers.
- The copper-infused memory foam helps make the Layla a cooler-sleeping mattress that will also be free of bacteria and mildew.
Read the full Layla mattress review
Layla is an innovative mattress that happens to be one of the most comfortable mattresses I've ever slept on. You can get $160 off the Layla mattress (plus two free pillows!) by clicking the link below and then using code MCLARITY.
Best Soft Budget Mattress
When it comes to finding a soft mattress, no one wants to break the bank. When it comes to offering soft comfort for a value price, Nectar stands out among the pack as the best budget mattress on our list. Considering its high-quality materials, we would expect it to cost much more.
The Nectar features soft, gel-infused memory foam over Hi Core memory foam over a base support layer. The top layer is particularly soft and should provide excellent pressure relief for side sleepers.
However, with its firmer transition and support layers, the Nectar should also provide the balance of comfort and support back sleepers are looking for. The soft memory foam on top will also provide some excellent contouring.
What Makes The Nectar Stand Out?
- The Nectar is a soft memory foam mattress that is still quite affordable.
- The Nectar’s memory foam should relieve pressure for side sleepers.
- While the Nectar is all-foam, it features cooling components to keep it from trapping too much heat.
Read the full Nectar mattress review
Nectar is a very comfortable memory foam mattress that happens to also be an amazing value, and customers can get the best deal on the Nectar plus two premium pillows by clicking the link below.
Best Soft Hybrid Mattress
Speaking of mattress options, those who really can’t make up their mind must take a look at the Helix mattresses; the company is all about customization and makes it easy for customers to find just the right mattress. Customers can take a “sleep quiz” on Helix’s website, and the company will make a mattress based on those answers; these customers can also select from the Helix Sunset, their softest model.
The Helix Sunset features Memory Plus Foam and Helix Dynamic Foam in its comfort layer. Both materials are soft and pressure-relieving, making this a great option for side sleepers. They should feel little pressure on their shoulders and hips.
Given that it is a hybrid, the Helix Sunset should also be a cooler-sleeping mattress. Its individually-wrapped coils should promote airflow through the mattress and keep it from trapping too much heat.
Those who want something soft but a bit more supportive than the Sunset can also consider the Moonlight mattress.
What Makes The Helix Sunset Stand Out?
- The company offers many different makes and models to fit a variety of sleepers; customers can also take a sleep quiz to find the right mattress.
- The Helix Sunset is a soft, comfortable hybrid mattress that should be a great match for side sleepers.
- The Helix Sunset features very durable materials, so it should be longer-lasting mattresses.
- The Sunset comes in a Luxe version for those who want to add some more luxurious touches and features to their mattress.
Read the full Helix mattress review
The Helix Sunset is one of the company's softest models and provides excellent pressure relief for side sleepers.
Best Soft Mattress for Side Sleepers
Amerisleep is a fantastic mattress company that subscribes to the idea that there is no one perfect mattress for everyone; with this in mind, they created a line of mattresses ranging from very firm to very soft. I’d like to focus on the Amerisleep AS4 mattress, their second softest option; on our firmness scale, it is a 5/10 and one of the softest mattresses on this list.
That softness comes from a whopping 4″ of memory foam in the top of the mattress – this really lets sleepers sink into the Amerisleep AS4 – at the same time, the mattress is quite responsive, so people should have no issue moving around.
The company says that the AS4 is their mattress for side sleepers, and I can say that it is one of my favorite options for that position; I feel no significant pressure on my shoulders and hips, and the great pressure map results don’t lie!
The memory foam is also bio-based and the mattress contains air channels as well; it should be a cooler sleeping mattress. All in all, the Amerisleep AS4 is a memory foam mattress that has many of the benefits of memory foam with almost none of the drawbacks – what’s not to love?
What Makes The Amerisleep AS4 Stand Out?
- The Amerisleep AS4 is one of the company’s softer mattresses; it is softer-than-average and features a thick layer of memory foam.
- The mattress boasts fantastic pressure relief and is, in fact, designed with side sleepers in mind.
- The Amerisleep AS4 is still a responsive mattress; sleepers shouldn’t complain about getting stuck!
- The mattress features open-celled foams that shouldn’t trap heat like memory foam is known to do; this should be a suitable mattress for hot sleepers.
Read the full Amerisleep AS4 mattress review
Amerisleep is a perfect choice if you want a memory foam mattress but also want to sleep cool. You can get 30% off Amerisleep mattresses simply by clicking the link below and using code MC30.
Best Medium Soft Mattress
Those who are seeking a medium-soft mattress should set their sights on the Saatva. This is a innerspring mattress that comes in three firmnesses – Plush Soft, Luxury Firm, and Firm. While we like all three versions, the Luxury Firm is just the right firmness, – like Goldilocks’ preferred bed, it is not too firm and too soft.
The Saatva’s Luxury Firm medium-soft because of its innerspring construction plus a pillow top. It features two sets of coils that add some firmness and support to the mattress and the pillow top provides just the right amount of plushness.
Mattresses with such a balance of comfort and support are usually a great match for multiple sleeping positions, and the Saatva is no exception! It should provide enough support for stomach and back sleeping and enough pressure relief for side sleeping.
Lastly, this is the only innerspring mattress on this list, and it will be a great fit for those who are used to sleeping on a more traditional mattress but still want some softness as well!
What Makes The Saatva Stand Out?
- The Saatva is available in three firmnesses, giving shoppers multiple options.
- The mix of coils and a pillow top gives the Saatva a great balance of comfort and support.
- The Saatva’s coils allow for a great deal of airflow, keeping the mattress from trapping too much heat.
- The mattress boasts a luxury mattress look and feel, similar to what one would find in a nice hotel.
Read the full Saatva mattress review
Saatva is a great value that happens to be both comfortable and supportive at the same time. You can save $100 on a Saatva mattress simply by clicking the link below.
Best Soft Value Mattress
Memory foam is fantastic and all, but what about those people who want a memory foam alternative? Well, that’s why I want to take a look at the Nolah mattress; it features a proprietary AirFoam that is designed to be even more pressure-relieving than memory foam. Having personally tried the mattress, I can say that the Nolah mattress does offer some fantastic pressure relief!
On our firmness scale, the Nolah scored a 5.5/10, softer-than-average; with its softness and superior pressure relief, the Nolah should be a fantastic option for side sleepers. Also, looking at our pressure map test, the Nolah is relieving a good deal of pressure on my shoulders and hips.
The Nolah’s AirFoam is also designed to sleep cooler than standard memory foam – it does not contain the chemicals that can make memory foam trap heat – sleeping on the Nolah, the majority of people should not be overheating.
The Nolah is also an exceptional value – based on its durable materials and extremely comfortable feel, I would expect it to cost much more.
What Makes The Nolah Stand Out?
- The Nolah mattress is softer-than-average and also provides excellent pressure relief for side sleepers.
- The Nolah’s AirFoam is designed to sleep cooler than standard memory foam.
- The mattress contains durable materials, so it should be a longer-lasting option.
- The Nolah is simply one of the most comfortable mattresses on the market.
Read the full Nolah mattress review
Nolah has a VERY comfortable mattress that is especially good for side sleepers. You can get $125 off the Nolah by clicking the link below and using code MATTRESSCLARITY.
Best Soft Mattress for Combination Sleepers
The Casper is the flagship mattress from the very successful Casper mattress company; it is a soft, all-foam mattress that has an overall firmness of 6/10, softer-than-average. However, the Casper is more than just another soft mattress; it actually features a Zoned Support system that varies the firmness of the mattress depending on one’s sleeping position.
The Zoned Support system is found in the transition layer of the Casper – basically, the center of this layer is firmer than the rest – this makes the mattress feel firmer when someone is back sleeping or stomach sleeping and softer when they are side sleeping.
The Casper also has an excellently balanced foam feel that features both memory foam and latex properties – this means that sleepers will receive exceptional pressure relief while still being able to move around easily on the mattress.
When we combine the Zoned Support with this responsiveness, it is clear that the Casper is a fantastic choice for those who switch positions at night; mattress customers can get a soft, comfortable mattress that allows them to sleep in all three sleeping positions.
What Makes The Casper Stand Out?
- The Casper features a proprietary Zoned Support system that gives the mattress a slightly different firmness depending on what position someone sleeps in.
- The mattress is, overall, softer-than-average and should be a good match for those who want something on the softer end of the spectrum.
- The Casper should be an exceptional mattress for combination sleepers; they should find the support and comfort they require in a variety of positions.
- The mattress features open-celled foams that make the mattress more breathable; people shouldn’t be sleeping on the Casper.
Read the full Casper mattress review
Casper is a great value that is also a great fit for all three sleeping positions. You can get $100 Off a Casper mattress simply by clicking the link below and using code MATTRESSCLARITY.
Best Mattress For Lightweight Sleepers
When it comes to mattress firmness, a person’s size and weight plays a huge part. While a mattress like the Puffy might feel firm to a larger person, a lightweight person should find it to be soft and comfortable.
The Puffy contains three layers – Cooling Cloud foam over Climate Comfort foam over support foam. The Cooling Cloud layer has that slow-moving memory foam feel and provides soft comfort right on top of the mattress. Lightweight side sleepers should feel nice pressure relief when they are on the Puffy.
While it is an all-foam mattress, the Puffy should not make sleepers overheat at night. It features a gel infusion and other cooling materials that should keep it from trapping too much heat.
What Makes The Puffy Stand Out?
- The Puffy should feel very soft and comfortable to lightweight sleepers.
- Lightweight side sleepers should feel nice pressure relief on the Puffy.
- The Puffy’s cooling infusions should help keep sleepers from overheating at night.
Read the full Puffy mattress review
Puffy is a comfortable memory foam mattress that is especially great for light- ande medium-weight side sleepers. You can get $300 off the Puffy by clicking the link below.
Heavyweight Sleepers – Over 230 lbs
When shopping for a mattress, it is extremely important to consider one’s size and weight; since I am 5’9” and weigh 160 lbs, I thought it was a good idea to get the perspective of a larger person. That is why I asked Marten, the largest member of our team to try out these mattresses for himself – he is 6’7” and weighs 250 lbs, and here is what he thought:
Being a larger person, I often feel like mattresses are particularly firmer than Joe does – my weight causes me to sink further into the mattress and engage more with the firmer support layers – that being said, there are four mattresses on this list that still feel soft and comfortable, even for a larger sleeper like myself.
First off, while the Purple Hybrid Premier 4” model might feel not super soft to Joe, that is not my experience; my weight really collapses that gel grid and, when I am on my side, I feel exceptional pressure relief.
The Layla is a flippable mattress that features a firm and a soft side; even for a larger person like me, the soft side feels quite soft and provides excellent pressure relief. In addition, it is a fantastic option for both heavier back and side sleepers.
The Amerisleep AS4 features an extremely thick layer of memory foam in its comfort layer; I often bottom out on softer memory foam mattresses but, with its thick comfort layer, the Amerisleep is not allowing that to happen.
While Joe mentioned the softer Helix models Sunset and Moonlight, I wanted to mention the Helix Plus, their mattress made specifically for larger people; it is an extremely supportive mattress with tall coils, but it also features some nice foam layers that provide some soft comfort on top of the mattress.
Who Should Pick A Soft Mattress
If you’re deciding between a firm vs soft mattress, it may help to learn what types of sleepers are most comfortable on a softer mattress. Several types of sleepers may be an especially good match for a soft mattress, and these include:
- Side sleepers. The best mattresses for side sleepers are softer mattresses that relieve pressure on the shoulders and hips; if someone sleeps on their side and has a firm mattress, they won’t get as much deep, restful sleep because they will toss and turn frequently throughout the night.
- Lighter-weight people. Firmness is truly subjective – one person might think a mattress is firm, while another person might think that the same mattress is softer. However, on the whole, people who don’t weigh very much will tend to think a mattress is firmer than those who weigh more; for this reason, lighter-weight people will typically want to select a softer mattress.
- People who like to sink into their mattresses. Softer mattresses, especially those of the memory foam variety, are fantastic for someone who prefers to sleep “in” their mattress rather than “on” top of it.
- Couples. Soft mattresses often feature better motion isolation than firmer mattresses; memory foam is found in many soft mattresses, and it does a fantastic job of cutting down on motion transfer. If one sleeps with a partner, choosing a softer mattress might decrease the chance that they will feel their movements on the other side of the bed.
RELATED: Best Mattress For Hip Pain 2020
Who Shouldn’t Pick A Soft Mattress?
Just as some types of sleepers are ideally suited to a soft mattress, others may find their sleeping style doesn’t jive with a softer sleeping surface – if someone falls into any of the following categories, they might be better off selecting a firmer model.
- Stomach sleepers. People who sleep primarily on their stomachs usually require an extra level of support, and they may find that their hips sink in too far while stomach sleeping on a softer mattress – when this happens, the spine can get out of alignment and cause significant back pain. Overall, they aren’t the best mattresses for stomach sleepers.
- Some back sleepers. While some back sleepers may find the support they need on a softer mattress, others may not get the necessary support; they may feel their hips sinking in too far and, like stomach sleepers, their spines may get out of alignment.
- Heavier people. If someone is larger, no matter what position they sleep in, a softer mattress may not be the best choice; side sleeping, they may press through the soft comfort layers of the mattress and “bottom out.” This means they’ll feel the firmer support layers underneath the soft layers and experience some pressure on their shoulders and hips; when they’re back sleeping or stomach sleeping, they may feel their hips sink into the mattress, throwing their spine out of alignment. See our best mattresses for heavy people. RELATED: Best Firm Mattress
Do Soft Mattresses Sleep Hot?
While soft mattresses promise comfort, pressure relief, and an enveloping feeling for many sleepers, these factors can also mean they sleep particularly hotter – that being said, choosing a soft mattress doesn’t mean one is doomed to overheat – several factors may play a role in whether or not someone sleeps hot on a soft mattress.
- Materials. The materials that make up a soft mattress can determine a person’s sleep temperature – for example, pure memory foam is known for trapping heat and directing it back at sleepers – at the same time, certain materials (such as graphite and gel) may assist with cooling.
- Construction. Even all-foam mattresses aren’t guaranteed to sleep hot, and a mattress’s construction can go a long way toward addressing this issue; many mattress companies add air channels and holes to the memory foam layer to encourage airflow. Additionally, some soft mattresses are hybrid models, which means they combine coils and foam; the coils increase airflow, which can help considerably when it comes to sleeping hot.
- How far one sinks into the mattress. The depth to which one sinks into the mattress may also play a role in whether they sleep hot; if one sleeps “in” their mattress, there is less room for airflow and they will trap more heat.
For the most part, firmer mattresses tend to create fewer issues with sleeping hot – however, it’s possible to sleep cool on a soft mattress by taking the preceding factors into account before making a purchase.
RELATED: Amerisleep vs Casper
Other Things To Consider
Take the following factors into consideration before whipping out that credit card:
- Edge support. One common issue with soft mattresses is edge support – when sitting near the edge, many soft mattresses will collapse, making it more difficult to tie one’s shoes or sit securely on the bed. Also, weak edge support means someone may not be able to utilize as much of the surface area of the mattress – it is more difficult to sleep near the edge of some soft mattresses because the edge is not as secure and people may feel like they’re going to roll off. That being said, many companies add a foam encasement to help with edge support.
- Back pain. Discomfort and pain in the lower back can occur when the spine gets out of alignment – if someone sleeps primarily on their side, this will most likely not be an issue on a softer mattress but, if they sleep on their back or stomach, they may need more support. If the mattress is too soft, the spine can get out of alignment and cause pain; knowing one’s preferred sleeping position and exactly how much support is needed can help them find a soft mattress that’s best suited to their needs.
- Movement on the mattress. Some people love the feeling of sinking into a soft mattress, but this can also limit their movements a bit; they may have the feeling of getting “stuck” in a soft mattress. However, many soft mattresses incorporate bouncier, more responsive foams that offer people comfort and pressure relief without this feeling of getting “stuck.”
- The subjectivity of firmness. We’ve seen people argue about the firmness level of a mattress more times than we care to admit – one person might think a mattress is softer, while another person thinks the same mattress is firmer – keep in mind that another person’s idea of a “soft” mattress may be different than one’s own.
- Construction and other factors. Don’t just assume that if a mattress is soft, it’s going to be an excellent fit – people still want to make sure the mattress utilizes high-quality, durable foams, that it won’t sleep hot, and so on – once someone has confirmed that they like the softness of a mattress, they should do the extra research to ensure other aspects of the mattress are a good fit for them as well.
RELATED: Best Mattresses Overall
Here’s a recap of our top picks for soft mattresses:
|Layla||Best Memory Foam Mattress|
|Nectar||Best Budget Mattress|
|Helix Sunset||Best Hybrid Mattress|
|Amerisleep AS4||Best Mattress For Side Sleepers|
|Saatva||Best Medium Mattress|
|Nolah||Best Value Mattress|
|Casper||Best Mattress For Combination Sleepers|
|Puffy||Best Mattress For Lightweight People|
There are many benefits to picking a soft mattress – they offer comfort, pressure relief, and a soft, enveloping feel – if someone thinks a soft mattress is the right choice for them, one of those listed above should serve them well!
What are soft mattresses good for?
Soft mattresses are an ideal choice for side sleepers; those who sleep in this position require a mattress that will relieve pressure on their shoulders and hips. They want a mattress that will allow them to sink so that their shoulders and hips aren’t driving into a firm surface.
Are soft mattresses good for your back?
This does depend on someone’s sleeping position; if they sleep on their side, a soft mattress could be good for their back. The soft mattress could provide pressure relief while still keeping the spine in neutral alignment.
However, if someone is a back sleeper or stomach sleeper, a softer mattress might not offer the necessary support. Without this support, back and stomach sleepers could sink into the mattress too far and start to develop back pain and strain.
How do you know if your mattress is too soft?
If someone wakes up with aches and pains, especially in the lower back, it could be a clear sign that their mattress is too soft. This is particularly true for back and stomach sleepers who require more support than side sleepers.
Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.
He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.
Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.