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!
The Layla is a comfortable, flippable mattress; the soft side is extremely soft and very pressure-relieving.
The Helix mattresses come in a variety of firmnesses; those who want something soft can take their sleep quiz or opt for the Sunset or Moonlight models.
The Leesa Legend is a luxury hybrid mattress that features some very soft and comfortable foam layers on top.
The Nolah is an extremely comfortable, soft mattress that offers superior pressure relief for a value price.
Made For Side Sleepers
The Amerisleep AS4 is one of the company's softest models and is made specifically for side sleepers.
Best For Heavy People
Purple Hybrid Premier
Purple Hybrid Premier
The Purple Hybrid Premier 4" mattress is a durable, soft option for heavier sleepers.
Best For Combination Sleepers
The Casper is a soft mattress that features a Zoned Support system; this makes it a good option for combination sleepers.
Top Picks Compared
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.
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 $110 off the Layla mattress by clicking the link below and then using code MCLARITY.
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 or Moonlight, two of their softest models.
Helix is also a great option for couples – this is because each partner can take their own quiz, and Helix will customize the two sides of one mattress – even if someone wants a soft mattress and their partner prefers something on the firmer side, Helix can accommodate!
No matter what Helix mattress someone decides to go with, it is going to be a high-quality product; the company uses high-density foams and high-grade coils in the production of all its mattresses. If someone wants even more quality and desires a more luxurious mattress, Helix offers Luxe models as well!
Helix offers something for every type of sleeper and, for those who prefer a soft, comfortable mattress, Helix definitely has it covered.
What Makes The Helix 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.
- All the Helix models feature very durable materials, so they should be longer-lasting mattresses.
- The company can customize each side of a mattress, making Helix a good option for couples.
- Helix offers Luxe models for those who want to add some more luxurious touches and features their mattresses.
Read the full Helix mattress review
Helix provides customizable mattresses that can be a great fit for any type of sleeper; click the link below for the best deal on a Helix mattress.
Here at Mattress Clarity, we are fans of the original Leesa mattress as well as their hybrid model. They recently released the Leesa Legend, their most luxury and comfortable mattress to date.
The Leesa Legend is a hybrid mattress that contains multiple layers of soft comfortable foam right on top and then micro-coils and pocketed coils in the support layers. The foam really lets sleepers sink into the mattress, but the coils and proprietary top foam layer are also quite responsive. The mattress offers excellent pressure relief and softness for side sleeping, but sleepers shouldn’t feel like they are getting stuck in the mattress.
While it is a softer mattress, the Leesa Legend should be supportive enough for most back sleepers as well. The pocketed coils will provide good support, and the micro-coils will conform to the curves of the body.
Lastly, this is one of the more luxury offerings on this list. It features organic cotton, Merino wool, recycled materials, and just an overall look and feel of luxury.
What Makes The Leesa Legend Stand Out?
- The Leesa Legend is a soft hybrid mattress that offers great pressure relief for side sleepers.
- The mattress provides an excellent balance of comfort and support for back sleepers.
- The Leesa Legend is very breathable and should not be trapping a significant amount of heat.
- This is a luxury mattress with a number of premium components.
The Leesa Legend is a luxury hybrid mattress that features high-end components and should be a good match for multiple sleeping positions - click the button for the best deal on the Leesa Legend.
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.
Made 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 don't want to sleep cool. All their mattresses are very comfortable as well. You can get $250 off Amerisleep mattresses simply by clicking the link below and using code MC250.
Best For Heavy People
Purple Hybrid Premier
The Purple mattresses’ secret weapon is something called a hyper-elastic gel polymer – it is formed into a gel grid that is designed to be simultaneously supportive and pressure-relieving. The material feels flat and supportive until enough pressure is applied to the mattress; when this occurs, that specific area of the gel grid will collapse.
Purple offers four mattress models, and the Purple Hybrid Premier 4″ is their most high-end option; it features an amazing 4″ of this gel grid! While the mattress might feel firmer to some lightweight people, the Purple Hybrid Premier 4″ should feel quite soft to larger sleepers; this is because their weight will collapse the gel grid more so that the mattress feels softer.
Heavier side sleepers should particularly like this Purple mattress; they should sink into that gel grid and feel almost weightless and experience no real pressure on their shoulders and hips. The Purple Hybrid Premier 4″ also contains supportive steel coils, making this a good option for back and stomach sleepers as well.
The gel grid is one of the most durable comfort materials I have come across in a mattress; while the Purple Hybrid Premier 4″ is on the pricier side, it should be a fantastic long-term investment!
What Makes The Purple Hybrid Premier Stand Out?
- The mattress 4″ features a hyper-elastic gel polymer that is both supportive and comfortable.
- The Purple Hybrid Premier should feel very soft and be quite pressure-relieving for heavier side sleepers.
- The gel grid and coils promote airflow through the mattress, making the Purple a good option for hot sleepers.
- The mattress is extremely durable and shouldn’t sag too quickly.
Read the full Purple Hybrid Premier mattress review
The Purple Hybrid Premier 4" is a perfect choice if you are a side sleeper, are looking for a long-term investment, and are a hot sleeper. Get the best deal on your new Purple mattress, plus get a free pillow when you click the button below.
Best 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 10% Off a Casper mattress simply 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
Several types of sleepers may be an especially good match for a soft mattress, and these include:
- Side sleepers. Side sleepers often need a softer mattress to relieve pressure on their 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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
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!
However, soft mattresses are not for everyone – if someone thinks they need something firmer or cooler, they should take a look at our other helpful guides.
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.