Best Soft Mattress

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Mattresses come in a variety of firmness levels to meet different sleepers’ needs. Some people require firm support from their bed, while others sleep better with a soft, contouring mattress.

Those who weigh less than 130 pounds typically receive the best support from a soft mattress. Soft mattresses cushion and contour to these sleepers, who apply less pressure to a bed’s surface. Side sleepers may also prefer a softer bed that conforms at pressure points to help them maintain proper spinal alignment. And regardless of sleep type, you may just enjoy the enveloping feel of a plush mattress.

We provide advice on choosing the best bed for your sleep position and body type and cover our top picks for the best soft mattress. We also offer tips on how to make your current mattress softer.

“A soft mattress is ideal for sleepers who need strong contouring and pressure relief for areas like the shoulders, hips, or spine. If you enjoy soft surfaces but still need support for the lower back, consider a soft hybrid model. These offer cushioned surfaces without necessarily sacrificing support.” – Dr. Michael J. Breus, Ph.D.

The Sleep Doctor’s Picks

Best Overall

Helix Sunset

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Soft (3)
  • Price: $1,249

Best Value

Layla Mattress

  • Mattress Type: Foam
  • Firmness: Reversible: Medium Soft (4), Firm (7)
  • Price: $1,099

Most Comfortable

WinkBed

  • Mattress Type: Innerspring
  • Firmness: Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7), Firm (8)
  • Price: $1,799-$1,999

Best Luxury

Saatva Classic

  • Mattress Type: Innerspring
  • Firmness: Soft (3), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)
  • Price: $1,795

Best for Side Sleepers

Nolah Evolution 15

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Medium (5), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)
  • Price: $1,599

Best Overall

Helix Sunset

Helix Sunset
  • Mattress Type Icon

    Mattress Type:

    Hybrid

  • Price (Queen) Icon

    Price (Queen):

    $1,249

  • Firmness Icon

    Firmness:

    Soft (3)

  • Warranty Icon

    Warranty:

    10 Year, Limited

  • Weight Icon

    Weight:

    90-100 lbs.

  • Sleep Trial Icon

    Sleep Trial:

    100 nights (30-night requirement)

Highlights

  • Adaptive memory foam cushions the surface
  • Hybrid design relieves pressure and isolates motion
  • Coils generate steady airflow to help the mattress sleep cool

Ideal For

  • Side sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds
  • Couples or others who share a bed
  • People seeking pressure relief

The Helix Sunset is a quiet hybrid mattress that our team found sleeps cool and provides great pressure relief. The cover is made from breathable polyester. The comfort system underneath contains layers of contouring memory foam and supportive polyfoam that cushion your body, conforming gently to relieve pressure points and promote proper spinal alignment.

In the support core, 8-inch pocketed coils stabilize the mattress while helping to reduce motion transfer across the surface. The motion-absorbing memory foam and individual coils are quiet, emitting little to no squeaking or creaking when sleepers change positions or get out of bed. Additional polyfoam in the support core strengthens the Helix Sunset’s design, reinforcing the perimeter to improve edge support.

The soft (3) feel and cradling construction of the Helix Sunset works best for side sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds, who particularly benefit from cushioning in the hip and shoulder areas. If you have a different sleep style or body type, you may want to consider a firmer mattress with a less conforming feel. Stomach sleepers, for example, may sink too far into the surface of this soft bed, causing the spine to fall out of alignment.

Helix hand-assembles mattresses in the U.S. and ships them for free to shoppers in all 50 states. The Helix Sunset comes with a 100-night sleep trial, which allows you time to ensure that the bed is a good fit. The Helix Sunset also includes a 10-year limited warranty. 

Overall, we found the Helix Sunset to be an exceptionally soft and adaptive hybrid model. This mattress should be ideal for anyone who wants a plush sleep surface and sturdy coil support.

“The Helix Sunset is one of the plushest hybrids we’ve tested. The mixed-foam layers have an incredibly soft feel that offers plenty of cushioning to anyone who needs or prefers an adaptive surface.”
David Rubin
Lead Product Tester

Best Value

Layla Mattress

Layla Mattress
  • Mattress Type Icon

    Mattress Type:

    Foam

  • Price (Queen) Icon

    Price (Queen):

    $1,099

  • Firmness Icon

    Firmness:

    Reversible: Medium Soft (4), Firm (7)

  • Warranty Icon

    Warranty:

    Lifetime, Limited

  • Weight Icon

    Weight:

    69 lbs.

  • Sleep Trial Icon

    Sleep Trial:

    120 nights

Highlights

  • Reversible, offering two firmness levels
  • Sleeps cool, especially for a foam bed
  • Zoned foam layer creates targeted support

Ideal For

  • Side sleepers under 230 pounds
  • Guest bed or Airbnb mattress
  • People seeking a versatile bed

The competitively priced Layla Mattress features a reversible design with two firmness levels: medium soft (4) and firm (7). Sleepers can simply flip the mattress over to switch between firmness levels, which is great if you aren’t sure whether a soft mattress is right for you. It’s also a helpful feature for those who plan to use the bed in a guest room or Airbnb and want multiple options for their guests. 

The softer side of the mattress contains 3 inches of copper gel-infused memory foam and 2 inches of zoned polyfoam in its comfort system, which sinks softly beneath the sleeper and responds to the body at pressure points. The copper gel infusions in the memory foam are designed to keep sleepers cool by transferring heat away from the body.

In the support core, another 4.5 inches of polyfoam and an additional 1 inch of memory foam combine to provide firmer support that prevents motion transfer while reducing springiness.

The firm side of the mattress features the layers in reverse, with a much thinner memory foam comfort layer and a thicker support core. The soft, cushioning side of the bed was more popular among our side sleepers, cradling pressure points like the hips and shoulders to align the spine properly during sleep. Our back and stomach sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds also felt adequately supported by the mattress’ plusher side.

Layla provides a limited lifetime warranty for the mattress. You have 120 nights to test the bed in your home before committing to it. The Layla Mattress ships free in the contiguous U.S.

Featuring an approachable price-point, the reversible Layla Mattress essentially offers two sleep surfaces in one. A lightweight design makes the mattress easy to flip whenever you want to change the firmness, making it ideal for those who value versatility.

“The soft side of the reversible Layla Mattress offers 5 inches of foam, so we experienced ample cushioning and plushness. This surface performed especially well during pressure relief tests.”
Garen Glazier
Product Tester

Most Comfortable

WinkBed

WinkBed
  • Mattress Type Icon

    Mattress Type:

    Innerspring

  • Price (Queen) Icon

    Price (Queen):

    $1,799-$1,999

  • Firmness Icon

    Firmness:

    Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7), Firm (8)

  • Warranty Icon

    Warranty:

    Lifetime, Limited

  • Weight Icon

    Weight:

    135 lbs.

  • Sleep Trial Icon

    Sleep Trial:

    120 nights (30 night requirement)

Highlights

  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Provides good pressure relief
  • Sturdy but breathable innerspring construction

Ideal For

  • Those experiencing pain or muscle stress
  • Hot sleepers seeking soft, contouring comfort
  • Those sharing a bed with a partner

The WinkBed comes in four firmness levels ranging from medium soft (4) to firm (8). All firmness levels have a silky Tencel cover. 

Beneath the cover, the medium soft option’s comfort system features a quilted Euro-top containing gel-infused polyfoam, which is designed to divert heat away from the body and keep you cool. An additional 2 inches of polyfoam complete the comfort system, creating a thick, cushioning feel.

In the support core, pocketed coils are arranged into supportive zones. Designed to respond to movement and body weight in key spots, the zoned coils improve pressure relief and lumbar support while reducing motion transfer. The high-grade steel coils also reinforce the bed’s edges, so you can use the full surface of the mattress without experiencing sagging. The bed’s durable, coil-based construction is temperature neutral, and we also noticed very little off-gassing after removing it from the box. 

The medium soft version of the WinkBed worked particularly well for the side sleepers on our team under 230 pounds. The hugging foam and responsive coils relieved pressure in the hip and shoulder areas and helped maintain good posture for these sleepers. It also provided comfort and support to our back and stomach sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds.

The WinkBed comes with a limited lifetime warranty and a 120-night sleep trial. WinkBed also offers free shipping and returns to shoppers located in the contiguous U.S. 

The WinkBed is a versatile luxury innerspring that performs like a hybrid mattress, with an adaptive comfort system over sturdy zoned coils. If you’re in the market for a mattress that conforms closely without sinking too much, the medium soft version of the WinkBed should be a good fit.

“The WinkBed does a great job of cushioning your body without sacrificing support. Everyone on our team praised the soft surface, even sleepers who prefer supportive beds.”
Alison Deshong
Product Tester

Best Luxury

Saatva Classic

Saatva Classic
  • Mattress Type Icon

    Mattress Type:

    Innerspring

  • Price (Queen) Icon

    Price (Queen):

    $1,795

  • Firmness Icon

    Firmness:

    Soft (3), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)

  • Warranty Icon

    Warranty:

    Lifetime, Limited

  • Weight Icon

    Weight:

    N/A

  • Sleep Trial Icon

    Sleep Trial:

    365 Nights ($99 Return Fee)

Highlights

  • Available in two height options and three firmness levels
  • Breathable innerspring design
  • Free White Glove delivery

Ideal For

  • A wide range of sleep styles and body types
  • Hot sleepers
  • Active sleepers who change positions often

Available in three firmness levels — soft (3), medium firm (6), and firm (8) — the Saatva Classic can help people with a variety of sleep styles and body types sleep comfortably. 

A cooling organic cotton cover tops the bed, encouraging breathability, while a plush, foam-filled Euro-top in the comfort system envelops the sleeper for a cozy, contouring feel. The comfort system also includes a lumbar pad made with high-density memory foam and a patented spinal zone active wire. The lumbar pad supports your lower back and midsection, promoting proper spinal alignment.

The transitional layer consists of pocketed 14.5-gauge coils that respond to movement and conform to the body to relieve pressure and prevent motion transfer. In the support core, 13-gauge tempered steel coils increase the bed’s durability while allowing for airflow, making the overall construction more breathable. A high-density foam rail encircles the coils, creating sturdy edges.

The Saatva Classic is available in 11.5- or 14.5-inch profiles. The soft (3) version of the mattress offers a contouring sleep experience that works well for people of all sleep styles who weigh less than 130 pounds. The soft option also provides good support to side sleepers weighing between 130 and 230 pounds.

Thanks to its coil-on-coil design, the Saatva Classic produces minimal off-gassing, making it a good option for sleepers who are sensitive to smell. It’s also supportive enough to facilitate sleep position changes. The durable Saatva Classic includes a lifetime warranty and a 365-night sleep trial. The mattress also comes with free White Glove delivery if you live within the contiguous U.S.

The Saatva Classic’s innovative coil-on-coil design changed the game for modern innersprings and remains popular with sleepers to this day. Multiple firmness and profile options ensure most people can find at least one version of the mattress that offers a comfortable balance of cushioning and support.

“Some of the soft beds we’ve tested fall short on support, but the lumbar pad and coil system in the Saatva Classic ensure a baseline level of support in even the plushest model.”
Alison Deshong
Product Tester

Best for Side Sleepers

Nolah Evolution 15

Nolah Evolution 15
  • Mattress Type Icon

    Mattress Type:

    Hybrid

  • Price (Queen) Icon

    Price (Queen):

    $1,599

  • Firmness Icon

    Firmness:

    Medium (5), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)

  • Warranty Icon

    Warranty:

    Lifetime, Limited

  • Weight Icon

    Weight:

    N/A

  • Sleep Trial Icon

    Sleep Trial:

    120 nights (30-night requirement)

Highlights

  • Open-cell foams cushion the body while minimizing heat retention
  • Zoned coils reinforce the midsection and protect the edges
  • Euro-top design delivers above-average motion isolation and pressure relief

Ideal For

  • Side and back sleepers up to 230 pounds
  • Hot sleepers
  • Those who carry extra weight in their midsections

The Nolah Evolution 15 is a luxury Euro-top hybrid available in three firmness levels. These include a Plush version with a medium (5) feel that cradles the body, alleviates pressure, and isolates motion well — especially compared to other hybrid models.

Side sleepers often benefit from the cradling and cushioning of soft mattresses due to extra pressure that can build up in their shoulders and hips. However, a mattress that feels too soft can sink too much and cause new pain to occur. The Nolah Evolution 15’s medium firmness option contours closely and evenly to your body without sacrificing support. During our tests, we found this mattress provided excellent pressure relief and even support for our side sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds, as well as back sleepers in the same weight range.

The Evolution 15’s Euro-top comfort system consists of four foam layers, each with an open-cell composition to limit heat retention and keep the surface cool. Each layer is progressively denser from top to bottom, so you’ll sink slightly after getting into bed but the underlying layers should keep your body aloft. We found that the foam layers absorb movement well, so co-sleepers shouldn’t experience too many sleep disruptions when the other person changes positions or gets up during the night.

The support core contains pocketed coils in a zoned arrangement to ensure even support for your entire body. Thicker coils rest beneath the torso and hips, which are two areas where people tend to carry a disproportionate amount of weight. Thinner coils in other sections create a gentler feel for lighter areas of the body, while the perimeter is reinforced to prevent deep sinkage when you sleep near the edges.

As its name implies, the mattress measures 15 inches thick. This profile is quite tall, even compared to other hybrids. You can also choose a medium firm (6) or firm (8) feel for the mattress if the medium option sounds too soft.

Nolah provides free ground shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. Your order includes a 120-night trial period, though you can opt out of the trial to reduce the cost of your purchase. The Evolution 15 is backed by a standard limited lifetime warranty against structural defects, and you can pay an additional fee for 10-year accident protection coverage against stains and cosmetic damage.

We recommend the Plush version of the Nolah Evolution 15 to anyone who needs close cushioning to sleep comfortably. The foam layers cradle and contour to the body, alleviating pressure along the spine, but the zoned coils provide plenty of support to areas where more weight is concentrated.

“The side sleepers on our team called out the plush model of the Nolah Evolution 15 for its excellent contouring. The soft surface cradled their shoulders and hips to keep pressure from building up.”
Garen Glazier
Product Tester

Why You Should Trust Us

Our experienced team of sleep specialists has assessed soft mattresses from a variety of manufacturers, evaluating each mattress’ features and performance. We test each bed before offering our recommendations. Our testers comprise a wide range of sleep styles and body types, allowing us to provide every sleeper with accurate information. 

Should You Sleep on a Soft Mattress?

Soft mattresses can provide a luxurious cloud-like feel and appropriate support for certain body types and sleep positions. However, soft mattresses are not for everyone. 

Side sleepers and people weighing less than 130 pounds typically need a softer mattress that responds to their body weight in order to maintain proper posture. But a closely contouring mattress may sink too much at a back or stomach sleeper’s abdomen, misaligning the spine and causing muscle strain.

There are also structural considerations you should take into account, such as the durability of the bed. Soft mattresses generally aren’t as durable as firm beds. And while soft mattresses usually relieve pressure and isolate motion better than firm ones, they often sleep warmer than firm models.

Pros
Cons
  • Good pressure relief helps side sleepers and people under 130 pounds achieve ideal sleep posture 
  • Less motion transfer, making sleep more peaceful for couples
  • Can offer comfort to those with muscle or joint pain
  • May lack support for back and stomach sleepers and people over 230 pounds
  • Typically not as durable as a firm bed
  • Less edge support than firmer mattresses
  • May sleep hot

Is a Soft Mattress Bad for Your Back?

Depending on your sleep position and body type, a soft mattress can be beneficial for your back. Side sleepers often need a softer mattress with good pressure relief in the hip and shoulder areas to maintain proper sleep posture and prevent back pain

Soft mattresses are only bad for your back if you sink too deeply into the bed, which can cause problems with your posture. Stomach sleepers and those weighing more than 230 pounds are especially prone to sinking and should consider a firmer mattress.

How to Determine the Right Firmness for You

Every sleeper is slightly different. When determining the best mattress firmness for you, it’s important to consider your body type and preferred sleep position. A soft mattress provides a unique, enveloping sleep experience that typically suits side sleepers and people under 130 pounds. But all sleepers should consider a variety of factors when choosing their preferred mattress firmness.

Our Firmness Scale and What Makes a Mattress Soft

We rate all the beds we test on a 10-point firmness rating scale, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. Soft mattresses fall between 1 and 5 on our scale. A 1 is an extra soft bed that offers no pushback, and a 5 is a medium firmness that has a moderately soft feel and light contouring. 

The level of softness that helps you achieve quality sleep depends largely on your body weight and build, along with your sleep preferences. We’ve found that people under 130 pounds generally sleep better on mattresses on the softer end of the scale, while sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds often prefer the firmer support of a bed with a 4 or 5 rating.

Innerspring and hybrid mattresses often have a higher firmness rating, while memory foam mattresses typically feel the softest. Some airbeds can also be adjusted to exceptionally soft levels.

Based on Your Sleep Position

People who prefer to sleep on their side can benefit from a soft mattress that cushions the body at high-pressure spots to keep the spine aligned. 

Back and stomach sleepers typically prefer a firmer mattress with a more supportive design. They don’t require the same level of pressure relief as side sleepers, and if they sink too far into the mattress’ surface, they risk spinal misalignment and muscle strain.

Based on Your Body Type

Due to the nature of their construction, soft mattresses have a tendency to sag under weight. While the plush, sinking feel of a soft mattress is exactly what many sleepers need and want out of their bed, a soft mattress may not be the optimal choice for people who weigh more than 230 pounds — especially if they sleep on their back or stomach

How Can I Tell if My Mattress Is Too Soft or Too Firm?

If you sink deeply enough into the mattress to harm your posture, your mattress may be too soft. If you feel like you’re sleeping on hard ground or your bed doesn’t contour enough for comfort, the mattress may be too firm.

That said, if you’ve just purchased your new bed, you may need to give it time. There’s an adjustment period with all new beds, which is why many companies have a mandatory break-in period before a mattress can be returned.

How to Make Your Mattress Softer

If you already own a firm mattress and want to make it softer rather than buying a new bed, you may want to try a contouring mattress topper or pad. Both of these bedding accessories can make your sleep surface feel much softer. This is especially true of toppers, which may contain up to 4 inches of plush cushioning material.

If your mattress is relatively new, allow for a break-in period before making a change, since the surface may feel firmer than expected at first. You should also examine your mattress’ sleep trial and return policy to see what options are available to you. If the mattress doesn’t meet your needs and the company allows returns within a certain period of time, you could exchange it for a mattress with a different firmness level or try another model.