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Best Soft Mattresses: 9 Supportive Options, From Hybrid to Memory Foam

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Updated April 9, 2024

Soft mattresses have a bit of a bad reputation, with many believing that the best mattresses for your back are on the firmer side. While this certainly can be the case, for a lot of sleepers—especially side sleepers, who make up around 74% of the population—a soft mattress can actually be ideal. Below, we’ve rounded up our picks for the best soft mattresses out there. Tuck yourself in and let’s get started.

What to consider when buying soft mattresses

Price

While mattresses are expensive, you can at least be reassured that there are frequent mattress sales throughout the year. All the major holiday sales seasons (Black Friday, New Year, Prime Days, etc) will see big reductions in mattress prices, but you can also wait until early spring, which tends to be one of the best times to buy a mattress. That’s because it’s the time of year when all of the best places to buy mattresses are clearing out their existing stock to make room for newer models.

Material

There’s more choice than ever before when it comes to what your mattress is made of, and it’s important to find the one that works best for you. Memory foam mattresses, for example, tend to be both comfortable and supportive, but they also tend to run quite warm, which can make them less suitable for hot sleepers. Generally speaking, a hybrid option that combines two or more different materials is often a good bet for striking the correct balance.

Sleeping position

How you sleep will also determine which mattress you should buy. Softer mattresses tend to be most suitable for side sleepers since they provide pressure relief in all the right places.

Our picks for the best soft mattresses

Most comfortable soft mattress: Helix Sunset Luxe

While you might assume that all soft mattresses are inherently comfortable, that softness can be deceptive–over time, a mattress that’s all give and no support could very well lead to back or neck issues. It’s much better to have a mattress that, while letting you sink in, still fully supports your spine, which is why we like Helix’s Sunset Luxe. Its 13.5-inch height is made up of multiple thick layers of foam, atop a layer of supportive, individually wrapped coils. In short, it’s going to be comfortable long after that initial honeymoon period.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Soft
  • Trial period: 100 days
  • Warranty: 15 years
  • Price range on publish: $1,099 - $2,299

What we like:

  • Perfect blend of softness and support
  • Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US certified

What we don’t like:

  • Might be too soft for some sleepers

The bottom line:

A luxuriously soft mattress that still provides enough support where it’s needed.

Most comfortable soft mattress
Helix Sunset Luxe

Helix Sunset Luxe

Softest mattress for back pain: Bear Elite Hybrid

One of the best mattresses for back pain and back sleeping in general, the Bear Elite Hybrid is designed to support your body and keep your spine aligned while still giving you the comfortable, cradling sensation of a beautifully soft mattress. It does this through a combination of multiple foam layers and a supportive, stabilizing set of coils. It’s also somewhat customizable, as you can choose between soft, medium, and firm (for this category, we’re recommending the soft option, naturally). Throw in a lifetime warranty and free shipping and you can’t really go wrong.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Soft (if you choose the Soft option), medium or firm
  • Trial period: 120 days
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price range on publish: $1,231 - $2,548

What we like:

  • Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US certified
  • Three firmness options
  • American Chiropractic Association-approved

What we don’t like:

  • May be too firm for more lightweight sleepers

The bottom line:

A supportive, comfortable mattress, available in three different firmness options.

Softest mattress for back pain
Bear Elite Hybrid

Bear Elite Hybrid

Best soft mattress for side sleepers: Nolah Evolution

As mentioned above, soft mattresses tend to be right for side sleepers, so let’s jump right in with the perfect mattress for them: Nolah’s Evolution. Since side-sleeping can put pressure on your hips and shoulders and cause your spine to be improperly aligned, you need a mattress that can provide relief for pressure points at the same time as supporting your back, which this one achieves thanks to layers of comfortable memory foam that rest atop supportive, individually wrapped coils. While it’s available in three firmness options, for this category, we’re recommending the Plush option.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Soft (if you choose the Plush option), medium-firm or firm
  • Trial period: 120 days
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price range on publish: $974 - $2,079

What we like:

  • Three firmness options (plush, luxury firm, firm)
  • Supportive but soft
  • Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US certified

What we don’t like:

  • Might be too soft for stomach sleepers

The bottom line:

A thoughtfully-constructed mattress that offers plenty of support for side-sleepers while remaining super comfortable

Best soft mattress for side sleepers
Nolah Evolution 15"

Nolah Evolution 15"

Best soft cooling mattress: Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe

For those that sleep with the windows open and regularly turn the pillow over to enjoy the cool side, a hot bed can be a guarantee of a sleepless night. You have a few options for cooling down your bed, including cooling sheets, but you may also want to look at what your mattress is made of. Brooklyn Bedding’s Aurora Luxe features a GlacioTex cooling cover, which rests on top of multiple cooling foam layers (one that’s cooling gel-infused, another infused with thermoregulating phase change material), followed by a layer of supportive, air flow-promoting coils. If you want comfort and cool, this is the one (for this category specifically, we’d recommend the soft option).

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Soft, medium or firm (optional)
  • Trial period: 120 days
  • Warranty: Ten years
  • Price range on publish: $899.30 - $1,998.80

What we like:

  • Cooling
  • Available in three firmness options (soft, medium and firm)

What we don’t like:

  • Might be too soft for heavier sleepers

The bottom line:

A supportive yet soft mattress with a ton of built-in cooling technology.

Best soft cooling mattress
Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe Cooling

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe Cooling

Best luxury soft mattress: Leesa Legend

If you’re looking for luxury, look no further. Leesa’s Legend is a hybrid mattress with 12 inches of comfy tech under its plush organic cotton and Merino wool cover. Featuring a layer of cooling foam, followed by a layer of memory foam, a layer of motion isolating mini-springs, a layer of transition foam, a thick layer of around 1,000 individually wrapped springs, and a stabilizing layer of high density foam at the bottom, it’s a whole lot of mattress and a whole lot of comfort.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Medium-soft
  • Trial period: 100 days
  • Warranty: Ten years
  • Price range on publish: $1,499 - $2,249

What we like:

  • Two distinct layers of springs for added comfort
  • Made in part using organic and recycled materials

What we don’t like:

  • A small number of customer reviews say it’s too soft for their needs

The bottom line:

A luxuriously soft and comfortable mattress with multiple internal layers designed to give you a seriously comfy night’s sleep.

Best luxury soft mattress
Leesa Legend Hybrid Mattress, Queen

Best soft mattress for back pain: Purple Restore Hybrid Mattress

One of the best mattresses for back pain and back sleeping in general, Purdy says that, “This one is supportive where you need it and is great at isolating movement.” Brad Smith, interior designer and CEO at Omni Home Ideas, also recommends this mattress for back pain, adding that Purple’s mattresses “provide a unique grid that's soft yet supportive.”

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Soft (if you choose the Soft option)
  • Trial period: 100 days
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Price range on publish: $1,660-$3,321

Pros:

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Made with non-toxic materials
  • Includes an antimicrobial cover

Cons:

  • May be too firm for more lightweight sleepers

The bottom line:

A supportive, motion isolating hybrid mattress with great temperature control and edge support.

Best soft mattress for back pain
Purple Restore™ Hybrid Mattress

Purple Restore™ Hybrid Mattress

Best affordable soft mattress: Tuft & Needle Original Mattress

“The Tuft & Needle Original mattress offers good quality at a reasonable price,” says Brad Smith, interior designer and CEO at Omni Home Ideas, and he’s not wrong—this mattress comes in at less than half the price of many on this list. (It also ships easily, as Tuft & Needle offers is one of the best mattress-in-a-box brands out there.) It’s also stuffed with features, including cooling gel-infused, pressure-relieving adaptive foam, and a plush, breathable cover.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Foam
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Trial period: 100 days
  • Warranty: Ten years
  • Price range on publish: $596-$1,116

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • CertiPUR-US certified

Cons:

  • A minority of customer reviews complain that it’s not quite soft enough for them

The bottom line:

A budget-friendly mattress that still has a lot of the features of more expensive models.

Best affordable soft mattress
Tuft & Needle Original Mattress

Tuft & Needle Original Mattress

Best soft mattress for couples: Sleep Number 360 i8 Smart Bed

Choosing a bed with a partner can be a tricky business since sleeping preferences are highly personal—one person’s ideal bed can be another person’s waking nightmare. That’s why Smith recommends this smart bed, which allows customizable firmness on each side. With one of these, your partner can have the granite-hard surface they need while you sink gently into a cloud every night.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Adjustable
  • Trial period: 100 days
  • Warranty: 15 years
  • Price range on publish: $2,719.20-$4,639.20

Pros:

  • Responds to your movements and adjusts firmness accordingly
  • Can be combined with a smart base to raise the head and foot of your bed

Cons:

  • Expensive

The bottom line:

A high-tech mattress that allows both partners to get what they want in bed (in terms of sleep, at least).

Best soft mattress for couples
Sleep Number I8 Smart Bed - Twin Mattress Adjustable Firmness

Sleep Number I8 Smart Bed - Twin Mattress Adjustable Firmness

Best hybrid soft mattress: Saatva Classic Mattress

Occupying the perfect middle ground between the support of an innerspring mattress and the plush comfort of foam, Saatva’s Classic mattress has been created expressly to provide optimal spine support and alignment. (This supportive design is also what made the Classic earn its spot on our list of the best mattresses for side sleepers.) “It’s durable and supportive with the springs, but it’s also breathable, with lots of cozy padding,” says Purdy.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Soft (if you choose Plush Soft option)
  • Trial period: One year
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price range on publish: $895-$2,440

Pros:

  • On the less expensive side
  • Supportive

Cons:

  • A little too much motion transfer means it might not be ideal for light-sleeping partners

The bottom line:

Being one of the best hybrid mattresses, this model takes advantage of being the best of both worlds—soft, yet thoroughly supportive.

Best hybrid soft mattress
Twin Plush Soft Mattress Handcrafted with Organic Cotton for Your Bed, 11.5" Hybrid Innerspring, Topper Compatible, Get Your Beautyrest | Saatva

Twin Plush Soft Mattress Handcrafted with Organic Cotton for Your Bed, 11.5" Hybrid Innerspring, Topper Compatible, Get Your Beautyrest | Saatva

Most comfortable soft mattress: Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Hybrid

Comfort is subjective, of course, but from Smith’s perspective, Tempur-Pedic’s TEMPUR-Cloud is the most comfortable option, “renowned for its deep contouring and pressure relief.” Made up of hundreds of individually wrapped coils, it’s designed to prevent motion transfer while responding to your weight and sleeping position throughout the night.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Medium-soft
  • Trial period: 90 days
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Price range on publish: $1,329.30-$2,658.60

Pros:

  • Perfect blend of softness and support
  • Breathable, moisture-wicking cover

Cons:

  • Not compatible with box spring base

The bottom line:

High tech in all the right ways, this comfortable and adaptive mattress is a perennial favorite.

Most comfortable soft mattress
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Hybrid

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Hybrid

Best organic soft mattress: Avocado Luxury Organic Mattress

If you’re searching for something environmentally friendly, both Smith and Purdy recommend checking out Avocado’s offerings, which are all made with natural, organic materials. “This one has 17 layers, all organic,” says Purdy. “It's made with the best of the best. The seven ergonomic zones create the ultimate support, making this a great overall luxury mattress.” Shopping tip: If sustainability matters for the rest of your bed, we’ve compiled a list of the best organic sheets.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Soft
  • Trial period: One year
  • Warranty: 25 years
  • Price range on publish: $4,499-$8,998

Pros:

  • Made from organic materials, including latex, wool, silk, hemp, and cotton
  • Supportive
  • Motion isolating

Cons:

  • Very expensive

The bottom line:

A comfortable, high-end, organic mattress–with a price tag to match.

Best organic soft mattress
Avocado Luxury Organic Mattress

Avocado Luxury Organic Mattress

How we selected the best soft mattresses

We made our selections by consulting with an expert in interior design, an expert in mattress technology, and a doctor, to ensure we got advice from medical, design, and style perspectives. We also thoroughly researched each selection to make sure it had universally good customer reviews.

Types of soft mattresses

“Unfortunately, there is no industry standard for mattress firmness, which makes finding the right one challenging,” says Byron Golub, vice president of product and merchandising at Saatva. “However, most mattress companies have simplified the process using a 10-point scale to rate comfort level. Generally, the higher the number on the scale, the firmer the mattress. For example, mattresses rated 3-4 are considered soft or plush, while those rated 7-8 are firm.”

Who is a soft mattress right for?

“Soft mattresses are a great option for those who are side sleepers or have a lightweight body type,” says Purdy.

“When choosing a soft mattress, it's important to consider various factors, such as your body type, preferred sleep position, and personal preferences,” adds Golub. “Those who are heavier or prefer to sleep on their stomach may find a soft mattress uncomfortable. For couples with different preferences, dual firmness or adjustable air mattresses can be a suitable option. Another alternative is to add a soft mattress topper to an existing mattress for extra cushioning and comfort.”

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Which type of mattress is the softest?

“Pillow top mattresses are known to be the softest because of the ‘cloud-like’ support, which basically makes it feel like your body is floating,” says Purdy. When it comes to the main body of the mattress, though, Golub warns that, “No single type (innerspring, memory foam, latex, hybrid, etc.) is inherently softer than another.” So do be sure to do your research and try them out first if possible.

Is it better to sleep on a soft mattress?

The short answer is: It depends. “Because of the give in a soft mattress, it can reduce the weight you're putting on pressure points,” says Purdy. “This helps your back stay aligned and puts less pressure on the spine. But whether you like your mattress soft or firm is all down to preference of how you sleep.”

“Certain individuals benefit more from softer mattresses,” says Golub. “For side sleepers, a soft mattress is the ideal choice since it conforms to the joints and spine, providing cushioning and support for pressure points in contact with the mattress, such as the shoulder, hip, outside of the knee, and foot. A soft or plush surface is perfect, as it sinks in enough to provide pressure relief.”

“For those who prefer to sleep on their back, most mattresses, including soft mattresses, can provide a comfortable sleep option,” Golub continues. “However, they will need to ensure the mattress is supportive, keeps their spine in proper alignment, and is not too soft. Those who are lighter in weight–specifically, those who weigh less than 130 pounds–will generally feel more comfortable on a soft mattress. An excessively soft mattress can sink under the weight of a heavier person and cause discomfort.”

What is the difference between a soft and a plush mattress?

“‘Plush’ often refers to the top layer's feel, while ‘soft’ describes the overall firmness,” explains Smith. “A plush mattress can still have firm support layers beneath.”

Are soft mattresses good for your back?

“You just want to make sure you’re giving your back plenty of support since these types of mattress have more give,” says Purdy. “Soft mattresses tend to shape around your body.”

“Selecting the right mattress for back pain is essential to ensure a restful night's sleep,” adds Golub. “Contrary to popular belief, a firmer, more rigid surface is not the answer. The ideal mattress varies based on your sleeping style and body type: Those who sleep on their back should choose a somewhat firmer mattress with enough cushioning to support spinal alignment. Stomach sleepers require a medium-firm to firm mattress for pressure relief. Side sleepers should select a soft mattress that can accommodate natural curves. Combination sleepers can benefit from a medium-firm mattress with latex to facilitate movement. Other factors, such as sleeping position, body weight, and material type, also play a role in determining the best mattress for you.”

Can a soft mattress cause hip pain?

“Soft mattresses are actually beneficial for those with hip pain because of the pressure relief,” says Purdy. “This is especially true for those who sleep on their sides.”

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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