Mattress Guides

The 5 Best Soft Mattresses

When shopping for the best soft mattress, it’s not something to rush. You spend as much time on your mattress as you do at your job. You wouldn’t blindly accept a position without vetting the company, benefits, and how it could benefit you. The same applies to mattress buying.

Best Value – Layla

Layla-Photo

Best Overall – Saatva

Saatva-Mattress-1-300x229

Before you ignore this tip, consider that sleeping is what we do most compared with other activities. Recent research found that humans, on average, in our lifetimes:

  • Spend 230,000 hours sleeping
  • Work 90,000+ hours in our lives
  • Wreck our eyes with 80,500 hours of TV
  • Are stuck behind the wheel for 38,000 hours
  • Devote 32,000 hours to eating
  • Surf the web for a stunning 28,000 hours
  • Clean for 13,000 hours (but men do half that)

Think how much time you devote to choosing shows to binge, YouTube videos to screen, the car you’ll drive, and what sounds good for dinner. It could be that we devote less time than we should to mattress shopping because it’s not a status symbol and something only you see (aside from sleep and sex partners).

Your choice of which soft mattress to buy is important. To help you shop wisely, we’ve assembled the information you need in this best soft mattress guide.

In this guide, we’ve provided:

  • Our top five picks for best soft mattress
  • Informative soft mattress reviews
  • Info on the concepts of softness and firmness
  • How to know if a soft mattress is right for you
  • The benefits of sleeping on a soft bed
  • Types of mattresses and components

Our Picks for the Best Soft Mattress

Category Winner Mattress Company Model What Type of Mattress? How Firm? How Much? (Queen)
Best Value Layla Foam Dual-sided: 4 (Medium-Soft) and 7 (Firm) $899
Best Luxury Botanical Bliss Latex 3.5 (Soft), 5 (Medium), 6.5 (Medium-Firm) $1,499-$2,199
Best Overall Saatva Innerspring 3 (Soft), 6 (Medium-Firm), 8 (Firm) $999
Editor's Choice Tomorrow Hybrid Hybrid 4 (Medium-Soft), 6 (Medium-Firm) $990
Softest Mattress Amerisleep AS5 Memory Foam 3.5 (Soft) $2,099

Reviews of Our Favorite Soft Mattresses

The Best Value – Layla Mattress

Layla Mattress

Construction:

The Layla is a 10” four-layer memory foam mattress designed to flip to change firmness. There is a dual support core. One side is 4.5” support foam, and the other is 2” convoluted foam. There are two comfort layers, one on each side. Both are high-density copper-infused memory foam, one is 1” thick and the other 3” thick. The cover is reactive temperature-regulating Thermogel®.

Pros and Cons:

The pluses of Layla’s memory foam design are that it conforms, contours and hugs for great pressure relief and low motion transfer. The copper-infused foam and Thermogel® cover work together to provide a cooler sleep than you’d expect from memory foam. The price point of the Layla is just under $900, so it’s not for those on a very tight budget but is a bargain for what you get.

Why Layla Is Our Best Value Soft Choice:

The Layla’s flippable design makes it a top value because it’s like getting two great mattresses for the price of one. The softer side, rated 5, provides a contouring sleep experience while the firmer side, rated 7, supports better while still offering memory foam benefits. For those that prefer the soft hug of memory foam, Layla is a great value for the price.

The Best Luxury – PlushBeds Botanical Bliss Mattress

PlushBeds Botanical Bliss 1
Construction:

The Botanical Bliss line comes in 9”, 10”, and 12” latex options. The support core is 7” Dunlop latex and the comfort layers are Talalay latex. The two slimmer models have a 2” or 3” latex comfort layer. The tallest model has a 5” dual comfort layer of Talalay latex. The cover is circular knit organic cotton with moisture-wicking New Zealand wool.

Pros and Cons:

The plus of the Botanical Bliss line is lots of options. Each of the loft heights is available in different firmness options. Plus, the latex is 100% natural and organic. Cons include the cost. The thinnest model is $1,499, the 10” is $1,799, and the tallest is $2,199. The loftiest model is an excellent choice for soft sleep despite the cost.

Why Botanical Bliss Is Our Best Luxury Soft Choice:

The latex in the Botanical Bliss is high quality, organic, and has impressive certifications including eco-INSTITUT, GOLS, GOTS, Greenguard Gold, and USDA. The excellent latex makes for a luxurious sleep experience that’s cool and comfortable while also being an eco-friendly choice.

The Best Overall – Saatva Mattress

Saatva-Mattress-2
Construction:

The Saatva is a 14.5” hybrid bed in four layers. There is a slimmer version intended for adjustable base beds. The support core is 7” recycled steel coils with a firm perimeter. There’s a 4” pocket coil comfort layer under a memory foam layer and then a 3” Eurotop in the standard model. The  cotton cover is organic.

Pros and Cons:

For those that want a soft bed, Saatva offers an option rated at 3 (also 6 and 8). Other pros are that it has good edge support and is bouncy for a soft bed. The cons are some motion transfer, and it’s heavy, so moving it is a challenge. At just under $1k, it’s not for every budget but is a solid investment in restful sleep.

Why Saatva Is Our Best Overall Soft Choice:

Saatva ticks many boxes for soft sleepers because it has good edge support that’s rare on softer beds plus it’s not a bed in a box. The mattress is never compressed, so there’s no off-gassing. The materials are eco-friendly, and it carries OEKO-TEX and CertiPUR-US certifications plus free white glove delivery.

The Editor's Choice – Tomorrow Hybrid Mattress

Tomorrow Hybrid in bedroom
Construction:

The Tomorrow hybrid is a 10” four-layer mattress with a high-density foam base. There is a 6” pocket coil support core with a thick foam perimeter for edge support. Dual comfort layers in the soft model are 2” gel swirl memory foam and then 1” memory foam with a phase-change cover that regulates temperature.

Pros and Cons:

The big pro of Tomorrow’s bed is that their parent company is Serta, so there’s more than a century of sleep research in the design and an excellent reputation. The sleep trial is an impressive 365 nights. The cons are the almost $1k price tag that won’t fit all budgets and some slight off-gassing that quickly dissipates.

Why Tomorrow Hybrid Is Our Editor's Choice for Soft Bed:

The Tomorrow hybrid comes in two models rated 4 and 6 with soft bed lovers usually preferring the former. The bed is thoughtfully designed for contour and coolness while still delivering the hug of memory foam that appeals to many sleepers. Buyers say it’s truly soft and feels more like foam than springs.

The Softest Mattress – Amerisleep AS5 Mattress

Amerisleep AS5 Mattress
Construction:

The Amerisleep AS5 is a tall 14” four-layer memory foam mattress. The support core is 7” BioCore™ foam and then a 2” transition layer with channels for cooling. The comfort layers are 2” responsive foam and 3” BioPur™ open cell cooling memory foam that’s breathable. The cover is thermoreactive Celliant®.

Pros and Cons:

The pros of this bed are the quality components. The high-density foams are impressive, and the Celliant® cover increases oxygenation and enhances circulation while regulating body temperature. The transition layer has ergonomic zones for enhanced pressure relief. The big con is the price point of almost $2,100.

Why Amerisleep AS5 Is Our Best Choice for Softest Bed:

Softer beds usually sleep hot, but Amerisleep has put cooling tech in the memory foam and the cover to ensure the body-hugging contour doesn’t sleep excessively hot. This ultra-soft mattress is well worth the price for those that want ultimate pressure relief plus the foams are partially plant-based and eco-conscious.

How is Mattress Firmness Measured?

The industry rates beds on a scale of 1 to 10 but mattress firmness and softness are subjective and unique to each sleeper. At the high end of the scale, beds rated 9-10 are very firm. At the low end are beds rated 1-4 that are very soft, soft, and medium soft. Most people find beds rated 1-2 and 9-10 are too extreme for comfortable sleep.

Starting at the top end of the scale, a bed that is rated 10 is ultra rigid and has no padding or pressure relief. A very firm mattress, rated 9, has little cushion and is hard, with minimal pressure relief. Rated at 7-8, medium-firm beds have support, more cushion, and some (but not a lot) of pressure relief.

Closer to the middle of the scale, beds rated 5-6 appeal to many sleepers. Some online mattress makers offer just one model of bed they consider to be of universal comfort, and they’re often in this range. These mattresses offer a nice balance of support and comfort with sinkage, contour, and pressure relief.

Soft beds rated 3-4 offer sinkage and deep contour with impressive pressure relief with support (but not an excessive amount). A product rated 1-2 is an extra plush mattress and tends to sleep hot because you sink deeply into the bed and have very little support. Few people sleep well on ultra-soft beds.

Is a Soft Mattress Right for You?

When shopping for a new mattress, softness and firmness are top concerns. While most people sleep well on beds rated 5-6, some prefer the deep contour of beds rated 5 and below. A plush mattress isn’t a fit for everyone, so getting to know the pros and cons of this mattress option before you buy is key.

Softness is subjective

Mattress choice is deeply personal and subjective. What feels comfortable to you could feel too soft or too firm to another sleeper. If you weigh 110 pounds, a bed will feel very different to you than to someone that weighs 250-300 pounds. Bear this in mind when assessing beds and reading reviews.

Are you sleeping on a soft bed right now? If you are, and just need a new one, that’s fine. But if you’re considering a radical shift from medium-firm down to soft, you may want to try out a few and carefully read best soft mattress reviews before you decide how soft to go.

Who is best suited for a soft mattress?

  • Side sleepers Side sleepers need greater pressure relief at the shoulders and hips, and that means better sleep on richer comfort layers and a soft mattress.
  • Lightweight sleepers The lighter you are, in general, the softer bed you need. Firmer beds require more weight to interact with the comfort layers, and that’s weight you don’t have.
  • Joint pain sufferers Stiff and sore joints require enhanced pressure relief and softer, thicker upper layers for comfort. If you have joint issues, consider a plush mattress.
  • Older peopleOlder people usually prefer a softer sleep surface but should avoid excessive sinkage that could hamper movement and position changes.
  • Cold sleepersSeniors tend to sleep colder as do lighter weight people and some with specific health concerns. Greater sinkage into a mattress usually brings warmth.

Who is not suited for a soft mattress?

  • Back sleepers – Sleeping on your back means you need alignment from neck to the lumbar. A very soft mattress may let you sink in too much and pull your spine out of its neutral position.
  • Stomach sleepers – Sleeping on your stomach requires proper support under your hips and layers that won’t smother your face. Firmer mattresses are usually better for this posture.
  • Heavy sleepers – The heavier you are, the more support and cooling you need. Softer beds tend to sleep hotter and let heavy people hammock into them. Stick to a firmer bed.
  • Hot sleepersFor those that run hot at night, a firmer bed that gives the feeling of sleeping “on” and not “in” is preferable to soft mattresses with too much sinkage and heat retention.

The firmness of a bed depends on the components and construction of the support core. Softness, on the other hand, depends on comfort layer thickness and composition. Richer and plusher comfort layers provide enhanced pressure relief and are attributes to seek out if you want a softer sleep experience.

Benefits of a Soft Mattress

Depending on your needs, preferences and body type, a soft mattress might be the answer to you getting a more restful night’s sleep. Ultra-soft beds are usually too extreme for most people, but shopping in the medium-soft to medium range can give you an optimal level of softness while still ensuring you get adequate support.

Here are some benefits of sleeping on a soft mattress:

  • Pressure relief – One of the top benefits of sleeping on a soft mattress is the pressure relief you won’t find on any other type of mattress. It is important because side sleepers press into the mattress at hips and shoulders. If your comfort layers aren’t plush enough, the bed can push back onto these joints and causes pain while sleeping and stiffness upon waking.
  • Conformity and contour – Another benefit is the sensation of the bed conforming to the shape of your body. How well a bed contours is important to quality sleep. Softer sleep surfaces let your body sink in and enjoy the feeling of a hug from the materials. Some people enjoy this sensation of sleeping “in” a bed rather than “on” as a firmer mattress feels.
  • Warmer sleep – For those that run cold at night, a benefit of a softer bed is warmer sleep. While many mattresses now contain cooling tech, any mattress that lets you sink into it will sleep warmer than one that has a firmer surface so you’re not snug into the comfort layers where your body heat can radiate. If you want warmer sleep, a softer bed can help you get it.
  • Better motion isolation – Motion transfer is how much the mattress surface moves when you or a co-sleeping partner move in the bed. If one of you shifts a lot, it can disrupt the sleep of the other. Softer mattresses usually isolate motion better than firmer beds to allow consistent, uninterrupted sleep.

Mattress Types

Mattress materials come in four main types: foam, latex, innerspring, and hybrid (a blend of materials). Any type of mattress can be soft or firm. It depends on the density of foams, thickness of comfort layers, and how a bed is architected. Here is what to consider when evaluating a mattress to make sure it’s soft enough to meet your needs.

Innerspring

Traditional innerspring beds have wire coils attached by strands of wire. Pocket coils are next-gen with wire coils in fabric sleeves. A comfort layer(s) of foam, memory foam or latex is on top of the coils. Springs of thinner gauge wire are softer but will also be less durable. Look for plush comfort layers for a softer feel.

Hybrid
Latex
Foam