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The Best Soft Mattresses – 2021 Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Written by Keith Cushner

Quick Overview

A plush mattress can be ideal for several types of sleepers. Skinnier people, as well as those of average weight (130 to 230 pounds), often prefer softer mattresses because they conform more closely to the body, relieving pressure in the neck, shoulders, and lower back. Side sleepers also tend to prefer soft mattresses for the same reason. A plush mattress allows for more cushioning in the shoulders and hips, aligning the sleeper’s neck, spine, and pelvis for optimal support and comfort.

If you’re interested in a plush mattress, read on. We’ve reviewed dozens of the softest mattresses available today, and selected the best plush mattresses to share with our readers. Our picks are based on verified customer and owner reviews, as well as our own intensive product research and analysis. Check out our favorite soft mattresses, then learn how to choose the best soft mattress for you in our Buyer’s Guide.

For the purposes of this guide, a mattress is considered soft if its firmness falls between ‘Extra Soft’ and ‘Medium.’ On a scale of 1-to-10, this would mean a bed that measures anywhere from 1 to 5.5.

Best Soft Mattresses
First Time Buying a Mattress?

Hop down to our Buyer’s Guide for a crash course on finding the best plush mattress.


The Best Soft Mattresses - Reviewed

Best OverallAmerisleep AS5

Best Overall – Amerisleep AS5


  • ’Soft’ (3.5)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 20-year warranty
  • All-foam construction isolates motion
  • Comfort system relieves pressure
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Best OverallAmerisleep AS5

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The AS5 from Amerisleep is a high-quality, all-foam mattress that both contours and relieves pressure. Ranking as a soft (3.5) on the firmness scale, this mattress is best suited to side sleepers and people weighing under 130 pounds. The AS5 has a price-point that’s slightly above average, though some shoppers may find its high-quality materials and construction worth the added cost.

The AS5 has a 7-inch polyfoam support core and a 7-inch comfort system made from three different types of foam. A zoned polyfoam layer sits above the core and offers targeted support, which relieves pressure-prone areas like hips and shoulders while providing extra support to your head, neck, and legs.

The next layer is a proprietary foam called Active Flex. This layer gives the mattress a resilience and bounce that isn’t typically found in an all-foam mattress. The final layer is 3 inches of open-cell memory foam that’s engineered to stay cool.

The AS5’s comfort system offers sleepers significant pressure relief, and the Active Flex layer prevents most sleepers from feeling as if they’re sinking into the mattress. This mattress also excels at isolating motion, making it a good pick for those who share their bed.

A breathable cotton and polyester cover wraps the mattress. Shoppers may need to consider deep-pocket sheets to fit over its 14-inch profile. Amerisleep ships the AS5 for free within the contiguous U.S. The mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and 20-year limited warranty.

The Bottom Line.

The AS5 is a luxury, all-foam mattress with better-than-average responsiveness. It offers cushioning and contouring at a level best suited to side sleepers and people under 130 pounds. Shoppers who want a mattress that relieves pressure and isolates motion will likely find the AS5 a good fit.

  • Sleepers under 230 pounds. This mattress offers a contouring, plush feel that particularly benefits sleepers who weight less than 230 pounds.
  • Side sleepers. The AS5’s comfort system relieves pressure in shoulders and hips, areas that often cause side sleepers discomfort.
  • Thosee with back pain. Our testers found that the AS5 provides better-than-average relief for people who suffer from back pain.
  • Couples who want motion isolation. The all-foam construction of the AS5 helps limit the transfer of movement across the bed. Couples who toss and turn and those with different sleep schedules are less likely to wake up their partner on this type of mattress.

Not Recommended for:

  • Shoppers on a tight budget. The Amerisleep AS5 is a luxury mattress with the price-point to match. However, it’s crafted from high-quality materials and carries a generous warranty that may be worth it to some shoppers.
  • Stomach sleepers over 230 pounds. The soft feel of this mattress is unlikely to provide enough support for stomach sleepers who weigh over 130 pounds.

Best ValuePuffy Mattress

Best Value – Puffy Mattress


  • 'Medium' (5)
  • 101-night sleep trial
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Close conforming for targeted pain/pressure relief
  • Isolates motion transfer very well
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Best ValuePuffy Mattress

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Although comfort preferences vary by sleeper, most people of average weight or less prefer softer mattresses that conform very closely. A bed that feels too firm may not hug the sleeper’s body closely enough, which can limit its pressure-relieving abilities. The Puffy Mattress is ideal for sleepers in this weight category because it offers deep body contouring without sagging too much.

The Puffy Mattress also sleeps much cooler than the average memory foam bed. It is designed with comfort layers of gel-infused memory foam and temperature-resistant polyfoam that do not absorb much body heat from sleepers, allowing them to remain comfortable throughout the night.

Couples may also find the bed suitable because it isolates motion to a noticeable extent, resulting in less transfer when someone gets up or shifts positions. Additionally, the bed is virtually silent when bearing weight.

The Puffy Mattress has an above-average price-point compared to other memory foam beds. However, the brand offers free shipping to customers anywhere in the contiguous U.S. and offers a hassle-free lifetime warranty, which includes low-cost exchange options if a defect develops. The mattress is also backed by a 101-night sleep trial.

The Bottom Line.

Many people love memory foam mattresses for their plush, pressure-relieving hug, and the Puffy Mattress delivers. What’s more, this bed offers that ultra-soft, conforming relief, but with a construction that sleeps cooler than the typical memory foam bed.

  • Side and back sleepers. The Puffy Mattress gives side and back sleepers the optimal mix of plush pressure relief and stabilizing support.
  • Sleepers in the light and average weight groups. The ‘Medium’ feel of the Puffy Mattress is most comfortable for sleepers who weigh 230 pounds or less.
  • People with chronic aches and pains. The Puffy Mattress is noted for its superior pressure relief, and conforms closely to the sleeper’s body to alleviate pain.
  • Sleepers who wake easily from noise or movement. The Puffy Mattress offers excellent motion isolation, so light sleepers are unlikely to be disturbed from a moving sleep partner.

Not Recommended for:

  • Sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds. Heavier individuals may not experience adequate support from the Puffy Mattress.
  • Stomach sleepers. Plush comfort layers may allow the hips or pelvis to sink too deeply into the mattress surface, resulting in discomfort and spinal misalignment.

Best CoolingGhostBed Luxe

Best Cooling – GhostBed Luxe


  • ’Medium’ (5)
  • 101-night sleep trial
  • 25-year warranty
  • Designed to sleep cool
  • High-density polyfoam core offers balanced support
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Best CoolingGhostBed Luxe

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Many all-foam mattresses trap body heat. GhostBed designed its Luxe mattress to address this issue by including several proprietary materials that are intended to keep sleepers cool throughout the night. The Luxe is a medium (5) on the firmness scale and is a good fit for a variety of sleepers who prefer a softer mattress.

A 7.5-inch high-density core gives the Luxe a stable and supportive base. Two inches of proprietary Ghost Bounce polyfoam form a transitional layer between the support core and comfort layers. The thickest comfort layer is a 2-inch gel-infused memory foam that’s engineered to sleep cool. The mattress’ quilted memory foam top is infused with Ghost Ice, a material intended to breathe and release body heat.

Though all-foam mattresses are generally warmer than hybrid or innerspring models, the GhostBed performs better than average for a mattress in its category. The Luxe also relieves pressure well. Its comfort system allows your hips and shoulders to sink slightly while the support core keeps your spine evenly supported.

The GhostBed Luxe has a price-point to match its name, though hot sleepers may find its high-quality build and cooling technologies worth it. GhostBed ships this mattress free to states in the contiguous U.S., and offers sleepers a 101-night sleep trial. The mattress is backed by a 25-year warranty.

The Bottom Line.

Sleepers who prefer an all-foam mattress often find themselves having to pick between comfort or temperature neutrality. The GhostBed Luxe attempts to combat heat retention with its proprietary cooling technology. This mattress has the pressure relief and contouring that all-foam mattresses are known for, with better-than-average temperature regulation.

  • Side sleepers up to 230 pounds. Side sleepers who weigh 230 pounds or less will likely find this mattress provides the right mix of contouring and spinal alignment.
  • Hot sleepers. Proprietary materials help the Luxe sleep cool and stay temperature neutral. As a result, it regulates temperature better than many other foam mattresses.
  • Those who need pressure relief. The memory foam layers of this mattress relieve pressure well. Hips, shoulders, and other pressure-prone areas should get adequate relief.
  • Shoppers who want motion isolation. The all-foam design of the GhostBed ensures that motion doesn’t transfer across the mattress. If you toss and turn or get up in the night you’re unlikely to wake up your partner.

Not Recommended for:

  • Those who want a responsive mattress. Sleepers are more likely to feel as if they’re sleeping “in” the GhostBed Luxe than sleeping “on” it. Many people prefer this conforming feel, but those who like a responsive mattress might prefer a hybrid or innerspring model.
  • Sleepers who weigh above 230 pounds. The GhostBed Luxe is likely too soft to provide adequate support for sleepers over 230 pounds.

Best LuxurySaatva Mattress

Best Luxury – Saatva Mattress


  • Multiple firmness options (4, 6, 7.5)
  • 180-night sleep trial
  • 15-year warranty
  • Good conforming and pressure relief
  • Strong, durable support
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Best LuxurySaatva Mattress

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The Saatva mattress is a coil-on-coil innerspring mattress available in three firmness levels: ‘Medium Soft’ (4), ‘Medium Firm’ (6), and ‘Firm’ (7.5). The mattress is available in two profile options – 11.5 inches and 14.5 inches.

The bed’s plush, padded Euro-top cover and foam comfort layers combine with its pocketed coil transitional layer to provide close, consistent conforming. Meanwhile, steel-tempered bonnell coils in the support core prevent sinkage and sagging.

The Saatva’s innerspring construction ensures great temperature neutrality for hot sleepers and also provides strong edge support. The Saatva is also suitable for eco-conscious consumers, as it is made with environmentally friendly materials, such as recycled steel coils and organic cotton.

Saatva offers free White Glove delivery and old mattress removal to customers within the contiguous U.S. and Canada. The mattress comes with a 180-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty.

The Bottom Line.

For sleepers who prefer a traditional innerspring feel, but with extra plushness, it doesn’t get better than the Saatva. Plus, the Saatva comes with attractive features like free White Glove Delivery, an extended sleep trial and warranty, and multiple profile and firmness options that earn it a Best Value spot on our list of soft mattresses.

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination). The Saatva offers three firmness settings to suit any type of sleep position. For those prefer a softer mattress, we recommend either the ‘Medium Soft’ (ideal for lightweight sleepers in any sleep position, or average weight sleepers who sleep on their side) or the ‘Medium Firm’ (ideal for average weight sleepers who sleep on their back or stomach).
  • Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy). The ‘Medium Soft’ or ‘Medium Firm’ options are better for light and average weight individuals, respectively, while heavier sleepers can still enjoy a supportive yet plush mattress with the ‘Firm’ option, thanks to the padded Euro-top.
  • Those who prefer high-profile beds. The Saatva comes in two profiles, 11.5 and 14.5 inches, either of which is taller than the average mattress.
  • Those who sleep hot. Innerspring coils allow for ample air circulation throughout the support core of the mattress, so the bed sleeps cool.

Not Recommended for:

  • Sleepers who wake easily from noise or movement. The Saatva offers average motion isolation, which may lead to sleep disruptions for light sleepers.
  • Those who prefer a traditional memory foam feel. The Saatva’s thick comfort layers and padded Euro-top offer a much plusher surface than you’ll find on the average innerspring bed, but while the mattress surface feels soft overall, it won’t conform as closely to the body as a memory foam mattress.

Best HybridThe WinkBed

Best Hybrid – The WinkBed


  • Multiple firmness options (4.5, 6.5, 7.5)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Good motion isolation
  • Close conforming and pressure relief
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Best HybridThe WinkBed

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Hybrid mattresses often provide a good balance of body conforming, temperature neutrality, and sleeper support – but many are made on the firmer side. The WinkBed is a notable exception. It is available in a ‘Softer’ (4.5) setting, along with three firmer options including the WinkBed Plus, a ‘Firm’ model specifically made for heavier individuals.

The WinkBed provides above-average support with its innovative coil-on-coil construction. The comfort system features layers of polyfoam, gel memory foam, and pocketed minicoils, along with a compressed-cotton lumbar pad for targeted back pain relief. The pocketed coil support core is encased in foam to help prevent sagging and reinforce the edges.

The WinkBed also isolates motion fairly well and, like many hybrids, provides good air circulation through its coil layers that allows the bed to maintain a comfortable sleep temperature. The infusion of gel in the memory foam comfort layer also helps to further cool down the mattress surface temperature.

The WinkBed will ship for free in the contiguous U.S., and White Glove delivery is offered for an additional fee. The mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty, both of which are much longer than average.

The Bottom Line.

With their ‘Softer’ model, the WinkBed offers a mattress that hits a soft sweet spot for many sleepers, allowing enough plushness for side sleepers without sinking too deeply for stomach and back sleepers. The bed’s advanced construction also ensures optimal support for sleepers with back pain.

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination). Thick comfort layers of polyfoam, memory foam, minicoils, and a lumbar pad ensure The WinkBed provides sleepers with an ideal amount of plushness and support, regardless of their sleep position.
  • Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy). The WinkBed offers multiple firmness models so sleepers can choose the best one for their needs.
  • Couples. The WinkBed isolates motion and noise quite well, preventing sleep disruptions during the night, but the bed is also responsive enough to be suitable for sex.
  • Those who tend to sleep hot. A Tencel knit cover, gel-infused memory foam, and pocketed coil core all help regulate the mattress temperature, from top to bottom.

Not Recommended for:

  • Very lightweight side sleepers. With a 4.5 rating, the ‘Softer’ model may feel too firm for these sleepers, especially for those who prefer a plusher mattress surface.
  • Those who want to be able to return their mattress quickly if they don’t love it. The 120-night sleep trial includes a mandatory 30-night break-in period.

Best Eco-Friendly MattressPlushBeds Botanical Bliss

Best Eco-Friendly Mattress – PlushBeds Botanical Bliss


  • Two firmness options (5.5, 6.5)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 25 year warranty
  • Natural Dunlop latex construction
  • Highly durable and great temperature neutrality
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Best Eco-Friendly MattressPlushBeds Botanical Bliss

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Sustainability and an ethical supply chain are crucial to many buyers, and the PlushBeds Botanical Bliss is a soft mattress that checks both of those boxes. The Botanical Bliss is available in two firmness levels, medium (5.5) and medium-firm (6.5), and consists almost entirely of natural Dunlop latex, material known for its sustainable production.

The cover features a knit, organic cotton that’s breathable, moisture-wicking and soft to the touch. Under that are comfort layers of Dunlop latex, with the thickness and firmness varying depending on the firmness level you choose. The mattress is designed for you to be able to open up the cover and add, remove, and swap out layers, customizing your mattress. The support core features varying layers, firm, supportive Dunlop latex.

Like most latex mattresses, the Botanical Bliss tested very well in durability and temperature neutrality, also testing fairly well in pressure relief. In addition to the normal sizes, the mattress also comes in split King and California King sizes, with each side featuring customizable firmness. Plushbeds ships the bed free and offers a 100 night sleep trial and 25 year warranty.

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination). Thick latex comfort layers, a sturdy support core, and customizable firmness makes this bed suitable for practically every sleeping position.
  • Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy). Though bestfor sleepers under 230 lbs, this mattress has the support necessary for all sleepers.
  • Eco-conscious shoppers. This mattress is made entirely of natural Dunlop latex, a material known for its sustainable production.
  • Those who tend to sleep hot. Latex tends to sleep cool, and the organic cotton cover is very breathable.

Not Recommended For:

  • People with latex allergies. Since this mattress is made almost entirely of latex.
  • Fans of close-conforming foam. The the Botanical Bliss conforms moderately for some pressure relief, it doesn’t provide that ‘hugging’ feel of memory foam.

Best Plush Mattresses Buying Guide

Below, we share everything sleepers need to consider when buying a soft mattress, along with our best tips for buying a new mattress.

What You Need to Know About Soft Mattresses

Mattress firmness indicates how the surface of a bed feels beneath the sleeper’s body. The cover and comfort (or topmost) layer of a mattress affects firmness to the greatest extent.

We measure mattress firmness using a 1-to-10 scale, with 10 being the firmest and 1 being the least firm — although the vast majority of mattresses sold today fall between a 3 (‘Soft’) and an 8 (‘Firm’). When we discuss soft mattresses, we’re referring to beds with a rating of 5.5 (‘Medium’) or lower on this 1-to-10 scale.

Soft mattresses are generally most popular among side sleepers due to improved spinal alignment and pressure relief, as well as lighter individuals who do not experience as much conforming on firmer models. However, softer mattresses have also been linked to certain disadvantages, such as high body heat retention, more off-gassing odor, and shorter overall lifespan.

Who Sleeps Best on Soft Mattresses?

This section will discuss various physiological factors — such as bodyweight and sleep position — that often indicate a sleeper will prefer a softer mattress. But first, a disclaimer: every sleeper is different, and this information applies to most — but not all — mattress owners. We highly recommend testing out a wide range of mattress firmnesses in order to determine your preferred rating before finalizing your purchase.

Bodyweight and Mattress Softness

Let’s begin by talking about bodyweight. For the purposes of this page, the average sleeper weighs between 130 and 230 pounds; ‘below-average weight’ signifies anything less than 130 pounds, and ‘above-average weight’ applies to anything greater than 230 pounds.

Bodyweight is one physical factor that generally correlates to firmness: people who weigh less tend to prefer softer mattresses, whereas heavier people often feel most comfortable on a firmer mattress.

Reasons for this correlation include conforming and pressure relief. Mattresses that are softer tend to sink more deeply beneath sleeper’s bodies; in contrast, firmer mattresses will not sink much (if at all) unless the sleeper weighs enough.

For this reason, people in the below-average and average weight groups often feel most comfortable on softer mattresses where they can experience the full sinking effects and associated pressure relief, and less comfortable on firmer mattresses that do not sink as much or relieve pressure to the same extent.

Alternatively, people of heavier body weight may sink too deeply into a softer mattress, which compromises mattress support and can lead to more pain, pressure, and discomfort. For this reason, heavier individuals tend to feel most comfortable on firmer mattresses.

The table below includes the most popular firmness ratings for each of the three weight groups.

Sleep Position and Mattress Softness

Your sleep position also affects your firmness preferences, since softer mattresses that conform more closely to the body can either help or hinder healthy spinal alignment while you sleep.

The back sleeping position naturally aligns the spine on its own, so sleepers who choose this position may not need their mattress to aid spinal alignment. However, back sleepers may find more comfort from a mattress with a moderate amount of conforming. This way, the mattress can allow their hips to sink a bit deeper than the rest of their body, relieving pressure in the lower back.

Side sleepers, on the other hand, require enhanced support in the neck, shoulders, lower back (lumbar), and hips in order to reduce pain and pressure. A softer mattress, with higher levels of conforming, allows wider points of their body to sink deeper into the mattress and maintain healthy spinal alignment. For this reason, side-sleepers often prefer Soft or Medium mattresses.

Most stomach sleepers find soft mattresses somewhat uncomfortable. This is because their lower stomach and pelvic area can sink too deeply, pulling their lower spine out of alignment in a way that can increase pain and pressure in the neck and shoulders.

For heavier people who sleep on their stomachs, a softer mattress can be especially problematic because a high percentage of their weight may be located in their stomach. Stomach-sleepers in the below-average weight group, on the other hand, may feel comfortable on mattresses rated as Medium Soft because they provide some conforming without too much sinking.

The table below lists preferred firmness levels for different sleepers based on bodyweight and sleep position.

What Is the Softest Type of Mattress?

In the above section, we discussed how different levels of conforming can affect the feel and overall plushness of a mattress. While mattresses come in a range of plushness levels, some types of mattresses offer better levels of conforming, and therefore “feel” softer,” than others.

Below we review the five common mattress types you’ll encounter today. To help you find your ideal mattress type, we also evaluate the suitability of each type for those interested in a plush mattress.

Best Plush Foam Mattresses

Mattress Reviews
Puffy Mattress Review
Mattress Reviews
GhostBed Luxe Mattress Review

Foam Mattresses

Foam mattresses use foam in all aspects of their construction, with higher-density foam in the support layer and polyfoam and/or memory foam in the comfort layers. Foam mattresses are widely regarded as one of the plushest mattress types, thanks to their superior pressure relief. Foam beds offer the highest level of conforming, although they’re available in all levels of the firmness spectrum, from ‘Soft’ to ‘Firm.’

Foam mattresses with a higher firmness rating tend to use higher amounts of higher-density and medium-density foams, in order to provide more durability and support for heavier individuals.

Softer mattresses with lower firmness ratings tend to use more lower-density foams. These provide the plushest mattress surface and can be more comfortable for lighter individuals and side sleepers. However, they can also trap body heat, as your body sinks deeper into the mattress surface.

As a result, it’s best to look for mattresses that use a mix of medium- and low-density foams in the comfort layers. These can help you achieve that plush feel, without sacrificing durability or temperature neutrality.

Best Plush Hybrid Mattresses

Mattress Reviews
WinkBeds Mattress Reviews

Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid mattresses use pocketed coils in their support core, above a base layer of polyfoam, with comfort layers of memory foam, latex, polyfoam, and/or minicoils. Because hybrid mattresses use individually encased pocket coils in their support core, these beds can offer a higher level of contouring than a traditional innerspring bed, which relies on a uniform coil grid for support.

However, the softness of a hybrid mattress will ultimately depend on the thickness of the comfort layers, along with what types of materials are used. Hybrid mattresses with memory foam comfort layers, for example, will likely feel softer than a hybrid using latex or polyfoam.

We see this distinction play out with two of the plush mattresses we reviewed above. Our Best Value Soft Mattress, the Spartan by Brooklyn Bedding, has a softer rating (3.5), and includes gel memory foam in its comfort layer. Our Best Soft Hybrid Mattress, The WinkBed, has a higher rating (4.5), and uses polyfoam and microcoils in its comfort layers.

Best Plush Latex Mattresses

Mattress Reviews
PlushBeds Botanical Bliss Mattress Review

Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses can be made entirely from natural latex, synthetic latex, or a mix of the two.

The softness of a latex mattress will depend on the density of the latex foams, and the process used to create the latex. Dunlop latex has a denser feel, so you’re more likely to find it in the support layer of a mattress, or in mattresses with higher firmness ratings. Talalay latex, on the other hand, has a much softer, fluffier feel. Talalay latex is commonly used in the comfort layers of latex mattresses, and in mattresses with softer firmness ratings.

Regardless of their construction, however, latex mattresses do not provide an equivalent level of conforming to a memory foam mattress. These beds provide a mix of contouring and support, but without too much sinking. As a result, they tend to sleep much cooler than all-foam beds (aided by the natural breathability of latex, if organic latex is used), and they provide a more responsive surface for sex.

Best Plush Innerspring Mattresses

Mattress Reviews
Saatva Mattress Review

Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses use a uniform grid of steel innerspring coils in their support core, with foam or memory foam in their comfort layers. Because the support layer has a uniformity to it, these mattresses are not necessarily known for their plushness.

However, they can achieve a softer feel if they have thicker comfort layers and use softer foams. The Saatva, our Best Value Soft Mattress, is one such example. This mattress offers a ‘Medium Soft’ (4) model, which features 3.5 inches of polyfoam and memory foam, above another comfort layer of 4-inch pocket coils for additional contour.

Softer innerspring mattresses can be a good choice for people who benefit from the evenly distributed support offered by an innerspring base, but want to enjoy a bit more plushness when they lie down on the mattress surface.


Airbeds use air as their support system, with individual chambers of air that can be adjusted by the sleeper manually using a hand crank or by remote control.

While the idea of adjusting the firmness to your specific preference appeals to many sleepers, it should be noted that these beds generally have thin comfort layers, or none at all. As a result, airbeds are generally not regarded as plush mattresses, nor are they preferred by sleepers seeking an ultra plush mattress.

Other Considerations for Sleepers Interested in a Soft Mattress

Soft mattresses have unique advantages and disadvantages to offer sleepers. Below, we discuss some of the different construction and performance factors shared by plush mattresses. Take a look and consider whether these qualities might improve or impair your sleep experience.

  • Shorter Lifespan

    Softer mattresses often feature more cushioning layers in the comfort system that sag or form indentations. Over time, these can cause sleepers to experience increased pain and pressure.

  • Thickest Mattresses Available

    Due to a higher number of layers in the comfort system, softer mattresses tend to be significantly thicker than firmer models — some measuring up to 16 inches or higher. This may affect how easy it is for you to get in or out of bed.

  • Higher Price-point

    Mattresses that are softer often feature multiple memory foam and/or latex layers in the comfort system, which can drive up the price. Comparatively, firmer mattresses with fewer comfort system layers are the cheapest mattress options.

  • Conforming and Pressure Relief

    Softer mattresses typically offer optimal conforming and pressure relief for people in the below-average and average weight groups because they sink deeply, but not too deeply. Heavier individuals may sink too much with an ultra plush mattress, however, and often prefer Medium to Firm mattresses as a result.

  • Sleeping Hot

    Softer mattresses tend to sleep uncomfortably hot for two reasons. One, they sink deeper than firmer mattresses; this can restrict airflow along the surface of the bed and create a body heat trap. Two, mattresses with multiple foam and memory foam layers — which tend to be softer — usually sleep much warmer than firmer models with one or two foam layers. This is due to the body-heat-retaining properties of mattress foam.

  • Off-Gassing Potential

    Mattresses emit smells known as off-gassing when they are unpackaged. Most odors dissipate after one to two days, but some may linger and be more unpleasant. Most mattresses associated with long-lasting, unpleasant odors contain polyfoam and/or memory foam, and these are the models that also tend to be the softest.

  • Lack of Responsiveness/Not as Good for Sex

    Responsiveness refers to how quickly a mattress responds to the sleeper’s body. Softer mattresses tend to respond the slowest, often due to close conforming — and as a result, they may not be responsive enough for sex compared to Medium/Medium Firm mattresses, which balance responsiveness and softness more effectively.

  • Heavier/Harder to Move

    Softer mattresses with more layers in the comfort system are usually heavier than those with fewer layers. As a result, softer mattresses are generally considered harder to move — although this also depends on mattress type, as some models (such as memory foam) are typically lighter than others (such as innersprings or hybrids) due to the weight and density of their components.

The table below evaluates Soft, Medium/Medium-Firm, and Firm mattresses based on these performance factors:

A softer mattress surface may be your best option if you belong to the below-average or average weight group, or you sleep on your side. If you prefer a firmer mattress, please visit our guide to the Best Firm Mattresses for details. You can also check out our Firmness Guide for more information.

Tips for Buying and Maintaining a Soft Mattress

If you have determined that a softer mattress is most suitable for your sleep needs and preferences, let’s go over a few tips for buying the right model and maintaining it for years to come.

  • Look for Sleep Trials

    Many of today’s mattress manufacturers allow customers to take part in sleep trials. Once a purchase is made, the customer will be able to test out the mattress for a given length of time (usually 90 to 120 nights); if they decide they are not satisfied with the mattress before the trial ends, then they will be able to return the mattress for a full or partial refund — and in some cases, exchange their current mattress for a model with a different firmness rating.

    The best plush mattresses we reviewed above all have sleep trials lasting 100 nights or longer.

  • Dual Firmness Can Help Couples

    Not surprisingly, many couples disagree when it comes to the optimal firmness rating. To accommodate sleep partners with varying preferences, some manufacturers offer mattresses with different firmnesses on each side. While these designs can help both people feel comfortable, it’s important to note that dual-firmness beds can be relatively pricey.

  • Flippable Mattresses Offer Multiple Firmness Options

    In addition to dual-firmness models, a small number of mattress makers offer ‘flippable’ mattresses. These designs feature two comfort layers, each with a different firmness rating, and a shared support core. To adjust the firmness, simply flip the mattress over.

  • Understand Warranty Coverage

    In most cases, mattress manufacturers list excessive sagging and/or indentations as a defect covered under the mattress warranty, provided it reaches a certain depth (usually 1 to 1 1/2 inches, but sometimes lower).

    If your softer mattress begins to sag or indent prematurely, then you may be able to have it repaired or replaced at minimal cost to you. However, most warranties also explicitly say that ‘changes in the owner’s firmness preferences’ are not covered under the warranty.

Match Your Pillows & Bedding

The softness of your mattress should also influence your pillow selection. Because sleepers often sink more deeply into softer mattresses, they may not require as much cushioning for their head — and excessive padding can create pain and pressure in the neck and shoulders. In other words, having a pillow with too much height, or “loft,” can cause your neck and head to curve out of alignment with the rest of your spine, resulting in discomfort.

For this reason, low-loft (or thinner) pillows are generally recommended for softer mattresses, whereas thicker, high-loft pillows are discouraged. If you’re purchasing a soft mattress, you’ll want to purchase pillows with a lower loft. The ideal pillow loft also depends on your sleep position. For example:

  • Side sleepers need more loft from their pillow, in order to fill in the space between their neck and the surface of the mattress. Generally, mid- to high-loft pillows are recommended for side sleepers (3 to 5 inches, or taller). With a soft mattress, however, a pillow closer to medium-loft may be the better choice. Read reviews of the best pillows for side sleepers.
  • Back sleepers need just enough loft to fill in the space created between their shoulders and their neck. Medium-loft pillows are popular among back sleepers. With a soft mattress, a pillow on the lower end of medium-loft (closer to 3 inches) may be most comfortable. Read reviews of the best pillows for back sleepers.
  • Stomach sleepers sleep best with the least amount of loft. The less loft a pillow has, the lower their chances of curving their head back and out of alignment. In fact, many stomach sleepers opt to sleep with no pillow at all to avoid this very scenario. Fortunately, a plush mattress surface can make this more comfortable for stomach sleepers. Read reviews of the best pillows for stomach sleepers.

When purchasing new pillows for your soft mattress, you may want to consider a new sheet set as well. Softer mattresses tend to have higher profiles (a natural result of having thicker comfort layers), so you may need sheets with deeper pocket depths in order to more easily fit them over your mattress.

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