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The Best Soft Mattresses – 2019 Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Our Research

45
Mattresses Considered
400
Hours of Research
8
Mattress Executives Interviewed
3
Sleep Experts Consulted

Quick Overview

A softer mattress may be more suitable for people who are lighter than average (less than 130 pounds), as well as those in the average weight group (130 to 230 pounds). Firmer mattresses do not conform as closely for these individuals, which can result in discomfort in the neck, shoulders, lower back, and other sensitive areas. Side sleepers also tend to prefer softer mattresses; this sleep position requires cushioning in the shoulders and hips in order to align the sleeper’s neck, spine, and pelvis. Improper alignment can lead to aches and pains.

Best Soft Mattresses

It’s also important to note that people in the heavy weight group (more than 230 pounds) often do not feel as comfortable on softer mattresses because they tend to sink too deeply, which compromises mattress support and typically causes discomfort. For the purposes of this guide, a mattress is considered soft if its firmness falls between ‘Extra Soft’ and ‘Medium.’ On the corresponding 1-10 firmness scale, this would mean a bed that measures anywhere from 1 to 5.5.

Read on to learn more about guidelines for choosing a softer mattress, as well as our top picks for the best soft mattresses sold today. Our picks are based on verified customer and owner reviews, as well as intensive product research and analysis.

Our Top 6 Picks

The Best Soft Mattresses - Reviewed

Editor's Pick – The Casper

Editor's Pick – The Casper

Highlights

  • Medium (5)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Strong motion isolation and no noise
  • Improves spinal alignment for side sleepers
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Editor’s Pick Overview

The best soft mattresses conform to the sleeper’s body and alleviate aches and pains without sagging excessively, which can compromise overall support. Our Editor’s Pick, The Casper, has a Medium feel that balances body-cushioning comfort and even support.

The bed is constructed with three foam layers measuring 4.5 inches thick, including a middle memory foam layer for targeted body contouring and even weight distribution. A high-density foam support core reinforces the rest of the bed to prevent indentations from forming on the surface – a common issue with softer mattresses. As a result, The Casper is suitable for most sleepers weighing less than 230 pounds regardless of their chosen position.

The Casper is a good choice for couples, as well. The foam layers absorb motion transfer and prevent it from spreading across the surface, and the mattress does not make any noise when bearing weight. Many hot sleepers also find the bed feels much cooler and more comfortable than other all-foam models.

Casper provides free shipping to all customers in the contiguous U.S., as well as most Canadian shoppers. The mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

Good for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Sleepers in the light and average weight groups
  • Couples
  • People who normally sleep hot on all-foam beds

Best Value – Saatva Mattress

Best Value – Saatva Mattress

Highlights

  • Multiple firmness options (medium soft, medium firm, and firm)
  • Eco-friendly construction
  • Free White Glove delivery
  • Good conforming and pressure relief
  • Strong, durable support
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Best Value Overview

The Saatva mattress – our Best Value pick – 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 bed’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 120-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty.

Good for:
  • Those who prefer high-profile beds
  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Eco-conscious shoppers
  • Those who sleep hot

Best Luxury – Brooklyn Bedding Spartan

Best Luxury – Brooklyn Bedding Spartan

Highlights

  • Multiple firmness options (3.5, 5.5, 7.5)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Sleeps cool and comfortable for most
  • Great recovery for active people
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Best Luxury Overview

The Spartan by Brooklyn Bedding – our Best Luxury pick – is a mixed-foam hybrid available in three firmness settings: ‘Soft’ (3.5), ‘Medium’ (5.5), and ‘Firm’ (7.5). The ‘Soft’ option is ideal for sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds, as well as side sleepers, while the ‘Medium’ design also provides close conforming and extra cushioning for back sleepers and those who weigh 230 pounds or less. Additionally, the Spartan has a 13 1/2 inch profile, making it much thicker than the average mattress.

The Spartan is constructed with a performance-fabric cover designed to alleviate aches and pains, and also speed physical recovery after long runs and arduous workouts. The foam comfort layer is infused with copper, which offers natural cooling and improved bloodflow for people with poor circulation. A pocketed coil support core reinforced with high-density foam ensure minimal sagging on the sleep surface and less sinkage around the edges of the bed. Good air circulation through the coils helps keep the bed cool, as well.

The Spartan has a relatively high price-point, making it a good pick for shoppers with bigger budgets. Brooklyn Bedding offers free shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. The mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

Good for:
  • Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy)
  • Physically active people
  • Those who tend to sleep hot
  • People who prefer beds with thicker-than-average profiles

Best Soft Memory Foam Mattress – Puffy Mattress

Best Soft Memory Foam Mattress – Puffy Mattress

Highlights

  • 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 Soft Memory Foam Mattress Overview

Although comfort preferences vary by sleeper, most people who weigh 230 pounds 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, our pick for Best Soft Memory Foam 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.

Good for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Sleepers in the light and average weight groups
  • People with chronic aches and pains
  • Those who normally sleep hot on all-foam beds

Best Soft Latex Mattress – Brooklyn Bedding Bloom

Best Soft Latex Mattress – Brooklyn Bedding Bloom

Highlights

  • Multiple firmness options (3.5, 5.5, 7.5)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Eco-friendly construction
  • Great sleeper and edge support
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Best Soft Latex Mattress Overview

Latex mattresses are popular for many reasons, but most models tend to be noticeably firmer than their memory foam counterparts; this is because latex is usually springier and more responsive than memory foam. However, the Bloom Hybrid from Brooklyn Bedding offers multiple firmness options, including ‘Soft’ (3.5) and ‘Medium’ (5.5) settings that should be sufficient for soft mattress seekers. Both of these designs provide close body conforming, which often leads to good pain/pressure relief and improved spinal alignment for side sleepers.

The mattress is constructed with a top layer of organic cotton and natural wool, followed by a 3-inch comfort layer of natural Talalay latex. These materials are not only eco-friendly but also highly breathable; as a result, the Bloom Hybrid sleeps cool and comfortable for most. An 8″ pocketed coil support core encased in high-density foam reinforces the entire bed by maintaining a sag-free surface and minimizing sinkage around the edges. Compared to other hybrids, the Bloom Hybrid also isolates more motion transfer and produces less noise when bearing weight.

Brooklyn Bedding offers free shipping to customers anywhere in the contiguous U.S. The Bloom Hybrid is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

Good for:
  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy)
  • Those who tend to sleep hot
  • Eco-friendly shoppers

Best Soft Hybrid Mattress – Winkbeds Mattress

Best Soft Hybrid Mattress – Winkbeds Mattress

Highlights

  • 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 Soft Hybrid Mattress Overview

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 ‘Medium Soft’ (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 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.

Good for:
  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy)
  • Couples
  • Those who tend to sleep hot

Soft Mattress Buyer's Guide

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. At Tuck, 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’).

This page will discuss mattresses that rate as a 4 (‘Medium Soft’) and lower. 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.

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 because they can experience the full sinking effects, which can alleviate pressure points along the body, and less comfortable on firmer mattresses that do not sink as much or relieve pressure to the same extent. Alternatively, people in the above-average weight class may sink too deeply into a softer mattress, and this can lead to more pain and pressure. 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.

Weight Group Most Commonly Preferred Mattress Firmness
Below-average (Less than 130 Pounds) 4 (Medium Soft) and Lower
Average (130 to 230 Pounds) 5 (Medium) to 6 (Medium Firm)
Above-average (More than 230 Pounds) 7 (Firm) and Higher

Sleep position also affects firmness preferences, since softer mattresses that conform more closely can also improve the sleeper’s spinal alignment. The back-sleeping position naturally aligns the spine on its own, and sleepers who choose this position may not need their mattress to aid spinal alignment. Side-sleepers, on the other hand, sleep in a position that creates an unnatural curvature in the spine. Those who sleep on their side require enhanced support in the neck, shoulders, lower back (lumbar), and hips in order to reduce pain and pressure. For this reason, side-sleepers often prefer Soft or Medium mattresses.

Most stomach-sleepers find soft mattresses somewhat uncomfortable. This is because they sink too deeply, causing them to turn their heads in order to avoid lying face-down on the sleep surface, and this 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 next table lists preferred firmness levels for different sleepers based on bodyweight and sleep position.

Weight Group Preferred Firmness for Most Side Sleepers Preferred Firmness for Most Back Sleepers Preferred Firmness for Most Stomach Sleepers
Below-average (Less than 130 pounds) 3 (Soft) to 5 (Medium) 4 (Medium Soft) to 6 (Medium Firm) 4 (Medium Soft) to 6 (Medium Firm)
Average (130 to 230 Pounds) 4 (Medium Soft) to 6 (Medium Firm) 5 (Medium) to 7 or 8 (Firm) 6 (Medium Firm) to 7 or 8 (Firm)
Above-average (More than 230 Pounds) 5 (Medium) to 6 (Medium Firm) 6 (Medium Firm) to 7 or 8 (Firm) 6 (Medium Firm) to 7 or 8 (Firm)

Common Qualities of Soft Mattresses

Next, let’s discuss some of the different construction and performance factors shared by many mattresses that rate as a 4 or below on the firmness scale.

  • 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.
  • 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 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, 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 that 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.
  • More Odor: 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) 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:

Performance Factor Soft (4 and Lower) Medium to Medium Firm (5 to 6) Firm (7 and Higher)
Longevity Poor to Fair Good Good to Very Good
Thickness Thickest Thicker Least Thick
Average Price High Medium to High Low to Medium
Conforming/Pressure Relief Fair to Good Very Good Poor to Fair
Heat Retention Poor to Fair Good Very Good
Off-gassing Poor to Fair Fair to Good Good to Very Good
Sex Poor to Fair Very Good Fair
Easy to Move Poor to Fair Fair to Good Good to Very Good

Tips for Buying and Maintaining a Soft Mattress

Now that 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.
  • 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 product 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.
  • Firmness Should 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. For this reason, low-loft (or thinner) pillows are generally recommended for softer mattresses, whereas thicker, high-loft pillows are discouraged.

Conclusion

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.

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