Few things are better than sinking into a plush bed at the end of a long day. But it can be tricky to find a soft mattress that also keeps you well-supported. A bed that's too firm can put pressure on your joints, but one that's too soft won't maintain proper spine alignment. That's why the best soft mattresses on the market combine contouring comfort with a solid foundation, so you can indulge in comfy sleep without having to worry about aches and pains.
Soft mattresses are often best for side sleepers because they deeply cradle the hips and shoulders, which helps alleviate stress on the joints. A bed with less firmness is generally not a great pick for stomach sleepers as the plush surface can cause back pain. If you're a back or combination sleeper, a softer mattress can be a good choice as long as it provides enough support for your spine.
Softer beds tend to sleep hotter than firm ones because they typically contain several layers of foam, which trap in heat. If you struggle with night sweats, adding a cooling mattress pad to your bed can help you rest more comfortably.
Memory foam mattresses are typically the softest beds you can buy. They're constructed with several layers of squishy foam that make you feel like you're sleeping on a cloud.
Although not as soft as memory foam, a latex bed offers contouring comfort and still falls on the less firm side of the mattress spectrum. Latex has a bouncier feel than memory foam, which helps prevent sinkage.
Made with a base layer of spring coils, innerspring mattresses are bouncy and keep you propped up on the surface of the bed. They usually fall somewhere in the middle of the firmness scale.
If you'd prefer a mix of two or more materials, consider getting a hybrid mattress. Most hybrids combine coils and foam so that you can benefit from the support of innerspring coils while enjoying a soft sleep surface.
The Puffy Lux is made of four dense foam layers that absorb pressure from your joints, and its gel-infused top layer also responds to your movements. This creates the illusion of feeling hugged by your bed while allowing you to change positions easily. The Puffy Lux earned a near-perfect score in spine alignment, which—coupled with its medium firmness level—makes it well-suited for back and side sleepers.
The Saatva Classic comes in three firmness levels, but the plush option is the way to go if you’re looking for a soft mattress. The bed’s quilted euro top lets you sink into the surface and the multiple steel coil layers keep your spine in alignment. Saatva also offers free white glove delivery with your purchase, so you won’t have to lift a finger when your new mattress arrives.
Resting at a three out of 10 on the firmness scale, the Helix Sunset is plusher than other hybrid mattresses. Built with side sleepers in mind, the soft-touch cover of the bed makes you feel like you’re encased in a marshmallow. Thanks to a layer of stabilizing coils, you’ll also sleep cooler—plus, it provides premium support for your neck and spine even though it’s not firm.
With the Nectar, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. Its gel memory foam layer offers top-notch pressure relief and mitigates heat, allowing you to sink into the surface of the mattress without getting too hot. This bed also comes with free shipping and returns, a year-long sleep trial, and a lifetime warranty, making it an excellent investment.
The DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid is a great pick for back sleepers who want plenty of plushness without having to sacrifice support. Made with five layers of memory foam and supportive coils, this mattress excels at keeping the spine aligned to ensure you wake up pain-free. Plus, it’s topped with a cashmere and quilted foam cover for an ultra-soft feel.
For side sleepers, a bed that’s too firm can cause stress to the hips and shoulders, leaving you with achy joints in the morning. But the Casper Original’s three-layer memory foam design strikes the perfect balance. The material hugs your sides to deliver expert pressure relief without compromising support. The mattress also uses firmer foam under the hips and softer foam under the shoulders to keep your spine in alignment.
The Brooklyn Aurora Hybrid’s medium option will satisfy sleepers who want more of a medium-soft feel in their bed. Sitting at a five out of 10 on the firmness scale, this hybrid provides sturdy support that’s fit for all sleep positions, but it still offers a silky soft surface to rest on. The coils buried beneath the three pressure-relieving foam layers produce the pushback needed to keep your spine aligned for a comfortable night of zzz’s.
The Layla features two different firmness levels in a single mattress, setting it apart from other memory foam beds on the market. The softer side has a plush three-inch surface layer that cushions joints, and with a near-perfect score in responsiveness, you can enjoy everything this soft mattress has to offer without feeling like you’re sinking into quicksand.
For hot sleepers who don’t want to lose plushness, the Purple Hybrid Premier is an excellent solution. This mattress is made with a foam grid top layer that provides deep pressure relief and makes you feel like you’re floating. But the best part is that the grid’s ventilation system moves body heat away from the surface of the bed, so you can feel cushioned by your mattress without getting all hot and sweaty.
If you frequently switch sleep positions, you’ll need a bed that quickly responds to your movements. The Amerisleep AS4 is a soft mattress containing three layers of responsive memory foam that make it easy to shift around during the night. Plus, the bed’s ultra-breathable cover is composed of Amerisleep’s proprietary plant-based foam, which doesn’t trap in heat like traditional memory foam.
Jillian Mueller is a health and lifestyle writer for Mattress Advisor.
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