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Best Soft Mattress 2020

Into the idea of sleeping on a cloud? Then a soft mattress may just be the bed for you. Typically built with plush layers of gentle foam, these mattresses are designed to relieve pressure at the shoulders and hips while softly cradling the body in a cozy embrace. Here, you’ll find deep sinkage and body-contouring, properties that could be of special interest to folks who want to feel more “in” their mattress than “on top” of it.

But, soft mattresses can’t rest on cuddly laurels alone, as they still need to be able to bolster sleepers by setting their spines in a nice, neutral alignment. But is it even possible to find a soft mattress that’s cloudlike and supportive? You betcha!

In this round-up, we’re going to introduce you to the best soft mattresses on the market, all of which provide a healthy dose of comfort with enough support to keep aches and pains at bay. Plus, we’ll also go over our methodology for picking these beds and finish things off with a few expert tips you can use to navigate your mattress buying search.

best soft mattress

Most Luxurious

Vibe

Those in need of an ultra-luxurious mattress could be well satisfied with this gel memory foam option from Vibe. The construction kicks off with a whopping 5” of memory foam, which imbues the bed with ample body-contouring, sinkage, and pressure relief. Folks who like to feel more “in” their mattress than “on top” could really get into this vibe. 

Pros 

  • If you want a seriously soft mattress, the Vibe may be the one for you! It’s built with a ton of memory foam, so it is cushiony and cuddly. 
  • Side sleepers, in particular, will likely enjoy the deep sinkage of this bed, especially as they press into the structure over the night. 
  • Hot sleepers, too, could find some nice comfort in this mattress as the gel memory foam works to dissipate body heat. 

Cons 

  • Back and stomach sleepers may find this mattress a touch too soft for their needs, so should look for a slightly firmer bed. 
Vibe
Vibe
Vibe

The Vibe 12-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress is great for folks who like to feel more “in” their mattress than “on top” could really get into this vibe.

Best Memory Foam Feel

PrimaSleep

If your soft search won’t be complete without a true memory foam feel, then you may want to consider the 10” wave gel-infused memory foam mattress from PrimaSleep.  Not only does it embody the great benefits of memory foam (body-contouring, sinkage, pressure relief, oh my!), but its layers are also infused with gel to promote excellent cooling throughout the structure. 

Pros 

  • If you want the sink of memory foam without the overheating, PrimaSleep could be the one for you! 
  • Side sleepers will likely enjoy the gentle pressure relief of the top layer of gel-infused memory foam. 
  • I also think hot sleepers could benefit from both the cooling gel layers as well as their convoluted designs (which encourage extra breathability). 

Cons 

  • If you need a firm mattress, this bed probably isn’t the one for you as it’s built with gentle foam layers. 
PrimaSleep
PrimaSleep
PrimaSleep

The PrimaSleep Wave Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress provides great body-contouring, sinkage and pressure relief.

Best Cooling

Classic Brands

For hot sleepers, I’d recommend this gel memory foam mattress from Classic Brands. Not only is it incredibly plush (thanks to its multiple layers of soft foam), but it’s also built with a plethora of cooling properties. Perhaps the most effective is the layer of ventilated gel memory foam, which works to dissipate body heat and encourage better airflow throughout the structure. 

Pros 

  • Hot sleepers will likely benefit from the myriad cooling properties in this bed, namely the gel infusions and breathable, ventilated foams. 
  • Side sleepers could also find a lot to love in the cushiony sinkage of the bed. As they press into the mattress, they’re bound to feel plenty of pressure relief at the shoulders and hips. 
  • If you’re after a luxury feel, this could also be a great mattress for you! It’s got a tall, 14” profile, so it certainly feels stately. 

Cons

  • This mattress isn’t very bouncy, so may not be the best choice for combo sleepers or those who like to move around and change position. 
Classic Brands
Classic Brands
Classic Brands

The Classic Brands gel memory foam mattress is not only is it incredibly plush (thanks to its multiple layers of soft foam), but it’s also built with a plethora of cooling properties.

Best Adjustable

Sweetnight

If you’re looking for a flippable bed you can customize to your specific slumber preferences, you may want to give the all-foam Sweetnight mattress a look. Built with four foam layers, this bed is a cozy dream and can be configured to either a Soft or Firm side, depending on your needs. It’s also outfitted with cooling gel and systems of zoned support to set the spine in a nice, even line! 

Pros 

  • Those after a balanced feel could find a lot to love in the Sweetnight mattress. Its four-layer design strikes a pleasant balance between pressure relief and support. 
  • Couples could enjoy how well the bed isolates motion, ensuring that any tossing and turning in the night won’t be too disturbing. 
  • And, again, those after a little customization may like the bed’s flippable adjustability. 

Cons 

  • Stomach sleepers may find the Sweetnight mattress too soft. These folks usually need firmer beds to prevent bowing at the lower back.
Sweetnight
Sweetnight
Sweetnight

The Sweetnight mattress is a flippable bed you can customize to your specific slumber preferences.

How We Picked

Now that we’ve gone over all our picks, let’s step back and discuss the methodology we used to pick ‘em. Below, we’ll run through all the important factors to consider when scoping out a soft mattress.

Firmness v. Support

Support is key when landing on a great soft mattress, but it’s crucial not to confuse support with firmness. In fact, mattress support and mattress firmness are two totally unique qualities. While they do work in tandem, they’re not one and the same. For instance, a soft bed could have great support whereas a firm bed could have lousy support.

When we talk about support, we’re really just referring to a bed’s ability to align the spine without creating pressure points. Irritating pressure points can lead to back pain and restless nights. Firmness, on the other hand, is simply defined as how hard or soft a mattress feels and isn’t correlated directly with spinal alignment.

So what does a supportive soft mattress look like? Ideally, it’ll feature a sturdy base of either pocketed coils or high-density poly foam to bolster the softer foam layers above it. It’ll allow for plenty of sinkage, but not so much that one feels enveloped in the structure. A soft bed should hug the sleeper, not overwhelm or envelop them.

Cooling

Most soft mattresses feature some form of memory foam, so have a tendency to sleep hot. Memory foam is a super dense material, which causes it to not only provide cushiony support to the body, but to also absorb and trap body heat. So, how do you avoid these overheating tendencies? By picking a mattress with cooling modifications.

Nowadays, many brands infuse their memory foams with different elements to help dissipate the heat they trap. Common ones include gel, graphite, and copper. Brands may also manipulate their memory foam layers to have convoluted designs, so that they promote better airflow.

Foam

When you think of a soft mattress, your mind likely goes straight to an all-foam model. And for good reason! Foam is typically pretty gentle, providing the sleeper with comfort and pressure relief. However, not all foam feels the same, and some forms can actually be quite firm.

So, your best bet is to focus on memory foam, which has the most give of any foam material. Latex, with its natural bounce and cooling properties, could be another good option, but only when it plays a secondary role to plush memory foam. High-density poly foam should only be present as a foundational layer, never as the main comfort section of the mattress.

Sleep Position

Another important factor to consider is sleeping position. How you sleep can greatly impact the kind of soft mattress you’ll want to buy, so it’s important to keep a few key characteristics in mind:

  • Side Sleepers – Side sleepers will want to stay on the lookout for thick top layers of memory foam, which will provide plenty of cushiony support to the shoulders as they press into the structure. Think anywhere between 3-5” of the stuff.
  • Back Sleepers – Like side sleepers, back sleepers typically want to sink into their soft mattress for pressure relief at the lumbar region. However, they also need to make sure there’s enough support at the hips to prevent uneven alignment along the spine. Cut back on the soft foam top layers (2-3” ideally) and make sure there’s a sturdy base layer of either coils or high-density poly foam.
  • Stomach Sleepers – Stomach sleepers don’t usually go for soft mattresses (they tend toward firmer ones that keep them lifted on top of the structure), but when they do, they should opt for thin foam layers over pocketed coils.
  • Combo Sleepers – For those sleepers that move around and change positions in the night, it’s important to land on a mattress with plenty of bounce and edge support. A hybrid mattress (featuring layers of foam over a coil system) could work wonders for these folks, especially if the top layers are evenly split between memory foam and latex.

Sleepopolis Tips

Still confused? No worries! We’re going to wrap things up with a few tips you can use to improve your search.

  • Pay attention to the construction specs, which are readily available on most brands’ sites! You’ll want to make sure there are at least 3-5” of foam up top to ensure plenty of sinkage.
  • If you share your bed with a partner, look for a mattress with added edge support. This will maximize the usable surface area of the structure and allow for maximized comfort.
  • Though all-foam designs are the most obvious soft mattress go-tos, don’t count coils out! A thin pocketed coil section (of no more than four or five inches) can bring some pleasant lift to a structure without adding too much firmness to the feel.

FAQs

What is the softest type of mattress?

The softest type of mattress is one that features plenty of memory foam! This material has a slow response to pressure, so produces a ton of sinkage, body-contouring, and pressure relief.

What is the most comfortable soft mattress?

The most comfortable soft mattress is one that blends together a variety of gentle foams for both pressure relief and support.

Is a soft mattress good for you?

A soft mattress is good for you as long as it also supports a neutral spine alignment. It’s important to find a soft mattress that has a sturdy core of either high-density poly foam or pocketed coils to ensure sound support.

Wrapping Up

That’s it for this soft mattress guide! When looking for a soft mattress of your own, pay attention to the thickness of the foam comfort layers, the kinds of foam used, and the cooling properties at play. That way, you’ll be able to land on a bed that’s 100% right for you and your specific slumber needs.

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Logan Block

Logan is the content director of Sleepopolis, which means he not only reviews new mattresses every week, but also curates all the comparisons, best of pages, and video guides on the site. He takes a straightforward, honest approach to his reviews and endeavors to give viewers an objective look at each new product he tries out. Logan has perfected his method by personally testing over 200 different mattresses, so he’s not only able to discern the overall vibe of a specific bed, but to contextualize its feel within the bed-in-a-box market as a whole.

Logan Block

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