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Best Soft Mattress

If you like the idea of sleeping on a cloud, a soft mattress may just be for you. Often built with plush layers of gentle foam, these models are designed to alleviate tension at the shoulders and hips while softly cradling the body in a cozy embrace. Here, the emphasis is on deep sinkage and body-contouring, which is ideal for folks who want to feel more “in” their bed than “on top” of it. All that being said, soft mattresses can’t rest on their cuddly laurels alone, as it’s still important for them to bolster the sleeper by lifting the hips and positioning the spine in a nice, even alignment. But is it even possible to find a soft mattress that’s as gentle as it is supportive? Absolutely!

Below, we’re going to introduce you to some of our favorite soft mattresses on the market, all of which provide a healthy dose of coziness with enough support to keep the aches and pains at bay. After we chat about our picks, we’ll then dive into the methodology we used to choose them and then wrap things up with a few tips for navigating your own mattress search.

Editor’s Choice

Zinus

Our Editor’s Pick is this 12” Green Tea-infused Memory Foam mattress from Zinus. Built with thick top layers of memory foam and specialty comfort foam, this bed is designed with softness in mind. And though memory foam has a slight reputation for overheating at night, Zinus has mitigated the worst of these tendencies with a cooling green tea infusion, which helps to bring an element of freshness to the structure. 

Pros 

  • Side sleepers will likely enjoy the deep sinkage and body-contouring they’ll experience with this bed, which should provide ample relief to the shoulders and hips. 
  • Memory foam fans could also find a lot to love in the mattress, as it embodies all the best qualities of the popular bedding material. 
  • Those with aches and pains may also appreciate the bed’s capacity for alleviating tension at sensitive spots along the body, namely the shoulders, hips, and lower back. 

Cons 

  • Strict back or stomach sleepers may find the structure a bit too soft for their needs, which typically involve more lift at the hips. 
  • There’s not a lot of bounce to this model, so may not be a good fit for combo sleepers or folks who need to spring out of bed in the morning. 
Zinus
Zinus

Built with thick top layers of memory foam and specialty comfort foam, the Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam mattress is designed with softness in mind.

Plushest Feel

Lucid

If you’re looking for an irresistibly plush bed, we recommend checking out the 10” Gel Memory Foam mattress from Lucid. Here, thick layers of gel-infused, ventilated memory foam produce an incredibly gentle structure, which allows for plenty of deep sinkage and body-contouring. Another plus? The gel infusion helps to mitigate the overheating tendencies of memory foam, making for a cool night’s sleep. 

Pros 

  • Given the thick layers of memory foam, I’d say this bed would be great for side sleepers looking for pressure relief at the shoulders and hips. 
  • The cooling properties are another big selling point for me, from the breathable Tencel cover to the ventilated and gel-infused memory foam layers. 
  • Additionally, the Lucid could be a solid pick for couples, as the memory foam works to absorb and dampen movement across the structure. 

Cons 

  • If you need a bouncy bed, you’ll want to keep on looking, because there’s not a lot of lift to this mattress. 
  • Stomach and back sleepers may also find that the structure’s a tad too soft for their needs. 
Lucid
Lucid

The Lucid mattress has thick layers of gel-infused, ventilated memory foam produce an incredibly gentle structure, which allows for plenty of deep sinkage and body-contouring.

Best for Side Sleepers

Classic Brands

It’s no secret that side sleepers generally prefer softer mattresses, but which one is the absolute best for their specific needs? In our opinion, the best soft bed for side sleepers is this 14” model from Classic Brands. A 3.5” top section of gel-infused memory foam sets the tone for the cushiony vibe, providing plenty of room for the sleeper to sink in for pressure relief at the shoulders and hips. 

Pros 

  • This is a really tall mattress, so could be a good fit for sleepers who want a lot of room to sink into the structure. 
  • Both top layers of the bed feature special cooling properties, which should work to absorb body heat and dissipate it throughout the mattress. 
  • In general, side sleepers or any folks after pressure relief should find a lot to love in the gentle vibe of the mattress. 

Cons 

  • If you enjoy feeling more “on top” of your mattress, this may not be the bed for you, as you’re likely to feel more “in” it.
  • Stomach sleepers in particular may find that the gentle construction causes their hips to sink out of alignment with their shoulders, causing some uncomfortable bowing at the lower back.
Classic Brands
Classic Brands

A 3.5” top section of gel-infused memory foam helps this Classic Brands mattress provide plenty of room for the sleeper to sink in for pressure relief at the shoulders and hips.

Best for Back Sleepers

Nectar

For back sleepers who prefer a little cushiony support at the lumbar region, the Nectar mattress could be a real winner. A pair of thick top sections of memory foam work to fill in the space at the lower back as the sleeper sinks into the structure, allowing for a rejuvenating sense of pressure relief along the spine. A hearty foundational layer of high-density poly foam helps to curb some of this sinkage. 

Pros 

  • First and foremost, I’d recommend the Nectar for anyone who wants that classic memory foam feel, deep body-contouring and all.
  • More specifically, I’d say this mattress could be fantastic for back sleepers, who will benefit from its cushiony pressure relief at the shoulders, hips, and lower back. 
  • Considering its excellent motion transfer and edge support results, I’d also say the Nectar could be a solid pick for couples.

Cons 

  • While a lot of folks will dig the thick layers of memory foam in this bed, I would say that stomach sleepers may find it sends their hips out of alignment with their shoulders.
  • Additionally, it has virtually no bounce, which could be a dealbreaker for those sleepers in search of some buoyant support.
Nectar
Nectar

For back sleepers who prefer a little cushiony support at the lumbar region, the Nectar mattress could be a real winner!

Best Soft Mattress Topper

Sleep Innovations

Like your existing mattress, but wish it were just a little softer? Then you might want to invest in a plush mattress topper, like this one from Sleep Innovations. This 4” dual-layer model features a layer of gel-infused memory foam over a slightly firmer one of comfort foam, ensuring a deep sink that’s as supportive as it is gentle. 

Pros 

  • If you want to change up your current sleep set-up without forking over the big bucks, investing in a topper could be a great move. 
  • Side sleepers could especially benefit from a bit more sinkage, which will help to alleviate even more tension at the shoulders and hips. 
  • Another great thing about a mattress topper is that you can alternate between using and not using it with ease, allowing for a ton of adaptability. 

Cons 

  • Some folks may find that a topper like this takes away from the seamless feel of a bed, so may not work for folks who just want to sleep on one surface. 
  • Stomach sleepers likely won’t get the firm support they need from this cushiony topper.
Sleep Innovations
Sleep Innovations

This 4” dual-layer model features a layer of gel-infused memory foam over a slightly firmer one of comfort foam, ensuring a deep sink that’s as supportive as it is gentle.

How We Picked

Now that we’ve gone over all our picks, let’s step back and discuss the methodology we used to make our selections. Below, we’ll run through all the most important factors to consider when scoping out a soft mattress of your own.

Firmness v. Support

As we mentioned up top, support is key when landing on a great soft mattress, but it’s crucial not to get support confused with firmness. Mattress support and mattress firmness are two stand-alone qualities in any mattress. While they do work in tandem, they are not one and the same. For instance, a mattress could have a soft feel with great support or a firm feel with lousy support.

Good mattress support simply means that it keeps your spine in proper alignment without creating pressure points. Irritating pressure points can lead to back pain and restless nights. Mattress firmness, on the other hand, is defined as how hard or soft a mattress feels. Different manufacturers use different materials to convey varying levels of firmness.

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 them.

Cooling

Since most soft mattresses feature some form of memory foam, overheating can be a bit of a problem. 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. To mitigate these overheating tendencies, look for memory foams that have been modified with cooling properties, such as gel infusions or ventilated, open-cell designs.

Foam

When you think of a soft mattress, you’re 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. Below, I’ll break down what kinds of soft mattress will work best for certain kinds of sleepers.

  • 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, unlike their lateral counterparts, those who prefer sleeping supine need to also 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 a system of pocketed coils. They’ll get a hint of plushness without the deep sinkage that can be detrimental to their lower back.
  • 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 gentle memory foam and buoyant latex.

Sleepopolis Tips

Still not sure how to find the soft mattress of your dreams? No worries! We’re going to wrap up this guide with a few tips you can use to make your search a breeze.

  • Really pay attention to the construction specs! You’ll want to make sure there are at least 3-5” of foam up top to ensure plenty of sinkage. This information is typically readily available on a brand’s website.
  • 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.
  • Remember: Not all foam is created equal. Memory foam is going to have a much softer feel than either latex or high-density poly foam.

Wrapping Up

Well, that about does it for this guide to the best soft mattresses on the market! We’ve gone over our favorites, chatted about the methodology behind those picks, and even chatted about a few tips you can use in your search. Now it’s time for you to get shopping!

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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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