The 9 Best Soft Mattresses in 2022, According to Sleep Experts

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The Best Soft Mattresses

Although a large cross-section of sleepers have a strong preference for firm mattresses, here at This Old House, our Reviews Team has a soft spot for the soft mattresses lovers out there. And after all, what’s not to like about the feeling of sleeping on a puffy cloud? More importantly, just because a mattress is soft doesn’t mean it slumps: A lot of the best soft mattresses out there combine dense foam or innerspring coil layers with softer layers so that you feel swaddled, but supported.

Whether you’re redoing your bedroom and ready to fully embrace your love of a cushy, smushy mattress, or want to create an indulgent sleep experience for the guest room, we’ve curated a soft mattress selection to suit every type of sleeper. Guiding our picks is expert help from Mattress Advisor, which inspected and tested each bed at its sleep lab in Raleigh, N.C. With their help, here are the 9 best soft mattresses:

The 9 Best Soft Mattress – Our Top Picks

Editor’s Pick – DreamCloud Original

Courtesy DreamCloud

Pros and Cons of the DreamCloud

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
Excellent pressure relief, spine alignment, responsiveness and cooling qualities The DreamCloud has less motion isolation than the DreamCloud Premier, thanks to its thicker pillow top
Lifetime warranty that goes above the industry standard
  • Material: Hybrid (foam and coils)
  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6.5/10)
  • Customer Rating: 4.6/5
  • Delivery: Within 18-21 business days
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Our top pick, the DreamCloud is as (figuratively) soft as its puffy white namesake, but with plenty of support for all sleepers. Covering all its bases, Mattress Advisor testers scored DreamCloud well in several key sleep lab performance categories: 8.75 out of 10 for pressure relief and cooling and 9 out of 10 for spinal alignment and responsiveness. The mattress was only inches from perfection in edge support (scoring 9.75 out of 10). Finally, DreamCloud’s generous one-year sleep trial makes your luxury splurge a safe bet since you and your partner will have ample time to decide if this is the right bed for you.

Best Soft Mattress for Side Sleepers – Helix Sunset

Helix Sunset mattress

Courtesy Helix

Pros and Cons of the Helix Sunset

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
Excellent cooling, thanks to breathability of coil support layer Offers a less robust warranty than other hybrid mattresses
Foams are soft but quick to reform, which is a boon to combination sleepers who switch sides Side sleepers with shoulder pain may need a bed with a more even distribution of pressure relief
  • Material: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Soft (2.5/10)
  • Customer Rating: 4.6/5
  • Delivery: Ships free in 5-15 business days
  • Warranty: 10-year limited

Side sleepers who enjoy the feeling of sinking into a soft mattress after a long day are ideal candidates for the Helix Sunset. Like the Helix Midnight, the Helix Sunset was designed specifically with side sleepers in mind. Distinguishing the Sunset though is its softness — Sunset is one of the softest mattresses to emerge from the sleep lab, with a designated 2.5 out of 10 firmness. Despite the bed’s plushness, testers said the foam was able to reform quickly, thus earning an 8.5 out of 10 score in responsiveness. Testers did warn that there is one type of side sleeper who may not benefit from Sunset’s ultra-softness: In pressure map tests, pressure was heavily concentrated on the testers’ upper bodies, so side sleepers with shoulder pain may need a mattress with pressure that’s more forgiving.

Best Soft Mattress for Back Pain – Saatva Classic (Plush Soft)

Pros and Cons of the Saatva Classic

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
Perfect scores in edge support, spine alignment, and durability Light sleepers who share a bed may need better motion isolation
Near-perfect scores in pressure relief and cooling Luxury materials place bed on the pricier side
Free white glove delivery included
  • Material: Hybrid (foam and coils)
  • Firmness: Soft (3/10), luxury-firm (6/10) and firm (8/10)
  • Customer Rating: 4.9/5
  • Free white glove delivery
  • Warranty: Lifetime

A cozy, quilted Euro-top cushions and cradles your body as you sink into the Saatva mattress surface. However, the bed’s luxury hybrid foam-coil design prevents the internal structure from sagging — a key feature if you need a soft but supportive mattress to keep an achy back aligned. Mattress testers gave Saatva a perfect 10 out of 10 in the sleep lab category of spine alignment. Although the Saatva can be custom ordered in a feather-soft build, soft mattress lovers who share a bed may find the luxury-firm Saatva to be a soft enough compromise.

Best Soft Mattress Under $1000 – Nectar Original

Nectar Original mattress

Courtesy Nectar

Pros and Cons of the Nectar Original

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
High scores in edge support and motion transfer, great for couples Mild scent upon unboxing requires mattress to be aired out for a few days without sheets
Lifetime warranty and one-year sleep trial Hot sleepers may need cooler construction
Offers excellent pressure relief for those with joint pain
  • ​​Material: Gel memory foam
  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10)
  • Customer Rating: 4.8/5
  • Delivery: 2-5 business days
  • Warranty: Lifetime

If you’re partial to an all-foam bed — especially one at an enviable under-$1,000 price pointthe Nectar mattress offers a pretty sweet deal. Some of Nectar’s biggest highlights in the Mattress Advisor sleep lab were its pressure relief (8.5/10), motion isolation (8.5/10), responsiveness (8.5/10), and edge support (9/10). The bed also comes with a generous 1-year sleep trial and lifetime warranty. Although Nectar won’t be as cool as its all-natural latex or hybrid mattress counterparts, the bed boasts the thermoregulating benefits of gel-infused memory foam.

Best Soft Hybrid Mattress – Leesa Hybrid

Leesa Hybrid mattress

Courtesy Leesa

Pros and Cons of the Leesa Hybrid

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
High scores in edge support and motion transfer, great for couples Mild scent upon unboxing requires mattress to be aired out for a few days without sheets
Lifetime warranty and one-year sleep trial Hot sleepers may need cooler construction
Offers excellent pressure relief for those with joint pain
  • Material: Latex and gel memory foam
  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6.5/10)
  • Customer Rating: 4.7/5
  • Delivery: 3-5 business days
  • Warranty: 20-year

The coil and foam construction of a mattress like the Leesa Hybrid provides an ultra-soft top for soft mattress lovers, but with plenty of lift to give you that “held up” rather than “sunken in” feeling. And that’s not all a hybrid construction is good for: The Leesa Hybrid’s coils also quickly respond to your moves, and its foam provides contouring pressure point relief on the hips and shoulders. The bed scored 9 out of 10 in both responsiveness and pressure relief in Mattress Advisor’s sleep lab. Plus, Leesa Hybrid earned a rare perfect score in spinal alignment, meaning back pain sufferers should feel well-positioned where it matters most.

Best Soft Mattress for Pressure Relief – Nolah Signature

Pros and Cons of the Nolah Signature

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
High scores in edge support and motion transfer, great for couples Testers gave average scores in motion transfer (7/10) and edge support (6.6/10)
Lifetime warranty and one-year sleep trial Back pain sufferers may need better spine alignment (7.75/10)
Offers excellent pressure relief for those with joint pain
  • Material: All-foam
  • Firmness: Medium-soft (4.5/10)
  • Customer Rating: 4.8/5
  • Delivery: Free within 2-8 business days
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime

The Nolah Signature uses two layers of its proprietary AirFoam, which feels cooler and more pressure relieving than regular memory foam, the brand claims. Mattress testers agreed, awarding the mattress high marks for cooling (8/10) and near-perfect scores for pressure relief (9.25/10). The AirFoam also responded well to movement, testers said. The Nolah cradled them but was also able to quickly “bounce back” into shape as they moved about the bed’s surface, earning the bed 9.5 out of 10 for responsiveness.

Best Soft Mattress for Combination Sleepers – Brooklyn Bedding Signature

Pros and Cons of the Brooklyn Bedding Signature

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
Cooling tech is incorporated into each layer, including the foam layers A modest score in motion transfer (7.5/10) means movement may disrupt you or a partner who sleeps light
Scored well in almost every performance metric Lacks warranty coverage compared to most counterparts
Works for all types of sleepers (side, back and stomach), in addition to combination sleepers
  • Material: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Medium-soft (4/10), medium-firm (6/10), firm (8/10)
  • Customer Rating: 4.7/5
  • Delivery: Free shipping within 3 weeks
  • Warranty: 10-year limited

If you tend to snuggle into bed and stay put, a soft mattress that lacks bounce may not be a problem. But for combination sleepers who switch positions often, a lack of responsiveness can be an obstacle to getting comfy. A good solution is a hybrid bed with bouncy coils like the Brooklyn Bedding Signature, which can be ordered in a soft, medium, or firm build. Two layers of foam add all the softness you want, while a base layer of coils give the bounce and support you need. The bed also sleeps cool (rated 8.5 out of 10), offers near-perfect pressure relief (9.5/10), and solid edge support (9/10) — a good touch in case your combination sleep style takes you to every corner of your mattress throughout the night. If you have a partner who needs a firmer mattress, Brooklyn Bedding Signature also furnishes a medium firmness level model.

Best Soft Flippable Mattress – Layla Original

Layla Original mattress

Courtesy Layla

Pros and Cons of the Layla Original

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
High scores in edge support and motion transfer, great for couples Mild scent upon unboxing requires mattress to be aired out for a few days without sheets
Lifetime warranty and one-year sleep trial Hot sleepers may need cooler construction
Offers excellent pressure relief for those with joint pain
  • Material: Memory foam
  • Firmness: Medium-soft (4/10) and medium-firm (7/10)
  • Customer Rating: 4.5/5
  • Delivery: Ships free within 4-8 business days
  • Warranty: Lifetime

While it’s great to have a bed that’s in touch with your soft side, there are also times when firmer support is needed. The flippable Layla offers a clever solution by providing both a soft and firm side in one memory foam mattress. Each side is clearly labeled and color-coded for convenience, and you can reasonably flip the 69-pound mattress over on your own. The dual-sided mattress is a great choice for pairs though, with excellent scores in edge support (9/10) and motion transfer (8.5/10). Testers also gave a nod to the excellent pressure relief lent by Layla’s copper-infused memory foam, (9/10) and its responsiveness (9.5/10), which is great for changing positions seamlessly.

Best Soft Mattress for Couples – Casper Wave Hybrid

Casper Wave Hybrid mattress

Courtesy Casper

Pros and Cons of the Casper Wave Hybrid

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
Perforated foam layers and breathable coils promote airflow through the bed The unboxing process releases an unpleasant smell that takes time to dissipate
Zoned comfort layers, or firmer foam in the bed’s center, add key support to the lumbar region One of the priciest mattresses recommended
  • Material: Hybrid (foam and coils)
  • Firmness: Medium (5/10)
  • Customer Rating: 4.6/5
  • Delivery: Ships free within 2-7 business days
  • Warranty: 10-year limited

If you’re looking to treat yourself to a luxury sleep experience, the Casper Wave Hybrid’s construction features two foam comfort layers, including a memory foam layer that hugs your body. An important factor for couples where one or both are light sleepers, you also get superior motion isolation (receiving a 9 out of 10 score). Testers also praised the Wave Hybrid’s responsiveness (9.25/10), edge support (8.75/10), pressure relief (8.5/10) and spinal alignment (9/10). Soft mattress lovers who also sweat at night will appreciate how cooling the Casper Wave Hybrid is, and the bed earned a 9 out of 10 for its ability to keep testers cool in the lab. The price tag of Casper Wave Hybrid might be its only turn off, and the brand doesn’t offer deals as readily as its other luxury bed-in-a-box counterparts.

MA Score: The Mattress Advisor Score is a weighted score that takes into account 14 different factors related to the mattress’ performance, function, convenience and the brand’s social responsibility.

What To Know Before Buying a Soft Mattress

Like Goldilocks and the three bears’ beds, everyone has that “just right” firmness. But we won’t soft-pedal the science: There is research to back up the claim that back pain sufferers should not sleep on an overly soft mattress. With that and other factors in mind, like how long you can expect your mattress to last, we’ve created a guide to help you find a soft mattress that’ll meet your unique needs both as a sleeper and shopper.

Fortunately, you’ll discover that plenty of mattresses with plush-soft tops also provide adequate lumbar support and solid spinal alignment in their builds. And while soft mattresses with sturdier builds tend to be pricier, they also tend to have some of the best coverage with warranties and sleep trial periods.

How Mattress Advisor Measures Firmness

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of soft mattress types and builds, it’s important to clearly define what constitutes a “soft” mattress. Mattress Advisor testers evaluate bed firmness on a 1 to 10 scale. Scores 1-4 are considered “soft” (or sometimes “plush” or “plush-soft” is the mattress brand’s terminology). Scores from 4 to 6 are a “medium” softness, and “medium-firm” is a score of 6.5 or 7. Anything 7 or above is firm or ultra-firm.

An important note about firmness is that although the score can and often does correlate to the amount of support a bed offers, there’s not a complete overlap between the two. Firmness is undeniably a more subjective measure of how the tester experiences the feel of the bed’s surface. In other words, two different mattresses can offer near-identical support but feel completely different firmness-wise.

Body Weight and How It Affects Firmness

It’s pretty common sense, but just in case you’re in need of a little high school physics refresher, here’s why you’ll want to factor your body weight into your mattress decision: The heavier you are, the more force you’ll exert on your mattress. That, in turn, may impact the feel of your bed’s firmness. A plush mattress to one sleeper may feel entirely too firm to a lighter body type. So, if you fall on the far end of either size sleeper, keep that in the back of your mind.

Mattress Types to Consider When Buying a Soft Bed

Softer mattress comes in all types, from all-foam to hybrid to latex. Here’s what to know about each mattress type:

Memory foam: Memory foam beds use high-density foams in their base for support, and add cushy comfort layers on top. One big callout with all-foam beds is to be sure that the top layer foams aren’t so soft that they’re more of an annoyance than an added bonus — heavier sleepers might need an all-foam mattress with denser foam that sinks under their weight less.

Innerspring: Traditional innersprings are made with a continuous-coil build, where coil springs are intertwined together and throughout the base to add support. However, this also results in the springs moving as one unit. Today, most online mattresses with an innerspring layer — including every mattress in this article — are hybrid builds with pocketed coils.

Hybrid: Hybrid mattresses combine the conforming comfort of foam with functional innerspring support. Thanks to the coil layer, you can expect more bounce on a hybrid innerspring bed. As noted, modern hybrids use pocketed coils, or coils that are individually encased within their own “pockets” of fabric, which helps to limit motion transfer across the surface.

Latex: Latex mattresses, which can entail a 100% latex build or one or more layers of latex, are naturally bouncier than their memory foam counterparts. Latex is one of the most sustainable, durable, and hypoallergenic materials used in mattresses, which can drive up the mattress price as well.

How To Consider Your Sleep Position When Buying a Soft Bed

Your sleeping position may determine how congenial — or crabby — you feel when you wake up. But if you buy a soft new mattress that complements your sleeping position, you never have to wake up on the wrong side again. Here’s what to keep in mind about sleep position, starting with the most popular, side sleeping:

Side sleepers: Side sleepers are good candidates for a soft bed, since it feels nice to have lots of cushy comfort on the boniest parts of the body, like the hips. For that reason, any soft mattress should suit a side sleeper just fine.

Stomach sleepers: Those who sleep on their stomach should avoid a too-soft mattress. If the hips fall far below the back, or the back below the neck, the torque can cause issues down the line. If you want an ultra-plush mattress, ensure there’s plenty of support in the build, like an innerspring layer.

Back sleepers: Likewise, back sleepers shouldn’t let hips fall out of line with the back and neck. A soft feel is fine, but solid support is a must.

Combination Sleepers: Combination sleepers, or those who frequently position-switch, should consider which sleep positions they tend to settle into most often. If you switch enough, consider a bed with good responsiveness, so that you don’t become frustrated from feeling stuck.

Performance Factors That Mattress Advisor Tests When Evaluating Soft Beds

Pressure relief: Restful sleep on a top-quality mattress can alleviate aches and pains, but you’ll need to find the right mattress, one with top-notch pressure relief for sore and sensitive spots. If great pressure relief is a huge value-add for your mattress, look for a bed with at least an 8.5 out of 10 score in the category, especially if you’re a side sleeper who needs contouring support.

Spine alignment: An aligned spine can help alleviate and prevent back pain. If your spine tends to naturally slump, look for mattresses with solid spine alignment scores. Often, they’ll have “zoned” support, or added support under the back and hips.

Durability: All the soft mattresses that were chosen by Mattress Advisor testers are higher-end beds, with durability scores to reflect that. And investing in a high-quality bed is wise, since it can come back to bite you if you skimp on the purchase — a short-lived bed will often end up in a landfill, since few organizations accept used mattresses.

Motion transfer: Motion transfer is exemplified by the “wine test,” where a glass of red wine is placed on a mattress while there’s movement on another part of the bed. If the glass tips over, that indicates that the bed is bad at isolating movement, and vice versa. If you’re a deep sleeper or mostly sleep solo, motion transfer may not be a big concern. On the flip side, co-sleepers and light sleepers should look for beds that limit the movement they feel from a partner or pet.

Temperature regulation: The testers’ cooling score is a reflection of how well the mattress prevents the sleeper from overheating. A better bet may be a hybrid bed if you’re especially concerned with cooling since the coil layer allows body heat to escape away. However, there are plenty of all-foam beds that defy the assumption that a foam bed can’t be cooling, thanks to brands’ use of proprietary cooling tech.

Responsiveness: How much responsiveness you like is another of the more subjective preferences, since some sleepers prefer to feel stuck and cemented in the bed. That may be especially true for soft mattress lovers. If, on the other hand, you like a bed with a little more give-and-take, look at hybrid models, which give you that bounce-back feeling from the coil layer.

Edge support: You’ll get a baseline of reliable solid edge support from the beds we’ve rounded up, since none use a continuous-coil layer that tends to slump on the side. If you use the edge of your bed a lot and want an even more robust periphery, look for mattresses with an edge support score of at least 8.5 out of 10.

FAQ About the Best Soft Mattresses

How much will it cost to buy one of the best soft mattresses?

The high-caliber, queen-sized soft mattress that we recommend start on the lower end around $799, and go up to the $2,799 range. However, the sticker price is often not a reflection of what a. you’ll actually pay, or b. what you’ll get for that price: Brands run frequent deals that include freebies and deep discounts.

Do all the soft mattresses recommended come in a box?

With the exception of one, the Saatva, all the soft mattresses listed come tightly rolled up in a box. After anywhere from a few hours to a full-day, your mattress will unfurl, form, and be ready to sleep on.

How soon can I expect to get a soft mattress in the mail?

Several of the mattresses listed are sustainably made-to-order, so it may take a little longer (2-3 weeks) for those models to arrive at your doorstep. But generally, you can expect your new mattress to arrive in 3-7 business days.

What size soft mattress should I buy?

Mattress size will depend on how limited — or unlimited — your space and budget is. However, design is also key. If you have the space and budget for a king-size mattress, but a statement-piece antique bed frame that’s queen-size, go with whatever option will spark more joy in the home.

Summary of Our Top Picks for the Best Soft Mattress

This Old House Reviews Team

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