We’ve all heard of firm mattresses, but on the other end of the spectrum, there are those that are soft which are just as popular. You may find these with interchangeable and alternative names like plush, pillowtop and eurotop, though the latter two are different styles in themselves. Soft mattresses have some clear and loyal fans over firmer ones, but like all things for sale, they aren’t for everyone because each person has their own preference.
In our soft mattress reviews, we will take a look at some of the distinct features which differentiate the two (apart from the firmness level of course) and also recommend 5 of the best from a varying range of prices. This article does not include information on pillowtops – For pillowtop reviews and buying guides please click here.
Who Needs A Soft Mattress?
While it is erroneous to assume that all soft mattresses are automatically more comfortable than firm ones, they certainly help a majority of people get a good night’s sleep. For some people with certain ailments or sleeping habits, they are a blessing. The importance of finding the perfect fit for your bedtime rest cannot be understated. We spend a third of our lives in bed, so we should be sure that we choose the correct firmness for our needs. In this section, let’s take a look at the ideal candidate for a soft mattress:
Soft mattresses are generally best for people who sleep on their sides. As the body sinks into the soft upper layers, the mattress contours to the spine. This is known as spinal alignment. The body finds more support in the gaps of the profile such as the space between the hip and rib cage. This added support provides extra comfort and helps prevent back pain. However, on the other hand, if it’s too soft, the spine can bend out of alignment and cause back issues. If you already have back pain, check here for some options which may help alleviate back issues.
Side sleepers aren’t the only ones who can benefit. Back and stomach sleepers might find the softness enticing, but this is mostly due to personal preferences. Stomach sleepers should actually be wary of softer mattresses, because the sinking caused by the soft materials may contort the body in a way that causes pressure points, particularly on the lower back. If you’re a stomach sleeper and soft mattresses aren’t for you, check our stomach sleeper mattresses for more info and recommendations.
Lighter people who weigh 150 pounds or less may also find comfort and support from a plush mattress regardless of sleeping style. The less a person weighs, the more they “float” on the soft top layer. They will sink less into the surface so contorting is less likely to be a problem.
Heavier sleepers may want to avoid softer mattresses, or at least avoid ones made entirely of foam. Weight and heat wear on a soft mattress, as we will talk about a little later, and they tend not to last as long as firm mattresses which may be made of latex or have springs. This is a minor consideration, however. If you know for a fact that you need a plush mattress for your health and comfort, get one regardless of durability concerns. An extra year of mattress life is not worth several years of bad sleep.
When it comes to choosing a mattress for kids, soft choices are usually the preferred option over those which are firm. Children have softer developing bones which are not so great for hard surfaces. Additionally, because children weigh much less than adults, a soft mattress will have the correct amount of contouring to sustain their weight without too much sinkage. However, if you are specifically looking at something for a child, be sure to check our top 5 kids mattress recommendations.
The Problems With Soft Mattresses
There are a couple of minor problems which soft mattresses have that their firmer counterparts do not. The most prevalent of these are heat retention and durability. Fortunately, most of the best soft mattresses on the market take these drawbacks into consideration and implement advances in technology into their construction. Below we discuss some of the stand-out qualities of a good soft mattress, so remember to keep these in mind when choosing one:
One of the most common problems of softer mattresses is their heat retention. Materials that comprise them (such as memory foam) naturally retain more heat than traditional innerspring mattresses and can cause sleepers to overheat in the night. Firmer mattresses are often made with springs and have empty chambers where hot air gathers and can flow out easily. Not so with all-latex or viscoelastic foam mattresses.
“Hot sleepers” or people whose body temperature rises during sleep may want to avoid such soft options and perhaps try those known as cooling mattresses instead. Overheating while sleeping can cause night sweats, discomfort, poor sleep and even health problems with the sick or pregnant women. Luckily, even if you’re not particularly swayed by cooling mattresses and would prefer a soft mattress, some of them have built-in countermeasures to combat overheating issues.
These features include:
- Alternative Top Layers: Some foam mattresses will use gel or other materials in the topmost layer while relegating the heat retaining foam to the lower levels.
- Mesh Sides and Air Channels: The sides of mattresses is where the hot air can escape and be replaced with cooler air. Porous mesh side coverings and channels built into the foam can aid in air flow.
- Hybrid Mattresses: Some soft mattresses use a combination of coils and foam to cut down on retention.
- Advanced Memory Foam: More technologically advanced and expensive foams are made from materials that retain less heat and breathe better. For example, the Layla mattress is infused with copper for cooler temperatures during sleep.
Mattresses don’t last forever, and plush mattresses are usually quicker to go than their firm cousins. The problem is that the materials used in their construction are soft, but become weaker over time due to extended use and heat. Too soft, and a mattress will begin to sag, and permanent sinks will form. These can be devastating for comfort and posture.
High-quality materials often last longer than cheaper ones, so if seeking a mattress that will last, check the exact materials it is made from. Some common materials used in soft mattresses include:
- Reflex Foam: Bounces back quicker than other foams. Denser and more durable, good for heavier sleepers that need more support.
- Convoluted Foam: Resembles “egg carton” foam. Usually thin and not durable, but cheap and easily replaceable.
- Latex: Highly durable and elastic but perhaps not as soft for some. Natural latex is higher quality and longer lasting than synthetic.
- Memory Foam: Top quality in thickness and durability. Not as breathable as other materials but can help keep hot sleepers cool if it’s gel infused.
The Top 5 Soft Mattresses
All of these mattresses are high-quality products, but their differences set them apart and meet different needs of discerning consumers. We’ll take a look at their construction and materials to see which is right for you. Keep in mind that once you receive it, test it extensively to see whether it is the right one for you or not. Most vendors and manufacturers offer lengthy trial periods because it takes a while to really learn the feel of a mattress. Without further ado let’s take a look at some of the best soft mattresses available today.
Best Price Mattress 12-Inch (Memory Foam)
This plush mattress comes from Best Price, a leading manufacturer and online retailer in the bed and mattress industry. Their 12-inch memory foam mattress is exceptionally plush, with an entire foot of solid foam for a softer sleep. The mattress consists of three layers: a 2.5-inch top layer of memory foam, a 3-inch layer of “Super Soft Pressure Relief” foam, and 6 inches of high-density polyurethane base foam.
The Best Price 12-inch is a good choice for someone seeking an exceptionally soft bed. The whole foam mattress contours and envelops the body without transferring too much motion. It also comes with a rather thick cover for an extra boost of softness.
As far as heat goes, hot sleepers will unlikely have difficulty with this mattress. It has side vents to release hot air and also has charcoal infused foam which generally sleeps cooler than standard memory foam.
A 10-year manufacturer’s warranty is included, but it only covers defects and flaws, not natural wear and tear. This could pose a durability problem, as the majority of this mattress is memory and polyurethane foam which does not last as latex or spring.
- Exceptionally soft and plush
- Charcoal infused memory foam claims to trap odor particles
- Certified allergen and odor free
- Several thick layers of soft, body-hugging foam
- Natural bamboo/poly blend cover
- Could do more to address heat retention
Live and Sleep Resort Ultra 12-inch (Cooling Gel Memory Foam)
Live and Sleep offer this mattress for those who want a cloud-like night’s sleep while retaining the feel of memory foam. The Resort Ultra comes with a 2.5 inch top layer of premium “air-flow” memory foam. This layer is followed by a 1-inch layer of gel-infused foam, which dissipates heat more efficiently than traditional foams, and then a substantial 8.5 inches of high-density polyurethane base foam.
This mattress has a decent amount of support with the top 3.5 inches being high-quality foams, and the heat dissipating additions of gel and airflow foam do help a great deal. Additionally, the soft flex linen cover is a nice touch to the high-quality composition from this popular brand.
Designed to work on multiple surfaces such as adjustable beds, box springs, hardwood floors and platform beds, this is a good option for those in search of plush quality at a low price.
- Included queen size memory foam pillow
- Certified odor-free and hypoallergenic
- Gel-infused layer dissipates heat well
- Ships in an easy to open box and installs easily
- High foam content may retain heat in hotter environments
- Although soft, it’s more on the firmer side of soft than plush
Zinus Memory Foam 12 Inch Premium Cloud-Like (Memory Foam)
This cloud-like plush mattress may be the softest and one of the best reviewed here. It has a 2 inch microfiber and foam quilted jacquard cover, 2 inches of memory foam, 3 inches of “comfort” foam and 5 inches of base support foam which has a convoluted composition. You’ll sink right into this mattress, and some people even sleep on it without sheets.
The memory foam layer is infused with green tea, charcoal and plant-based oils which is intended to eliminate odors and keep the mattress from smelling. The microfiber cover comes off easy and is durable enough to machine wash frequently. As with most big name brands, it is CertiPUR-US Certified for being clean and allergen free. The majority of the mattress is made of higher quality and durable advanced foams, and will most likely last longer than many of its competitors.
It comes with a 10-year limited warranty and is shipped compressed and rolled, delivered straight to your door.
- “Marshmallow” sink in feel and body hugging
- Plant product infused for odor elimination and prevention
- Several layers of high-quality materials extend lifespan
- Unpacks and reacquires shape quickly after being shipped
- Maybe too soft for some
Olee Sleep 13 Inch Box Top Hybrid (Gel Infused Memory Foam & Innerspring)
Olee Sleep is a renowned company with over 30 years of manufacturing experience that prides itself on its eco-friendly mattress materials. Their hybrid gel infused foam and innerspring mattress is a combination of memory foam and traditional springs to give a soft touch as well as support for aching backs and joints. There are a lot of layers here with some great features.
The base is 7.5 inches of heat treated steel coils that bounce back quick and provide needed support. To cool you down there is an inch of gel, as well as 1.5 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of high-density foam for that soft feel. There is also a 2 inch top layer of poly jacquard fabric and hollow conjugated fiber for a pillowtop like feel with increased ventilation.
The springs and cooling features will ensure that your periods of sleep are cool and comfortable, but it may not be as soft for sleepers seeking the ultra-plush feel. Like the others, it also comes compressed, rolled and vacuum sealed for convenient shipping and easy setup.
- Excellent heat dissipation for cooler nights
- Superb support for back and stomach sleepers who want a plush mattress
- Heat treated coils bounce back and retain shape well
- Durable; does not lose shape from being shipped or rolled up
- Odor for first few days of ownership; should be aired out before use
Serta Perfect Sleeper Select Super (Hybrid)
At the top of the line, we have Serta, a trusted and well-known brand worldwide. Their Perfect Sleeper Select Super Pillow Top 500 Innerspring Mattress is a hybrid, featuring foam layers and springs. These springs, however, are individually wrapped to cut down on motion transfer and provide peerless support. The springs are also encased in foam for added softness, edge support, and noise reduction.
This Serta mattress is chock full of features and extras designed to give customers a better night’s sleep, and those customers will be paying for them. With the name brand and the technological advancements comes a higher price point compared to many of the others reviewed here, but many buyers may feel the money is worth it. After all, you should spend your money where you spend your time.
As a coiled mattress, this Serta already runs cool, but the added feature of a gel layer below the foam one helps dissipate heat even more. The foam layer works in conjunction with the pocketed springs to provide great support for side sleepers while the pillowtop layer makes for a plush experience. All in all, it strikes a great balance between soft comfort and firm contouring. Add in reduced partner movement impact and roll off and you have an expensive yet impressive plush mattress.
- Individually wrapped coils provide soft support and minimize motion transfer
- Coil/foam hybrid system plus cooling gel helps keep sleepers from overheating
- Foam encased springs minimize roll off
- High gauge coils retain a plush yet supportive feel
- More expensive than competitors
This was a hard decision to make, as these soft mattresses are all well made, but overall the Olee Sleep 13 Inch Box Top Hybrid Gel Infused Memory Foam & Innerspring impressed us the most. It’s soft enough with giving that sinking feeling by using a hybrid spring system. This mattress also does more to stay cool than most of the others and achieves it well with features built in specifically to fight overheating. For these reasons, it’s our best soft mattress.
The Serta was a quality mattress brimming with features, but the price point made it hard to justify the cost, despite the brand name. The other solid foam mattresses have great plush feels but are prone to overheating and sagging as the years roll on. There are few things worse than trying to get comfortable on an old foam bed that has dips and valleys that you sink deep into with no way out.
Remember that even when you think you’ve found the right mattress for you, your work isn’t done. Take note of how it feels and how you feel in the morning and be a stickler. Sweat the small stuff because it adds up over time, plus you need and deserve a peaceful night’s rest. Take advantage of mattress trial periods and send it back if it isn’t everything you dreamed. It just isn’t worth living with a mattress that isn’t perfect.