Our editors independently researched the best products online to produce this list. We may receive commission on purchases made from the links below but this will never affect our product choices. Click here to read our disclosure.
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, pillow top, 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 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 6 of the best from a varying range of prices. This article does not include information on pillow tops – For pillow top mattress reviews and buying guides, please click here.
Soft Mattress Reviews
All of these mattresses are high-quality products, but their differences set them apart and meet the 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, read on to find the best soft mattress for you.
This medium-plush mattress may be the softest and one of the best reviewed here. Essentially it’s a gel-based memory foam mattress that provides excellent balanced support and contouring even though it’s a soft mattress. It has a top layer of Cooling Cloud Gel, followed by a Plush Dual Cloud and then Climate Comfort layers. Lastly, the Firm Core Support acts as a base for the above and offers enhanced spinal alignment and pressure point relief. You’ll comfortably sink right into this mattress; and no need to worry about sleeping style, as this one is suitable whether you’re a back, side or stomach sleeper.
As with most big-name brands, it is CertiPUR-US Certified for being clean and allergen-free. This is a mattress made of high quality and durable advanced foams, and will most likely last longer than many of its competitors in this price range.
It comes with a lifetime warranty and is shipped for free, compressed and rolled, delivered straight to your door.
Layla Sleep is a renowned company with expert manufacturing experience that prides itself on delivering quality mattresses while using natural materials. Their copper-infused memory foam mattress is a combination of firm and soft foam, all in one. Essentially, this is a dual-sided, or flippable mattress. You get two firmness levels for the price of one. One side of the mattress is a soft side. Flip it over, and you get to try the firm side.
Looking at the soft-side-up, there are 3-inches of copper infused memory foam, which provides the plush soft feel. Copper is great for dissipating heat, meaning rapid cooling and body heat transfer, so you don’t wake up in a hot sweat. Underneath is a 2″ zoned SMT layer for added comfort and contouring support where you need it most. This is followed by a Support Core Foam which is essentially the base of the soft side. It prevents long-term sagging and ensures maximum life of the mattress. Underneath all of this is a similar layer to the very first one we mentioned, but this time 1″ thick. This is for those who sleep using the firm side. The thin 1″ memory foam layer comes in closer and quicker contact to the Support Core Foam, thus creating a firmer experience. However, those after a soft mattress will most certainly have this side underneath.
The copper foam is one of the better cooling features on the market, and will ensure that your periods of sleep are cool and comfortable. Additionally, it’s antimicrobial, meaning the mattress will stay cleaner and fresh for longer. Like the others, it also comes compressed, rolled and vacuum sealed for convenient shipping and easy setup.
Live and Sleep Resort Ultra 12-inch
Live and Sleep offer this mattress for those who want a cloud-like night’s sleep while retaining the feel of soft 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 a plush memory foam mattress at a low price.
The Zenhaven luxury plush mattress is made by Saatva, a leading manufacturer and online retailer in the bed and mattress industry. Their 10-inch all-latex mattress is exceptionally plush, with an entirety of 100% Talalay processed latex for softer sleep. The mattress consists of four layers of zoned natural latex, and like the Layla mattress, this too is a doubled-sided mattress. One side is Luxury-Plush, while the other is Gentle-Firm.
The Zenhaven plush side is an excellent choice for someone seeking an exceptionally soft bed. The whole latex mattress contours and envelops the body without transferring too much motion. It also comes with a rather thick New Zealand wool organic cover for an extra boost of softness.
As far as heat goes, hot sleepers will unlikely have difficulty with this mattress. It has vents in the latex which is very effective in reducing heat traps.
A 20-year manufacturer’s warranty is included, but it only covers defects and flaws, not natural wear and tear. Also, you’ll get a 180-day trial, and free white glove delivery anywhere in the continental U.S.
Serta Perfect Sleeper
At the top of the line, we have Serta, a trusted and well-known brand worldwide. Their Perfect Sleeper 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, the Serta Perfect Sleeper 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 excellent support for side sleepers while the pillow top layer makes for a luxurious 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.
Brooklyn Bedding Aurora
When it comes to soft mattresses, we can’t not mention the Aurora by Brooklyn Bedding. The company has been making mattresses much longer than many of the recent start-ups that have done well in recent years, but, Brooklyn Bedding do things differently.
For example, much of the components within the Aurora mattress are proprietary patented foams such as CopperFlex, TitanFlex, and TitanCool. All of these layers come together with an 8” base core of up to 1,032 individually encased coils which delivers excellent pressure point relief while reducing motion transfer between sleeping partners. Additionally, the coil system is zoned, so although the mattress is soft, it still delivers support to your body where it is needed most e.g hips, shoulders, and neck.
The Aurora mattress features free shipping, 120-night in-home sleep trial, and a 10 year warranty.
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 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 their 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 soft developing bones, which is 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 that soft mattresses have that their firmer counterparts do not. The most prevalent of these are heat retention and durability. Fortunately, most of the best options on the market consider these drawbacks 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 airflow.
- 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 even the best plush mattress is 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, suitable 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.
This was a hard decision to make, as these mattresses are all well made, but overall the Puffy Lux soft memory foam impressed us the most. It’s soft enough without giving that sinking feeling by using a traditional foam 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 pick so far for 2021.
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 of. It just isn’t worth living with a mattress that isn’t perfect.