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The 10 Best Soft Mattresses to Shop Online

You’ll never want to leave your bed again.
By Jillian Mueller
Updated September 12, 2021
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Few things are better than sinking into a plush bed at the end of a long day. But it can be tricky to find a soft mattress that also keeps you well-supported. A bed that's too firm can put pressure on your joints, but one that's too soft won't maintain proper spine alignment. That's why the best soft mattresses on the market combine contouring comfort with a solid foundation, so you can indulge in comfy sleep without having to worry about aches and pains.

To help take some of the guesswork out of shopping for a new bed, the experts at Mattress Advisor used a 14-point test to sift through hundreds of bed-in-a-box mattresses to identify the top 10 softest options. Learn more about their picks below, all of which satisfied criteria like pressure relief, motion isolation, responsiveness, and more.

Our soft mattress recommendations:

What classifies as a soft mattress?

A soft mattress is considered to be any bed that falls between 1 and 5 on the firmness scale (which goes all the way up to 10), with 1 being super soft and 5–6 having more of a medium-soft feel. Depending on how much support you need, some sleepers may lean toward the upper end of the scale if they still want a plush feel but don't want to compromise lumbar support. 

Keep in mind that anything above 5 is no longer considered a soft mattress, so if you're still not getting the support you need from a medium-soft bed, you may need something firmer.

Who is a soft mattress best for?

Best for:

  • Side sleepers: Soft mattresses are often best for side sleepers because they deeply cradle the hips and shoulders, which helps alleviate stress on the joints.
  • Couples: Because softer beds tend to incorporate several layers of foam into their constructions, they also excel at isolating motion and reducing the amount of movement felt by partners. This helps couples achieve uninterrupted rest.
  • Those who want to feel hugged by their bed: If you crave the close contouring of a squishy foam bed, a soft mattress is right for you. Soft mattresses allow you to sink into the surface, enveloping you in cushy comfort and cradling your curves.

Not best for:

  • Stomach sleepers: A bed with less firmness is generally not a great pick for stomach sleepers as the plush surface can cause back pain.
  • Those with back pain: And speaking of back pain, softer beds aren't ideal for those with an achy back. Because of the less-dense material used, they're not as supportive and fail to provide enough spine alignment for back pain relief.
  • Hot sleepers: Softer beds tend to sleep hotter than firm ones because they typically contain several layers of foam, which trap in heat. If you struggle with night sweats, adding a cooling mattress pad to your bed can help you rest more comfortably.

How to find the best soft mattress

Spine alignment

Possibly the most important factor for unlocking a good night's rest, spine alignment keeps you snoozing in a healthy, neutral posture by keeping pressure off of your back. But sometimes softer mattresses don't quite have the pushback needed to provide adequate support for certain sleep positions. Side sleepers usually won't have an issue thanks to the ample pressure relief soft beds provide for the hips and shoulders. 

But stomach and back sleepers may require more support in order to maintain spine alignment. Without proper support, back and stomach sleepers can sink too deep into the bed, causing their spine to fall out of alignment and leading to lower back pain

Edge support

A common complaint with plusher beds is the lack of edge support, meaning the perimeter of the mattress sags or caves in whenever you sit or lay on the edge—not exactly ideal. Look for a thick foam encasement or another type of reinforced layer that surrounds the mattress's border. This ensures a more secure edge support so you can enjoy the full surface of your mattress without fear of sliding off.

Temperature control

Because most soft mattresses contain multiple foam layers, or may use an all-foam construction, these beds tend to sleep warmer than most. Foam traps heat more than any other material, but some mattress brands infuse foam layers with gel or other cooling materials to help break up some of the warmth. 

If you're a hot sleeper but love the feel of a plush bed, go for a hybrid mattress that incorporates breathable coils into its design. That way, you can still enjoy the comfort foam layers on top, but benefit from the airflow of the coils down below.

Types of soft mattresses

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses are typically the softest beds you can buy. They're constructed with several layers of squishy foam that make you feel like you're sleeping on a cloud.

Latex

Although not as soft as memory foam, a latex bed still offers contouring comfort thanks to its naturally pressure-relieving qualities and falls on the less firm side of the mattress spectrum. Latex has a bouncier feel than memory foam, which helps prevent sinkage.

Innerspring

Made with a base layer of spring coils, innerspring mattresses are bouncy and keep you propped up on the surface of the bed. They usually fall somewhere in the middle of the firmness scale.

Hybrid

If you'd prefer a mix of two or more materials, consider getting a hybrid mattress. Most hybrids combine coils and foam so that you can benefit from the support of innerspring coils while enjoying a soft sleep surface.

The 10 best soft mattresses on the market

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Mattress Lifestyle Photos
Credit: Casper

Best Overall Soft Mattress: Casper Original

BUY IT, $1,095 FOR A QUEEN

For a mattress to earn Mattress Advisor's Best Overall rating, it must appeal to all sleeper types while balancing comfort and support—the Casper Original does just that. Its three foam layers provide plenty of pressure relief, yet the middle layer is targeted to be firmer under the hips and lower back to provide proper support for the spine. This design is a winning combination for back, side, and stomach sleepers.

Even though the bed is all-foam, which can cause a "stuck" feeling, it scored an impressive 10/10 for responsiveness, meaning it's easy to move around on—great for combination sleepers who change positions throughout the night. The Casper can even suit hot sleepers, thanks to its breathable, open-cell foams. As to softness, it scored a 6/10 which is perfect for that medium-soft, more balanced feel.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (coils, latex, and memory foam)
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9.1/10
  • Firmness: Medium (6/10)
  • Trial Period for Returns: 100 nights
Mattress Lifestyle Photos
Credit: Saatva

Best Affordable Luxury: Saatva Classic

BUY IT, $1,574 FOR A QUEEN

The Saatva Classic comes in three firmness levels, but the plush option is the way to go if you're looking for a soft luxury mattress. The bed's quilted Euro top lets you sink into the surface, and the dual steel coil layers keep your spine in alignment, so you wake up refreshed and pain-free. In fact, the mattress scored a 9.5/10 for spine alignment in the Mattress Advisor testing lab.

For its price of less than $2,000, the Saatva features eco-friendly materials like an organic cotton cover and recycled steel coils—meaning you get a premium innerspring mattress for an excellent value. And unlike other online brands, Saatva also offers free white glove delivery with your purchase, so you won't have to lift a finger when your new mattress arrives. 

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (foam and coils)
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.7/10
  • Firmness: Plush-soft (3/10), luxury-firm (6/10), or firm (8/10)
  • Trial Period for Returns: 180 nights
Mattress Lifestyle Photos
Credit: Helix

Best Hybrid: Helix Sunset

BUY IT, $1,099 FOR A QUEEN

Resting at a 3 out of 10 on the firmness scale, the Helix Sunset is much more plush than other hybrid mattresses. Built with side sleepers in mind, the soft-touch cover of the bed makes you feel like you're encased in a marshmallow. Thanks to a layer of stabilizing coils that provide airflow, you'll also sleep cooler—plus, the coils provide premium support for your neck and spine even though the Helix Sunset is not a firm mattress.

While the bed scored highly in most all Mattress Advisor testing categories, it didn't deliver in edge support and motion transfer, meaning it wouldn't be a great mattress for couples. Sleeping with a partner requires that your bed limit movement to one side, so you don't disturb one another, as well as secure edges so you can both spread out. Still, the Helix Sunset is one of the few super-soft online mattresses on the market.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (foam and coils)
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.5/10
  • Firmness: Soft (2.5/10)
  • Trial Period for Returns: 100 nights
Mattress Lifestyle Photos
Credit: Nectar

Best Value: Nectar

BUY IT, $1,298 FOR A QUEEN

With the Nectar, you're getting a lot of high-quality materials for your buck. Its soft, gel-infused memory foam layer offers top-notch pressure relief, allowing you to gently sink into the surface. Then another layer of foam eases you down toward its firmer 7-inch base layer, which provides plenty of support to balance the cushiness. While its cooling cover and breathable foam layers mitigate heat, the Nectar is still an all-foam bed, and it could be too toasty for hot sleepers.  Still, unlike other online foam mattresses, the Nectar comes with a lot of perks, such as free shipping and returns, a year-long sleep trial, and a lifetime warranty, making it an excellent investment.

  • Mattress Type: Gel memory foam
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.7/10
  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10)
  • Trial Period for Returns: 365 nights
Mattress Lifestyle Photos
Credit: DreamCloud

Best Soft Mattress for Back Sleepers: DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid

BUY IT, $1,598 FOR A QUEEN

The DreamCloud Premier mattress is a great pick for back sleepers who want plenty of plushness without having to sacrifice support. Made with five layers of memory foam and supportive coils, this mattress excels at keeping the spine aligned to ensure you wake up pain-free. Plus, it's topped with a cashmere and quilted foam cover for an ultra-soft feel. 

But by far the best feature for soft mattress lovers is the Premier's posh, 2-inch Euro pillow top. You'll feel as if you're luxuriating in a plush hotel mattress. (Too soft? Then you can firm it up with the original DreamCloud mattress.) Compared to similar beds that have a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty, the Premier comes with a full-year sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (foam and coils)
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9/10
  • Firmness: Medium (6.5/10)
  • Trial Period for Returns: 365 nights
Mattress Lifestyle Photos
Credit: Layla

Best Soft Memory Foam Mattress: Layla

BUY IT, $1,099 FOR A QUEEN

The flippable Layla bed features two different firmness levels (soft and firm) in a single mattress, setting it apart from other memory foam beds on the market. The softer side has a plush 3-inch surface layer that cushions joints and provides pressure relief for all sleep positions.  And with a near-perfect score in responsiveness, you can enjoy everything about this soft mattress without feeling like you're sinking into quicksand. 

A Mattress Advisor tester told Health that the Layla is very easy to move around on, making it great for combination sleepers who change positions often. Even couples will appreciate the Layla. Memory foam excels at motion isolation, so co-sleepers can rest peacefully all night long.

  • Mattress Type: Copper-infused memory foam
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.8/10
  • Firmness: Medium-soft (4/10) and medium-firm (7/10)
  • Trial Period for Returns: 120 nights
Mattress Lifestyle Photos
Credit: Puffy

Best Soft Mattress for Side Sleepers: Puffy Lux

BUY IT, $1,799 FOR A QUEEN

For side sleepers, a bed that's too firm can cause stress to the hips and shoulders, leaving you with achy joints in the morning. The Puffy Lux is made of three dense foam layers that absorb pressure from your joints, and its gel-infused top layer also responds to your movements. This creates the illusion of feeling hugged by your bed while allowing you to change positions easily.

The Puffy Lux earned a near-perfect score in spine alignment, which—coupled with its medium-plush feel—makes it well-suited for back and side sleepers. (However, stomach sleepers who require more support should check out the firmer, original Puffy mattress, which scored a 7/10 for firmness.) Add advanced cooling technology, and it's no surprise that the Puffy Luxe is the brand's most popular mattress.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9.3/10
  • Firmness: Medium (6.25/10)
  • Trial Period for Returns: 101 nights
Ghostbed Flex Mattress
Credit: GhostBed

Best Soft Innerspring Mattress: GhostBed Flex

BUY IT, $2,130 FOR A QUEEN

The words "soft" and "innerspring" typically don't go together. The latter has a reputation for being more springy and firm, thanks to the coils. But the GhostBed Flex hybrid mattress is softer than your average hybrid bed, with Mattress Advisor giving it a 6/10 for firmness and some reviewers even ranking it a 5.5/10. This means you get the support of a traditional innerspring mattress with the pressure relief of 3 inches of gel memory foam up top. Back sleepers and side sleepers should enjoy just the right balance of comfort and support. And couples will appreciate the bed's ability to absorb motion, so they won't disturb one another when switching sleep positions.

For those who need more cushion, the newer GhostBed Luxe mattress is even more plush than the Flex model, and it also has advanced cooling materials for hot sleepers. Whichever GhostBed you choose, you get a 101-night sleep trial and a 25-year warranty—more than double most online mattresses.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (foam and coils)
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9.2/10
  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10)
  • Trial Period for Returns: 100 nights
Winkbeds GravityLux mattress
Credit: Winkbeds

Best Soft Mattress for Combination Sleepers: WinkBeds GravityLux

BUY IT, $1,799 FOR A QUEEN

The average all-foam bed will cause you to sink too deeply into the mattress, so you feel like you're sleeping in the bed rather than on top of it. When this happens, sometimes it's hard to move around on the mattress, making it challenging to change sleep positions—a must for combination sleepers. But the WinkBeds GravityLux mattress features higher-density foams that are more supportive.

A special targeted foam layer is firmer at the hips and lower back to properly support the spine, making the GravityLux an excellent choice for back sleepers. But the best part is that this mattress comes in three firmness levels: medium, firm and, especially, that hard-to-find soft option. Add a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty, and WinkBeds is hard to beat when it comes to beds in a box.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Mattress Advisor Score: Coming soon
  • Firmness: Soft, medium, and firm (Score coming soon)
  • Trial Period for Returns: 120 nights
Mattress Lifestyle Photos
Credit: Brooklyn Bedding

Best Medium-Soft Mattress: Brooklyn Aurora Hybrid

BUY IT, $1,749 FOR A QUEEN

The Brooklyn Aurora Hybrid's medium option will satisfy sleepers who want more of a medium-soft feel in their bed. Sitting at a 5 out of 10 on the firmness scale, this hybrid provides sturdy support for all sleep positions while still offering a silky soft surface to rest on. The coils buried beneath the three pressure-relieving foam layers produce the pushback needed to keep your spine aligned for a comfortable night of zzz's. A Mattress Advisor reviewer told Health that the Brooklyn Aurora Hybrid scored the highest of any hybrid mattress in its test lab, earning near-perfect marks for responsiveness, cooling, and customer service.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (foam and coils)
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.9/10
  • Firmness: Soft (3/10), medium (5/10), or firm (7/10)
  • Trial Period for Returns: 120 nights

Mattress Advisor's Review Process

Each mattress on this list was put to the test (literally) in Mattress Advisor's lab, which is located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Bedding experts spent over 1,200 hours evaluating and comparing mattresses using a 14-point testing methodology to locate the best soft mattresses you can purchase online. 

While some of the factors tested are tied directly to performance, like responsiveness, edge support, and pressure relief, others are based around brand operations, such as customer service, shipping policies, and trial period. The Mattress Advisor team combines this proprietary methodology with in-depth interviews and customer experience to arrive at a weighted score out of 10.

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