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A good night's sleep is closer than you think with the best soft mattress, and we've ranked your top options.
KJ Callihan is a freelance writer with a background in mental health and education. Her writing often covers product reviews and lists, animals and pet care, food and hospitality, health, wellness, and culture. When she isn't crafting the perfect sentence, you may find her bingeing true crime documentaries, browsing mid-Michigan farmer's markets, and tasting her son's latest homemade cuisine
McKenzie, a Certified Sleep Science Coach and proclaimed mattress expert, has been writing sleep content in the wellness space for over four years. After earning her certification from the Spencer Institute and dedicating hundreds of hours to sleep research, she has extensive knowledge on the topic and how to improve your quality of rest.
Having more experience with lying on mattresses than most, McKenzie has reviewed over 150 beds and a variety of different sleep products including pillows, mattress toppers and sheets. McKenzie has also been a guest on multiple radio shows including WGN Chicago as a sleep expert and contributed sleep advice to over 50 different websites.
A comfortable sleep is important. Nothing compares to that feeling of drifting off soundly asleep, which is mostly supported by a comfortable mattress. We've ranked the best soft mattresses to support your body and help you decompress for that perfect slumber, so instead of trying to rest on a brick, you'll be relaxing among the clouds.
If you sleep on your side, soft mattresses are one of the best options. Petite sleepers love them too, as the best soft mattress can cradle lighter sleepers with gentle contouring. However, larger folks will probably need something firmer since they tend to sink too far into softer beds.
But how can you tell if a mattress is soft or firm just by looking at a picture of it online? Manufacturers typically use a firmness scale of 1 to 10 to give you a general sense of a mattress' feel, 1 being the softest and 10 being a very firm mattress.
We've scoured the corners of the sleep realm for comfortable mattress options, and we'll help you find the right mattress for your needs. Our picks are listed below, each with an explanation of why it's a top-level soft mattress. And if you're looking to upgrade your whole sleeping arrangement, we also have suggestions for the best pillows and the best sheets to suit your sleep position. Read on to learn about the best soft mattress for side sleepers, the best soft memory foam mattress, and more.
The prices listed are for queen size and may vary with sales.
Best soft mattresses video review
Watch CNET video producer Owen Poole review the best soft mattresses for 2023.
Mattress price scale:
$ = Budget: $799 and below
$$ = Average: $800 to $1,699
$$$ = Premium: $1,700 and up
These reflect MSRP or list prices. Sales might make a mattress less expensive, but are always changing.
Type Memory foam hybridFirmness 4 or medium to medium-softTrial 101 nightsWarranty Lifetime warrantyPrice$$$
The best soft mattresses offer sufficient support for the sleeper -- mattresses that are too soft can cause problems with spinal alignment and joint pressure over time. Ideally, you can have the best of both worlds: just enough decadent softness with a spritz of mattress firmness for pressure relief sprinkled in.
The Puffy Lux Hybrid meets these criteria. This hybrid mattress has plenty of softness in its multiple layers of foam. Puffy describes the Lux Hybrid as their most popular mattress, at 12 inches thick with six full foam layers and pocketed coils.
First, there's 1.5 inches of gel-infused cooling foam, followed by another 1.5 inches of plush pressure-relieving foam and 2 inches of moisture-resistant foam. At the bottom of this Puffy mattress, there's a final 7 inches of high-density foam with a coil base to keep things sufficiently supportive and provide edge support. Altogether, it proves a comfy, airy memory foam feel that I find extremely cozy.
All the Puffy Lux mattress foams are CertiPUR certified, meaning the mattress brand creates this mattress type without ozone depleters, formaldehyde, toxic flame retardants or other toxic ingredients. Additionally, they have low enough emissions to meet indoor air quality standards, according to independent testing.
The Puffy Lux Hybrid is also hypoallergenic, made in the US and works well with any bed frame or foundation, including adjustable bases. Read more in our full Puffy Lux mattress review.
If you purchase the Puffy Lux, you'll get free shipping, a 101-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.
$750 off every mattress + free Luxury Bundle ($600 value)
Type Hybrid mattressFirmness 3 firmness levels | Soft: 3 or Medium-soft | Medium: 5 or Medium | Firm: Medium-firm or 7Trial 120 nightsWarranty 10-year limited warrantyPrice$$$
The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Hybrid comes in three firmness levels: firm, medium and soft. The soft version is a pillowy-soft bed with innovative cooling features that bring the body's skin temperature down to the ideal 88 degrees recommended for a full peaceful night's sleep.
Another foam-heavy layered creation with a total height of 13.5 inches, this softer mattress bed has a top panel that delivers immediate cooling on contact, on top of a 1.5-inch layer of the company's proprietary CopperFlex foam, which is antimicrobial, or helpful in keeping the bed bacteria-free. It also contours the body and has pressure-relieving properties. The second layer of the bed comprises 2 inches of another proprietary soft foam called TitanFlex, which is also contouring, instantly responding whenever your body moves.
The third layer is a gel memory foam with additional pressure point relief as well as over 1,000 individually wrapped coils for maximum support and excellent motion transfer. The base consists of even more foam, this time a 0.75-inch layer, making the foam mattress bed more durable with support for the shifting coils.
With your purchase of a Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Hybrid, you get free shipping and returns, a 120-night trial and a 10-year warranty.
Type Latex pillow top mattressFirmness Medium or 5Trial 120-night trialWarranty 10-year warrantyPrice$$$
Made in the USA, the Helix Sunset Mattress Luxe has a plush feel with a 1-2 rating on the firmness scale, the softest bed possible. It's the best soft mattress for side sleepers or those who move around a lot during their sleep, as this mattress comprises six distinct layers, starting off with a premium pillow top with a Tencel material for airflow.
The mattress then has a layer of the company's super soft Memory Plus foam for pressure relief, followed by Helix Dynamic Foam for contouring. After those comes a high-grade ergonomic polyfoam that gives support as well as further contour, while acting as a transition layer to the ones further down. Next are over 1,000 wrapped coils for support as well as spinal alignment. Finally, the base is made of DuraDense foam, another proprietary soft foam mattress material that provides support for the entire mattress above.
Each LUXE mattress from Helix is CertiPUR-US and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, meaning they're made without potentially harmful chemicals. They also feature enhanced lumbar support, have softer top layers and are 2 inches taller than Helix's other, non-LUXE models.
Reviewers say the mattress is pain-relieving and extraordinarily soft, and helps people to sleep through the night. Read more in our Helix mattress review.
Helix offers free shipping and returns, a 100-night sleep trial, a 15-year warranty and financing options.
Type Hybrid mattressFirmness Medium-soft or 3Trial 100 nightsWarranty 10-year warrantyPrice$$$
Casper's goal in designing the Nova Hybrid was to combine the sumptuous experience of a super soft mattress with proper support, and it appears it achieved just that. Its cutting-edge ergonomic support system consists of seven zones strategically placed to keep the spine aligned, topped with the softest foam the company uses.
But with this model being Casper's most plush mattress, the foam doesn't stop there. There are two additional layers of soft polyurethane foam, each perforated to promote airflow, followed by the zoned support system, then a base of polyurethane foam on the bottom with supportive springs and a reinforced border for edge support.
The foam mattress zoned support provided in each Nova Hybrid actually has two layers, one to reinforce the one above it, which are designed to work together to relax the sleeper's back muscles and align the spine.
Casper's foams are all regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to be free of harmful chemicals and have low emissions for indoor air quality. They also use as many as 70 recycled bottles in each mattress cover.
According to reviewers, the Nova Hybrid is extraordinarily comfortable. "It is like sleeping on a cloud," one reviewer said. Buyers also rave about the mattress being just the right combination of soft and supportive, and share that it has eliminated their back pain and other body aches.
If you purchase a Casper Nova Hybrid, you'll get free delivery, a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
Type Memory foam hybrid mattressFirmness 1-2 or softTrial 100 nightsWarranty 20-year limited warrantyPrice
The perfect mattress for strict side sleepers, this bed is a plush gem. It's about as pressure-relieving as a mattress can get.
To start with, the 14-inch thick Amerisleep AS5 Hybrid memory foam mattress features an airy, breathable soft feel cover. This is followed by a plant-based foam called Bio-Pur for contouring and pressure relief; this foam also has an open-cell design to promote airflow. Below that, there's a foam called Active Flex that adds a smidge more softness, and then a transition layer called HIVE for spinal alignment. Finally, the base is made of Bio-Core to promote durability and keep each component of the mattress together for years to come.
Bio-Pur foam is mildew, mold and dust mite resistant as well as CertiPUR-US certified. It also tests low in emissions. Additionally, the foam helps the mattress prevent overheating as, according to Amerisleep, it's more breathable than traditional foams. Read more in our Amerisleep mattress review.
The Amerisleep AS5 Hybrid comes with free shipping and returns, a 20-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial.
Type Memory foam mattressFirmness 3 firmness levels | Medium-soft or 3 | Medium or 5 | Medium-firm or 7Trial 120 nightsWarranty Lifetime warrantyPrice
The Winkbeds GravityLux mattress is targeted toward a range of sleepers no matter what their sleeping position: side sleepers, stomach sleepers, back and combination sleepers, as well as couples in search of motion isolation, and folks looking for relief from back pain. With Winkbeds, you choose your own firmness level when you choose your mattress size so if you prefer, you can be sure to get the softest most comfortable mattress variety available (they offer soft, medium and firm).
Crafted with multiple layers of thick, proprietary foam, this mattress also offers seven layers of support to combine for the perfect soft mattress. From top to bottom, this mattress consists of a tufted cooling-gel-infused cover, then a layer of the company's patented AirCell memory foam, which relieves pressure, dissipates heat and minimizes motion transfer. Another layer of memory foam comes next, called Progression foam, which varies in its supportiveness and softness depending upon what each region of your body needs. Finally, the Atlas Core foam is at the base of the mattress, adding to its durability.
Reviewers experienced relief from back and other body pain after sleeping on the GravityLux soft version. Others stated that it was comfortable for couples, side sleepers and heavy sleepers who use an adjustable base.
When you purchase a handmade-to-order Winkbeds GravityLux mattress, you'll get free shipping and returns, a 120-night free trial and a full replacement forever warranty. This mattress is made in Watertown, Wisconsin.
Type Flippable hybrid mattressFirmness Firm: 5 or medium | Soft: 3 or medium-softTrial 120 nightsWarranty 10-year limited warrantyPrice$$
The Layla mattress is unique in that it has two firmness levels in one. It's possible because it's actually flippable -- it's designed so both sides of the bed are comfy and able to sleep on. One side is around a medium to medium firm, while the other is a medium-soft. Soft bed lovers are going to, obviously, love the plush side of the Layla mattress. It's a light and airy memory foam with copper-infused material to help draw heat away from your body.
The original Layla mattress is made with just foam, so it's going to be better for people who weigh under 230 pounds. If you're looking for more support, however, the Layla Hybrid mattress is also an option. It has the same flippable design, but it's made with strong pocketed coils to add more support and durability.
Aside from the soft mattresses listed above, there are over 100 other beds our CNET Sleep editors have tested. The ones chosen here for our best soft mattress list are among the best of the best, but there are several other beds that deserve an honorable mention.
Brooklyn Bedding Signature: Brooklyn Bedding is one of the only online mattress brands who make and manufacture their own beds, so the prices are extremely fair and reasonable. I'd argue the Signature mattress is one of the best values you can get because it offers great quality and the price of an average foam mattress. However, the Signature bed is a durable hybrid bed made with steel coils, so it's a surprise it's not more expensive. It comes in three firmness levels, but the soft model is rated around a 3 or medium-soft. It also has a bouncy, neutral-foam feel that I predict most people will find comfortable.
WinkBed mattress: The WinkBed is just as comfortable as it is pretty. It's a luxury-hotel-worthy bed with a strong hybrid construction. It's made with memory foam, but it has more of a neutral, innerspring mattress feel. Its pillow top gives it a plush feel, while the innersprings make it feel supportive and springy. Like Brooklyn Bedding Signature, this mattress is also made in three different firmness levels. This makes it suitable for all sleeper types, but side sleepers and those looking for a soft bed will like the Plush model.
Leesa Legend mattress: If you're willing to invest more money into your mattress, the Leesa Legend is quality-built and perfectly plush. It has two different layers of springs, a design only a handful of beds use. However, it makes it extremely durable, supportive and responsive. This makes it a bit more bouncy than a memory foam mattress, which takes a few moments to react to pressure. It's rated around a five out of 10 on the scale or a medium, but its light and airy foam feel makes it feel soft and inviting. It's also more supportive than the other soft beds on this mattress, which some people may see value in.
How we test
Our CNET Sleep editors picked the beds and other products we write about based on editorial merit. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Find out more on how we test mattresses.
Benefits of a soft mattress
Besides being ultracomfortable to snuggle up in, soft mattresses are ideal for side sleepers and petite individuals who seek more pressure relief.
Soft mattresses allow the hips and shoulders to press into the bed's comfort layers, providing pressure relief to those joints.
For side sleepers, a soft mattress will help promote proper spinal alignment because they are more contouring around the shoulders and hips and have more give.
The lighter you are, the firmer a bed feels. Petite sleepers under around 150 pounds may want a softer mattress because the average "medium" firmness mattress will feel more like a medium-firm.
What kind of mattress is the softest?
Most soft mattresses are made with memory foam, polyurethane foam, or a blend of the two. These two materials are great for pressure relief and they can be manufactured to be ultraplush and soft. Latex hybrid mattresses, on the other hand, tend to be the firmest.
Are soft mattresses bad for your back?
If you strictly sleep on your side, a soft mattress will cradle your curves and give under your hips and shoulders to promote a neutral spinal alignment. However, when you're sleeping on your back or stomach, a soft mattress allows your spine to sag into the bed. Beds that offer more support have proven to be more beneficial for people with back pain. So, if you want a bed that offers plushness and support, go for a medium firmness level.
Who are soft mattresses good for?
Side sleepers tend to benefit from soft mattresses the most because they need a firmness profile that cradles the joints around your hips and shoulders. A firm mattress offers little to no give around the shoulders and joints, which can throw off your spinal alignment and cause back pain. People under 150 pounds also like mattresses on the soft side because they exert less pressure onto a bed, making it feel firmer than what your average-weighted sleeper feels.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.