These Soft Mattresses Are Plush yet Surprisingly Supportive
These Soft Mattresses Are Plush yet Surprisingly Supportive
A soft mattress can feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud, helping you get the best night's sleep possible. While a soft mattress may not work for everyone, it’s ideal for light and mid-weight frames and side sleepers. For these types of sleepers, a soft mattress will compress with your body; in other words, it will cradle you, not put too much weight on pressure points such as hips and shoulders and help keep your spine properly aligned. It may seem counterintuitive that a soft mattress helps your spine align, but note that just because a mattress is plush doesn’t mean it can’t be supportive as well.
Here at the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab, we’re constantly reviewing all kinds of mattresses, from popular mattress-in-box options, cooling mattresses, mattresses for back pain, organic mattresses, hybrid mattresses and more. Not only do our Textile experts review brands, materials and features, but we have consumer testers try out each mattress to provide firsthand feedback. We also routinely survey our exclusive consumer panel to get in-depth reviews from a variety of real users. Our latest surveys alone had responses from over 10,000 mattress owners, who answered more than 170,000 questions to help us find the best soft mattresses to buy.
Our top picks:
We recently reviewed this article in July 2022 and stand by our recommendations based on our thorough evaluation process. Our picks below are based on our categorical expertise and thorough tester feedback. Read on at the bottom of this article for more details on who should sleep on a soft mattress, the best materials, how to pick a soft mattress and shopping tips. Looking for more bedding essentials for the ultimate luxurious bed? Check out our guide on the softest sheets available.
If you’re shopping for a soft mattress, you’ll love the Saatva Classic in “Plush Soft”. Compared to Saatva’s other styles, the“Plush Soft” has softer foam and extra padding in the pillow top, making it great for someone who likes a body-hugging feel or for side sleepers that need more contouring.
Saatva consistently earns high scores from our consumer panel for comfort, support and overall sleep quality. We also love the great edge support for getting in and out of bed. Unlike other mattresses that come in a box that you have to set up yourself, Saatva offers free delivery, setup and old mattress removal. They also have a 180-night trial to make sure you love it, though there is a $99 pick-up fee if you return it.
• Height: 11.5 or 14.5 inches • Firmness level: Plush Soft, Luxury Firm, Firm • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King • Trial period: 180 days (with a $99 return pickup fee).
This mattress is a #1 bestseller on Amazon with over 117,000 reviews and a 4.5 rating, is highly rated by our tester panel andis a total steal at under $400 for a queen-size mattress! This hybrid mattress combines innersprings and foam and comes in 8-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch versions. For the plushest option, opt for the 12-inch which has thicker memory foam on top.
Dozens of testers told us it was well worth the price and setup was incredibly easy. One tester notes, "Opening the mattress took less than 5 minutes until I had it on the bed frame." Some testers noted it seemed a bit thin but had no major complaints.
• Height: 10 inches • Firmness level: Medium • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Short Queen, Queen, King, California King • Trial period: N/A
When our tester panel tried this Amerisleep mattress, those who prefer soft beds gave it high marks. This is Amerisleep’s softest mattress and it has several layers of foam, making it a great choice for side sleepers to take the weight off of the shoulders and hips. According to Amerisleep, the top layer of foam bounces back fast so you won’t feel “stuck” when moving throughout the night, though we haven’t tested this in the Lab.
Because this mattress was noticeably taller than other boxed mattresses, it may be more cumbersome to set up by yourself; however, none of our testers ran into any issues during the setup process.
• Height: 14 inches • Firmness level: Ultra Soft • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King • Trial period: 100 days
We love the Casper Nova Hybrid for side sleepers so much that we gave it a spot in our bedding awards. It has firm springs at the base, but the top layer is softer, making it plusher than other Casper models. What makes this mattress stand out is the ergonomic layout. It's contoured to provide more relief around the shoulders with added support around the lower back for proper spine alignment, which helps make it feel soft while still offering support.
One of our testers praised this mattress saying, “As soon as I lie down on it, it feels like it’s supporting my whole body.” Overall our panel has been pleased with Casper as a brand, but if for some reason you don’t adore your Casper mattress, there’s a free 100-day trial.
• Height: 12 inches • Firmness level: Medium Soft • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Short Queen, Queen, King, California King • Trial period: 100 days
As one of Puffy’s most popular mattresses, the Lux Hybrid is 12 inches thick and has six layers of foam for a medium plush feel. In addition to a soft feel, it also has targeted spinal alignment built into the mattress to eliminate pressure points, making it great for someone who also suffers from back pain.
Multiple testers from our panel commented that this mattress is soft, supportive and helped with backaches and soreness. One tester said, “It’s soft, and I love feeling like I'm sleeping on a cloud.” The one downside, is that users noted it tends to retain heat.
• Height: 12 inches • Firmness level: Medium Soft • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King • Trial period: 101 nights
If you are unsure whether you want a soft or firm mattress, this unique Layla Hybrid mattress gives you both. One side of the mattress has soft foam on top for a plush feel, with coils in the center for support. If you change your mind later and need a firmer mattress, you can simply flip the mattress over.
The soft side of this mattress is ideal for side sleepers, and testers gave it high ratings for support. Some side sleepers specifically saying it conforms nicely to your body. It’s also infused with copper particles to help prevent overheating, though there were mixed reviews from panelists about whether the cooling effect works.
• Height: 10 inches • Firmness level: Soft and Firm • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King • Trial period: 120 days
For a mattress that’s soft and has cooling benefits, try the Tempur Soft LuxBreeze mattress. Not only is this mattress the softest of the Tempur-Breeze line with a 13-inch height, but it also has innovative cooling technology. Instead of just feeling cool to the touch, this mattress uses unique phase change technology that helps keep you cooler when you fall asleep and throughout the night.
According to Tempur-Pedic, this mattress keeps you feeling up to eight degrees cooler, and our testers stated the cooling factor is noticeable. Testers also say it has held up well over time, and one said the motion control works well. Another bonus: The cover is removable and machine washable.
• Height: 13 inches • Firmness levels: Soft, Firm • Sizes: Twin Long, Double, Queen, King, Split King, California King, Split California King • Trial Period: 90 nights
Although this mattress isn’t traditionally what one might think of as a soft mattress since it’s not made with foam, it’s still great for someone who prefers a plush mattress because it’s ergonomically designed to help relieve pressure from areas like hips and shoulders. If you want to add even more softness to this mattress, you can also purchase their Plush Organic mattress topper.
This mattress is made with latex, which has a slightly bouncier feel, and the wool and cotton help make it breathable. The cotton and latex are also GOTS-certified and OEKO-TEX-certified which means it’s free of known harmful chemicals.
• Height: 11 inches • Firmness levels: Medium • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King • Trial Period: 100 nights
The best soft mattresses for your bed, including plush yet supportive mattresses in a box for side sleepers, those with back pain or anyone on a budget.