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A Buying Guide for the Best Soft Mattress + Reviews

by Olly Mason

It’s time for a reality check. Just because a mattress is meant to be slept on does not mean it will be soft. In fact, even mattresses made of materials with more cushion, like memory foam mattresses, do indeed come in firm options, meaning if you plan on buying or upgrading to a softer mattress, it’s important to understand what firmness level you need. If you’re unaware of the benefits of a plush mattress or whether one is right for you, this buying guide is for you! Read on as we give you the breakdown, followed by a look at the best soft mattress our experts have chosen from eight different categories.

At a Glance:

What is a Soft Mattress?

Who are Soft Mattresses Best For?

Good to Know

Our Top Picks

Why You Can Trust Us

Understanding Soft Comfort Level Mattresses

There’s a common misunderstanding when it comes to what makes a mattress soft. On one hand, softness can refer to the materials used. In memory foam mattresses, viscoelastic polyurethane is responsible for that cradling feeling that is often described as cloud-soft. Innerspring mattresses, on the other hand, use metal coils in their foundation, which physically push on the body. For some, that can lead to a firmer sleep experience that is the complete opposite of foam materials.

Of course softness (or how plush a mattress is) is not synonymous with support. Instead, support relates directly to how well a mattress can keep your body in alignment. Depending on the type of sleeper you are, that will vary from mattress to mattress, but the level of firmness will remain more or less the same. For reference, we rate our mattresses on a scale from 0.5–4.5; to get a better understanding of how to read a mattress’ support gradient, take a look at a breakdown of your BedFIT report.

Pro tip: Did you know NASA approves memory foam for shock absorbency, meaning you’ll enjoy it for how it contours your body, or that wool used in special mattress surfaces like pillow tops or Euro tops can add a level of softness that feels luxurious?

Who are Soft Mattresses Suited For?

Playing Goldilocks with your mattress type isn’t just a hassle—picking the wrong type for your needs can also affect your health. That’s because a soft mattresses is better suited for individuals with lighter frames, especially those who sleep in the fetus position, and even back sleepers. 

Soft mattresses are not great for those who sleep on their stomach, however, since the indentation on the surface creates a crater where the body and spine can bend. Similarly, plush mattresses have the same effect on individuals of bigger statures or even when sharing the bed with a partner.

Good to Know

So, what’s the difference between a soft memory foam mattress and a plush hybrid mattress? Both offer soft comfort that pampers back and side sleepers, except the difference comes down to support. Or, in this case, responsiveness.

A soft memory foam mattress will have virtually zero motion transfer, but since coils aren’t pushing on the body, it’s not uncommon for product testers feel like they’re being swallowed in a plush memory foam bed. That can be a good thing while sleeping but getting out of bed can be another story—not to mention if you have a partner that is adding to the sinkhole. On the other side of the spectrum, soft hybrid mattresses are more resilient, making it easy to get in and out of bed a with less effort.

Of course, body size, mobility, and other factors all affect these considerations to varying degree. Testing a mattress before you buy is a smart way to assess what kind of responsiveness works for you. In fact, responsiveness is one of the factors we check for in our exclusive BedFIT system as part of the over 11,000 calculations and 18 statistical measurements.

To recap:

Say yes to a softer mattress if…

You sleep on your back or side

You sleep alone

You are not overweight

Say no to a softer mattress if…

You sleep on your stomach

You have a bigger body build

You and your partner prefer more middle support

Our Top Soft Mattress Picks

Don’t worry if you’re still undecided on the right soft memory foam mattress or the best soft mattress for side sleepers. Our experts have reviewed the best plush mattresses for you in these eight picks for every kind of buyer.

Best Overall: Sealy® Response Posturepedic Plus Q3 Determination II Euro Pillow Top Soft Queen Mattress-52694051

Front view of Sealy Posturpedic 52694051 mattress

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The billowy comfort of this pillow top mattress from Sealy makes embracing your soft side so easy, you can do it in your sleep. Simply tuck in to enjoy head-to-toe relaxation, from the ComfortLoft knit cover with cool-to-touch technology, down to cool gel memory foam, reinforced edges, and a responsive coil base for extra support. With a support rating of 2.5 out of 4.5, this mattress is a happy medium for solo sleepers and couples alike.

Best Value: Sleep Essentials Applegate Traditional Tight Top Plush Queen Mattress-27410

Side view of Sleep Essentials Applegate 27410 mattress

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Satisfyingly soft slumber doesn’t need to cost you a fortune. Sleep Essentials makes it affordable with this plush queen mattress made with layers of gentle support that are easy on the body. Five levels of patented foam—including one at the bottom for extra absorbency—encase pocketed coils, providing a boost of responsiveness that stabilizes the body all through the night. We recommend nabbing this affordable soft mattress at a low price and splurge on an adjustable base to enjoy truly divine sleep night after night.

Best Luxury: Tempur-Pedic® TEMPUR-LUXEbreeze™ Soft Memory Foam Queen Mattress-10243150

Side view of Tempur-Pedic LuxeBreeze 10243150 mattress

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Looking for a soft queen mattress that goes hard on comfort? Leave it to Tempur-Pedic to make it happen with this luxury memory foam bed loaded with rich features. No other mattress brand offers the cooling touch of four exclusive materials that actively work to draw heat away from the body and promote breathability for truly refreshing rest every night. Talk about a breath of fresh air.

Best Soft Mattress for Side Sleepers: Sealy® Hybrid Premium™ Silver Chill Plush Queen Mattress-52335451

Side view of Sealy Silver Chill 52335451 mattress

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For side sleepers, this Sealy Hybrid Premium Plush Silver Chill mattress brings new meaning to sleeping like a baby. Yet, with a craft of deluxe memory foam on the top layers, reinforced edges, and 20 percent more coils at the base, this pick is equally welcoming to back sleepers seeking joint and pressure point relief. This plush hybrid mattress has thought of it all, from a surface with twice the layers of cooling materials to Allergen Protect technology for healthy sleep on another level.

Best Soft Memory Foam Mattress: Tempur-Pedic® TEMPUR-LuxeAdapt™ Soft Queen Mattress-10741150

Side view of Tempur-Pedic Luxeadapt 10741150 mattress

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A soft memory foam mattress is one thing, but this Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-LuxeAdapt bed is a whole new definition of softness. The secret is 13 inches of pure memory foam that cushions the entire body in gentle comfort. To keep you asleep, this pick is infused with a SmartClimate Dual Cover surface. No more waking up in a puddle of sweat—just to completely rejuvenating relaxation.

Best Soft Hybrid Mattress: Beautyrest® Black® Hybrid X-Class™ Plush Queen Mattress-700810874-1050

Side view of Beautyrest Black Hybrid 700810874-1050 mattress

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Not every soft pillow top mattress can boast that it’s been handcrafted for your comfort, but then again, not every bed is this plush mattress from Stearns & Foster. Perks from this luxury pick include cozy Tempur-Pedic memory foam and IntelliCoil, an exclusive coil design that evently distributes weight for superior support virtually every type of sleeper will enjoy. Take extra comfort in a plush pillow top that offers contouring comfort for those who like their sleep fluffed to the max.      

Best Soft Eurotop Mattress: Kingsdown® Crown Imperial Empire 2.0 Pocketed Coil Euro Top Plush Queen Mattress-27228

Side view of Kingsdown Crown 27228 mattress

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Skip the princess and the peas. Instead, sleep on this plush pillow top mattress from Kingsdown for the royal experience you’ve always wanted, and your body will thank you for. Wake up to total relaxation with the soft comfort of a billowy pillow top with stitching for added texture and luxury, high-quality Joma wool, and a combination reinforced latex, foam, and tri-zoned wrapped coils. It’s like having a 5-star hotel all in the comfort of your bedroom.

Why You Should Trust Our Sleep Specialists

Unlike other chains, Mattress Land is dedicated solely to the art of sleep and always has been since we started our mission in 1996. We’ve made major strides since then and we’re proud to say only Mattress Land uses BedFIT, a specialized sleep science with over a decade of proven results that provides sleep recommendations tailored to your needs. We combine this cutting-edge technology with specialized sleep experts with years of experience and the know-how to finding the right mattress to make sleep enjoyable again.

Best of all, we back qualifying mattress purchases with a 6-month guarantee when you try our free BedFIT system—just another way we’ve been able to satisfy over 13 million sleepers and counting.

Shop Soft Mattresses at Mattress Land

If you’re ready to experience a change in your sleep habits, find a mattress near you with Mattress Land and its wide catalog of mattresses from major brands you know and trust. Whether it’s a soft mattress, firm mattress, or something in between, we’re your local experts you can trust for better sleep.

Shop online, by phone at (877)-477-5337, or at a mattress showroom near you in California, Nevada, Idaho, and Washington!