Best Soft & Plush Mattress

Best Soft & Plush Mattress 2019: Top Picks & Buying Guide

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Looking for a soft, comfortable mattress that doesn’t cost too much?

You’ve come to the right place.

While most people prefer sleeping on a medium to medium-firm mattress, some prefer an extra-soft or extra-firm mattress.

A soft mattress is excellent for side sleepers, lighter people, older sleepers (especially those with joint and back problems), and cold sleepers who need a closer hug from the mattress to sleep warm.


What’s in this Guide?

In this buying guide, we review and compare the best soft and plush mattresses to help you find the most comfortable one.


Best Soft & Plush Mattresses: Comparison Table

MattressWhy We Picked It ConstructionTrial Period, Warranty Price
Nolah Signature 12
Nolah Signature 12
Softest foam mattressAirFoam™ + polyfoam 120 days, lifetime $$$
Purple 4
Purple 4
Best soft cooling mattressHyper-Elastic Polymer + polyfoam + pocket coils100 days, 10 years$$$$
Brooklyn Bedding Spartan
Brooklyn Bedding Spartan
Best soft luxuryCopper-infused foam, TitanFlex, gel memory foam, pocket coils and poly foam120 days, 10 years$$$$
Layla
Layla
Best soft budget foamGel & copper memory foam + polyfoam120 days, lifetime$$
Puffy Original
Puffy Original
Best soft memory foamGel memory foam + polyfoam101 days, lifetime$$
Winkbeds
Winkbeds
Best soft hybridGel memory foam + polyfoam + coils120 days, lifetime$$$$

Best Soft & Plush Mattresses: Reviews

Softest Foam Mattress: Nolah Signature 12

Nolah Signature 12

Soft does not always mean comfortable. Some soft mattresses are so because of poor quality materials and construction.

The Nolah Signature 12 mattress, however, provides a soft and plush feel without compromising support.

You sink comfortably into the mattress, but it still supports and holds you up in all the right places. The secret is the deep-support design.

It also helps that there’s no memory foam anywhere in the mattress, which eliminates the hot and trapped feeling you get with cheap memory foam mattresses.

The top layer is made from a proprietary type of foam called AirFoam. It’s more supportive than memory foam and doesn’t retain heat.

Nolah has designed the top layer to be soft. You’ll feel instant pressure relief as the foam wraps around your curves and pressure points.

Below the top layer are two more layers of denser foam – 1.5” high resilience foam and 7” high-density foam – that ensure you don’t sink in too far. This is the deep-support design I mentioned. The mattress feels plush without making you feel trapped.

At the very bottom is another layer of 1” Airfoam, this one firmer than the one on top.

Why does the mattress need another Airfoam layer at the bottom? Because it is a two-sided mattress.

If later, you find you prefer a firmer sleeping surface, just flip the mattress and sleep on the firmer side. It saves you the hustle and cost of buying a new mattress or a firm mattress topper.

The 12” mattress is wrapped in an organic cotton cover that wicks away sweat and helps you sleep cool.

Mattress Details

Financing: Yes, through Klarna

Shipping: Free shipping to 48 continental US states. No deliveries to Hawaii & Alaska

Help with the setup: No

In-home trial: 120 nights

Warranty: Lifetime (First 15 years non-prorated)

Pros

  • Plush and supportive.
  • Adjustable firmness.
  • Sleeps cool.
  • Breathable cotton cover
  • Free shipping & returns.
  • Long in-home trial period and warranty.

Cons

  • Fair edge support – not as good as in latex or hybrid mattresses.
  • No mattress setup.


Best Soft Cooling Mattress: Purple 4

Purple 4

Purple is one of the few companies that have deviated from the traditional foam mattress design.

Instead of the usual memory foam or latex foam, Purple mattresses use Hyper-Elastic Polymer, a flexible rubber-like material that contours better than memory foam and has no heat retention.

The Purple 4 is their most expensive mattress. It’s also the softest and most luxurious. It’s a hybrid mattress consisting of the polymer material, foam, and pocketed springs.

The first layer is 4” of Hyper-Elastic Polymer. It has the famous Purple Grid design that provides customized support and pressure relief.

Grids on the mattress respond to your specific sleeping position, physique, and weight, either falling to relieve pressure or staying upright to provide support.

They’ll typically collapse around high-pressure points such as your shoulders and hips to prevent discomfort and stay upright on your back and lower body to provide support.

Compared to the 2” and 3” polymer grids used in other Purple mattresses, the 4” one feels substantially softer and plusher.

The result is that you sink more into the mattress. It feels like a pillow top mattress but with better support.

Below the grid is a thin transition layer of polyfoam followed by a 7.5” pocketed spring base.

The base provides deep support, ensuring you don’t crater. That’s why the Purple 4 mattress feels comfortable even for overweight sleepers, despite being softer.

The pocket springs also give the mattress some extra bounce (great for sex), improve ventilation to keep the bed cool, and isolate motion to ensure couples sleep peacefully.

The cover is a blend of polyester, viscose, and lycra. It feels soft, stretchy, and durable. It’s also breathable and does a great job wicking away moisture.

Mattress Details

Financing: Yes, through Affirm

Shipping: Free shipping to 48 continental US states

Help with the setup: Yes + old mattress delivery (free)

In-home trial: 100 nights with free returns

Warranty: 10 years, non-prorated

Pros

  • Luxury sleeping experience.
  • Sleeps cool.
  • Responsive.
  • Great edge support.
  • Free shipping, in-home setup, and old mattress removal.

Cons

  • Pricey.
  • Very heavy – difficult to move.


Best Soft Luxury: Brooklyn Bedding Spartan

Brooklyn Bedding Spartan

Brooklyn Bedding is a decades-old outfit that manufacturers their mattresses (most online mattress companies contract third party manufacturers).

Doing their manufacturing ensures continued innovation and high-quality products.

One of the most comfortable mattresses to roll out of their factory is the Spartan, a 13.5” luxury mattress packed with lots of innovative and interesting features.

It’s available in three firmness settings. Since you are looking for a soft and plush mattress, select the ‘Soft’ Spartan.

The cover is one of the most interesting components of the Spartan mattress. It’s made from performance fabric.

The fabric fibers reflect your body heat in the form of far infrared rays that improve sleep quality and enhance body recovery. It’s especially helpful for athletes and anyone who has a highly active lifestyle.

The first layer under the cover is made from copper-infused foam. Brooklyn Bedding calls it CopperFlex. The copper helps conduct heat away from the mattress and also has anti-bacterial properties.

This layer is also infused with TitanCool, a water-based material that has high heat conductivity. It draws heat away from the mattress.

The second layer consists of a responsive foam Brooklyn Bedding calls TitanFlex. It distributes your weight evenly and keeps you from sinking too deep into the mattress.

The cloud-like foam adapts to your body, providing comfortable contouring in all sleeping positions.

The third layer is the gel-infused memory foam. It enhances contouring without heating the mattress.

The core 8” layer consists of pocketed coils that improve airflow, provide motion isolation, and improve mattress responsiveness. They also provide compression and edge support.

A thin, high-density polyfoam layer at the bottom provides further support and holds the mattress together.

The Brooklyn Bedding Spartan mattress is understandably pricey. For a cheaper alternative, try Layla's softer foam construction, which we talk about next.

Mattress Details

Financing: Yes, through Affirm

Shipping: Free shipping to 48 continental US states. $125 per mattress for deliveries to Hawaii and Alaska.

Help with the setup: No

In-home trial: 120 nights with free returns

Warranty: 10 years, non-prorated

Pros

  • Luxury sleeping experience.
  • Sleeps cool.
  • Great edge support.
  • Responsive.

Cons

  • Pricey.
  • No in-home set-up.


Best Soft Budget Foam: Layla

best cooling mattress pad

If you are on a tight budget, we recommend the Layla mattress. It’s the cheapest mattress among our picks.

Despite the lower price tag, it’s just as comfortable as the other mattresses. Maybe not as luxurious, but you’ll enjoy the support and contouring it provides.

It is a two-sided mattress like the Nolah Signature 12. One side is soft while the other is firm. So if your comfort needs a change after some time, you can just flip the mattress to adjust firmness.

The Layla mattress focuses a lot on keeping you cool, starting right from the surface of the mattress.

The cover has thermo-gel cooling technology that activates when your body gets warm. The fabric itself is breathable, which allows heat in the mattress to dissipate.

The first memory foam layer is also designed to enhance cooling performance. It’s infused with both copper and cooling gel to help dissipate excess heat away from the mattress.

The copper also provides a healthy anti-bacterial sleeping environment that keeps the mattress fresh and smell-free.

Being memory foam, it feels soft and plush. It envelops your body in a pressure-relieving hug that feels especially comfortable if you are a side sleeper.

The second layer consists of channeled Max AirFlow foam. It has small channels to allow heat to escape and cool air to flow within the mattress.

It also features a zoned design to provide customized support to different sections of your body.

The core layer is a 4” slab of high-density foam that provides deep compression support no matter which side of the mattress you sleep on.

Below the core layer is a layer of copper-gel memory foam that acts as the comfort layer when the mattress is flipped. It’s just 1” thick, which makes the flip side much firmer than the softer side with a 3” memory foam layer.

Mattress Details

Financing: Yes, through Affirm

Shipping: Free shipping to 48 continental US states. Extra charges for deliveries to Hawaii and Alaska.

Help with the setup: No

In-home trial: 120 nights with free returns

Warranty: Lifetime, non-prorated

Pros

  • Affordable, but comfortable.
  • Soft and plush comfort memory foam construction.
  • Sleeps cool.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • Long in-home trial.

Cons

  • Not as responsive as hybrid mattresses with pocket coils.
  • Fair edge support.


Best Soft Memory Foam: Puffy Original

Puffy Mattress Review

A memory foam mattress is a solid choice if you are looking for a soft mattress. Memory foam is generally softer and more pliable than latex foam and most proprietary foams.

The Puffy original mattress (they have a new firmer one called Puffy Lux)is softer than most memory foam mattresses, which tend to be medium firm. The Puffy mattress falls in the soft to medium range (around 4-5/10).

Most of the softness comes from the gel memory foam layer at the top. It provides instant pressure relief and adaptive support.

It’s not quite at the level of a pillow top mattress, but it feels plusher than most foam mattresses. You’ll love it if you are a side sleeper or generally prefer sleeping on a softer mattress.

The second layer is a specially designed type of polyfoam that has less heat retention than memory foam — puffy calls it ClimateComfort foam.

Combined with the gel in the top layer, the ClimateComfort foam helps keep the mattress cool.

The final layer is a standard high-density polyfoam base that provides deep compression support and durability.

The Puffy mattress comes with a breathable stain-resistant cover that is Oeko-Tex® certified. It’s easy to wipe spills off the fabric.

For a deeper clean, you can unzip the cover and throw it in the washer.

Being an all-foam mattress, Puffy doesn’t have as much responsiveness as hybrid mattresses with pocket coils. It also suffers a bit when it comes to edge support.

On the upside, it’s a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than hybrid mattresses.

Mattress Details

Financing: Yes, through Klarna

Shipping: Free shipping to 48 continental US states. Extra charges for deliveries to Hawaii and Alaska.

Help with the setup: No

In-home trial: 101 nights with free returns

Warranty: Lifetime, non-prorated

Pros

  • Affordable, but comfortable.
  • Sleeps cool.
  • Stain-resistant cover.
  • Lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • Less edge support and responsiveness compared to hybrid mattresses.


Best Soft Hybrid: Winkbeds

Winkbeds

Hybrid mattresses are some of the most comfortable mattresses. The combination of foam and coils enhances support, increases mattress longevity, and improves overall comfort.

Winkbeds is our top recommendation for those looking for a soft hybrid mattress.

It comes in four firmness levels. Pick the ‘Softer’ firmness level.

Like most other hybrid mattresses, Winkbeds is a luxury mattress made with premium materials.

It has a Euro-pillow top with a plush quilted cover like Dreamcloud, another popular luxury mattress.

The Tencel cover is cooler and wicks moisture better than cotton or linen. The pillow top has ultra-soft gel foam quilted into it, providing instant pressure relief when you lie on the mattress. The gel helps keep the surface of the mattress cool.

Below the pillow top are four layers that provide the perfect balance between soft contouring and firm support.

They include two polyfoam layers (one that is infused with the gel), foam-encased pocket micro-coils for body contouring, and a lumbar cotton pad for targeted back support and spinal alignment.

Then there’s the base section consisting of 7.5” pocketed coils encased in polyfoam.

The pocketed coil base provides deep support and isolates motion to ensure couples sleep comfortably. It also helps with airflow within the mattress.

The coil layer has a zoned design with 7 zones that provide targeted support and contouring.

That’s not all. There’s a coil system going around the edge of the mattress to provide edge support. The company calls it EXTRA-EDGE™. It allows you to sleep on or near the edge of the mattress without feeling like you are going to fall off. It’s especially helpful for couples who share a bed.

This is not your usual mattress. It has more layers, higher quality materials, and a more advanced design than even most hybrid mattresses we have reviewed.

It’s not a surprise that it’s also more expensive. But if you want a luxurious and plush hybrid mattress, Winkbeds fits the bill.

Mattress Details

Financing: Yes, through bread

Shipping: Free shipping

Help with the setup: Yes (at a fee)

In-home trial: 120 nights with free returns

Warranty: Lifetime, non-prorated

Pros

  • Luxurious sleeping experience.
  • Sleeps cool.
  • Great edge support.
  • Home setup available.
  • Lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • Pricey.


How Is Mattress Firmness Measured?

softest mattress

Terms like soft, medium, and firm are often used to describe different levels of mattress firmness. But what determines how firm or soft a mattress is?

One way to measure firmness is by feel. You can sleep on the mattress and say whether it feels soft, firm, or somewhere in the middle.

But this is a very subjective method that depends on body weight, sleeping position, and other factors. A mattress you may experience as a firm may feel medium to someone else.

A more objective measure of firmness is ILD or Indentation Load Deflection. It’s calculated by determining how many lbs of pressure it takes to ident a 4” thick piece of foam by 25%.

ILD is typically given as a range. E.g., 12-15. Bigger numbers indicate a firmer mattress.

The soft foam has an ILD rating between 14 (very plush) and 24 (soft). ILD between 32 and 44 is in the firm range. ILD between 24 and 32 describes a medium-firm mattress.

Note that latex mattresses have different ILD ratings. A plush latex mattress has 16.5-22.5 ILD, a medium mattress 26.5-30.5 ILD, and a firm latex mattress have 30.5-34.5 ILD.

One problem with ILD ratings – other than that, they can be hard to remember when you are shopping – is that they describe the firmness of just one layer.

An entire mattress with several layers cannot have a single ILD rating. And since all layers influence mattress firmness, knowing the ILD of one or two layers is not very informative.

There’s another more rudimentary measure of firmness that consists of a 1-10 scale starting from very soft to very firm.

2-3: Plush/extra-soft

3-5: Soft

5-6: Medium

6-7: Medium firm (Luxury firm/gentle firm)

7-9: Extra firm

The scale can vary slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer, but it indicates increasing firmness from 1 to 10.

Since this scale describes the firmness of the mattress as a whole, it gives you a better idea of what to expect.

Ultimately, no matter how you measure mattress firmness, what a mattress feels like is subjective.

Until you buy the mattress and sleep on it for a couple of weeks, it’s hard to tell exactly how firm it will feel for you.

Virtually all online mattress companies offer generous in-home trial periods with free returns. So you are not taking a risk buying a mattress you are not sure will be comfortable.

If it turns out to be too firm or too soft – give it 2-4 weeks to be sure – you can send it back and try another one.


Mattress Support vs. Firmness

pillowtop mattress

Mattress support and firmness are related, but they are not the same thing.

Mattress support is the ability of the mattress to maintain proper spinal alignment or your natural body curvature.

Mattress firmness refers to how soft or firm the mattress is.

A soft mattress can just be as supportive as a firm mattress as long as it provides good spinal alignment. That means it supports your back while allowing high-pressure points like shoulders and hips to sink slightly into the mattress.

The most important thing is to make sure the mattress is right for you.

  • If you are overweight or have a bigger body, a firmer mattress provides more support by ensuring you don’t sink in too much into the mattress.
  • If you weigh less than average, a softer mattress will provide a better balance between support and contouring. It’ll allow your pressure points to sink into the mattress while holding up your back.
  • If you are a back sleeper, a medium-firm or firm mattress is ideal, depending on your weight.
  • If you are a stomach sleeper, a firm mattress provides the best spinal alignment.
  • For side sleepers, a soft to medium mattress provides the best support and contouring.
  • For combination sleepers, a medium-firm mattress provides the best comfort in all sleeping positions.

Benefits of a Softer Mattress

Improved Pressure Relief

A softer mattress contours to your body better than a firm mattress. This relieves pressure on areas like the shoulders and hips and provides more overall comfort.

This is especially helpful for sleepers who toss and turn a lot at night because of discomfort.

Better Motion Isolation

If your partner turns and tosses a lot at night, a soft mattress reduces motion transfer, ensuring you don’t feel any of their movements.

Sleep Warmer

Admittedly, a warmer mattress is not something most people look for when shopping for a mattress. If anything, you want the opposite.

But if you are a naturally cold sleeper or live in a cold climate, a warm mattress will help you sleep more comfortably.

A softer mattress is generally warmer since it has more contact with your body and retains more heat.

Suitable for Back and Joint Pain

If you have joint, back, hip, or shoulder pain, a softer mattress exerts less pressure on those painful parts. It won’t treat the pain but can help keep it from getting worse.


Do soft mattresses “sleep hot”?

plush mattress

Soft mattresses wrap closer to your body, which makes them absorb and retain more heat compared to firmer mattresses.

Soft mattresses with memory foam feel even warmer since memory foam traps more heat than other types of foam.

Some people love the warmer sleeping experience of a softer mattress. But if you are a hot sleeper, have night sweats, or experience hot flushes, it can be a problem.

If you want to sleep on a soft mattress without feeling hot, here are some helpful tips.

  • Look for a soft hybrid mattress with innersprings. Coils improve airflow within the mattress, reducing the amount of heat that is trapped inside. Hybrid mattresses generally sleep cooler than all-foam mattresses.
  • Look for a soft mattress where the memory foam is used in the bottom layers. This reduces its heat-retention, which helps keep the mattress cooler.
  • Get a soft mattress with a breathable cover made from cotton, Tencel, or bamboo.
  • Use breathable bedding to reduce the amount of heat trapped under the blanket or comforter.

Do Soft Mattresses Help with Back Pain?

mattress support and spinal alignment

Health experts recommend that people with back pain sleep on a medium-firm mattress. It provides the best back support and spinal alignment.

But a soft mattress can also help with back pain as long as it has firmer support layers and a firm base. The underlying support layers prevent you from sinking too deep, which ensures your spine is aligned naturally.

Check the structure of the mattress.

It should have a soft comfort section, which may include a plush pillow top, a firmer support section (one or two layers made from firmer foam), and a thick base consisting of high-density polyfoam or coils.


Who Should Get a Softer Mattress?

Soft Mattresses for Back Pain

Side sleepers

Because of more pressure points as exposed when you sleep on your side (shoulder and hip), side sleepers sleep better on a softer mattress.

The soft foam contours more easily around pressure points, providing pressure relief.

A soft mattress is especially comfortable for heavier side sleepers. The mattress easily absorbs the extra pressure exerted by the added bodyweight.

Cold Sleepers

As we’ve discussed, soft mattresses generally sleep warmer. This is a problem for some people but a plus for cold sleepers.

If you naturally feel cold at night, a soft mattress can provide just the right amount of warmth without overheating you.

Low BMI/Lighter people

For lighter sleepers, even a medium-firm mattress can feel uncomfortably firm. That’s because their body doesn’t exert enough pressure to sink into the mattress and enjoy a nice comfortable hug.

This can cause discomfort, especially around pressure points, as they dig into the firm foam. It can also result in spinal misalignment, resulting in back pain.

A softer mattress provides better contouring and spinal alignment.

Older People

Seniors tend to have a lot of pain problems, usually in the back and joints. A soft mattress cushions any sensitive points from pressure and discomfort.

Sleep Apnea Sufferers and Snorers

Doctors recommend that apnea sufferers, as well as snorers, sleep on their side. A soft mattress is the most comfortable for side sleeping.

Just make sure it has a supportive base to avoid back problems.


Who Should Avoid a Soft Mattress?

Big fig mattress

Stomach & Back Sleepers

Stomach and back sleepers need a firmer mattress to maintain natural spine alignment. A soft mattress can cause back pain and affect sleep quality.

Heavier Folks

If you are overweight or have a bigger body, a soft mattress is not ideal. You’ll sink too far deep, causing spinal misalignment and back pain.

Look for a medium-firm or firm mattress.

Hot Sleepers

Some people may love the warmer feel of soft mattresses. But if you are a hot sleeper, you’ll find a firmer mattress to be cooler and more comfortable.

If you still want to sleep on a soft mattress, see some cooling tips above.

Back Pain Sufferers

Some soft mattresses can feel comfortable for back pain sufferers. But for many people with back pain, a medium-firm mattress is a more comfortable choice.

Children

Infants, toddlers, and kids should sleep on a firm mattress. This is especially important for infants. A firm mattress reduces the risk of suffocation and SDS.

Arthritis Sufferers

Though a soft mattress can provide good pressure relief for aching joints, it can cause spinal misalignment and make it harder to change positions at night.

Experts recommend a medium-firm mattress with a soft comfort layer and a firmer support layer.


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