If the story of Goldilocks taught us anything, it's that comfort is subjective. When it comes to your bed, the softest, most comfortable mattress for you depends on your body size and preferred sleeping position.
But if you're like Mama Bear and prefer your bed on the softer side, we've kicked off your research by rounding up some of the best soft mattresses on the market today. From our more affordable option to our most eco-friendly pick, there's bound to be a soft bed for you on this list.
A peek at the best soft mattresses of 2023:
A peek at the best soft mattresses of 2023:
Who needs a soft mattress?
Finding a mattress that fits your preferences can make a huge difference in getting the quality sleep you need, according to Seema Bonney, M.D., founder and director of the Anti-Aging & Longevity Center of Pennsylvania.
"The type of mattress you sleep on absolutely influences how you are going to sleep," says Bonney. "This is one area you want to invest in since you spend a third of your day in bed."
So, how do you know if a soft mattress is for you? Well, for starters, if you sleep on your side you'll likely prefer the cradling sensation of a softer mattress. Back and stomach sleepers will need more support, such as a medium or firm mattress, to keep their joints in alignment.
"Traditionally, firmer mattresses are believed to be better for your back, as it keeps it more properly aligned and keeps your body from sinking at night," says Bonney. "But both a mattress that's too soft or too firm can even trigger pressure points, which can lead to hip soreness."
What to look for in a soft mattress online.
An easy way to start is by considering your body weight and preferred sleep position.
The more weight you carry, the more you'll sink into a mattress—what feels soft to someone weighing 200 pounds will be very different to someone weighing 110. For example, if you weigh less than 130 pounds, anything labeled "medium-firm" or "firm" will most likely not feel soft to you.
And, again, side sleepers will prefer the feel of a softer mattress over back or stomach sleepers, who need more support to stay aligned.
Of course, the easiest way to find out whether a bed feels right for you is to lie on it. And luckily, all of the beds on this list come with at least a 100-night trial to do just that.
Types of soft mattresses:
- Memory foam. For people who like the feeling of sinking into bed, memory foam creates a soft, cradling sensation. They're typically the softest beds you can find but can also run warmer than hybrid or innerspring beds.
- Latex. Similar to memory foam, latex mattresses offer a softer surface and pressure relief. Slightly bouncier or more buoyant than memory foam, it's a good middle ground for folks who like the feel of foam but want to feel supported.
- Innerspring. The mattresses with the most traditional feel, innersprings offer a good amount of support and bounce. They contain metal coils that not only give the bed more structure but also can help promote airflow and help folks sleep cool. However, without a hybrid structure or a topper, they're not often very soft.
- Hybrid. These beds are exactly what they sound like: a hybrid of foam and coil layers to create a combination that brings the best of both worlds. Hybrid beds are more supportive than foam-only beds but often offer more comfort than traditional innerspring beds. The feel of a hybrid bed ranges anywhere from medium-soft to firm.
How we picked:
Although feel is subjective, we picked beds that ranged from soft to medium-firm to ensure the softest options for all body weights—no firm beds here!
We prioritized companies that have exceptional customer reviews (I personally read over 200 reviews for this article) and display transparency about their materials, production, and business practices on their website.
All of the beds on this list are made in the USA and use nontoxic, CertiPUR-US certified materials. There aren't many lower-priced options on this list, and that’s only because we prioritized beds that meet our quality standards and are designed to last.
Almost every bed on this list uses sustainably sourced materials in its mattresses. If a brand is lacking in that category, we'll call it out. However, it's worth noting that it's tricky to find a super soft bed that's also eco-friendly—some of the best players in the green mattress space tend to make medium to firmer beds.
mbg's pick of the best soft mattresses of 2023:
Best sustainable: Birch Natural Mattress
- Added pillow top makes this a true plush bed
- Organic, sustainably sourced materials
- Might be too firm without pillow top
- No handles for moving
Birch is a sub-brand of the popular mattress company Helix with a claim to fame for its use of organic, sustainably sourced, GREENGUARD Gold- and GOTS-certified materials. The Birch Natural Mattress combines steel springs, flame-retardant organic wool, and natural Talay latex foam to provide support, cushion, and comfort.
It's hard to find a truly sustainable mattress option that's all-foam (check out the best latex option at the beginning of this list!), so by nature this bed might feel slightly firmer if you carry less weight. If you're a true soft sleeper and weigh less than 150 pounds, you should consider investing in the additional pillow top to ensure that you're getting the softest surface possible. Plus, with a 100-night trial and 25-year warranty, you'll have a little time to decide if it's the one.
Best budget: Helix Sunset
- Lower price point
- Highly rated by side sleepers
- Not as customizable
- No eco-friendly materials
Need a slightly lower price point without sacrificing quality? Check out the soft Helix Sunset mattress. The hybrid bed combines wrapped coils and memory foam to provide cushion and support. Side sleepers in particular seem to love this bed, praising its softness, and a lot of reviewers comment on the cooling cover—you can also upgrade your Sunset by adding a Silky GlacioTex Cooling Cover for extra temperature control.
While Helix's Birch Natural Mattress (above) is made with organic and eco-friendly materials, the Sunset doesn't deliver in the sustainability department. So if those are important qualities to you, this might not be the bed of your dreams. Helix does, however, make all of its beds in the USA with only certiPUR-US certified materials.
Best in a box: Leesa Legend Hybrid Mattress
- Eco-friendly materials
- Good for all sleep positions
- Pricier option
- Heavy for setup
Leesa has been a big name in the bed-in-a-box game since the very beginning, but the newer Legend Hybrid Mattress ups the brand's game considerably. While Leesa has been a B Corp for years, the Legend is the first mattress design to really focus on sustainability. It contains two layers of recycled coils under a plush foam layer, all wrapped in a soft cover made from organic cotton, merino wool, and recycled water bottles. Plus, for every 10 mattresses sold, Leesa donates one to a family in need.
Is it more expensive than other beds-in-a-box? Yes. But reviewers say this bed is "like sleeping on a cloud" and the "appropriate amount of support, softness, and flexibility." And, if it ends up not being soft enough for your liking, you can always return it within the 100-night trial for free (and the company will help you donate it).
Best for side sleepers: Brentwood Home Oceano Hybrid
- Memory foam feel for side sleepers
- Eco-friendly materials & sustainable efforts
- No customizable firmness
- Might be too firm for lighter bodies
If you sleep strictly on your side, your body needs the perfect combo of support and give. Memory foam shines in that department—and Brentwood Home benefits by adding a thin layer near the top of its Oceano Hybrid. This plush layer tops 3,000 pocketed coils, which provide a layer of support and responsiveness. Additional layers of foam maximize the cushioning for a medium-soft feel.
Just like parent company Avocado Green Brands, Brentwood Home makes all of its beds in California and uses eco-friendly, recycled, and GOLS-certified organic materials. Another big win for the mattress company is that it's Climate Neutral Certified and carbon negative, which means Brentwood Home measures and offsets its carbon footprint.
Best hybrid: Saatva Classic Mattress
- Height & softness options
- Quality materials & durable design
- Free home delivery
- Higher price point
- Spot-clean-only cover
Saatva's Classic Mattress is a luxury hybrid mattress that combines a base of innerspring coils with a plush, organic cotton Euro pillow top. You can customize your Saatva Classic by picking either the 11.5-inch or 14.4-inch height and choosing from three firmness options. For folks seeking a soft mattress, the Plush Soft version of this bed is your best bet.
Saatva beds are never compressed and rolled into a box like a lot of other brands these days, so you won't run into any funky odors when it's brought into your home. Another perk of Saatva is their use of antimicrobial organic cotton and CertiPUR-US certified foams. They're designed to last, so you won't have to change your mattress as often (although you should know when it's time for your old mattress to hit the road).
Best latex: Spindle Organic Latex Mattress
- Sustainable, organic materials
- Customizable feel at home
- On the expensive side
- Adjustable layers are heavy
Labeling the Spindle Organic Latex Mattress a "soft bed" might be cheating; this bed lets you choose your own firmness from the comfort of your home with three removable layers of organic Dunlop latex. Your mattress comes with a layer of soft, medium, and firm latex foam, and you can rearrange them in whatever formation feels most comfortable to you. Just note that the layers are definitely heavy, so transforming your bed might require a second set of hands.
Spindle is a smaller, family-run mattress company that takes pride in using organic and sustainable materials like GOTS- and GOLS-certified organic cotton, wool, and latex. The Spindle Organic Latex mattress is more expensive than most beds on this list, but if sustainable materials and custom firmness are important to you, it's worth it. If you still can't get comfy after 60 days, the company will refund you and help donate your bed to charity.
Best splurge: PlushBeds Botanical Bliss Organic Latex Mattress
- Eco-friendly, organic materials
- Customizable height & softness
- All foam design may run warm
- Higher price point
PlushBeds' Botanical Bliss Organic Latex Mattress is our pick for most splurge-worthy mattress thanks to its quality design and customizable size and firmness. You can decide if you'd like your mattress height to be 9, 10, or 12 inches, and you can select either medium, medium-firm, or a dual-firmness design. Because latex foam is bouncier and more responsive than memory foam, you'll find this bed to be plush yet supportive, especially the medium firmness option.
A key highlight of PlushBeds is its dedication to using quality, sustainably sourced materials. "Latex foam" doesn't sound very environmentally friendly, but it's actually one of the most sustainable options for bedding materials. Plush, PlushBeds' mattresses boast a slew of certifications, like GOLS-certified Dunlop latex and GOTS-certified cotton and wool.
This mattress is a definite splurge, especially for an all-foam bed. But PlushBeds typically offers deals around major holidays, so keep your eyes peeled!
Best for couples: The WinkBed
- Supportive hybrid design
- Multiple softness options
- Spot-clean cover only
- No emphasis on sustainability
The WinkBed is a hybrid mattress, so it contains a thick layer of individually wrapped innerspring coils under a plush pillowtop. It's supportive all the way to the edges, so if you share a bed with a partner (human or canine!) you can make the most out of your sleep surface. Plus, thanks to a layer of gel-infused foam in the pillow top, it does a great job of muffling motion—even for a bed that contains springs.
My husband and I actually sleep on a Luxury Firm WinkBed, and we love it. I'm a combination side-and-back sleeper, and this bed is the perfect balance of support and cushion for me. It truly does feel like a hotel bed, which isn't for everyone, especially those who prefer a super-soft mattress. If that's you, I'd definitely consider the Softer firmness, which is best for strict side sleepers.
The only real negative of WinkBeds is that beyond using recycled metal for their innerspring coils, this bed doesn't have as many certifications or eco-friendly credentials as some other mattresses on this list. They do have another model called the EcoCloud that uses all organic materials—however, you can't customize the firmness like you can with the original WinkBed.
Best for hot sleepers: Layla Memory Foam Mattress
- Flippable with true soft side
- Sleep cools for a foam bed
- No organic or recycled materials
- Weaker edge support than most hybrids
A truly unique option, the flippable Layla Memory Foam Mattress offers both a soft side and a firm side. I've lain on this bed before, and the soft side has a true soft, cradling, memory foam feel. The firm side isn't rock solid, but it's considerably more firm than the soft side. It's also relatively easy to flip solo but easier with a second set of hands.
In terms of coolness, Layla claims its copper-infused gel foam promotes cooler sleep. There aren't any studies to back this up, but reviewers seem to believe it does the job, despite being a memory foam mattress. On the downside, while Layla's materials are all nontoxic and CertiPUR-US certified, there aren't any eco-friendly benefits to this bed.
You can sleep on either side for up to 120 trial nights to see if either side is soft and cool enough for you—if it's not, Layla will refund you and donate your mattress to a local charity.
Best soft mattress topper: Avocado Organic Latex Mattress Topper
- Rave reviews from side sleepers
- Organic, nontoxic materials
- High price point
The Plush version of Avocado's Organic Latex Topper gets heavy praise from reviewers for adding an extra layer of cush to any mattress. Made from GOLS organic certified latex and GOTS organic certified wool, this topper provides a cradling sensation and a cooler surface than you'll find with a memory foam topper. Just make sure you select the "Plush" version of this topper to get the softest surface possible.
A huge perk of Avocado is its sustainability efforts and use of nontoxic, eco-friendly materials. On the downside, this topper is not cheap. But if it softens up your current mattress, it might end up saving you money in the long run. Also worth noting: A few reviewers report that the topper may seem too small for your bed at first, but it flattens out after a few days.
Who are soft mattresses good for?
Soft mattresses are best for side sleepers, as they typically cradle your hips and shoulders with lighter support than firmer mattresses. They're also better for folks who carry less weight—people who carry more weight will likely find them less supportive.
Are soft mattresses good for the back?
Soft mattresses aren't ideal for back or stomach sleepers, as they're typically too soft to provide proper alignment for your hips while you snooze. Side sleepers, on the other hand, will likely find a softer mattress more pressure-relieving.
Do soft mattresses tend to be hotter?
The temperature of a mattress heavily depends on the materials inside. Memory foam beds tend to run hotter, while latex or hybrid beds offer more airflow and temperature regulation. If temperature is a concern, hybrid or latex mattresses will be a better fit for you.
At the end of the day, the best sleep surface for you is the one you actually get a good night's sleep on. Whether your priority is finding a great hybrid for side sleepers or an eco-friendly design that swiftly arrives in a box, this list will put you one step closer to finding the perfect soft mattress.