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The 8 Softest Mattresses of 2023 (From Hybrid Memory Foams to Pillow Tops)

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Some people like their mattresses firm (as in “if it doesn’t feel like a slab of concrete, I don’t want it” firm). While we can respect those who need some extra support, we have to admit: We need a little more TLC from our mattresses. So, if you’re anything like us, you’ve probably been using keywords like “plushest,” “softest” and “cloud-like” in your mattress search (only to find that most companies will use the word “soft” to describe mattresses that feel like a brick). We feel your struggle. So below, we’ve rounded up eight of the softest mattresses on the market, plus info on firmness levels and soft mattress types to keep an eye on while you’re shopping.

THE SOFTEST MATTRESSES AT A GLANCE

Scroll down for in-depth reviews of each

WHAT MAKES A SOFT MATTRESS?

1. Firmness Level 

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that mattress firmness is measured on a scale from one to ten (where level one is the softest, and ten tends to be hard as a rock). Yet, according to clinical sleep health expert Terry Cralle, RN, “you should avoid very soft [mattresses categorized as] one to two on the firmness scale.” Per Cralle, “[These mattresses] lack adequate support, [and] because of their tremendous sinkage, they can injure your spine.” So instead, she recommends you go with plush/medium mattresses that fall between three to five on the firmness scale: “Plush mattresses (three to four) feature a soft support and comfort layer (with plenty of sinkage and contour),” she explains. “Of all the firmness levels, however, medium mattresses (four to five) are the most preferred. They are in the middle of the pack when it comes to hug and sinkage [and] meet the needs of different types of sleepers when it comes to conformability [and] support.”

2. Materials and Mattress Types

When it comes to materials and mattress types, there are three categories you want to keep an eye on: Hybrid, memory foam and pillow top mattresses. 

  • Hybrid Mattresses: These mattresses often feature a combo of memory foam, gel and innerspring coil technology—as in, coils that are individually wrapped to retain their tension. Hybrids are the best options for couples, as they’re soft and supportive—without falling too extreme on either side of the spectrum. 
  • Memory Foam Mattresses: These mattresses are made from moldable material that will contour to your shape—and are perfect for relieving aches. It’s worth mentioning, however, that the material can get pretty warm at night (and you want to look for a cooling option if you’re a hot sleeper). 
  • Pillow-Top Mattresses: This is the ultimate mattress for a sink-into-me feel that we dream of as kids. While they’re not great for pressure relief, pillow tops are about as soft as you can get—and many feature memory foam, latex or fiberfill (instead of traditional coils) which makes them more affordable, according to sleepfoundation.org.

3. Trial Period and Returns

One of the perks of buying a mattress online is that, nowadays, most companies offer a trial period that can span from 30 to 90 days (depending on the brand). This means you’ll usually have a 30-plus-day return period if you’re not feeling the mattress after a few weeks. Just be sure to check that the policy applies to your model. Furthermore, if you’re ordering through Amazon, ensure you’re reading the vendor’s specific return policies.

The 8 Softest Mattresses of 2023

softest mattress 1
Saatva
  • Materials: Cooling gel-infused memory foam and pocketed innerspring coils
  • Firmness: 3 (plush)
  • Return Policy: Saatva offers a 365-night trial, and for the first 2 years, the retailer will replace your mattress with a new one at no extra charge. Otherwise, if you're not completely happy with your purchase, the company charges a $99 processing fee for return pickups.

After scoring 94 points out of 100 in a PureWow100 review, it makes sense why our editors are raving over this mattress. “The Saatva Classic [has] the perfect combo platter of comfortable and body-supporting elements,” writes senior editor Dana Dickey. “[It] has a top layer made of breathable organic cotton and three-inch pillow-top cushiness (so I’ve never overheated), and the entire layer-cake of its construction is engineered to provide support where your back needs it most—the top is extra-quilted in the lumbar region, and there are additional lumbar supports made of wire and high-density memory foam. The mattress [also] has two additional layers totaling 1,300 coils in two different steel densities to keep you supported and floating on the mattress, not slurped down into it.” Plus, aside from its soft-yet-supportive construction, Dickey awarded the mattress extra points for its in-home delivery: “After I ordered the mattress online, it didn’t come rolled up in a box. It was delivered by a two-person team that not only set it right atop my frame, [but they] removed and discarded my old mattress free of charge.” 

softest mattress 2
Signature Design by Ashley
  • Materials: Gel memory foam and individually wrapped coils 
  • Firmness: 3-4 (plush)
  • Return Policy: This mattress is sold and fulfilled by Amazon, so you can return it within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. However, if the reason for the return is not a result of an Amazon error, you’ll have to cover the cost of return shipping.

If you’re looking for softness that won’t sacrifice your wallet, this mattress starts at $230—and it’s racked up a 4.5 out of 5-star rating with over 23,00 reviews for its plush, pillow top feel. Here’s the rundown: It features 12 inches of ultra-soft memory foam that contours to your body to relieve pressure (while letting you sink into a cloud-like feel). Then, it also includes a stretch-knit cover that allows for better breathability—and it’s constructed with rows of power-packed wrapped coils help reduce motion transfer (i.e., great for couples). One reviewer writes: “Good luck finding anything softer,” and another raves: “There are mixed reviews as to whether this mattress is soft or firm, [and] I say VERY SOFT.” However, this person also warns: “[It’s] comfortable, but if you are used to any sort of firmness, maybe stay away from this mattress.”

softest mattress 3
Amazon
  • Materials: Polyurethane foam with encased springs
  • Firmness: 4 (medium-plush)
  • Return Policy: Shipping and returns are free. Plus, you get a 100-night trial, and if you opt to send it back, many returned mattresses are donated to charity.

If you’re looking for the plushest, cushiest model from Casper’s mattress collection, the Nova Hybrid is it. Take it from former editor Dena Silver, who awarded this guy 89 points out of 100 in a PureWow100 review: “Those of us who prefer to sleep on our left or right sides need a little more cushioning to avoid waking up with all those aches and pains—but that doesn’t mean we want to give up the support that a firmer model might offer. Casper was able to figure out a happy medium between the two, resulting in this [hybrid mattress] that features two layers of breathable foam and one layer of springs. There are also seven zones of targeted support for a happy back, including a pressure-relieving zone under the shoulders and a touch more support in the areas where your waist, lower back and hips usually fall.” 

What’s more, the mattress is so soft, Silver even provides a warning: “If you don’t necessarily enjoy a super soft, almost sink-into-it feel, this bed isn’t for you…I was shocked to find that I’d replaced my original mattress with an actual marshmallow. My new Casper mattress was so soft, that I had to exert a ton of effort to readjust or flip over since it felt like I was sinking so deep into the cushy foam…I decided to stick to Casper’s suggestion to give the mattress up to three weeks to reach its full potential. And I have to say, this baby firmed up rather nicely. Now that I’m two months into sleeping on the Nova Hybrid, it has morphed into having more of a plush cradling sensation that hasn’t left me with an ounce of back pain nor any achiness in my shoulders or hips.” 

softest mattress 4
Layla Sleep

Best Memory Foam Mattress

4. Layla Memory Foam Mattress

  • Materials: Copper memory foam, cooling polyester cover
  • Firmness: 4 (medium-plush) on one side; 7 (medium/firm) on the other 
  • Return Policy: Layla offers a 120-night trial period, where you can return the mattress for a 100 percent refund with no return/shipping fees. However, the company requires that you sleep on the mattress for at least 14 days before requesting a return.

It’s one of a kind, thanks to its flippable design–but more important–this mattress is about as plush as you can get for a memory foam. On one side, you have a soft mattress that ranks as a four out of ten on the firmness scale, while the other side ranks as a medium-firm seven out of ten. And aside from its versatile feel, what really makes this mattress unique is its dense, copper-gel foam layers, which react to increased pressure with a firming response. Basically, it stays soft and huggy overall while providing ample support around deep compression areas to reduce sinking or sagging in other areas of the mattress. 

One reviewer writes: “Currently using the plush side. The wife, the dogs and I all love it. Extremely comfortable, and does not sleep hot even with fitted and regular sheets on it. I don’t wake up sore like I did with my old mattress. Great to know that I have the option to simply flip it over if I need a firmer mattress.” Plus, another reviewer adds, “I thought I would prefer the soft side but the firm is still nice an plush... I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes soft and plush but also [needs] support.”

softest mattress 5
Nolah Mattresses

Best Pillow Top Mattress

5. Nolah Evolution Plush Mattress

One of the many reasons reviewers are raving over this 15-inch hybrid mattress? Its 2-inch, cooling quilted Euro topper—which was specially designed to offer cloud-like support while drawing heat away from the body. “The cooling materials keep us from overheating at night, [and] we wake up with zero aches and pains. My husband used to have back pain from our old mattress and I had hip discomfort, all of it has vanished with our new mattress,” raves one reviewer.  Aside from the pillow top, this mattress wins extra softness points for its seven-layer design—which combines responsive memory foam with 8 inches of pocketed coils—and its unprecedented plushness. “It is squishy yet supportive; I used to have painful pressure points in my hips and shoulders with my old mattress [and] that has gone away with this mattress],” writes another reviewer. If you buy one, though, spring for extra-deep sheets, considering this reviewer’s warning: “My only wish is that it was an inch or 2 less thick since my sheets just barely fit. But I wouldn't give it up because of that.” 

softest mattress 6
Nest Bedding

Best Mattress for Couples

6. Nest Bedding Sparrow Signature Hybrid

  • Materials: Gel memory foam, pocketed coils and thermic phase-change cooling cover 
  • Firmness: 3 (plush) 
  • Return Policy: Nest offers a 365-night trial, where you can return or exchange the mattress if you don't like it. However, the brand recommends using it for a full 30 days before returning it to give your body a full chance to adjust to it.

Here, another top-rated mattress that’s unlike anything else on the market. It’s a pillow-top hybrid, so it combines individually wrapped coils to isolate motion and responsive “Energex” foam that feels like memory foam (without leaving a lasting imprint on the mattress). And while it also has a “dual split” option, which allows you to choose a different firmness level for each side of the mattress, that’s not even the most impressive feature: Its zipper, which allows you to add/remove the foam layers at any time. 

“We love the ease of having a mattress delivered to our door, but we’ve been burned by too-stiff—or worse, pancake-y—ones in the past,” executive editor Candace Davison shared in a review. “That’s why we were pleasantly surprised by Nest’s pillow-top Sparrow mattress. (And, [nearly a year] later, continue to be impressed.) It’s designed for couples, featuring individual coils that isolate movement, so when your partner tosses, you feel nothing—truly. What’s more, you can swap out the inner layer of foam to adjust its firmness. And you can replace that layer over time, extending the mattress’s overall lifespan, making it an eco-friendlier option too. It’s pricey, but so far, it’s proven to be worth every penny.” 

softest mattress 7
Avocado Green Mattresses

Best Organic Mattress

7. Avocado Luxury Plush Mattress

  • Materials: Latex, wool, cotton and pocketed support coils
  • Firmness: 3 (plush)
  • Return Policy: Avocado offers a 1-year trial where you can return the mattress after a minimum of 30 days. However, it’s worth mentioning that it must be in its original, unaltered state and suitable for donation (i.e., with tags and without stains, tears, excessive odors or soiling). 

If you want a luxuriously plush, environmentally-conscious mattress (that doesn’t sacrifice quality), this number from Avocado is it. The mattress is made from GOLS-certified, 100 percent organic latex—which is great for anyone with allergies and skin sensitivities—and features up to 1,414 pocketed support coils in five zones that are ideal for back and stomach sleepers. We’d recommend its “luxury plush” option, which upgrades the standard’s 11-inch thickness with an attached European-style pillow-top for a total of 13-inches (rated as a 3 on the firmness scale). Plus, the materials are PETA-approved—and some of them are even imported from the company’s farms based in Los Angeles.

“[This is] the most comfortable, soft and supportive mattress we have ever owned,” writes one reviewer. “We ordered the plush [version] of this mattress and were a little worried about the 17-inch thickness…[Nope]—this mattress is a dream! No more back pain. The latex layer is soft, yet provides the lift and support I need…When it arrived, it had a mild animal smell, [but] we let it air out for a day, placed a mattress cover and sheets on it, and could not smell anything from our first night sleeping on it.”

softest mattress 8
Amazon
  • Materials: Cool gel memory foam and high-density base foam
  • Firmness: 3-4 (plush) 
  • Return Policy: This mattress is sold and fulfilled by Amazon, so you can return it within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. However, if the reason for the return is not a result of an Amazon error, you’ll have to cover the cost of return shipping.

With a combination of pressure-relieving memory foam and 14 inches of high-density, cooling plushness—it makes sense why this mattress has more than 20,000, 5-star reviews on Amazon. Take it from this editor, who’s slept on the mattress for the last two years. While the gel-infused foam offers maximum ventilation (aka sweat-free nights), its high-density foam layer conforms to your body and relieves pressure points. Not only did it have the plush, sink-into-me effect I was looking for, but it does exactly what it says: Keeps me cool all night long. That said, it’s also worth mentioning that this mattress might be prone to sinking over time (and I’ve flipped it twice now). However, for the price—coupled with the fact that it comes with two cooling pillows—I personally don’t mind the extra legwork. 

HOW WE CHOSE OUR PICKS FOR THE SOFTEST MATTRESSES

After researching the top-reviewed mattresses on the web, we vetted them based on the type of sleep support, which materials they used, that they fell between three and five on the firmness scale. 

The 15 Best Mattresses in a Box of 2023 


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