Best Soft Mattress in 2024 Reviewed by Sleep Experts

Jun 04, 2024
Fact Checked
Here are our top-rated soft mattresses of 2024. Read on to see which soft mattresses made our list.
Written by: Sarah Glinski, RD
Medically reviewed by: Suzanne Gorovoy, PhD

While many people imagine a soft mattress as something they can “sink” into, everyone needs a balance between support and firmness. Different factors will affect which mattress is a good fit for you, such as sleeping position, body weight, and whether you have joint pain. 

The best soft mattress for one person may not work for another. With this in mind, we’ve thoroughly tested a number of the best soft mattresses currently available. If you’re ready to invest in a soft mattress, but are looking for more information before you make a decision, this roundup will help.

Best Soft Mattress Overall: Helix Sunset

The Helix Sunset is the brand’s softest model, and its plush, contouring feel makes it seem as though you’re sleeping in a luxury hotel. This mattress offers an impressive range of features—all for a price that is more affordable than many other mattresses we reviewed.

Best Overall
9.3
Excellent
Helix Sunset
Helix Sunset
100-night trial period
Excellent air flow, and free upgrade to GlacioTex cooling cover and pillow top
Ideal for side sleepers
Price: $811–$1,624

Best soft mattresses of 2024

Best soft mattresses of 2024, reviewed by experts

Best Overall: Helix Sunset

Helix Sunset

Best Overall
9.3 Excellent
9.3 Excellent
  • The Helix Sunset is the brand’s softest model. It offers a plush, contouring feel that is perfect for side sleepers and cooling technology to keep you comfortable while you sleep.
  • It offers an impressive range of features for a price that is more affordable than many other mattresses we reviewed, making it our top-rated best plush mattress.
  • You can get 20% off, plus two free dream pillows, with code SPRING20 as of May 2024.
Key features
  • Price: $936–$1,749
  • Material: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Soft
  • Trial period: 100 nights
  • Shipping: Free shipping
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, short queen, king, California king, RV king
  • Mattress height: 11.5″
Pros and cons of the Helix Sunset mattress
Pros Ideal for side sleepers who need more support and contouring around their hips and shoulders Offers a free upgrade to the Dream Pillow Set GlacioTex Pillow Top, which provides an additional cooling comfort layer Can provide relief for sleepers with joint and pressure point pain Cons Did not perform as well in motion transfer tests Not recommended for stomach sleepers Likely not supportive for higher-weight sleepers (more than 250 pounds)
Additional information

The Helix Sunset is a high-end hybrid mattress with a soft feel. It’s the brand’s softest mattress model and provides a plush, contouring feel and that “sinking in” feeling. It also offers excellent airflow and comes with the option to upgrade to the Dream Pillow Set for free, or the GlacioTex cooling pillow top for $398.70 for its queen size.

Our expert take

The Helix Sunset is a hybrid mattress featuring four layers of foam, supportive individually wrapped coils, and a breathable knit top designed for optimal airflow. Since it’s softer, it can be ideal for side sleepers looking for a mattress that provides contouring support.

Lying on the Sunset mattress, you’ll notice it has a classic memory foam feel with a good amount of sinkage. When you add the optional GlacioTex cooling cover and pillow top, the mattress has a luxurious feel due to the quilted gel foam, which promotes additional cooling and body contouring.

Helix rates this mattress’s firmness as soft, and testers agree, rating it at 5.5 out of 10. For context, the industry standard for a medium-firm mattress is 6.5 out of 10. The memory foam feel makes this mattress a good choice for back and side sleepers with its pressure-relieving support around the shoulders, hips, and knees. Stomach sleepers would be better off choosing a firmer mattress that provides additional support to keep the spine comfortably and safely aligned.

Helix mattresses arrive compressed and rolled in a box, typically taking 30–45 minutes to expand. The company has discontinued its in-home delivery and mattress removal service. Helix Sunset mattresses have a 10-year warranty and come with a 100-night trial period to make sure you enjoy the experience.

Our recommendation

Who may love it

  • Back and side sleepers will likely find it provides good contouring support.
  • Hot sleepers may find the GlacioTex cooling cover option prevents overheating at night.
  • Hundreds of individually wrapped wire coils provide ergonomic support and cushioning—helpful for those with joint pain.

Who may want to avoid it

  • Stomach sleepers should choose a firmer mattress that provides more lower back support.
  • Higher-weight sleepers (more than 250 pounds) may sink further into the Sunset mattress since the coil layers are not firm enough.
  • Light sleepers may find their partner’s movements disruptive due to lack of motion isolation.

Customer service

You can reach Helix customer service through the following options:

  • Phone: Call 831-777-5976, available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET
  • Text: Text HELIX to 67069, available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET
  • Chat: Live chat via the bottom-right corner of the website, available seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET
  • Email: help@helixsleep.com
  • Submit a contact form on the website

Payment options

Credit card payment options are Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Other options are Shop Pay, Amazon Pay, PayPal, and Google Pay. Helix offers financing through Affirm.

The company currently offers 25% off for military members, first responders, students, and teachers. You can’t combine the discount code with other promotional codes.

Our top pick

Best Soft Mattress for Couples: Nectar Premier

Nectar Premier

Best Soft Mattress for Couples
9.1 Excellent
9.1 Excellent
  • Our testers rated the Nectar Premier motion transfer a solid five out of five, meaning it had great motion isolation and no movement when a partner moved.
  • Receive up to 40% off during their Spring Sale.
Key features
  • Price: $1,049–$2,398
  • Material: Memory foam
  • Firmness: Soft
  • Trial period: 365 nights
  • Shipping: Free shipping
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime
  • Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king
  • Mattress height: 13″
Pros and cons of the Nectar Premier mattress
Pros Offers excellent motion transfer dampening, with testers rating it five out of five Ideal for lighter-weight (less than 130 pounds) and average weight (130–250 pounds) side and back sleepers Excellent choice for hot sleepers due to cooling technology in the cover and gel memory foam Cons Not recommended for higher-weight (more than 250 pounds) sleepers, as it may not provide enough support Too soft and may not offer enough lower back support for stomach sleepers May be difficult to switch positions for those with less core strength
Additional information

The Nectar Premier is a medium-soft memory foam mattress. Our testers noted that the mattress provided contouring support that minimized pressure on the hips and shoulders while lying on their sides. It also provided a good amount of support for back sleepers. While some stomach sleepers may feel this mattress provides adequate support, others may find that their hips sink further into the bed than the rest of the body, causing misalignment of the spine.

Our expert take

The Nectar Premier is a memory foam mattress, featuring three layers of foam, a shift-resistant lower cover, and a breathable, cooling cover that uses ActiveCool phase change material to keep you cool as you sleep. It should accommodate back and side sleepers, with testers reporting the level of sinkage as a moderate hug. Stomach sleepers may prefer a firmer mattress with more lower back support.

Our Reviews Team rated the Nectar Premier as 5.5 out of 10, making it a medium-soft mattress. For reference, a rating of 6.5 out of 10 is the industry standard for medium firmness. While it takes a little more effort to move around than a hybrid mattress containing foam and coils, it responds well to movement and changing positions. But switching positions may be harder for those with less core strength.

The Nectar Premier stands out from other mattresses in terms of motion transfer. When testing partner movement, testers found they could barely feel a partner moving, and if they were asleep, they wouldn’t have noticed the movement. This mattress is a good option if you sleep with a restless partner or a pet.

The Nectar Premier mattress arrives compressed in a box. If you’d prefer someone to set up your mattress, Premium In-Home Setup is available at an additional charge. Nectar will also remove your old mattress for an additional fee.

Our recommendation

Who may love it

  • Side sleepers may benefit from this mattress, with our Reviews Team scoring it high for pressure relief for side sleepers.
  • Low motion transfer makes it the perfect option for light sleepers sharing the bed with a restless partner or pet.
  • Its breathable cooling cover and gel memory foam with ActiveCool technology provide dual-action cooling, which is ideal for hot sleepers.

Who may want to avoid it

  • Stomach sleepers may find this mattress a touch too soft and may prefer a slightly firmer mattress.
  • Higher-weight sleepers will likely not get the support they need from this mattress and may benefit from a firmer mattress with more support.
  • Those with less core strength may find it difficult to change positions and may prefer a bouncier mattress.

Customer service

You can reach Nectar customer service through the following options:

  • Phone: Call 888-863-2827, available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT
  • Email: support@nectarsleep.com
  • Chat: Live chat available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT

Payment options

Payment options for Nectar are American Express, MasterCard, Visa, Discover, PayPal, and Amazon Pay. Nectar offers financing through Affirm and Splitit and offers a lease-to-own option through Acima.

Military members, first responders, and health care professionals take note: you can get a 5% discount, but you can’t combine it with other offers.

Best Value Soft Mattress: Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid

Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid

Best Value Soft Mattress
9.3 Excellent
9.3 Excellent
  • Starting at $665 for a twin, the Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid mattress offers outstanding quality at a factory direct price.
Key features
  • Price: $665–$1,664
  • Material: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Soft, medium, firm
  • Trial period: 120 nights
  • Shipping: Free
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, short full, queen, short queen, Olympic queen, king, short king, California king, split California king, three RV king options
  • Mattress height: 12.25″
Pros and cons of the Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid mattress
Pros Responds well to changing sleeping positions Quilted top provides a nice feeling of sinkage, similar to a gentle cradle Offers good motion isolation Cons Scored low on cooling ability, which may be undesirable for hot sleepers Does not offer a lifetime warranty Higher-weight (more than 250 pounds) stomach sleepers may find insufficient lower back support
Additional information

The Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid mattress is a hybrid mattress made from memory foam, latex foam, and coils. It is offered in Soft, Medium, and Firm models. Our Reviews Team reviewed the Medium model, which our testers rated as six out of 10. For reference, the industry standard for a true medium-firm mattress is 6.5 out of 10, so it’s slightly softer than true medium firmness.

Our expert take

The Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid mattress features a quilted top, two layers of foam, one layer of individually encased coils, and a flex base that reinforces the coil core while increasing durability.

Lying on the Signature Hybrid, you’ll notice a nice feeling of sinkage due to the quilted top. Our Reviews Team described this feeling as a “gentle cradle.” We also found that the mattress was very responsive to movement and changing positions, which may benefit those with reduced mobility or combination sleepers. It also offered good motion isolation, with testers only noticing a small amount of motion transfer during testing.

The Signature Hybrid mattress is a good choice for all back sleepers. Lighter-weight (less than 130 pounds) and average-weight (130–250 pounds) side sleepers may find that it doesn’t offer enough cushioning around the joints, while higher-weight (more than 250 pounds) side sleepers may feel a bit more sinkage and support around their joints than other sleepers. While light- and average-weight stomach sleepers will likely get enough support from the medium firmness mattress, higher-weight stomach sleepers would be better off selecting the Firm model of this mattress.

Brooklyn Bedding mattresses arrive compressed in a box and take about 24–48 hours to fully decompress and off-gas. We recommend keeping your new mattress in a well-ventilated room when you first receive it to give it a chance to off-gas before entering your bedroom. Shipping is free, but white-glove service is not available at this time.

Our recommendation

Who may love it

  • Combination sleepers of all weights will find it responds well to movement and changing positions.
  • Back sleepers will find it provides a good amount of support and comfort.
  • Those sharing a bed with a restless partner or pet will find that motion transfer is minimal, making it a good choice for these sleeping arrangements.
  • Those on a budget looking for a high-quality mattress at a more affordable price will find the Brooklyn Bedding factory direct prices appealing.

Who may want to avoid it

  • Hot sleepers may find it does not offer enough cooling features.
  • Higher-weight (more than 250 pounds) stomach sleepers likely won’t get enough lower back support from this mattress.

Customer service

You can reach Brooklyn Bedding customer service through the following options:

  • Phone: Call 623-624-1222, available seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET
  • Chat: Live chat via the bottom-right corner of the Brooklyn Bedding website, available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET and Saturday through Sunday from 11 a.m to 7 p.m. ET
  • Email: support@brooklynbedding.com
  • Website: Submit a contact form

Payment options

Accepted credit card payments are MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Shop Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal. Financing through Brooklyn Bedding is available through Affirm.

The company currently offers 30% off for military members, first responders, medical providers, students, and teachers. You can’t combine the discount code with other promotional codes.

Best Soft Mattress for Side Sleepers: Nolah Original Hybrid

Nolah Original Hybrid

Best Soft Mattress for Side Sleepers
9.4 Excellent
9.4 Excellent
  • The Nolah Original Hybrid mattress scored well for side sleepers of all weights.
  • Receive up to $1,000 off and free pillows on select mattresses during the Spring Sale.
Key features
  • Price: $1,299–$2,798
  • Material: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Soft
  • Trial period: 120 nights
  • Shipping: Free
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, short queen, queen, short king, king, California king, split king
  • Mattress height: 11″
Pros and cons of the Nolah Original Hybrid mattress
Pros Provides superior support and comfort for side sleepers A good option for those sharing a bed with a restless partner or pet Tencel cover and coil design make for good temperature control Cons Does not provide enough lower back support for stomach sleepers Older adults or higher-weight (more than 250 pounds) back sleepers may feel more “stuck” in this mattress and have trouble switching positions Edge support was not great when sitting on the side of the bed
Additional information

The Nolah Original Hybrid mattress is a hybrid mattress with a medium-firm feel. It provides good support and comfort for side sleepers, and its cooling Tencel cover promotes breathability and temperature regulation.

Our expert take

The Nolah Original Hybrid mattress is a hybrid mattress featuring a cooling Tencel cover, two layers of foam, one layer of individually wrapped recycled steel coils, and a base layer made from recycled fibers. The luxurious cushioning from pressure-relieving foam and the Tri-Zone coil system is designed to support the spine and hips of side sleepers while cushioning their shoulders.

Lying on the Original Hybrid, you’ll notice a nice amount of sinkage, making it feel like you’re “in” the mattress rather than “on” the mattress. Our testers described this as a balance that felt comfortable and like a gentle cradle. While there was some motion transfer, likely due to the coils, our testers felt it performed well given its hybrid construction.

While Nolah rates its firmness as medium (six out of 10), our Reviews Team thinks it’s a touch softer—closer to a five out of 10. While this is still technically a medium-firm mattress, our Reviews Team found that because it’s a plusher mattress, you sink into it more than you would expect for a medium-firm mattress, making it more of a soft mattress. The Original Hybrid mattress has contouring, breathable memory foam combined with three zones of steel coils. This provides additional support at the hips and lower back regions.

Nolah mattresses come compressed and rolled into a box. It typically takes about a day to fully inflate and off-gas. We recommend keeping it in a well-ventilated room for the first day or two to allow it to air out before use.

Shipping for Nolah mattresses is free. White-glove delivery is optional and through a third-party site called Load Up. It costs between $125–$300, depending on whether you need old mattress removal, set up, or both.

Our recommendation

Who may love it

  • Side sleepers will likely find it provides good support for the spine and hips while cushioning the shoulders.
  • Hot sleepers may find that the Tencel cover and breathable construction make this a comfortable option that regulates temperature well.
  • Those sharing a bed with a restless partner or pet may find that this mattress reduces motion transfer, making for an undisturbed night’s sleep.

Who may want to avoid it

  • Stomach sleepers may find this mattress does not provide enough lower back support and may wish to opt for a firmer mattress.
  • Those with reduced mobility may prefer a mattress with better edge support.

Customer service

You can reach Nolah customer service through the following options:

  • Phone: Call 866-403-6615, available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT
  • Email: support@nolahmattress.com
  • Chat: Live chat via the bottom-right corner of the website, available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT

Payment options

Nolah accepts MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Shop Pay, and PayPal. Financing is available through Affirm.

The brand currently offers $50 off for military members and their families, as well as health care workers. You can’t combine this discount with other promotional codes.

Best Pillow Top Soft Mattress: Bear Star Hybrid

Bear Star Hybrid

Best Pillow Top Soft Mattress
9.4 Excellent
9.4 Excellent
  • The Star Hybrid mattress is our favorite soft pillow top mattress because it provides a luxurious, soft feel without sacrificing support.
  • 35% off sitewide, plus $400 in free sleep accessories with code FRESH.
Key features
  • Price: $1,498–$3,196
  • Material: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Soft
  • Trial period: 120 nights
  • Shipping: Free
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king
  • Mattress height: 13″
Pros and cons of the Bear Star Hybrid mattress
Pros Good option for people who tend to overheat while sleeping Serene gel foam for those who want a luxurious feel without compromising on support Provides joint relief Cons Too soft for stomach sleepers Those on a budget may wish to opt for a less expensive mattress
Additional information

The Bear Star Hybrid is a hybrid mattress featuring a moisture-wicking, cooling hand-quilted pillow top, two layers of foam that offer additional airflow and pressure relief, and edge-to-edge individually encased coils that offer superior support.

Lying on the Star Hybrid, you’ll initially feel the luxurious pillow top, which offers an exceptionally comfortable surface reminiscent of a high-end hotel experience. The pillow top has Celliant woven into it, which may promote muscle recovery, according to Bear.

Our testers rate the firmness of the Star Hybrid a six out of 10 for firmness, making it slightly softer than the industry standard of medium firmness (6.5 out of 10). The cooling memory foam atop the individually encased coils makes for a cooler sleeping experience and is ideal for those who sleep hot. It also provides good support for the spine in back and side sleeping positions, making it one of the best mattresses for back problems. The memory foam dampens motion transfer, so you shouldn’t be too bothered by a restless partner on the Bear Star Hybrid.

Bear mattresses are shipped free and arrive compressed in a box. Since it’s made with CertiPUR-US® Certified foams, it doesn’t give off a strong chemical scent. Any odor you do notice should go away within 24–48 hours. White-glove delivery is available through the third-party site Load Up and starts at $100. Delivery cost increases if you need an old mattress or box spring removed.

Our recommendation

Who may love it

  • Hot sleepers may find that the cooling gel-foam and individually wrapped coils provide airflow and keep them cool as they sleep.
  • Those looking for a luxurious feel without compromising on support will love the premium, hand-quilted pillow top.
  • Those living with joint pain may find that this mattress provides the perfect amount of support.

Who may want to avoid it

  • Stomach sleepers may find that this mattress does not offer enough support
  • Some higher-weight sleepers may prefer a firmer mattress that offers more support

Customer service

You can reach Bear customer service through the following options:

  • Phone: Call 844-311-0035, available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET
  • Email: support@bearmattress.com
  • Chat: Live chat via the bottom-right corner of the website, available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET

Payment options

Bear accepts MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, PayPal, Google Pay, and Venmo. Financing is available through Affirm and Shop Pay.

The brand currently offers a 40% discount for military members, first responders, law enforcement, health care workers, and teachers. You can’t combine this discount with other promotional codes.

Compare the best soft mattresses as of April 2024

Cost $936–$1,749 $1,049–$2,398 $665–$1,664 $1,299–$2,798 $1,498–$3,196
Mattress type Hybrid Memory foam Hybrid Hybrid Hybrid
Softness level Medium-soft Medium-soft Medium-soft Medium-soft Medium-soft
Trial period 100 nights 365 nights 120 nights 120 nights 120 nights
Warranty 10 years Limited lifetime 10 years Lifetime Lifetime
White-glove delivery No Yes, for an additional fee of $199 No Yes, through the third-party site Load Up for an additional fee starting at $125 Yes, through the third-party site Load Up for an additional fee starting at $100

Bottom line

When searching for the perfect mattress, consider factors such as pricing, firmness options, trial periods, and sleeping preferences. Our top recommendation, the Helix Sunset, accommodates a wide range of sleepers. But the Reviews Team has tested each mattress featured on this list so you can make a well-informed choice that suits your individual needs.

Frequently asked questions

Based on our testing, soft mattresses are best for side sleepers because they support the spine and hips while cushioning the shoulders. Lighter-weight (less than 130 pounds) and average-weight (130–250 pounds) back sleepers may also like a soft mattress, but higher-weight (more than 250 pounds) back and side sleepers may want to opt for a firmer mattress.

Soft mattresses are generally not recommended for stomach sleepers of any weight because they do not provide enough lower back support.

People with hip pain, especially side sleepers, may find that a soft mattress helps with their hip pain. Our testers found that soft mattresses support the back and hips without putting too much pressure on them, which is beneficial when trying to relieve hip pain.

In general, medium-firm mattresses are best for back pain [1] Caggiari G, et al. What Type of Mattress Should Be Chosen to Avoid Back Pain and Improve Sleep Quality? Review of the Literature. Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology. Dec. 8, 2021. 22(1):51. Found on the internet at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.g . While lighter-weight (less than 130 pounds) and average-weight (130–250 pounds) sleepers may find that soft mattresses offer enough support and contouring to ease back pain, most higher-weight sleepers (more than 250 pounds) will likely feel better with a firmer mattress that offers more support.

In general, memory foam mattresses feel softer than hybrid mattresses with metal coils, but many soft-feeling hybrid mattresses offer a plush feel without compromising on support. You can increase the soft feel of your mattress by choosing a model with a quilted pillow top.

Soft and plush are interchangeable ways of describing a mattress that conforms to the body. When you lie on a soft or plush mattress, you may feel like your body will sink into the mattress. Soft or plush mattresses are particularly beneficial for side sleepers because they support the back and hips while cushioning the shoulders.

Have questions about this article? Email us at reviewsteam@ncoa.org.

Sources

  1. Caggiari G., et al. What Type of Mattress Should Be Chosen to Avoid Back Pain and Improve Sleep Quality? Review of the Literature. Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology. Dec. 8, 2021. Found on the internet at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34878594/
Sarah Glinski, RD, is a registered dietitian and freelance writer passionate about connecting people to information that will help improve their mental and physical health.
Suzanne Gorovoy Medical Reviewer
Suzanne Gorovoy is a clinical psychologist, behavioral sleep medicine specialist, and member of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. She received her graduate degree in School Psychology from Teachers College at Columbia University, her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Case Western Reserve University, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Behavioral Sleep Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.
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