The Emma Original is an all-foam mattress that can be separated into three distinct layers. The top layer focuses mostly on breathability, the second on comfort, and the third on support. And we believe that each layer does its job perfectly!
And since this is an all-foam mattress with memory foam in the middle, it feels incredibly soft. So, even though the firmness scale shows a six, it feels more like a five. Plus, Emma is generally known for making top-quality mattresses and this is the model that sent them over the top. This should speak volumes to its overall quality!
Click here to read our full review of the Emma Original Mattress.
As you'll see later on, we don't typically talk about spring models when searching for the best soft mattress. However, Reylon has made sure that the springs aren't a problem. This is because the mattress comes with a luxurious pillowtop covered with a natural blend of cashmere and silk!
This means that you're effectively getting the best of both worlds. The different spring layers guarantee a higher level of support than with all-foam models while the comfort layers make sure that the mattress remains soft. So, as long as the price tag doesn't scare you away, you can potentially get the perfect mattress right now!
Generally speaking, Tempur foam is one of the best in the mattress industry, having been created using NASA's own patent as a starting point. In fact, it has even been certified by the Space Foundation. So, you can rest easy knowing that the performance and longevity of this mattress are going to be top-of-the-class.
However, what really makes it stand out is the firmness rating itself. While most medium to high-end mattress brands stick to medium-firm models, TEMPUR ONE leans into the softer side of the spectrum. And this means that it's as close as you're going to get to sleeping on an actual cloud! Not to mention that if you're on the lighter side, your back is sure to be thankful.
First off, this is another all-foam mattress, so, you can expect incredible softness every night. However, it has more going for it than just that. For one, the quilted cover serves to alleviate one of the most common issues with foam mattresses – overheating.
And we say it's the last upgrade you'll ever need as Nectar actually offers a forever warranty! So, while it's not the softest model we've featured here, it's definitely an upgrade for just about anyone.
Click here to read our full review of the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress.
While it might seem odd to see a spring mattress on a best soft mattress listing, it's true. This is because the filling for the Ethan mattress is 100% cotton, completely offsetting the usual toughness of spring models. In fact, it's actually rated as “very soft” on the firmness scale, which is quite rare!
On top of that, the mattress isn't too deep. This makes it ideal for bunk beds and smaller bed frames. So, you can hopefully see why it's our favourite kids' model so far!
With a memory foam top layer along with a quilt, this mattress is a lot softer than the firmness rating would have you believe. Plus, the Miratex foam does an amazing job at minimising motion transfer and keeping the bed calm at night.
On top of that, the 3 Zones come in the form of slightly denser foam that brings some support where it's needed. So, while the mattress as a whole is incredibly soft, your joints still get that little bit of support they need. And seeing how you're getting all of this at about 10-20% of most of the other mattresses we've featured so far, it's quite the bang for your buck!
Click here to read our full review of the Silentnight 3 Zone Memory Foam Rolled Mattress.
To be clear, we're talking about the mattress firmness scale. So, even a medium mattress is going to be a bit softer than your standard model (as they're usually medium-firm). This is likely due to the fact that this model uses a whopping 5 cm of green tea memory foam, allowing your body to sink in without any issues.
On top of that, the mattress sports a quilted outer cover, making it extra soft to the touch. And it even has some denser foams further in, so your body is still being supported as well. Not to mention that you're also getting all of this at a fairly low price!
Now that you've seen our top picks, let's get down to the specifics. What differentiates a firm mattress from a soft mattress? After all, if you're buying a mattress online, you can't just test it out in order to see how soft it is. So, here are all of the features you need to consider.
In order to choose a mattress that's right for your sleeping style, you first need to understand mattress types. On the most general level, this includes foam mattresses, spring mattresses, and hybrid mattresses.
Of these three, memory foam mattresses are generally your best bet since they're by far the softest. After all, the other two mattress types can feature over a thousand metal springs of all sizes. In fact, when getting a firmer mattress, spring models are almost always your best bet. So, if you're looking for the best orthopaedic mattress, spring models are the way to go. But in terms of softness, you should look elsewhere.
Hybrid mattresses tend to also be a bit firmer but they can vary quite a bit. So, while no model is likely to be as soft as an all-foam mattress, they can be decently soft. And if you just want surface-level softness, getting a good pillowtop mattress could be a viable choice as well.
This might seem like a repeat of the previous section but it's actually not. That's because even within the same mattress category, different materials can lead to a slightly firmer or slightly softer mattress. For example, while not a hard rule, a pocket-sprung mattress is typically going to feel a bit softer than an innerspring spring mattress. So, while pocket spring mattresses are still firmer than memory foam mattresses, they can still be a better option than innerspring models.
And among hybrid mattresses, models that have a thicker memory foam layer are going to be softer than those that concentrate more on bigger springs. So, once again, while the softest mattress might not be a hybrid model, there is a range of firmness levels within the category.
Lastly, when it comes to foams, the denser the memory foam mattress is, the firmer it will be. You can even throw in latex mattresses into this category, although they're typically a bit firmer than standard memory foam. But as a general rule of thumb, you should look at soft memory foam mattresses (preferably open-cell) that aren't too dense.
While this is more common when choosing a pillow, certain mattresses can also have adjustable firmness levels. For example, this feature can be found in some waterbed mattresses along with even temperature regulation. And the functionality is rather simple – if the mattress is filled to the brim, it will be a bit firmer than if you let it out a bit.
This applies to an even higher degree with some air mattresses, as they're easier to adjust. In fact, higher-end air mattresses can even come with dual cores. This means that you can have half the mattress be extremely soft and the other half be firm. However, do note that this is not the norm and will raise the price tag.
While this doesn't apply if you're getting a brand-new mattress, we still wanted to point it out. Namely, the more it's used, the softer mattresses get. So, if you currently have a mattress with pocket springs that you've been using for over ten years, know that a new model is going to be a lot firmer. In fact, it can take years before it reaches the same softness as your particular mattress.
Even on a smaller scale, a memory foam mattress is going to feel a lot firmer straight out of the box than when you sleep on it after a few nights. This is because mattresses need to be broken in and they generally start to droop after a few years.
In other words, keep two things in mind. First, keep in mind how often you need to change your mattress as its quality deteriorates. Secondly, know that a very old mattress isn't a realistic showcase of how soft/firm that mattress model is in practice.
Now that we've covered some general features you should look for, let's get a bit more specific. Firstly, let's discuss whether you need a soft mattress in the first place and then break down some of the terminology you're bound to run into.
The most important factor in enjoying your soft mattress is to determine whether you need a soft mattress in the first place. We realise that no one would object to the thought of jumping onto an extremely soft mattress, however, there are a few rules in place here. Namely, it all depends on your sleeping position and your weight.
As you can see in our table, side sleepers generally need a softer mattress than stomach sleepers. This is because when you sleep on your side, both your shoulder and your hip need to be accounted for. In other words, if the mattress is too firm, your spine will be put under stress as your midsection has to bend a little.
But if the mattress is softer, your shoulder and hip can dip into it a bit and keep your spine in a healthy position. However, for stomach sleepers, the opposite is true. If your stomach dips into the mattress, your spine might end up slightly curved forward. This is why they typically enjoy slightly firmer mattresses.
Once again referring to our table, you can see that a side sleeper under 130 pounds will need a mattress that's a lot softer than those who are under 230 pounds. And the reasoning is very simple – the heavier you are, the more pressure is exerted onto your mattress.
So, if you're a bit heavier, an extremely soft mattress will have too much leeway and you'll end up completely sinking into it. On the other hand, if you have a very slim frame, a slightly firmer mattress won't give you that little leeway you need in order to keep your spine in a healthy position.
This is why the best mattress for heavy people requires completely different features than the best mattress for lighter people. So, keep that fact in mind when picking out your new sleeping buddy.
When buying any mattress, you're bound to run into the mattress firmness scale. In fact, we even used it in our own table. So, let's quickly go over what you should expect and look for here.
First off, the most common mattress type you'll find is a medium-firm mattress. For a lot of brands, this is the catch-all term that suits the largest amount of people. So, it's incredibly common. And in terms of the associated number, it will usually be either 6 or 6.5.
Secondly, even among softer models, you'll typically only find a medium soft mattress. So, do note that when a mattress says it's extra soft, it usually doesn't relate to the firmness scale. It relates to rather subjective feeling.
However, two mattresses can have the same mattress firmness level but feel drastically different. That depends on the features we've already discussed. So, don't get discouraged just because a mattress is marketed as a medium-firm mattress – it can still be rather soft.
If you have a mattress that isn't too old (let's say 2-3 years) and you just want it to be slightly softer, a mattress topper might be your best way forward. Sure, it can't turn a seven on the mattress firmness scale down to a two. However, it can give it just a little bit of leeway.
As for what makes a mattress topper soft, the same principle applies as with mattresses. In other words, try to stick to memory foam and avoid springs. Also, try to find a topper that's as thick as possible. This directly impacts how much it can “soften up” your current mattress. And if you want to quickly see the best mattress toppers in the UK, we have just the article for you!
When talking about how to make your mattress firmer, we mentioned that bed frames can impact the firmness of your mattress. It's not anything too major but it can make a difference. And what it boils down to is how rigid the slats are.
In other words, if the slats of the bed frame have a bit of give, a firm mattress might feel slightly softer. Likewise, even a soft mattress can feel a bit firmer if the slats are completely rigid. So, while this is a very tiny detail that can't really substitute getting one of the best soft mattresses, it's good to keep it in mind.
While buying from good mattress brands won't always guarantee you'll get what you're looking for, we still think it's worth taking into account. And this is because of a few very important reasons.
Firstly, the quality of the mattress itself. While there's always a chance that a smaller manufacturer can create something brilliant, bigger brands are usually the safe choice. For example, if you know that Brook Wilde won the “Mattress of the Year” award last year, you can rest assured that their new mattress is probably pretty good as well.
And when buying a soft memory foam mattress, there's likely going to be quite a noticeable difference between the Nectar memory foam mattress and a model from an unknown manufacturer. Of course, there are always exceptions and bigger brands usually sport higher prices – however, in terms of quality, it's typically worth it.
Not to mention that bigger brands typically offer better coverage, more delivery options, a wider range of mattress sizes, etc. So, if you're in the position to do so, keep the brand in mind.
Now that you know what makes one mattress softer than another, let's quickly discuss why getting a soft mattress is worth it at all. After all, getting an extra soft mattress can be a lot harder than just sticking to a medium-firm model. So, why should you do it?
The first and most important factor is your health. For some side sleepers and for people whose weight is on the lower side, a soft mattress is a lifesaver. As we've discussed, it's essential for keeping your spine in a healthy position. And if you want to avoid back pain, this alone is reason enough.
Secondly, they're simply very comfortable. Sure, heavier people should not sleep on a soft mattress every night. However, we think everyone would enjoy jumping onto a soft mattress and relaxing as the memory foam moulds around their body. Just imagine, getting home from work tired, jumping onto your mattress and just sinking into it as if it were a cloud!
Now that we've covered everything you need to know, let's just go over some of the questions you might still have and wrap this whole topic up!
It depends on your sleeping position and your weight. If you're relatively light and sleep on your side, soft mattresses are ideal for you.
Typically, all-foam mattresses are going to be the softest. However, there are exceptions.
Side sleepers who are under 130 pounds will typically get the best results. However, even slightly heavier side sleepers will feel at home with a soft mattress.
Since most people prefer a medium-firm mattress, only bigger brands or specialised manufacturers typically create very soft mattresses. For example, Emma or Tempur.