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The Best Soft Mattress UK: Top Picks 2024

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Written By Connie

CPD Sleep Consultant

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Lab Tested by Experts

Our testing process

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5 April 2024 10 min read

Depending on your build and sleeping position, different mattress firmness levels might be more or less comfortable for you. Today we're looking at the softer side of the sleeping spectrum as we try to find the best soft mattress UK has to offer!

Getting a nice, soft mattress sounds like the perfect plan for a lot of people. Getting the best soft mattress UK has to offer probably sounds even better. However, should everyone get a soft mattress? And how can you tell which mattress is the softest? We'll be talking about all of that and more today!

We'll first be going over some of our personal favourites and then move on to clarify all the considerations that went into making this decision. So, whether you just want some recommendations or to learn what makes a mattress the best mattress in its field, this article should have what you're looking for!

Our top picks

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of everything you should consider when getting the best soft mattress, let's go over a few recommendations! So, if you just want to browse the best of the best, here they are.
    Mattresses 1
    Product image of the Hypnia Supreme Hybrid Mattress with the TSA badge for best soft mattress
    Hypnia Supreme Hybrid Mattress
    Best Overall
    Mattresses 2
    A Sleep Advisor's presenter sleeping on Emma Original mattress.
    Emma Original Mattress
    Best Memory Foam
    Mattresses 3
    Product image for the TEMPUR ONE Soft Mattress
    Tempur ONE Soft Mattress
    Softest Mattress
    Mattresses 4
    Nectar-Memory-Foam-Mattress
    Nectar Memory Foam
    Upgrade Pick
    Mattresses 5
    Product picture of The Elite Mattress
    Brook+ Wilde Elite Mattress
    Best Support

Best Overall: Hypnia Supreme Hybrid Mattress

A soft mattress is great. But a soft mattress that comes with an even softer mattress topper is amazing!
Best Overall
Product image of the Hypnia Supreme Hybrid Mattress with the TSA badge for best soft mattress

You heard us correctly, the Hypnia Supreme Hybrid Mattress actually comes with a mattress topper built in. And this topper is one of the softest sleeping surfaces we've ever had the pleasure of testing!

Plus, it makes the mattress even better for side sleepers than it already was, since the topper can perfectly cradle your hip and shoulder as you sleep.

The mattress also features a honeycomb foam layer and some decently-sized pocket springs. So, even though the mattress feels like a cloud, you're still getting plenty of support.

And this was an essential consideration when we crowned the Hypnia Supreme Hybrid Mattress as the best soft mattress!

If you'd like to learn more about this cloud-like mattress, read our in-depth review of the Hypnia Supreme Hybrid Mattress.

KEY FEATURES:
  • Type: Memory Foam
  • Thickness: 25cm
  • Trial: 200 nights
  • Firmness: 6/10
  • Size: UK Single, UK Small Double, UK Double, UK King Size, Super King Size
  • Warranty: 15 years

Advantages

An icon depicting a firm & supportive surface indicating support & firmness
Good edge support
The mattress edges are quite firm and stable.
Side-handles-pro
Side handles
Side handles for easier turning.
An icon depicting trial or warranty
Excellent coverage
You get a 200-night trial and a 15-year guarantee, which is above average.

Disadvantages

An icon representing a non-removable cover
Non-removable cover
You can't remove the topper to clean it.
An icon depicting off gassing
Slight odour
Slight off-gassing issues during the first night or two.

Best Memory Foam: Emma Original Mattress

If you want one of the best mattresses on the UK market that also happens to be as soft as a cloud and don't care about the price – Reylon has you covered.
Best Memory Foam
A Sleep Advisor's presenter sleeping on Emma Original mattress.

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.

KEY FEATURES:
  • Type: Memory foam
  • Thickness: 25cm
  • Trial: 200 nights
  • Firmness: 6/10
  • Size: UK Single, UK Small Double, UK Double, UK King Size, Super King Size
  • Warranty: 10 years

Advantages

an icon depicting a money bag, illustrating an affordable product
Reasonable price
Affordable and often on sale.
an icon depicting that the product is supportive
Supportive
Will keep your back and joints supported.
An icon depicting a magnifier indicating high quality
High quality
Comes from one of the UK's biggest and best mattress brands.

Disadvantages

An icon depicting negative breathability properties
Not the most breathable
Hot sleepers might feel a bit stuffy.
An icon depicting off gassing
Slight odour
Slight off-gassing issues during the first night or two.

Softest Mattress – Tempur ONE Soft Mattress

If you just want to get the softest mattress you can, this would be our recommendation. And that's because it's both incredibly soft and one of the highest-quality mattresses on the market!
Softest Mattress
Product image for the TEMPUR ONE Soft Mattress

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 (and especially if you sleep on your side), your back is sure to be thankful.

KEY FEATURES:
  • Type: Memory foam
  • Thickness: 20cm
  • Trial: 100 nights
  • Firmness: 3-4/10
  • Size: UK Double, UK King Size, Super King Size
  • Warranty: 10 years

Advantages

An icon depicting a magnifier indicating high quality
Premium quality
Based on NASA technology, the foam is top-tier
an icon depicting a removable cover
Free bonus
The mattress comes with a free TEMPUR Fit Mattress Protector
an icon depicting many options
Multiple options
If you change your mind, you can also get this mattress as a medium or a firm.

Disadvantages

An icon depicting a money bag indicating an expensive product
Expensive
Not a very budget-friendly option
An icon depicting a ruler indicating lack of different sizes & dimensions
Limited choice
The mattress only comes in 3 sizes

Upgrade Pick: Nectar Memory Foam

If you already have a memory foam mattress but would like it to be better in every single way, this is likely going to be your best option. And let's just say it will be the last upgrade you'll ever need!
Upgrade Pick
Nectar-Memory-Foam-Mattress

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 with 3cm of memory foam, both the motion isolation and the pressure relief of the mattress are more than acceptable.

And we say it's the last upgrade you'll ever need as Nectar actually offers a forever warranty! Not to mention that it also has a one-year warranty, which is also a lot higher than almost any other mattress.

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.

KEY FEATURES:
  • Type: Memory foam
  • Mattress depth: 25 cm
  • Trial: 365 nights
  • Firmness: 6.5/10
  • Size: Single, Small Double, Double, King, Super King
  • Warranty: Forever

Advantages

An icon presenting perpetual motion balls indicating low motion transfer
Minimised motion transfer
Thanks to the 7 Zone support base, motion transfer is minimised.
An icon depicting a man suffering from a neck pain, illustrating a product that is good for back pain treatment
Good for back, hip or shoulder pain
Anyone fighting shoulder, hip or back pain will defeat it with this mattress.
An icon depicting a medal indicating a warranty
Forever warranty
You get a Forever warranty on this mattress.

Disadvantages

a hand holding to a handle, indicating side handle
Lack of handles
There are no handles to carry/rotate it conveniently.
An icon depicting off gassing
Slight off-gassing
Slight off-gassing may be present due to the memory foam.

Best Support: Brook+ Wilde Elite Mattress

Just because a mattress is soft doesn't mean that it should lack support. And if you get the Brook+ Wilde Elite Mattress, you will enjoy the bliss of having both!
Best Support
Product picture of The Elite Mattress

The first thing we'd like to note is that the Brook+ Wilde Elite Mattress is a lot more complex than some of the other mattresses we've featured. After all, it features 8 distinct layers as opposed to the usual 4 or 5.

And two of these layers are for the pocket springs! This is how the mattress manages to offer tailored support to your entire body without becoming too firm in the process.

The mattress also features a rather ingenious layer that we've hardly ever seen before – a memory foam protector. Basically, this layer will ensure that the memory foam will stay in tip-top condition for years.

And good memory foam means soft comfort, pressure relief, and motion isolation! So, even though the mattress is a bit pricey, we'd say that you're still getting very good value.

KEY FEATURES:
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Mattress depth: 28 cm
  • Trial: 200 nights
  • Firmness: 3, 5 or 7/10
  • Size: Single, Double, King, Super king
  • Warranty: 10 years

Advantages

an icon depicting many options
Multiple options
The mattress comes in 3 firmness levels.
An icon depicting a hand pressing a memory foam, illustrating a comfortable product
Long lasting memory foam
The mattress is designed to keep the memory foam layer in pristine condition.
An icon depicting a magnifier indicating high quality
High-quality
The mattress has won multiple awards and features top-of-the-line materials.

Disadvantages

An icon depicting a money bag indicating an expensive product
Expensive
One of the more expensive models we've featured.

Features to look for in the best soft mattress UK

A man with glasses looking in the book

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.

The mattress type

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.

The material/build

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.

For example

To clarify our point, let's compare three different mattresses: the Emma Original memory foam mattress, the Hypnia Supreme hybrid mattress and the Silentnight Comfort Pocket spring mattress. While it would make sense for the memory foam mattress to be the softest and the spring mattress to be the firmest, that is not the case.

In fact, the Emma original and the Silentnight Comfort have the same firmness rating! Meanwhile, our overall winner, the Hypnia Supreme is actually the softest. However, this doesn't mean it's the best in every other field. For example, the Emma Original is the easiest to get and use and the Comfort Pocket is by far the most budget-friendly.

Adjustability

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.

The age of the mattress

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.

Tips for buying and using the best soft mattress UK

A hand with a point finger up

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.

Do you need a soft mattress?

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.

What's your sleeping position?

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.

How heavy are you?

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.

Understand the firmness scale

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.

Consider a mattress topper

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!

Take note of your bed frame

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.

Take note of the brand

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.

The advantages of owning the best soft mattress UK

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!

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FAQs about the best soft mattress UK

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!

Are soft mattresses good?

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.

What mattress is soft?

Typically, all-foam mattresses are going to be the softest. However, there are exceptions.

Who is a soft mattress best for?

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.

Who makes 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.

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About the author

Connie
As a CPD certified Sleep Consultant I know how important sleep is. And as a combination sleeper, I have found it difficult to get products to suit my sleep style. I have more than 2 years product testing experience with The Sleep Advisors which means I have slept on, with and under more than 500 products with varying degrees of success. This is added to more than 2 years experience as a product reviewer for Closer, Heat and Grazia magazines, so I've got a rigorous process. I love sharing my sleep testimonials with our readers and hearing their experiences too.
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