Your Sleep Matters!

Soft Mattresses


Nicky P.

Last updated: 26.02.2021 5 Min.

Many sleepers find a soft mattress more comfortable than a firm one.

However, it can be very difficult to find a soft mattress that supports the body well, and sleepers will often suffer from incorrect spinal alignment. Mattresses that aren’t firm enough can lead to poor quality of sleep, increased fatigue, stress, and back and neck pains.

In order to ensure that you still wake up with a spring in your step and enjoy the softness of your mattress, we’ve characterised the most important features that will help you choose the best soft mattress.

Some of these features include a comfortable feeling when lying down, the stability of the mattress, and the weight and size of your body. We’ll also share some of our favourite soft mattresses with you.

Soft Mattresses
  • Overview
  • Stability and firmness
  • Body weight
  • Materials
  • Sleeping position
  • Back pain
  • Conclusion

Our top recommendations

Emma Original Mattress

Price from £ 278 (429 )


The Emma Original is an award-winning mattress that's universally suitable for all types of people and sleeping positions.

This bestselling mattress by the award-winning Emma brand offers 3 layers of premium foam and soft comfort, with sufficient support and stability.

All about the EMMA ORIGINAL

Emma Original

The Emma Original is a best-selling memory foam mattress.

It has been designed to be suitable for most people, sleeping positions, and sleeping preferences.

Made up of 3 different types of foam, it offers soft-to-medium support that's particularly suitable for side sleepers.

The Emma Original is delivered free of charge and comes with a risk-free 200-nigh trial period. 

Emma Original side handles


The difference between stability and firmness

Stability is one of the deciding factors when purchasing a soft mattress. Indeed, you have to focus on three important criteria when buying a mattress:

  • The way it feels to lie on the mattress
  • The support the mattress provides
  • The elasticity of the mattress

Support, or the stability of a mattress, plays an important role when buying a mattress, no matter its level of firmness. After all, each sleeper must be well-supported. However, it is a mistake to confuse the concept of support with the degree of firmness, and thus the comfort, of a mattress.

Stability and support are not the same as firmness.

Even a firm mattress can have poor support. And, likewise, a soft or even extra-soft mattress can offer excellent support. Stability takes into account the level of support the mattress provides, particularly for your spine. A good level of support will guarantee that your spine remains in an optimal, and thus healthy, alignment.

If a mattress is not able to sufficiently relieve pressure points and keep your spine in proper alignment, you will experience severe pain. In the short term, and especially for younger sleepers, this may not be a big issue. But over the long term, this can have severe consequences. If your mattress causes you back pain, we strongly advise you to buy a more supportive mattress.

Support of the spine

In a nutshell: Stability indicates how well a mattress can support the body, keep the spine in its optimal position, and reduce and relieve pressure points. Firmness, in contrast, only indicates the softness or hardness of the mattress. The level of firmness will correlate to the degree of comfort you feel when lying down on the mattress.

If you are considering purchasing a soft mattress, then you should definitely pay close attention to the type of materials being used and the way the different layers are positioned. We would advise that you choose a mattress with a high-quality base layer made of cold foam or polyurethane foam. It can help if the comfort layers are also supported by cold foam.

Many mattresses now have built-in contour zones. These zones regulate and control where your body sinks into the mattress. Your body should sink more in some places and less in others. For example, your shoulders and the pelvic area should sink in more deeply than your head and legs. It’s definitely a good idea to check if the soft mattress you’re considering has contour zones.

Body weight best suited for soft mattresses

Soft mattresses are generally more suitable for lighter-weight sleepers. Heavier-weight people would sink into the mattress too deeply, causing the mattress to sag and resulting in inferior support. This can cause back pain and restless sleep.

Materials best suited for soft mattresses

The firmness of a mattress varies greatly depending on the materials used. For example, memory foam mattresses are often much softer than those made of cold foam. These are well-suited for people looking for a soft comfortable mattress that’s easy to relax on.

That said, a memory foam mattress is not necessarily soft - it can also be very firm. Ultimately, it depends on the brand, model, and the composition and combination with other foams.

A good soft mattress, though, is often fitted with memory foam. The advantage of memory foam is that it is very adaptable and will mould to the body. This type of foam was originally designed by NASA to facilitate space travel and reduce pressure points. This still applies to memory foam used in mattresses.

Memory foam enables the pressure exerted by the sleeper to be distributed evenly over the entire mattress. Pressure points are thus reduced, allowing you to enjoy a restful sleep.

The downside of memory foam is that it absorbs much more heat than other types of foam. If you sweat heavily at night or generally don’t enjoy a warmer sleeping climate, then you should consider materials like latex or gel foam. Many of the universal memory foam mattresses have a thermo-regulating cover to alleviate this temperature problem.

Sleeping position best suited for soft mattresses

Your preferred sleeping position is of great importance when choosing a new mattress. Some mattresses will be more suitable than others, depending on whether you sleep on your stomach, back, or side. That said, high-quality mattresses are suitable for all sleeping positions.

In general, though, sleeping on your side is the best option if you have a soft mattress. The softer layers allow your body to sink in sufficiently, relieve pressure, and better support the curves of your body.

Some people sleeping on their backs and stomachs may also enjoy the softer feeling, but this is ultimately a matter of personal preference.

We’d also recommend that you invest in a good-quality pillow to ensure your neck and spine are aligned.

Can you sleep on a soft mattress if you suffer from back pain?

For many people, back pain is a frustrating part of their lives. Any type of sleeper can suffer from back pain, regardless of which position they sleep in. It can also be caused by a variety of factors - but one of the most common ones is an incorrect level of firmness. In general, most people who suffer from back pain would need a medium-firm or a firm mattress. A soft mattress, even if it feels comfortable, is likely to lead to additional back pain and further problems.


In summary, we’d suggest paying attention to the following factors when purchasing a soft mattress:

  • Good stability and support of the mattress
  • Cold foam or polyurethane foam as a base
  • Pay attention to contour zones
  • If you’re a heavy sweater, choose a mattress that has latex or gel foam as its top layers instead of memory foam
  • If you are of a heavier weight, choose a firmer mattress
  • Soft mattresses are best suited for side sleepers

Overall, the choice of firmness will depend on your body shape, preferences, and the perfect combination of support and firmness that you require.

Nicky P.

My mum calls me "bear" because I like to sleep so much. I never knew that, one day, that would be a very useful skill. Can you tell that I've found my calling? 

Try these

We can highly recommend these best-selling mattresses.

Emma Original
Emma Original Emma Original Mattress
Emma Price from £ 278 (£ 429 )

Get 35% off the Emma Original, an award-winning soft & comfortable mattress that's suitable for all.

Nectar Free Gifts
Nectar With 5 Free Gifts Nectar essential bundle
Nectar Price from £ 469 (£ 724 )

Save up to £385 when you purchase the Nectar With 5 Free Gifts combo, which includes the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress, two pillows, a mattress protector, luxury duvet, and a full bedding set (fitted sheet, duvet cover, 2x pillow cases).

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