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Soft mattresses

SOFT MATTRESSES

Nicky P.

Last updated: 11.05.2021 7.5 Min.

Do you ever think that your bed feels like a solid steel table and you wake up with aches and pains all over your body?

If so, you might have a mattress that's just too firm for you.

Many sleepers find a softer mattress much more comfortable than a firm one.

But, you also need to find the right soft mattress that still supports your body well and keeps your spine aligned.

Sleeping on a mattress that's too soft will lead to poor quality sleep, increased fatigue, stress, and back and neck pains.

Finding the right soft mattress, then, sounds complicated, doesn't it?

But there's no need to despair - we've got you covered with this article on the essential features of soft mattresses and some of our top soft mattress recommendations in the UK!

Soft Mattresses
  • Overview
  • Best soft mattress
  • Firmness & stability
  • Materials
  • Sleeping position
  • Body weight
  • Conclusion

Our top recommendations

Bestseller
Emma Original Mattress

Emma Original
Price from £ 269 (449 )

Emma Original

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

40% OFF EMMA ORIGINAL

Eve Premium Hybrid Mattress

Eve Premium Hybrid
Price from £ 782 (978 )

Eve Premium Hybrid

The Eve Premium Hybrid is a luxurious hybrid mattress with 5 layers of new generation foam and over 1500 pocket springs.

This high-end mattress combines foam with pocket springs and offers superior comfort with optimal support and spinal alignment. 

All about the Eve Premium Hybrid

Eve Premium Hybrid

The Eve Premium Hybrid is a luxurious medium-firm mattress that offers superior comfort and excellent support. 

Its unique composition of foams and springs offers a high degree of comfort in all sleeping position.

The mattress adapts well to the body of the sleeper and offers optimal spinal alignment.

This is a great mattress for people suffering from back pain.

The Eve Premium Hybrid comes with free delivery & returns and a risk-free trial period.

Eve Premium Hybrid Mattress

20% OFF EVE PREMIUM HYBRID

Simba Hybrid Mattress

Simba Hybrid
Price from £ 456 (609 )

Simba Hybrid

The Simba Hybrid mattress is a high-quality pocket sprung mattress with multiple layers of foam.

This award-winning and five-star-rated original mattress by Simba Sleep is a unique hybrid mattress that combines polyfoam, high-definition foam, and pocket springs.

All about the Simba Hybrid

Simba Hybrid

The Simba Hybrid is an award-winning hybrid pocket sprung foam mattress.

It features a comfort layer of Simba-Pure open-cell polyfoam and a core of Aerocoil pocket springs and high-definition foam. 

The Simba Hybrid is a great choice for a wide range of sleepers.

It comes with free delivery and a 200-day risk-free trial period.

Simba Hybrid Mattress

 

25% OFF SIMBA HYBRID

Choosing the best soft mattress

There are dozens of different mattress types.

If you're leaning towards soft mattresses, there are a few things you need to consider.

These include:

  • The stability of the mattress.
  • The materials used in the mattress.
  • Your preferred sleeping position.
  • Your body weight.

We'll discuss each of these in more detail below.

The difference between firmness and stability

You're likely to think that a soft mattress can't possibly provide enough stability and support for your body.

Won't it sag?

Won't your body be all crooked and your spine misaligned if you sink into the mattress?

This isn't necessarily true.

Stability and firmness are not the same.

You can very well have the softest mattress that still provides enough stability and support to keep your body in perfect alignment.

Ultimately, that's what you're looking for in a good soft mattress.

What is firmness?

Mattress firmness only indicates the softness or "hardness" of a mattress.

Firmness levels will correlate to the degree of comfort you feel when lying down on the mattress.

We expand upon mattress firmness in our article on how to choose the right degree of firmness.

Firmness

What is stability?

Stability does not refer to the mattress's firmness but, rather, indicates how well a mattress can support your body, keep your spine in an optimal position, and reduce and relieve pressure points.

If a mattress is not able to do this, you will start to 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 quite severe consequences.

If your mattress is causing you back pain, we strongly advise that you consider a more supportive or even an orthopaedic mattress.

Spinal alignment

Which materials are best 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, and pocket sprung mattresses are generally much firmer.

That's not to say that all memory foam mattresses are necessarily soft or that all pocket spring mattresses are necessarily firm.

Ultimately, the mattress's exact firmness will depend on the brand, model, composition, and combination of materials within the bed.

You need to consider the type of materials used and how the different layers are positioned.

High-quality mattresses often feature a base layer made of cold foam or polyurethane foam.

These provide additional support and stability.

You also often find a top comfort layer made of memory foam or gel foam.

Many quality mattresses also feature inbuilt contour zones, which help alleviate pain.

These zones regulate and control where your body sinks into the mattress and where it receives more support.

Your shoulders and the pelvic area should generally sink in more deeply than your head and legs.

These contour zones allow for optimal spinal alignment, keeping your body straight and tension-free.

Is memory foam the way to go?

A high-quality soft mattress is often fitted with memory foam.

Memory foam is highly adaptable, offers excellent pressure relief, and provides body-contouring comfort.

It often feels softer than other types of foams, which is great if you're looking for that soft body-hugging comfort.

But, because it adapts so well to the body and gives you that sinking-into-the-mattress feeling, moving around on memory foam can be a little troublesome.

This is why memory foam mattresses aren't recommended for restless sleepers.

Also, memory foam tends to store more body heat than other types of foam.

If you sweat heavily at night or generally don't enjoy a warmer sleep, you should consider materials like latex foam or Geltex instead.

That said, good memory foam mattresses tend to counteract this by adding in cooler foams and cooling mattress covers that allow for greater breathability and increased airflow.

These covers are also often hypoallergenic as well, which is great for people prone to allergies.

You'll also find that memory foam is often used as a top comfort layer or a pillow top on a firmer mattress so that you can enjoy a softer feel while still receiving firm support for a great night's sleep.

Nectar memory foam

Memory foam imprint on the Nectar mattress

The memory imprint of the memory foam gives it that characteristic soft body-hugging comfort.

The best sleeping position for soft mattresses

Of course, your preferred sleeping position is of great importance when choosing a new mattress.

While most modern-day mattresses are suitable for all sleeping positions, there are still subtle differences that will make a bed more suitable for sleeping on your stomach, back or side.

If you're a side sleeper, then you'll be perfectly happy with a soft mattress.

This is because the softer layers allow your body to sink into the mattress gently, relieve pressure, and better support you.

Some people sleeping on their backs or stomach may also enjoy the softer feeling, but it is vital that back or stomach sleepers receive enough support.

If you've found a good soft mattress that does offer enough support, then the firmness is merely a matter of personal preference.

We would always suggest using the risk-free trial period offered by online mattress brands to see if a particular mattress is right for you.

Don't forget a good pillow

We'd also highly recommend investing in a good pillow that suits your sleeping position, which will help keep your neck and spine aligned.

We've included some of our favourite recommendations below.

Is there a body weight limit to soft mattresses?

A mattress's firmness should come down to your personal preference, and a good soft bed should generally also provide enough stability and support, no matter your body weight.

That said, soft mattresses are better suited to lighter-weight sleepers.

Heavier-weight people may require extra support and may sink into a softer mattress too deeply, resulting in inferior support.

This can lead to restless nights and back pain.

It's a good idea to make use of a mattress's risk-free trial period to see if it's right for you.

These trial periods are exclusive to online brands, and you're unlikely to find brick-and-mortar retailers that offer this.

They're great, though, because they allow you to test the mattress at home over a longer period of time.

Most of the mattresses we feature in our mattress reviews offer trial phases.

Conclusion

Soft mattresses can be a great choice for a variety of sleepers.

They are especially well-suited to the following:

  • Side sleepers.
  • Lighter-weight sleepers.

It is important, though, to pay attention to the following factors when purchasing a soft mattress:

  • Your mattress must offer good stability and support.
  • A cold foam or polyurethane foam base is a good idea.
  • Contour zones are beneficial.
  • If you're a heavy sweater, choose a top layer made of latex or gel foam and not the heat-storing memory foam.

If you're of heavier weight, it's better to choose a firmer mattress.

Overall, though, the level of firmness you end up choosing will depend on your body shape, preferences, and the perfect combination of support and firmness that you require.

Frequently asked questions

  • Can you sleep on a soft mattress if you suffer from back pain or have a bad back?

    For many people, back pain is a frustrating part of their lives.

    Any sleeper can suffer from back pain, regardless of body weight, sleeping position, or mattress type.

    It can also be caused by various factors and often isn't even related to your mattress at all.

    But, an incorrect level of firmness can worsen a bad back or cause aches and pains.

    If you have a bad back or generally struggle with back pain, you would probably require a medium-firm or firm mattress.

    You can even look at orthopaedic mattresses, which are specifically designed to help prevent pains. 

    Even if it feels comfortable, a soft mattress is likely to lead to additional pains and cause further long-term problems.

     

  • Can a mattress topper soften my mattress?

    Yes!

    If your mattress is in good condition but simply too firm for you, then you can invest in a high-quality mattress topper instead of buying a new mattress.

    Mattress toppers, especially memory foam mattress toppers, can significantly decrease your bed's firmness and act as an additional comfort layer.

    We'd recommend the Eve mattress topper.

    Alternatively, if you have the budget available, you can also try the luxurious Tempur Sealy mattress topper

  • Are bed-in-a-box mattresses soft?

    Not necessarily. 

    Bed-in-a-box mattresses can be compressed because of the materials and composition thereof, but this does not necessarily mean that these are soft mattresses.

    But they can be.

    The Emma Original, for example, is a very high-quality soft mattress that's available online as a mattress-in-a-box.

  • Are soft mattresses the best choice for side sleepers?

    Soft mattresses are an excellent choice for side sleepers, but this does not mean that side sleepers cannot enjoy firmer mattresses.

    Your body weight also plays a role in this.

    If you're a very light-weight side sleeper, a soft mattress would be the best choice as it will allow your body to sink in where necessary, continually keeping your body and spine in a healthy alignment.

    If you're of average weight or even slightly heavier, though, you can have the same experience on firmer mattresses.

  • In which sizes are soft mattresses available?

    Soft mattresses are available in all standard UK mattress sizes.

    These include: 

    If you're sharing your bed with a partner, we would recommend king-size mattresses or larger to guarantee that both you and your partner have enough space to move around comfortably.

    If your partner is much heavier or larger than you, though, we would advise against choosing a soft mattress - or even one large bed!

    Instead, it may be worth buying two single mattresses and combining these or even opting for a customisable mattress. 

    This is because partners of vastly different body sizes have different mattress requirements and require different firmness levels.

  • Won't soft mattresses deteriorate quicker?

    No, a high-quality soft mattress made with high-density foams should not deteriorate more quickly than firmer mattresses.

    It is essential to consider the foams' density, though, as low-density foams are more likely to form dents.

    It's also always a good idea to make sure that your mattress comes with a guarantee and to check the warranty conditions.

    Most warranties protect you if the foams deteriorate more quickly than they should from regular use.

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 £ 269 (£ 449 )

Get 40% off the Emma Original, an award-winning soft & comfortable mattress that's suitable for all.

Simba Hybrid
Simba Hybrid Simba Hybrid Mattress
Simba Price from £ 456 (£ 609 )

Get 25% off the Simba Hybrid mattress, a high-quality pocket sprung memory foam mattress with Simbatex synthetic latex layer.

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