What Is A Plush Mattress? A Simple Buyer’s Guide

Written by
 Purple Staff
Last Updated
December 1, 2022
min read

The soft, cushy feeling of sinking into a plush mattress can feel like heaven for many people. Its extra layers offer a great night’s sleep for some types of sleepers, but others may be surprisingly uncomfortable on one.

What is a plush mattress, and what kind of sleeper is this mattress type best for? Read on to learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of plush mattresses!

What Is A Plush Mattress?

A plush mattress is a more soft mattress with thick comfort layers. These fluffy layers are meant to cradle your body as you sleep, and some sleepers have described this sensation as similar to a hug that helps them drift off to sleep.

Mattresses have a firmness scale ranging from 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. Plush mattresses typically have a firmness score of 3 or lower, making them some of the softest commercially available mattress types.

Plush mattress layers can be made out of different organic and synthetic materials. Usually, manufacturers use foam to create a plush mattress’ comfort layers. Gel, down, and wool are also used in plush mattresses, although these are far less common.

What Are The Benefits Of A Plush Mattress?

A plush mattress has many benefits that make it the best mattress for many sleepers. Here’s a quick breakdown of its biggest advantages.

Better Motion Isolation

Worried about waking up your partner when you need to get out of bed? Has your partner done the same, making you struggle to get back to sleep? A plush mattress can solve that problem, as its extra layers will absorb the force from your movements and help both of you sleep undisturbed.

Body Cradling For Joint Pain

People who have achy hips, shoulders, and joints may enjoy the softness and cradling sensation of a plush mattress. The extra soft layers alleviate the tension that accumulates over the day, helping them drift off to sleep comfortably.

Note that, if you have back pain, you may prefer a firmer mattress instead. This is because back issues require added support for proper spine alignment.

Easier To Move

Plush mattresses are typically lighter and easier to move compared to firmer mattresses. This makes plush mattresses easier to set up on a bed frame, clean regularly, or rotate for better longevity.

If you are looking to make your mattress more soft. Check out our guide on making a mattress softer.

Not sure what mattress thickness you should buy? Read more on mattress thickness

Who Should Sleep On A Plush Mattress?

Trying to decide if a plush mattress is the right one for you? If these descriptions sound like your sleeping style, you should replace your old mattress with a plush one.

Side Sleepers

Side sleepers will benefit the most from plush mattresses as the soft layers help relieve pressure on their hips and shoulders as they sleep. The plush surface also keeps side sleepers’ spines properly aligned, improving their sleep posture and reducing the chances of waking up with aches and pains.

Lightweight Sleepers

The more you weigh, the more you’ll sink into your mattress. People with a lighter body frame may find plush mattresses cozy, as they won’t sink into the comfort layers easily. The layers also help them feel cradled as they sleep and relieve built-up body pressure.

Sleepers With Hip And Joint Pain

Those who feel back pain may prefer firmer mattresses, but a plush mattress is the answer for alleviating pressure on your hips. The soft layers contour around your body, cradling it and reducing stress on this common pressure point.

Who Should Avoid Plush Mattresses?

Plush mattresses are luxuriously soft, but that doesn’t always make for a cozy night of sleep. If you fit these sleeper types, you may want a different kind of mattress.

Stomach And Back Sleepers

If you sleep on your stomach, you’ll need a firm mattress to keep you from sinking deeply into the layers and feeling uncomfortable. Back sleepers may initially enjoy the softness of a plush mattress but start tossing and turning when they don’t get enough support for their spines.

Hot Sleepers

Unless the manufacturer indicates that your plush mattress is porous and breathable, its soft layers may be trapping heat and leading to sweaty, sleepless nights. This is especially true if the plush mattress is made of traditional memory foam, which reduces airflow compared to firmer mattresses.

If you’re a hot sleeper but want a soft mattress, get plush mattresses with extra channels for airflow or more breathable material. This will keep your mattress from warming up and trapping your body heat.

Heavyweight Sleepers

People with heavier frames may feel uncomfortable on plush mattresses, as the ultra-soft material will make their bodies sink very deeply and won’t support their frames. This can lead to improper spine alignment and make you wake up with aching joints.

Heavyweight sleepers may also wear out plush mattresses faster, as the extra weight on a less resistant surface will lead to more dipping and wear. This could force you to shell out for replacement mattresses more often.

How Long Do Plush Mattresses Last?

Generally, if your plush mattress is around seven years old, it’s time to replace it. However, if you’re experiencing the following problems, you may have to toss your plush mattress out sooner:

  • Your plush mattress has permanent dips.
  • You have breathing problems while you’re sleeping.
  • You haven’t cleaned your plush mattress for a long time.
  • You regularly wake up with sore muscles.
  • You can’t settle comfortably into your mattress.

How Can I Extend My Plush Mattress’ Lifespan?

If you want to keep your plush mattress in good shape, these simple tips can help it last as long as possible.

  • Use a mattress protector: A waterproof mattress protector can repel stains and keep mites and debris from settling into your mattress. This keeps your plush mattress cleaner for much longer.
  • Clean your mattress regularly: Even if you get a mattress protector, make it a point to deep clean your mattress twice a year. Vacuum your mattress using your vacuum’s upholstery setting, spot-clean any visible stains, and let baking soda sit for a few hours to absorb moisture and nasty smells.
  • Flip or rotate your mattress: This spreads out the wear of your body’s pressure evenly over your mattress and makes it more comfortable to sleep on.
  • Regularly wash your sheets: Your bedding can trap dead skin cells and body oils, which can seep into your mattress and make it dirty. This will shorten your mattress’ lifespan, so make it a point to wash your sheets, pillow cases, and blankets often.
  • Avoid eating and drinking in bed: Your midnight snack could get crumbs and spills on your mattress.
  • Don’t bounce on your bed: While the occasional bounce seems fun, it adds a lot of extra force to concentrated spots on your mattress and can cause permanent dips.
  • Clean spot stains and spills immediately: This will prevent liquids from seeping into your mattress. Damp mattresses are prone to mold, which can degrade your mattress and trigger allergic reactions.

Get The Right Mattress For A Good Night’s Sleep

A plush mattress may be the answer to your sleepless nights and body pain as it’s soft and great for relieving tension in pressure points like your hips and shoulders. However, it’s not recommended for sleepers with back problems or heavyweight sleepers.

If you’re a side sleeper or find your mattress too firm for your side, it might be time to ditch your old mattress. Talk to your preferred mattress manufacturer to see if they’re right for your sleeping needs.

FAQs About Plush Mattresses

What’s the difference between a pillow-top mattress and a plush mattress?

The main difference between a pillow-top and a plush mattress is that the former has an additional plush layer on top, while the latter is plush from top to bottom.

Pillow-top mattresses are hybrid or innerspring mattresses that have an extra layer, called a “pillow-top”, for added comfort. This layer is typically made of down, cotton, or other materials for extra softness. This singular soft layer is usually an inch thick.

A plush mattress, on the other hand, is an entire mattress created with a firmness level of 3 or lower. This softness applies to the whole mattress – not just one layer.

What sizes do plush mattresses come in?

Plush mattresses come in the following sizes and dimensions:


38 inches x 75 inches


54 inches x 75 inches


60 inches x 80 inches


76 inches x 80 inches

California king

72 inches x 84 inches


Can you flip a plush mattress?

No, you can’t flip a plush mattress. Most mattresses shouldn’t be flipped unless they’re double-sided as the other side is often an uncomfortable surface that lacks support.

Instead of flipping your plush mattress to prolong its lifespan, you should rotate it once every three to six months. This spreads out the pressure exerted by your body on the mattress’ surface and evens out the effects of wear and tear.

What is an ultra-plush mattress?

An ultra-plush mattress is one of the softest mattresses you can find, ranking 1 on the mattress firmness scale. These mattresses are so soft that bodies sink into the cushioned layers very easily.

While they may be comfortable for side sleepers and lightweight sleepers, they don’t offer a lot of back support and it’s harder to get up from them. This mattress type isn’t ideal for people with back pain, as they need a firmer surface for proper spine alignment.