A pillow top mattress has a thick layer of padding on top that makes it feel extra plush. It’s often marketed as similar to mattresses used in luxury hotels.
The mattress underneath the pillow top is usually an innerspring or a hybrid of layers that provide firmness or support. The nonremovable pillow top adds a cushioned layer that adjusts to your body’s contours.
The padding can be made from many materials, including:
One of the biggest factors you might consider when shopping for a pillow top mattress is what kind of materials — or combination of materials — the mattress is made of and the degree of support it will give you while you sleep.
Foam and memory foam mattresses: These mattresses are made completely of foam and often have multiple foam layers with different levels of firmness and density. Foam and memory foam are popular bed-in-a-box materials and can ship very easily.
Innerspring mattresses: These mattresses rely on layers of built-in metal coils, often with a padded surface layer for comfort. While prices will vary by brand, generally speaking, innerspring mattresses can cost less than foam mattresses, and users typically feel that these mattresses provide more support. However, this additional support can cause the mattress to feel less soft, which is a big consideration when shopping for a pillow top mattress.
Hybrid mattresses: A hybrid combines coil springs, foam layers, and other materials. If you need an option that can offer the support of coils and the softness of the foam, a hybrid mattress is worth considering.
Pillow top vs. Euro top
Pillow top and Euro top mattresses are similar, and sometimes the names are used interchangeably.
However, Euro top mattresses may be made from more expensive materials. Also, Euro tops are sewn into the mattress base with side panels that provide more mattress edge support than pillow tops do.
There’s a bewildering number of pillow top mattresses on the market, and many have similar features. When choosing our list of the best pillow top mattresses, we researched a wide variety and compared our options against specific criteria. Here were our major priorities when choosing our top picks:
Price: This is easily one of the biggest considerations while shopping for a mattress. We aimed to include a wide price range across our mattress picks so that you could easily compare your favorites against your budget.
Warranty length: How long a warranty lasts can be a good indicator of the manufacturer’s confidence in their mattress. Longer warranties mean you can sleep more soundly, knowing that your mattress will hold up over the years.
Ease of ordering and returns: Many of these new “mattress-in-a-box” companies have made it even easier to get your new mattress delivered to your front door. We prioritized mattresses that could ship easily (with or without the box!) and wouldn’t be too much of a hassle to return if you needed to.
Customer reviews: When it comes to researching a new mattress, who would know it better than the people who use it every day? We searched through many customer reviews for each mattress to get a clear idea of how satisfied other users were with their new purchase.
A pillow top mattress is designed for comfort and support. The plush top layer is comfortable and conforming, with durability and support from the layers and coil system below. That makes them a good choice if you have back or pressure point pain.
Depending on the material and plushness of the pillow top, these mattresses are usually best for back and side sleepers. Stomach sleepers may find they sink too deeply into pillow tops, though that’s not always the case.
Buying a new mattress can take a hefty bite out of your budget. But it’s a worthwhile investment given the amount of time you’ll spend on it.
Pillow tops have a different feel from other mattresses. If possible, you may want to try out some in a store to get an idea of how they feel. Also, trying different models will give you a sense of how soft, medium, and firm are distinguished.
Here’s an in-depth guide of factors to consider when mattress shopping.
Shopping considerations for pillow top mattresses
For pillow top shopping, here’s a short list of questions to consider:
A pillow top mattress is an innerspring or hybrid mattress that has a thick layer of plush padding sewn on top. The pillow top can be made from various materials, including memory foam, latex, cotton, or down.
Can you flip a pillow top mattress?
Generally, pillow top mattresses aren’t designed to be flipped, since the pillow top is only on one side. However, some manufacturers do make flippable pillow top mattresses.
How do you clean a pillow top mattress?
Spills or stains should be treated immediately. Mop up excess liquid with a clean towel. Use a very small amount of dishwashing liquid and a damp sponge to clean stains. Then press a clean, damp cloth into the cleaned area to rinse the suds.
For routine cleaning, use a vacuum attachment to remove debris from the seams in your pillow top.
How long does a pillow top mattress last?
The lifespan of a pillow top mattress will vary depending on its construction and material quality. Generally, you can expect a pillow top mattress to last at least 5 to 7 years.
It’s a good idea to try out a pillow top mattress in person to make sure it’s what you want before you buy. Pillow tops can help cushion aches and pains, but the mattresses don’t always last as long as non-pillow tops.
Most popular pillow tops have lots of good reviews and a much smaller number of 1-star reviews. Keep in mind that the good reviews are often written soon after the initial purchase, when the mattress feels most comfortable.
Most brands have warranties and return policies, so if you’re not happy with your purchase, you can return it.
Last medically reviewed on November 29, 2022
How we reviewed this article:
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