What Does Pillow Top Mattress Mean?

A pillow top mattress refers to a type of mattress that has an additional layer of padding stitched on top, giving it a plush, pillow-like feel. This added layer typically comprises materials like memory foam, fiberfill, latex, or cotton, and it is designed to provide extra comfort and cushioning.

Understanding Pillow Top Mattresses

The Anatomy of a Pillow Top Mattress

The defining feature of a pillow top mattress is the distinct layer of cushioning that sits on top of the mattress’s core. This section, known as the pillow top, can come in varying thicknesses but is typically several inches thick. Underneath this comfortable layer, the mattress will have a support system that can be made from innersprings, foam, latex, or a combination of these materials.

Differentiating Pillow Top from Euro Top Mattresses

It’s important not to confuse a pillow top mattress with a Euro top mattress. While both add an extra layer of padding, the stitching and placement of the layer differ. On a pillow top mattress, the additional padding is visibly stitched on top of the mattress, creating a slight gap between the pillow layer and the mattress. In contrast, a Euro top layer is stitched flush with the edges of the mattress, providing a cleaner and tidier look.

Benefits of Pillow Top Mattresses

Enhanced Comfort

One of the primary benefits of a pillow top mattress is the luxury and comfort it provides. The plush top layer contours to the sleeper’s body and can help alleviate pressure points. This is particularly beneficial for side sleepers, who often require extra cushioning around the shoulders and hips.

Pressure Point Relief

The soft material in the pillow top can offer targeted support, helping to distribute weight evenly and reduce pressure on the most sensitive parts of the body. This can result in less tossing and turning and a reduction in waking up with pains and aches.

Improved Motion Isolation

If you share the bed with a partner, a pillow top mattress can help isolate movement, meaning that you’re less likely to be disturbed by each other’s movements during the night.

Considerations Before Buying a Pillow Top Mattress

Heat Retention

Pillow top mattresses, especially those with memory foam, may hold onto body heat, making the mattress warmer. This may be uncomfortable for hot sleepers, so it would be essential to consider the materials used in the pillow top layer.

Durability and Sagging

Over time, the plush layer of a pillow top can compress and lose its plushness. This is known as sagging and can affect the support and comfort the mattress provides. Higher quality materials can delay this process but may also increase the cost.

Maintenance and Flipping

Most pillow top mattresses are designed to be no-flip, meaning that you sleep on one side only. While this is convenient, it also means that the mattress can wear unevenly over time. To combat this, it is recommended to rotate the mattress head-to-foot periodically to extend its life.

Types of Pillow Top Mattresses

Innerspring with Pillow Top

These mattresses combine the traditional support of innerspring coils with the comfort of a pillow top layer. They typically offer good bounce and support while the pillow top provides a soft, comforting surface.

Memory Foam with Pillow Top

Memory foam mattresses with a pillow top layer offer deep contouring support. The foam can provide excellent pressure relief, and the pillow top adds a level of plushness that some find lacking in traditional memory foam beds.

Latex with Pillow Top

Latex is a more responsive and bouncier material than memory foam. A latex mattress with a pillow top combines the resilience and support of latex with the cushioned luxury of a pillow top.

How to Choose the Right Pillow Top Mattress

Assess Your Sleep Position and Preferences

Your preferred sleep position can guide you towards the right firmness level for your pillow top mattress. Side sleepers usually benefit from softer pillow tops, while stomach and back sleepers might require firmer support.

Consider Your Body Type

Heavier individuals may need a pillow top with denser materials to prevent excessive sinking, while lighter individuals might prefer a softer, more cloud-like top layer.

Think About Your Partner’s Needs

If you’re sharing your bed, you need to consider your partner’s sleeping preferences as well. Ideally, you want a mattress that can accommodate both of your needs, perhaps by opting for a medium firmness level.

Top 5 Pillows Recommended By GoodSleepHub.com

Read Reviews and Do Research

Real-world feedback and expert reviews can provide valuable insight into the pros and cons of different pillow top mattresses, helping you to make an informed decision.

Maintaining Your Pillow Top Mattress

Protective Covers

Using a mattress protector can help safeguard against spills, dust mites, and other potential allergens, and can also add to the longevity of your mattress.

Regular Rotation

As mentioned previously, regularly rotating your pillow top mattress can help prevent uneven wear and extend its life.

Cleaning and Care

You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and care. Typically, gentle vacuuming and spot-cleaning spills when they occur can keep your pillow top looking and feeling fresh.

Finishing Thoughts

Pillow top mattresses are designed with an extra layer of padding to offer a softer sleeping surface that provides cushioning and pressure relief. However, they may not be perfect for everyone. Considering the potential heat retention, the possibility of sagging over time, and the inability to flip the mattress, it’s imperative to weigh the pros and cons carefully.

Choosing the perfect pillow top is a personal decision that should take into account your body type, sleep preferences, and any sleep-related issues you may have. Always do thorough research, read reviews, and consider trying out several options in-store if possible.

Keeping your mattress well-maintained will ensure you get the most out of your investment for years to come. By considering all these factors, you can enjoy the plush comfort and improved sleep quality a pillow top mattress can offer.


  • Ashton Roberts

    I love learning and sharing everything about sleep. I am one of the energetic editors here at GoodSleepHub, where I talk about how to get a better night's sleep. When I'm not writing, I'm probably walking my dog Luna or trying out new sleeping gadgets. My goal is to help you sleep easier and better. Join me, and let's find simple ways to enjoy great sleep every night!

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