What Is A Pillow Top Mattress?

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A single, gusseted layer comprised of either fiber or foam makes up the pillow-top design. Pillow-top mattresses, as its name indicates, often feel soft and “pillowy.” The layer is attached to the top of the mattress by sewing, leaving a thin space between it and the comfort layer underneath.

With so many choices available, purchasing a mattress may be challenging.

If the pillow top is at the top of your list, you may be interested in learning more.

For quite some time, you have undoubtedly heard the phrase pillow top in reference to mattresses.

They were quite the rage when they initially appeared in the early 2000s.

They provided a new level of comfort at a lesser cost than memory foam while still providing many of the same advantages.

They may be created from a broad range of materials to provide eco-friendly and natural solutions for everyone.

They are available in almost all sizes, from twin to California king, and they differ from other kinds of mattresses in both specific benefits and drawbacks.

The competition for your business includes airbeds, futons, innerspring, memory foam, waterbeds, latex, gel-infused, organic, and pillow top mattresses, to mention a few.

We’ll break down the pillow top mattress for you so you can make a better-educated decision when buying a mattress.

Photo: mattressadvisor.com

What Is A Pillow Top Mattress?

The additional layer of padding or cushion on top of the mattress is known as a pillow top or a euro top.

They may give the impression that a standard mattress’ top has a second, thinner mattress connected to it.

The pillow top is just a standard mattress with a topper added.

Separate toppers, which came into the market after the pillow top mattress but had the drawback of moving about, are sewn onto the pillow top mattress.

As a permanent component of the mattress and, in the case of the euro top variant, even under the mattress cover, the pillow top has the benefit of being more difficult to distinguish from the mattress.

The pillow top has a top layer that is typically roughly 2 inches thick, though it may be greater, and it is covered with material that matches the rest of the mattress.

The pillow top might look distinct from the mattress, but no worries, it is firmly bonded to produce one operating system.

The material for this top layer, also known as the built-in topper, might be natural latex, cotton, memory foam, wool, fiberfill, gel, or another substance.

The most typical places to find pillow toppers are on airbeds or innerspring mattresses.

A sturdy innerspring and a plush cotton or foam topper make for a terrific combination that has elevated this kind of mattress to the top of the list among buyers.

Are Pillow Top Mattresses Good?

There are a few factors to think about while buying a pillow top mattress.

#1. Extra Cushioning

A pillow top mattress has an additional layer that adds comfort and support.

You may customize your comfort layer to your tastes since the characteristics of this layer might change based on the material utilized, such as cotton or memory foam.

#2. Beneficial To Hot Sleepers

We have some excellent news if you have a warm sleep! Mattresses with pillow tops don’t often retain heat unless they are composed of memory foam.

This implies that you may add a layer of comfort without sacrificing warmth.

Related: Cool Sleepers’ Best Mattresses

#3. Accessible For A Variety Of Mattress Kinds

Do you like a hybrid mattress? Want mattresses with innerspring?

Pillow toppers are available on various kinds of mattresses, enabling you to better adapt your sleep experience to your preferences.

Pillow-Top vs Euro-Top

You will discover both possibilities when you start browsing into mattresses, despite the fact that the differences between these two kinds of mattresses are modest and mostly ornamental.

A typical pillow top will give the impression that two mattresses, one bigger and one smaller, have been put together as a whole.

With the euro top variant, the topper section is put directly on the bottom portion of the mattress and the cover encases both.

The sharper edges and more fitted look of the euro top give it the illusion of one mattress.

There may be instances when it is more resilient, but there is nothing to distinguish the two alternatives in terms of comfort or support.

Both of these are great options.

Pros and Cons of Pillow Tops

The additional independent layer, sometimes known as the pillow top, atop a mattress has both advantages and downsides for the owner.

Although pillow toppers may be obtained in any firmness from soft to firm depending on your preferences, the additional layer generally improves comfort and softness.

Let’s examine some specifics that might influence your decision.


  • The introduction of the pillow top has raised the bar for mattress comfort. The bed’s innerspring or pocketed coils often serve as its foundation, and when paired with the extra layer, which was available in a variety of materials, the result was sometimes compared to a cloud because it was so soft, fluffy, and comfy.
  • No Breaking In: A pillow top mattress has the unique benefit of being comfy straight away. Pillow toppers, with the possible exception of memory foam, are recognized for being cozy and supportive from the very first night you sleep on them.
  • Less Off-Gassing: One issue with similar premium mattresses is that they sometimes emit foul odors and harmful fumes for weeks or months at a time. This does not appear to be the case with your normal pillow top, as buyers consistently score them as not having any foul smell or emissions.
  • A pillow top mattress will cost around 30% more than a conventional mattress, but it is far less costly than most memory foam or hybrid mattresses that provide a similar degree of comfort. Luxury mattresses may be pricey.
  • Less Motion Transfer: Another bonus to the pillow top is that adding the extra topper lessens motion transfer, particularly if the pillow top contains a foam component. This makes it possible for shared beds to provide less disruptive sleep.
  • Pressure Relief: The softness of a pillow top is recognized for helping slumber. In order to support the hips and shoulders of side sleepers and to lessen back and joint problems, they are the preferable mattress. Overall, they are excellent in relieving pressure points.
  • Can Combine Comfort and Support: Adding a top layer enables the combination of the comfort of a softer top layer with the support of an innerspring. Many individuals believe this combination of support and comfort makes for the ultimate bed.


  • Greater weight: If the bed’s weight is essential to you, it’s useful to note that pillow toppers often weigh 20% more than traditional mattresses. They could be more challenging to move or rotate as a result.
  • Rotation Is Necessary: Rotation is really necessary. As part of routine bed care, the head and foot of the pillow tops must be alternated. Unless it is a two-sided pillow top mattress, they don’t need to be flipped. The bed will last even longer and provide you with greater comfort whether you turn it clockwise or counterclockwise.
  • Sagging: The possibility of sagging is a very serious drawback of the pillow top design. Due to human weight and degradation caused by nature, the materials in the top layer do compress with time. Back discomfort may result from the sag if it becomes bad enough.
  • Not Good For Heavy Others: People who are overweight do not get the same level of comfort and support as people who are within a more normal weight range. According to conventional thinking, those who are overweight should look for other supports for optimum assistance.
  • Fit: Your bed frame and bed linens may both be too small for a pillow top mattress. A pillow top mattress may be far deeper than your current mattress, even though sheets now come in elastic materials that can handle different mattress depths. If this is the case, it is possible that it is too big for the sheets you already have. The same may be said about your bed frame: Depending on the kind of frame you have, the mattress could not fit. If you also need to purchase a new frame, mattress pad, and sheets, or both, the price of a new mattress might increase significantly.
  • Less Durable: According on customer reports, there is some anecdotal evidence that pillow tops seem to wear out more quickly than a standard mattress.
  • Many people find that the pillow top retains heat, creating a warmer sleeping surface. Compared to 4% of those who slept on a standard mattress, almost 8% of pillowtop users said they had this problem. If the pillow top contains foam, heat retention may occur more often.


Regular mattresses with a plush top layer have been called pillow-top mattresses.

They are said to be quite comfy and are renowned for releasing pressure.

The standard pillow top and the euro top are the two fundamental variations.

The euro is contained with the mattress, whereas the normal is attached to the mattress as a separate topper.

Cons include probable drooping, doubts about longevity, and upkeep.

Pros include outstanding comfort, pressure point alleviation, and low cost.

When they first appeared on the market, pillow tops were generally well-received and a wonderful selling addition to the array of available mattresses.

They are still popular.


Can you flip a mattress with a pillow top?

Except for mattresses that are particularly advertised as being double-sided, which most pillow top mattresses are not, you shouldn’t turn a pillow top mattress.

How long does a mattress with a pillow top last?

Compared to other mattress kinds, pillow top mattresses often have a shorter lifetime.

Over time, the pillow top itself has a propensity to droop, which shortens its lifetime.

We anticipate that a pillow top mattress will only survive between 5 and 7 years due to the drooping top, but a high-quality, non-pillow top mattress may last anywhere between 7 and 10 years.

Do pillow top mattresses need certain sheets?

Deep-pocket sheets may be necessary for pillow top mattresses because of their added height.

Regular sheets are 7 to 14 inches deep, but deep-pocket sheets maybe 15 to 22 inches deep.

A pillow top mattress’ height may be accommodated by the deeper pockets of deep-pocket sheets.

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Ryan is a RV product expert with nearly a decade of experience researching, developing, and testing RV products.

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