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A pillow-top mattress features a layer of soft cushioning material sewn to the top surface. Pillow-tops create a luxuriously plush feel when you lie down, a sensation often described as sleeping on a cloud. These mattresses are well suited to side sleepers and people weighing less than 130 pounds. Both of these groups typically prefer soft mattresses that contour closely to the body. Those who weigh 130 pounds or more, as well as back and stomach sleepers, may need a firmer sleep surface instead.
A pillow-top creates the look of a separate layer on top of your mattress. This differs from a Euro-top, which is sewn flush with the mattress edges for a more uniform appearance. Our testing crew evaluated both pillow-top and Euro-top mattresses to compile the list below. The testers run the gamut when it comes to body types, sleep positions, and firmness preferences, so our performance ratings for each mattress should reflect the experiences of most sleepers.
Even though all of these mattresses feature a pillow-top or Euro-top, they greatly differ in terms of overall construction, performance, and cost. Below, we’ve summarized strong points and important details for each of our top picks. Scroll down further to read our pillow-top mattress buyer’s guide for details about the pros and cons of pillow-tops and Euro-tops, what you can expect to pay for one of these mattresses, and which sleepers stand to benefit most from sleeping on them.
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Helix has made a name for itself with its sleep quiz, which matches shoppers to the Helix mattress that’s best suited to them. The 14-inch Midnight Luxe is a hybrid mattress designed for side sleepers, with thick memory foam and polyfoam comfort layers that cushion the shoulders and hips. We rate it as a medium firm, or a 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale.
The company’s Luxe mattresses are 2 inches taller than their counterparts and feature a memory foam pillow-top with a Tencel cover. Tencel is a breathable plant-based fabric that wicks away moisture from your body, letting it disperse through the coils for a cooler sleep. The additional memory foam adds a plush, cushioning feel right as you lie down.
Thanks to its hybrid construction, the Midnight Luxe manages to prevent most motion transfer while still providing a responsive surface that doesn’t hinder movement. The pocketed coils are reinforced in the lumbar area and around the edges. The mattress has a symmetrical design, so it can be rotated from head to foot to increase the pillow-top’s longevity without adversely affecting its performance.
Helix Luxe mattresses are CertiPUR-US and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, meaning they’re free of harmful substances. Helix offers a 100-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty for the Luxe mattresses. Shipping is free in the U.S., with an additional fee for Canada.
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The flagship mattress by WinkBeds has a Euro-style pillow-top with a breathable Tencel cover. This is quilted with several layers of cooling gel-infused foam. Beneath the pillow-top, micro-coils and a lumbar pad provide targeted spinal support. The pocketed coil base layer also has added lumbar support, as well as a reinforced perimeter that adds phenomenal edge support. Thanks to its dual-coil design, the mattress has more than enough room for airflow to prevent heat build-up.
The WinkBed comes in four firmness options designed to appeal to virtually all sleeper types. The medium soft (4), medium firm (6), firm (7), and firm (8) models each have a slightly different construction, with the Plus swapping out micro-coils for latex to give more support to people who weigh more than 300 pounds.
This robust hybrid mattress has a responsive surface ideal for sex or for combination sleepers. It also isolates motion to a significant extent, especially in the medium soft model. These factors make the bed an attractive choice for couples.
WinkBeds stands by its mattress with a 120-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty. Orders ship free in the U.S.
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The Premier Rest builds on DreamCloud’s previous pillow-top hybrid designs for an exceptionally plush feel and a sturdy pocketed coil system. The mattress is considered medium (5) in terms of firmness, so you can expect a comfortable balance of body contouring and even support. Additional touches to enhance your sleep experience include a luxe cashmere-blend cover and thick foam layers that cushion the body without excessive sinking.
The Premier Rest measures 16 inches tall, which is fairly thick even by pillow-top standards. Two layers of soft foam are quited into the cover to ensure gentle cushioning as your body sinks into the mattress, but a 2.5-inch transitional layer keeps you on an even plane and reinforces the midsection. The support core includes 8.5-inch pocketed coils that stabilize the mattress without generating too much motion transfer. The coils also promote consistent airflow to help the mattress maintain a comfortable temperature, and the cover provides added breathability.
The mid-range feel and moderate contouring of the Premier Rest is best suited to side and back sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds. Thick foam layers also absorb movement and significantly cut down on motion transfer, which should reduce nighttime disturbances for couples and co-sleepers.
The Premier Rest is priced very affordably for a pillow-top hybrid and shipping is free of charge for all orders in the contiguous U.S. DreamCloud’s 365-night sleep trial is among the longest in the online mattress industry, and anyone who chooses to keep the mattress is entitled to a lifetime warranty against deep sagging and other structural defects that can occur over time.
Best for Side Sleepers
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Pillow-top innersprings have earned a somewhat negative reputation for feeling too stiff despite their cushioning surfaces. The Saatva Classic builds on the classic design with some innovative features that cater to a wide range of people regardless of their body type, sleep position, and firmness preferences.
A pillow-top containing layers of memory foam and adaptive polyfoam allows the Saatva to contour more closely than the average innerspring. The mattress also features a pocketed microcoil transitional layer and a bonnell coil support core. This coil-on-coil design creates a bouncy feel on the surface without making the mattress feel too stiff. The coil layers also promote steady airflow throughout the mattress core to maintain a comfortable temperature – a major asset for hot sleepers.
You can choose between soft (3), medium firm (6), and firm (8) feels for the mattress, depending on your ideal level of support, as well as a 11.5-inch or 14.5-inch profile. The soft feel and lower profile are best suited to side sleepers and those who weigh 130 pounds or less.
Saatva is one of the few online mattress brands to offer free White Glove delivery anywhere in the contiguous U.S. This service includes in-home assembly in a room of your choice and old mattress removal at no extra charge. The company also offers a 180-night sleep trial, one of the longest in the mattress industry, and a 15-year warranty for the mattress.
Best Pressure Relief
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The Nolah Evolution 15 is a versatile hybrid bed that caters to a variety of sleepers. With a thick quilted Euro-top and plush foam layer beneath, the bed offers excellent relief to sleepers who experience painful pressure points during sleep.
At 15 inches thick, the mattress has a high profile. The Euro-top cover is quilted with foam that conforms to the body, followed by a layer of proprietary AirFoamICE polyfoam that enhances the bed’s contouring performance. A layer of high-resilience foam and a support core of 8-inch pocketed coils create a strong supportive foundation for the bed. The coil system is zoned to provide additional support to areas of the body that may need it, such as the midsection.
The Nolah Evolution 15 is available in three different firmness options — plush (5), luxury firm (6), and firm (8). The variety in firmness options makes this bed suitable for a wide swath of sleep positions and preferences. The firm option will likely appeal to stomach sleepers, especially those who weigh over 230 pounds and require more support. The softer options are better suited for side and back sleepers under 230 pounds, especially those seeking pressure relief in the hips and shoulders.
For sleepers who run hot, the Nolah Evolution 15 offers excellent temperature regulation. The Euro-top cover and foam layers are engineered to run cooler than conventional foam, and the pocked coil system allows air to circulate.
Nolah offers free shipping within the contiguous United States. Customers receive a 120-night sleep trial and may return the bed for a full refund after an initial 30-day break-in period. The mattress is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
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The aptly named Avocado Organic Luxury Plush Mattress is one of the most sophisticated pillow-top hybrids on the market today. The comfort system features more than a dozen individual layers made of premium materials such as organic wool, alpaca hair, organic silk, and organic Dunlop latex. Minicoils add some reinforcement to the topmost layers, while a thick pocketed coil system stabilizes the entire mattress. Measuring 18 inches thick, this mattress is the epitome of a luxury pillow-top hybrid.
Avocado has earned numerous certifications for the Organic Luxury Plush Mattress that make it an appealing choice for eco-conscious shoppers. These include Global Organic Textile Standard and Global Organic Latex Standard certifications for its various layers. Sustainable agriculture practices have earned the mattress additional recognition from the Rainforest Alliance and Forest Stewardship Council. Avocado is a Climate Neutral certified company that uses carbon offsets to negate emissions during manufacturing and shipping. A GREENGUARD Gold certification also indicates the mattress meets high standards for emissions.
Excessive warmth is a common complaint about high-profile pillow-top beds. People tend to sink deeply into these mattresses, which causes the materials to absorb and trap heat. However, most components of the Organic Luxury Plush Mattress are naturally breathable and shouldn’t retain heat to a bothersome degree. Both coil layers promote air circulation for additional cooling.
Customers may purchase a standard version of the mattress with no pillow-top. This may be more enticing for shoppers due to its lower sticker price. Customers in all 50 states receive free ground shipping and a sleep trial that spans 365 nights in length. Avocado also backs the mattress with a lifetime warranty to give you extra peace of mind.
Sleepers’ experiences on a pillow-top mattress can vary widely, and the team at Sleep Foundation has personally tested dozens of models to provide you with the comprehensive information you need to choose the right one. Sleeper type, body weight, and personal habits all affect how a mattress feels. Our testing team includes sleep product experts who have different body types and preferences. Using data from a diverse group helps us provide you with well-researched and informed recommendations.
Our top picks for pillow-top mattresses were chosen following thorough testing. Our experts review every model using both hands-on and technology-driven methods. Team members lie on each mattress to get a good sense of how they feel in terms of comfort and support. We also use body mapping and thermal cameras to measure pressure build-up and temperature control, two attributes that are important to consider when shopping for a pillow-top mattress. Each mattress is scored in multiple performance categories including motion isolation, ease of movement, and pressure relief.
The separation between the pillow-top and the rest of the mattress tends to be clearly visible from the outside, with many mattresses leaving a gap between the edge of the pillow-top and the edge of the mattress. Pillow-tops sometimes, but not always, have a cover made of a different material than the rest of the mattress, such as silk or Tencel.
Pillow-tops can either add extra cushioning or make the mattress more responsive. You’ll usually only see them on innerspring or hybrid mattresses, the aim being to supply the mattress with a larger comfort layer section to complement the coils.
Euro-tops are a type of pillow-top that are more integrated into the mattress. They may still have piping to differentiate them from the standard comfort layers, but typically the edges are stitched in and flush with the rest of the mattress. Like standard pillow-tops, Euro-tops can be anywhere between 2 and 4 inches thick. They typically feature denser materials instead of the extra-plush fill of a standard pillow-top.
Because they don’t have the gap around the perimeter, Euro-top mattresses commonly have better edge support than standard pillow-top mattresses They also tend to be more durable and made of better-quality materials. All of these factors mean that Euro-top mattresses are usually more expensive than standard pillow-top mattresses.
|Construction||Separate from mattress||Sewn into mattress|
|Thickness||2″ to 4″||2″ to 4″|
|Materials||Memory foam, latex, polyfoam, silk, cotton, fiberfill, wool||Memory foam, latex, polyfoam, fiberfill, wool|
|Feel||Pillowy or cloudlike||Dense|
|Durability||Low to moderate||Moderate to high|
There’s a wealth of pillow-top options on the market, so it’s important to know what you value in your mattress before you set out to buy a new one. Do you prefer a standard or Euro pillow-top? Memory foam, latex, or another type of fill? Hybrid or innerspring mattress?
In addition to the pillow-top itself, it’s also important to consider the benefits of the mattress as a whole. This means weighing edge support, temperature neutrality, material quality, and other factors.
Buying a new mattress can be confusing. There’s a wide variety of models on the market, and mattress companies often use fancy marketing terms or mattress jargon that can make it difficult to understand how a mattress actually performs.
Luckily, the rise in online mattress companies has also transferred more power to the consumer. Online mattress companies are often more transparent about what’s inside their mattresses, and it’s easier than ever before to compare and contrast different models.
These are the most important things to consider when buying a new mattress.
Pillow-top mattresses are beloved for their luxurious, conforming feel, but some sleepers may find they lack support. Below are some pros and cons of pillow-top mattresses.
Pillow-tops are found almost exclusively on innerspring and hybrid mattresses. The primary purpose of a pillow-top is to add more cushioning to a mattress with relatively thin comfort layers. Latex and memory foam mattresses already succeed in providing contouring pressure relief, so adding a pillow-top would usually be redundant. While innerspring and hybrid mattresses both have a coil support core, they differ slightly in their build.
Definition: Hybrid mattresses are built with a significant comfort layer section over an innerspring support core, which is usually made with pocketed coils. The most common comfort layers found in a hybrid mattress are memory foam, polyfoam, latex, or a blend of these.
Balanced Comfort. Hybrids combine the support, bounce, and cooling properties of innersprings with the conforming pressure relief of foam or latex. Pillow-top hybrids take this last part up a notch, offering increased comfort while still retaining the benefits of the coils.
Definition: Innerspring mattresses are almost entirely composed of coils. Although some innerspring mattresses have a thin layer of foam or fiberfill on top, the feel of the bed is principally determined by the springs.
Affordable. Innersprings are one of the most budget-friendly types of mattresses, which is why many people turn to this option for a pillow-top mattress that supplies a high-end feel without breaking the bank.
Before buying a new mattress, there are a few more things to take into account.
The materials used to make a pillow-top are usually less durable than those found in the rest of the mattress. Memory foam, fiberfill, and similar options can develop permanent body indentations after just a few years, which unfortunately shortens the lifespan of the mattress as a whole. For a more robust option, consider pillow-tops made of latex or a higher-density memory foam.
Pillow-top mattresses provide immediate cushioning that works well in showrooms, giving the mattress a luxurious and inviting feel when you first lie down. However, we recommend choosing a mattress with a generous sleep trial and sleeping on it for at least 30 nights to see how the mattress holds up. Allowing your body this time to adjust can give you a better idea of whether the mattress will be supportive enough in the long run.
Pillow-tops add plushness to an otherwise firm mattress, but they’re no substitute for the deep cradle of a memory foam mattress. If you’re the type of sleeper who needs deep pressure relief, whether because of chronic pain, body type, or another reason, then you might find that a pillow-top does not provide a deep enough “hug” to align the spine and release pressure points.
Although most pillow-tops are designed to reduce the firmness level of a mattress, firm pillow-tops do exist. That said, due to the nature of the materials used, even firm pillow-tops will eventually wear out and may become more plush. For this reason, people seeking a harder surface would do better to buy a mattress that is specifically engineered to be firm, such as a latex mattress.
Whether or not a pillow-top mattress is right for you depends entirely on your personal preferences. Pillow-top mattresses tend to feel plusher when you first get into bed, and models cushioned with adaptive foam layers can contour closely and provide good overall pressure relief, especially for side and back sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds.
Heavier individuals, as well as stomach sleepers, may sink more and feel less comfortable by comparison. Another thing to keep in mind is that a pillow-top can add several inches to the overall height. If you prefer mattresses with lower profiles or have a hard time getting in and out of bed, then a pillow-top may not be right for you.
Pillow-top mattresses often contour closely due to their softer surface materials, resulting in decent pressure relief as well as better alignment for side sleepers. These mattresses often excel at motion isolation too, even if they contain coil layers. On the other hand, beds with pillow-top layers typically have below-average durability due to their softer surface materials. They also sleep noticeably warmer and emit more initial off-gassing odor than their non-pillow-top counterparts.
The expected lifespan of any mattress depends on the quality of its materials and overall construction. That said, pillow-top mattresses tend to deteriorate faster than non-pillow-top models because they contain softer foams near the surface. As these foams lose shape, the mattress will feel uneven in places and you may not receive enough support. Pillow-tops with firmer comfort layer materials can last longer – but even then, owners may notice indentations or impressions within five years of continuous use, if not sooner.
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