Best Mattress Guides

Best Pillow Top Mattresses

Craving extra comfort without sacrificing support? A pillow top mattress may be right for you.

By Natalie Yerger

As suggested by the name, a pillow top mattress is a mattress with an extra layer of cushioning sewn onto the top surface. Pillow tops can be made from a variety of materials and sewn onto any mattress type. So if you have your heart set on an innerspring, hybrid, latex, or all foam-mattress style, you can find one with a pillow top.

Many sleepers enjoy pillow-top beds because they can provide added comfort and contouring without compromising the orthopedic support that the mattresses underneath them provide. Pillow top beds also help reduce motion transfer, among other benefits, making them a great choice for couples.

If you’re in the market for a pillow top mattress but aren’t sure where to start, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re sharing our top picks for the best pillow-top mattresses as well as a buyer’s guide. In the guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about pillow top mattresses including the types available, important shopping considerations, pros and cons of this style, and how to choose the best pillow top mattress for your home.

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The Best Pillow Top Mattresses of 2020

Saatva Classic

Best Affordable Luxury

Value seekers who want a reliable, comfortable pillow top mattress from a brand they can trust will appreciate the Saatva’s price and customization options.

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

Varies

Trial period

120 nights

Reason to buy

High quality and custom firmness options

The Saatva is a luxury innerspring mattress that includes two layers of coils, memory foam comfort and support layers, and a plush euro-top cover that comes in three firmness settings. The mattress is also available in two thickness profiles, ensuring that most shoppers can find an option that suits their preferences. While the Saatva has a sophisticated design, the price-point is reasonable and includes White Glove delivery, making it our recommendation for shoppers looking for a value.

Read our full Saatva Mattress Review to learn more!

Helix Midnight Luxe

Best for Side Sleepers

The Helix Luxe has zoned support to keep your spine aligned in any sleeping position and keep you cool on a comfortable hybrid mattress.

Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

5.5

Trial period

100 nights

Reason to buy

Luxury zoned support made for side sleepers

Helix delivers quality mattresses designed to meet the needs of all sleeping positions with over a dozen bed in a box options. The company works hard to provide luxury mattresses that are truly best for each sleeper, especially with its personalized sleep quiz.

The Helix will provide great rest for side sleepers because of its zoned-lumbar support in the pocketed coil layer. The bed will be responsive and contour around the sleeper’s body in order to cradle shoulders and hips. The support also works to keep weight evenly distributed, providing more cushioning where its needed and firmer support for spinal alignment. As a hybrid mattress, the memory foam layers will relieve pressure and the coil system will keep the mattress cool.

See our full Helix Luxe Mattress Review to learn more. 

DreamCloud

Best Hybrid Pillowtop

The DreamCloud hybrid mattress is made of 6 layers of memory foam and coils, combined to deliver pressure relief and an overall best hybrid mattress. 

Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

6

Trial period

365 days

Reason to buy

A luxury mattress with a great return policy

DreamCloud’s hybrid mattress is set apart from competitors by its attention to construction and exceptional customer service with longer trial periods and lifetime warranties.

With top layers of cashex cashmere blend, trueloft eurofoam and point activated memory foam, the DreamCloud will relieve pressure and provide contouring around the body in all sleeping positions. As a medium-firm hybrid, the coil system will also provide spinal alignment and increased air circulation keeping the sleeper cooler throughout the night.

Check out our DreamCloud mattress review to learn more. 

WinkBeds Plus

Best for Heavy Sleepers

The WinkBed is sold in four firmness options, the firmest of which may well be the best bed on the market for supporting heavyweight sleepers.

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

6

Trial period

120 nights

Reason to buy

Hybrid mattress perfect for back pain and plus-size sleepers

The WinkBed is a luxury hybrid made from polyfoam and a pocketed coil core. It comes in four firmness options, including Soft, Luxury Firm, Firmer, and Plus. The Plus is the option that draws the attention of many WinkBed devotees. While this firmness option doesn’t have the euro-pillow top layer that the first three firmness options offer, it’s made with a cotton lumbar pad that provides the necessary added spinal support for heavyweight sleepers.

If you’re a heavyweight sleeper who prefers a firm mattress feel, we recommend the WinkBed Plus. If you’re a heavyweight sleeper who prefers to sink into your mattress a bit more, the WinkBed Firm should do. 

Read our in-depth WinkBeds Mattress Reviews to learn more! 

Avocado

Best Eco-Friendly

With certified organic latex, organic certified wool and organic certified cotton the Avocado is a great mattress for those looking to sleep on a natural and organic mattress.

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

7

Trial period

100 nights

Reason to buy

Good price point for an all-natural mattress

In 2016, Avocado decided to create a truly organic and green mattress with transparency and without greenwashing. Made in California with the promise of affordability Avocado mattresses are sustainably made with the highest quality, natural materials.

The Avocado Mattress is a hybrid mattress made of latex and pocketed support coils with a latex pillow-top to deliver additional pressure relief. For back and side sleepers the pillow-top contours around shoulders and hips while keeping the spine in alignment. The combination of latex, cotton and wool will deliver exceptional temperature relief for the sleeper.

See our full Avocado Mattress Review to learn more. 

Stearns & Foster Lux Estate

Best High Profile

Sleepers in search of a higher profile, hybrid pillow top mattress will love Stearns & Foster’s customizable firmness and thickness options.

Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

0

Trial period

Based on retailer

Reason to buy

Useful for all sleep positions if you’re an average-weight person

Stearns & Foster sells luxury hybrid mattresses in four collections, and the Lux Estate Collection is one of two collections that feature a built-in pillow top. The Lux Estate Collection mattresses feature a polyfoam-encased pocketed coil core that’s topped with a comfort system of a gel memory foam layer, a pillow top layer, and a top memory foam layer. 

All Stearns & Foster mattresses come in a variety of firmness settings, providing options for sleepers of all sizes and sleeping positions. The Lux Estate beds also isolate motion and absorb sound better than other hybrids, making them an excellent choice for couples.

Read our full Stearns & Foster Mattress Review to learn more!

Aireloom Karpen Luxury

Best Luxury

The pillow top mattress with the highest price point on the list, this investment mattress has world-class construction and unrivaled comfort for the shopper willing to drop some cash.

Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

Varies

Trial period

Based on retailer

Reason to buy

Great for side sleepers

Aireloom is a luxury mattress company with a rich history and a reputation for placement in the homes of the Hollywood elite and the White House. High-quality materials like silk, cashmere, Joma wool, Talalay latex, and organic cotton set these mattresses apart, as does their thoughtful construction. 

One of five collections from Aireloom, the Karpen Luxury collection features three models that vary slightly in the comfort layer. The Luxetop version features a pillow top. In this model, a hand-tufted, 100% Rayon quilt sits on top of layers of wool, cashmere, and HiLoft fire retardant fibers. 

Read our full Aireloom Mattress Review to learn more!

Pillow-Top vs. Euro Top? 

While the terms ‘pillow top’ and ‘euro top’ refer to additional layers on top of a mattress, they differ slightly in appearance and construction. As mentioned, a pillow top includes a single layer of foam material that feels soft to the touch and is sewn to the mattress. A euro top is a single layer of foam or fiberfill that’s typically denser and higher quality than a pillow top. Euro tops are sewn flush to the top edges of the mattress, creating a stacked, streamlined appearance.

Pillow Top Mattress Buying Guide

Below, we share everything you should consider when shopping for a pillow top mattress, including the types of pillow tops available, important shopping considerations, and tips for picking the best pillow top mattress for you. 

Types

Today the term pillow top is used interchangeably to refer to pillow-top mattresses, euro top mattresses, and sometimes pillow tops, which can be added to any mattress for comfort. 

  • Pillow top mattresses have additional padding at the top, as though a pillow was sewn onto the top of the mattress. 
  • Euro top mattresses have additional padding and are sewn flush with the mattress underneath for a streamlined appearance. 
  • A mattress topper, not to be confused with a pillow top mattress, is a removable layer that sits on top of a mattress to provide extra cushioning.

The main variations in pillow-top mattresses will occur in the makeup of the pillow top’s materials. The padding inside the pillow top can include foam, memory foam, fiberfill, cotton, or wool, all of which have unique benefits and drawbacks. We’ll discuss them more below.

Considerations

  • Weight—A sleeper’s bodyweight will come into play when choosing the firmness and style of the mattress that sits underneath the pillow top layer. Also, because pillow tops are typically soft and thin, most sleepers will be able to feel the mattress underneath. This creates a nice balance of firmness and softness for heavier sleepers who need a supportive, firmer mattress but prefer a soft feel. See: Best Mattress for Plus Size Sleepers  
  • Sleeping position—If you sleep on your side, a pillow top can be a healthy addition to mattresses that otherwise would feel firm on your shoulders and hips. If you’re a back or stomach sleeper, we recommend making sure the mattress underneath the pillow top is the appropriate firmness for this sleeping position, which requires more consistent support throughout the body to keep the spine aligned.
  • Temperature—If you tend to sleep hot, look for pillow-top mattresses that incorporate breathable materials and airflow-improving construction. Innerspring mattresses or hybrids with pocketed coils tend to sleep cool, as do pillow top layers that incorporate cotton, wool, and latex. 

How to Pick the Right One 

  • Firmness—Whatever pillow top mattress you choose, you’ll be able to feel the mattress underneath the top layer. Choose the firmness that’s appropriate for your body weight, sleeping position, and personal preferences, keeping in mind that the pillow top will only slightly alter its feel (making it softer to the touch). See: Best Soft Mattresses 
  • Materials—There’s no shortage of pillow top mattress options on the market, so whether you’re looking for an option that incorporates eco-conscious materials or a pillow top layer with cooling foam, an option out there for you.
  • Product policies—As with any mattress purchase, sleep trial, shipping and return policies, and warranty should be considered when you decide on a pillow top mattress. This is especially true if you won’t be able to test the mattress out in a brick-and-mortar store or if it’s your first time purchasing a mattress with a pillow top sewn in.

Pros & Cons of a Pillow Top Mattress

PROS

  • Great support for sleepers with orthopedic issues or those who require additional padding on a mattress
  • Add a plush, pillowy feel to a mattress, regardless of its firmness
  • Available in a variety of styles and price points
  • Relieve aches and pains, especially for side sleepers with hip and shoulder pain

CONS

  • Durability may be an issue as pillow tops tend to compress quickly
  • Few options for heavyweight and tall individuals, although the WinkBed Plus listed above could be a solution
  • Sagging may also be an issue due to the breakdown of the pillow top layer over time

Conclusion 

At the end of the day, pillow-top mattresses aren’t all too different from traditional mattresses. They can serve as an excellent choice for people who desire a comfortable sleeping surface that provides more support than a standard memory foam bed or latex bed. If you’re interested in a pillow top mattress, we recommend reviewing the options we’ve suggested above and then using the buyer’s guide to narrow down to the best pillow top mattress for you. 

Still can’t decide? Check out our Best Mattress of 2020 for more great options. 

Recap: Best Rated Pillow-Top Mattresses

Mattress Award Firmness
Saatva Best Affordable Luxury Varies
Helix Midnight Luxe Best for Side Sleepers 5.5/10
DreamCloud Best Hybrid Pillowtop 6/10
WinkBeds Plus Best for Heavy Sleepers 6/10
Avocado Most Eco-Friendly 7/10
Stearns & Foster Lux Estate Collection Best High Profile
Aireloom Karpen Luxe Best Luxury Varies

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