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,  contouring, pressure relief, and motion isolation 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.

Disclosure: By clicking on the product links in this article, Mattress Nerd may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Read full disclosure statement.

The Best Pillow Top Mattresses of 2021

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.

Saatva Classic Mattress
Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

Varies

Trial period

180 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 levels. 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, it comes at a relatively affordable price, at $1,399 for a queen size, 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.

Helix Midnight Luxe Mattress
Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

6

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 firm support in the pocketed coil layer. The bed’s layers of foam 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 it’s 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 Midnight Mattress Review to learn more. 

DreamCloud Premier

Best Hybrid Pillowtop

The DreamCloud hybrid mattress is made of 6 layers of memory foam and pocket coils, combined to deliver a high comfort level for pressure point and back pain relief.

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 Premier mattress review 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.

Avocado 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 who purchases this new mattress.

See our full Avocado 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—see our WinkBeds Plus mattress review. If you’re a heavyweight sleeper who prefers to sink into your mattress a bit more, the WinkBed Firm should do—see our WinkBeds mattress review.

Read our in-depth WinkBeds mattress reviews to learn more! 

Brentwood Home Oceano Luxury

Best for Couples

The Oceano Luxury does a wonderful job of preventing motion transfer and regulating temperature.

brentwood oceano luxury
Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

6.5

Trial period

1 year

Reason to buy

Reliably supportive and comfortable

Sleeping comfortably with a partner can sometimes be a challenge. Small movements might disturb light sleepers, extra body heat can make for an uncomfortably warm night, and getting your fair share of the comforter is near impossible. While we can’t help you solve the blanket hog problem, the Brentwood Home Oceano Luxury can help with the first two problems.

This plush pillow top mattress has gel infused memory foam that remains cool all throughout the night. Not just that, the base layer of coils adds breathability as well as plenty of support for two people. If you’re often awoken by your partner’s tossing and turning, the Brentwood Home Oceano Luxury does a great job of isolating motion, meaning you’ll feel less of your loved one’s movements.

Read our full Brentwood Home Mattress Reviews to learn more!

Nest Alexander Signature

Best Medium-Firm Mattress

The Nest Alexander provides the comfort of a pillow top and the support of a medium-firm mattress.

Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Series
Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

Varies

Trial period

100 nights

Reason to buy

Four top comfort layers make it exceptionally soft

Determining your ideal mattress firmness can be difficult, especially if you can’t test out different models. You might assume that a softer bed makes for a more comfortable night’s sleep, but there are many factors that play into which type of mattress will work best for you. Oftentimes, something right down the middle of the firmness scale offers the most comfort and support. And when it comes to medium-firm pillow top mattresses, you’d have a hard time finding one better than the Nest Alexander. 

Built with a quilted pillow top and layers of memory foam, this mattress appeals to most types of sleepers. Whether you’re lightweight, a dedicated side sleeper, or someone who tends to overheat, the features of the Nest Alexander cater to your individual needs.

Read our full Nest Alexander Mattress Review to learn more!

Birch

Best for Back Sleepers

Cooling, organic, and great for back sleepers, the Birch mattress has a lot to love.

birch mattress
Score
4.9 / 5.0
Firmness

Varies

Trial period

100 nights

Reason to buy

Affordable, all natural hybrid

The Birch mattress from Helix is an environmentally friendly product made using organic material like wool, talalay latex, and cotton. While immediately appealing to the eco-conscious, the Birch mattress also has the qualities of an overall great pillow top mattress, especially for back sleepers.

Medium-firm and impressively durable, the Birch provides back sleepers with a surface that allows their hips to sink in far enough for comfort, but not so far that their spine gets thrown out of alignment. Also, we found that the materials in the Birch were not only organic, but also very high-quality. With proper care, you can expect this mattress to last for more than eight years.

Read our full Birch Mattress Review to learn more!

Awara

Best Cooling Mattress
This is a high-quality, simply constructed mattress with a 4” top layer of Dunlop latex and a 9” support core of pocketed coils. The coils are zoned, meaning that they’re denser in areas where additional pressure from body weight typically occurs.
Awara Hybrid Mattress
Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

6.5

Trial period

365 Days

Reason to buy

Targeted-support system in the coil layer

Named one of our best mattresses for the money, the classic Awara mattress not only delivers plush pillow top comfort, but also fantastic cooling capabilities. The heat-resistant latex and infusions of wool and cotton make for a naturally refreshingly brisk sleep experience. Then there’s the layer of coils that keeps heat from getting trapped in the mattress.

The Awara mattress doesn’t disappoint, but what about the company policies? Well, we’re happy to say that they are quite generous. The sleep trial lasts 365 days—much longer than the industry average of 100 days. Then there’s the lifetime warranty, which ensures that you can sleep cool on the Awara for many, many years.

Read our full Awara Mattress Review to learn more!

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. See our best mattress toppers for more information.

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. For more information, see our best mattresses for plus sized sleepers article.
  • 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.

Related: Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers, Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers, Best Mattresses for Stomach Sleepers

  • 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. We have a number of resources for folks who tend to sleep hot, such as our best cooling mattresses and best cooling sheets roundups.

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). Take a look at our best firm mattresses and best soft mattresses articles for more info.
  • 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.

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.

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.
  • There are 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. This can also factor into poor edge support.

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 2021 for more great options. 

Recap of the Best Rated Pillow-Top Mattresses

Mattress Award Firmness
Saatva Best Affordable Luxury Varies
Helix Luxe Best for Side Sleepers 5.5/10
DreamCloud Premier Best Hybrid Pillowtop 6/10
Avocado Most Eco-Friendly 7/10
WinkBeds  Best for Heavy Sleepers 6/10
Oceano Luxury Best for Couples 6.5
Nest Alexander Best Medium-Firm Mattress Varies
Birch Best for Back Sleepers Varies
Awara Best Cooling Mattress 6.5