The Truth About Pillow Top Mattresses
Review, Ratings, Comparisons and Complaints Based on 1,874 Owner Experiences
What You Need To Know
THE GOOD.Pillow top mattresses have above-average initial comfort. Tops that include memory foam tend to have above average (back) pain-relief potential and conforming ability.
THE BAD.Pillow top mattresses overall are at least two times more likely than non-pillow top mattresses to have problems with durability, off gassing, and heat retention.
WHAT IS A PILLOW TOP MATTRESS.Pillow tops are most often found on innerspring beds and perhaps airbeds. A pillow top (or euro top) mattress is generally defined as a mattress with several inches of additional padding sewn into the top. This padding can consist of regular foam, memory foam, latex, fiberfill, cotton, wool. Some tops have an integrated appearance with the mattress (euro top) while others appear to be merely lying on top. A non-pillow top mattress, by contrast, often has only minimal to moderate padding.
Pillow Top vs Non-Pillow Top Mattresses
The following table compares pillow top and non-pillow top mattresses based on actual consumer experiences. The findings apply mostly to innerspring mattresses.
|Pillow TOP||non- pillow top|
|Longevity / durability||d||c||Learn more.|
|Easy to maintain||d||c+||Pillow top mattresses likely require at least twice the maintenance in regard to (head to foot) rotation.|
|Price||c-||B-||Pillow top beds are on average about 30% more expensive than non-pillow top beds.|
|General support||C||B-||Sagging of pillow tops can undermine support and possibly cause back pain as a result.|
|Edge support||D+||C+||Support can be lacking for sleeping or sitting near the edge of pillow top mattresses, especially those with thicker tops. Eurotops (tops that are tapered near the edges) tend to perform better.|
|Conforming ability||B||D+||Pillow tops are more likely to contour to the body and relieve pressure points.|
|No initial odor||c-||b-||Learn more.|
|No sleeping hot||c-||b-||Learn more.|
|Easy to move on / get up off||D+||B||Soft pillow tops with at least two inches of memory foam provide some resistance to movement / changing positions.|
|Motion isolation||B||C||Pillow top beds often have sophisticated spring systems that keep movement isolated so as to not disturb one’s partner. The top itself may also absorb some motion.|
|Back sleep friendly||B||b-||The conforming ability of most pillow tops can be beneficial to back sleepers.|
|Side sleep friendly||A-||C||Side sleepers tend to be most satisfied with pillow tops as they often provide softness for hips and shoulders.|
|Front sleep friendly||C-||B+||Thicker and softer pillow tops may allow stomach sleepers to sink too far into the mattress thereby undermining neck alignment and or breathing ease.|
|Firmness options||B-||C||Pillow tops are mainly available in medium or soft, and non-pillow tops mainly in medium or firm.|
|Short break in||C-||B-||Pillow tops with memory foam especially can require extended time for break in.|
|Heavy person friendly||C||B||People over 230 pounds may find that they sink too far into thick pillow tops.|
|Good for sex||b||b-||Pillow tops often provide good comfort but may lack the bounce of non-pillow tops. See mattress sex comparison for general analysis.|
|Easy to lift, move, handle||c-||c+||Pillow top mattresses with their extra material tend to be heavier by about 20% on average.|
Analysis of Key Issues
Owner experience data suggests that a pillow top mattress is initially effective at minimizing pressure points, relieving pain and fostering better sleep. But these benefits often do not continue beyond the first few years вЂ“ or even the first few months in some cases.
PILLOW TOP DURABILITY
At least 30% of pillow top mattress owners report significant sagging or compression occurring within three years of ownership. By contrast, about 17% ofnon-pillow top mattress owners report the problem. Sagging, of course, often undermines comfort and support.
A person’s weight and size donotappear to be the main factor in regard to whether a pillow top will sag / compress as owners weighing under 150 pounds regularly report the problem.
PILLOW TOP LIFESPAN
The chart below shows the lifespan of pillow tops as a group based on owner experiences. In other words, it shows how long a pillow top maintains all or most of its initial comfort before it sags or compresses.
Pillow top mattresses, especially those with memory foam, are at leasttwo timesmore likely to sleep hot thannon-pillow top beds.
About 8% of pillow top mattress owners report that their bed acts as a heat trap resulting in an uncomfortably warm sleep surface.
By contrast, about 4% ofnon-pillow top mattress owners report a sleeping hot issue. (Learn more about mattress heat retention.)
INITIAL ODOR / OFF GASSING
Initial odor or off gassing refers to smell or gas that a mattress can give off when it is new due to the manufacturing and or packaging process.
The intensity of the odor can vary from mattress to mattress, and the odor can last from a few hours to a few months.
Non-pillow top mattresses have few complaints regarding off gassing odor. By contrast, about 8% of pillow top bed owners, especially owners of beds with memory foam tops, complain about odor. Learn more about mattress off gassing.
Especially when they are new, pillow tops tend to be effective in the relief of pain вЂ“ including back, hip and shoulder pain вЂ“ as at least 20% of owners report pain-relief benefits. As the top ages, compresses and sags, at least some pain benefits disappear.
In addition, pillow tops with memory foam tend to be more effective in the relief of pain than pillow tops without memory foam. Learn more about mattress pain relief.
PILLOW TOPS: AIRBEDS VS INNERSPRING BEDS
Airbeds and innerspring beds are the mattress types most likely to have a pillow top.
Any part of an airbed can be replaced, including the pillow top. The top is not permanently attached to the airbed, and, as a result, the existing top can be easily removed and a new top added. The cost of the replacement top may or may not be covered under the warranty. In addition, the pillow top of an airbed can often be easily rotated or flipped to extend its life.
In contrast to an airbed, a pillow top on an innerspring mattress is almost always permanently attached and cannot be easily replaced or replaced at all. This likely means that, unlike the case with airbeds, the entire mattress would need to be replaced (or repaired by a professional) if the pillow top lost its comfort. The cost of replacing / repairing the mattress may or may not be covered under the warranty terms.
A small number of innerspring mattresses have a pillow top on the front and the back of the bed. This allows the mattress to be flipped on occasion to increase the lifespan of the pillow top and therefore the lifespan of the entire bed.
Sleep Like The Dead’s mattress research in The News вЂ“
About Our Mattress Research
Our pillow top mattress research findings are based on 1,850+ mattress consumer reviews that were collected using our unbiased, accurate methodology.
вЂ“ While pillow top mattresses tend to have good-to-excellentinitialcomfort, their long-term comfort is generally no better than fair due to compression and sagging.
вЂ“ Pillow top mattresses overall are about twice as likely to have a problem with initial odor / off gassing than non-pillow top beds. This is usually because pillow top beds include more foam material.
вЂ“ Pillow top beds, especially softer models and those with memory foam, are at least two times more likely to sleep hot than non-pillow top beds. About 8% of pillow top mattress owners report unwanted heat retention.
вЂ“ Pillow tops are mainly available in medium or soft, and non-pillow tops mainly in medium or firm.
The 7 Highest Rated Pillow Top Beds – Updated for 2020
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A pillow-top mattress could be a great option if you are looking for that additional plush comfort and cloud-like sleeping sensation.
If you prefer a traditional coil feel but still want to sleep on a modern mattress with all of the benefits they bring, this should be the perfect fit for you.
If you’ve made up your mind, all you need to do is find the bed that will suit your all your needs while staying within your budget.
The problem is – how do you knowwhich pillow top mattress is best for you?
Let’s take a look at some of our top picks and how to get the best deal available.
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Top 7 Pillow Top Mattress Reviews
WinkBed – Luxury Feel
While some pillow-top mattresses tend to break down depending on what is used to build them, WinkBeds makes durability a cornerstone of their business. That’s why they handcraft sturdy mattresses that should offer consistent comfort and support over years of use. They even have a lifetime warranty to back it up.
This bed’s coil-on-coil support system combines micro-springs with pocketed springs for support and stability. Rested on top is two layers of foam: a responsive soft surface foam for easier repositioning, and dense memory foam for contouring and pressure relief. The entire mattress is wrapped in a soft cotton cover with an attractive blue and white ribbon around the perimeter.
What makes it unique?According to the company, after rigorous testing, the bed was found to lose less than one percent of its loft after a year of use, indicating excellent long-term durability and stability for both the coil systems and its Euro-style pillow top.
Saatva – Classic Feel
The Saatva flagship innerspring mattress introduced luxury and eco-friendly materials to the online space back in 2010, and the bed’s Euro-style top layer of memory foam sets it apart by providing a plush top.
What stands out?Traditional memory foam materials could make a sleeper feel trapped in the bed, but Saatva has incorporated more responsive memory materials that are well balanced by the coil-on-coil support system. This should provide a much gentler cradle nearer to the surface of the bed.
The core of the bed is built using two separate sets of coils. First, a pocketed system of micro coils conforms to your shape for pressure reduction and motion isolation. The second coil system is connected to reduce sagging over time.
Because Saatva does not roll their mattresses into boxes, they are able to use materials that compress a little less, and each bed uses foams that source a portion of their oils from sustainable materials. An added bonus, each bed is professionally delivered and installed for the customer’s convenience.
Find more about this innerspring/hybrid model here.
Avocado – Organic Materials
Eco-friendly mattresses are growing in popularity, but many in the retail space could cost thousands of dollars and be cost-prohibitive for many consumers. By using an online sales model, Avocado wants to bring a more organic experience for sleepers for a more affordable price. Their hybrid model combines a zoned upcycled steel coil unit with a Dunlop latex and an optional Euro-style pillow top.
What makes it special?This company has gone the distance to certify it is an all-natural hybrid, securing certificates from third-party organizations such as GREENGUARD, Made Safe®, and OEKO-TEX®. The cotton used in the cover and flame-retardant wool are both certified organic.
For that crave extra softness, you could opt to add another layer of Dunlop latex sewn into the mattress beneath the cover. This material should give the bed a soft body-conforming and responsive feel unique to latex, and the entire bed is covered by a generous 25-year warranty.
Oceano – Natural Cooling
For the traditional innerspring mattress experience with a plush pillow top and eco-friendly materials, you shouldn’t go wrong with Brentwood Home’s Oceano mattress. Just firm enough to stop you from sinking in, this bed offers zoned support to keep your spine in alignment without being so firm that it’s uncomfortable.
Brentwood Home is known for using luxury products, but thankfully they are reasonably priced, so those on a budget shouldn’t have to sacrifice any essential features. As inner-spring beds are great for air circulation, this mattress should sleep cooler than all-foam models and also includes a breathable Tencel cover and a layer of New Zealand Wool to wick away any moisture that may collect.
Why did it make the list?This bed includes stacked layers of foam and coils to create optimal pressure relief while creating enough support to stop unnecessary sinkage, in other words, it’s all about the spine, especially if you sleep on your back. However, if you find you need more pressure relief, you could always add Brentwood Home’s memory foam topper for a softer feel.
We made a full review which you can read here if you want to learn more.
Helix Luxe – Customizable
Helix is all about helping customers find the best mattress for them based on a quiz. If you are a combination sleeper or a co-sleeper, they are great with creating customizable options that should fit your needs. The Helix Luxe, their pillow-top option should be no exception when it comes to comfort and support.
Within the Luxe model, there are six choices to provide the right amount of support for your sleeping type and budget. Looking at the Luxe Midnight, which is a good medium-firm option, we love what we see. Combining four types of foam and a layer of wrapped coils, this bed should excel in pressure relief, and motion isolation while providing breathable zoned support for optimal alignment.
Why do we love it?With the Helix Luxe, you could build your ideal mattress while in a relatively low-risk situation due to the generous trial period. If you find you want more or less support, it could be comforting to know there is another option, but the quiz should help you get it right the first time.
Willow EuroTop – Budget Choice
To round out the list, Willow (formerly Ultimate Dreams Latex) is a great budget choice because its luxury features are unique to beds at this price point. For instance, the bed is customizable, allowing you to choose your preferred feel from firmnesses on a range from 1 to 10.
The Euro Top is made from 3 inches of breathable Talalay latex, a process that produces a softer and more consistent foam that should cradle your pressure points without letting your body overheat. This is followed by softer reflex foam and a dense base that should provide good support for your spine. The zippered cover even allows for the removal of the comfort layer if you prefer.
What stands out?Dreamfoam aims to provide top quality materials at exceptionally affordable prices so you can rest assured you’re receiving the right value for your dollar with your investment in this mattress. With so many customizable options with this bed, you should know exactly what you’re getting.
Read more: Our in-depth analysis of the Willow EuroTop.
WinkBed Plus – Heavy People
For heavier folks who are tired of mattresses not lasting as long as they should or creating too much sinkage, there is finally an option you should be able to trust. WinkBed Plus was designed for those over 300 pounds and combines a mixture of latex, supportive foams, and triple pocketed coils for optimal support and motion isolation.
While pocketed coils are great for motion isolation, they’re also important for creating optimal pressure relief. This way your body should get support where it matters and pressure relief where you sink in, eliminating the crater effect.
Why do we love it?This model should be quite soft and pressure relieving while providing great support, meaning heavier folks shouldn’t need to sacrifice support for comfort any longer. This means the mattress should be accommodating for any sleeping position, whether you’re on your back, side, or stomach.
Winkbeds didn’t skimp when it comes to edge support, with foam reinforcement, you should adequately feel supported both sleeping and sitting close to the edge.
In need of more info? Check out our in-depth review.
What is a Pillow Top?
Pillow tops are most commonly implemented on beds with an innerspring construction. This is a mattress that is usually described as a bed which has a few inches of additional padding that’s comprehensively sewn on its top layer. This particular padding is designed to deliver additional softness, comfort, and contouring.
It could be made out of memory foam, regular foam, fiberfill, wool, gel, latex or others of the kind. If the pillow top is integrated within the mattress for a unified appearance, this is referred to as a Euro top.
If the cover is lying independently on top of the other layers, it is referred to as a standard pillow top. We will dig in the differences between both down below.
The main intention of the pillow top mattress is to deliver a synergistic blend of push-back, bounce, and enhanced comfort. Since innerspring mattresses are typically incapable of delivering that plush sleeping sensation that a lot of users are very fond of, they are finished with a nice and luxurious pillow top to balance out the feel.
Advantages and Benefits
There are quite a few benefits which stem from using a pillow-top style mattress. Let’s have a look:
Potential Disadvantages and Issues
Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to point out the pros without paying the necessary regard to the potential considerations of these solutions. These beds can have certain drawbacks, and it’s important to take a proper look at them as well to make sure you pick the right brand.
So if these potential drawbacks are too much for you, then we recommend you to check our Top 12 Beds of 2020 here.
Eurotop vs. Pillow Top
The main difference between Euro-top and pillow-top beds is the Euro-top a flush appearance, while the pillow-top, looks like it sounds, a pillow on top of the bed.
This brings a better and more finished appeal for the euro-style pillow tops as they tend to have a streamlined design. They are also sometimes made of higher quality materials, but not always.
Of course, they come with certain considerations as well – the beds may seem a bit bulkier. In certain situations, you might even have to consider a special bed frame.
Apart from that, though, both usually bring superior comfort and enhanced sleeping sensations.
Pillow Top Mattresses
A Pillow Top Mattresses can offer several levels of comfort. There are so many types of pillow top mattress on the market from hi density foams to open cell foams, latex and memory foams to infused and cool gels; confused yet?
Let me make it easier for you, if you’re a hot sleeper stay away from pillow top mattresses all together! More layers hold more heat. Some brands use the word “cool” in front of the product e.g. Cool Gel, Cool Latex, Cool Infused, these may be cool to touch but they retain heat through the night.
We can offer you a comfortable alternative in our store and will listen to your needs.
If you prefer a softer mattress and you sleep on your side or stomach a pillow top mattress may be more suited to your needs.
Our Pillow top mattresses are all Australian Made, using not only good quality foams but also fabrics like Linen and Organic Cotton to give you the luxury feel you have come to expect from a pillow top mattress
Exclusive Pillow Top
Spinal Contour 4
Australian made, 3 zoned Temped pocked spring
Royal Posture Hotel
Royal Posture Hotel
Royal Posture Organic
Royal Posture Organic
Commercial Twin Coil Spring
Pinnacle Sensor Flex
Best mattress on the market,
Our Royal Posture mattress is great. This family business really cares and stock Australian made quality, quick delivery too and we are not close to Kilsyth, well worth the drive though.
What is a pillow top mattress?
Updated 2020: The problem is that pillow-top mattresses can severely reduce the lifespan of your bed and once they compress, that’s it you’re stuck with it. Leading to only one solution. Read on to find out how to avoid pillowtop problems with this mattress guide to avoid settling for a poor mattress choice.
What are pillow top mattresses?
Pillowtop mattresses have started to appear more and more often in bed showrooms offering the allure of super soft sleeping comfort. It is a construction method whereby a layer (the pillow top) of sumptuous upholstery is permanently stitched upon the mattress. It gives the illusion of a super deep mattress with a deep soft fluffy topper layer which is on tp of the core mattress.
It is invariably always going to be one-sided. It will invariably be high-loft (28-35cm) They invariably tend to look absolutely glorious. The Premier Inn uses a Hypnos Pillow top mattress that we recently reviewed here. If you can grab the top layer of a mattress in your hand and separate it slightly from the core mattress; then it’s a pillowtop you’re looking at.
What use are they?
In reality, pillow-top mattresses serve very little benefit to you, apart from the initial comfort they have a really short shelflife. They give the impression of a sumptuous soft topper but are permanently stuck to your mattress either by glue or machine stitched on meaning you’re stuck with them especially when they settle which all new mattresses will do.
We struggle to find any argument for using pillow tops, other than to stop toppers sliding off maybe. This would only apply to really restless sleepers or a bed on a moving platform such as a ship. Which we can only imagine would happen at sea and even then it would have to be a very choppy ocean? We did have one thought that maybe it stops retailers for forgetting to bag up the topper with the mattress but this sounds rather ridiculous.
We can really find no use for pillow tops in any type of mattress construction other than to look nice in showrooms.
How are pillow tops constructed?
Let us start with the construction method of pillowtop mattresses and how they are constructed. A pillowtop is built in two parts.
1. The support section
The pillowtop is stitched directly to the top of the support creating a two-tier mattress. Up to this point, there is really nothing wrong with this all you have now is a fancy-schmancy one-sided mattress. The support part of the mattress can be any type of pocket springs, foam, suspension springs or even cage springs.
2. The pillowtop section
The Pillowtop can also be comprised of anything from polyester, memory foam, latex, wool etc. This is usually a super soft layer to give that immediate sink feeling to the mattress. A good comparison is a feather or down topper which immediately sinks and lets you snuggle into the topper. More often than not this pillowtop isn’t tufted which leads to issues with fibres migrating leaving a lumpy bumpy sleep surface.
What is wrong with pillowtop mattresses?
The main objection to pillow tops come into what you are expected to pay for them and the lifespan you will get out of them. Just like a one-sided mattress, you will be unable to turn it so when the pillowtop layer becomes indented and worn, you will eventually have to replace the entire mattress even though the spring support will be sufficiently OK. At this point, I must admit that Pillowtops with a natural latex comfort layer does not fall into this argument although price wise you will be expected to pay a lot more than for a non-pillow top version.
How Mattresses Are Made
This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation
Mattress construction from the inside-out
If reading about mattress construction sounds like a real, ahem, snooze, know this: The way a mattress is made determines how it feels. And how a mattress feels may be the difference between a fitful night and peaceful slumber!
The Big Picture
Two basic types of mattress make up the vast majority of the market: They’re called innerspring and memory foam. Made of steel coils, innerspring is, by far, the most common type. Memory foam, on the other hand, is made from polyurethane or latex foam, and is very dense foam. Memory foam is usually more expensive than innerspring.
Inside an Innerspring Mattress
Coils determine how much support (suspension versus springiness) the mattress will give. Manufacturers may use different types of coil shapes and structures, as well as different amounts of spacing and patterns to affect comfort. The next layer, top padding, isusually made from polyurethane foam. The outer layer (or ticking) is the material bound to the top padding with stitching. The way that ticking and top padding are attached influences the mattress’s overall feel. Large, wide patterns will create a cushioned feel, which smaller patterns feel tighter and firmer. Generally, the more coils an innerspring mattress contains, the more comfortable it’s bound to be—but if the number of coils is over 390, then you’re not likely to notice the difference, so don’t bother paying extra.
Inside a Memory Foam Mattress
Especially attractive to people with chronic pain conditions, memory foam mattresses consist of, essentially, very dense foam. When you lie on a foam mattress, your body heat softens the material, allowing it to “mold” to your body. One big advantage: In bigger beds, a memory foam mattress won’t shift as much as an innerspring when one partner turns or moves. So if you’re often disturbed by your partner’s tossing and turning in the middle of the night, it might be time to invest in a memory foam mattress. But one con: Because these mattresses mold to your body, they can absorb a lot of heat and make you feel hotter while you sleep. Some people also complain that they have a chemical smell.