A mattress purchase can be stressful for many, and with the abundance of options available, it is no easy task for those who are not well-versed in advertising jargon versus useful information necessary to make the best decision for your sleep needs.
Unlike a regular mattress, pillowtop mattresses are equipped with an additional layer of padded comfort sewn on top of the comfort layer of a mattress to help provide better support and more comfortable sleep. While pillowtop mattresses seem like an easy choice, the following guide will help you better understand the different types of pillowtop mattresses, and how to decide which is the best pillowtop mattress for you.
What is a Pillowtop Mattress?
A plush pillowtop mattress is a type of mattress with an extra layer of pillow or cloud-like comfort, hence the name “pillowtop”. It is usually equipped with a 2 to 4-inch pillow of cushioning support sewn onto the top of the mattress, just above the comfort layer.
Pillowtop mattresses are great for body contouring, pressure relief, and providing additional comfort without compromising support. Traditional pillowtop mattresses are constructed leaving a small gap between the comfort layer of a mattress and the pillowtop layer to promote airflow. This design can decrease edge support, though, and could in turn reduce the amount of sleep space your mattress allows.
Pillow top mattresses are great for back and side sleepers, as well as average-weight stomach sleepers. Those who are above average weight may find a pillowtop mattress too soft for stomach sleeping, leading to increased aches and pains. While pillowtop mattresses can be made from a variety of materials, they are most often seen affixed to a hybrid or innerspring mattress to compliment the already comfortable core of the mattress.
Types of Pillowtop Mattresses
Not to be confused with a mattress topper or mattress pad, both of which are additions to the mattress that are easily removable, pillowtops are sewn directly into the mattress.
Standard Pillowtop Mattress
A standard pillow top mattress is constructed with a plush pillow-like layer of comfort sewn onto the top layer of a Soft, Medium, Medium-Firm, or Firm mattress to create a luxury firm mattress. Pillowtop mattresses may be made using memory foam, latex, polyfoam, organic cotton, or other popular mattress materials. Most pillowtop mattresses are designed to leave a small gap between the comfort layers and pillowtops to allow adequate airflow, without trapping body heat.
Euro Top Mattress
Euro top pillow tops offer similar comfort and support as standard pillowtop mattresses; however, there are key differences. Euro top pillowtops do not contain spacing between the plush layer and top layer of the mattress, and provide exceptional edge support that a plush pillowtop mattress cannot.
Who is a Pillowtop Mattress Best For?
A pillowtop mattress is a great option for those looking for pressure relief from a Soft mattress that contours to the natural curvature of the body. Side sleepers of average weight are more likely to reap the benefits of pillowtop beds, as they tend to require less support. Back and stomach sleepers, as well as sleepers who are above average weight, find more comfort in a Firm mattress with more support, rather than what a pillowtop offers.
Choosing the right pillowtop mattress can seem difficult. The most important thing to understand is the qualities you need from a mattress before you start shopping. When shopping for a pillowtop mattress, sleepers should consider the type of materials used to create a mattress, the quality of construction, and any key features, such as edge support or temperature regulation, that are most important to their sleep health and preferences.
Pillowtop Mattress vs Euro Top Mattresses
A pillowtop and a Euro top mattress are both made with an additional plush pillow-like layer of comfort on top of a mattress; however, there are a few key differences between the two. A pillowtop is constructed with a discernible layer of separation between the two layers of a mattress with minimal edge support. On the other hand, euro top mattresses have a pillow-like feature sewn directly into the comfort layer to provide a layer of comfort that is flush with the rest of the mattress.
Both the euro top and pillowtop mattresses are usually 2 to 4 inches thick, and are made of several of the same materials; however, they differ in several ways in other areas of construction. A euro top mattress is a dense mattress, making it more durable compared to the plush pillow comfort of a less durable pillowtop mattress. Both products are made of memory foam, latex, polyfoam, fiberfill, or wool to ensure optimal comfort with the finest quality materials available.
Pillowtop Mattress Options
Pillow tops are affixed to the top of a mattress made of a variety of materials. Plush pillowtop mattress options include:
Memory Foam Mattress or Polyfoam Mattress
Memory foam mattresses and polyfoam mattresses are two common types of mattress surfaces used when creating a pillowtop mattress. Many manufacturers combine polyfoam and memory foam to create the perfect blend of comfort and support.
Memory foam pillowtops are great for couples, as they limit motion transfer to reduce the risk of your partner's tossing and turning, waking you throughout the night. While memory foam is not great for hot sleepers, as it traps body heat, or for those who require more firm mattress support, memory foam is an excellent option for those looking for cradling comfort.
Latex foam mattresses offer a slightly bouncy, yet well-supported mattress surface with natural features to enhance sleep. A latex mattress is made using natural latex materials for a more durable sleep surface, although this comes with a higher price tag. Latex is great for hot sleepers, as latex offers naturally cooling properties to keep you comfortable all night. The long-lasting support core of a latex mattress combined with a luxurious pillowtop comfort layer creates a springy, buoyant sleep environment.
Innerspring mattresses, the oldest type of mattress to date, are constructed with steel coil support to provide bouncy support at an affordable price. Innerspring mattresses may be made using continuous coils, coils that are connected from one side of the mattress to the other, or individually wrapped coils. An innerspring mattress with a plush pillowtop provides a durable sleep space, with excellent edge support, at a price point affordable for all.
Hybrid mattresses offer a blend of responsiveness, comfort, and pressure relief. A luxury hybrid mattress made from a combination of memory foam, latex, polyfoam, innerspring coils, or other mattress materials provides optimal comfort, regardless of your sleeping position.
Hybrid mattresses are ideal for those who enjoy the cradling support of a memory foam pillowtop mattress, without the feeling of sinking too far into the memory foam layers. A hybrid mattress is also great for hot sleepers, as the pocketed coil support core allows for optimal airflow to keep combination sleepers, back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and side sleepers cool.
What to Look for When Shopping for a Pillowtop Mattress
Searching for the best pillowtop mattresses can be difficult; however, most pillowtop mattresses are easily found through popular online mattress brands, like here at PlushBeds. There are several pillowtop mattresses available, each with unique features, offering back pain relief, proper spinal support, and much more.
It can be difficult to find the best pillowtop mattress for you, as fancy marketing terms and mattress jargon can cloud how well pillowtops will perform. Shopping online for pillowtop beds can make it easier to compare models and ingredients, and search for key pillowtop mattress features, such as the below, that are most important to you.
Perhaps the most important part of mattress shopping is setting and sticking to a budget. Some of the best pillowtop mattresses are offered at an affordable price for most shopping for a new mattress, and will vary based on the material used, and the construction process.
For example, euro top mattresses are more expensive than standard pillowtop mattresses, but offer higher quality construction, a luxury firm feel, enhanced edge support, and better support through thick foam layers. An innerspring or hybrid mattress topper with individually-wrapped coils or pocketed coils is a great option for smaller budgets, without compromising pressure relief or comfort.
Sleeping positions play a crucial role in how one’s body will interact with the thick foam layers of a pillowtop mattress. Sleep experts report back sleepers are sleeping in a neutral, highly recommended sleeping position; however, this is not the most popular sleeping position.
Thousands upon thousands of people prefer side sleeping, or sleeping in the fetal position above other sleeping positions. Stomach sleepers benefit the most from a Medium-Firm mattress, as a mattress that is too much like a plush pillow causes unnatural curving, leading to increased neck and back pain.
The firmness of a mattress does not typically change by adding a plush pillowtop layer, whether you are purchasing euro top mattresses, or standard pillowtop mattresses. The luxury foam layers that make up the comfort layers of a mattress are generally offered in Soft, Medium, Medium-Firm, and Firm, based on the amount of support you need. Back and side sleepers tend to require less support than stomach sleepers, as the body is more easily held in a neutral position.
Average-weight stomach sleepers, back sleepers, and side sleepers may find a Medium to Medium-Firm mattress comfortable, while most stomach sleepers prefer a Medium-Firm to Firm mattress for additional support. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most firm, some of the best pillowtop mattresses tend to fall around a 5, leaving them to feel like you are laying on a plush pillow of comfort. Most pillowtops without firm comfort layers are best for back and side sleepers under 230 pounds.
Edge support is an important feature to look at when shopping for the best pillowtop mattress, whether it be made from memory foam, latex, or innerspring pocketed coils. This is especially the case for those who sleep near the edge of the bed, or sit on the edge of the bed while dressing, as this causes the materials of a new mattress to compress, which can lead to extra wear. The improper edge support on a pillowtop mattress also leaves couples with less surface area to sleep on, which may defeat the purpose of having a larger bed.
A sleeper's body weight plays a critical role in choosing the best pillowtop mattress, as average-weight stomach sleepers, side sleepers, and back sleepers require less support from a luxury firm mattress than those who are heavier. A pillowtop mattress is generally a plush, thin layer of comfort, allowing you to feel the support from the comfort layers beneath the pillowtop layer.
Hot sleepers will benefit from a pillowtop mattress made with a lightweight, breathable material like organic cotton, natural latex, and other material that allows adequate airflow. A hybrid mattress with a plush pillowtop is great for hot sleepers, as well as those mattresses with an organic cotton cover, and natural latex.
Pros and Cons of Pillowtop Mattresses
Consider these pros and cons of a pillowtop mattress:
- A pillowtop mattress is recommended for those with back pain, and those with other orthopedic disorders requiring additional padding, and helps to reduce aches and pains in side sleepers experiencing shoulder or hip pain.
- Pillowtops add a plush layer of comfort, without compromising the support of a Medium-Firm or Firm mattress.
- Pillowtop mattresses are available in all standard sizes, as well as can be found in extra large sizes, including Twin XL, California King, and Split King and Queen.
- Pillowtops are constructed with a variety of features with great options for additional support, good for hot sleepers, and offered in an inclusive price range.
- Without high-quality materials, accompanied by a much higher price, pillowtops are not as durable as other mattresses, as the plush material compresses easily.
- There are fewer pillowtop mattress options available for heavyweight sleepers, compared to other mattresses.
- Sagging or premature wear can occur, leading to material breakdown, poor edge support, and a shorter mattress lifespan.
PlushBeds Pillowtop Mattresses
Michael Hughes, the founder of PlushBeds, set out on a mission to create a sustainable, healthy sleep surface that is affordable for all. In doing so, PlushBeds has handcrafted several mattresses, including an organic latex mattress, a hybrid mattress, and two popular pillowtop mattresses, along with many other bedding and mattress accessories.
PlushBeds currently offers these two pillowtop mattresses:
The Organic Bliss Pillowtop Mattress is handcrafted with the finest quality of certified organic, natural latex to provide sleepers with a personalized sleep experience. The Organic Bliss Pillowtop Mattress is highly recommended by Orthopedic specialists and chiropractors around the world, as it provides unmatched pressure relief, relief from back pain, and optimal support for back sleepers, side sleepers, and stomach sleepers.
This pillowtop mattress is made with GOLS-Certified, organically grown Dunlop latex from Arpico, encased in a GOTS-Certified organic cotton cover, and infused with GOTS-Certified organic British wool that provides a natural flame-retardant barrier, and helps you to sleep cooler.
The Organic Bliss Pillowtop Mattress is backed by a lifetime warranty, a 100-night money-back guarantee, and free shipping. It’s available in Medium and Medium-Firm.
The Signature Bliss Pillowtop Mattress is handcrafted in the United States with a plush, pillowtop layer of natural latex, affixed to a supportive mattress with fabric-encased pocketed coils that offer edge-to-edge support, limited motion transfer, and optimal support.
The Signature Bliss Pillowtop Mattress is surrounded by certified organic wool, and an organic cotton cover to provide the perfect blend of comfort and support, without compromising your health. Our pillowtop mattress is ideal for side sleepers, as it provides a firm surface to maintain proper alignment of the body, is excellent for hot sleepers due to increased airflow, and is great for those with allergies, as the airflow prevents the growth of mold and other bacteria.
Like the Organic Bliss Pillowtop Mattress, the Signature Bliss Pillowtop Mattress is available in Medium and Medium-Firm, and also comes with a lifetime warranty.
Frequently-Asked Questions about Pillowtop Mattresses
Are Pillowtop Mattresses Better than Memory Foam?
A pillowtop mattress is not better or worse than a traditional memory foam mattress. The decision between the two comes down to personal preference. Combination sleepers often prefer a pillowtop mattress, rather than traditional memory foam, as it provides exceptional support and comfort for back sleepers, side sleepers, and stomach sleepers alike.
How Long Will My Pillowtop Mattress Last?
At PlushBeds, our pillowtop mattresses are backed by a lifetime warranty. While we fully expect our pillowtops to last decades, they must be well-cared for, and properly cleaned to ensure a longer lifespan.
Can I Flip a Pillowtop Mattress?
A pillowtop mattress is usually not flippable; however, sleepers can rotate the mattress 180 degrees to avoid sagging in one area.
PlushBeds Pillowtop Mattresses
When you’re in the market for a pillowtop mattress, look no further than PlushBeds. In summary, we have two great pillowtop mattresses to choose from:
If you’re looking to purchase a pillowtop mattress, we hope you consider one of ours!
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