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Best Pillow-Top Mattresses

Written by Brad Nehring

Quick Overview

A pillow-top is an extra layer of padding material sewn into the surface of a mattress. Most pillow-tops contain adaptive foam, fiber fill, and other materials that make the mattress feel softer than it would without the layer. The term “pillow-top” refers to a gusseted layer sewn into the mattress with a noticeable gap, while a “Euro-top” layer is sewn flush with the edges for a more uniform appearance – but both types of layers essentially accomplish the same task.

The Best Pillow-Top Mattresses

Many people enjoy the invitingly plush feel of pillow-top mattresses, and the extra layering can alleviate pressure and absorb motion well. That said, pillow-tops are not for everyone. We’ll lay out the pros and cons of these mattresses, discuss the differences between pillow-tops and Euro-tops, and answer some common questions about these products.

First Time Buying a Mattress?

Hop down to our Buyer’s Guide for a crash course on finding the best mattress for you.

 

The Best Pillow-Top Mattresses – Reviewed

Best OverallThe WinkBed

Best Overall – The WinkBed

Highlights

  • Multiple firmness options (4.5, 6.5, 7.5, 8)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Excellent breathability and cooling
  • Strong edge support from zoned coil system
Read Our Full Review
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Best OverallThe WinkBed

winkbeds.com

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The WinkBed is a quintessential Euro-top hybrid, offering a plush surface feel with comfortable cushioning without sacrificing a strong support system. A stretch-knit Tencel lyocell cover encases a thin layer of quilted memory foam quilted that cradles and contours to the body as you get into bed. A comfort layer of adaptive polyfoam offers added conforming.

A standard WinkBed is available in three firmness levels: medium soft (4.5), medium firm (6.5), and firm (7.5), so most shoppers can find a feel that’s suitable for their body type and preferred sleep position. These models contain extra polyfoam over a transitional layer of foam-encased minicoils that reinforce the comfort layers while also absorbing movement for couples.

A fourth option is the WinkBed Plus, a firm (8) mattress specifically designed for people who weigh more than 230 pounds. Rather than a second comfort layer and minicoils, these models contain 2.5 inches of zoned latex for enhanced support throughout the body. All versions of the WinkBed come equipped with a zoned pocketed coil support core that offers excellent reinforcement around the edges.

The WinkBed and WinkBed Plus have sticker prices that are in line with the average hybrid, but the company will ship the mattress for free anywhere in the contiguous U.S. Your purchase includes a 120-night sleep trial for testing out the mattress and a lifetime warranty if you decide to keep it.

The Bottom Line.

The WinkBed pillow-top hybrid offers a comfortable balance of contouring, pressure relief, and overall support. Four firmness options allow the mattress to accommodate virtually any sleeper regardless of weight or position.

Recommended for…

  • Hot sleepers. The pocketed coils distribute air throughout the interior to help The WinkBed maintain a comfortable core temperature. A breathable Tencel cover and cooling transitional materials can also benefit those who sleep hot.
  • People who need extra reinforcement from their mattress. Zoned coils and supportive transitional materials provide excellent stability to keep you on an even plane and reduce sinkage along the perimeter.
  • Those who weigh more than 230 pounds. People in the heavyweight group should consider the WinkBed Plus, one of the only online mattresses specifically designed for larger individuals.
  • Couples. The WinkBed’s foam layers absorb motion well, ensuring above-average motion isolation for a hybrid, but the mattress should also be responsive enough for sex.

Not Recommended for..

  • Sleepers who enjoy sinking into their mattress. The foam layers are fairly adaptive, but The WinkBed doesn’t cradle the body quite like an all-foam mattress.
  • Shoppers with limited budgets. While The WinkBed’s price-point is on par for a hybrid, this is one of the most expensive mattress types and this model may cost too much for some people.

Best CoolingHelix Midnight LUXE

Best Cooling – Helix Midnight LUXE

Highlights

  • Medium (5.5)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 15-year warranty
  • Consistent airflow ensures good cooling
  • Great cushioning for side sleepers
Read Our Full Review
Save $200 and get 2 free Helix Dream Pillows when you spend $1,750 or more.
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Best CoolingHelix Midnight LUXE

helixsleep.com

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Temperature control is a common issue with pillow-top mattresses because the plush, quilted materials tend to absorb body heat and sleep uncomfortably warm. The Helix Midnight LUXE is one pillow-top bed that manages to sleep cool, and this is mostly due to its breathable cover made of Tencel fabric and a thick coil system that promotes consistent airflow. Additionally, cooling gel is infused into the memory foam comfort layer to draw heat away from your body.

The Midnight LUXE is part of Helix Sleep’s line of luxury hybrids, each one designed for a specific body type and sleep position. This model is geared toward side sleepers weighing 130-230 pounds, but our testing shows most side and back sleepers weighing 230 pounds or less have rated the mattress favorably. The pillow-top is soft enough to absorb some movement and reduce sleep disruptions for couples, but the coils offer solid edge support and good responsiveness for sex.

Helix Sleep offers free shipping to all 50 states, which is particularly beneficial for people in Alaska and Hawaii who normally pay steep delivery charges for online beds. Each order comes with a 100-night sleep trial and 15-year warranty.

The Bottom Line.

The Helix Midnight LUXE is an exceptionally balanced mattress that contours and supports in equal measure. Five additional pillow-top models are available in Helix Sleep’s LUXE series if you want a softer or firmer feel.

  • Side and back sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds. Due to its medium (5.5) feel, the Midnight LUXE offers ample cushioning for side sleepers seeking even alignment and less pressure, but also delivers even support to back sleepers in this weight range.
  • Hot sleepers. A breathable Tencel cover, memory foam comfort layer infused with cooling gel, and a pocketed coil system that circulates air currents all work together to help this mattress sleep exceptionally cool.
  • Couples. Although the mattress does not eliminate motion transfer like all-foam models, the mix of plushness and springiness ensures decent motion isolation and adequate bounce for amorous activities.
  • Those who aren’t sure about their ideal firmness level. The Midnight LUXE may not be right for you, but Helix Sleep offers an online sleep quiz to narrow down a suitable firmness for you based on body type, sleep position, and general preferences.

Not Recommended for...

  • People who weigh more than 230 pounds. Since the Midnight LUXE has a medium feel, it will probably feel excessively soft and sink too much for people in the heavyweight group.
  • Those who prefer (or need) deep body-conforming. The Midnight LUXE provides noticeable contouring for sleepers, but not as much as the average polyfoam or memory foam mattress.

Best ValueDreamCloud

Best Value – DreamCloud

Highlights

  • Medium Firm (6.5)
  • 365-night sleep trial
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Cooling cashmere-blend cover
  • Luxurious high-profile design
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Best ValueDreamCloud

dreamcloudsleep.com

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Not all luxury pillow-tops are expensively priced. For example, the DreamCloud costs much less than the average hybrid model, yet its refined design and premium materials put the mattress on par with competitors that cost twice or even three times as much. These components include an ultra-breathable cover made from blended cashmere, memory foam and polyfoam layers to cushion the body, and a sturdy pocketed coil system that stabilizes the entire mattress and keeps your body on an even plane.

The DreamCloud’s feel is medium firm (6.5), but the quilted pillow-top prevents the surface from feeling overly stiff when you lie down on the mattress. Measuring 14 inches thick, this high-profile model is a great option for people who prefer exceptionally thick mattresses. The balanced feel is also well suited to back and stomach sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds, and side sleepers weighing more than 230 pounds.

DreamCloud’s 365-night sleep trial is one of the longest in the online mattress industry, giving you an entire year to make a final decision, and you’ll also receive a lifetime warranty against structural defects to protect your investment. Shipping is free for all orders in the contiguous U.S.

The Bottom Line.

A budget-friendly hybrid with a high-end design, the DreamCloud is the best of both worlds when it comes to pillow-top mattresses. The luxurious cashmere-blend cover also ensures plenty of cool, comfortable nights.

  • People who weigh at least 130 pounds. The DreamCloud is considered medium firm and provides adequate support to most people in the average weight and heavyweight groups – particularly back and stomach sleepers.
  • Hot sleepers Most hybrids sleep relatively cool but the DreamCloud gets a slight edge on competitors thanks to its luxe cashmere-blend cover.
  • Value seekers. The DreamCloud’s price-point falls well below that of the average hybrid mattress – especially models built with high-end materials.
  • Those who want a mattress with a long sleep trial. DreamCloud’s generous trial period allows you to test out the mattress for an entire year.

Not Recommended for...

  • People who weigh less than 130 pounds. The DreamCloud’s medium firm feel will likely feel too stiff and not conform closely enough for lightweight sleepers.
  • Those who want a hybrid with strong edge support. For all of its strengths, the DreamCloud lacks the sturdy perimeter reinforcement normally found in firmer hybrid models.

Most ComfortableSaatva Classic

Most Comfortable – Saatva Classic

Highlights

  • Multiple firmness options (4, 6, 7.5)
  • 180-night sleep trial
  • 15-year warranty
  • Responsive and supportive coil-on-coil innerspring
  • 2 thickness options (11.5", 14.5")
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Get $200 off when you spend $1,000 or more at Saatva.com.
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Most ComfortableSaatva Classic

saatva.com

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The flagship Saatva Classic updates the traditional innerspring mattress with an advanced hybrid design that provides excellent support. A Euro-top padded with adaptive foam and soft fibers creates a plush feel across the surface, and a memory foam comfort layer offers extra conforming, but pocketed minicoils over a support core of hourglass coils also produce a highly responsive feel. Most people will have an easy time moving across the mattress, and many couples will appreciate the extra bounciness during sex.

Three firmness options are available for the mattress. The medium soft (4) model contours the closest without sacrificing support, the medium firm (6) is the most balanced feel with moderate contouring and sturdy reinforcement, and the firm (7.5) is exceptionally stable and best suited to people who weigh more than 230 pounds. You can also choose between a thickness of 11.5 or 14.5 inches, depending on your ideal mattress profile.

Unlike most competing online mattress brands, Saatva offers free White Glove delivery for all U.S. orders. This service includes scheduled delivery date and time, full assembly in a room of your choice, and old mattress and box spring removal. Your purchase also includes a generous 180-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty.

The Bottom Line.

The Saatva Classic lives up to its name thanks to a traditional innerspring design modified with modern touches to enhance your sleep experience. Customers will also be enticed by the free White Glove delivery and six-month sleep trial.

  • People who prefer springy sleep surfaces. The Saatva Classic’s coil-on-coil design produces significant responsiveness on the surface, though the Euro-top prevents the mattress from feeling too firm or rigid.
  • Hot sleepers. Air circulates freely through both coil layers to maintain a comfortable core temperature and help you stay cool throughout the year.
  • Those who would rather not assemble a new mattress themselves. Saatva’s free White Glove delivery includes full mattress assembly and removal of your old bed, allowing you to sit back and relax on the delivery date.
  • Shoppers seeking a lengthy sleep trial. Saatva’s six-month trial period provides ample time for testing out the mattress and deciding whether to keep it, exchange it, or return it for a refund.

Not Recommended for...

  • Couples. While the Saatva Classic offers good responsiveness for sex, this also means co-sleepers may notice more transfer across the surface and experience nighttime disruptions as a result.
  • People who prefer deep contouring. Despite some foam layers, the Saatva Classic takes its cues from old-school innersprings and does not conform to the body very much.

Best for Side SleepersBeautyrest Black

Best for Side Sleepers – Beautyrest Black

Highlights

  • Multiple firmness options (6, 7.5)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Cooling upgrades available
  • Free White Glove delivery
Read Our Full Review
Buy the Beautyrest Black at the lowest available price.
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Best for Side SleepersBeautyrest Black

beautyrest.com

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Simmons Bedding Co. is one of the most storied brands in the mattress industry, and the Beautyrest Black is one of the company’s marquee hybrids. The mattress is constructed with four foam layers over a support core of pocketed coils encased in high-density foam. The mattress is firm (7.5) so you’ll notice more support and less contouring, but the comfort layers provide enough cushioning to prevent stiffness or discomfort for people who weigh at least 130 pounds.

Standard models feature a quilted cover that feels quite plush, but including the pillow-top requires an additional upgrade that also includes a carbon infusion in the memory foam to prevent excessive heat buildup. Additionally, 2 additional inches of gel memory foam are added to the comfort system. This increases the profile to 15 inches and gives the mattress a medium firm (6) feel that will be more comfortable for people weighing less than 130 pounds.

Beautyrest is another mattress brand that offers free White Glove delivery for all online orders in the contiguous U.S. This service includes not only full assembly in a room of your choice but also old mattress removal. Your order will come with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

The Bottom Line.

The Beautyrest Black is a sleekly crafted hybrid with luxurious materials and a highly supportive build that holds up well over time. For an additional upgrade, you can add a plush pillow-top that softens the feel and provides more contouring.

  • People who prefer tall mattresses. A standard Beautyrest Black stands 13 inches thick, and adding the pillow-top adds another 2 inches to the profile.
  • Hot sleepers. Like other hybrids, the Beautyrest Black sleeps fairly cool thanks to accelerated airflow through the coil system. The pillow-top add-on also includes a cooling infusion to keep the surface comfortable.
  • People who weigh at least 130 pounds. While upgrading to a pillow-top can make the mattress more comfortable for lightweight sleepers, both versions of the Beautyrest Black are best suited to average weight and heavyweight sleepers.
  • People who would like assistance setting up their mattress. Beautyrest provides free White Glove delivery to all customers in the contiguous U.S.

Not Recommended for...

  • Side sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds. Some lightweight side sleepers may find the Beautyrest Black comfortable, but may won’t receive enough contouring to alleviate pressure along the spine.
  • Shoppers with limited budgets. Even for a hybrid mattress, the Beautyrest Black’s price-point is fairly expensive.

Best Pillow-Top Mattresses Buying Guide

A pillow-top or Euro-top mattress features a layer of cushioning material sewn onto the surface. These layers typically measure 2 to 3 inches thick, and can greatly affect the overall feel of a mattress. People who prefer soft sleep surfaces, side sleepers, and those with pressure points along the spine can all benefit from a pillow-top. At the same time, these mattresses pose certain disadvantages compared to non-pillow-top models. Our buyer’s guide explores pillow-tops and Euro-tops in detail to help you decide whether one of these mattresses is right for you.

What Is a Pillow-Top Mattress?

“Pillow-top” refers to any layer of cushioning material that softens the top surface of a mattress. Pillow-top mattresses have this layer sewn to the top comfort layer. This differs from a pillow-top mattress pad, which is not attached to the bed and can be added or removed at any time.

The term “pillow-top” is widely used for any mattress with this type of layering, but these models actually fall into two categories. For a traditional pillow-top, the cushioning is sewn to the comfort layer with a noticeable gap between the two components. This differs from a Euro-top, which is sewn flush with the comfort layer for a more seamless look and some added support along the perimeter of the mattress.

Apart from this structural distinction, pillow-tops and Euro-tops are quite similar. Both measure 2-3 inches thick on average, and are usually filled with adaptive foam, soft fiber padding, latex, and other materials that cushion and conform to the body. A typical pillow-top mattress has a feel that ranges from medium soft to medium firm, or 4-6 on the 1-10 firmness scale. However, many of today’s mattress brands offer pillow-top and Euro-top models and a wide range of firmness levels are available.

Which Types of Mattresses Have Pillow-Tops?

Any type of mattress could be constructed with a pillow-top or Euro-top. That said, these layers are most commonly found on mattresses that fall into the following three categories.

  • Innersprings: The oldest type of mattress still used today, traditional innersprings feature thin foam comfort layers and thick steel coil support cores. The contrast between these two components creates a relatively firm and responsive feel on the surface. Many people find innersprings a bit too stiff, which explains why pillow-tops have become a popular addition to these mattresses.
  • Hybrids: Hybrids are a specific type of innerspring designed for more contouring and pressure relief. Most hybrids contain thick comfort layers of memory foam, adaptive polyfoam, or latex. Their coils are individually encased in fabric to provide more targeted support throughout the body and limit motion transfer. Hybrids typically feel softer than traditional innersprings, but a pillow-top can enhance the cushioning and pressure-relieving qualities of the comfort layers.
  • Airbeds: An airbed features a support core equipped with adjustable air chambers. Owners can change the firmness level of their mattress by adding or removing air from different chambers. Most airbeds have at least two chambers to create distinct feels in different areas of the sleep surface. Traditional airbeds are constructed with little – if any – comfort layering, so some newer models feature a pillow-top or Euro-top to provide more cushioning for sleepers.

Before investing in a pillow-top or Euro-top mattress, take a moment to research the key differences between innersprings, hybrids, and airbeds.

 

Innerspring Hybrid Airbed
Average Lifespan 5-6 years 6-7 years 8+ years
Strengths Temperature regulation
Sleeper and edge support
Responsiveness for sex
Contouring/pressure relief
Temperature regulation
Motion isolation
Adjustable firmness
Contouring/pressure relief
Longevity
Weaknesses Contouring/pressure relief
Motion isolation
Sagging/ease of movement
Affordability
Potential for malfunctions/breakdowns
Affordability
Average Price (Queen) $700 to $1,100 $1,500 to $2,200 $2,000 to $2,500

Pros and Cons of Pillow-Top Mattresses

If you prefer sleep surfaces with plush feels, sleep on your side, or want a mattress that alleviates pressure, then you are a great candidate for a pillow-top or Euro-top mattress. On the other hand, people who tend to sleep hot, those who weigh more than 230 pounds, and shoppers who want to invest in a durable mattress may want to consider a non-pillow-top model instead.

 

  • Added cushioning: A pillow-top or Euro-top will significantly alter the feel of a mattress surface, especially layers that measure 3 inches or thicker. The padding material can make getting into bed more comfortable.
  • Improved motion isolation: Pillow-top and Euro-top layers can absorb movement quite well, especially if they contain foam. This limits motion transfer across the surface to help couples sleep soundly without disruptions.
  • Good for side sleeping: Side sleepers typically need more padding than those who use other positions. This is because side sleeping does not promote alignment, so added support is needed around the shoulders and hips. Pillow-top and Euro-top layers can cushion these areas and help side sleepers stay comfortable.
  • Pain and pressure relief: Most people who are prone to aches, pains, and pressure points also favor softer sleep surfaces. The adaptive foams, fibers, and other pillow-top materials create a cloud-like feel that can reduce pain and prevent added pressure.

Cons

  • Less durability: Softer mattress materials simply deteriorate faster than firmer ones. This means you may notice the pillow-top flattening and losing support over time. Euro-tops tend to last a bit longer, but still wear out somewhat quickly compared to firmer standard comfort layers.
  • Heat retention: People tend to sleep hotter on surfaces they sink into as opposed to surfaces that keep their bodies on an even plane. Soft pillow-tops and Euro-tops padded with foam tend to absorb and trap the most heat, but this is a common issue for all of these layers regardless of the cushioning material.
  • Odor potential: All mattresses emit at least some odor, and models with foam layers tend to smell the most. The addition of a pillow-top or Euro-top with foam padding will only increase the off-gassing potential of a new mattress, and the odors may linger for several days after the bed is unboxed and installed.
  • Higher price-points: Since additional layers cost more money for manufacturers, pillow-top and Euro-top mattresses almost always cost more than their standard counterparts. You may have the option of pillow-top or non-pillow-top for certain models.

Pillow-Top Mattress FAQ

How much does a pillow-top mattress cost?

While pillow-top and Euro-top mattresses tend to cost more than standard models, their price-points largely depend on other factors such as comfort and support layer materials, size, and the brand. If you’re in the market for a pillow-top innerspring, you’ll probably pay at least $900 to $1,000 in a queen size. Pillow-top hybrids run closer to $1,600 to $2,000 in the same size. For airbeds, expect a queen sticker price of no less than $2,500 – but keep in mind airbeds are much more expensive on average than other mattress types.

Is a pillow-top better than a Euro-top?

Pillow-tops and Euro-tops are quite similar in terms of feel and performance. The uniform sewing of Euro-tops often provides more edge support than a standard pillow-top. People who prefer a more uniform mattress appearance may also prefer Euro-tops over pillow-tops. But aside from these minor differences, there is no distinguishable advantage of one over the other.

Who should get a pillow-top mattress?

Anyone who prefers softer sleep surfaces will probably feel most comfortable on a pillow-top or Euro-top. This often includes side sleepers, those who weigh less than 130 pounds, and people who are prone to pressure points. Couples can also benefit from pillow-tops because they usually isolate motion better than standard innersprings or hybrids.

How can I make my pillow-top mattress last longer?

Early wear and tear is a common complaint about pillow-top and Euro-top beds. One way to extend their lifespan is to regularly rotate the mattress from head to foot. For best results, rotate every two or three months.

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