What Is the Difference Between a Pillow-top and a Euro-top?

The terms ‘pillow-top‘ and ‘euro-top‘ both refer to additional layers of cushioning sewn to top surface of the mattress. Mattress manufacturers often use ‘pillow-top’ and ‘euro-top’ interchangeably, but these two layers differ in terms of construction and appearance.

Construction and Material

Pillow-top. A pillow-top consists of a single, gusseted layer of foam or fiber padding that feels ultra-soft (or ‘pillowy’) to the touch. The pillow-top is sewn to the top side of the mattress, with a gap separating the pillow-top from the comfort layer. This gives the distinct appearance of an additional padding layer on top of the mattress.

Euro-top. Euro-tops (like pillow-tops) are padding layers made of foam or fiberfill; however, the material is usually denser and of higher quality than the material found in a pillow-top. Rather than being sewn to the top of the mattress, euro-tops are sewn flush with the edges of the mattress. This creates a uniform, neatly stacked appearance.

Size

Pillow-tops and euro-tops also differ in their overall size. To the naked eye, both layers have similar measurements — on average, about three inches thick. In reality, however, euro-tops are packed with more material and, as a result, much thicker; pillow-tops only appear to be as thick due to the gap between the pillow-top and the comfort layer.

Firmness

Because pillow-tops are thinner and padded with softer material, sleepers can usually feel the mattress beneath the pillow layer. This creates a uniform balance of firmness and softness throughout the entire pillow-top. Alternatively, euro-tops are designed to provide soft cushioning in the center and a firmer surface at the edges.

Durability

Pillow-tops are considered less durable because they typically flatten out and become less pillowy after prolonged use. And because the foam is usually of lower quality, pillow-tops also show more bodily indentations over time. Euro-tops have a longer lifespan — but they tend to prematurely sag at the edges.

Cost

Finally, there is virtually no cost difference between pillow-tops and euro-tops because both are found on different mattress types and available from numerous manufacturers. Factors like comfort layer/support core construction, material composition and mattress brand have a much stronger bearing on the overall price-point.

Pillow-Tops vs Euro-Tops - Breakdown

Most sleepers will only detect subtle differences in the way pillow-tops and euro-tops look and feel — and both are considered a suitable option for people with orthopedic issues who require extra padding on their mattress. The comparison table below features a more detailed breakdown of the various differences and similarities of pillow-tops and euro-tops.

Pillow-top Euro-top
Construction Layer is sewn to the top of the mattress, with a gap separating the pillow-top from the comfort layer Layer is sewn to the edges of the mattress; there is no space between the euro-top and the comfort layer
Appearance Distinct layering Uniform stacking
Composition Foam or fiberfill Foam or fiberfill
Thickness 3″, including gap between comfort layer 3″ (no gap)
Feel A balance of firmness and cushioning throughout Cushioning at the center, and firmness at the edges
Longevity Pillow-tops tend to flatten and lose their cushioning over time Euro-tops have a longer lifespan, but may sag at edges
Cost Varies by model and manufacturer Varies by model and manufacturer

Best Pillow-Top and Euro-Top Mattresses - Tuck’s Top 3 Picks

Among the many pillow-top and Euro-top mattresses available on the market, there are some that shine as exceptional. Below, we’ve reviewed three of our favorites.

Saatva Mattress

Highlights
  • Euro-top beneath organic cotton cover
  • Recycled coil-on-coil innerspring constriction
  • Multiple firmness and height options available
  • 120-night sleep trial with 15-year warranty

Crowned with a European-style topper, the Saatva was designed to be a luxury bed at a more consumer-friendly price. Below the plush, Euro-top lies a layer of dense memory foam above a sophisticated coil-on-coil construction. The coil-on-coil innerspring design features layers of individually pocketed springs above a coil support base. An eco-conscious company, the materials include recycled steel coil, bio-based foams, and an organic cotton cover.

Saatva’s Euro-top gives the bed a uniquely cushioned feel, while the coil-on-coil layout delivers exceptional spinal alignment, body contouring, and edge support.

The Saatva mattress comes in a choice of three comfort levels: Plush Soft (‘Medium Soft’ or 4), Luxury Firm (‘Medium Firm’ or 6), and Firm (‘Firm’ or 7.5). Mattresses come in a choice of 11.5” or 14.5” high.

In addition to its generous 120-night sleep trial and 15-year, non-prorated warranty, the Saatva company offers free “White Glove” delivery that includes old mattress removal and new mattress set-up.

Avocado Green

Highlights
  • Available as both pillow-top & non pillow-top
  • All-organic dunlop latex with pocked coil spring base
  • Joma wool cover
  • 100-night sleep trial with 25-year warranty

A versatile, sustainably-sourced organic bed, the Avocado Green Mattress can be ordered with either a pillow-top and or without a pillow-top. With the pillow-top version, the Avocado Green is softer (‘Medium’ or 5), while the non-pillow-top model is a bit firmer (‘Medium Firm’ or 6).

Regardless of the model design, the Avocado Green is built from a GOTS organic-certified Joma wool cover and natural Dunlop latex — both green and organic materials. Below the layer of latex is a system of up to 1,414 individually pocketed support coils. The combination of latex and pocketed coils deliver exceptional motion isolation, pressure relief, and edge support.

The Avocado Mattress arrives compressed, rolled in plastic, and shipped in a box for free anywhere within the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii. The mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and 25-year limited warranty.

WinkBed

WinkBed
Highlights
  • Euro-style pillow-top
  • Multiple firmness options
  • Handmade to order in Wisconsin
  • 120-night sleep trial with lifetime warranty

The WinkBed is topped with two-layer, Euro-pillow top and quilted with a “Hyper-soft” gel-infused foam.

The versatile mattress has multiple firmness options, including one intended for sleepers over 300 pounds. The firmness options include Soft (‘Medium Soft’ or 4.5), Luxury Firm (‘Medium Firm’ or 6.5), Firm (‘Firm’ or 7.5), and the Plus option (Medium Firm or 6.5) for heavier individuals.

All models feature a Euro-top comprising of two layers of gel-infused foam. From here, construction may vary slightly from one firmness model to the other, but the basic layout remains the same: Below the two gel layers lies two zoned, tempered layers of microcoils and individually pocketed coils, which hep with support, pressure relief, and contouring. A foam “lumbar layer” offers additional support to prevent sagging and misalignment. The whole mattresses is wrapped in a cooling, stretchy Tencel lyocell cover.

Winkbeds arrive in a compressed, vacuum-sealed box. They ship for free anywhere within the contiguous U.S. and are backed with a 120-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty.

Additional Resources

Not all quality mattresses include pillow- or Euro-tops. To learn more about some of the best types of mattresses today, check out the following guides: