||15-year warranty /
||10-year warranty /
DREAMFOAM Ultimate Dreams EuroTop Latex Mattress
||10-year warranty /
90-day sleep trial
Serta Elite Pillow Top 700 Innerspring Mattress
Signature Sleep 13 Inch Pillow Top Mattress
If you’ve ever been to the market in search of a mattress (even for the first time), it is highly likely that you will have come across the term pillow top or Euro top. They are advertised as mattresses with a touch of luxury, and in most cases, rightly so.
However, the advantages they bring are subjective based on a number of factors, and your choice of pillow top must take these into account in order to be useful for your particular needs. This is easier said than done since the popularity of these mattresses has led to a whole host of brands, offering competitive products with features that can easily bewilder a newcomer.
Having learned about pillow tops through painstaking research for my own purchase, I’ve decided to write this guide to ease the selection of a pillow top for you. You’ll find out about the various factors that differentiate pillow tops, and indeed, you’ll be better able to answer whether you need one at all or not!
I’ve also included a select few of pillow top mattress reviews so you’ve got a benchmark to compare other products against.
What Is A Pillow Top?
As implied by its name, a pillow top mattress is simply a regular mattress with an extra layer of padding on top. The padding can be made from soft bedding materials such as polyfoam, memory foam, latex, down, and so on. Think of it as an augmentation of a regular mattress to improve its comfort and contouring capability.
Many times, you’ll find pillow tops incorporated into mattresses that otherwise have a firm, stiff construction, e.g. a Dunlop latex mattress and other innerspring units. The goal is to retain the core springiness of the underlying mattress while adding softness to the initial feel, so the sleeper is able to achieve the right balance between push-back and contouring.
What Is A Euro Top?
Euro top mattresses can loosely be referred to as a subset of pillow tops. With the chief difference being that, the former is attached plush to mattress surface so that it appears as a part of the mattress itself, and the latter is stitched in a manner that makes it look separate from the main unit.
Beyond aesthetics, there aren’t any major differences except perhaps for the fact that a Eurotop offers marginally better edge support and is a bit harder to maintain. Here’s a video demonstrating the differences between a pillow top and a Euro top:
Benefits of Pillow Top Mattresses
Luxury at a relatively affordable price
Pillow tops are added to mattresses to increase their luxuriousness. The enhanced softness that they provide can make a huge difference in the feel of a traditional continuous coil innerspring mattress which otherwise might’ve been overly stiff and unyielding.
Since a pillow top is just a single, relatively thin, layer of padding, it doesn’t cost as much as adding an entire layer of expensive foam on top of the innerspring just to counteract the hardness of the coils. In the end, you get a blend of airy luxury and springy resilience comparable to much higher end mattresses.
Continuing from the previous point, the added softness that a pillow top brings can result in better contouring which in turn translates into better pain relief. This is especially true for side sleepers since their inherently awkward sleep posture cannot achieve optimal spinal alignment on a hard sleeping surface.
Keep in mind though, that this pain relief is with regards to the average sleeper and not someone dealing with chronic back pain or something similar. In that case, you’ll need to get an orthopedic pillow top or even a proper mattress to deal with the pain.
One of the more troublesome aspects of innerspring mattresses (especially the lower end ones) is the way they seemingly transmit motion to every corner of the bed – those who have slept on an innerspring with a restless partner will attest to this.
A pillow top, essentially being an extra layer of cushioning, can reduce this issue considerably by absorbing much of the shock resulting from your (or your partner’s) movements in bed.
Drawbacks of a Pillow Top Mattress
Although it adds cushioning to your bed, a pillow top may come at the price of increased heat retention, especially if it uses polyurethane foam or memory foam, which are inherently heat retentive materials. Naturally, higher-end pillow tops that use Talalay latex or gel memory foam will not suffer from this problem a great deal.
If the pillow top consists of a low-quality material, e.g. polyester or low-density polyurethane foam, you should expect it to lose its fluffiness after a time. It may even develop indentations in some places, which could actually increase discomfort as opposed to decreasing it!
It is, therefore, a good idea to not be skimpy when considering a pillow top since, in many cases, you’re already going for a mattress whose idea boils down to ‘luxury on a budget’, and a cheaper version of such a product will only disappoint you.
Should I Get A Pillow Top?
Are you on a budget?
Let me say this from the outset: anything that you get as a result of combining a hard mattress with a soft pillow top can be achieved better with a proper hybrid mattress that utilizes a hard support core in conjunction with a softer comfort layer.
The primary attraction with a pillow top is that it gives you comparable results at a fraction of the cost of a hybrid mattress.
Do you have an awkward sleeping posture?
If you sleep on your side and can’t afford a properly contouring mattress made out of latex or viscoelastic, you could get a decent amount of contouring comfort from a pillow top innerspring mattress.
Do you want a touch of luxury in your bedroom?
As mentioned before, a pillow top will create an airy, floating sensation on your bed that won’t cost you a great deal. A Euro top will enhance the visual appeal of your bedroom too. In certain cases, a pillow top may also be included as an optional add-on for a high-end mattress to further improve the cushioning sensation it can yield.
Are There Any Cheaper Alternatives?
A pillow top is already a cheaper way to get the same kind of balanced comfort and support as a high-end hybrid mattress, but if your budget doesn’t allow even this, you could consider a mattress topper to ramp up the plushness and contouring of a hard bed at an even lower cost.
In fact, I would recommend going this route as opposed to getting an ultra-cheap pillow top that would deteriorate after a few months and leave you stuck with a lumpy sleeping surface. In the case of a topper, you can always throw the old one out and replace it with a new cheaper one.
Considerations for Getting a Pillow Top Mattress
A number of materials can be used to achieve the soft contouring surface that is typical of pillow tops:
Polyester: This is the cheapest and least durable cushioning material and will compact and harden with time.
Polyurethane Foam: This is the same material found in the actual layers of a mattress, and it offers a good amount of comfort with improved durability. It does suffer from slight heat retention, though.
Viscoelastic Foam: Memory foam is designed to contour the shape of your body and offers plush enveloping comfort. Traditional viscoelastic suffers from heat retention issues, but more recent variants such as gel foam are much better off.
Latex: Natural latex is considered one of the highest end bedding materials since yielding responsiveness and conformity where used. It is generally less heat retentive than viscoelastic and also more environmentally safe.
Down: Goose down (or a similar alternative) offers lasting cushioning since you can plump it up periodically to bring it back to its original shape.
Where cheaper mattresses may include pillow-tops as part of the standard package in an attempt to give more value on a budget, higher-end mattresses that use pillow tops for augmented luxury and cushioning may price them separately from the base mattress.
Furthermore, the cost of the pillow top add-on may be different based on the size you select. This makes sense as twin-sized mattress’ pillow top will require less cushioning material than that of a queen-sized mattress (since the latter occupies more area compared to the former), and the amount of material used becomes significant if it is of a costly nature e.g. gel memory foam or natural latex.
In the case of a traditional pillow top (as opposed to a Euro top), you should consider the quality of the stitching that attaches it to the rest of the mattress. It should not be so weak as to come off with a minor jerk. The best way to find out about this is to scour through user reviews to see how well the product actually stands against the excesses of everyday use.
Of course, there may also be some pillow tops that are designed to be inherently detachable. This can be a benefit for users who could potentially end up in a situation that requires cleaning the top up e.g. if you have pets or children in the house that could cause a mess.
Be certain that the mattress you pick has a CertiPUR-US certification (or one from a comparable standard) that attests to the use of environmentally safe materials inside it. It won’t do to get a pillow top to improve the comfort of your bed at the expense of exposing yourself to potentially harmful chemicals.
Mattresses come with warranties ranging typically from 1 year to 25 years and, in some cases, even for a lifetime. The minimum you should consider is a 10-year warranty but remember to read the fine print to verify that the pillow top is given the same coverage as the rest of the mattress.
Top-Rated Pillow Top Mattress Reviews
1. Avocado Mattress
- 2” Natural latex Euro top
- Organic cotton cover
- Joma® New Zealand Wool
- Natural Dunlop-Zoned Pocketed Innersprings
- 11” height (13” with pillowtop)
- 10-year warranty / 100-night guarantee
The Avocado mattress is a moderately expensive hybrid mattress consisting of a Dunlop comfort layer, coupled to a contouring pocketed spring core which comes with the option to further amplify its responsiveness and pressure relief with a pillow top made from 2 inches of pure natural latex.
A soft organic cover made from natural wool lends bounciness to the surface, and this is only improved with the presence of a Euro pillow top. The Euro top is well-integrated with the rest of the mattress, so it also adds to the overall air of luxury afforded by the Avocado.
The pocketed coils underneath have been divided into zones that provide targeted support to the various parts of your body, resulting in optimal spinal alignment, thus, a superb pain relief. The Mattress comes with certifications from eco-INSTITUT and GOTS, so you can count on it to be safe for your home’s environment.
Since it exclusively uses natural latex in its pillow top and comfort layer as wells as a high coil count pocketed springs in its support layer, you can expect it to perform for a good amount of time. That said, your investment is protected by a 10-year warranty, and a 100-nights guarantee gives you plenty of freedom to test the mattress out thoroughly.
- High luxury at a (relatively) reasonable price
- Natural latex and wool for comfort layers
- Contouring, responsive pillow top
- Natural latex-based pillow top ensures durability
- Highly personalized support thanks to zoned pocketed springs
- Multiple environment safety certifications
- 100-nights trail / 10-year warranty
- Dunlop latex may lead to some heat retention
- May be a bit firm for lighter individuals
- Pillow top costs extra
As such, it is one of the most luxurious pillow top options available at a (comparatively) sensible price range, and it should be particularly appealing to individuals seeking a springy responsive feel for their bed.
2. Dreamfoam Ultimate Dreams Eurotop Latex Mattress
- 1.5” Reflex foam Euro top
- Bamboo Rayon Cover
- Talalay Latex
- HD Polyurethane Foam
- 12.5” Height
- Customizable firmness
- 10-year warranty / 90-day sleep trial
The Ultimate Dreams mattress incorporates a quilted cover made from completely biodegradable bamboo-fiber beneath. This lies the 1.5” Euro-top layer consisting of soft reflex foam. The base foam sets up a luxurious plush on initial feel that is complemented by a bouncy and responsive 3” Talalay latex foam layer.
The base layer, comprising of 8 inches of HD polyurethane foam, ensures resilient push-back that keeps the mattress from sinking under excessive weight or, in instances, the pressure that was exerted by your tummy. The HD polyfoam also comes with the benefit of strong edge support, while the latex ensures motion isolation.
It is also worth mentioning that you won’t be forced to choose a particular firmness level at the time of purchase, rather, the manufacturer’s support staff calls you and helps you make a decision based on your personal preferences.
Despite its affordable price tag, you can test the mattress out for 90 days with the guarantee of a full refund, and a 10-year warranty covers the purchase.
- Affordably priced.
- High-end latex and Euro top ensure contouring, responsive comfort.
- HD foam for resilient deep support.
- Strong edge support and motion suppression.
- 90-day trial / 10-year warranty.
- Slight initial off-gassing odor.
This simply constructed yet highly resilient Euro top latex mattress is worth considering if you’re a stomach sleeper who has always desired the cushy responsiveness of a latex mattress, but the thought of it sinking under your weight has held you back from making a purchase.
3. Serta Perfect Sleeper Elite Plush Super Pillow Top 700 Innerspring Mattress
- 1” Foam and fiber pillow top
- Polyurethane Foam, Gel Memory Foam
- Pocketed Coils, 12.75” height (13.75” with pillow top)
- Limited warranty/ replacement guarantee
The pillow top is a 1-inch amalgamation of FireBlocker™ Fiber (for safety), Serta’s Pillo-Fill® fiber, PillowSoft™ Foam, and Support Foam. The result is slightly brisk cushioning without too much sinkage, a healthy balance between comfort and support.
Even though it is a designated plush by the manufacturer, I would give it a medium rating based on the fact that the Cool Twist® Gel Foam and Serta Comfort XD™ Foam in its comfort layers don’t buck under your weight straight away:
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – for one, there’s less of the notorious ‘sticky’ sensation associated with a viscoelastic bed, and for another, you won’t sink all the way through if you’re a bulky individual. However, those who are excessively lightweight may need to be patient for a few minutes as the bed adjusts to their weight.
The support layer consists of 886 pocketed coils that hold up your weight whilst conforming to your general posture. The general feedback from consumers reflects that the mattress largely succeeds in striking the middle-ground it aims for, but some have had issues with the heat retention of the memory foam layer.
This makes sense given that the mattress makes extensive use of artificial foam materials that don’t offer a lot of air circulation. Some users have also complained of the mattress being too soft or too firm (which indicates that they may have selected the wrong model based on their weights and sleep styles).
One thing worth mentioning is that the pillow-top of this mattress is a bit thin, which could cause it to degrade quickly if exposed to excessive punishment – this is why I wouldn’t recommend it for an individual who will be frequently using their bed for more athletic purposes than sleeping.
- Reasonably priced
- 1” foam and fiber pillow top for brisk cushioning
- Medium firm feel for a balance between comfort and support
- Pocketed coils for individualized deep support
- Limited warranty/ replacement guarantee (period depends on tag)
- Not for super lightweight people
- Relatively thin pillow top may deteriorate under continuous wear
- Artificial foam materials retain heat
- No money back guarantee
This particular model of the Serta Perfect Sleeper Elite series is a reasonably priced pillow-top mattress intended towards consumers who prefer a medium level of firmness (do not let the ‘plush’ in its name confuse you!).
4. Signature Sleep Signature 13-Inch Independently-Encased Coil Pillow Top Mattress
- 1” 3-zone foam pillow top
- Bamboo fiber cover, HD support Foam
- Pocketed Coil Support Core
- 13” Overall Height
- 1-year warranty
The mattress’ soft bamboo fiber cover provides inherent breathability and moisture absorbency, making it a good fit for warmer climates. Underneath is a 1” pillow top made out of polyurethane foam which is divided into 3-zones: Upper, Middle, and Lower zones.
The upper and lower zones provide plusher comfort for your head and legs, while the middle zone provides more resilience to sustain your lower back (where most of your weight is concentrated).
Next up are 4 layers of HD support foam and a cushioning insulator pad that provides pressure relief and sets up the transition to the innerspring core consisting of independently encased coils that provide springy yet adaptive support for your entire posture.
Despite its cheapness, this mattress is CertiPUR-US® certified, so none of its components contain any harmful chemicals that could adversely affect your home. That said, the low cost does mean this mattress isn’t designed for overweight sleepers or excessive punishment, as evident by users’ complaints about it wearing out after a couple of years of enthusiastic usage.
A 1-year warranty accompanies the product, and while I generally have a rule of not trusting anything with a warranty period shorter than a decade, in this case, I would consider it a good fit for short-term needs e.g. college furnishing or guest rooms.
- Extremely cheap
- Good comfort and support for relatively short-term/ lightweight use
- CertiPUR-US® certified
- Bamboo fiber cover provides dry, airy and silky surface feel
- 1-year warranty despite a small price tag
- Not for excessive/ long-term use
- No money back guarantee
This innerspring mattress is designed with the budget bound consumer in mind, and it makes effective use of its pillow top to provide cushioning and contouring that takes away a considerable part of the stiffness of the support core without undermining its spring.
5. Saatva Mattress
- 1.25” Foam and padding Euro top
- Organic cotton cover
- Memory foam
- Individually wrapped comfort coils
- Tempered steel coil support core
- 12.625” overall height
- 15-year warranty / 120-nights trial
Underneath a stylish circular-knit organic cotton cover is a 1.25” Euro top, made from a higher-than-usual amount of foam and padding. In combination with the underlying layer of high-quality memory foam, this pillow top is able to yield an adaptive sleep surface that shapes itself to your sleeping style without sinking in excessively.
Breaking from the norm, the manufacturer introduces individually wrapped coils in the comfort layer instead of the support layer! These coils provide optimally contouring intermediate support and eliminate motion transfer between sleeping partners.
Beneath these is an innerspring base support system made from tempered steel which is responsible for the deep support that sustains the bulk of your weight once the upper layers have dulled the initial impact. It is worth noting that the use of steel coils in both the support and comfort layers results in ample push-back which should also stop the breakdown of the upper foam layers (including the Euro top).
These dual coil layers also greatly reduce the sinking that is normally associated with viscoelastic foam, which is a good thing for most people, but may not be appealing to those who seek a memory foam mattress for the signature ‘enveloping’ feel.
The mattress is accompanied by a higher than average 15-year warranty as well as a 120-nights trial.
- Reasonable price
- Euro-top and memory foam combination yields decent cushioning
- Dual steel coil mechanisms for motion isolating, responsive deep support
- Knitted organic cotton cover for soft surface touch and aesthetic appeal
- Durable construction
- 15-year warranty / 120-nights trial
- Not for those who prefer a typical viscoelastic mattress
The Saatva mattress is another reasonably priced offering with a focus on lasting performance under extensive usage.
Having read the best pillow top mattress reviews that I’ve picked, you will have realized the degree of popularity pillow tops enjoy these days. Whether it’s a budget innerspring you’re considering or a high-end natural latex or pocketed coil hybrid, manufacturers go with a pocketed coil to boost the luxury and contouring of your bed.
Personally, I wouldn’t buy a pillow top mattress just for the sake of it since it is more of an augmentation than an essential feature, but if you are so inclined, I would recommend the Dreamfoam Ultimate Dreams mattress as my pick.
Because of its simplistic all-latex composition, the mattress offers superb resilience and bounce, and the Euro top softens it for a plush, cushioned sleep experience. The bamboo rayon cover adds breathability and moisture absorption, and you get to specify the exact degree of comfort and support you want without being restricted to preset templates.
A 10-year warranty and 90-day trial should ensure peace of mind, and plenty of time to give the mattress a spin.