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Best Pillow Top Mattress: 2020 Buyer’s Guide

Malena Piper

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If you love the feeling of drifting off to sleep in a plush bed, a pillow top mattress is a great choice for you. These mattresses have a top layer of padding, usually at least 2 inches thick. The cushioning padding is usually either foam, latex, fiberfill, cotton, or wool. The result is a luxurious sleeping surface and pressure point relief. Not all pillow-top mattresses are created equally, though.

Pillow tops are most commonly found on innerspring and hybrid beds. In this post, we review our favorite pillow-top mattresses and offer pointers on how to choose the best one for your sleep needs.

Best Pillow Top Mattresses

 MattressHighlightsPrice
avocado greenAvocado GreenBest organic mattress for eco-friendly shoppers.
$1799
sweetnight euro pillow topSweetnight Euro Pillow Top GelDesigned to help you stop tossing and turning and instead, get a more comfortable sleep.
$398
brentwood home oceanoBrentwood Home OceanoCertiPUR-US® & GREENGUARD Gold Certified.
$1495
mattress america rejuvenateMattress America Rejuvenate Pillow TopFeatures gel-infused memory foam for extra cooling.
$1000
modway jennaModway JennaConvenient bed-in-a-box.
$229.55
e-rest ultrafusionE-Rest UltraFusion HybridStretchy, breathable bamboo cover combats body heat and keeps you cool.
$409.99

Avocado Green Mattress

avocado green AVOCADO GREEN MATTRESS
Avocado Green Mattress

With a resilient latex pillow top and comfort layer paired with bouncy springs, the Avocado Green Mattress is our top mattress when it comes to natural beds.

Best mattress features
  • Contains all-natural latex, organic and wool. Lacks chemical flame retardants.
  • Thousands of coils arranged in five support zones for greater comfort.
  • Latex, cotton, and wool regulate the mattress's surface temperature.
Recommended for...
  • Environmentally conscious shoppers seeking a natural pillow top mattress.
  • Back sleepers shopping for a supportive medium-firm mattress.

Avocado mattresses have an option to add a pillow top when placing your order. There is an upcharge for this, ranging from $240 for a twin pillow top add-on to $500 for a king-size mattress. If the Avocado Green mattress meets the rest of your buying criteria, it may be worth the splurge. It consistently ranks well on lists of the best mattresses.

The Avocado Green Mattress has nearly 7,000 customer reviews, averaging 5 stars. For shoppers looking for an eco-friendly mattress made with all-natural latex, organic cotton, GOTS organic certified wool, and no chemical flame retardants, Avocado is a popular choice.

Conventional mattresses are usually made with flame retardants. There is an increasing amount of evidence showing that these flame retardants may impact our health. They have been linked to everything from endocrine disruption to cancer. Because wool is naturally flame resistant, federal regulations do not require Avocado to treat their mattress with chemical flame retardants.

Avocado mattresses are made without phthalates, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and formaldehyde. They have no off-gassing, receiving both STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®: Class 1 certification and MADE SAFE® Non-Toxic certification. Eco-friendly Avocado mattresses are handmade in the USA and GREENGUARD Gold Certified.

Even with the optional pillow top, Avocado mattresses are a 6 on the firmness scale (10 is the firmest). In other words, they are medium-firm. This means you’ll get a plush feel from the cushioning while still getting the support you need from your mattress.

Avocado Green Mattresses are hybrid mattresses, with Dunlop-zoned innersprings and latex foam. The pillow top adds an additional 2 inches of latex rubber foam onto the 11-inch mattress. Avocado mattresses start with a soft, needle-tufted cover made from organic wool. Needle-tufting by hand binds the layers of the mattress together without using solvents or adhesives.

The Avocado features 1,414 individually-pocketed coils in three gauges, arranged in five different ergonomic zones. A reinforced steel perimeter provides support along the edges of the mattress. Avocado mattresses are designed to minimize motion transfer, evenly distribute weight, and contour to your body for back support and pain relief.

To offset the environmental impact of manufacturing and shipping its mattresses, Avocado supports carbon offset reforestation projects.

After your Avocado is delivered to your doorstep, you have a whole year to test it out and decide if it’s a fit for you. If it’s not, Avocado will arrange for the bed to be picked up from your home and donated. Afterward, they issue you a full refund.

Avocado backs their beds with 25 years of warranty coverage. Should your mattress develop a visible sag or indentation of at least 1 inch, Avocado will repair or replace it. During the first ten years, Avocado will do this for you free of charge; however, in the last 11-25 years of the warranty, Avocado charges a prorated fee for these services.

Sweetnight Euro Pillow Top Gel

Sweetnight Euro Pillow Top Gel Memory Foam Mattress SWEETNIGHT EURO PILLOW TOP GEL
Sweetnight Euro Pillow Top Gel

A CertiPUR-US® approved mattress with cool gel foam and pocketed carbon steel springs.

Best mattress features
  • Euro top contains cool gel memory foam for a comfortable, conforming cushion.
  • High-density transition foam supports you and keeps the mattress structured.
  • Every Sweetnight foam is certified safe by CertiPUR-US®.
Recommended for...
  • People seeking a natural mattress that limits allergens.
  • Amazon shoppers seeking a quality pillowtop mattress.

The 12-inch Sweetnight pillow top mattress has an average rating of 4.7 stars on Amazon. This makes Sweetnight a great pick for buyers looking for a new mattress at a reasonable price.

According to Sweetnight, this mattress solves five common sleep problems: tossing and turning, lack of back support, body temperature, motion transfer, and sagging. Judging by its satisfied customers, it seems to live up to these claims.

The plush quilted Euro top cover is hypoallergenic and made with natural materials. The cushioning in the Euro top is made from cooling gel memory foam to conform to your body and keep you at a comfortable temperature through the night. A layer of high-density foam provides another layer of support. All of Sweetnight’s foam is CertiPUR-US® certified, meaning it is free of heavy metals and formaldehyde. Finally, a layer of individually wrapped carbon steel spring coils moves independently to provide better support and isolate motion.

Sweetnight only gives you one month to test out their bed. They don’t clarify whether or not you’re able to return your bed if you’re dissatisfied. Instead, they state, “If you’re not 100% in love with the mattress during your trial period, let us know so we can figure out how to improve your experience.” If you’re on the fence about purchasing this bed, contact Sweetnight to get clearer information about their sleep trial policies.

Sweetnight does not provide clear warranty information about their beds, either. We do know they offer a 10-year no-risk warranty, but the only additional information they provide states, “If for any reason you are unsatisfied, contact us at any time for support.”

We’re unsure what “support” constitutes, or if Sweetnight would repair or replace your bed if it becomes defected. Furthermore, we’re unsure of what is considered a “defect” under this warranty agreement.

Brentwood Home Oceano

brentwood home oceano BRENTWOOD HOME OCEANO
Brentwood Home Oceano

A swirled gel memory foam hybrid with two coil layers and numerous certifications, offered at an affordable price.

Best mattress features
  • Tencel™ fabric cover eco-friendly and promotes a cool, dry mattress.
  • Micro support coils work with comfort foam to contour and relieve pressure.
  • GREENGUARD Gold Certified and made in California by fairly paid workers.
Recommended for...
  • Shoppers hunting for an affordable yet luxurious pillowtop mattress.
  • Sleepers interested in the unique feel offered by a microcoil comfort layer and supportive coil base.

If you like everything about the Avocado mattress except the price tag, the Brentwood Home Oceano is worth checking out. It’s a medium-plush hybrid mattress, made in the United States with premium materials. Reviewers praise it for its comfort and workmanship, with many calling it the best mattress they’ve ever had.

The Oceano has a plant-based Tencel™ blended fabric cover to wick away moisture while you sleep. This soft, breathable material is sustainably produced.

Next is a Euro top made from 100% GOTS Organic Certified Wool, sourced sustainably from organic cooperatives in India. Wool regulates temperature and it is naturally flame retardant, which means the Oceano does not have added flame retardant chemicals or synthetic fibers. CertiPUR-US® certified contouring gel-infused swirl memory foam provides pressure point relief and cooling.

What makes the Oceano unique among the other options in our list is its double layers of innerspring units. First is a 2.5-inch layer of individually wrapped recycled steel micro support coils. This responsive innerspring layer offers sleepers precision support. After another 2-inch layer of breathable foam is a 5-Zone Quantum Edge® Combi-Zone® coil support system. These coils are also individually wrapped and made from recycled steel. Base support comes from a 1-inch layer of CertiPUR-US® Certified High-Density foam over a 100% GOTS organic certified cotton canvas base.

The Oceano mattress is GREENGUARD Gold Certified and handcrafted in California by workers paid living wages. Mattresses ship in two boxes, one for the Euro top and one for the mattress.

Because they’re primarily an online mattress brand, Brentwood Home offers you a whole year to try their bed and decide if you like it. They do require you keep the mattress for at least 30 nights so you can give it a fair chance.

However, if you decide after 30 nights you’re unhappy with the bed, Brentwood Home will arrange to have it picked up from your doorstep and shipped back to them. Once they receive your mattress, they inspect it to make sure it’s still in good condition, then they issue you a full refund.

Brentwood Home will replace your mattress for you, free of charge, if it develops visible sags or indentations at least 2 inches deep.

Mattress America Rejuvenate Pillow Top

Mattress America Rejuvenate Pillow Top Gel-Infused Memory Foam Mattress MATTRESS AMERICA REJUVENATE PILLOW TOP
Mattress America Rejuvenate Pillow Top

A 13-inch-thick pillow top mattress with a feel characterized as medium-firm, we recommend this best-selling mattress for back sleepers.

Best mattress features
  • Soft knit cover makes it easy for air to slip through and carry off heat.
  • Pocket coils provide motion isolation and keep whisper quiet as you sleep.
  • All returned mattresses are donated to local charities, minimizing landfill waste.
Recommended for..
  • Back sleepers searching for the support and pressure relief a medium-firm mattress offers.
  • Back pain sufferers who want a pain-alleviating bed.

The Mattress America Rejuvenate is a mid-priced 13-inch pillow top mattress. It rates a 7 on the firmness scale, making it medium-firm. Rejuvenate is one of Mattress America’s best sellers. With the support of a memory foam mattress and the feel of a pillow top, it’s easy to see why.

The Rejuvenate’s cover is made from soft knitted breathable fabric. A 1-inch jump quilt top is followed by three layers of foam. First is a layer of comfort foam, then a layer of gel air memory foam, and finally a 2-inch layer of sculpting foam. The gel-infused memory foam is a popular feature because it absorbs heat, keeping you cooler as you sleep.

Beneath the layers of foam is a 10-inch pocket coil core to give you the support you need from a mattress. The individually wrapped coils minimize motion transfer and provide enhanced lumbar and edge support.

Mattress America offers a 100-night sleep trial. If you’re not happy with your mattress, let Mattress America know. They will arrange for pick up or donation to a local charity, along with a full refund for you.

Mattress America does not provide detailed warranty information on their website. Under their FAQs, we found a customer asked, “What is covered under the warranty?” and received a response stating, “We rarely get warranty issues but when we do we make sure all our customers are taken care of.

The warranty covers sagging on anything over 2 inches. The cover is covered for the full length of the mattress. Also, any other manufacturer defects.” Given this response, we can’t be sure what’s covered and what isn’t, besides indentations greater than 2 inches. We also can’t infer how long the warranty spans.

Modway Jenna

Modway Jenna Innerspring Pillow Top Mattress MODWAY JENNA
Modway Jenna

One of Amazon’s more well-reviewed mattresses, with owners praising its cushion, pressure relief, and support.

Best mattress feature
  • Pocketed coils relieve pressure points in the shoulder, back, and hip areas.
  • Coils leave space for air to flow, removing collected heat and moisture.
  • Numerous foams work together to create a comfortable, responsive sleep surface.
Recommended for...
  • Budget shoppers interested in a economical pillow top mattress.
  • People who want to buy a pillow top mattress without stepping foot outside of their home.

The Modway Jenna is hard to beat when it comes to overall value. It averages 4.6 stars from over 600 mattress reviews on Amazon, with buyers rating it well for comfort, sleep quality, and pain relief. This firm hybrid pillow top mattress features individually pocketed coils to isolate motion. It also has a layer of responsive foam for support and pressure relief.

If you’re wondering what makes the Modway Jenna so much more affordable than some of the other options on our list, the answer can be found in its list of materials. While still a comfortable, well-rated mattress, the cover is made from quilted polyester rather than cotton or Tencel.

The Modway Jenna comes in three different thicknesses: 8, 10, and 14 inches. Below the polyester mattress cover on the 10-inch model, you’ll find a 1-inch responsive foam layer. Under this is a 0.9-inch layer of convoluted, or egg crate, foam. A felt liner separates the foam from the innerspring layer. The Jenna has an 8.5-inch layer of individually wrapped coils to prevent motion transfer and relieve pressure on the hips, back, and shoulders.

The Modway Jenna is a bed-in-a-box mattress, so it arrives conveniently at your doorstep.

Modway Jenna does not offer a sleep trial with their beds, and though Amazon advertises a 10-year warranty in the product’s name, the company only offers one year of warranty coverage with this bed. They do not specify what is covered under this warranty besides “manufacturer’s defects.”

If you’re interested in this bed, contact Modway Jenna and ask further questions about whether or not they have a return policy, what is covered under their warranty, and what fees you’d be responsible for in the event of a warranty claim.

E-Rest UltraFusion Hybrid

E-Rest UltraFusion Hybrid E-REST ULTRAFUSION HYBRID
E-Rest UltraFusion Hybrid

Pillow top doesn’t reduce the firm support these bed offers, making it an excellent choice for shoppers who want added back support.

Best mattress features
  • Mattress cover enables airflow while gel foam evenly distributes heat across the surface.
  • Firm coils support a sleeper's spine throughout the night.
  • Bamboo-rayon cover stretches and maintains a cool, dry sleeping surface.
Recommended for...
  • People familiar with and loyal to Bed, Bath, and Beyond's values.
  • Back and stomach sleepers shopping for a pillow top mattress that feels firm.

The E-Rest is another hybrid pocket coil and foam mattress with an added pillow top for extra cushioning. With an average rating of 4 stars on retailers’ websites, most reviewers are happy with its overall value and comfort, particularly sleepers who prefer a firm mattress for back support.

To keep the mattress temperature comfortable throughout the night, a bamboo-derived stretch-knit rayon cover wicks away moisture. The luxurious pillow-top is made from cooling gel foam. Beneath a fiber support pad is a layer of coils.

When bought on Bed, Bath, and Beyond, you have 120 nights to test your bed after the date of purchase. If you decide it’s not a fit for you, Bed, Bath, and Beyond will allow you to exchange the bed, but not return it for a refund. Should you choose to exchange your bed, you’re responsible for a $99 transportation fee for the new mattress. You are only allowed one exchange, too.

The E-Rest UltraFusion Hybrid Innerspring Mattress comes with a 20-year manufacturer’s warranty. They do not disclose any details of the warranty, and instead, ask you to call if you have questions.

What Is a Pillow Top Mattress?

Pillow top and Euro-top mattresses have an added layer of cushioning for even more comfort. A pillow top mattress is not the same as a soft mattress. Soft mattresses have more padding throughout. A pillow top mattress can have firm construction. This firmness is then tempered with a plush pillow top. The result is a mattress with a cloud-like luxurious feel and the support you need to sleep comfortably.

Pillow Top vs. Euro Top Mattresses

Pillow top and Euro top are often used interchangeably. Both types of mattress tops serve the same function. The difference is in form.

A pillow top is often sewn to the top of a mattress, but it may also be attached with straps or zippers. It has the appearance of being a separate layer, almost like a mattress topper. A removable pillow top has the added advantage of being washable.

A Euro top is flush with the rest of the mattress. It appears more like a part of the mattress, rather than a separate top. It offers more edge support and is more durable than a pillow top because of how it is incorporated into the mattress, rather than simply resting on top of it.

What Are Pillow Tops Made From?

Pillow tops can be made from a variety of materials. These include:

  • Down — Down is a natural pillow top filling with a plush feel. Although down compresses over time, it can be fluffed up again to reshape. This gives it a leg up over foam.
  • Latex — Natural Dunlop latex is a cooler option than down and foam. It is eco-friendly and sleepers appreciate its responsiveness and motion isolating properties. Synthetic latex is derived from petroleum. It is a cheaper option than natural latex, but the quality is not as high. If you are allergic to rubber, you should avoid natural latex pillow tops.
  • Memory foam — Memory foam, also known as viscoelastic foam, offers a nice balance of cushion and support, contouring to your body as you sleep. This relieves pain and pressure points.
  • Polyester — Polyester is found in many budget-friendly pillow-top mattresses. This material is affordable, but it is also prone to overheating and compression.
  • Polyurethane foam — Another budget pillow-top option, polyurethane foam offers an added layer of comfort, but it has a shorter lifespan than other materials. Because it is petroleum-based, off-gassing may be an issue.
  • Fiberfill — Fiberfill is a more luxe version of polyester. It is higher quality, but may still retain heat and compress over time.
  • Wool — Wool is an excellent material for temperature regulation. It is soft and breathable. Naturally flame retardant, wool does not need any added chemicals to meet federal flammability standards.

Some reviewers mention their pillow top mattresses lose cushioning after a few months. High-density memory foam will last longer than polyurethane foam layers. Like other down bedding, the feathers in a pillow top may compress. Opt for denser materials for the longest mattress lifespan.

Another factor to consider is heat retention. Choose breathable materials like natural latex if you sleep hot. When purchasing a memory foam pillow top mattress, pick one with cooling gel. This keeps it from overheating.

What Are the Benefits of Pillow Top Mattresses?

There are many reasons to choose a pillow top mattress. As with all mattress choices, it often comes down to personal preference. Your sleeping position makes a difference too. Side sleepers tend to like pillow-top mattresses more than back sleepers. This is because pillow top mattresses help with spinal alignment.

Shoppers buy pillow top mattresses because:

  • They make firm mattresses more comfortable. Many of us like firm support, but we also want the feeling of a plush bed. Pillow top mattresses offer the best of both worlds, offsetting a firm base with a cloud-like top for maximum comfort.
  • They stop motion transfer. If you want a hybrid or innerspring mattress without the motion transfer, a pillow top will absorb movement. The extra cushioning of a pillow top isolates motion, which is good news for restless sleepers.
  • They relieve pain in key pressure points. If you are a side sleeper, you may experience pain in your shoulders, lower back, and hips. This pain often starts at night but continues throughout the day. The added layer of cushioning provided by a pillow top contours to your body weight for a good night’s sleep. A high-quality pillow top will help align your spine to make up for an awkward side sleeping position.

What Are the Drawbacks of Pillow Top Mattresses?

Before you take the plunge and purchase a pillow top mattress, you should be aware of common complaints about them. Some sleepers dislike pillow top mattresses because:

  • They can retain heat. This happens for two reasons. First, some materials used to make pillow tops, like polyester and memory foam, can retain heat. Second, a pillow top provides extra cushioning to give you the feeling of sinking into your mattress. When you sink in, the heat retained by your pillow top surrounds your body. If this is a concern, choose a breathable material that wicks away moisture and regulates body temperature.
  • Their lifespan is shorter. Pillow top and Euro top mattresses are not designed to be flipped (although you may be able to rotate them instead). This means your mattress may wear out faster. Pillow tops made with lower quality materials like polyester or polyurethane foam will also need to be replaced more frequently, as low-density fillers condense and develop indentations more easily.
  • You might need to buy new bedding. On a more trivial note, because Euro top and pillow top mattresses are taller than other mattresses, you’ll need to buy fitted sheets and mattress protectors to accommodate that extra height.

Conclusion

A pillow top can boost the comfort level of even the firmest mattress. They are designed to temper the support of a firm innerspring or foam mattress with cushioning to give you the feeling of sleeping on a soft pillow.

To choose the right option for you, think about your budget, the type of materials you prefer, and the reason you’re looking for a pillow top mattress. If you’re uncertain, buy a mattress with a generous sleep trial.

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