Best Pillow Top Mattresses of 2022

By Nicole Gleichmann

Sep 1st, 2022

Pillow top mattresses are some of the most comfortable, plushest mattresses you can find. The soft cushion of a fluffy pillow top creates a luxury sleep experience and is especially great for side sleepers.

While they aren’t always the cheapest, the best pillow top mattresses are worth the cost for the comfort you get in exchange. Check out our selections for best pillow top mattress and learn some shopping tips in our buyer’s guide. Then you’ll be more than ready to find the plush bed you’ve been dreaming of.


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Best Pillow Top Mattresses: Our Top Picks

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Saatva Classic

saatva mattress new e1586527946280
Saatva Classic

Best Overall

Best for:

  • Any sleeping position
  • Heavy people
  • back pain
customer rating

4.9/5

our score

9/10

firmness

Customizable

trial period

365 days

The Saatva mattress is a customizable hybrid pillow top mattress with five premium layers. Above the supportive base of coils, there is a layer of individually wrapped, pocketed coils. These two layers of coils deliver supreme durability and lasting support. The comfort layer is a Euro pillow top tucked underneath a smooth organic cotton cover.

In our in-house testing, the Saatva mattress excelled at keeping the spine in alignment while delivering exceptional lumbar support. As one of the firmer mattresses with a contouring topper, the Saatva is also ideal for stomach sleepers and back sleepers.

Its solid makeup extends to every inch of the mattress, rendering sturdy edge support. Combine this with a customizable foundation and mattress height, and you have a bed that is great for those who struggle getting in or out of bed. Its durability and outstanding support makes it a good choice for heavy people, especially those who share a bed.

To top it off, the Saatva comes with a lifetime warranty and 365-night sleep trial.

Read our full Saatva mattress review.


Helix Midnight Luxe

Helix luxe product shot 1
Helix Midnight Luxe

Best Mattress for Back Pain

Best for

  • Hot sleepers
  • Couples
  • Back pain
customer rating

4.5/5

our score

8.7/10

firmness

Medium firm: 6/10

trial period

100 days

The Helix Midnight Luxe brings a touch of luxury to the typical Helix model, starting with the cooling premium pillow top. This quilted top layer uses the cooling material Tencel, which is designed to stay cool to the touch and help regulate temperature throughout the night.

What makes Helix great for back pain is the gel foam comfort layer. This high-density foam offers great pressure relief and all the layers work together to provide exceptional spine alignment (9/10 Mattress Advisor score). Maintaining healthy spine alignment means you benefit from an almost perfectly straight line from shoulder to hip as you sleep, a key factor in address back pain.

The Helix Midnight Luxe’s 8.5/10 pressure relief score also makes it a good choice for side sleepers as well. In addition, this mattress impressed our testers with its responsiveness and cooling capabilities, with 9/10 and 9.5/10 scores respectively. Like its fellow Helix model the Helix Dusk, the Midnight Luxe is a great mattress for people with back pain.

Read our full Helix Midnight Luxe mattress review.


DreamCloud Premier

DreamCloud Premier
DreamCloud Premier

Best Mattress for the Money

Best for

  • Co-sleepers
  • Back pain
  • Seniors
customer rating

4.8/5

our score

8.9/10

firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

trial period

365 days

DreamCloud Premier is a great luxury mattress for most types of sleepers: all sleep positions and all body types. If you’re concerned about the 6.5/10 medium firmness, remember that the cashmere-quilted foam top layer is designed to provide an ultra-soft feel. If you’re looking for a bed that offers dollar-per-dollar value, the DreamCloud Premier is a great mattress for the money. It has a 9.1/10 overall score from Mattress Advisor, yet it’s priced competitively with comparable luxury beds.

The pocketed coils in DreamCloud Premier make for a highly responsive mattress—we give it a 9/10 score for responsiveness—which is a great quality for restless sleepers. Combination sleepers who change sleep positions during the night will also appreciate the DreamCloud Premier’s responsive surface. Seniors who have trouble getting into and out of the bed should take note of the DreamCloud Premier’s edge support. The hybrid earns a near-perfect score for edge support (9.75/10) in Mattress Advisor testing, which indicates that you won’t experience that sinking feeling around the edge of the mattress.

And on top of all of that, you get a great price, a year-long trial period and a lifetime warranty.

Read our full DreamCloud Premier mattress review.


WinkBed Luxury Firm

winkbed lux firm mattress 1
WinkBeds Luxury Firm

Best Firm Mattress

Best for:

  • Couples with different sleeping positions
  • People who need edge support
  • Combination sleepers sleep hot
customer rating

4.5/5

our score

8.6/10

firmness

Medium firm: 6/10

trial period

120 days

Finding a pillow top mattress that feels plush but not mushy can be a challenge. The WinkBed Luxury Firm’s answer is a pillow top mattress with four firmness levels to help you find the right balance between a soft top layer and plenty of resilient support underneath. The choice of firmness options and the seven-layer foam and innerspring design create a lot of possibilities for people with different sleeping positions.

Side sleepers and combination sleepers can choose the Softer or Luxury Firm levels, while the Firm option works better for back sleepers and stomach sleepers. Heavy people can choose the Plus firmness option to help ensure they get maximum support.

In our in-house edge support test, the WinkBed mattress earned an astounding 9.75/10, demonstrating a sound structure. WinkBed also scored 9/10 in our responsiveness test, making it a good choice for restless sleepers who want a mattress that moves with them instead of pushing against them.

With a 101-night trial period, you get to test out the mattress for over three months before you have to decide if it’s the right one for you.

Read our full WinkBed mattress review.


Sparrow Signature Hybrid

sparrow signature hybrid lifestyle
Nest Sparrow

Best Plush Mattress

Best for:

  • Indecisive people who need firmness options
  • People who toss and turn
  • Hot sleepers who need a durable mattress
customer rating

4.8/5

our score

8.2/10

firmness

Choose between Plush, Medium, Luxury Firm

trial period

365 days

Are you looking for a plush, medium, or firm pillow top mattress? With the Sparrow  Signature Hybrid from Nest Bedding, formerly the Alexander Signature Hybrid, you can choose any one of the three. This memory foam-pocketed coils hybrid offers the choice of three firmness options, including the ultra-soft plush. When we say ultra-soft, we mean that it measures a 3/10 on the mattress firmness scale.

When you lie down on the Sparrow Signature Hybrid, you will be met with a cushy yet cooling feel. The outer layer is a soft, quilted, breathable material atop a layer of cooling gel foam. Along with the enveloping feel of memory foam, you will notice that the mattress quickly responds to your movements.

Made in the USA using CertiPUR-US foam, the Sparrow Signature Hybrid is both eco-friendly and safe for you and your family. Unlike most other memory foam mattresses, this mattress is allowed to air out in the factory, dramatically reducing any off-gassing odors when initially removed from the box.

Nest Bedding is confident in the quality of its mattresses, offering a lifetime warranty and a 365-night sleep trial.

Read our full Sparrow Signature Hybrid mattress review.


Saatva Latex Hybrid

saatva latex hybrid lifestyle image
Saatva Latex Hybrid

Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

Best for:

  • Side sleepers with night sweats
  • Couples
  • Eco-conscious sleepers
customer rating

4.9/5

our score

8.9/10

firmness

Medium firm: 6/10

trial period

365 days

The best thing about pillow-top mattresses is that they offer unmatched comfort. The plushness of these beds is especially great for side sleepers, who require pressure relief for their shoulders and hips. The Saatva Latex Hybrid is our favorite pillow-top mattress for side sleepers.

It’s a quality hybrid mattress with medium-firmness, so there’s a balance of comfort and support. The organic cotton cover, organic wool and Talalay latex comfort layer help cushion side sleepers. Support layers made from coils and a GOTS certified base provide stability. This should let side sleepers sink in just enough without getting them stuck in the material.

Couples should appreciate the Saatva Latex Hybrid. Moisture-wicking wool and naturally-cooling Talalay latex give this mattress an 8.5/10 for cooling. It boasts a motion transfer score of 9/10, so partners shouldn’t awaken each other with their movements at night.

Their white-glove delivery means that you don’t have to figure out what to do with your old mattress—they will pick it up and dispose of it for you when they deliver your Saatva Latex Hybrid. And with a 365-night in-home trial, you have time to test out the mattress and ensure that it’s the right fit for you.

Read our full Saatva Latex Hybrid mattress review.


Awara

Awara updated mattress
Awara

Best Organic Mattress

Best for:

  • Eco-conscious shoppers
  • People who sleep hot
  • Couples with allergies
customer rating

4.8/5

our score

8.8/10

firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

trial period

365 days

Organic mattresses are an excellent choice for your health and that of the environment. The Awara hybrid latex mattress is made using sustainably-sourced materials. The layers of natural latex, individually-wrapped coils, cotton, and wool are not just eco-friendly, but extraordinarily breathable. With increased air circulation, you can enjoy a dryer, cooler night’s sleep.

Latex is a highly-regarded luxury mattress material. With greater responsiveness than memory foam, latex yields a supportive and almost bouncy surface. And it’s naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites, creating a healthy sleeping atmosphere.

The Awara pillow top mattress is made for sleepers who enjoy a medium-firm comfort level. Back sleepers and stomach sleepers are the best fits as the mattress delivers outstanding hip and back support.

Our in-house testing awarded Awara a 9/10 for motion transfer. If you or your partner toss and turn at night, your movements will be absorbed as not to disrupt the other’s sleep. Thanks to solid support around the edges, impressive responsiveness, and its ability to limit motion transfer, this mattress is a wonderful fit for couples.

Read our full Awara mattress review.


Guide to Finding the Best Pillow Top Mattress

Traditionally, pillow tops were used along the top of innerspring mattresses to transform a firm sleeping surface into a more plush one. Today, pillow tops are used alongside all other mattress types. Whether the mattress is made from an innerspring core, memory foam, latex, or an air chamber will influence the feel and longevity of the mattress.

In this buyer’s guide, we’ll go over:

What Is a Pillow Top Mattress?

Pillow top mattresses are those that provide an ultra-plush layer of comfort along the surface of the mattress. What this luxurious layer does is encourage alignment and relieve pressure by sinking in slightly at the heaviest points of contact.

Do you remember an exceptional hotel mattress experience? Chances are, you were sleeping on a pillow top mattress. This style of mattress has been the gold-standard for decades. What started as a way to make firm innerspring mattresses more forgiving is now a versatile comfort tool used alongside many types of mattresses. You can find pillow tops atop beds made from memory foam, latex, air chambers and layers of supportive springs.

While the initial feel of most pillow top mattresses is soft and forgiving, the ultimate firmness level can range from relatively soft to firm. This variability in support and feel is thanks to the multiple layers of coils, latex, foam, and padding that make up a pillow top mattress. No matter your mattress preference, you can find a pillow top that suits your needs.

Types of Pillow Tops

The fluffy upper comfort layer of pillow tops can look and feel remarkably different thanks to multiple varieties of pillow tops.

Euro Top Mattresses

Euro top mattresses are elegant and luxurious. The plush upper layer is flush with the rest of the mattress, yielding an inviting appearance. Because the pillow top is sewn into the rest of the mattress in a seamless fashion, Euro tops provide a uniform look and feel. Their edge support is some of the best when it comes to ultra-plush mattresses, allowing you to easily get in and out of them. The Euro top is a sign of top quality, and as such, is a more costly option.

Plush Pillow Top

Plush pillow tops have a top layer that is visibly distinct from the bottom mattress. This layer looks much like a mattress topper. Sometimes the cozy top is sewn into the mattress, but other times, it is strapped or zipped onto it. The benefit of the latter is that the top can be removed, laundered, and rotated to easily maintain comfort and boost a mattress’s lifespan.

Because the pillow top layer is not seamlessly attached to the mattress base, it can feel less supportive along the edges than a Euro top.

Firm Pillow Top

Not every pillow top mattress is incredibly plush and soft. The feel of a pillow top is largely determined by the base layers, many of which are firm. Supportive layers of innerspring coils, responsive latex, or dense memory foam can benefit from an upper layer that is somewhat soft. A thin layer of extraordinarily soft material or a thicker layer of relatively soft material takes pressure off of protruding body parts. The result is a supportive and durable mattress with a comfy feel.

What to Look for in a Pillow Top Mattress

Because there is such a wide variety of pillow top mattresses, it is helpful to know what to look for to find one that fits your needs. The type of mattress determines the feel, weight, and longevity of a mattress. Varying firmness levels are designed to accommodate different sleep positions. And, of course, there is finding the right size mattress, and one that fits within your budget.

Mattress Type

  • Memory Foam: For the ultimate in pressure relief and an enveloping feel, look for a hybrid pillow top with memory foam. Memory foam mattresses have an unparalleled ability to form to one’s unique body shape. When memory foam is warmed by your body heat, it becomes softer. As a result, you will sink in at the heaviest parts of the body. Side sleepers and those who suffer from back or neck pain benefit the most from memory foam mattresses. Some memory foam beds will sleep hot, so if you have trouble with temperature regulation at night, look for cooling memory foam layers.
  • Innerspring: Most pillow top mattresses contain one or more layers of supportive innersprings. These steel coils push back against pressure, delivering responsiveness and support. Individually-wrapped coils are the best type of coil often found in the best innerspring mattresses when it comes to motion isolation and pressure relief.
  • Latex: Latex mattresses are a relatively firm type of foam whose material can be naturally sourced from rubber trees. Latex is a material unlike any other. It delivers impressive support without the noise or spread of movement that comes with springs. While it is not as good at pressure relief as memory foam, it does give slightly at pressure points. Latex tends to sleep cooler than memory foam. It is naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites. Front sleepers and back sleepers who like a firm mattress often enjoy latex.
  • Hybrid: Most pillow top beds are hybrid mattresses with a base layer of innerspring coils and multiple foam or latex layers on top. Latex is cooler and more firm that memory foam, while memory foam is better at offering pressure relief.

Mattress Size

When you shop for a new mattress, the first thing you need to determine is the right size of mattress for you.

Common Pillow Top Mattress Dimensions:

  • Twin: 38” x 75”
  • Twin XL: 38” x 80”
  • Full: 54” x 75”
  • Queen: 60” x 80”
  • King: 76” x 80”
  • California King: 72” x 84”

To choose the right mattress size, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Who will be sleeping in the bed? And is that likely to change? You don’t want to buy a mattress that’s too small, or one that is needlessly large. Think about who will sleep on the mattress now, and who might in the future. Consider potential spouses, kids, and pets. If only one person will use the bed at one time, a twin, twin XL, or full may be all you need. Once you add another person or animal, consider a queen or king size pillow top mattress.
  2. What are your sleeping habits? Do you or your spouse move around a lot at night? Or do you like to sleep with a large body pillow for snuggling? If so, you may want to go with a wider mattress.
  3. What are your room dimensions? Be sure that your new mattress will comfortably fit in your room, including a foundation or bed frame.
  4. Will you be moving? A mattress is a long-term investment. If you might move to a smaller space in the future, consider this when choosing the right mattress size.

Firmness

Pillow top beds are made for most every type of sleeper, not only those who want an incredibly soft sleeping surface. When it comes to the plush feel of a pillow top mattress, the upper cushion layer plays a central role. Check the firmness level of the top layer to determine if it’s the right fit for your needs.

There is no single mattress firmness that suits every sleeper. Instead, your sleeping position and personal preference dictate what level of firmness (from plush to firm) is best.

Sleeping Position

  • Side sleepers: Sleeping on your side is considered to be the overall best sleeping position for body alignment, but only if you sleep on a mattress that yields the right amount of give. With the potential for increased pressure on hips and shoulders, side sleepers need a plush, forgiving sleeping surface. Look for a maximum firmness of medium-firm, although medium will usually be a better fit.
  • Stomach sleepers: Stomach sleepers need to sleep on a firm mattress to support spine alignment. Too soft of a mattress and front sleepers are likely to experience neck and lower back pain.
  • Back sleepers: Back sleepers have needs that fall between those of front and stomach sleepers. Medium-firm mattresses tend to deliver the right level of give and support to keep the spine in the correct alignment.

Pressure Relief

One of the best things about pillow-top mattress design is the chance to increase the mattress’s overall pressure relief with that first layer. Extra contouring benefits side sleepers in particular, since their sleeping position puts added pressure on the hips, lower back, and shoulder. Pillow-tops that include memory foam or latex work particularly well for pressure relief.

Temperature Regulation

The material the pillow-top layer is made of can also enhance cooling. Latex, for instance, has natural cooling properties. While regular memory foam has a tendency to sleep hot, foam infused with gel can counteract heat retention. Also, a mattress cover made of breathable, moisture-wicking material such as cotton or wool can improve cooling performance.

Price

Pillow top mattresses are some of the most luxurious mattresses on the market. They often contain high-quality pocket coils and numerous layers of latex, memory foam, and a quilted plush top layer. Because pillow tops tend to be made using numerous quality materials, they are one of the more expensive types of beds. Most pillow top hybrid mattresses start at around $1,000 for a queen-size option.

An alternative if you are looking for the cloud-like feel without the price tag is to buy a mattress topper that you can place on the surface of a less expensive mattress.

Trial and Warranty

Shopping for a new mattress can be nerve wracking. What happens if, after countless hours of research and a generous amount of money, you find your new mattress uncomfortable?

Many online mattress companies offer trial periods that remove the financial burden from trying out a new mattress. Often times, you can test out your mattress for 100 days or more, and if you don’t like it, you can return or exchange it for no extra cost. These extended trial periods are one reason why more people are comfortable shopping for a new mattress online than ever before. But not every mattress will come with a trial period, so be sure to check before buying.

Mattress warranties are another policy that you should note. Most quality mattresses come with a minimum of a 10-year warranty. Longer warranties signal a company’s confidence in the quality and longevity of their products. But, be sure to read the fine print—you may need to use a certain type of mattress foundation, such as a box spring, for your warranty to remain intact.

Pros and Cons of a Pillow-Top Mattress

Like just about any product, a pillow top mattress has its advantages and disadvantages. Make sure you consider both the upside and downside before buying.

Pros

Pillow top mattresses are renowned for their exceptional comfort. When you lie down on a fluffy pillow top, you sink into the wonderful feel of a cradling comfort layer. The added cushioning is particularly beneficial for side sleepers, who need a mattress to sink in slightly at their pressure points to reduce aches and pains.

Another advantage of an upper layer of padding is enhanced motion isolation. Pillow tops are most common as part of some of the top hybrid mattresses with a supportive layer of coils. Without adequate foam, latex, or padded layers, these coils can make it so movement is felt across the bed’s surface. With a pillow top, couples are able to sleep more peacefully together.

Cons

Because the upper layer is malleable, it is prone in indentations and sagging with time. The highest quality pillow top mattresses are usually the Euro top, in which the comfort layer is seamlessly included as part of the mattress. While this looks and feels elegant at first, over time, it can lead to indentations where you sleep each night.

Another downside of some pillow top mattresses is that they sleep hot. If you are someone who experiences night sweats or wakes up toasty, look for a mattress designed to sleep cool. There are cool pillow top mattresses, but some will feed your body heat back to you.

Related: Best Cooling Mattresses for Hot Sleepers


Recap: Our Picks for Best Pillow Top Mattress

As a reminder, here are our top picks for the best pillow top mattresses:

Mattress Award Firmness
Saatva Best Overall Plush, Luxury Firm, or Firm
Helix Midnight Luxe Best for Back Pain Medium-firm
DreamCloud Premier Best for the Money Medium-firm
WinkBed Luxury Firm Best Firm Mattress Medium-firm
Sparrow Signature Hybrid Best Plush Mattress Plush, Medium, or Luxury Firm
Saatva Latex Hybrid Best Mattress for Side Sleepers Medium-firm
Awara Best Organic Mattress Medium-firm

When you’re looking for the best mattress to envelop you in a cozy embrace, there is no better choice than a pillow top mattress. The plush upper layer hugs your curves and decreases pressure at the points where your body comes into contact with the mattress.

Whether you need a soft or firm mattress, you can find a pillow top mattress that fits your needs. Often times, a pillow top is simply there to ensure that you feel comfortable, even on a firm mattress.  The highest-end pillow top options are made using layers of supportive, high-quality coils with comfort layers of latex, memory foam, or padded fabrics.

When you go shopping for a new pillow top mattress, keep in mind your personal needs and preferences. And look for a company that provides a generous trial period so you can rest easily knowing that you have time to ensure that it’s your perfect mattress.

FAQs

Comfort is the whole point of pillow-top mattresses. The idea is to duplicate the feeling you get when your head sinks into a comfortable pillow and apply it across the entire surface of the mattress. A well designed pillow-top layer adds not only softness but also pressure relief and cooling. In fact, many luxury hotel and resort chains use pillow-top mattresses.

A well made pillow-top bed should last about as long as a typical mattress, probably between seven and 10 years. The materials in the pillow-top layer have a big effect on longevity. For example, low-density foam and latex will degrade more quickly than high-density materials. Your weight also affects the lifespan of your mattress, as does the weight of your sleep partner.

Related: How Long Does a Mattress Last?

Most people probably don’t ever think about how to clean a mattress, but a little maintenance goes a long way.

You can use a drop of liquid detergent and a washcloth for spot-cleaning stains. To reduce buildup of dead skin, wash covers and sheets regularly. For a deeper clean, you can vacuum the mattress surface with the upholstery brush attachment and follow it up with a steam cleaner.

Before you start, though, check the manufacturer’s website for recommendations to make sure your cleaning routine won’t void the warranty.

Finding the right mattress can improve not only your nights but also your days.

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