Best Pillow Top Mattresses in 2020: Reviews and Shopping Tips

By Nicole Gleichmann

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

While they aren’t cheap, pillow top mattresses are worth the cost for the comfort you get in exchange. If you’re looking for a durable bed to offer you long-lasting comfort, keep reading out guide to review the five best pillow top mattresses we’ve rated and reviewed. Then, we’ll give you some shopping tips to help guide you on your way to the new bed of your dreams.

By clicking on the product links in this article, Mattress Advisor may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Read full disclosure statement.

The Best Pillow Top Mattresses

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.

Our list contains different types of pillow top mattresses to fit various types of sleepers. How do we know? Each mattress on our list has undergone our comprehensive testing process in our Mattress Lab. We look for a variety of factors such as purchase experience, mattress performance, and the brand’s social responsibility before giving the mattress a weighted score out of 10. We know a good pillow top mattress when we see one.

Keep reading to get a closer look at each of these pillow top mattresses.

Saatva

Saatva

Best Overall

Best for:

  • Back and stomach sleepers
  • Heavy sleepers
  • People with back pain who need firm support

We are so happy with our mattress. No more back and shoulder problems.”

Jessica K.
Customer Rating
4.8 / 5
MA Score
8.7 / 10
Firmness

Available in plush soft: 3/10; luxury firm: 5.5-6.5/10; and firm: 8/10

Trial Period

180 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. These properties make this one of the best mattresses for back pain. 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 innerspring mattress is eco-friendly and comes with a 15-year warranty

Read our full Saatva mattress review


DreamCloud Premier

DreamCloud Premier

Best Mattress for the Money

Best for

  • Co-sleepers
  • Back pain
  • Seniors

We have had our dreamcloud for over a year now and we love it!"

S
Customer Rating
4.6 / 5
MA Score
9.0 / 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. DreamCloud Premier’s pillow top makes this a good choice for side sleepers because it cushions the hips and shoulders. This bed is also firm enough for back sleepers and stomach sleepers. The luxurious pocketed coils in DreamCloud Premier makes for a responsive mattress combo sleepers need.

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.


Helix Midnight Luxe

Helix Midnight LUXE

Best for Back Pain

Best for

  • Hot sleepers
  • Couples
  • Back pain

This is the best sleep I’ve ever had in my life."

Dylan A.
Customer Rating
4.5 / 5
MA Score
8.9 / 10
Firmness

Medium firm: 6/10

Trial Period

100 days

The Helix Midnight Luxe brings luxury to your average Helix mattress, starting with the cooling premium pillow top. This pillow top uses phase change material to be not only cool to the touch, but temperature regulating as well.

But 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 give you nearly perfect spinal alignment, meaning side sleepers have an almost perfectly straight spine.

Read our full Helix Midnight Luxe mattress review.


Awara

Awara

Best Organic

Best for:

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

After trying it out for a few weeks we knew that we wanted to keep it forever."

Sara I.
Customer Rating
4.8 / 5
MA Score
8.8 / 10
Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Trial Period

365 nights

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.


WinkBed Luxury Firm

WinkBed Luxury Firm

Best Firm Mattress

Best for:

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

We sure are grateful for our FULL nights of painless sleep, after so many years."

Sunny D.
Customer Rating
4.5 / 5
MA Score
8.6 / 10
Firmness

Medium firm: 6/10

Trial Period

101 days

One of the biggest challenges when finding a new pillow mattress suitable for two people is that it often needs to accommodate multiple sleeping styles. The WinkBed Luxury Firm Mattress offers the right amount of cushion and resilient support to work for back, stomach, side, and combination sleepers. And for couples that get a bit warm when sharing a bed, many of WinkBed’s seven layers of foam and coils are designed to keep you cool.

Another challenge when sharing a bed is having plenty of room to move around and spread out. While mattress size is important here, so is a mattress achieving balanced support all the way to the edges. In our in-house edge support test, the WinkBed mattress earned an astounding 9.75/10, demonstrating a sound structure. 

And when it comes to an ideal mattress for couples, you want one that supplies a good amount of responsiveness. Responsiveness is a measure of how quickly a mattress adjusts to your movements. WinkBed scored 9/10 in our responsiveness test, meaning that it is a great surface for adult activities. 

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

Read our full WinkBed mattress review.


Alexander Signature Hybrid

Alexander Signature Hybrid

Best Plush Mattress

Best for:

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

We really love our new bed. The quality is terrific. Made in America is a huge plus."

Bradley H.
Customer Rating
4.8 / 5
MA Score
8.2 / 10
Firmness

Choose between Plush, Medium, Luxury Firm

Trial Period

100 days

Are you looking for a plush, medium, or firm pillow top mattress? With the Alexander Signature Hybrid from Nest Bedding, you can choose any one of the three. This hybrid memory foam + pocketed coils mattress contains seven layers. By adjusting the firmness of the TitanChill Endurance Foam, customers can achieve the right cushion. 

When you lie down on the Alexander 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 Alexander 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 their mattresses, offering a lifetime warranty. combined with the ability to return the mattress within 100 days if you find it’s not right for you. 

Read our full Alexander Signature Hybrid mattress review.


Simmons Beautyrest Black

Beautyrest Black

Best Cooling

Best for:

  • Side sleepers with night sweats
  • Couples
  • Those with back pain due to poor spinal alignment

It has the perfect amount of support and plush top to sink in exactly the way a body should."

R.L.
Customer Rating
4.1 / 5
MA Score
8.9 / 10
Firmness

Medium-firm: 6/10

Trial Period

100 days

One of the biggest complaints that we hear about pillow top mattresses is that the top layer of padding traps heat. Simmons Beautyrest Black has addressed this concern by producing their popular Beautyrest Black mattress with a cooling upgrade.

The Beautyrest Black is a hybrid mattress with a base level of pocketed coil springs and multiple layers of proprietary memory foam. Included in these layers is their RightTemp™memory foam with carbon fiber designed to absorb body heat during the night. Another section is comprised of gel memory foam, further enhancing the cooling effect. 

Even if you don’t sleep hot, you can benefit from the impeccable pressure relief that this memory foaminnerspring hybrid mattress offers. The medium-firm mattress is one of the best performers we’ve had when it comes to relieving pressure points and supporting spine alignment. While this bed works with any sleeping position, its plush comfort foam and unparalleled pressure relief make it ideal for side sleepers

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 Beautyrest Black. And with a 100-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 Simmons Beautyrest Black mattress review.


Pillow Top Mattress Shopping Tips

When shopping for a pillow top mattress, you want to consider what each layer is made from, how firm the bed feels, and the details of any trial period or warranty. When you address each of these areas, you will be able to find a pillow top mattress that fits your needs. 

In this buyer’s guide, we’ll go over: 

  • What Is a Pillow Top?
  • Types of Pillow Tops
  • What to Look for in a Pillow Top Mattress
  • Pros
  • Cons

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 Top Mattresses

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 mattress is one of the nicest mattresses, 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 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 mattresses are a hybrid 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 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 that 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. Read about the firmness level of the top layer to determine if it’s the right fit for your needs.

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

  • 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. 

Price Range

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 separate pillow top 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. 

Warranties are another guarantee 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

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 consequence of an upper layer of padding is enhanced motion isolation. Pillow tops are most common as part of a hybrid mattress 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

In spite of the unparalleled feel of a plush pillow top, there are some negatives that shoppers need to be aware of. 

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


Summary

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

Mattress Best for  Firmness
Saatva Overall quality Plush, Luxury Firm, or Firm
DreamCloud Premier Value Medium-firm
Helix Midnight Luxe Back Pain Medium-firm
Awara Best organic mattress Medium-firm
WinkBed Luxury Firm Best firm mattress Medium-firm
Alexander Signature Hybrid Best plush mattress Plush, Medium, or Luxury Firm
Simmons Beautyrest Black Best cooling 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. 

Comment below if you’ve found your perfect pillow top mattress, or if you need any help along the way.

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