Pillow Top vs. Euro Top: What's the Difference?
Learn about these plush additions to your mattress and see if they might be right for you.
Sep 15th, 2022 •
Mattress shopping is tricky. Not only are there a million different options that tend to all look the same, but you also have to learn a whole new set of lingo!
While shopping, you may have come across pillow top or euro top mattresses and said to yourself: What the heck are those?
We’ll explain what each of these mattress types are and take a look at the similarities and differences between euro top and pillow top mattresses to see if one of them might be right for you. And even if they’re not, at least you can impress your friends with some new vocabulary.
Quick Summary: Pillow Top vs Euro Top Mattresses
Euro top and pillow top mattresses are similar in that they both have an extra layer of padding or cushion on top of the mattress. Where they differ is how they’re attached to the mattress.
To be clear, a euro top is a specific type of pillow top. It’s like how a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not a square. Both are a top layer of padding on a mattress, but conventional pillow tops are an extra comfort layer that is sewn on the mattress, leaving a slight gap between the pillow top and the mattress.
A euro pillow top covers the entire surface of the mattress top and is flush with each side of the mattress so it looks more like a part of the bed.
What is a Pillow Top Mattress?
- Extra comfort layer sewn on the top of the mattress
- Leave a slight gap between the pillow top and mattress
- Can be made of memory foam, latex, fibers, wool or gel (high-quality materials)
- Softer and less dense
- Allows you to sink in a bit more
- Can shift around as you move (sheets help reduce this)
Pillow top mattresses can be made of memory foam, latex foam, fibers, wool, or gel but euro tops are usually made with foam or fiberfill (meaning the euro top is usually constructed with better quality materials).
In terms of appearance, a pillow top mattress looks like someone just laid a giant pillow blanket over the mattress, but it’s actually stitched onto the mattress to keep it from falling off. However, there is a slight gap between the mattress and pillow top. So it may appear thick, but it won’t be as dense.
Pillow top mattresses can feel softer than euro tops because they’re less taut on the mattress, allowing you to sink in a bit more. That being said, pillow tops also tend to shift around more as you move or change positions; however, this can be minimized by adding a mattress cover and sheets.
Pillow Top Mattress Pros & Cons
- Similar feel to that of a hybrid, where you can have a combination of a firmer sleep surface with added support.
- Great for side sleepers due to its contouring of pressure-prone areas.
- Less durable than a euro top, particularly for edge support.
- It may not be the ideal selection for a heavier person, as pillow tops can create a “sinking” feeling.
- Can require deeper sheets due to adding additional height to the mattress.
Who is a Pillow Top Mattress Best for?
- Side sleepers
- Those who require pressure relief
- Hot sleepers
Side sleepers require a mattress that provides pressure relief in the shoulder and hip areas. Pillow top mattresses allow for luxurious contouring support. If you also happen to be a hot sleeper, pillow tops can provide you with an extra layer that excels at regulating temperature.
Examples of Pillow Top Mattresses
- Mattress America: 13″ Hybrid: pocket coil + gel infused memory foam mattress: $279 for queen
- Classic Brands Mattress: 12″ Cool Gel and ventilated memory foam mattress: $274 for queen
What is a Euro Top Mattress?
- Covers entire surface of mattress top
- Flush with each side of the mattress
- Looks like part of the bed
- Soft, but less soft than pillow tops
- Dense and durable
- Typically made of foam or fiberfill (low-quality materials)
Euro tops are made from fiber or foam and are typically more dense compared to a pillow top. On a euro top mattress, the extra layer of padding is affixed to the mattress and sits flush with the edges. Because it sits flush and is more taught than a pillow top, euro tops tend to have better edge support, motion isolation, less shifting, and they maintain shape longer.
Euro tops will still feel soft, but not as soft as pillow tops. In terms of appearance, a euro top will look more like one cohesive mattress, although this doesn’t matter too much because it will be covered with bed sheets.
Overall, euro pillow tops are more dense and durable than a standard pillow top and they have a more clean look (if appearance matters to you).
Euro Top Mattress Pros & Cons
- Come in many levels of firmness, allowing you to customize your sleep experience.
- More durable and offer excellent edge support.
- Can prematurely sag at the edges despite its often longer lifespan.
Who is a Euro Top Mattress Best for?
- Those who like firm mattresses.
- Those who are looking for increased edge support.
If you enjoy a more firm mattress, a euro top may not be the best choice for you. Euro top mattresses are typically medium-firmness, though some varieties do come in more plush options.
If you are a heavier person and are seeking a medium-firm mattress with strong edge support, a euro top mattress is an excellent option.
Examples of Euro Top Mattresses
- Avocado (option to add euro top): Hybrid latex + innerspring mattress: $1,699 for queen with euro top
- Saatva (comes with euro top): Hybrid memory foam + coil on coil mattress: $999 for queen
Pillow Tops vs. Euro Tops: How to Choose The Right One for You
Both pillow tops and euro tops are an extra layer of padding or cushion on top of the mattress, which can be made of foam, down or other hybrid materials. The benefit is that both of these additions will make your bed feel softer.
Pillow tops and euro tops can be found in many different types of mattresses, but they’re most common (and most useful) on innerspring mattresses. The additional cushion layer can give an innerspring mattress the feel of a hybrid at a cheaper cost. However, since both add a few inches of height to your mattress, it may mean you have to make an investment in deep-pocketed sheets.
So how do you decide which to go with? Here are the most important considerations to keep in mind:
If you want a softer feeling mattress that you sink in to and hugs you, go with a pillow top. If you want something more firm, go with a euro top. Keep in mind that the design and materials of the mattress will have a significant impact on how noticeable the effect of a euro top or pillow top is.
Euro tops are more dense, meaning they are more durable than a pillow top mattress and tend to last a little longer. Pillow tops have a more airy design, and over time, this will flatten out. Sometimes, this can result in an uneven sleep surface or sagging.
Euro tops increase edge support because of how they rest flush with the edge of the mattress. A pillow top is less supportive around the edge and acts as a flap that sits on top of the mattress rather than being flush with the mattress.
Pillow tops are typically made with more high-quality materials and will cost more than euro tops. That being said, you can find both styles at all (and similar) price points. The average a pillow top mattress costs roughly $1,700.
Euro tops are not noticeable since they are flush with the mattress. Pillow tops are more apparent because they sit on top of the mattress, and look like a “flap.”
Both add a few inches to the top of your mattress, meaning you may need deep-pocketed sheets. Pillow tops also have a slight added gap so they might add more height to your mattress than a euro top.
Pillow Top vs. Euro Top Mattress FAQs
Who is a pillow top good for?
Pillow top mattresses are good for those seeking extra comfort and contouring ability in their mattress. The extra layer of cushioning helps support the spine and reduce pain.
Can you flip a pillow top mattress?
Like the euro top, only one side of the mattress will have the pillow top, so if you flip it, you’ll be sleeping on the hard, coil side of the mattress.
We recommend rotating your mattress, however, as this can help prevent sagging.
Can you flip a euro top mattress?
Only one side of the mattress will feature the euro top, so we don’t recommend flipping your mattress.
We do recommend rotating your mattress, however, as this can help prevent wear and tear in the areas where you commonly sleep.
Do euro top mattresses sag?
Euro top mattresses are less likely to sag than pillow top mattresses. This is because euro tops are stitched into the mattress and flush with, versus being on top of the mattress like a pillow top.
Over time, a euro top mattress can sag. You may experience this on the edges, particularly if you enjoy sleeping near the edge of the bed.
A euro or pillow top mattress can provide an additional layer of comfort and extra padding to your mattress. This is ideal for side sleepers or those with pain.
When it comes down to euro tops vs pillow tops, there aren’t many differentiating factors to affect your decision other than appearance and feel. For a more dense, durable, and supportive feel, look at euro top mattresses. For a softer feel, look a standard pillow top mattresses.
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