Our favorite pillow top mattress is the Avocado Green bed, which uses all-natural materials and organic cotton for a more sustainable choice. Our second favorite is the DreamCloud mattress, which sleeps cool and is supportive enough for heavy sleepers.
Are you considering a pillow top mattress? Need a deeper understanding of the features of this bed type, first? If so, we’re here to help.
The mattress industry is always coming out with new comfort technology and the pillow top mattress is a good example of this, although pillow tops are not that new.
A pillow top mattress is an ordinary mattress that has an additional layer of padding stitched to the top. It has what looks like a pillow on its surface, with a noticeable separation from the mattress.
Pillow top beds may be a good choice for people who want an extra plush feel to their bed or who need some sinkage in their mattress. First, we’ll cover our favorite pillow top beds on the market, followed by a closer look at what separates this mattress type from others on the market.
The Top 3 Pillow Top Mattresses
Below are our favorite pillow top beds available right now. We chose each one for a specific sleep need or comfort preference.
#1 Best Luxury Pillow Top Mattress- The Avocado Green Mattress
Why We Liked It:
- Organic cotton
- No toxic fire retardants
- Hypoallergenic latex
- Made in the USA
Why We Didn’t Like It:
The Avocado Green mattress is a hybrid bed made with all-natural Dunlop latex and supportive coils. The mattress comes with an optional latex pillow top and its natural materials make it our favorite luxurious pillow top bed on the market.
The coils in the mattress are pocketed to provide the bed with sturdy, targeted back support and isolated movement, but the pillow top gives the bed a plush feel. Note that the pillow top costs extra and that the bed is also available in a non-pillow top version.
The Avocado Green mattress has a wool-quilted cover made with organic cotton – a breathable, durable material with moisture-wicking properties. The latex is aerated to improve breathability and the bed is reported to be nice and cool when sleeping.
Under the cotton and wool cover, there’s a 2-inch layer of Dunlop latex, followed by the coil layer, then another 1-inch layer of latex. Last is a cotton canvas layer that the above layers rest upon. While the standard Avocado mattress is made with 3 inches of latex, the pillow top version has 5 inches.
The Avocado mattress’ coil system is built in three zones to provide a firmer area under the lower back for lumbar support. The edges of the mattress are sturdy, which makes it easier to get out of bed in the morning and gives the bed more of a usable surface area. The bed is quite heavy, which makes it hard to move, but it comes with handles on the sides to make the process a bit easier.
Customer reviews state that the mattress sleeps cool and doesn’t have any off-gassing odor, but some negative reviews state that the bed is too firm, even with the pillow top.
This is a luxury mattress with a luxury price tag to match, so it may not be a good choice for people on a strict budget. The Avocado Green pillow top mattress comes with a 25-year warranty and 100-night sleep trial period.
#2 Best Medium-Firm Pillow Top Mattress- The Classic Brands 12-Inch Mercer Pillow Top Hybrid Mattress
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Why We Liked It:
- Supportive coils
- Cooling technology
- Pressure relief
Why We Didn’t Like It:
- Initial off-gassing smell
- May wear out faster than other beds
- Poor edge support
The Classic Brands Mercer Pillow Top Hybrid is a budget-friendly mattress that uses both memory foam and coils in its construction. It has a medium-firm feel which should be appreciated by back and stomach sleepers who need a firmer surface for spinal alignment.
The bed has a quilted pillow top cover, followed by a half-inch memory foam layer, infused with a cooling gel. Next, are two quarter-inch layers of comfort foam, then another half-inch layer of foam for contouring comfort.
Under that is a 3/4-inch layer of contouring foam, followed by an 8-inch base layer of coils. The sides of the mattress are made with a knit design that encourages breathability and airflow. The coils in the bed are individually wrapped to prevent disturbances from motion, which is good if you are a light sleeper.
The layers of foam used in the bed are hypoallergenic and resistant to bacteria, mold, and other allergens. The Classic Brands Mercer Pillow Top Hybrid conforms to your body to encourage pressure relief and the coils provide support for your back.
Customers report that this mattress is easy to unpack and many appreciate the budget-friendly price. But some people find the mattress too firm for comfort and say that it wears out too fast with indentations in the foam. The bed comes with a 10-year warranty and Classic Brands offers customer service support 7 days a week.
#3 Best Pillow Top Mattress for Heavy Sleepers- The DreamCloud Mattress
Why We Liked It:
- Luxurious feel
- Very supportive
- Cooling technology
- Year-long sleep trial
Why We Didn’t Like It:
- Poor edge support
The DreamCloud mattress is a thick mattress with multiple layers and a supportive design that heavier customers (over 250 pounds) should find suitable. It has a tufted pillow top with a luxurious and comfortable feel and the bed has a layer of coils, which promote airflow. It also has a breathable cover to help you sleep cool.
The DreamCloud mattress cover is made with cashmere and is followed by the soft, 2-inch pillow top layer, then a half-inch layer of gel-infused foam. Next is a 1.75-inch quilted memory foam layer, then a half-inch layer of latex.
Under that is a quarter-inch layer of memory foam, followed by a half-inch layer of denser foam. These layers are supported by an 8-inch layer of pocketed coils.
The coils rest on a 1.5-inch layer of dense memory foam. The DreamCloud mattress relieves pressure and works well for side sleepers, due to its plush pillow top. Back and stomach sleepers should also feel comfortable on this bed, as the coil layer encourages even weight distribution across the bed.
Hot sleepers should be able to find comfort with the DreamCloud mattress, as it uses effective cooling technology. The breathable cover and gel-infused foam contribute to a cool sleep temperature, according to users.
The DreamCloud mattress comes with an Everlong Warranty and 365-night sleep trial, which is unusually long.
What is a Pillow Top Mattress?
A pillow top bed is a mattress that has an extra layer of padding on the top to create plush comfort. Pillow top mattresses essentially look like a regular bed with a pillow sewn into the surface. The padding can be made from latex, memory foam, cotton batting, or other materials. A pillow top functions like a mattress topper but comes with the advantage of not needing to add an extra separate piece.
What to Consider When Buying a Pillow Top Bed
When it comes to buying a pillow top mattress, there are a number of considerations you should keep in mind. We’ll go over some of these below.
Pillow Top Material
The pillow top section of a mattress can be made from various materials and each material comes with a different feel and distinct benefits. Latex pillow tops have a responsive feel with some contouring, while memory foam creates more of a sinking sensation and conforms more closely to your body.
Cotton batting or polyester pillow tops create a plush, cushiony effect as you lie on it. Different pillow top materials come with different life expectancies. Latex can be expected to last the longest, but also to cost the most, while memory foam is a bit less durable than latex. Cotton batting or polyester pillow tops will typically wear out faster than either latex or memory foam.
You should keep your sleep position in mind when you’re considering a pillow top bed. Back sleepers should find pillow top beds comfortable, as long as the mattress is firm enough to support their body type and ensure proper spinal alignment. Too soft of a pillow top might create uneven sinkage for back sleepers.
People who sleep on their stomach may want to steer clear of this bed type because it may create too much sinkage and may cause the pelvis to sink in farther than the rest of the body. This misalignment can lead to lower back pain over time.
Side sleepers may appreciate pillow top mattresses the most. This sleep position calls for cushioning in the hips and shoulders, as these parts of the body take on the weight of the rest of the body when you’re on your side.
Your body type will impact the way you experience your pillow top mattress. Sleepers who are carrying some extra weight will likely find that a pillow top creates too much sinkage and causes lower back pain. Light sleepers, on the other hand, will likely appreciate the extra cushioning provided by a pillow top. Too firm of mattresses can cause uncomfortable pressure points for people who don’t weigh much.
Since pillow top beds have a plush top layer, they may retain heat more than other types of beds that aren’t as contouring. If hot sleeping is a problem for you, you may want to steer clear from a memory foam pillow top and instead opt for a latex pick, like the Avocado Green mattress.
People usually choose a pillow top mattress to get extra softness on their mattress, but firmer pillow tops are also available. The best firmness level for you depends on the sleep position you use most often at night and your weight, as mentioned above. Side sleepers should opt for a softer pillow top, while back or stomach sleepers should choose a firmer option to ensure spinal alignment. Most pillow top mattresses come in a medium firmness to suit the average sleeper.
Pillow Top Maintenance
To care for your pillow top bed, vacuum the surface of the mattress periodically to get rid of debris. Stay away from harsh chemical cleaners, as these may damage the fabric and pillow top material. In order to get rid of a stain on the mattress, spot clean with gentle soap and warm water. Wait until the area is dry before replacing the sheets.
Rotate Your Bed
You may be able to prolong the life of your bed by rotating it 180 degrees each month. This process prevents the pillow top materials from wearing or sagging unevenly. Before you rotate your bed, check the manufacturer information to make sure that it’s recommended by the mattress company for maintenance. Some pillow top beds may not call for regular rotation.
Consider a Mattress Protector
If you want to ensure a longer life for your pillow top bed, adding a mattress protector is a good idea. People who enjoy having breakfast in bed or have pets or kids may especially benefit from this additional protection on their bed. A protector can prevent spills from leaking through the bed and wearing out the materials faster, especially if you choose one that is waterproof.
A pillow top mattress could be a good pick for someone who wants some additional plushness and a luxurious feel for their next mattress. Our favorite pillow top bed is the Avocado Green mattress. It uses natural and organic materials and sleeps very cool. Customers report that the mattress helps with back pain and tension, but some complain about the price.