To Pillow Top, or Not To Pillow Top?

Pillow tops are a source of much debate, and some pretty strong opinions.  I’ll admit, I’ve owned a few, and I’ve sagged a few.  I find them comfortable, but I don’t own one right now (my beloved Comforpedic is a plush firm).  So what’s the deal with pillow tops?

pillow topWhat is a pillow top?

A pillow top mattress is a mattress that has a separate looking piece on top, that looks like a pillow.  It is attached to the bed, and is not removable.  They usually consist of various padding layers.  The SOLE purpose of a pillow top is to add extra padding to the mattress, thereby making the mattress softer.

Who is a pillow top good for?

Anyone that wants a softer feel combined with firm support.

Who is a pillow top not good for?

Anyone that wants a firmer feel.  You’d be surprised how many people come into mattress stores and want a hard bed, but want a pillow top.  It’s just not possible, people.  More padding equals softer bed.  While there are firmer feeling pillow tops, none are going to be hard as a rock.

pillow topSome people have an extreme hatred for pillow top mattresses, which usually stems from a previous purchase sagging or dipping over time.  I understand being once bitten and twice shy, but there have been so many advances in mattresses, even in just the past five years.  The way that pillow tops were made ten years ago is DRASTICALLY different from how they are made now.

Higher density foams, such as memory foam and latex have replaced easily compressed foams, making sagging and depressions a thing of the past.  Pillow tops are also now “tacked down” from the top of the bed all the way down to the coil system, about every three to four inches across the bed.  This stops shifting and bunching.  Also, since all mattresses are now one-sided, the pillow top is never smashed under the weight of the coil system and the sleepers, so it maintains it’s loft and feel for much longer.

A note on body impressions and being realistic…if you think that you’re going to be able to purchase a soft, comfortable mattress, and have it look exactly the same after ten years of sleeping on it every night for eight hours, then you’re crazy.  If you sat on your couch for eight hours a day, every day, would you expect it to look exactly the same after ten years?  What about the driver’s seat in your car?  Mattresses are made out of foam, and foam will compress.  Consider that you’re laying your entire body weight on that bed, and not moving much for 6-8 hours.  The foam that you’re laying on is going to compress, and eventually, it won’t be able to recover back to normal.  This is perfectly acceptable.  Body impressions in your mattress don’t change the feel, support, or durability.  They are just a by-product of you sleeping on the mattress.  If you want a bed that will be exactly the same after 29,200 hours of a 160 lb person laying on it (that’s ten years of 8 hours a night), then you should purchase a slab of granite, not a mattress.

beautyrest pillow topSorry for the snarkiness, but it’s true.

So if you’re in the market for a new mattress, take a look at a pillow top mattress: they are more durable, and more comfortable than ever before.  One might just be your key to sweet dreams!

By the way – great options for a pillow top mattress, as chosen by me:

Beautyrest Recharge Flatbrook Plush Pillow Top - for those who like a soft feel

Beautyrest Recharge World Class Trident Luxury Firm Box Top – for those who like a medium feel, with the extra support and durability of a coil system in the pillow top!

King Koil Renaissance Euro Pillow Top – for those who like a medium density, but thick pillow top.

BeautySleep Fancy Pillow Top – budget conscious, but still super comfy!

This entry was posted in Innerspring Mattresses, Mattresses and tagged , by Alyssa Linvill. Bookmark the permalink.

About Alyssa Linvill

Alyssa has been in the mattress industry since 2001, and is very interested in how sleep and comfort affect our quality of life. She has done extensive research regarding the way that mattresses and sleep position both aggravate and alleviate common medical conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and sleep apnea. Currently, Alyssa is helping seniors in Central Florida get a better night's sleep at Dr Snooze, where more attention is paid to the clinical and scientific side of mattress selection. She also writes the blog for Dr Snooze, and has put out many different articles and writings about medical conditions and sleep, as well as reviews on products and ways of making sleeping and mattresses healthier.

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