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Pillow top mattresses are a relatively recent invention, but have quickly become a must-have for those who want a hotel bed experience at home. Popular for their ability to deliver extra comfort at an affordable price, pillow-top mattresses possess a cloud-like top layer that helps distribute body weight and provides a luxuriously comfortable feel on top of a supportive spring base.
Below, our top picks of the best pillow-top mattresses for a better night’s sleep.
Best Overall: Alwyn Home 11" Plush Premium Foam Pillowtop Mattress
If you've decided that a pillow top mattress is for you, you can't go wrong with the Alwyn Home 11" Plush Premium Foam Pillowtop Mattress. This luxurious mattress is crafted from CertiPUR-US foam, which means that it's free of harmful chemicals and toxins. It's available in eight different sizes from twin to California King, so you can find the right size for your space. Another huge benefit? It's hypoallergenic.
This foam mattress is billed as low-motion transfer, which is great for partners that have different sleep schedules. Thousands of happy customers agree that this pillow top mattress lives up to the claims and is firm enough to support their back (and other areas that need extra support), but it's still soft and plush. Other customers noted that this feels way more expensive than it actually is, and they would easily buy it again as opposed to a more expensive brand. If you want to feel like you’re floating on a cloud as you drift off to sleep, this Alwyn Home mattress will definitely do the trick.
Note that it takes about 72 hours for this mattress to expand and reach its full size.
Best Budget: Modway Ultimate Quilted Pillow Top Mattress
For a budget-friendly mattress that doesn’t skimp on comfort and quality, the Jenna Innerspring Mattress from Modway will help you enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep—at half the cost of other bedding of its caliber. Built to be responsive to the needs of stomach, side, and back sleepers, the Jenna helps reduce pressure on your back, shoulders, and neck, while also firmly contouring to your body. Thanks to the quilted polyester tight-top surface and individually wrapped pocket coils, any motion or bouncing is absorbed, which is particularly great for partners with different sleep habits or schedules.
Reviews are effusive for this mattress, which comes with 8.5-inch individually wrapped coils, a 1-inch responsive foam, foam padding, and a padded polyester tight-top. Consumers have reported that the Jenna is perfect for anyone suffering from hip or back pain and that it’s an excellent pick for the price point.
Best Mattress Pad: ExceptionalSheets Extra Plush Fitted Mattress Pad
On the hunt for a mattress topper that offers an excellent amount of cushioning? The ExceptionalSheets Extra Plush Fitted Mattress Topper is near-unparalleled in its ability to give you a good night’s sleep. This topper is crafted from unique polyester fiber clusters and a polyester-cotton blend—each pad is filled with Revoloft, a fiberfill that’s similar to goose and duck down, without the feathers—which results in a soft, breathable feel.
There are thousands of rave reviews for the ExceptionalSheets Extra Plush Fitted Mattress Topper, with one citing that it feels like a “warm embrace," and another saying that their bed “looks and feels like a hotel bed."
Best King: Sweetnight King Mattress in a Box
If you're shopping for a pillow top king mattress online, the 12" Sweetnight King Mattress is a top-rated option that will help you sleep better at night. This mattress is constructed of individually wrapped innerspring coils for firm support and topped with gel memory foam for comfort. Memory foam is known to be one of the best materials for relieving pressure points and cradling your body, so if you suffer from back pain or hip pain, this will be a good option for you. The quilted pillow top cover adds a plush element to this medium firm mattress.
Available in four different sizes that are reasonably priced, you can't go wrong with this mattress in a box. Customers consistently call this mattress "the most amazing king-sized mattress," citing the head-to-toe comfort and price as the biggest selling points. This mattress comes compressed in a box for easy delivery so it takes about 72 hours for it to expand.
Best Queen: Signature Sleep Queen Mattress
Crafted from high-quality rayon that absorbs moisture (no more sweaty tossing and turning!) and high-density foam that allows the mattress to mold to your body’s natural shape, the Signature Sleep Queen Mattress provides optimal support and lasting comfort. The support in this mattress comes from the 10-inch independently-encased coils that help distribute weight evenly and eliminate motion transfer. On top of the coils, there's a memory foam pillow top for added softness. The eco-friendly foam material is CertiPUR-US certified, so it’s made without harmful chemicals like mercury and lead.
The vast majority of consumers have given the Signature Sleep Queen Mattress five stars, with many stating that it’s helped relieve back pain. Though it may feel firm right out of the box, it does a great job of eventually conforming to your body and enveloping you in softness.
Best Firm: Simmons Beautyrest Silver 12" Firm Pillow Top Mattress
The Simmons Beautyrest Silver 12" Firm Pillow Top Mattress is an ideal pick if you prefer your mattress to be on the firm side. The sophisticated design features pocketed coils, which are individually wrapped coils that mimic the kind of support that you would get from a memory foam mattress. Because the coils are individually wrapped, movement on one side of the bed will stay confined to that area. This makes it possible to get up during the night or early in the morning without disturbing your partner.
There are 490 extra coils in the center of the mattress to enhance contouring back support, and cooling technology promotes airflow during the night. Again, there's a high level of support with this mattress, but if you prefer enhanced support coupled with a supremely soft top layer, this may not be the right option for you. Customers describe this mattress as firm or medium-firm, with one reviewer writing that it was a tad too hard for them. As with most other mattresses on this list, there are multiple sizes to choose from.
Best for Side Sleepers: Zinus Memory Foam Cloud-like Mattress
For side sleepers, the Zinus Memory Foam 12-inch Cloud-like Mattress provides exceptional support for your spine and midsection. It’s comprised of two inches of microfiber and foam-quilted jacquard, plus two inches of memory foam, three inches of comfort foam, and five inches of high-density base support foam. Another major perk is that the memory foam is infused with charcoal, green tea, and natural plant oil, so you don’t have to worry about pesky odors, which can be an issue with other memory foam mattresses.
Reviewers like that the Zinus Memory Foam Cloud-like Mattress is perfectly firm and fluffy. Several customers also pointed out that if you have questions or concerns about your mattress, the customer service at Zinus is extremely friendly and helpful.
What to Look for in a Pillow Top Mattress
In addition to the pillowtop, you need to consider what the mattress underneath is made from. Today, most mattresses are made with innersprings, foam, or a combination of both. Foam mattresses contour to your body more readily but make it harder to shift around. On the other hand, innerspring mattresses are more firm and bouncy, which means it’s easier to disturb your partner.
Pillow top mattresses are inherently soft, but you can still choose different levels of support and firmness. Research suggests that a medium firm mattress is best for back pain.
"It's important to have the comfort level be there; however, for longevity of the mattress I've found that the medium firmness tends to be more preferred by patients," says Dr. Samantha March-Howard, doctor of chiropractic at 100% Chiropractic office in Dunwoody, Georgia. "When it's too firm, it's just as bad as being too soft, and it's hard for the muscles to relax on any materials that are like that."
If you’re buying a mattress online, there’s no way to know if you like it until it arrives. That’s why it’s important to see if the retailer offers a trial period so you can test the mattress out at home. Consider things like the trial length, refund policy, and shipping logistics.
Can you flip a pillow top mattress?
Old school mattresses are the same on both sides and can be flipped and rotated at will to reduce wear and tear in a single area and increase their longevity. Pillow-top mattresses are another story. Flip a pillow top mattress over and you have essentially robbed it of its purpose since it is by definition a one-sided proposition.
How do you clean a pillow top mattress?
To keep your pillow top mattress free of dust, mites, hair, and other allergens, be sure to vacuum it regularly (advice ranges from every time you change your sheets to every three months). Regularly washing your sheets and pillowcases will also help keep your mattress clean by removing dirt, dust, and bodily fluids that can transfer from sheets. If your pillow top mattress has a removable cover, be sure to wash that regularly as well according to manufacturer instructions.
How long does a pillow top mattress last?
The longevity of your pillow top mattress will depend on a number of factors. These include the quality of the construction, the materials used, how many people are sleeping on it, how much those people weigh, move around, and sweat. Be sure to use a mattress protector, and to rotate your mattress 180 degrees on a regular basis. As a general rule, mattresses should be replaced every 7 to 10 years, but pillow top mattresses have a shorter lifespan and generally are made to last from between 4 and 7 years.
How do you fix a sagging pillow top mattress?
The soft filling in a pillow top mattress has a tendency to get compressed from the weight of the body that is using it, causing it to sag. One way to prevent sagging is to regularly rotate the mattress, so that wear and tear is distributed evenly. You can also use the suction of a hand-held vacuum to pull the pillow top filling back into shape.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written and researched by Justine Harrington, a product writer for The Spruce who specializes in home and lifestyle topics. Her work has been published in national outlets like Fodor's and Backpacker, among others. For additional background information about mattresses, we talked to Dr. Samantha March-Howard, doctor of chiropractic at 100% Chiropractic Office in Dunwoody, Georgia, who spoke about mattress firmness.