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Explaining Euro Top vs Pillow Top Mattresses

by Olly Mason

There’s something truly satisfying about nestling into a pillow that makes sleep all the more enjoyable. Once you find that perfect spot to cradle your head, it’s lights out, and you’re on your way to dreamland. It’s so effective, mattress brands have gone so far as to wonder, “Why not enjoy the softness of a pillow for the entire body?”

And that’s the story of how pillow top and Euro top mattresses became a thing. Both are considered some of the plushest beds on the market and feature an added layer of top comfort for a cloud-like feel that are on their own level — but not identical. Luckily, we’ve summed up the difference between a Euro top vs pillow top mattress for you in this quick buying guide, including recommended mattresses from our catalog of leading bed brands.

Woman sleeping on a cloud

At a Glance:

What is a Pillow Top Mattress?

What is a Euro Top Mattress?

How to Choose Between a Euro Top vs. Pillow Top Mattress

Why Trust Us?

What is a Pillow Top Mattress?

Did you know you can enjoy a soft mattress that doesn’t swallow you whole? The solution is a pillow top mattress. For the most part, this type of mattress is similar to an innerspring or pocketed coil bed, only with an added layer of cushioning to the uppermost part of the cover. This extra padding — which sits directly atop the bed and is easily identifiable by its signature gap —instantly creates more contouring comfort and acts as a buffer between coils to limit motion transfer.

If you like the feel of a hybrid mattress, but want a more affordable option, pillow top mattresses are a great alternative to explore. While you won’t get as many layers of foam with a pillow topper as on a hybrid mattress, the feel and support are similar, especially since many of the options manufactured these days use memory foam inside the topper. Just keep in mind, some pillow top mattresses require special bed sheets, such as deep-pocket sheets. Using the right bedding on a pillow topper will protect the padded layer from shifting and compacting for a more comfortable surface that lasts longer.

✓ Pillow top mattresses are best for…

To some sleepers, traditional coil mattresses are too hard and lead to uncomfortable pressure points, yet their stability is the best for healthy spine support. But pair a pillow topper with innersprings, and you can enjoy the best of support and comfort, especially if you’re a side sleeper or back sleeper. For some, a pillow topper can feel stuffy, but if you’re all about a cozy bed, a pillow top mattress can feel like a haven.

For Spooners Only: The Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

Recommended Pillow Top Mattress: Sleep Essentials Manito 2.5 Pocketed Coil Super Pillow Top Queen Mattress (27752)

Side view of Sleep Essentials Manito collection queen-size pillow top mattress

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Giving in to your soft side feels amazing when it’s on the billowy comfort of this pillow top mattress from the Sleep Essentials line. You’ll enjoy its duo of premium gel-infused foam together with a pillow topper with a support rating of 2.5, so you always feel like you’re floating. Added edge with structure High Density Foam Encasement provides the most usable sleep space possible, so you can relish every layer of pocketed coil support, quilted foam, and cool gel from edge to edge of this pillow top bed.

Features:

  • Pillow top with comfort foam
  • HD Cool Gel
  • Super Soft quilt foam
  • High density foam encasement
  • Pocketed coil base 
  • 13-¾” thickness

What is a Euro Top Mattress?

The biggest drawback to a pillow top mattress is its lifespan, which typically ranges between five to eight years, mostly due to shifting in the upper lining (which is why we highly recommend using the right sheets). However, the biggest difference between pillow top and Euro top mattresses is that Euro top mattresses have a topper sewn directly beneath the mattress cover. This simple alteration allows them to outlast pillow top mattresses with an average lifespan of eight years and up to 10 years when properly taken care of.

This sewn-in design also creates more of an even surface with considerably better edge support than with pillow top mattresses, although some sleepers feel this restricts how much contouring the layer is able to provide. However, this is a plus when it comes to using sheets on a Euro top mattress. While deep-pocket sheets are still highly recommended, you’ll experience a flush surface on a Euro top mattress, meaning regular bed sheets are often compatible.

✓ Euro top mattresses are best for…

To protect their layers of padding from compacting, many Euro top mattresses use denser materials in their filling, which can be a plus for sleepers seeking relief from back and neck pain. Like their counterparts, European top mattresses offer a luxurious foundation for back and side sleepers, but their reinforced surface is agreeable to virtually every kind of sleeper, but not every wallet. Compared to pillow top beds, Euro top mattresses are the more expensive option.

We’ve Got Your Back: The Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers

Recommended Euro Top Mattress: Kingsdown® Crown Imperial Empire 1.0 Pocketed Coil Euro Top Firm Queen Mattress (27221)

Side view of Kingsdown Crown Imperial Empire firm queen-size Euro top mattress

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Add a little bounce to your sleep routine with this Euro top mattress from Kingsdown. On the surface, a cozy landing zone of quilting and foam wraps your body in supreme softness, complete with luxury Joma wool for even more decadence throughout the night. Below the premium cover, even more exclusives await, like specially designed pocketed coils for superior motion response, Full Body surround technology, and a micro-coil layer for additional support for the whole body.

Features:

  • Tri-Zoned wrapped coils
  • Firm Fitness Foam
  • Full Body Surround 
  • Pocketed coil base 

How to Choose Between a Euro Top vs. Pillow Top Mattress

The first step to shopping for a new mattress should start with identifying your best sleep position. Once you’re familiar with your needs, consider these pointers while shopping between a pillow top mattress vs Euro top mattress.

Support

As always, we like to remind our shoppers that support does not equal softness. Instead, think of support as how much a mattress suspends your body. Does your body sink? Or does it sit parallel to the surface? Both qualities have their benefits, but ultimately, who they benefit relates to the type of sleeper.

Side sleepers experience the best support on a softer mattress that contours to the natural curve of the spine when sleeping in the fetal position, or in other words, a pillow top bed. On the other hand, Euro top mattresses offer more stability, which is ideal for sleeping on the back or on the stomach.

Motion

Both pillow top and Euro top mattresses are good performers when it comes to motion response. Overall, they absorb more movement than innerspring mattresses, and when added on top of a pocketed coil bed, you get motion response second only to memory foam. Compared side-by-side, Euro top mattresses provide slightly better motion response than pillow top mattresses.

Longevity

Overall, you’ll probably spend more on a Euro top mattress than a pillow top mattress, but they last longer and provide comfort many sleepers compare to luxury hotel suites. If you’re looking for a quick mattress replacement that is plush yet sturdy and less expensive than a Euro top, go for a mattress with a pillow topper. If you can splurge, a premium mattress with a Euro top is a sound investment.

Why Trust Us?

Since 1996, Mattress Land has been making strides in the mattress industry to provide our customers the sleep experience they need — and deserve. We do that by offering the ultimate customer experience, complete with our trained experts, BedFIT™ computerized diagnostics, and our impressive showroom. We’ll make sure that you find the right sleep solution for your sleeping habits and so you can feel energized in your day-to-day life.

We are also proud of our diverse, employee-driven culture, where our teams work hard toward a common goal. We know that better sleep makes all the difference, and our commitment to changing the landscape of traditional mattress shopping is how we know Mattress Land is one of the best mattress stores around.

Even more reasons we’re your top local mattress provider:

Shop Euro Top & Pillow Top Mattresses at Mattress Land

At Mattress Land, we provide quality name-brand mattresses for great prices. Our sleep experts are always happy to help you understand Euro top vs pillow top mattresses. With locations throughout California, Idaho, Nevada, and Washington, Mattress Land is bound to have a sleep solution for everyone. More accessible than ever, you can call us at 800-909-9299, visit our website to shop Mattress Land sales, and check out Mattress Land reviews online. Or better yet, stop by one of our showrooms to discover why we are everyone’s favorite local mattress store. Visit us today!

Learn More: Shop the Best Mattress for Your Lifestyle