What is a pillowtop mattress

Mattress Buying Guide: What is a Pillow Top Mattress?

9th November 2021

Guides & Advice

A pillow top mattress is a mattress that has an extra layer of padding sewn to the top of the mattress, making it more plush. It consists of two sections, the pillow top section on top and the support section on the bottom.

The pillow top can be added to any sort of support section, such as pocket sprung or open coil mattress. It is different to non-pillow top mattresses as these only have the main section without the topper layer added on.

What materials are used for pillow tops?

A pillow top mattress can be made from a wide variety of materials, such as polyester, memory foam, latex and wool.

The Versailles mattress from our range is a great example of a pillow top mattress. The bottom layer is made up of individually pocketed glue free Cortec™ springs, Micro Springs and sustainable ecotex, making the mattress glue free, foam free and FR chemical treatment free. The pillow top section is made from a range of natural materials, including British wool, Egyptian cotton, silk, cashmere and Yorkshire wool blend to elevate the levels of comfort, as well as being fully recyclable for a truly sumptuous night's sleep that’s healthier for both you and the planet.

What is a pillowtop mattress materials

How firm is a pillow top mattress?

Pillow top mattresses are generally on the slightly softer side because of their cushioning top layer which makes the mattress feel softer.

This type of mattress is available in soft, medium, medium firm and firm, however the specific type you choose should be down to the individual. For example, if you are larger in build and heavier in weight you should get a firmer mattress, or you will sink too deeply into the pillow top layer and end up on the stiffer core layer. On the other hand, if you are a smaller person who weighs less, then a softer mattress will be needed, or your bed may feel too hard and uncomfortable.

If you are on the heavier side a pillow top mattress may be slightly too soft for you to sleep on comfortably, therefore you should always test out your mattress in store before you decide to purchase.

How deep are pillow top mattresses?

Pillow top mattresses usually have more depth than other mattresses, because of the added layer that sits on top. These mattresses can range from as little as seven inches up to 22 inches.

The base or core layer which contains the springs and support system makes up most of the mattress’ depth, and the pillow top typically makes up about two inches of extra height.

What is a pillowtop mattress depth

What are the benefits of a pillow top mattress?

The main benefit of a pillow top mattress is the extra comfort you will get from the added softness of the topper, which gives a more luxurious feel.

The pillow top mattress can also provide a great deal of support, as it properly distributes your weight to improve sleep quality and give extra support to pressure points, easing any discomfort. This can particularly help those who suffer aches and pains, especially in the neck and back, as the pillow top mattress can feel nice and soft, as if it’s cradling your body.

The coiled support also makes the pillow top mattress responsive and bouncy, which is a great alternative to those who aren’t fond of sinking into materials like memory foam. This coil layer also promotes airflow, with little to no heat retention, making the mattress cooler and more breathable for hot sleepers.


A pillow top mattress can offer a lot of great support, while feeling like you are wrapped in a cloud of comfort in the cushioning topper layer. As there are a range of thicknesses and firmness options, made from a variety of materials, there is something for every sleeper on offer.

Since the pillow top layer will make these mattresses slightly softer however, if you are particularly tall, heavy or wanting a smaller mattress, then this may not be the best option for you. Because of this you should always try out mattresses at one of your local retailers, so you can get a feel for it yourself.