Pillow Top Mattress vs Memory Foam


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If you are looking for a soft, plush and even sleeping surface that strikes a balance between support and cushioning, then Pillow top and memory foam are the right options for you. You will find the same feeling on both mattresses but there are significant distinctions in the structure. 

The pillow top mattresses usually have an innerspring coil as a support layer while memory foam mattress features a high-density polyfoam as a base layer. Pillow top mattresses are more frequently used in traditional feel beds. The coil system in its construction, leads to extra support.  For enhancing the comfort and support of both types of mattresses both the mattress manufacturers always add an extra padding layer. But the pillow top is a padding layer which is entirely intended for single support, plushness and comfort to the mattress.

In this detailed pillow top mattress vs memory foam, we are going to identify the main similarities and differences between memory foam and pillow top mattress. Knowing  How these two mattresses differ from one another is essential for those mattress shoppers who have narrowed down their research on pillow top mattress vs memory foam is extremely important.

Head-to-Head Comparison Between pillow top mattress vs memory foam in 2023:

Memory foam and pillow top mattresses foam a major portion of the bedding market. Although they have the same feel, they greatly vary from one another in structure and support. Due to the differences in structure and support, the shopper is compelled to choose one over the other. We will link your body weight and sleeping style to both types of mattresses which will aid you in healthy decisions and will prevent you from making bad and unhealthy investments.

What is A pillow top Mattress:

Pillow Top Mattress vs Memory Foam

A pillow top mattress is an additional padding that is added to the mattress to add comfort and plushness to the mattress. It is made from materials like memory foam, latex foam, cotton and many more. These highly reduce the springy and bouncier feel of underlying coils which the sleeper might find irritating during the sleep. Therefore, these are more frequently associated with innerspring mattresses.

Types of Pillow top Mattresses:

There are less modifications in Pillow top mattresses and therefore having only 1 variant_the euro top mattress. As the name suggests, it was first created in Europe snx from there its popularity elevated. Euro top mattresses are most commonly used in Europe.

Regular Pillow Top Mattress

These are sewn on the top of the mattress with certain inches of space. Due to significant space, they are often thought of as extra padding which is placed upon the top of the mattress for comfort and plushness. Due to added okuahness and comfort, they effortlessly vanish pressure points.

Euro Pillow Top

In this type of pillow top, the extra padding is sewn under the durable cover of the mattress. This act makes it more flush and uniform. They consist of either fiber fill or foam which make it denser and a thick then pillow top mattress. Moreover, the sewn underneath extra padding makes it more supportive (edge support) then regular pillow top mattress.

Advantages of Pillow Top Mattress

Some of the most notable advantages of Pillow top mattresses are:

  • Upon unboxing, there is less off gassing as compared to memory foam mattress
  • They cost less than many other types of mattress.
  • The coils used in it’s construction make them breathable and cooler

Disadvantages of Pillow Top Mattress

Some of the downsides of pillow top mattresses are given as:

  • They are not good for couples as they cannot isolate motion transfer easily
  • They are less durable than memory foam, hybrid and latex mattresses.

What is A Memory Foam Mattress?

Pillow Top Mattress vs Memory Foam

Memory foam has been employed in mattress construction since the 1860s. They are best known for pressure relieving and even distribution of body weight. They have the best body contouring abilities and are highly sensitive to body movements.

They also look for body heat and temperature. For enhancing lumbar support and reducing the chances of back and hip pain, memory foam keeps the body spine in proper alignment. Due to this reason memory foam mattresses are considered one of the best mattresses for side and back sleepers. Sleep coaches and professional Doctors always recommend memory foam mattress if you are suffering from back, hip, lower back, neck, spinal stenosis and especially menopause pain.

Types of memory foam

With the passage of time the mattress market saw many new variants of memory foam material. These variants are obtained by blending it with other high quality materials. To know more about these variants consider the following heads. 

Gel memory Foam

In this type of memory foam, gel beds or gel material is added to the memory foam to enhance its breathability for cooler night sleeps.  These added materials feature PCM or have changing materials which evacuate heat and moisture resulting in moisture free and cool sleeping environments.

Plant Based Memory foam

In plant based memory foam, the major portion is substituted with plant based oil and petroleum, which makes the mattress cooler. Due to the cooling properties of natural materials, the sleeper will not feel excessive wetness of the pure memory of the mattress.

Some Other Additives

Other materials that could be natural or synthetic are also added to the memory foam to modify its properties. Like graphite and Copper. Copper is known for its thermal benefits and has greater cooling abilities than simple gel beads. Layla mattress is made with copper which makes it more clear than many other types of mattresses.

Advantages of Memory foam Mattress:

Some of the most important advantages of memory foam mattress are given as:

  • They conform body best then any other type of mattress
  • Provide excellent pressure alleviation 
  • Evenly distribute body weight leaving no chances for pressure points
  • Back pain and joint pain sufferers find it a blessing
  • They are durable and last for a longer period of time.

Disadvantages of Memory Foam mattresses

Some of them are given below

  • A large sum of off gassing is associated with memory foam mattress
  • They retain an enormous quantity of heat which results in hotter right sleep.
  • Pure memory foam mattress is not suitable for hot sleepers.

Edge Support Comparison Between pillow top mattress vs memory foam

Pillow top mattress and especially Euro pillow top mattresses provide more excellent edge support then memory foam mattress. This is because they contain extra padding which provides more support. While on the memory foam mattress, no such paying is added, resulting in less edge support.

Therefore, if you are a senior adult, and suffering from any type of body pain, we highly recommend the pillow top mattress because they make it easy to get it and get out of the bed due to elevated edge support.

Motion Isolation Comparison Between pillow top mattress vs memory foam:

Here the memory foam mattress shines brighter. Due to slow cradling properties, they absorb all motion transfer perfectly. Due to this high motion isolation capability they are considered the best mattresses for couples. By using them one will not be disrupted by the turning and tossing of his or her partner turning and tossing. On the other hand, the pillow top mattress lacks this property.

Due to the intensive use of coils they can isolate motion perfectly and will lead to sleep disruption from the partner’s frequent motion. If you are in a mattress market with your partner we highly recommend buying a memory foam mattress for undisrupted and peaceful night sleep.

Feel Comparison Between pillow top mattress vs memory foam

They both have a soft and plushy feel. But there are some distinctions also. Pillow top mattress has a more bouncy and responsive feel due to intensive use of the coil system. On the other hand memory foam has a low conforming, cradling and pressure-alleviating feel. Due to minor differences in feel, they are frequently placed together in the online mattress market.

Durability Comparison Between pillow top mattress vs memory foam:

In this aspect, memory foam is the winner. Memory foam is more durable and lasts for a longer period of time. The average lifespan of a memory foam mattress is 7 to 9 years. On the other hand, durability and lifespan  of pillow top mattress is dragged down by the use of coils. Coils are  less durable than memory foam material. Therefore, poll top mattresses last approximately for 5 to 7 years.

Temperature Regulation Comparison pillow top mattress vs memory foam:

As a general concept pillow top mattresses are considered more breakable and cooler than memory foam mattresses due to the use of breathable coils. But this is not the whole scenario because nowadays, modified variants significantly reduce the heat-trapping property of memory foam mattress. So the temperature regulation capability of memory foam is entirely associated with cooling materials that are embedded in its structure.

Off gassing Comparison Between pillow top mattress vs memory foam:

Upon unboxing memory down the mattress, the shopper will face significant outgassing due to the use of polyurethane material. On the other hand, upon unboxing a pillow top mattress you won’t feel unboxing that much severely. Offgassing is generally associated with all types of mattresses. It is normal and not a potential hazard.

Price Comparison pillow top mattress vs memory foam:

Pillow top mattresses are less expensive than memory foam mattresses due to the use of a coil. Coils are usually less expensive than other types of mattress materials. The price of a normal queen size pillow top mattress ranges between $200 to $2000.  Memory foam is more expensive and the average queen size memory mattress price ranges from $200 to $4000.

Buyers Guide

Mattress shopping is crucial shopping and demands for enough energy. People often face a dilemma while shopping for a pillow top or memory foam mattress. It often happens, when the shopper has narrowed down his research on pillow top mattress vs memory foam. If you are stuck on this point consider the following buyers guide.

  • If you are searching for a low-price mattress, with high edge support, a more plush feel, and with less off gassing, then the pillow top mattress is the best option for you.
  • If you are seeking a high quality, luxurious mattress, mattress with perfection motion isolation, durability and the best body-conforming experience then buy a memory foam  mattress.

If body weight is point of discussion, you may consider the following points:

  • Due to high breathability, pillow top mattresses are considered the best mattress for hot sleepers and those who one feels hot flashes at night. While on the other hand, cold sleepers will find the utmost comfort and warmness on a pure memory foam mattress.
  • People suffering from back and arthritis pain should opt for memory foam while people suffering from hip pain should opt for pillow top mattress.

As far as sleeping position one might consider the following considerations

  • If you are the one who sleeps in the back or side then you should go for a memory foam mattress. Due to slow conforming a cradling property of me or foam, it dramatically reduces pressure points resulting in pain free and comfortable night sleep.
  • If you are a stomach sleeper, go for a pillow top mattress. The pillow top mattress due to the use of coil in its structure provides a surface for stomach sleepers. This even sleeping experience keeps the spine in even curvature resulting in a comfortable and safe sleeping experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are pillow top mattresses cheaper than latex mattresses?

Pillow top mattresses are cheaper than latex mattresses and are also cheaper hybrid, memory foam and airbed mattresses due to the use of less costly coils. Pillow tops mattresses are considered the cheapest mattress materials which significantly drag down a mattress’s price. Due to this property, they are considered budget friendly mattresses.

Latex mattresses cost not only higher than pillow top mattresses but also from all other types of mattresses. It is made from a latex material which is obtained from rubber trees. This material is highly costly which translates into high prices of latex mattresses. It should be noted that higher price tags are translated to high level comfort and long lasting support. Therefore latex mattresses are more durable and comfortable than pillow top mattresses.

Is a pillow top mattress good for couples?

No, a pillow top mattress is not a good choice as compared to memory foam, latex and hybrid mattress. It is due to the reason that they feature springy coils in its construction which are not effective against controlling and restricting motion transfer.

Using them, you will be constantly disrupted by the turning and tossing of your partner. So the one who sleeps with his partner should avoid sleeping on a pillow top mattress and should opt for a memory foan, latex or hybrid mattress.

Let’s Sum Up

Pillow top mattress vs memory foam_ are the two leading mattress types on the market. The type of mattress which will do best for you entirely depends upon your sleeping style and body weight. Keep in mind that no mattress is either good or bad.

The good or bad element in mattress function comes into play when you purchase a bad mattress. Therefore it is highly recommended to first equip yourself with some basic knowledge about mattress structure and functionalities before leaving for mattress shopping.

In this equitable pillow top mattress vs memory foam, we have highlighted even the top differences between these two type of mattresses that will make it crystal clear that which one is worth buying in 2023.

To have a healthy and long lasting purchase, we highly suggest reading this impartial pillow top mattress vs memory foam at least 3 times to avoid mishaps during and after mattress shopping.

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By Muhammad Asim