Best Pillow Top Mattress Mattress of 2021: Top Picks

Pillow top mattresses have long been championed for their sense of luxury and their high levels of comfort. Sleeping on a pillow top mattress can make you feel like you’re a guest in an upscale hotel. Pillow tops make some of the best mattresses for side sleepers, who tend to find pillow top materials especially supple and supportive, though there are also plenty of good pillow top options for back sleepers and stomach sleepers.

But what are some of the best pillow top mattress brands to choose from? And what are some of the key shopping considerations to have in mind? Read on for our round-up of all things pillow top.

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Best Pillow Top Mattress - Top Picks

Saatva - Editor’s Pick

Saatva Classic mattress

For sleepers who want to maximize their pillow top comfort, the classic Saatva mattress is an outstanding option. Its hybrid design includes robust steel coils along with contouring memory foam, all topped by a generous pillow top layer that allows you to feel like you’re being hugged to sleep, even as your joints and pressure points are ably supported. Saatva is known for its commitment to five-star hotel levels of quality, and their flagship mattress more than justifies that reputation, right down to its remarkable durability and its free white-glove setup. With a near-perfect score in spine alignment, this is also one of our top mattresses for side sleepers, who should find plenty of give for their shoulders and hips.

Learn more in our Saatva mattress review.

PROS CONS
  • True luxury feel
  • Provides excellent spine and lumbar support
  • Works well for back sleepers and stomach sleepers
  • Made with eco-friendly materials
  • The innerspring coils may make it slightly noisy
  • Not the most budget-friendly option

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DreamCloud - Best Pillow Top Mattress for Side Sleepers

A couple laughs together while they lounge in a DreamCloud mattress

For side sleepers, a pillow top mattress can offer the perfect balance of support: Specifically, side sleepers need to feel like their body is supported, without too much pressure at their shoulder or hip. The DreamCloud is an exemplary choice for side sleepers, helping to evenly distribute body weight and offering support where it’s most needed. The pillow top layer is made with cashmere, and it is as soft-to-the-touch as any mattress you’ll find. Some additional perks include a lifetime warranty, a year-long sleeping trial, and near-perfect test scores in key performance categories like edge support, responsiveness, and spine alignment.

Learn more in our DreamCloud mattress review.

PROS CONS
  • Helps mediate back pain
  • Great option for couples
  • Works well for all sleep positions
  • Works well for sleepers who are heavier
  • Doesn’t provide the plush, foam feel that some sleepers crave

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Helix Midnight Luxe - Best Pillow Top Mattress for Hot Sleepers

Woman lays on a Helix mattress

Nobody wants to wake up sticky and sweaty. If you tend to run hot at night, check out the Helix Midnight Luxe as it’s one of the best cooling mattresses. This mattress offers superior cooling technology, helping regulate body temperature all night long. It also gets high marks for spinal alignment, making it an excellent pick for side sleepers. And, while its hybrid design doesn’t necessarily offer the classic, hug-you-to-sleep feel of memory foam, the lavish pillow top layer does ensure there’s a plush, contouring sleep surface. One big knock against the Helix Midnight Luxe is that it’s a lackluster option for couples who share a bed together; then again, our testing confirms this to be an ideal pick for heavyweight sleepers.

Read our full Helix mattress review to learn more.

PROS CONS
  • Superior cooling technology
  • Recommended for spine alignment
  • Not recommended for those who want their mattress firm
  • Not recommended for couples

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Bear Hybrid - Best Pillow Top Mattress for Athletes

Bear mattress in a bedroom

If you lead an active lifestyle, it’s important to find the best mattress for athletes — one that promotes restorative sleep and expedient muscle recovery. No bed-in-a-box mattress performs these tasks more ably than the Bear. Gel-infused memory foam ensures that it always runs cool, and targeted pressure point relief offers comfort and support to those with back, hip, and shoulder pain. Not only is this one of the best pillow top mattresses for athletes, but it’s also available at a competitive price point.

Learn more in our Bear mattress review.

PROS CONS
  • Great for seniors and those who live with chronic pain
  • Offers near-perfect spine alignment
  • Lots of bounce, making it perfect for combination sleepers
  • Not recommended for couples
  • Doesn't support heavyweight sleepers

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Alexander Signature Hybrid by Nest - Best Pillow Top Mattress for Back Pain

Alexander Signature mattress in a room

Looking for a pillow top mattress that will help alleviate your back pain? Look no further than to the Alexander Signature Hybrid, a flippable mattress with a couple of firmness options to choose from. Those with back pain will likely gravitate toward the firmer side, but either way, you’ll get targeted pressure relief, minimizing the weight on tender parts of your back. A highly responsive mattress, the Alexander Signature Hybrid is one of our top-recommended options for combination sleepers and one of our top-rated firm mattresses as well.

PROS CONS
  • Made with eco-friendly materials
  • Sleeps cool
  • Offers great edge support and overall comfort
  • May have some slight off-gassing when you open the box

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Awara - Best for Couples

Woman sitting on an Awara mattress

The Awara mattress offers a luxury feel made with organic latex and other sustainably sourced materials. It’s a great pick for sleepers who want something clean, hypoallergenic, and cool, but even beyond its eco-friendliness, this is simply one of the best mattresses for back sleepers. Its medium-firm, latex-and-coil design hits the sweet spot, allowing back sleepers to feel like they can sink into their mattress without being swallowed up. A lifetime warranty and year-long sleep trial should offer some peace of mind for buyers.

Read our full Awara mattress review to learn more.

PROS CONS
  • Made with sustainably sourced materials
  • Great motion isolation score
  • Hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites
  • Some off-gassing when you open the box
  • May take 30 days or more to break it in

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Avocado - Best Organic

Man and baby sitting on an Avocado mattress

Eco-conscious shoppers love the Avocado, which gives them a great night’s sleep on a luxurious bed of organic latex, wool, and other naturally sourced materials. As an added bonus, the Avocado is a great choice for back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and those who live with joint pain. It’s our overall pick for the best organic mattress with a pillow top, and it’s also one of the best bets for bed-in-a-box shoppers who want their mattress on the firmer side. Some additional selling points include a sky-high spine alignment score, and also an excellent durability rating.

Read our full Avocado mattress review to learn more.

PROS CONS
  • Made with sustainable materials
  • Helps relieve back pain
  • Good pick for combination sleepers
  • Higher price point
  • Not recommended for those who like the classic memory foam feel

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Compare the Best Pillow Top Mattresses

As you shop different pillow top beds, it’s smart to see how our top contenders stack up against each other. Here’s a quick comparison chart.

Mattress Name Quick Overview Special Offer

Saatva

Saatva logo

Material: Hybrid (euro pillow top, coils, memory foam)

Firmness: Three firmness levels to choose from

Customer Rating: 4.8/5

MA Score: 8.7/10

Delivery: Free white glove delivery

Trial Period: 180 nights

Warranty: 15 years

Price: $$

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DreamCloud

DreamCloud logo

Material: Hybrid

Firmness: Medium-firm

Customer Rating: 4.6/5

MA Score: 9.0/10

Delivery: 5-7 business days

Trial Period: 365 nights

Warranty: Lifetime

Price: $$

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Helix Midnight Luxe

Helix Sleep logo

Material: Hybrid

Firmness: Medium

Customer Rating: 4.5/5

MA Score: 8.9/10

Delivery: 5-7 business days

Trial Period: 365 nights

Warranty: Lifetime

Price: $$$

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Bear Hybrid

Bear logo

Material: Hybrid

Firmness: Medium-firm

Customer Rating: 4.7/5

MA Score: 9.0/10

Delivery: Free shipping

Trial Period: 100 nights

Warranty: 20 years

Price: $$

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Alexander Signature Hybrid

Nest Bedding logo

Material: Hybrid (coil and memory foam)

Firmness: Choose between three firmness levels

Customer Rating: N/A

MA Score: 8.2/10

Delivery: 3-7 business days

Trial Period: 100 nights

Warranty: Lifetime

Price: $$

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Awara

Awara logo

Material: Hybrid (innerspring coils, latex)

Firmness: Medium-firm

Customer Rating: 4.8/5

MA Score: 8.8/10

Delivery: 2-5 business days

Trial Period: 365 nights

Warranty: Lifetime

Price: $$

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Avocado

Avocado logo

Material: Hybrid (natural latex and innerspring)

Firmness: Medium-firm to firm

Customer Rating: 4.6/5

MA Score: 8.5/10

Delivery: About two weeks

Trial Period: 365 nights

Warranty: 25 years

Price: $$$

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MA Score: The Mattress Advisor Score is a weighted score that takes into account 14 different factors related to the mattress’ performance, function, convenience and the brand’s social responsibility.

Compare Features and Materials

While shopping for your next mattress, it’s important to ensure the right comfort level. Start by reviewing the materials used in these pillow top options.

Saatva DreamCloud
Inside layers of Saatva mattress Inside layers of DreamCloud mattress

What’s inside:

  • Five layers of premium materials: Including layers of foam, coils, and euro pillow top.
  • Three softness levels: Choose between plush, luxury firm, and firm.

What’s inside:

  • Cashmere blend: Luxurious cashmere is soft to the touch, and also repels bed bugs.
  • Euro top: A comfortable foam layer that contours to the shape of your body.
  • Point-activated foam: Additional cushioning for key pressure points.
  • Low motion-transfer foam: Ensures you’re not disrupted by your sleep partner’s movements in the night.
  • Micro coil compression system: Provides additional responsiveness and breathability.
  • Stay-put control: A base layer of foam helps hold the mattress in place.

Scored best in:

  • Durability
  • Spine alignment
  • Edge support

Scored best in:

  • Motion transfer
  • Pressure relief
  • Responsiveness
Helix Midnight Luxe Bear Hybrid
Inside layers of the Helix Midnight Luxe mattress Inside layers of the Bear Hybrid mattress

What’s inside:

  • Ultra-cool premium pillow top: Absorbs heat to help keep your body temperature in check.
  • Gel visco comfort layer: Memory foam infused with gel, offering maximum comfort and support.
  • Memory Plus foam support layer: Helps evenly distribute body weight.
  • Polyfoam transition layer: Offers a transition between foam and innerspring.
  • Pocket coil core: More than 1,000 individually wrapped pocket coils, offering zoned body support.
  • Foam base layer: Keeps the mattress sturdy.

What’s inside:

  • Celliant fiber cover: Promotes body temperature regulation.
  • Comfort foam: Breathable, adaptive foam helps improve air flow.
  • Cooling gel memory foam: Relieves pressure points and draws heat away from the body.
  • Coil layer: Individually encased coils provide a springy, responsive feel.
  • Support foam: Ensures stability and durability.

Scored best in:

  • Cooling
  • Durability
  • Spine alignment

Scored best in:

  • Spine alignment
  • Durability
  • Responsiveness
Alexander Signature Awara
Inside layers of the Alexander Signature mattress Inside layers of the Awara mattress

What’s inside:

  • Four layers of foam and pocket coils: Includes gel-infused memory foam, TitanFlex Endurance foam, SmartFlow support foam, and pocketed support coils.
  • Base foam: A lower level of foam helps keep the mattress sturdy and strong.

What’s inside:

  • Organic cotton cover: The quilted mattress cover, made with cotton and wool, is breathable and moisture-wicking.
  • Organic Dunlop latex: The latex layer provides pressure point relief and helps cushion the body.
  • Five zoned support: Pocket coils cradle the body from head to toe.

Scored best in:

  • Responsiveness
  • Cooling
  • Spine alignment

Scored best in:

  • Edge support
  • Motion transfer
  • Durability
Avocado
Inside layers of the Avocado mattress

What’s inside:

  • Organic cotton cover: Soft to the touch and very breathable.
  • Organic wool: The wool layer prevents dust mites and wicks away moisture.
  • Organic Dunlop latex: Durable and temperature-regulating
  • Steel supported pocket coils: Provide balance and align the spine.
  • Additional latex: An added layer of latex provides additional cooling and support.

Scored best in:

  • Spine alignment
  • Durability
  • Responsiveness

What is a Pillow Top Mattress?

When we talk about a pillow top mattress, we’re talking about beds that offer an extra layer of comfort along the top. This ultra-comfort layer is known for feeling luxurious, but also for promoting pressure relief and spine alignment.

Pillow top mattresses come in different varieties. Euro pillow top is the plushest, the most regal, and generally the most expensive. More cost-effective options include plush pillow top and firm pillow top. (See: The Difference Between a Pillow Top and a Euro Top.)

Pillow top mattresses are famous for their comfort and for how they help to relieve aches and pains. These mattresses also tend to rate well for motion isolation. The biggest downside is that many pillow tops have sagging at the edges; be sure to verify edge support scores before you buy. Also note that pillow top mattresses sometimes run hot, though we’ve rounded up several extra-cool options in this article.

Shopping Considerations

Here are a few factors to consider as you select your pillow top mattress. (See: How to Shop for a Mattress.)

Performance Factors

Set-up: How long will it take you to have your bed unrolled and ready for use? Note that some mattress companies will offer a white glove delivery service with full set-up.

Pressure relief: Look for a foam pillow top mattress that helps to evenly distribute your body weight as you sleep, helping to alleviate aches and pains.

Spine alignment: A firm support mattress will help you maintain a natural posture throughout the night, which can provide an additional safeguard against achiness and discomfort.

Durability: It’s natural to want a mattress at an affordable price but be sure that you also look for one that’s made with high-quality materials, and designed to hold up over a long while. Any mattress with a 10-year warranty or better should be good in this regard.

Motion transfer: Make sure your movements don’t disrupt your sleep partner- that’s what motion transfer scores show. A pillow top mattress usually has enough comfort foam in place to minimize these disruptions.

Temperature regulation: One critical consideration when shopping for a new mattress is whether it sleeps cool or runs hot. Pillow top mattresses can be iffy in this regard, but we’ve highlighted some cooling options. An additional mattress topper can help offset a mattress that runs hot.

Responsiveness: For combo sleepers (those who change positions in the night), it’s helpful to seek a mattress that responds to your movements.

Edge support: We noted above that sagging can be a problem with pillow top mattresses. Pay attention to edge support scores.

Price

How much money are you comfortable spending on your new mattress? This shouldn’t be affected by firmness level (soft mattress, firm mattress, etc.), but will be impacted by material (latex mattress, memory foam mattress, etc.), as well as by size.

Shipping and Delivery

It’s also important to consider how long it will take for your mattress to arrive, and how much you’ll be charged. Most online mattress companies offer free shipping, but it never hurts to double check.

FAQ About Pillow Top Mattresses

  1. What’s the best way to take care of my mattress?

    Make sure you read the instructions that come with your mattress to find out about cleaning. Most of the time, spot cleaning will be recommended. Also consider purchasing a mattress cover to protect your bedding against spills and stains.

  2. Do I have to buy a bed frame for my mattress?

    While most of these pillow top mattresses have frames you can purchase, you may also have luck using a slatted foundation, a box spring, or the floor.

  3. How do I make sure I’m getting a green mattress?

    Look for the use of 100% organic materials, like Dunlop latex and wool, as well as the CertiPUR-US certification.

Summary of Our Top Picks for the Best Pillow Top Mattress

About the Author Josh Hurst

Josh Hurst lives and writes in Knoxville, TN. A recovering insomniac, he has a long-standing appreciation for the power of a good night's sleep.