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Euro Top vs. Pillow Top Mattresses: What’s the Difference?

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 6 minLast updated on June 24, 2021

The differences between Euro Top vs Pillow Top mattresses can be quite subtle, which is why these two terms often seem confusing.

However, learning more about each type can help shoppers figure out which one would work for them the best.

So, today’s Euro Top vs Pillow Top mattress comparison will cover the main differences between the two. It will also look at what makes them suited for different types of sleepers.

Euro Top Mattresses Explained: Construction and Peculiarities

The main touchstone of Euro Top mattresses is the addition of the extra layer on top of the supportive base (coils, in most cases). This top layer is sewn into the mattress, so it hides under the cover.

Typically, the Euro Top layer is made using either foam or fiber. In most cases, this additional padding is achieved using denser materials. That’s why Euro Top mattresses often feel slightly firmer than their Pillow Top “brothers”. 

This construction might resemble the hybrid mattress design (which you can read more about here). However, hybrid models typically combine multiple comfort layers to achieve both support and cradling. In Euro Top mattresses, though, the single top layer serves to provide extra cushioning. It may also deliver some level of support but isn’t likely to have a construction as complex as hybrid mattresses have. 

Now, sleeping on a Euro Top mattress offers some perks, including:

  • a more supportive surface (when compared to Pillow Top models);
  • cleaner, sleek look;
  • solid edge support;
  • fewer chances of flattening out or developing lumps;
  • minimal or zero shifting of the top layer during the night.

The main drawbacks of sleeping on a Euro Top mattress include:

  • higher price point (in most cases);
  • less contouring (since the padding material is hiding under the cover).

What Are Pillow Top Mattresses?

When looking at the Pillow Top vs Euro Top mattresses comparison, it’s easy to see the visual difference. Pillow Top mattresses also use that additional layer of padding. However, unlike in Euro Top models, they have it right on top of the mattress.

In other words, there is a gap between the support core and the cushioning layer. Therefore, a Pillow Top mattress looks like a regular one with a large pillow on top. Hence, the name.

Pillow Top mattresses usually have a softer feel. Many users describe their experience with this mattress type as “sleeping on a cloud”. However, the overall feel could vary depending on the filling material.

Some of the best Pillow Top mattresses use quality foam to achieve pinpoint pressure relief. Other models may use fiber filling, wool, latex, and even cotton fibers in some cases.

Using a Pillow Top mattress may offer the following benefits:

  • luxurious softness that would come in handy for sleepers who have tender joints;
  • depending on the material, Pillow Top mattresses may sleep cooler (for instance, those that use wool, cotton, or latex filling);
  • more cheaper models available than among the Euro Top mattresses.

Here are some of the drawbacks one may encounter when sleeping on a Pillow Top mattress:

  • shorter lifespan when compared to Euro Top models;
  • bears more shock from movement and thus may develop lumps or soft spots faster;
  • might not be supportive enough towards the edges of the mattress;
  • may require regular rotating (1).

Choosing Between a Euro Top vs a Pillow Top Mattress: Side by Side Comparison

Instead of putting Pillow Top vs Euro Top mattresses against each other, it’s better to compare them side by side. This way, it’s easier to see which one has more to offer for each specific sleeper type.

Euro Top

Pillow Top

Overall feel
Slightly firmer feel with more uniform support. Would work better for heavier sleepers.Softer, cloud-like feel. Great for sleepers who have sharp pressure points or tender joints.
Durability
Tend to hold up with time better than Pillow Top models.May develop soft spots or flatten out faster than Euro Top mattresses.
Edge support
Rather reliable, as the padding layer is sewn closely to the supportive core of the mattress.Mediocre, as there’s a gap between the top layer and the edges of the mattress.
Price
There are both Euro Top and Pillow Top mattresses in different price categories, but you can find more Euro Top models among the pricier mattresses.There are both Euro Top and Pillow Top mattresses in different price categories, but you can find more Euro Top models among the pricier mattresses.
Motion transfer
May absorb shock from movement better since the top layer is usually thicker in these mattresses.Some motion transfer is possible.
Appearance
No flap, sleek and neat.Noticeable flap, may seem more luxurious and cozier.

Who Would Benefit from Using a Euro Top Mattress?

  • Back pain sufferers. Because Euro Top mattresses typically use conforming foam for the padding, they make a good choice for people with back pain.
  • Those who prefer taller mattresses. Most Euro Top models are quite thick and can help users elevate their bed
  • Users who rely on the mattress’s edges when getting up. Euro Top models have a seamless transition from the top layer to the supportive core. Therefore, they can offer better edge support.
  • Those who want a more long-lasting mattress.
  • Sleepers who require better motion absorption.

Who Would Love Using a Pillow Top Mattress?

  • Those who enjoy the cloud-like softness.
  • Those who want more budget-friendly models to choose from.
  • Users who have tender joints or suffer from sharp pressure points.
  • Solo sleepers or couples who don’t mind some motion transfer.

FAQ

How long do Pillow Top mattresses last?

On average, Pillow Top mattresses can last for around 6-7 years. Cheaper models can retain their supportive properties for 3-4 years on average.

How long do Euro Top mattresses last?

Quality Euro Top mattresses can last for about 8-9 years.

Summary

While there are some similarities between Pillow Top and Euro Top mattresses, each type can be more suited for certain sleepers.

To sum up, Pillow Top models typically have a softer feel. Euro Top mattresses, on the other hand, are more durable and can offer better edge support.

Aside from these general characteristics, it’s crucial to pay attention to the quality of one’s desired Euro or Pillow Top mattress. For instance, a denser top would deliver better support and may offer longer-lasting performance. 

What do you think? Would you prefer a Euro Top or a Pillow Top mattress? Let us know in the comments!

References:

  1. Mary Cockrill (n.d.). How to Extend the Life of a Pillow-Top Mattress. Retrieved from https://homeguides.sfgate.com/extend-life-pillowtop-mattress-95761.html

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