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What is the Difference Between a Pillow-Top and a Euro-Top?

By: Christina Davies
Updated on: April 05, 2024

When choosing a new mattress, understanding the differences between various types of mattresses is crucial. Two terms that are often confused are “pillow-top” and “Euro-top” mattresses. Although these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they refer to distinct features and characteristics. In this article, we will delve into the details of both pillow-top vs full-top and Euro-top mattresses to help you decide which one is best suited to your needs.

What is a Pillow-Top Mattress?

A pillow-top mattress is a kind of mattress that features an additional layer of padding sewn onto the top surface. This layer, often made of materials such as wool, cotton, fiberfill, polyester, or foam, provides an extra cushioning effect and enhances the overall softness of the mattress. The pillow-top layer is clearly visible as it sits on top of the mattress, creating a gap between the cushioning or memory foam pillow-top layer and the mattress base.

The primary purpose of a pillow-top mattress is to offer an additional comfort layer and pressure relief. The softness and plushness of the pillow-top layer can make a firm mattress feel much more comfortable, providing a cradling effect that conforms to the body’s contours. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who prefer a softer sleeping surface or those who experience pressure points or joint pain.

Pros of a Pillow-Top Mattress

  • Superior softness and comfort: The pillow-top layer adds an extra cushioning effect, making the mattress feel plush and cozy.
  • Enhanced pressure relief: The pillow-top layer contours to the body’s shape, relieving pressure on sensitive areas such as the hips and shoulders.
  • Reduced motion transfer: The cushioning effect of the pillow-top layer helps absorb movement, minimizing disturbances caused by a restless sleep partner.
  • An affordable option for added comfort: Pillow-top mattresses are often more affordable than other mattress types, incorporating advanced materials or technologies.

Cons of a Pillow-Top Mattress

  • Reduced durability: The pillow-top layer may flatten or sag over time, decreasing overall comfort and support.
  • Potential heat retention: Depending on the materials used in the pillow-top layer, it may trap heat and result in a warmer sleeping surface.
  • The visible gap between the pillow-top layer and the mattress: The visible gap can create a distinct appearance that may not be visually appealing to some individuals.

What is a Euro-Top Mattress?

A Euro-top mattress is another type of mattress with an additional layer of padding, similar to a pillow-top mattress. However, the key distinction lies in the construction of the Euro-top layer. Unlike a pillow-top mattress, where the pillow top or cushioning layer is sewn on top, the Euro-top layer is seamlessly integrated beneath the mattress cover, resulting in a flush and uniform appearance.

The Euro-top layer is typically made from high-quality materials such as foam or fiberfill. Its flush integration with the mattress provides a sleek and seamless look, resembling a single cohesive unit. This construction also prevents the Euro-top layer from shifting or sagging, ensuring long-lasting support and comfort.

Pros of a Euro-Top Mattress

  • Enhanced support and durability: Integrating the Euro-top layer beneath the mattress cover provides better support and prevents the layer from flattening or sagging.
  • Improved aesthetics: The seamless integration of the Euro-top layer creates a sleek and uniform appearance, giving the mattress a more visually appealing look.
  • Solid edge support: Euro-top mattresses offer excellent edge support, allowing you to utilize the full surface area of the mattress without experiencing a sinking sensation near the edges.

Cons of a Euro-Top Mattress

  • Potential compromise in contouring ability: The Euro-top layer, integrated beneath the mattress cover, may not contour to the body’s shape as effectively as a pillow-top layer.
  • Higher price point: Due to their construction and enhanced appearance, Euro-top mattresses are slightly more expensive than pillow-top mattresses.

Choosing Between a Pillow-Top and a Euro-Top Mattress

You must consider your preferences and needs when deciding between a pillow top and a Euro-top mattress. Here are some key factors to consider:


Pillow-top mattresses are generally softer compared to Euro-top mattresses. The absence of material between the pillow-top layer and the mattress cover allows sleepers to sink further into the mattress topper bed, providing superior contouring and pressure relief. A pillow-top mattress may be your better option if you prefer a plush and cradling feel.

On the other hand, Euro-top mattresses tend to be slightly firmer. They offer a balanced combination of softness and support, making them suitable for individuals who prefer a slightly firmer sleeping surface or require an extra support layer for their back or joints.


Euro-top mattresses are typically more durable than pillow-top mattresses. The seamless integration of the Euro top vs no-top layer prevents it from shifting or sagging, ensuring long-lasting comfort and support. Pillow-top mattresses, while still providing excellent comfort, may flatten or sag over time, compromising their overall durability.


Euro-top mattresses are often priced slightly higher than pillow-top mattresses. Euro-top mattresses’ enhanced construction and appearance contribute to their higher price point. If budget is a significant consideration, a pillow-top mattress may be a more affordable option while still providing the desired comfort and softness of euro pillow tops.

Edge Support

Euro-top mattresses offer better edge support compared to conventional pillow-top mattresses. The flush integration of the Euro-top layer with the mattress provides consistent support near the edges, preventing any sinking or discomfort. If edge support is important to you, such as for individuals who frequently sit or sleep near the edges of the bed, a Euro-top mattress may be the better choice.


Euro-top mattresses have a more cohesive and visually pleasing appearance due to the seamless integration of the Euro-top layer innerspring mattress. The absence of a visible gap between the cushioning layer and the mattress creates a clean and uniform look. If aesthetics are a significant consideration for you, a Euro-top mattress may be the preferred option.

It’s important to note that while the pillow-top or Euro-top layer of a soft mattress is a significant factor in determining the overall feel and comfort of the mattress, other elements such as the firmness level, support core, and material composition of the mattress also play crucial roles. Consider these factors as well when making your final decision.

Additional Factors to Consider

Other factors can impact your overall sleeping experience besides the type of mattress vs. pillow-top used. Here are some additional considerations:

Pillow Top Materials

The materials used to construct the pillow-top or Euro-top layer can significantly affect its performance and characteristics. Common materials used in pillow and euro tops can include memory foam, latex foam, wool, and fiberfill. Each material offers unique properties and benefits.

  • Memory Foam Pillow Top: Memory foam provides excellent pressure relief by conforming to the body’s shape. However, it may retain heat, making it less suitable for sleeping hot individuals.
  • Latex Foam Pillow Top: Latex foam offers a slightly firmer feel than memory foam. It provides a responsive and supportive surface while being more breathable and hypoallergenic.
  • Wool Pillow Top: Wool offers natural cushioning and temperature regulation. It is breathable, moisture-wicking, and resistant to dust mites, making it an excellent choice for individuals with allergies.
  • Fiberfill Pillow Top: Fiberfill is a synthetic material designed to mimic the softness of down or feathers. It provides a plush and comfortable surface but may not offer the same contouring abilities as memory or latex foam.

Consider your preferences and any specific requirements, such as allergies or temperature regulation, when selecting the materials for your pillow-top or Euro-top mattress.


Can pillow-top mattresses be flipped?

Pillow-top mattresses should not be flipped. Flipping a pillow-top mattress would result in sleeping directly on the firm support core, causing discomfort. However, rotating the pillow-top mattress 180 degrees every three months can help distribute wear and maintain the integrity of the pillow-top layer.

Who should use a pillow-top or Euro-top mattress?

Pillow-top and Euro-top mattresses are suitable for individuals who desire additional cushioning and comfort while maintaining adequate support. They are particularly beneficial for:

  • Side sleepers: The extra cushioning of the pillow-top or Euro-top layer can relieve pressure points and enhance spinal alignment for side sleepers.
  • Couples: The cushioning effect of the pillow-top or Euro-top layer helps reduce motion transfer, minimizing disturbances caused by a restless sleep partner.
  • Individuals with orthopedic issues: These mattresses’ added softness and contouring abilities can alleviate joint pain and back discomfort.
  • For those in need of extra comfort and pressure point relief, The plushness of the pillow-top or Euro-top layer provides a luxurious and comfortable sleeping surface.

Are memory foam or pillow-top mattresses better?

The choice between memory foam and pillow-top mattresses depends on individual preferences and needs. Memory foam mattresses offer excellent pressure relief and contouring abilities, making them suitable for individuals seeking a more personalized and conforming sleeping surface. On the other hand, pillow-top mattresses provide additional cushioning and softness without compromising support, making them a great option for those looking for a plush and comfortable sleep surface.

How thick are pillow-top or Euro-top mattresses?

The thickness of pillow-top or Euro-top mattresses can depend on the specific model and brand. Generally, the pillow-top or the Euro top vs pillow-top layer itself can range from 2 to 4 inches thick. The overall thickness of the mattress, including the comfort layers and support core, can range from 7 to 22 inches.

How long do pillow-top or Euro-top mattresses last?

The lifespan of pillow-top or Euro-top mattresses can depend on various factors, including the quality of materials used, overall construction, and frequency of use. Pillow-top mattresses usually last 5-8 years. Euro-top and pillow-top mattresses can be more durable, lasting 8-10 years with good care.


Choosing the right mattress is vital for a good night’s sleep, and understanding the differences between pillow-top and Euro-top mattresses can help you make an informed decision. While both options offer additional cushioning and comfort, they have distinct characteristics and construction methods. Consider factors such as feel, durability, price, edge support, and aesthetics when choosing between a pillow-top and a Euro-top mattress.

Additionally, consider the materials used in the pillow-top or Euro-top layer to ensure your specific comfort and support needs are met. When you think about these things, you can pick a mattress that’s just right for both comfort and support, giving you a good night’s sleep.


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