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Plush Top vs Pillow Top Mattress: Differences & Benefits

When it comes to making a purchase decision on a new mattress, there are factors like the overall construction; memory foam vs hybrid, for example, as well as additional features such as choosing a pillow or plush top. In this article we will look at the differences and benefits of each to help you in making the right decision for you. 

Plush Top Mattresses

A plush top mattress offers a softness that envelopes the body and helps alleviate pressure. It comes with another layer of padding sewn onto the top and is often referred to as a “tighttop”. This layer gives a soft and cushioned surface, cradling the body. This padding will be made up of materials such as memory foam, latex, or other plush materials. 

Pillow Top Mattresses 

As the name suggests, a pillow top adds another layer of padding that resembles a pillow or cushion. This too is sewn into the top surface in order to provide that extra bit of comfort for the owner. Made from plush materials like foam and fiberfill, a softness is added in order to provide a unique, cradling feel. It feels as though it has a built-in pillow on the surface.

Where They Differ

While they have plenty of similarities and offer similar functions, they still differ in a few ways. 


When it comes to thickness, the added layer of a plush top mattress is usually a little thinner compared to its counterpart. The pillow-like layer of a pillow top mattress feels thicker and has a stronger level of resilience to it. 


Plush tops have that additional layer that is integrated into the mattress cover. It provides an extra piece of softness without looking like too much of a separation between the two layers. 

Pillow top mattresses will have an upper layer that is visibly different and looks like an additional piece that has been attached to a gusset and then attached to the mattress. 

Appearance And Overall Feel 

The plush top mattresses often have a much softer feel at times with a more subtle appearance. It has a more streamlined look. Pillow tops give you a more visibly cushioned appearance. They both offer additional comfort, with the preference coming down to the individual.


Both pillow top and plush top mattresses come in a variety of styles and price points. While there is no definitive rule, plush top mattresses are generally slightly more expensive on average.

The Benefits Of Plush Top Mattresses 

A plush top mattress offers a unique combination of comfort and support, making it a popular choice for many sleepers. Unlike firm mattresses, which can be too hard for some, or soft mattresses, which may not offer enough support, a plush top strikes a delicate balance, providing a soft, cushioned feel without sacrificing the underlying support needed for a good night’s sleep.

Additionally, plush top mattresses are versatile and can cater to a wide range of sleep preferences. They are particularly beneficial for side sleepers, who require extra cushioning to allow hips and shoulders to sink in to align their spine properly and avoid pressure build-up. But they also provide adequate support for back sleepers, ensuring the spine remains in a neutral position throughout the night.

The Benefits Of Pillow Top Mattresses

The primary advantage of a pillow top mattress is its exceptional comfort. The extra layer on top offers a plush, soft surface that gently contours to the body's shape, providing immediate relaxation and reducing the time it takes to fall asleep. This layer helps distribute weight evenly across the mattress, significantly reducing pressure points on the body, such as the hips, shoulders, and back. Consequently, sleepers may experience fewer aches and pains upon waking, leading to a more restorative sleep experience.

Pillow top mattresses also excel in isolating motion, making them ideal for couples. The thick top layer helps to absorb movements, allowing one partner to move or get out of bed without disturbing the other’s sleep. This feature ensures that both partners can enjoy an uninterrupted night's sleep. 

The ultimate decision of which to choose in the end comes down to your personal preference. 

While visiting a showroom to test out multiple styles is beneficial, purchasing a mattress with a free trial period can offer some added assurance by giving you the chance to actually test what the sleeping experience will be like before fully making a commitment.

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