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Few things are as important as getting a good night’s sleep, and the best way to do that is to sleep on a pillow top mattress. Theseare super soft, making the sleeper feel like they’re lying on a cloud. It’s a more luxurious sleeping experience than most are used to, but it’s well worth the money. Layers of cushioning and supportive coils keep you comfortable while you snooze with materials like , wool, and that help provide good support, pressure relief and motion isolation.
There are lots of options for replacing your existingwith one that offers more comfort. That’s why I’ve done the hard part for you by spending hours upon hours laying on beds that have mattress topper comfort layers (it’s a rough gig, I know), trying my best to describe how each mattress type feels when you sleep and whether I think it’s worth the money. I personally love pillow top mattresses and have been sleeping on one for a few years now. I don’t love the feel of memory foam, but I really enjoy the airy pillow-like cushioning pillow top mattresses provide.
In this mattress roundup, I reveal the best pillow top mattress options from my experience as a mattress tester. For everyone who wants to get straight to it, the Star Hybrid from Bear earned the top spot here as the best pillow top mattress. It’s ultra-comfortable, has a fluffy quilted top, and the cover is made with a special sleep-boosting, recovery-aid material called Celliant that’s found in very few mattresses. However, I’ve also included the other top-rated picks tested by me, including the best pillow top mattress forand the best eco-friendly pillow top mattress.
Video: Best Pillow Top Mattress
Watch CNET video producer Owen Poole review the best pillow top mattresses.
The prices below are formodels and were recently updated.
Medium or 5
The Star Hybrid mattress isn’t the most affordable pillow top mattress on the block, but its premium design and uncommon added features make it an incredible bang for your new mattress buck. First, it’s one thick son of a gun, similar to Allswell Supreme, and stands at 13 inches tall. It’s a hybrid bed that incorporates a pocketed coil layer, several foam layers, and of course, a thick and fluffy pillow top cover.
The pillow top is really luxurious on Star Hybrid and is infused with Celliant, a fabric containing certain thermo-reactive materials. It absorbs your body heat and transfers it back to you as infrared energy. In turn, it boosts your blood circulation and oxygen, helping you feel more energized when you wake up. I can’t say this tech works without a doubt, but I can say it’s a really comfortable pillow top mattress.
Even though it contains several layers of foam, it feels like a plush pillow top on a supportive innerspring system. It’s like a traditional innerspring bed, only 10 times more comfortable. I rate it around a medium firmness level, so it’s suitable for everyone including back, stomach, side and combination sleepers. Like the other beds on this list, it’s also accommodating for all body types. Also, like a lot of bed-in-a-box brands named on this list, they offer pretty generous discounts throughout the year to make your bed even cheaper!
Retail prices start at $1,298 for a twin and go up to $2,138 for a California king, though prices are several hundred dollars cheaper when you catch Star Hybrid during a sale.
3 firmness levels | Plush Soft: Medium or 5 | Luxury Firm: Medium-firm or 7 | Firm: 9/10 or firm
The Saatva innerspring bed is the best pillow top mattress for back pain because it offers a ton of support without compromising fluffy pressure relief. In fact, it’s one of the most supportive and durable mattress topper beds I’ve come across, boasting dual coil layers in its foundation for maximum body support.
On top of the coils is a thin memory foam mattress layer, and the mattress topper is topped with an eggshell colored, organic cotton Euro pillow top. Like a few of the other beds on this list, it reminds me of a fancy hotel mattress you’d sleep on when you go on a nice vacation. The comfort layer top feels nice and fluffy, but more substantial and supportive than standard cotton fluff because of the pressure-relieving memory foam layer.
I also love how versatile the Saatva bed can be. It’s available in two different heights and three firmness levels. Choose between 11.5 inches or 14.5 inches for the ultimate body support. The softest pillow top option is around a medium or five on my firmness scale, and it only gets firmer from there. This is another reason why I think it’s a great mattress for back-pain sufferers. You can get healthy spinal alignment in any sleep position and the breathable organic cotton cover avoids heat retention. The queen bed has 884 individually pocketed coils, reducing motion transfer. My favorite is the “Plush Soft” but heavy sleepers with back pain should consider “Firm.”
I expected Saatva to be more expensive than it is considering its high-end construction, so I’m pleasantly surprised about the price tag. The 11.5-inch model starts at $887 for a twin and goes up to $2,296 for a split California king. Read our full Saatva mattress review for more.
Hybrid mattress Firmness: 3 firmness levels | Softer: Medium-soft or 3 | Luxury firm: Medium or 5 | Firmer: Medium-firm or 7
If you can’t get that one amazing plush mattress out of your head that you slept on during a past vacation, you might have a taste for a hotel-luxury mattress like WinkBed Classic. Nice hotels usually provide you with supportive innerspring mattresses to accommodate any guest’s body type, and of course, they love pillow tops because they add a few extra layers of soft comfort. I think WinkBed with gel foam is the epitome of a luxury bed and deserves a top spot on our list for the best pillow top mattress.
It looks like a Pinterest-perfect bed almost too pretty to put sheets on. The cover is a bright white color with blue and white polka dot detailing around the edge. The inside, though, is the real star of the show. The plush Euro pillow top feels like one big airy cloud on top of a supportive and durable system of pocketed coils.
Many beds have solid edge support, but WinkBed incorporates an “Extra-Edge” support system of 13-gauge narrow-diameter coils. For you, that means every edge of the mattress is reinforced with ultra-supportive coils, specifically designed to target the sides of the bed. That way, if you sleep with a partner, neither of you will ever feel like you’re about to roll off.
It’s available in three different firmness levels: Softer, Luxury Firm, and Firmer mattress options. Side sleepers should consider the pressure-relieving Softer model and it’s one of the best soft pillow top mattresses I’ve tested. On the flip side, back and stomach sleepers may really like the support offered by the Firm WinkBed. Either way, it will be perfectly suitable for any sleeper position, and also every body type.
Prices for WinkBed start at $849 for a twin and go up to $1,749 for a California king.
Memory foam hybrid
Medium or 5
As you might have noticed by the additions on this list, the best pillow top mattress options aren’t always the most affordable beds on the market. So, it’s only right I add a budget-friendly option so you can get the same cushiony supportive feel at a more accessible cost. Allswell is from retail giant Walmart, and the Allswell Supreme is the brand’s upper-tier model. Still, it’s incredibly affordable especially after discounts are applied.
This pillow top mattress doesn’t look as pretty as the other beds on this list, but you shouldn’t always judge a book by its cover. It’s a thick 14 inches and contains five different layers. This includes pocketed coils, their special Energex foam, graphite and copper-infused memory foam and a fluffy Euro-top.
This bed has more of a memory foam feel, more so than any of the other beds on this list. It’s not as prominent as a Nectar mattress, but you do feel the mattress topper layers hug your body as you become nestled into the mattress. It’s also more bouncy than typical memory foam, especially because of the pocketed coil layer in the foundation.
It’s only a hair firmer than a medium on the firmness scale, I’d give it a five and a half out of 10, where 10 is the most firm. Even so, it is pressure relieving enough for side sleepers and supportive enough to keep a back and stomach sleeper’s spine in proper alignment. It’ll also suit any body type whether you are lightweight or plus size. It’s worth noting the brand also offers a flagship Allswell mattress at an even more affordable price.
Prices for Allswell Supreme start at $749 for a twin and go up to $1,249 for a king size.
Poly foam hybrid mattress
5 or medium
15-year limited warranty
There’s a little more work to do when it comes to mattress shopping for two. Couples typically want a bed that’ll accommodate both of their sleeping styles, body types and have exceptional edge support and motion isolation. The beds from Helix Luxe deliver, particularly Helix Luxe Midnight.
Helix Luxe Midnight is 14 inches thick and has six different layers inside. The pocketed coil layer in the base uses lumbar support coils, providing softer relief under your shoulders and targeted support to your lower back and trunk. It’s not super noticeable when you lay down, but in the long run, this construction detail helps promote proper alignment and prevent back pain.
The pillow top on Helix Midnight Luxe is tufted and textured with mini craters, which gives the cover a cool look. Underneath is a thin layer of gel memory foam, which makes the pillow top slightly more foamy-feeling. It’s not quite as airy and light as other pillow top mattresses. This bed has more of a classic, neutral-foam feel. The pillow-top neutralizes the memory foam feel, while the memory foam takes away the pillow top’s airiness. It’s extremely comfortable, and I think almost any couple will like it since the feel is hard to disagree on.
I rate Helix Luxe Midnight pillow top mattress around a medium or five on the firmness scale, making it suitable for any sleeper position. That means you and your loved one will be safe and in the clear if you have different preferences. Read our full Helix mattress review for more.
Prices start at $949 for a twin size and go up to $2,099 for a California king.
Other mattresses we’ve tested
This best pillow top mattress list was curated by our CNET Sleep editors, who’ve had their fair share of laying on beds. They’ve tested over 100 different beds and have hours of experience under their belts. The picks shown above proved to be some of their favorites, but the beds we’ve tested below are also in the running for consideration.
: The DreamCloud mattress is a thick hybrid bed made with new-age memory foam. That means memory foam is in the comfort layers, but it feels more like a neutral-foam mattress, partly thanks to the springs and pillow top. It’s rated around a 5 on the firmness spectrum or around a medium, making it ideal for just about any sleeping position. It’s also made from high-quality materials, including cashmere found in the DreamCloud’s extremely soft cover.
: The Loom & Leaf bed is from the luxury online mattress brand , and it’s just as nice as I expected it to be. It’s a conforming memory foam mattress made without coils, and it has a cooling gel layer that does a good job at keeping you temperature neutral. The pillow top is made with different comfort foams and it even features its Lumbar Zone Quilting, which provides targeted support to your lumbar region. It comes in two different firmness levels, but they both lean toward the firm side (medium-firm and firm). This makes the bed most accommodating for back, stomach and some combination sleepers.
: As the name implies, the Avocado bed is a green (not in color) bed made with environmentally friendly materials sourced from nature. If you like to buy organic produce and products, this would be a great option for you. Organic mattresses like the Avocado Green bed are nontoxic, hypoallergenic and antimicrobial. This one in particular is one of the most popular, and you can add a pillow top made with organic latex foam and organic cotton for additional comfort. With the pillow top, Avocado is rated around a medium-firm. I think it’s great for stomach sleepers, back sleepers and those who suffer from back pain.
How we test
CNET editors pick the products and services we write about based on editorial merit. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read more on how we test mattresses.
Are pillow top mattresses any good?
Yes, pillow top mattresses add a plush and fluffy layer of cushioning to a mattress. It can also make a mattress look more premium and inviting — like jumping into a pile of pillows. Pillow top mattresses usually have innersprings or coils in the bottom layer for support, and the pillow top is meant to add more coziness to the top layer.
What is the best pillow top mattress?
The best pillow top mattress will come with thick and supportive coils. Some of our favorite options include:
- Saatva Classic mattress
- WinkBed mattress
- Helix Luxe mattresses
- Star Hybrid
- Brooklyn Bedding Bloom
Is a pillow top mattress good for side sleepers?
It depends on the firmness level of the particular pillow top mattress and how much pressure relief it offers. The best types of pillow top mattresses for side sleepers range from a medium firmness to a soft firmness level. Side sleepers under 250 pounds should stay away from a firm mattress with a pillow top, like the Avocado Green mattress.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.