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Pillow Top vs Memory Foam Mattress: Which One is Right for You?


Pillow Top or Memory Foam Mattress

If you’ve ever been mattress shopping before, you know there are a lot of options. First, you’ll need to choose the size. Most adults sleep on a Queen, King, or California King size mattress. From there, you’ll want to find a mattress that feels comfortable when you lie down on it. This is where the fun begins! You have a plethora of options when it comes to your personal comfort preference. Saying “I like my mattress to feel very soft” is a great place to start, but you still have a lot of narrowing down to do. 

Two of your main options will be a pillow top mattress and a memory foam mattress. When considering pillow top vs memory foam, you should know that both of these options deliver a soft, supple surface to sleep on. That doesn’t mean they’re the same, though. Let’s go over which each option is and who often finds them to be the best choices.

What is a Pillow Top Mattress?

Long ago, your best option to make a too-firm mattress a bit softer was to add on a mattress topper. Now, there are pillow top mattresses which have an extra layer of padding sewn directly to the top of the mattress. The stitch attaching the extra layer to the mattress cover is placed just before each edge of the bed. If you are having trouble picturing it, imagine a giant pillow, resting on the top of your bed. That is where the name “pillow top” comes from!

We carry options in pillow top mattresses from top brands like Aireloom, Stearns & Foster, Sealy Posturepedic, and more. We even have pillow top mattresses in our own City Mattress Parks Collection, because we know how well this type of mattress delivers a fantastic night of sleep.

What is a Memory Foam Mattress?

One of the most popular options for a new mattress is memory foam. Not without pros and cons, memory foam isn’t a comfort feel, but rather a material that some mattresses are made from. Memory foam uses your body heat to soften and mold to your shape. If you push your hand down into memory foam, the shape of your hand will stay for a few moments. This provides remarkable support and comfort. High-quality memory foam mattresses, like those made by Tempur-Pedic, are well known for providing good support and excellent pressure relief. 

Pillow Top mattress vs. Memory Foam: Is One Better Than the Other?

There’s no exact answer to this question, but we can help you decide on your own personal answer. 

If you struggle with aches and pains, you may find relief by sleeping on a firm, innerspring mattress. That won’t deliver the soft feel that you like, though. This is where a pillow top mattress shines! Pillow top mattresses are initially effective at minimizing pressure points, relieving pain, and creating better sleep. Pillow tops can be added to mattresses with naturally firm support cores made from innerspring coils. This is ideal because then the mattress is both soft and supportive. The best pillow top mattresses provide pressure relief for heavier body parts, such as the hips and shoulders, while feeling comfortable all night long. The pillow top itself is generally crafted from softer materials in order to conform to your body with a type of latex foam or wool. 

On the other hand, you have the option to buy a new memory foam mattress. Many people consider one of the best benefits of a memory foam mattress to be the pressure-relief it provides, particularly your shoulders and hips. Because it adapts to your sleeping position, memory foam will keep your spine and neck properly aligned. 

Another great characteristic of a memory foam mattress is that they transfer little to no movement from someone else on the bed. Remember, memory foam mattress contours to only the body weight being put on it. Does your dog crawl into bed with you? Does your partner wake up for work before you do? This probably keeps you from getting the sleep you need. By choosing a memory foam mattress, you can stay asleep longer and sleep deeper. 

Come to City Mattress to Feel these Options for Yourself

If you are shopping for a new mattress and find that many options feel too firm for you, consider a memory foam or pillow top mattress. Both of these deliver the soft comfort you love without diminishing the support you need. An innerspring mattress may serve you better than either and we encourage you to review our recent foam vs innerspring article to help decide whether that option makes more sense for your needs.

Memory foam and pillow top mattresses vary in brand, height, materials, and therefore, feel. To make the best choice, visit your nearest City Mattress location to see them and lie down on them in person. Our Sleep Experts will help guide you to the answer of pillow top vs memory foam and find the solution for you!