Eachnight may earn commissions for products you purchase through our links. Our articles and reviews include affiliate links and advertisements, including amerisleep advertising. Learn more Updated August 12, 2021When looking for a new mattress, you may come across many terms foreign to you and won’t know how to make sense of them. One of these confusing terms can include “Euro top” and “pillow top” mattresses.Some manufacturers use the terms Euro top and pillow top interchangeably, and although the two have their similarities, they are distinct. Both Euro tops and pillow tops are the soft layers of cushioning on top of otherwise firm mattresses. You can find a Euro and pillow top on an innerspring or hybrid mattress.Our article breaks down the main differences between Euro tops and pillow tops, from their construction to their appearance.What is a Euro Top Mattress?Euro tops are plush layers of foam covering the entire top of the mattress. Euro tops are generally the more luxurious option compared to pillow tops since they’re made from high-quality fiberfill or foam.Euro pillow tops have a discreet look since they are under the mattress’s cover versus being sewn on top of it, giving the appearance of it being just another mattress layer. Also, Euro tops won’t lose their shape or shift the way pillow tops can since they’re attached to the other mattress layers.With this in mind, when a mattress is covered with a sheet and blankets, you usually won’t notice either a pillow top or a Euro top.Since there’s no gap between the Euro top and the mattress, the padding is thicker and more cushioning than a pillow top. Euro tops also offer better edge support because they are flush with the mattress’s edge.Pros of a Euro Top MattressTypically constructed from high-quality materials (foam or fiberfill)Less likely to shift out of place or grow lumps since they’re protected by a mattress coverHave solid edge support and a cleaner lookCons of a Euro Top MattressSome Euro tops may not contour as well as pillow topsUsually a bit pricier than pillow tops due to their construction and appearanceWhat is a Pillow Top Mattress?A standard pillow top is a soft comfort layer sewn on the top of your mattress. Unlike Euro tops, pillow tops are clearly visible—there is a slight gap between the cushiony extra layer and the mattress base, giving the appearance of a large pillow on the mattress.The pillow top is typically made from wool, cotton, fiberfill, polyester, or foam. Materials such as cotton or wool offer little to no support but are still cushiony and relieve pressure. Conversely, foam and fiberfill are more supportive.Due to the gap between the pillow top and the mattress, the pillow top can shift around as you move. However, using well-fitted sheets can help to reduce movement.A pillow top helps make a firmer mattress feel soft and more comfortable. Pillow tops are most commonly paired with innerspring beds or hybrid mattresses, both of which feature a coil base.Pros of a Pillow Top MattressImproves the softness and cradling of firm mattresses without diminishing supportThe soft layer reduces motion transfer in coil mattressesThe cushioning reduces pressure points and painCons of a Pillow Top MattressHas a short lifespan compared to other mattress typesCan get warm despite innerspring mattresses having an otherwise breathable designDoes not have a discreet appearanceWho Should Use a Pillow Top or Euro Top Mattress?Pillow top and Euro top mattresses are typically a good option for anyone looking for extra padding while also seeking firm support from their mattress. In particular, we recommend pillow or Euro top mattresses for:Back sleepers and side sleepers who enjoy a cradling feelCouples who need good motion isolationIndividuals with orthopedic problems, joint pain, or back painPeople of all body types in need of extra comfort and pressure point reliefHow to Choose Between a Euro Top and Pillow Top MattressSince both Euro tops and pillow tops are an extra layer of padding to a mattress and are seemingly similar, it can be difficult to decide which of the two to go with. Here are some considerations you can keep in mind to help you weigh the two options:Feel: Pillow tops are typically a bit softer than Euro tops, so they provide more pressure relief and cradling. Euro tops, conversely, are a bit firmer, which works well for individuals looking for extra support.Durability: Euro tops are usually more durable than pillow tops, so they’ll last longer. Both mattress types eventually wear out, but you’ll notice your pillow top flattening out or becoming uneven sooner than your Euro top. Euro tops last between 8 to 10 years, while pillow tops only last between 5 to 8 years.Cost: Both Euro tops and pillow tops come in a variety of prices depending on the exact fill. Still, Euro tops have a slightly more luxurious construction and are a bit more expensive than pillow tops as a result.Edge Support: Since Euro tops are flush with the edges of the mattress, they’ll offer better edge support than a pillow top. Better edge support typically means your mattress will be usable for longer since the edges are less likely to sag.Appearance: Euro tops are less noticeable than pillow tops, meaning your mattress will look a bit more aesthetically pleasing.FAQsHow thick are pillow tops or Euro tops?An entire pillow top or Euro top mattress can be between 7 to 22 inches. However, the actual pillow and Euro tops themselves are between 2 to 4 inches. Typically, the thicker the top is, the softer and more cradling the mattress will be.Can you flip a pillow top or Euro top mattress?No. Since most pillow top and Euro top mattresses are designed to sit upright, flipping them would likely ruin the cushiony top layer. Also, you’d be left lying on rigid and uncomfortable innerspring coils.Instead of flipping your bed, consider rotating it 180 degrees every 3 to 6 months instead to prevent an indent from forming in the Euro top or pillow top.How can you fix a sagging pillow top or Euro top mattress?No amount of flipping or fluffing can restore a pillow top or Euro top mattress to its former glory. Most measures you can take to stop sagging are preventative, such as rotating your mattress to prevent an indent from forming in one location or buying a mattress with a long mattress warranty (most mattress warranties cover repairs in case a mattress does sag).You might be able to get away with using a high-quality mattress topper over a slightly sagging bed to make it more comfortable, but it’s best to just replace a sagging mattress so your body is properly supported.Can you put a mattress topper on a pillow top mattress?Yes, you can use a mattress topper on any type of mattress. Mattress toppers are a good option if your mattress is a little too soft or firm, or is in need of a bit of revitalization.Keep in mind, however, that pillow top mattresses tend to be quite thick as it is, and adding another 2 to 4 inch topper on top of that can make your mattress super tall. Too tall of a mattress is hard to get in and out of, especially for those with limited mobility.Are memory foam or pillow top mattresses better?Memory foam mattresses tend to be higher quality than both pillow top and Euro top mattresses and last up to 2 to 5 years longer. Memory foam beds are the more contemporary mattress option, often constructed with modern sleep technologies and coming in different firmness levels, whereas pillow mattresses are generally simple and soft.Still, memory foam mattresses are generally much more expensive than pillow top mattresses. Also, certain types of memory foam can trap body heat, while pillow top mattresses are more breathable.ConclusionEuro and pillow top mattresses work well if you want a soft mattress but don’t want to sacrifice great support. When comparing the two mattress tops, remember that all Euro tops are a type of pillow top, but not all pillow tops are Euro tops.While a Euro top is more discreet than a conventional pillow top, construction-wise, they feel about the same, comfort-wise. Regardless, Euro top beds are of a higher-quality and are more durable than pillow top beds, but can be pricier, making them inaccessible to some. Pillow top mattresses are the smarter choice if you’re looking for comfort at an affordable price.About the author Kiera PritchardKiera Pritchard’s curiosity around dreams and dreaming sparked her passion for sleep science. In addition to freelancing for eachnight, Kiera is also a physical trainer and strives to help others lead healthy lives while asleep and awake. Since joining our team, Kiera has compiled multiple sleep health guides offering our readers advice on how to improve their days and evenings. 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