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 September 15, 2021Pillow top and innerspring beds are both types of spring mattresses. But, pillow top mattresses have extra padding, providing more cushioning for sleepers. Innerspring beds have a firm sleeping surface, while pillow tops beds are a bit plusher. In this article, we discuss the differences between pillow top versus innerspring mattresses.What is an Innerspring Mattress?Innerspring mattresses have three parts:The foundationThe coreThe comfort layerThe mattress core has a coil support system, with a top layer of wool or padding to add structure to the bed.In recent years, innerspring beds use pocketed coils to provide pressure point relief. Pocket spring beds contain springs sewn into pockets of fabric. This allows pocket spring mattresses to move with your body’s shape and weight.Generally, pocket coil mattresses will have a higher spring count. The number of coils varies from mattress to mattress. It’s worth mentioning a high coil count does not mean a better mattress.Mattresses with a low coil count have thicker springs, which can promote an extra firm mattress. Furthermore, beds with fewer coils tend to last longer because they are thicker.Benefits of Innerspring MattressesInnerspring beds are the most traditional mattress types and are highly affordable, excellent if you seek a budget mattress. These beds have an open structure and allow more air to circulate to the sleeper. Plus, innerspring beds are responsive, making it easier for you to switch positions.Drawbacks of Innerspring MattressesThere are a few drawbacks to purchasing an innerspring mattress. For instance, these beds do not have a long lifespan and are prone to sagging. Innerspring beds tend to be heavy due to their metal content and structure, so they might be harder to move or flip.Also, innerspring beds may not be the best for individuals with allergies. Their wool and fiber layer create a perfect environment for dust mites to grow. So, it may be better to look at other mattress types.What is Pillow Top?Pillow top mattresses are innerspring beds with an extra layer of padding sewn on top. The comfort layers use organic cotton, wool, down, fiberfill, memory foam, or latex. This layer of padding creates a plush surface and cushioning for heavy parts of the body.There are two types of pillow top mattresses: Euro top and traditional pillow top mattresses. Traditional pillow top beds have padding material sewn on top of the mattress. There is also a noticeable gap within the comfort layer and surface of the bed.On Euro top mattresses, the extra layer of padding is beneath the mattress cover. The design of Euro top beds eliminates the gap between the comfort layers and mattress. Without gaps in the comfort layers, there is less room for sinking and sagging.Benefits of Pillow Top MattressesPillow top mattresses are an affordable option for shoppers. The extra layer of padding provides the sleeper with cushioning for their hips, back, and neck.Most times, innerspring beds are too firm for side sleepers. Pillow top beds have a softer surface, creating a good mattress for side sleepers that eases some of the tension in the shoulders.The extra cushioning of pillow top beds may also be helpful for back sleepers who need a medium-firm mattress. A medium-firm bed’s surface will keep their hips from sinking into their mattress.Drawbacks of Pillow Top MattressesUsually, pillow top mattresses are not the best option for couples. Pillow top beds are not the best for motion isolation. Sometimes these beds squeak and cause sleeping disruption if you move around.Additionally, these beds have a coils support layer and are prone to sagging. It’s common for pillow top mattresses to wear down within the first few years of using them.Pillow Top vs. Innerspring Mattress: What Mattress Type is Better?Now, you know the differences between the pillow top and innerspring beds. In the next section, we’ll compare these two mattresses, so you can choose the right fit.Best Affordable Option: InnerspringBoth innerspring and pillow top beds are affordable options, with many mattresses costing under $1000. However, because a traditional innerspring mattress relies on fewer cushioning materials, it’s usually the less expensive option.You can find some innerspring beds when browsing mattresses under $500, while pillow top mattresses are about $900 for a queen.Best Airflow: InnerspringInnerspring beds do not have foam layers and provide the best airflow, establishing a cooling mattress for hot sleepers. Though pillow top beds have a spring core, their plush comfort layer may create a warm surface.Best for Pressure Relief: Pillow TopInnerspring beds do not have as much cushioning as pillow top beds. Without the proper cushioning, this could interfere with proper spinal alignment. If you need a mattress with more pressure relief, plush pillow top beds are the better choice. Some pillow tops may even consist of memory foam or latex to contour to your curves.FAQSWhat type of pillow top bed is better for edge support?Generally, euro top mattresses have better edge support for your bed. Unlike pillow tops, Euro tops are sewn beneath the mattress cover. As a result, there are no gaps or indentations around the edge of the bed, giving it a more supportive structure.How long should an innerspring mattress last?Innerspring beds have a shorter lifespan than other types of mattresses. Certain factors such as how well you take care of your bed will contribute to the life of your mattress. Your mattress may last longer if it contains high-quality materials, but this varies.What coil type is best for an innerspring mattress?Pocketed spring coils have become popular because they offer limited motion transfer. These coils have individual pockets to reduce the movement of your mattress. Additionally, pocket coils are better at pressure relief than traditional innerspring.Do pillow top mattresses sag?A common complaint among pillow top owners is sagging. Pillow top beds are less durable than other mattress types like latex and memory foam beds. These beds lose their bounce in a short amount of time, causing them to sag or compress.Are pillow top beds a good choice for hot sleepers?If you are a hot sleeper, a pillow top mattress is not the best choice. Sometimes plush layers absorb body heat and make your sleeping surface hot. Traditional innerspring beds are better for hot sleepers because their open structure provides better airflow.ConclusionDeciding between a pillow top or an innerspring mattress may seem a bit tricky. It’s best to weigh out your options before you purchase a new mattress.Pillow top beds usually are better for side sleepers. The plush layer provides some contouring, easing tension in the shoulders. Innerspring beds best for stomach sleepers and plus-sized sleepers who need a firm mattress.Your choice between the two might come down to the cost, as well as the quality of the materials. Utilizing a sleep trial is a great way to test your bed, so you know it’s the best mattress for you.About the author Jasmin LeeJasmin Lee is dedicated to helping others get better sleep—when she’s not napping, you can often find her researching the latest in bedding and mattress technology. Her fascination with sleep fuels her drive to connect readers with the resources they need to improve their night’s rest. Find more articles by Jasmin Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.