Euro tops and pillow tops are both types of cushioning on top of a mattress; however, the exact differences between the two are sometimes unclear.
Euro top and pillow tops are most commonly paired with firmer mattresses such as innerspring beds. Euro and pillow tops were common during the height of innerspring mattresses’ popularity, but as innerspring beds have fallen out of favor, so have these extra layers.
In our article, we take you through the slight differences between Euro-top versus pillow-top mattresses, as well as which can work better for your home.
Euro Top Mattresses
Euro tops are a type of pillow top, but they are more luxurious than the standard pillow-top bed. They are plush and a good option if you suffer from neck or back pain. Euro tops are usually made from poly-foam, memory foam, latex foam, or fiberfill, which are more supportive than cotton or down.
Unlike pillow tops, Euro tops are sewn beneath the mattress cover directly to the top of the mattress. As a result, Euro tops are flush with the mattress and have a cleaner look than pillow tops.
With the flush edges, a Euro-style pillow top bed has better edge support than a conventional pillow-top bed. This also prevents the Euro top from shifting out of place and needing to be repositioned.
Pros of Euro Top Mattresses
- Plush and luxurious feel
- Flush edges with the mattress, providing a cleaner look
- Solid edge support
- Less likely to shift out of place or sag quickly
Cons of Euro Top Mattresses
- Expensive compared to pillow top mattresses
- May feel too soft for some users
Pillow Top Mattresses
Pillow top mattresses have two distinct parts: the supportive coil layer and the plush topper stitched over it. The pillow is commonly made with foam, polyester, cotton, down, or wool.
Compared to Euro tops, pillow tops are more apparent since the pillow top is over the mattress rather than inside of it. The visible indent between the pillow top and the mattress can cause the mattress edges to be less supportive than they are with a Euro-top. Also, pillow tops can shift out of place and sag since they’re not secure on the mattress.
Although the standard pillow top isn’t as high-quality as a Euro top, it’s also cheaper, so it might be more accessible for you and your family.
Pros of Pillow Top Mattresses
- Inexpensive and readily available
- Improves softness and pressure point relief of innerspring mattresses
- Acts as a barrier between sleepers and coil layers
- Firm support with a soft upper layer
Cons of Pillow Top Mattresses
- Prone to sagging and unsupportive edges
- Grows flat and lumpy after several years of use
- Can shift out of place
How to Choose Between Euro Top and Pillow Top Mattresses
Both Euro-top and pillow tops are good choices for the top of a mattress, but they differ in aspects such as firmness, motion transfer, durability, and price.
If you like a softer bed, you may prefer a Euro-top. They’re generally softer than pillow tops because they contain plush foams and are thick. The extra padding relieves pressure points and is a good option if you’re a side sleeper or suffer from physical pain.
Pillow tops are thinner than Euro tops, so although they’re filled with soft materials such as wool or cotton, you’re likely to feel the firm mattress beneath them. A firm mattress works well for back and stomach sleepers so your hips don’t sink. However, soft mattresses are best for side sleepers.
If you share your bed, it’s important to look for a bed with excellent motion isolation to ensure you don’t disturb each other in the middle of the night. Since Euro tops are thicker, they do a better job of absorbing motion compared to pillow tops. Many of the best mattresses for motion isolation also rely on wrapped coils instead of traditional open coil support.
Edge support refers to the stability and firmness of the outer edges of your bed. It affects your ability to sit comfortably on the edge of your bed and the ease of getting in and out —a factor especially important for those with limited mobility.
Since Euro tops are flush with the mattress, the edges are sturdier. Conversely, pillow tops have the extra space between the topper and the mattress, so the edges are weaker and more likely to sag. The saggy edges make pillow tops harder to get in and out of.
Since Euro tops are sewn with the mattress layers and are flush against the mattress, they’re less prone to shifting and offer good edge support. As a result, Euro tops are quite durable.
On the other hand, pillow tops usually contain cheaper materials. Also, the slight gap between the pillow top and the mattress can cause the pillow top to shift out of place and go flat quickly.
Both Euro tops and pillow tops come in a variety of price points, but Euro tops are generally the more luxurious and pricey option. Pillow tops are cheaper, but they also contain less supportive materials and can wear down quickly.
Even if you do choose to get a pillow top mattress, you may have to replace it sooner than you’d have to replace a Euro-top. It might be worth saving up for a Euro top bed since you can use it for longer than a pillow-top bed—saving you money in the long run.
What is a hybrid mattress?
Hybrid mattresses are a modern variation of innerspring mattresses. Both hybrid beds and innerspring mattresses have a spring coil base. However, hybrid mattresses have pocketed coils—meaning each steel coil is individually wrapped in fabric—while innerspring coils are not pocketed. It’s unlikely you’ll find pocketed coils with Euro-top or pillow-top mattresses.
Hybrid mattresses have a thick comfort layer (2 to 3 inches or thicker) sewn into the mattress, which can be made from memory foam, latex, or poly-foam. They also come in multiple firmness levels, whereas Euro and pillow tops are just soft. Hybrid mattresses are more durable compared to innerspring mattresses, but they’re also much more expensive.
Can you buy a pillow top or Euro top separately?
Yes, if you have a new mattress and realize it’s too firm for your liking, buying a pillow top or Euro top is a good idea to add some plushness to your bed. It’s also beneficial to buy a pillow or Euro top separately because you can replace it if it ever sags or goes flat. However, if your mattress is getting old and sagging, you can increase the firmness of your bed by adding a memory foam mattress topper. This fix is only a temporary solution, and you may be better off replacing the mattress entirely.
Can you flip a Euro top or pillow top mattress?
You shouldn’t flip a Euro top or regular pillow top mattress. Pillow top and Euro-top beds have a distinct top-down structure. If you were to flip your Euro top or pillow top mattress, the soft cushioning would be at the bottom of the bed while you would be laying on the stiff and uncomfortable layer of the mattress.
Not only is it uncomfortable to use a pillow top or Euro top mattress upside-down, but it causes the soft and cozy comfortable top layers to wear down and sag.
What is a tight top mattress?
A tight top on a mattress means the mattress doesn’t have an extra layer of padding on it as you can find on Euro pillow tops or standard pillow tops. Instead, the top of the mattress is a tight and thick layer of upholstery. Tight tops are generally firmer than pillow tops and Euro tops.
How long do pillow-top and Euro-top mattresses last?
Pillow top and Euro-top mattresses usually last between 5 to 8 years, while the average mattress lasts between 7 to 10 years. So, you’ll likely need to replace your Euro or pillow top mattress more frequently than another mattress.
You can help your pillow top and Euro top mattress last longer by rotating it twice a year instead of flipping it. This way, an indent doesn’t form in the center of your mattress and you’ll be able to use it for longer.
Both Euro and pillow tops are a type of cushion on the top of a mattress, and the main differences between the two come down to their materials and appearances. Although Euro tops are the higher quality option, they are generally more expensive, so they can be less attainable. On the other hand, the conventional pillow top bed is a good budget option.
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Christine Lapp is a full-time graduate student and part-time freelancer for Sleep Junkie. Since she was a little girl on the soccer field, Christine has had a love for sports, and she believes everybody should get up and get moving once a day. Now, she incorporates her love for exercise into her studies, pursuing a degree in exercise physiology. Christine understands that what you do during your waking hours has a direct impact on your night’s sleep. In our better sleep guides, she offers advice for developing healthy daytime habits to nurture a more peaceful slumber.
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Euro-tops generally offer better edge support, as they are firmer around the outer perimeter of the mattress, and because they come flush with the edges of the bed. Conversely, pillow-tops offer a bit less edge support, due to their design that sits atop the mattress, rather than flush with it.What is the difference between Euro top and pillow top mattress? ›
Euro tops are more dense, meaning they are more durable than a pillow top mattress and tend to last a little longer. Pillow tops have a more airy design, and over time, this will flatten out. Sometimes, this can result in an uneven sleep surface or sagging.Are Euro top mattresses good for side sleepers? ›
Yes, Euro top mattresses can be a good choice for side sleepers, as they can offer additional cushioning and pressure relief.What are the benefits of a Euro top mattress? ›
- Euro tops help reduce motion transfer. ...
- Euro top mattresses have above-average initial comfort. ...
- Euro tops are more likely to contour to the body and relieve pressure points.
- Euro tops come in all levels of firmness, which means the memory foam can be changed based on firmness preferences.
To protect the additional layers of padding from deteriorating quickly, many Euro top models use dense materials in their mattress filling, which is a major win for sleepers seeking relief from back and neck pain.