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Pillow Top vs. Plush Mattress

Man Choosing Mattress Sitting on a Bed in the shop

Pillow top, plush, firm, extra firm. It can be a lot when researching mattresses. Memory foam, hybrids, pocketed coils – what to choose?

The first step is deciding what feels right for your body and sleep style. If a soft mattress fits the bill, then a pillow top or plush mattress may be the right option.

A good night’s sleep sets the stage for a great day. Therefore, it all begins with choosing the right mattress. Regarding mattress options, these two popular choices (pillow top vs. plush) promise a cozy retreat into dreamland.

Today, we’re unraveling the differences between them, exploring layers of padding, plush comfort, and mattress types. We’re on a mission to find the perfect mattress—soft, supportive, and fitting within your budget.

Join us as we navigate the world of softer beds and extra comfort layers. This isn’t just about mattresses. It’s about creating the ideal sleep haven that suits your needs. So, keep reading to know more.

pillowtop mattress vs plush mattress
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pillowtop mattress vs plush mattress

About the Pillow Top Mattress: What Is It?

A pillow-top mattress is a type that features an additional layer of padding sewn onto the top surface. This extra layer is often referred to as a “pillow top” because it’s soft and plush, similar to the feel of a pillow.

Mainly, the purpose of the pillow top is to provide a layer of cushioning to the mattress. As a result, it provides a more luxurious and plush feel.

Principally, pillow-top mattresses come in various firmness levels. Thus, they can be suitable for back, side, and stomach sleepers. So, you can always find options that offer both support and the desired level of softness.

About the Plush Mattress: What Makes It Special?

A plush mattress is a type of mattress that falls on the softer side of the firmness scale. It’s designed to provide a comfortable sleeping surface, giving a feeling of sinking into the mattress. Yet, it’s not as soft as the pillow top mattress.

Primarily, plush mattresses are known for their cushioning and contouring properties. Consequently, they can conform to the body’s natural curves. As such, they’re perfect for those who want the spinal alignment properties without having to sleep on a surface that’s too firm.

dog on plush mattress
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dog on plush mattress

Pillow Top vs. Plush Mattress: Key Differences

In this section, we help you with your decision by giving you a quick comparison between the pillow top and plush mattress.

1. Mattress Construction and Comfort Layers

Principally, you can’t say a specific type of mattress is better. Instead, there’s a kind that fits your needs and another that doesn’t quite.

Pillow top mattresses feature an additional layer of padding sewn onto the top, creating a plush and luxurious feel. This layer, filled with materials, like memory foam or latex, enhances comfort without significantly altering the mattress structure.

As for plush mattresses, they prioritize a soft and comforting sleeping surface through specialized comfort layers. Typically made of materials like memory foam or soft fibers, these layers contribute to the gentle and cushioned feel.

2. Firmness Levels

Pillow-top mattresses offer varied firmness levels, balancing between support and comfort. Some models provide medium-firm support with a plush top layer, accommodating different preferences.

On the other hand, plush mattresses are designed for a soft and comforting sleep experience, leaning towards the softer side. They deliver a gentle, sinking-in sensation, ideal for those seeking a cozy and cradling feel.

sleep on soft plush mattress
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sleep on soft plush mattress

3. Materials Used

The pillow top layer is constructed using diverse materials, such as memory foam or latex, influencing the mattress’s feel. These materials provide customization options, impacting responsiveness and overall sleeping experience.

Similarly, plush mattresses employ materials like memory foam and soft fibers to create a conforming surface. These materials contribute to the plush and comfortable feel, with model variations.

4. Support and Contouring

Both types of mattresses provide excellent support while contouring to the body’s natural shape.

The added padding of the pillow top mattress enhances comfort, making it suitable for those who prefer a balance between support and plushness.

Moreover, while plush mattresses may offer excellent support, they’re particularly favored by individuals seeking a softer and more cushioned sleep experience.

5. Ideal Sleeping Preferences

Understanding your ideal sleeping preferences is crucial when considering a pillow top vs. a plush mattress. That’s because they cater to a wide range of comfort needs.

Whether you prefer a softer or firmer feel, there are options available when it comes to the pillow top type. As for plush mattresses, they’re ideal for those who prioritize a soft and cozy sleeping surface.

6. Durability and Longevity

Pillow top mattresses may face compression concerns over time, affecting their longevity. While using quality materials can enhance durability, uneven wear is still possible. To avoid some of these issues, regular rotation and protection against spills is necessary.

That said, it’s essential to note that pillow top mattresses aren’t the kind that can be flipped over to extend their lifespan. That’s because the additional padding is specifically crafted for one-sided use.

As for plush mattresses, they also depend on material quality. Rotating and using a protector can promote durability. On the whole, both types can provide satisfactory longevity with proper care.

7. Price Range

Both pillow top and plush mattresses come in a wide variety of price ranges, influenced by factors like materials used, design, and brand reputation. Yet, overall, the pillow top mattresses are a bit more expensive than their plush counterparts.

Therefore, understanding your budget allows you to find a mattress that meets your comfort needs without exceeding financial constraints.

Pillow Top vs. Plush Mattress: The Final Verdict

Pillow top mattress
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In general, if you favor a balance of support and luxury, the fluffy pillow top mattress (with its additional padding) offers versatility. Conversely, the plush mattress provides a softer, embracing feel for those seeking maximum comfort without sacrificing the body support.

Yet, bear in mind that due to their increased thickness from the added comfort layer, pillow top mattresses require larger sheets than the plush variations. So, when investing in a type of mattress, it’s essential to be mindful of their features to ensure optimal longevity.


Choosing between a pillow top vs. plush mattress boils down to personal preference. All in all, it’s crucial to note that mattress firmness is subjective, and what feels plush to one person might be too soft or too firm for another.

Manufacturers often use a firmness scale ranging from extra firm to plush to help consumers understand the feel of a mattress.

Therefore, you need to test each option based on your preference and budget to determine the best fit. Whether opting for the added luxury of a pillow top or the plush coziness of a plush mattress, both promise a pathway to restful nights.


The main mattress types include innerspring, memory foam, latex, and hybrid. Innerspring mattresses use steel coils for support and are available in a range of firmnesses. Memory foam contours to the body for pressure relief. Latex is a naturally responsive and durable material. Hybrid mattresses combine materials like coils and memory foam. There are also variations like pillow top and plush mattresses that add extra padding for a softer feel.
Pillow top mattresses have an extra layer of padding sewn on top for added softness and luxurious feel. Plush mattresses have a comfort layer of very soft foam or fibers to create a deeper, plusher feel throughout. Pillow tops provide extra cushioning on the surface while plush mattresses are ultra-soft overall.
Features that add luxury include extra padding like pillow tops and euro tops, high-density foams and gels for conforming comfort, quality materials like natural latex and organic cotton, and specialized cooling components. Handcrafted details, reinforced edges, and longer warranties also signal higher-end luxury mattresses.

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