Few things are as important as getting a good night’s sleep, and the best way to accomplish that is to sleep on a pillow top mattress. These mattresses are super soft, making the sleeper feel like they’re lying on a cloud. It’s a more luxurious sleeping experience than most are used to, but it’s well worth the money. Layers of cushioning and supportive coils keep you comfortable while you snooze with materials like cotton, wool, memory foam and latex that help provide good support, pressure relief and motion isolation.
There are lots of options for replacing your existing mattress with one that offers more comfort. That’s why I’ve done the hard part for you by spending hours upon hours laying on beds that have mattress topper comfort layers (it’s a rough gig, I know), trying my best to describe how each mattress type feels when you sleep and whether I think it’s worth the money. I personally love pillow top mattresses and have been sleeping on one for a few years now. I don’t love the feel of memory foam, but I really enjoy the airy pillow-like cushioning pillow top mattresses provide.
In this mattress roundup, I reveal the best pillow top mattress options from my experience as a mattress tester.
What is the best pillow top mattress?
For everyone who wants to get straight to it, the Star Hybrid from Bear earned the top spot here as the best pillow top mattress. It’s ultra-comfortable, has a fluffy quilted top, and the cover is made with a special sleep-boosting, recovery-aid material called Celliant that’s found in very few mattresses.
However, I’ve also included the other top-rated picks tested by me, including the best pillow top mattress for side sleepers and the best eco-friendly pillow top mattress.
Video: Best Pillow Top Mattress
Watch CNET video producer Owen Poole review the best pillow top mattresses.
The prices below are for queen size models and were recently updated.
Mattress Price Scale:
$ = Budget – $799 and below
$$ = Average – $800 to $1,699
$$$ = Premium – $1,700 and up
Reflect MSRP prices* sales might push a mattress to a lower threshold, but they are always changing.
Type Hybrid mattressFirmness Medium or 5Trial 365 nightsWarranty Lifetime warranty Price $$$
The Star Hybrid mattress isn’t the most affordable pillow top mattress on the block, but its premium design and uncommon added features make it an incredible bang for your new mattress buck. First, it’s one thick son of a gun, similar to Allswell Supreme, and stands at 13 inches tall. It’s a hybrid bed that incorporates a pocketed coil layer, several foam layers, and of course, a thick and fluffy pillow top cover.
Type Hybrid mattressFirmness 3 firmness levels | Plush Soft: Medium or 5 | Luxury Firm: Medium-firm or 7 | Firm: 9/10 or firmTrial 360 nightsWarranty Lifetime warranty Price $$
The Saatva innerspring bed is the best pillow top mattress for back pain because it offers a ton of support without compromising fluffy pressure relief. In fact, it’s one of the most supportive and durable mattress topper beds I’ve come across, boasting dual coil layers in its foundation for maximum body support.
Type Hybrid mattressType Hybrid mattress Firmness: 3 firmness levels | Softer: Medium-soft or 3 | Luxury firm: Medium or 5 | Firmer: Medium-firm or 7Trial 120 nightsWarranty Lifetime warranty Price $$
If you can’t get that one amazing plush mattress out of your head that you slept on during a past vacation, you might have a taste for a hotel-luxury mattress like WinkBed Classic. Nice hotels usually provide you with supportive innerspring mattresses to accommodate any guest’s body type, and of course, they love pillow tops because they add a few extra layers of soft comfort. I think WinkBed with gel foam is the epitome of a luxury bed and deserves a top spot on our list for the best pillow top mattress.
Type Memory foam hybridFirmness Medium or 5Trial 100 nightsWarranty 10-year warranty Price $$
As you might have noticed by the additions on this list, the best pillow top mattress options aren’t always the most affordable beds on the market. So, it’s only right I add a budget-friendly option so you can get the same cushiony supportive feel at a more accessible cost. Allswell is from retail giant Walmart, and the Allswell Supreme is the brand’s upper-tier model. Still, it’s incredibly affordable especially after discounts are applied.
Type Poly foam hybrid mattressFirmness 5 or mediumTrial 100 nightsWarranty 15-year limited warranty Price $$$
There’s a little more work to do when it comes to mattress shopping for two. Couples typically want a bed that’ll accommodate both of their sleeping styles, body types and have exceptional edge support and motion isolation. The beds from Helix Luxe deliver, particularly Helix Luxe Midnight.
Helix Midnight Luxe
Other mattresses we’ve tested
This best pillow top mattress list was curated by our CNET Sleep editors, who’ve had their fair share of laying on beds. They’ve tested over 100 different beds and have hours of experience under their belts. The picks shown above proved to be some of their favorites, but the beds we’ve tested below are also in the running for consideration.
DreamCloud mattress: The DreamCloud mattress is a thick hybrid bed made with new-age memory foam. That means memory foam is in the comfort layers, but it feels more like a neutral-foam mattress, partly thanks to the springs and pillow top. It’s rated around a 5 on the firmness spectrum or around a medium, making it ideal for just about any sleeping position. It’s also made from high-quality materials, including cashmere found in the DreamCloud’s extremely soft cover.
Loom & Leaf mattress: The Loom & Leaf bed is from the luxury online mattress brand Saatva, and it’s just as nice as I expected it to be. It’s a conforming memory foam mattress made without coils, and it has a cooling gel layer that does a good job at keeping you temperature neutral. The pillow top is made with different comfort foams and it even features its Lumbar Zone Quilting, which provides targeted support to your lumbar region. It comes in two different firmness levels, but they both lean toward the firm side (medium-firm and firm). This makes the bed most accommodating for back, stomach and some combination sleepers.
Avocado Green mattress: As the name implies, the Avocado bed is a green (not in color) bed made with environmentally friendly materials sourced from nature. If you like to buy organic produce and products, this would be a great option for you. Organic mattresses like the Avocado Green bed are nontoxic, hypoallergenic and antimicrobial. This one in particular is one of the most popular, and you can add a pillow top made with organic latex foam and organic cotton for additional comfort. With the pillow top, Avocado is rated around a medium-firm. I think it’s great for stomach sleepers, back sleepers and those who suffer from back pain.
How we test
CNET editors pick the products and services we write about based on editorial merit. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read more on how we test mattresses.
Are pillow top mattresses any good?
Yes, pillow top mattresses add a plush and fluffy layer of cushioning to a mattress. It can also make a mattress look more premium and inviting — like jumping into a pile of pillows. Pillow top mattresses usually have innersprings or coils in the bottom layer for support, and the pillow top is meant to add more coziness to the top layer.
What is the best pillow top mattress?
The best pillow top mattress will come with thick and supportive coils. Some of our favorite options include:
- Saatva Classic mattress
- WinkBed mattress
- Helix Luxe mattresses
- Star Hybrid
- Brooklyn Bedding Bloom
Is a pillow top mattress good for side sleepers?
It depends on the firmness level of the particular pillow top mattress and how much pressure relief it offers. The best types of pillow top mattresses for side sleepers range from a medium firmness to a soft firmness level. Side sleepers under 250 pounds should stay away from a firm mattress with a pillow top, like the Avocado Green mattress.