Simply put, a pillow top mattress set is one with an extra layer of padding for that model. It is usually made visible by having a “pinch” seam at the top of the mattress or second ribbon or cord near the top of the set. That layer is identified more easily from the side of the mattress and helps ensure that you receive the correct mattress at time of delivery. Without the extra cord, plush top and pillow tops would be easily confused. since they look essentially the same from above.
Mattresses are usually made one of three ways – Firm top, Plush top , or Pillow top. For a given model, the Firm top is obviously the firmest and quilting on the top is generally smaller squares or diamonds. The Plush top set is in between pillow top and firm top in terms of softness – some people call it the Goldilocks style! Not too firm (like Papa Bear), not too soft (like Mama Bear) – just right! Usually the quilting on the top of the mattress has bigger squares or diamonds but not the extra layer that will come on the pillow top style. The softest style then is the pillow top. It has the extra layer or gusset at the top of the mattress along with larger squares or diamonds in the quilting. It will also be the thickest version of that model.
It must be emphasized that the relative firmness designations apply only within a given model. For example, Simmons will make the Vernazza World Class mattress as a pillow top, plush and firm top. You would only be able to know the relative softness of the three models in comparison to each other. You could have a plush top of a different model (X) be softer than the pillow top of another model (Y). There are low end or cheap mattress models with pillow top versions and high end mattress models with pillow top versions just like there are four door cars made by Kia and four door cars made by Rolls Royce. They models have pillow tops or four doors but the similarities end there!
The best advice is to listen to what your body is saying. Just because something is considered a pillow top or a firm top or whatever it is that you are looking for, doesn’t mean that your body will find it comfortable. Not all pillow tops are created equal! Not all firm tops are the same firmness. Body weight and how you sleep will have a lot to do with how comfortable you are on each model.
As you try a mattress, lay on it as you would at night – on your back or on your stomach or on your side. Concentrate on what is happening to the significant parts of your body. Do your shoulders feel compressed or relaxed? Does your spine lie straight when you are on your side and is there enough support for your lumbar region? What is happening to your hips – are they rotating in or being pushed out? Don’t forget about properly supporting your head and neck based on how you are lying on the mattress – the world’s nicest mattress may feel terrible if you sleep with a $5 pillow and your neck, head and shoulders get out of alignment.
We hope a few of these tips help you as you choose the mattress that is right for you. Visit us at Midwest Mattress and Furniture Outlet.