Pillow Top Mattress vs. Memory Foam Mattress

Comparison of Pillow Top mattress and Memory Foam Mattress.

If you are here, then you most likely want to know which is better, pillow top or memory foam? But before we get into the differences, you should know that both mattresses are plush (soft) and are made for both sides and combination sleepers. But one is firmer than the other, and one is more durable. Ready to see the differences, continue reading.

Pillow Top Mattress

Pillow Top Mattress on the bed.

Let’s begin with the definition of a pillowtop mattress. It is a mattress that has two parts; the support underneath and the plush covering on top. The support is made from innerspring coils and this gives a little bounce that can be seen in firm mattresses, while the covering is made from soft materials to provide the sinkage in soft mattresses. The covering can be made from latex foam, fiberfill, cotton, memory foam, down, or wool. There are two types of pillow-top mattresses; a regular pillow top mattress and a euro pillow top mattress. The Euro pillow top foam is denser and thicker than the regular one because there is no gap between the coils and the foam on top.


  • It has both good bounce and plush which makes it a good soft mattress for heavy people
  • It is cool and breathable because of the coil layer. A euro top mattress though is less cool than the regular one.
  • It has a low chance of off-gassing because the coils allow for airflow (therefore odors cannot be trapped).
  • It is not costly.


  • The coil degrades with time making it less durable.
  • It causes motion transfer which affects continuous sleep.

Memory Foam Mattress

Memory Foam mattress on the bed.

This type is all foam from top to bottom. It is made from visco-elastic material that makes it very soft with great sinkage. This is a very option for petite people because it provides the right amount of cradle. It is also very sensitive to both temperature and pressure with makes it conforms to the body when a person lies on it and also absorbs body heat. However, this makes it a very warm mattress to lie on. It helps with body alignment, so it is a very good choice for side sleepers. It also isolates motion, making it great for combination sleepers. The types include traditional memory foam, plant-based memory foam, and gel-infused memory foam mattresses. While traditional memory foam retains body heat (which makes the mattress warm), the other types have cooling effects that make the bed cooler for warmer nights.


  • It provides a great cradling and sinkage
  • It conforms to the body and provides good support for the spine
  • It is highly durable
  • It is hypoallergenic
  • Comfortable and ideal for side sleepers.
  • It isolates motion and does not disrupt continuous sleep sessions


  • The heat retention characteristic makes the mattress too hot during warm nights.
  • It has a strong off-gas odors emission.
  • Not a good choice for heavy people

Pillow top vs Memory Foam Comparison Table

From the above discussion on both mattresses, you can already tell which is better for you. But in the case that it still seems a little too complicating, here is a table comparing both mattresses to answer: what’s better; memory foam or pillow top?

Feature Pillow Top Mattress Memory Foam Mattress
How it is made Innerspring coils provide firm support and the covering gives a soft, plush layer. A high-density poly-foam makes up a memory foam mattress making the bed plush with a temperature and pressure-sensitive top layer.
How it feels It is slightly bouncy with minimal sinkage. Provides a high level of sinkage. Molds out the body upon pressure.
The temperature Cool and Breathable (Euro pillowtop mattress is warmer) Warm and Dense (Other types are cooler temporarily).
Off-gassing If there is a presence of foam, then there is a slight chance of off-gassing. There is more chance of off-gassing.
It’s durability Not durable. The coil degrades with time. Highly durable
Motion isolation vs motion transfer Motion transfer Motion isolation
Cost Within $200 and $2000 Within $600 to $4000


Best matress.

Pillow top mattresses and Memory foam mattresses are both great but they also have their differences. It makes them good choices for different sets of people. This article has explained why one is a better choice over the other. We hope you have found this article helpful. If so, check out some of the frequently asked questions to learn more.


Are Pillow top mattresses or memory foam better for me?

If you are a side or back sleeper, then memory foam is better for you. If you prefer a bouncier feel then it is better to get a pillow top mattress. It is also better for heavy people.

Do pillow-top mattresses wear out faster?

Pillow top mattresses are not the most durable choice. They are made from innerspring coils that wear out after a while. This makes the mattresses less bouncy and weak.

Memory Foam or pillow top: which is more hypoallergenic?

Memory Foam does not allow for the build-up of dust or mold which causes allergies. So, it is a better option for those that have allergies since it is hypoallergenic. Though both mattresses are great and plush options, memory foam is more hypoallergenic. It does not allow for the build-up of dust or mold that causes allergies. So, it is a better option for those that have allergies.

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