What is the Difference Between a Pillow-Top and a Euro-Top?


Written by David Rubin

Expert Tested

Table of Contents

With so many mattresses on the market, finding the right option can be overwhelming. Choosing between mattress constructions that seem similar can make the process even more difficult. Two mattress designs that shoppers often mistake for one another are pillow-tops and Euro-tops.

Though these two designs serve similar purposes, they’re not the same, and one may be more beneficial for you than the other. We’ll explore the differences and similarities between pillow-tops and Euro-tops, explaining their unique constructions, weighing their potential pros and cons, and offering tips on how to pick the right style for your needs.

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What Is a Pillow-Top Mattress?

The uppermost layer of a pillow-top mattress conforms to your body, softening the bed’s overall feel. This top gusseted layer attaches everywhere except around the mattress’ perimeter, where there’s a slight gap between the pillow-top and the layer beneath it. Without sheets, this design looks as if a pillow is sewn directly on top of the mattress – hence its name.

Pillow-tops add plushness while still providing support. This extra layer may contain foam, fiber, or latex to cushion the surface. The material directly affects the mattress’ price, though you can find pillow-top models for nearly any budget.

Who Should Sleep on a Pillow-Top?

A pillow-top mattress is an excellent choice for sleepers who like a soft feel but need robust support. While individuals can sink into the plush pillow-top, the mattress core generally prevents excessive sagging that could otherwise threaten spinal alignment. This can be beneficial for side sleepers, those with back pain, and individuals with sharp pressure points.

Pillow-Top Mattress


  • Plush and cushiony feel
  • Reduces motion transfer
  • Notable pressure relief


  • Limits edge support
  • May flatten over time
  • Could absorb heat, depending on the materials

What Is a Euro-Top Mattress?

Like pillow-tops, Euro-tops add a layer of foam, latex, or fiber to cushion the mattress’ surface. The main difference between the two designs is the way these elements attach to the rest of the mattress. Euro-tops do not have a gap around the edges. Instead, the top layer is sewn directly onto the layer beneath it so that it sits flush with the rest of the mattress.

When compared with pillow-tops, Euro-tops have a sleeker, more uniform look since there’s no space between the top and the rest of the mattress layers. Because the top layer is sewn all the way around the perimeter, a Euro-top mattress generally has more substantial edge support. Additionally, the materials in a Euro-top are often denser, making the surface less plush but more durable.

Who Should Sleep on a Euro-Top?

Euro-top mattresses have many of the same potential benefits as pillow-tops, including cushioning and motion isolation. However, a Euro-top is a better option for people who want increased edge support and durability. Its sewn edges help prevent the mattress from sagging, and a Euro-top is less likely to flatten over time than a pillow-top.

Euro-Top Mattress


  • Increased edge support
  • Greater durability
  • Neat and streamlined appearance


  • Perimeter may feel firmer than the center
  • Often more expensive
  • May not feel as plush as a pillow-top

How Do the Two Match Up?

Pillow-top and Euro-top mattresses both have the same main purpose: to enhance a bed’s cushioning without changing its support level. However, the two styles have a few notable differences.

Pillow-tops often provide an exceptionally soft and cushioning sleep surface that many sleepers enjoy, though they may wear down faster than Euro-tops. The Euro-top’s streamlined design improves the perimeter support and durability, and because it’s fully attached to the rest of the mattress, a Euro-top generally lasts longer before shifting or flattening.

Both styles are available in a range of materials and price-points, so shoppers should weigh what’s most important to them: pillowy cushioning or durability and edge support.

Pillow-Top vs. Euro-Top Mattresses

Pillow-Top Mattress
Euro-Top Mattress


Pillow-top price-points vary depending on their materials. You can find pillow-top mattresses to fit most budgets.

Like pillow-tops, Euro-tops come in a variety of materials and price-points. However, Euro-top mattresses tend to be slightly more expensive.

Edge Support

Since they’re not sewn directly onto the mattress edge, pillow-tops may sag or sink along the perimeter.

Euro-tops typically have better edge support because they’re stitched directly on top of a mattress’ other layers.


Pillow-tops generally lose their plush feel and support faster than Euro-tops because they’re more prone to shifting.

The Euro-top’s smooth design and denser materials give it a leg up when it comes to durability.

Feel & Performance

True to their name, pillow-tops typically feel light, plush, and soft. They offer significant cushioning and conforming.

Depending on how they’re constructed, Euro-tops can also provide ample cushioning. However, they’re often firmer at the edges than pillow-tops and less plush overall.

About The Author

David Rubin

Certified Sleep Science Coach, Director of Product Testing

David is a Certified Sleep Science Coach with a lifelong passion for well-being and health optimization. His interest in sleep developed with the arrival of his son, when sleep suddenly became a precious commodity.

  • POSITION: Side Sleeper
  • TEMPERATURE: Hot Sleeper

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