Pillowtop Mattress: Good idea or bad?

Providing a Luxurious Sleep:  The Pillow Top MattressIn the world of mattresses, the innerspring mattress has long reigned supreme.  Its fundamental mattress design, which utilizes coiled springs, has remained virtually unchanged for decades.  However, over the years this traditional mattress has been added to in an effort to eliminate some of its shortcomings and to create a more comfortable sleeping experience.

The pillow top mattress is perhaps the pinnacle of innerspring refinement.  The pillow top mattress takes advantage of the tried and true innerspring design but improves its comfort through the addition of a comfortable padded layer.  This layer is generally made from modern foams or feather filled liners that offer unparalleled comfort.

Benefits of the Pillow Top Mattress

Perhaps the biggest challenge of innerspring mattress designers has been the creation of a mattress that provided long-term comfort.  After continued use, the springs can cause increased pressure in certain parts of the body.  In addition, ruts or depressions form, which necessitates rotating or flipping the mattress.

The pillow top provides a comfortable layer between the innerspring core and the sleeper.  This allows the springs to provide support while the plush top provides a comfortable sleeping experience.  Better yet, a quality pillow top disperses a sleeper’s weight, which helps to prevent ruts from forming in the mattress core.  This eliminates the need for mattress rotation or flipping.

How to Buy a Pillow Top Mattress

Not all pillow top mattresses are equal.  Indeed, some only offer a short term solution to innerspring discomfort.  The quality of a pillow top is largely the result of the materials used.

Pillow tops made from cheaper foams often feel comfortable at first.  However, cheap foams compress easily, and before long, body impressions will become permanently imbedded into the mattress top.  Rotating the mattress can increase its life a little.  But since pillow tops are permanently attached to the innerspring core, a new mattress is needed once the comfort layer is worn.

High quality foams– latex rubber or memory foams– hold up to nightly use much longer than cheap foams.  These foams won’t just feel comfortable at first;  their comfort will last for the life of the bed.  Unless you plan on routinely replacing your mattress, spend a little extra and get a quality pillow top.

Some pillow top mattresses are two sided, which increases longevity too.  When one side becomes compressed and uncomfortable, the mattress can be flipped over.  If you do buy a mattress with only one pillow top, then it is especially important it be  made from quality foams.

Not being able to flip the mattress is one of the biggest objections to buying a pillowtop mattress. But did you know that most new mattresses don’t require flipping anyway? They are designed to be used with one side up. So whether you buy a pillow top mattress or not, you’re probably not going to need to flip it.
Another objection to pillow top mattresses is that the pillowtop part doesn’t last as long as the rest of the mattress, so you end up with a mattress that doesn’t last as long overall and needs to be replaced sooner. The mattress salesman will tell you that a pillowtop lasts just as long as a standard mattress. But I’m not so sure about this one. Realistically though, I don’t plan to keep a mattress for 20 years. I’d rather replace mine sooner than that. So it isn’t as big of a deal to me.

The pillow top mattress is the next step in the evolution of the innerspring mattress.  When trying out new mattresses, it is often the comfort you feel that makes your buying decision.  But keep in mind that inferior materials can feel equally comfortable on the showroom floor.  Ask what type of foam is used before you buy so that you can sleep comfortable for years to come.

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