Updated at: 06-12-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

You can save money on a new mattress by learning how to remove the pillow top first. If you take good care of them, these will last for a very long time.

Pillow-top mattresses are the best option for people who tend to sleep heavily since they provide the support and cushioning needed. In part because of their effectiveness in reducing pain, they are among the most frequently purchased mattresses available. They are also cheap.

It’s crucial that you maintain your mattress well. Over time and with continued use, the paddings of a mattress may compress, resulting in depressed areas on the surface. That’s why providing your pillow top mattress with the correct amount of TLC goes a long way toward extending its lifespan.

What is a Pillow Top Mattress?

Mattresses with an extra layer of padding or cushion on top are termed pillow tops or euro tops. They can provide the impression of a second, thinner mattress affixed to the top of a standard mattress. Basically, a pillow top is just a standard mattress with an extra layer of padding.

However, unlike the sewn-on top layer of a pillow top mattress, which cannot shift around, separate toppers have been available to consumers only since very recently. The topper in a pillow top mattress is sewn into the mattress itself, making it impossible to misplace; in a euro top mattress, it is sewn into the cover, making differentiation even more challenging.

Picking apart a pillow-top mattress – THRIFTerrific

The pillow top consists of an additional, usually 2-inch (but sometimes more) layer of padding sewn into the top of the mattress and encased in a fabric that matches the rest of the bed. Although the pillow top may seem to be floating on top of the mattress, it is actually tied to the structure in a way that makes the two components function as a single unit. Materials like as natural latex, cotton, memory foam, wool, fiberfill, gel, and more can all be used to create this upper layer, often known as a built-in topper.

The majority of mattresses with pillow tops are innerspring or airbed models. The popularity of hybrid mattresses, which combine high-quality innersprings with a plush foam or cotton topper, can be attributed to this winning formula.

What Is the Difference Between a Pillow Top and a Euro Top Mattress?

There isn’t much of a functional difference between these two mattress types, but you can find both when you start shopping about. A standard pillow top gives the impression that two mattresses, one larger and one smaller, have been stitched together.

The topper section of a euro top mattress is positioned on top of the mattress’s foundation, and the entire mattress is then encased in a cover. The euro top mattress is a unifying design that offers the benefit of reinforced perimeters and a more polished overall look. It may be more long-lasting in some circumstances, but it offers no additional support or comfort over the other choice. Both of these options are great.

Pillow Top Pros and Cons

There are pros and downsides to having a pillow top, or extra layer, on a mattress. Pillow toppers are available in a wide range of densities, from super soft to exceptionally firm, so you may find the perfect fit for your own preferences. Let’s have a look at the finer points that could impact your opinion.


  • In terms of comfort, the introduction of the pillow top has set new benchmarks for mattresses. The additional layer, available in a wide range of materials, was said to give the bed a “cloud-like” feel, which was described as light, fluffy, and exceptionally pleasant, complementing the bed’s regular innerspring or pocketed coil basis.
  • Comfortable from the get-go is a major benefit of a pillow top mattress; there is no need to break it in. Pillow tops are renowned for being pleasant and supportive from the very first night you sleep on them, unlike memory foam tops, which require some breaking in.
  • Fewer Toxic Gases Emitted Comparable high-end mattresses have been criticized for releasing an unpleasant odor and potentially harmful gases for weeks or months after purchase. Customers often give pillow tops high marks for lacking odor and fumes, thus this does not appear to be an issue with typical models.
  • Although pillow tops add roughly 30 percent to the price of a mattress, they are much more reasonably priced than memory foam or hybrid mattresses that offer similar levels of comfort.
  • Having the extra topper, especially if it contains foam, lessens motion transmission, which is another advantage of the pillow top. There will be less waking up between bedmates.
  • Comfortable pillow tops are well-known for their ability to relieve pressure and promote restful sleep. They are the go-to mattresses for side sleepers due to their superior hip and shoulder support and their ability to alleviate back and joint problems. When it comes to relieving pressure in specific areas, they are unparalleled.
  • The addition of a top layer enables the support of an innerspring to be combined with the comfort of a softer top layer, providing the best of both worlds. As a result of its superior support and plush feel, this bed is a popular choice.


  • Pillow toppers add roughly 20 percent more weight than a regular mattress, so keep that in mind if you’re concerned about portability. This might make them awkward to manipulate and turn.
  • Yes, rotation is necessary; in fact, it is a necessity. In order to keep your bed in good condition, you should rotate your pillow tops regularly. Except for double-sided pillow tops, they can be used without being flipped. Bedding will last longer and provide greater support if you turn it occasionally in either direction.
  • The propensity for drooping is a major drawback of the pillow top style. Over time, the top layer materials will compress due to normal wear and tear and the weight of the body. Back discomfort can develop if the sag is severe enough.
  • Bad for People Who Weigh a Lot: People who weigh a lot don’t obtain the same level of support and comfort as those who weigh less. The conventional opinion holds that heavier people are best served by looking elsewhere for their support needs.
  • Pillow top mattresses might make it difficult to find sheets and bed frames that are the right size. Even while sheets are available in stretchy materials to fit a variety of mattress depths, a pillow top may be significantly deeper than your current mattress. In that scenario, it might be too big for the sheets you have. Similarly, your bed frame may not be compatible with the mattress you have. The price of a new bed might skyrocket if you also need to buy a mattress cover, sheets, and a frame.
  • Less long-lasting: anecdotal evidence suggests that pillow tops wear out more quickly than traditional mattresses, according to some consumers.
  • Warmer Sleep Surface: Many people find that the pillow top retains body heat throughout the night. The percentage of people who report this happening while sleeping increases to about 8% while using a pillow top mattress, compared to 4% for those using a traditional mattress. Having a foam cushion top may increase the likelihood of heat retention.

Your Guide on How to Remove a Pillow Top from a Mattress

A pillow-top mattress is the same as any other mattress, just softer and more comfortable. The thicker-than-usual additional layer that was stitched on top is to blame for this. This padding may be constructed from a wide variety of materials, including cotton, latex, polyurethane foam, or memory foam.

Hacking a Pillow-top Bed : 4 Steps - Instructables

If you possess a mattress with a pillow top, you should become familiar with its removal. After it is finished, you can start cleaning it by following these steps.

Step 1: Examine the whole mattress

Check the entire mattress for any damage before removing the pillow top. There is a risk that the pillow top layer, or the foam on the wrapping material, will be damaged when the mattress is removed from its packaging because of the multiple layers of springs and foam underneath.

Step 2: Locate the zipper

Find the mattress zipper once you’ve checked it over. Good news if there is: you can unzip and rezip your pillow top. It needs to be sniped off with scissors otherwise. Please be aware that this is a final and irreversible change.

Step 3: Look for the seam and snip them

How is the cushion top to be shaped? Finding the seam where the pillow top is attached to the mattress is the first step in removing the pillow top. It’s important to use sharp scissors to cut around the entire mattress’s edge. Begin with the one closest to the fabric of the cushion top.

Step 4:  Prepare foam sheets

Mattresses can be salvaged even if the pillow top has been removed. Create foam mattress covers, 2 inches thick and the right size for your bed. Find out if the foam insulation is wide enough to cover the space.

Step 5: Stitch the sheeting in place

Wrap this sheet around the mattress and secure the ends with stitches. Stitches as large as 12 inches apart and as basic as possible are an option. If a new mattress cover is being fitted, the sheets won’t shift.

Step 6: Place the ticking fabric on the foam sheeting

You should add two inches to the length and width of the mattress before you start ticking it. Make sure the seams are pushed open after you stitch the fabric together. Ensure that the right side of the ticking fabric is facing up before laying it on top of the foam.

Step 7: Start whip stitching

Using upholstery thread and a curved hand upholstery needle, begin whip stitching at the foot of the bed. To prevent the fabric from shifting while you sew, pin it in place at the mattress’s head. It is important to pin the fabric tightly on both sides before stitching.

How to Clean Your Pillow Top

When it comes to the detachable variety, have faith that a vacuum cleaner will do the trick. This process sterilizes the mattress by eliminating the dust that accumulates there. Make sure you get into all the nooks and crannies and along the seams as you vacuum.

Baking soda is the cheapest way to eliminate smells from a mattress. Simply sprinkle it on and let it sit for 30-60 minutes. Of course, you’ll still need to vacuum the mattress to remove the baking soda.

How about issues with stains? Certainly not an issue. Spray the stain with white vinegar and let it sit for 10 minutes. Use paper towels to remove the stain, then sprinkle some baking soda on it and let it dry. The next step is to use the vacuum to pick up the debris.

How to Care for Pillow Top Mattress Cover


  • A Detergent in Liquid Form
  • Clothes washer
  • Dryer


To “fluff” a cover in the dryer, simply toss a tennis ball into the drum. If a cover needs to be refreshed but is not dirty, remove it and hang it outside.


A memory foam cover should never be washed in a machine.

  1. To clean the pad on a regular basis (every two to three months), take it off the bed.
  2. Warm water is fine for washing a down or wool mattress cover with a pillow top. To keep the cover from getting torn apart in the wash, use a big capacity machine. Get a large enough machine at a laundromat, if that’s what it takes, and wash the cover there.
  3. Dust may be easily removed from a memory foam mattress by taking off the cover and shaking it outside. Spread a sheet or other protective covering out on the floor, and then lay the cover down on top of it. To get down to the nooks and crannies, use the portable vacuum’s cleaning tool.
  4. A memory foam cover can be spot cleaned with a white towel and little liquid detergent. Use clean water to wet the area down. To remove a stain from a cleaning pad, pour some detergent onto a towel and massage vigorously. If required, pre-treat stains with stain remover. If you want to get rid of the soap, you can rinse the cloth and wipe the stain. Hang it up to dry.
  5. A freshly washed cover can be dried in the sun or inside a commercial dryer.
  6. Memory foam mattress protectors should be flipped over before being reapplied to the bed to ensure uniform wear.

How to Fix Dips in Serta I-Series King or Queen Size Pillowtop Bradbury Mattress with Review - YouTube

The Drip Cap

  • To add comfort, a pillow top mattress is topped with a plush fabric.
  • To clean the pad on a regular basis (every two to three months), take it off the bed.
  • Dust may be easily removed from a memory foam mattress by taking off the cover and shaking it outside.
  • To remove a stain from a cleaning pad, pour some detergent onto a towel and massage vigorously.

The Bottom Line

If you know how to take off a mattress’ pillow top, you’ve pretty much mastered mattress cleaning. It’s time you gave your pillow-top mattress the TLC it deserves. As a result, you will have no trouble getting a restful night’s sleep.