Difference Between Pillow Top and Normal Mattress

Selecting the appropriate mattress for your bed depends on a lot of factors from the degree of comfort to affordability. Some people are inclined towards buying a very soft mattress while some sleep well on firm beds with minimum thickness. Sometimes doctors also recommend certain types of mattresses for any physical injury, especially back pain. 

Pillow Top vs Normal Mattress

The main difference between a pillow top mattress and a normal mattress is that a pillow top mattress has an extra layer of covering attached to the support section to provide more support. On the other hand, a normal mattress doesn’t have much thickness and is comparatively less soft than pillow-top mattresses. 

pillow top and normal mattress

Pillow top mattresses differ from other mattresses in the sense that it has an extra layer of support for comfort. But, the pillow top mattress has the disadvantage that it is prone to sagging and thus it becomes uncomfortable after some time. So, it is not very durable. Pillow top mattresses are good choices for restless sleepers. 

A normal mattress or a traditional mattress is made using steel coils. They have an average thickness of 12 to 18 inches and different materials are used to encase the coils. Some of the materials used are cotton, wool, latex, etc. If someone goes to buy a normal mattress, there is a wide range of options from ultra film to pillow top.  

Comparison Table Between Pillow Top and Normal Mattress

Parameters of ComparisonPillow Top MattressNormal Mattress
DefinitionPillow top mattresses have an additional layer of padding stitched to them to ensure more comfort and softness. A normal mattress can refer to both thin and thick mattresses and the materials also vary. 
ThicknessPillow top mattresses have an average thickness of 2 inches to 4 inches of the extra layer. A standard/normal mattress has an average thickness of 8 inches to 10 inches. 
LayersPillow tap mattress has one additional layer for better support. A normal mattress doesn’t have any extra layer for additional comfort. 
Medical conditionsA pillow top mattress is more suitable for conditions like hip pain and arthritis because they need soft mattresses.A normal mattress with no extra layer is appropriate for medical conditions like back pain. 
Weight DistributionA high-quality pillow top mattress ensures good weight distribution thus eliminating any pressure points. A normal mattress is preferable for lightweight and average-weight sleepers. 
ManufacturingThe pillow-top mattresses are manufactured in two sections, the support section, and the pillow top section. A normal mattress can have a base layer and comfort layer of varying sizes. 
ConsIt doesn’t have much durability and starts sagging after a point in time. It doesn’t include more layers and hence less cushioning. 

What is a Pillow Top Mattress?

A pillow top mattress might seem like a very lucrative option in the beginning but they are not as durable as any normal mattresses. Due to the extra layer of comfort, the mattress becomes one-sided and hence prone to sagging. Pillow top mattresses are becoming very popular in the market especially because of the extra level of comfort it offers. Pillow top mattresses are good for specific medical conditions like hip pain, leg pain, arthritis, etc. Pillow top mattresses are a real eye-catcher in today’s market, but only a very few people can look beyond the limited benefits. 

Pillow top mattresses can’t be used twice by turning them. This is because the comfort layer is only on the top and it can’t be turned around and used like the same. So, when it starts sagging, we have to replace the entire mattress and buy a new one even though the base layer or the support section is completely good as new. So, a good replacement for pillow top mattresses is a two-sided mattress with a removal topper. This will increase the durability of the whole mattress. 

So, instead of buying a pillow top mattress where the comfort layer is completely stitched to the base layer, the best option is to go for a removable comfort layer. Because it also becomes hard to cut out the comfort layer from the pillow top mattress and replace it. 

What is a Normal Mattress?

A normal mattress refers to any standard mattress that doesn’t have a too thick layer for that extra degree of luxury. Mattress, in general, can be of variable thickness from too thin to too thick. It varies from person to person, as to what texture, material, and thickness they prefer. Sometimes, specific medical conditions also force people to switch their preferences to a certain type. For example, some mattresses can offer better weight distribution than other soft mattresses. 

The most standard thickness/height of a mattress is in the range of 8 to 14 inches. There are no specific rules for regulating the thickness of a mattress. But, it is advisable to manufacture the mattress in a way such that a person’s feet can reach the floor when sitting at the edge of the bed. Slim mattresses have a thickness between 5 to 8 inches whereas standard mattresses have a thickness between 8 to 12 inches. The thickness of a thick mattress can sometimes go up to 16 inches or more. 

The actual height of the mattress depends on the number of layers present inside it. For example, any normal mattress has two layers whereas luxury mattresses can have three to four layers inside them. The comfort layer, that is on top of the base layer of the mattress also varies in thickness. But, apart from the thickness, memory foam is the best material for mattresses. 

Main Differences Between Pillow Top and Normal Mattress 

  1. Pillow top mattresses have an additional layer of padding stitched to them whereas a normal mattress can refer to both thin and thick mattresses and the materials also vary.
  2. Pillow top mattresses have an additional layer of thickness of 2 inches to 4 inches on top of the base layer whereas a normal mattress doesn’t have an additional layer for softness. 
  3. A pillow top mattress is more suitable for conditions like hip pain and arthritis whereas a normal mattress with no extra layer is appropriate for medical conditions like back pain.
  4. A high-quality pillow top mattress ensures good weight distribution whereas a normal mattress is preferable for lightweight and average-weight sleepers.
  5. Pillow top mattress doesn’t have much durability and starts sagging after a point in time whereas a normal mattress is more durable.

Conclusion

Buying a mattress, if not for a very long term, is still an investment to sleep comfortably in the near future. Some people prefer sleeping in extremely soft beds whereas others prefer hard beds which is sometimes good for back pain. At the end of the day, a good mattress is what can offer equal weight distribution of the body so that there are no multiple pressure points. The material should be comfortable and not absorb excessive body heat which makes sleeping uncomfortable. People can also choose mattresses based on their body weight and sleeping type. 

References

  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/5480218/
  2. https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=6378048
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