Difference Between Plush and Pillow Top

The plush mattress is often a favored alternative to the firm and extra-firm varieties available in the market. Due to its softer feel, a plush mattress falls somewhere in-between the firm and pillow-top mattress spectrum.

However, the pillow-top mattress is fluffier and much softer when compared to the plush variety.

Plush vs Pillow Top

The main difference between a plush and pillow-top mattress is that while a plush mattress has layers of quilting that make it comfortable but adequately firm, a pillow-top mattress is much softer due to its additional top layer of cushioning.

Plush vs Pillow Top

Pillow-top mattresses have an additional layer of padding that makes them extra fluffy, and cozy.

On the other hand, a plush mattress is designed with several layers of quilting under its original top layer, making it a favorable combination of the most desirable features of both firm and soft foam mattresses.

Comparison Table Between Plush and Pillow Top

Parameters of ComparisonPlushPillow Top
TexturePlush mattresses are comfortable yet comparatively firmer than pillow-top mattresses.Pillow-top mattresses are softer than plush mattresses.
StructurePlush mattresses have a few extra inches of padding under the top layer. This extra layer covers the internal springs and coils and offers comfort and firmness.Pillow-top mattresses have extra layers of cushioning-much like pillows- that offer the fluffy, soft feel these mattresses are famed for.
ThicknessPlush mattresses are not as thick as pillow-tops.Pillow-top mattresses are extremely thick due to the extra cushioning.
CostPlush mattresses are more cost-effective than pillow-tops.Pillow-tops are costlier than plush mattresses.
DurabilityPlush mattresses are much more durable than pillow-tops. They can be overturned easily to prolong their longevity.Pillow-tops offer skewed durability. They cannot be overturned when the top surface is damaged.
Lumbar SupportThe comparatively firm plush mattress base offers much better lumbar support.Pillow-tops do not offer good lumbar support.

What is Plush?

Plush mattresses represent the perfect blend of firmness and comfort. They are constructed with almost 4 extra inches of quilting to offer a soft, comfortable feel without compromising the back support these mattresses offer.

The internal springs and coils of a plush mattress are held together by this extra layer of foam. These mattresses are famed for their prolonged durability and moderate thickness. Their sturdy design makes them economical one-time-investments.

Moreover, plush mattresses can be easily overturned to effectively extend their resilience. These mattresses have the same quilting on both sides of the internal springs and coils, making both sides equally suitable for use.

People often opt for such mattresses to avoid lumbar problems without having to compromise on the comfort of relaxing on a soft mattress.

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What is Pillow Top?

Pillow-top mattresses are infamous for their feathery soft feel that is a result of the few extra layers of cushioning added to the top layer of the mattress. Their higher costs are also attributed to this additional fluffy layer.

The true merit of a pillow-top mattress is hidden in its excessively cushy, fluffy, and supple design. People choose these mattresses due to their malleability. Pillow-top mattresses do have some very conspicuous pitfalls.

Indentations oftentimes develop on these mattresses due to their prolonged use, compromising their comfort provision features as well as their durability. Moreover, as extremely soft mattresses they may be a poor choice for people with back problems.

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Main Differences Between Plush and Pillow Top

  1. The main difference between plush and pillow-top mattresses is that the former are firmer than the latter. Plush mattresses are comfortable, yet a little more rigid when compared to pillow-top mattresses. Pillow-tops are as soft as pillows, offering individuals a relaxed sleeping experience.
  2. A plush mattress is made with extra layers of padding and quilting that makes it firm without compromising on the level of comfort they offer. Pillow-top mattresses are made with extra layers of soft cushioning on top -much like pillows- that makes them excessively soft and malleable.
  3. Another important difference between these two types of mattresses is in terms of the cost-effectiveness of each variety. Plush mattresses are priced at a relatively lower price point than pillow-top mattresses. The price of the latter is higher due to the extra layers of cushioning they provide.
  4. The lumbar support provided by each variety is also quite contrary to the other. Plush mattresses offer better back support and may be better suited for people with lumbar ailments. A pillow-top mattress- owing to its excessively soft structure- does not offer much support to the spinal cord.
  5. The extra foam padding protects a plush mattress from the regular wear and tear of usage. It can also be flipped in case the upper surface gets damaged. However, a pillow-top mattress cannot be overturned as the pillow cushioning is provided only on the top surface of such mattresses.
  6. Plush mattresses are thinner than pillow-top mattresses. Due to the extra pillow cushioning, pillow-tops are thicker than plush mattresses that do not have the same cushioning.


Plush and pillow-top are mattress variants that offer a diverse level of comfort and relaxation. Each of these mattress types has its own strengths and weaknesses. People often prefer the pillow-top mattress due to its soft, cushy top layer.

It is quite suited for people who love their bedding to be as soft as pillows.

However, the plush mattress may be a better choice for those looking for extra lumbar support as well as trying to avoid future back ailments. The extra quilting of a plush mattress makes it the perfect blend of firmness, durability, and comfort.

These mattresses are considered to be excellent value investments, due to their long-lasting nature and sturdy built. Pillow-tops are costlier but offer compromised durability, making them not a favorable choice for the long run.

A choice between these two variants will be definitively based on the personal consideration of the buyer. Such evaluations can significantly vary from one consumer to the other. However, these seminal differences can be kept in mind to help ease the dilemma of selection.


  1. https://sleepopolis.com/best-mattress/best-mattress-for-back-pain/
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Last update on 2022-09-26 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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