General Question

andrew's avatar

Pillow-top or no pillow top?

Asked by andrew (15771 points ) May 1st, 2008

I’m finally replacing my bed after years and years. Any suggestion in terms of whether to get a pillow-top with the bed or just get a separate topper?

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16 Answers

susanc's avatar

Pillowtop is so ubiquitous that when we got a new mattress we kind of accepted it.
And it’s delicious. The downside, from the housewifely point of view, is that
it’s harder to clean. You have to have some kind of other protective pad on top anyway.
Someday, too, it’ll flatten down, and you’ll want another pillowy something; but not for years. But you’ve already thought of all this, I’m sure,

ppcakes's avatar

a separate topper you can throw in the washer, if its big enough, but they also slide around and fall off.
i would say attached just because the hassle of fixing my sheets is enough already.

andrew's avatar

@susanc: It’s the “sagging after two years” that I’m worried about.

Babo's avatar

Go with the pillow top! I did and every night I’m grateful I made the choice! It’s so worth it!!!

syz's avatar

My parents bought the pillowtop mattress and it had craters where they slept with a year. I’d buy a seperate topper so you can toss it and get a new one if it gets lumpy (lot’s cheaper than getting a whole new mattress).

Babo's avatar

Yeah, you have to rotate them every 2 weeks. I must admit though, washing would be a handy option. Are they as wonderfully cushy?

donok's avatar

I happen to know afeq things about this and this is what I strongly suggest: get a too firm mattress that is cheap at a local store and then buy a memory foam or latex topper on line. Foam degrades. It just does. Latex is better than memory foam. But in a year if memory foam doesn’t have perminate depressions, it will have less responsiveness. If you buy a pillow top, you’re stuck replacing the whole mattress.

Forget about warrantees, too. They are all pro-rated and a hassle.

Get a simple 2” topper with a weight arround 4–5 lbs. Also, buying a topper and a firm mattress allows you to change it up in a year or two if you want something firmer or softer.

Seesul's avatar

Look into a sleep number/comfort select. They last MUCH longer, can be adjusted, never have to be flipped and you can replace parts rather than the entire mattress. Be sure to put an allergy free cover on whatever you buy from the get go.

susanc's avatar

To add to seesul’s: we had a sleep number for 15 years and like it and think it’s funny; and after 10 years this happened:
the padded zippered “box” that holds the air mattresses and the foam bits eventually got compressed JUST LIKE A PILLOW TOP (oh sorry, shouting..) or like a piecrust that you (and your sleeping-compadre) have pressed hard for a long time in your two places.
This pushes all the paddingy stuff up into a wave between you. You cannot get rid of this wave by yanking the whole top towards the sides.
It just rears right up again. It’s embarrassing to look at; it looks like the two of you have arranged to have a kind of fence built into your bed. (Andrew, I do assume you sometimes share sleeping surfaces, sorry if this is presumptuous). (Because: you are
an actor.) ( In LA).
Replacement cost: $500, more than we paid for the bed.

Seesul's avatar

Weird. We’ve had ours 14 yrs. and don’t have any hint of that. Maybe it has to do with numbers used? Our tradional mattresses were bad after 5 years. But $500! Ouch. My sister has only replaced the inner foam thingys. Still prefer it, as it
adjusts to back problems so well.

Seesul's avatar

…wonder if they still make a non pillow top model.

susanc's avatar

@seesul: he is a 30; I am a 40 or 45. What are you, if it’s not too personal?

Seesul's avatar

add a few years to that. This is the first mattress we’ve had that has remained comfortable for so long. About 3X longer than any of the innerspring ones. We even had a spring pop through on the one before this, at the foot/side of the bed no less. I realized one thing after I wrote my last comment. I did put an extra cushy topper on a few years back, (fiberfill) so that may have helped, but I am awaiting the mystery pop, and will think of you when it happens :} Ours is also on a platform rather than box spring, so that may have helped.

susanc's avatar

Ours was on a platform too. Still is. We still sleep in the thing because the comfort level is superb. It just LOOKS bad. And btw, 30 and 40/45 – those are our Sleep Numbers!!

Redfishvanish's avatar

If you sleep on your side or back, like 90% of people, pillow top is the way to go. However, if you sleep on your stomach at all, or in the “Captain Morgan” position, you need a harder sleep surface. (Captain Morgan is one arm up, one leg stretched, one arm tucked one leg bent. It’s also sometimes refered to as the jackknife position)

Also, some people seem to think that the padding on the top of a mattress effects the support for the back. This is not the case. I recently worked in the mattress industry for 3 years. I do know what I’m talking about.

andrew's avatar

@redfishvanish: My SO and I found the perfect bed (the only bed in two stores we could agree on). It has a pillow top and feels totally right. Very supportive.

I am a “Captain Morganer”, so hopefully my back won’t tweak out due to the pillow top.

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