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Are Pillow Tops Good for Side Sleepers?

June 16, 2024 3 min read

When it comes to choosing the right mattress, side sleepers have specific needs that must be met to ensure a comfortable and restful night's sleep. One popular option is the pillow top mattress, known for its plush, cushioned surface. But are pillow tops good for side sleepers? In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits and potential drawbacks of pillow top mattresses for side sleepers, helping you make an informed decision.

Understanding Pillow Top Mattresses

A pillow top mattress features an additional layer of padding sewn onto the top surface, providing extra cushioning and a luxurious feel. This layer can be made from various materials, including memory foam, latex, or fiberfill, which are designed to offer enhanced comfort and pressure relief.

Benefits of Pillow Top Mattresses for Side Sleepers

1. Enhanced Pressure Relief: Side sleepers often experience pressure points in areas like the hips and shoulders due to their sleeping position. The extra cushioning in a pillow top mattress helps distribute body weight more evenly, reducing pressure on these sensitive areas and providing significant relief.

2. Improved Spinal Alignment: Proper spinal alignment is crucial for preventing back and neck pain. The plush surface of a pillow top mattress allows for better contouring to the body's natural curves, helping to maintain a neutral spine position for side sleepers. This can prevent misalignment and reduce the risk of developing pain or discomfort.

3. Luxurious Comfort: The soft, cushioned feel of a pillow top mattress can enhance overall comfort for side sleepers. The added padding creates a cozy sleeping environment, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

4. Motion Isolation: Many pillow top mattresses, especially those made with memory foam or latex, excel at isolating motion. This means that if you share your bed with a partner, you are less likely to be disturbed by their movements during the night, resulting in a more restful sleep.

Potential Drawbacks of Pillow Top Mattresses for Side Sleepers

1. Lack of Firm Support: While the plush surface of a pillow top mattress offers comfort, it may not provide the necessary firm support for some side sleepers. A mattress that is too soft can lead to improper spinal alignment and increased pressure on certain areas, potentially causing discomfort.

2. Durability Concerns: Pillow top mattresses can sometimes wear out faster than other types of mattresses. The top layer of padding may compress over time, leading to indentations and a decrease in support. This can be particularly problematic for heavier individuals or those who use their mattress frequently.

3. Heat Retention: Some pillow top mattresses, particularly those with memory foam, may retain heat, making them less suitable for hot sleepers. However, many modern pillow top mattresses are designed with cooling technologies to mitigate this issue.

Tips for Choosing a Pillow Top Mattress for Side Sleepers

1. Consider Firmness: Look for a pillow top mattress that strikes a balance between plush comfort and adequate support. A medium-firm mattress is often ideal for side sleepers, providing the cushioning needed for pressure relief while maintaining proper spinal alignment.

2. Check for Quality Materials: Invest in a high-quality pillow top mattress made from durable materials. High-density memory foam, natural latex, and robust innerspring systems tend to offer better longevity and support, ensuring a more comfortable sleep experience.

3. Read Reviews: Research customer reviews and testimonials to gauge the effectiveness of the mattress for side sleepers. Real-life experiences can provide valuable insights into the mattress's performance and durability.

4. Trial Periods: Many mattress companies offer trial periods, allowing you to test the mattress at home and determine if it meets your needs. Take advantage of these trial periods to ensure the mattress provides the comfort and support required for a good night's sleep.


Pillow top mattresses can be an excellent choice for side sleepers, offering enhanced pressure relief, improved spinal alignment, and luxurious comfort. However, it's essential to choose a mattress that provides the right balance of softness and support to avoid potential drawbacks. By considering factors like firmness, material quality, and customer reviews, side sleepers can find a pillow top mattress that meets their specific needs and ensures a restful and comfortable sleep.