Firm vs Plush vs Pillow Top Mattresses

Mattress shopping can be incredibly overwhelming. There are tons of different mattresses on the market, with different support types, fabrics, sizes, and materials. Then comes the price differences…

How do you choose?

When it comes to finding the right mattress for you, you should start by understanding the different support levels that mattresses provide. Once you know what kind of support you want, filtering through the infinite pages of mattresses online is a less daunting task.

We’ll go over the three most popular types of mattress support in this article, so keep reading if you’re in the market for a night of better sleep!

The 3 Levels of Mattress Support

Buying a new mattress is pivotal when it comes to getting a good night’s rest, but it can be tricky searching online.

Underneath the fancy wording that many companies attach to their marketing are 3 basic types of support: firm mattresses, plush mattresses, and pillow-top mattresses. We’ll explain each one in the following sections, and compare them at the end.

Firm Mattress

Firm mattresses are often noted for having the best support of the three types. This may make you think, “I want to be supported, so a firm mattress has got to be it!”

It’s not so simple, though.

Support looks different on every different sleeping position, so it is important to notice what position you sleep in (side sleeper, back sleeper, stomach sleeper, etc.)

Firm mattresses will offer the most support for stomach and back sleepers because they help to maintain spinal alignment. A firm mattress will put the “work” on your bones rather than your muscles, allowing your muscles to relax and your bones to stay aligned.

Plush Mattress

Plush mattresses are the midpoint between the firm and pillow-top options. Plush mattresses often give sleepers the sensation of “sleeping on a cloud” because of the soft quilted material that lies above the harder layers of the mattress.

Plush mattresses are best suited for side and back sleepers because of the extra cushion in between your bones and the mattress. These mattresses can also prevent pressure point discomfort, which is very important for side sleepers.

Pillow-Top Mattress

Pillow top mattresses are softer than plush mattresses and the softest option of the three. They have an additional layer sewn on top of what would be a plush mattress. This soft layer gives a similar feeling to sleeping on a mattress topper, but it does not shift around during use.

Pillow-top mattresses are great for people who need a large amount of cushion where the shoulders and hips press into the bed to avoid joint pain.

These mattresses are generally best for heavier individuals because the extra cushion protects the body from the underlying coils. Lightweight individuals may not have enough body weight to sink past the cushion to the support layers.

Comparing Mattress Types

Now that you have a basic understanding of each support level, you should be able to filter down your searches a bit.

If you’re still in a gray area with what type of mattress you need, it will be beneficial for you to compare each of the three types against each other. Let’s start with firm vs plush mattresses:

Firm vs Pillow Top Mattresses

This is generally the easiest choice to decipher, as your sleeping position will point you to the right place. Side/back sleepers should choose a soft mattress, and stomach/back sleepers should choose a firm mattress.

You probably noticed that back sleepers fall into both of those categories. To solve this, you’ll want to physically test out both types of mattresses in person if you can.

If you lie on your back on the mattress and find any pressure on your hips or shoulders, it is best to move to a softer mattress. If you feel supported without pressure points, then the firm mattress is for you!

Firm vs. Plush Mattresses

As with the comparison above, your sleeping position should be sufficient enough to point you in the right direction.

If, after your in-person trial, you find that a pillow top is too soft and a firm mattress causes pressure points, then a plush mattress will be your best bet.

The plush mattress is a perfect midpoint between firm support and a pillow-top mattress.

Plush vs. Pillow Top Mattresses

If you’ve ruled out firm as an option, and are now deciding between a plush mattress and a pillow-top mattress, it is important to investigate your most common sleep positions. Even if sleeping on your stomach is not your main sleeping position, you should take it into account.

Pillow Top mattresses are not good for stomach sleepers, as the extra cushion can make it hard to breathe. So, if there is a slight possibility that you might wind up sleeping on your stomach, play it safe and go with a plush mattress.

You Deserve a Good Night’s Rest

You don’t have to lose sleep over the mattress-buying process. Between observation of your sleeping positions and research, finding the right mattress can be easy! To make things even easier, check out our other blog post for a quick guide to everything you should know before buying that new mattress.

Now that you’ve got the mattress basics down, it’s time to start the search! View our collection to check out the great deals we offer on all mattress support types.