There are plenty of choices when it comes to buying a new mattress. All the choices can leave you scratching your head. The idea of a pillow top mattress sounds very appealing. Who doesn't want to sleep on something soft as a pillow? The plushy top has got you asking, "Do pillow top mattresses wear out faster?" It stands to reason if you have to replace the pillow for your head every few years, then you'd have to replace this mattress that frequently as well. We've done some research and have the answer for you.
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Pillow top mattresses do wear out faster than their counterparts. Since most pillow top mattresses are comprised of extra padding sewn onto a regular innerspring mattress, the fibers used to make the top cushy tend to compress and become uncomfortable rather quickly. These types of mattresses generally won't last longer than 5-8 years, but they will become increasingly lumpy the longer you have them.
Now that you know a pillow top mattress will wear out faster than your other options let's discuss in more detail. Despite the timeframe the mattress will last, there are many other pros and cons to consider. Read on to find out more!
The Pros of Pillow Top Mattresses
The best part of a pillow top mattress is how it provides a more comfortable sleep than a traditional innerspring mattress. Traditional mattresses create many pressure points that could cause your neck or back to ache. With a pillow top, it contours to your body, relieving those pressure points. A pillow top is great for someone with back or joint problems and can provide excellent rest. If you have a bad back, ensure the type of pillow top mattress you purchase isn't too cushy and provides the proper support while also contouring your body. Some pillow tops are superior to others.
The Cons of Pillow Top Mattresses
The biggest downfall of a pillow top is the durability. Because of the cushy material, they tend to break down faster and sag. This is especially prevalent for heavier consumers. Over time, the mattress will compress and shift, making it extremely uncomfortable where it used to feel like sleeping on a cloud. The material used in the pillow top mattress can affect the timeframe it keeps its shape. Memory foam tends to maintain shape a bit longer than other materials that might be used.
Another con is the price. Though it is less expensive than gel, a traditional innerspring mattress is the most affordable option.
What About a Pillow Top Mattress Topper?
There's a great compromise in which you can get the comfort of a pillow top and not fork out the cash for the full mattress. There are pillow top mattress toppers you can purchase to place on top of your traditional innerspring. This is a more temporary solution for someone who wants to try a pillow top without committing to the full purchase. The best part is, if it's not comfortable for you, you won't have to purchase a brand new mattress to replace the pillow top.
Is It Okay to Flip a Pillow Top Mattress?
You cannot flip a pillow top mattress. The pillow top is only located on one side of the mattress, so the act of flipping it would have you lying on the innerspring. Theoretically, you could flip it, but you wouldn't have the enjoyment of the soft pillow top any longer.
Do adjust the mattress without completely flipping it. This is done by moving the mattress to where the part where your head generally lies to where your feet will be. This will help the longevity of your mattress.
How to Care for a Pillow Top Mattress
The best tip for maintaining your pillow top mattress's longevity is to give it a good foundation. If you're using a box spring, make sure all the support boards are strong and in place. If not using a box spring, ensure you have plywood on your bed frame or rails to support the mattress's weight evenly. If your weight is adding stress in unsupported places, those places can sag.
As mentioned above, you should rotate the mattress from end to end every few months to keep certain spots from wearing down.
Additionally, to maintain the fluffiness of your pillow top, sprinkle baking soda across its surface and allow it to sit for a few hours. This will help draw out any oils or other allergens that might weigh down the fluff of your mattress. Vacuum using your vacuum's upholstery attachment after allowing it to sit.
Try beating your mattress. The routine beating will help to maintain your pillow top mattress. You can use the clean handle of a broom or mop to beat the surface all over. Wear a dust mask if possible.
Want to know more about mattress maintenance? View our post, "What Causes Yellow Stains on a Mattress?"
How Do You Revive a Pillow Top Mattress?
If your pillow top mattress has started to sag, first check the supports for flaws. If it is sagging primarily in one spot, it might be time to add more boards to support the mattress. Inspect your box spring for imperfections, which could be allowing the mattress to sag. A new box spring might be needed.
As mentioned above, beating the mattress increases the longevity of your mattress. If it is sagging, a beating could also help redistribute the cushy insides and help the sag.
If the pillow top on your mattress is removable with a zipper, you can remove the top to closer inspect it. If needed, use your dryer to help redistribute the stuffing. Put the pillow top in your dryer along with dryer balls, rolled up t-shirts, or tennis balls. Run the dryer on air dry or no heat to fluff the mattress without harming it with too much heat.
Try purchasing a new top for the mattress. If the top is removable, a new topper could resolve your problem. If the top is not removable, you can attempt laying the new pillow top over the old one.
Once you have tried all of these methods, and the mattress is still uncomfortable or saggy, it is time for a new mattress.
Do beds always need a box spring? We have a post about that.
What Mattress Will Last the Longest?
A mattress's life depends on how much it is used and the wear and tear put upon it during that time. A mattress should last between 7-10 years if maintained. A natural latex mattress has the longest lifespan and can last up to 15 years due to its elastic nature. If the top gets old and worn, you can replace it rather than get a whole new mattress. Additionally, they are resistant to allergens, so they are great for people who suffer from allergies or respiratory illnesses!
Gel and memory foam mattresses come in a close second, lasting between 10-15 years, and most tend to agree they combine longevity and comfort.
Although pillow top mattresses can be extremely comfortable, you will be sacrificing some time when choosing to purchase one. There are definitely workarounds, and careful maintenance and care will ensure you get as much time as you can out of your pillow top mattress.