Pillow Top vs Visco Elastic Foam

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Pillow Top

A pillow top is a surface layer of soft material that is stitched and packed into the cover. This provides a soft as a cloud feel to the surface of the mattress.

There are multiple types of pillow tops, though the most popular recently is a memory foam pillow top. A memory foam pillow top has a thin layer of soft memory foam that is stitched into the cover. Though memory foam is a popular material for pillow tops, you can also find them with latex, cotton, cashmere, wool, or goose down/feathers.

Pillow top mattresses generally have spring support systems in the middle of the mattress, though there could be a pillow top on a memory foam mattress as well (it is just not very common).

Pros: A plush feel on the top of the mattress that pillows the body on top of the support layers.

Cons: The pillow top alone will not make a good bed -- the materials used in the pillow top and the rest of the mattress can sag or have issues if they are lower quality.

Visco Elastic Foam

Visco elastic foam is another term for memory foam. It is a blend of polyurethane foam that was developed for airplane cushions by a NASA contract in the 1970s.

The difference between visco elastic foam and other types of polyurethane foam is its slow response and low resistance. Its soft surface allows for contouring and its slow response lowers bounce.

Visco elastic foam, like all polyurethane foam, is made from a blend of substances and has a tendency to off-gas. Those with lung sensitivities should do additional research about the quality of foam to ensure that it won't aggravate them.

Pros: Contouring comfort, competitive pricepoints, and widespread options.

Cons: Sagging and off-gassing problems with lower quality foams.


Learn More About Pillow Top

Learn More About Visco Elastic Foam

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Material Scores

Overall Score:
Pillow Top: 8.9/10
Visco Elastic Foam: 9.3/10

Comfort:
Pillow Top: 9/10
Visco Elastic Foam: 9.4/10

Softness:
Pillow Top: 9.4/10
Visco Elastic Foam: 9.5/10

Cooling:
Pillow Top: 8.2/10
Visco Elastic Foam: 8/10

Hypoallergenic:
Pillow Top: 8.2/10
Visco Elastic Foam: 8/10

Odor:
Pillow Top: 8.2/10
Visco Elastic Foam: 8/10

General Support:
Pillow Top: 8.3/10
Visco Elastic Foam: 8.7/10

Eco-Conscious:
Pillow Top: 8.5/10
Visco Elastic Foam: 8.5/10

Price Value:
Pillow Top: 8.3/10
Visco Elastic Foam: 9.4/10

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