I've slept on a pillow-top mattress for the last three weeks — here's why I'll never sleep on anything else again

Helix Midnight Luxe mattress with our sleep editor lying on it
(Image credit: 3Z for Tom's Guide)

As a sleep writer, I am well aware of how important sleeping on the right mattress is to the overall quality of your slumber. Until recently, I had been sleeping on a luxury innerspring mattress that I thought was meeting all of my sleep needs. 

However, that was until I started sleeping on the Helix Midnight Luxe, which boasts a sumptuous two-inch pillow-top for a plush, pillowy feel — making it one of the best mattresses for the ultimate in luxurious comfort. 

Since sleeping on the Helix Midnight Luxe and its deluxe two inch pillow-top, I have vowed never to go back to sleeping on a mattress without one. Here, I’ll walk you through what a pillow-top is, plus outline exactly how it’s been a game changer to my sleep. Let’s get started. 

What is a pillow-top mattress?

Until recently, the best pillow-top mattresses were more commonly found in some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. However, pillow-tops — and their equally sumptuous sibling, the Euro-top — have started to creep into the design of some of the best hybrid and innerspring mattresses today. 

A pillow-top is a thick layer of padding that sits on the top of the mattress, giving it an opulent sink-in feel. In contrast, a Euro-top is also an extra layer of padding, but sits underneath the top layer of the mattress, giving it a more streamlined appearance. The Saatva Classic, which we rate as the best mattress in the world, has a Euro-top. 

Photo shows the Saatva Classic innerspring hybrid on a luxury bed base placed in a summer home overlooking a blue pool

(Image credit: Saatva)

Unlike a soft mattress, a pillow-top mattress provides the plush top layer that you might crave, without compromising any of the support underneath. A pillow-top (or Euro top) doesn’t alter the firmness rating of the mattress, it just adds plushness to the top layer. The result is a keen balance of support and a cloud-like level of comfort.

The pillow-top mattress I've been sleeping on

I’ve been sleeping on the Helix Midnight Luxe for the past three weeks, and will be writing a more in-depth review on all of the key areas of performance very soon. As its name suggests, the Helix Midnight Luxe is a more luxurious version of the Helix Midnight, which we rate as the best mattress for side sleepers

While both hybrid mattresses are designed specifically with side sleepers in mind, one of the main differences between the Helix Midnight and the Helix Midnight Luxe is the two-inch pillow top that sits on the top of the Luxe. This plush addition provides cloud-like comfort and soothing pressure relief across the shoulders, hips and knees. 

Directly underneath this plush sleep surface are three different memory foam layers, including a copper gel memory foam layer, that work together to cradle and support you while you sleep. Underneath that, there are up to 1,000 individually wrapped coils with advanced lumbar support. Suffice to say, although you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud, this is likely one of the most supportive mattresses you’ll ever sleep on. 

Helix Midnight Luxe:  $1,373.80$1,099 at Helix plus free dream pillow set

Helix Midnight Luxe: from $1,373.80 $1,099 at Helix plus free dream pillow set
Evergreen Helix sales usually fluctuate between 20% and 25%. Right now there is 20% off the Helix Midnight Luxe mattress, which translates to a healthy saving of $474.80 on a queen sized mattress, plus two free pillows. We have seen savings reach 25% off in the past, as well as a free bedding bundle thrown in too, so although this is an excellent price, holding out for Memorial Day in May might pay off in the long run. 

3 ways sleeping on a pillow-top mattress has changed my sleep

1. I've stopped rolling onto my stomach

Helix Sleep say that the Helix Midnight Luxe is designed for side sleepers and toss and turners - which accurately sums up my sleep style. Although I am predominantly a side sleeper, I have an unhealthy tendency to roll on to my stomach. When I sleep on my stomach I often wake a short while later with a throbbing pain in my lower back. (Back pain is a common byproduct of sleeping on your stomach, as this position can cause your stomach to dip out of alignment.)

I'm unsure if it's because I'm so comfortable that I've stopped rolling around or because shifting positions requires more effort on a pillow-top, but since sleeping on the Helix Midnight Luxe I've stopped waking up on my stomach. 

2. I no longer wake up with hip pain

Helix Midnight Luxe mattress

(Image credit: 3Z for Tom's Guide)

Side sleepers will be familiar with the dreaded dead-hip pain that can come with sleeping on a mattress that is too firm to offer any meaningful cushioning. The Helix Midnight Luxe is already slightly softer than the Helix Midnight (5-6 out of 10 for firmness vs 6.5-7 out of 10.) However, the squishiness of the pillow top means it feels even softer. 

Since sleeping on the Helix Midnight Luxe, waking up with achy, painful hips is a thing of the past. The cloud-like padding of the pillow-top means that it's comfortable to stay on your side all night long. 

3. Going to bed feels like a luxury hotel stay 

Whether it's the extra height (the Helix Midnight Luxe is an impressive 13.5 inches high), or the sheer level of plushness, sleeping on a pillow-top mattress feels as though you're seeping on a premium bed. While that might sound trite, making your bed a desirable place to be is an important part of your overall sleep hygiene. Sleeping on a pillow-top mattress makes going to bed feel more like checking into a luxury hotel for a night, and I'm not sure I'll ever want to sleep on anything else. 

Nicola Appleton
Sleep Features Editor

Nicola Appleton is Sleep Features Editor at Tom’s Guide, specialising in quality news content surrounding sleep and wellbeing. Nicola cut her teeth as a journalist in a busy newsroom in Bristol, UK, 15 years ago as part of a team at Britain's largest independent press agency. Since then, her job as a journalist has taken her to the States, to Sydney, and then back to Blighty, where she has written and edited features for a whole host of prominent British and international brands, including  The Independent, The Sydney Morning Herald, HuffPost, Refinery29, Stylist and more. As well as tackling the vast topic of sleep, Nicola will be joining the raft of expert mattress reviewers at Tom's Guide, helping steer readers towards the very best mattresses on the market.