Difference Between Pillow Top Mattress & Tight Top Mattress

Pillow top and tight top mattress differ in their construction. Sewn onto the top of pillow top mattresses is an extra layer of cushioning. This difference may require the use of different box springs, bed frames, and sheets.

Close up of mattress without sheet.


King size mattress.

Pillow top mattresses are taller in height than tight top mattresses. Tight top mattresses measure 12 to 14 inches; pillow top mattress can measure 20 inches or more.


Metal springs.

Tight top and pillow top mattresses are constructed in different materials such as foam, latex, or springs.


Surface of mattress.

Pillow top mattresses come in both single and double varieties. The single type has the pillow top sewn onto the topside only. The double type has a pillow top sewn onto both sides of the mattress.

Box Springs & Frames

Mattresses and box springs.

Using a standard height box spring with a tight top mattresses works well on most types of bed frames and headboards. Pillow top mattresses may require the use of a low profile box spring or frame, which measures about the half the height of a standard box spring or frame.


Woman with clean sheets.

Purchasing sheets for a tight top mattress is easy, as most sheets are constructed to fit this kind of mattress. Pillow top mattresses may require the use of deep pocket sheets, which provide extra room for the added height of this kind of mattress.