What you need to know about mattress construction

Mattress construction types

There are a variety of ways to build a mattress. A mattress’ construction is one of the factors that will impact its unique feel. (The other factors include the support system and the types and amounts of upholstery materials.)

We want to break down the different types of mattresses available so that you can be better prepared for mattress shopping. That said, we always encourage you to keep an open mind when going mattress shopping. You may have had a bad experience with one type of mattress, but the construction style itself may not be to blame.


tight top vs pillow top vs Eurotop

Tight top

A tight top is the most traditional and common form of mattress construction. It will have an innerspring (either an interlaced innerspring or a pocketed coil system) and the upholstery layers of a tight-top mattress are fastened directly to the innerspring.

Tight top mattresses can range in feel from very hard to very soft. In soft, tight-top mattresses with many layers of upholstery, the mattress may have a noticeable crown toward the center.


Pillow top

A pillow top mattress has a “floating” layer of upholstery, almost as if you had thrown a giant pillow on top. This layer forms a “v” shape at the edge where it connects to the core of the mattress, very similar to the edges of a pillow. Pillow top mattresses will typically range from medium to very soft in feel.

Pillow tops allow for several layers of upholstery but remains flat, in contrast to the crown on a tight top.



A Eurotop is very similar to a pillow top in construction with just a small modification in how the upper upholstery layers are attached to the mattress. Instead of the “v” shape at the edge, it is a straight edge. Aesthetically, this may appeal to some people, although you probably won’t be able to tell the difference between a pillow top and a Eurotop when the bed is dressed.

When it comes to feel, Eurotops will feel very similar to a pillow top. These mattresses are often quite thick and plush. Like pillow tops, Eurotops also allow for several layers of upholstery but remains flat, in contrast to the crown on a tight top.


All foam

All-foam mattresses are going to be made using some combination of polyurethane foam, memory foam, and/or latex foam. There will be a foam core with other foams laminated layer by layer on top of the core. The mattress will have a very smooth top. Typically, these mattresses will have a stretch-knit fabric top instead of a quilted top layer. In order for the sleeper to get the benefits of memory foam, it needs to be as close to the sleeping surface as possible with a minimum thickness of two inches.



Hybrid mattresses use an innerspring as a support core and add layers of specialty foam (memory foam or latex foam) on top. There may be a few layers of upholstery near the innerspring that are fastened directly to it, followed by layers of laminated specialty foam. Hybrids provide the active support of an innerspring with the unique feel of specialty foam materials.


Which mattress type is right for you?

The only way to determine whether a mattress is right for you is to test it out in person for as long as possible. Mattress construction is just one factor to consider when evaluating a new mattress. Other factors may include the support system, the quality and types of upholstery layers, one-sided vs. two-sided models, and the quality of the box spring or foundation. Each of these factors will have an impact on how comfortable, supportive, and durable it is.

As we mentioned earlier, we encourage you to keep an open mind when shopping for a new mattress. It can’t hurt to test out as many different styles as you can.

Ready to start your mattress buying journey? Come to The Original Mattress Factory first. No one knows more than our team about what makes a great mattress great. Whether you buy from us or not, you’ll be better prepared to make a smart mattress buying decision. Find a store near you.