What Is a Tight Top Mattress? 

Written by: Andjela Kastratovic
Updated: 02/01/2023

Ah, mattress shopping. You’re excited about the new mattress, but the whole process gets confusing when you’re bombarded with so many different mattress types. 

You probably ran into tight-top mattresses on that journey, and you might wonder, what exactly are those? 

Let’s answer the question: “What is a tight-top mattress?” and look at other innerspring mattress types. 

Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses are the oldest type around. These traditional mattresses are constructed with a coil system in the support layer and a thin comfort layer on top. 

This type of construction makes innerspring mattresses supportive, bouncy, and breathable. And they’re usually very affordable. 

However, innerspring isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. They’re usually on the firm side, and they lack motion isolation and pressure point relief. 

However, three types of innerspring mattresses have been developed to compensate for the shortcomings of this traditional type. Say hello to tight top mattresses.  

What Is a Tight Top Mattress?

A tight top mattress is constructed by adding a layer of fabric on top of a bed, creating a mattress similar to a traditional innerspring mattress. 

Tight top mattresses aren’t exceptionally soft compared to other innerspring types, and they have no cushioning. They can come in softer versions with thicker materials, but they’re generally firm and bouncy. 

The added materials are usually cotton, wool, or polyester. A tight top mattress can have different comfort levels, temperature regulations, and even prices depending on the exact material and its thickness.

Even though you could find a plush tight top mattress, this type doesn’t really mold to the body’s individual shape.  

Who Are Tight Top Mattresses Best For?

Like a traditional innerspring mattress, a tight top mattress gives you enough support with just a bit of comfort from the top layer. This makes it a good choice for back sleepers because it offers good spinal alignment. 

It’s also a solid choice for larger sleepers because they will only sink a little into the mattress, but only if they don’t need a lot of contouring or pressure relief. And lastly, a tight top mattress is the way to go if you’re on a budget. 

Who Should Avoid Tight Top Mattresses?

These mattresses aren’t for everyone. If you need pressure relief and contouring, it’s best to choose something with a better comfort layer. 

Side sleepers, lightweight sleepers, and those who suffer from joint pain should avoid tight top mattresses. Also, the motion transfer is pretty bad, so couples probably aren’t going to like waking up from partner disturbances.

Other Types of Innerspring Mattresses 

Besides a tight top mattress, there are other mattresses with coils you should know about – pillow top and euro top.

What Is a Pillow Top Mattress?

If you want a super soft bed with a lot of cushioning, a pillow top is the way to go. This type has an additional layer of padding sewn on top of the mattress.  

The soft padding is usually made from foam, cotton, wool, or fiberfill. This extra layer is generally sewn on top of the mattress with an inch of space between the two, but it can also be removable. 

Pillow top mattresses, while typically softer with a customized cradling feel, can be found in a variety of firmness levels. Pillow tops are softer than both tight tops and euro tops.

Who Are Pillow Top Mattresses Best For?

Adding a layer of padding to a pillow top mattress provides the sleeper with extra contouring and pressure relief. That’s why this mattress type is the best choice for side sleepers.

Because of its construction, a pillow top is less durable. It also gives you a sinking feeling, which heavy sleepers might not like. 

What Is a Euro Top Mattress?

A euro top mattress also has an additional layer of padding, but instead of being sewn on top of the mattress, the padding is put under the mattress cover. This means that a euro top mattress keeps its original shape.

Euro-top mattresses are a little firmer than pillow top mattresses, but not as firm as tight tops. Euro tops are better at isolating motion and supporting the edges than either a pillow top or a tight top mattress. There are plenty of firmness levels to choose from, and they’re more durable. 

Who Are Euro Top Mattresses Best For?

A Euro top is a great mattress for anyone looking for a firm or medium-firm mattress with some cushioning or good edge support. Heavier sleepers might especially like euro top mattresses. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Mattress Is Best for Back Pain?

If you suffer from back pain, sleep experts suggest you sleep on a firmer mattress that offers a lot of support to keep a neutral spine. Good choices, in most cases, are a hybrid mattress, a latex mattress, or a euro top mattress. 

A tight top mattress might be too firm, and a pillow top too soft for back pain sufferers to sleep on.

Can You Flip a Tight Top Mattress?

A flippable mattress needs to have the same construction on both sides. Unless this is the case with your tight top bed, it’s not flippable. But even if your bed isn’t flippable, you can constantly rotate for maintenance. 

How Thick Should a Mattress Be?

Mattresses’ thickness can vary from just 2 inches to over 20. But, if you want to sleep well, your mattress should be at least 8 inches thick. Also, the thickness of the comfort layers and cushioning matters if you want restorative sleep, and they should be at least 2 inches thick. 

Final Thoughts

We hope this article helped you figure out what a tight top mattress is and which innerspring mattress type is the right fit for you! 

Remember to always consider your personal sleep preferences, requirements, and health conditions first. 

We wish you a good night’s sleep!

Reviews written by:

Andjela Kastratovic - Co-editor

Anđela is a content writer by the day and an Illustrator by night. She loves anything creative, but sleep takes the cake – that’s why she enjoys writing for Anatomy of Sleep so much!

While in high school, she got accepted for her dream job – a ‘professional sleeper’. Her job was to test new mattresses from a local mattress brand and write reports on the quality of sleep. Ever since then, she’s been in love with reviewing mattresses and putting her compelling research into ultimate buyer’s guides. While not exploring the latest brands, she likes to illustrate and spend time with her dog and friends.