Sit-and-stay training for pillow-top
January 21, 2020 12:56 PM   Subscribe

My new-to-me "pillow top" is not attached to my new-to-me queen mattress, but is a separate pillowy pad which likes to migrate beneath the fitted sheet to my side of the bed.

My queen bed, which came from some relatives who were upgrading to a king, came with a pillow-top, but rather than being sewn to the top of the mattress like many pillow-tops, it's a traditional, two-sided queen mattress, plus a separate 3"-thick pillow-soft pad (not a raw mass of foam, but a nicely sewn fabric "box" around a foam pad), which I'll be calling a pillow-top, with the same major dimensions as the mattress. It's great to sleep on, but it doesn't stay in place, and since it lives under the fitted sheet, it's not simple to move back into place.

After being set back into place as being square with the mattress, it takes merely 3-4 nights before it's got 4-6" hanging off of the side on which I board the bed, and if not re-centered, will eventually pull my fitted sheet off one or more of its corners. The movement is partly because, I think, of the time I spend sitting on the edge of the bed each night, tucking my devices into their chargers and such. 30 nightly seconds of sitting, plus the getting in and out of bed, seems to be all it takes for the pillow-top to slide an inch to my side of the bed, daily.

My first plan was to find someone else to sleep with me whose mirror-image actions could tug the bed over to the other side, but that one's taking some effort to implement, so I'm looking for an alternative plan:

Are there any sort of stays or bands or anything that'll hold the pad in place? There are no apparent loops, hooks, or fasteners of any kind on the pillow-top to which I might attach such a thing. Would adhesive strips work? I don't think sticking textiles together with tape is a long-term solution. I'm not equipped to sew hook-and-loop strips to the pillow-top. I could hold it in place with a ratcheting strap, but that'll hinder its performance as softly supporting pad.

And perhaps, I've considered, I'm doing this wrong? From the bottom up, I currently have the properly supported mattress, mattress pad, pillow-top, fitted sheet, and then me and all my covers. Should this be under the mattress pad? I haven't tried it because, if that plan fails, it'll be even more work each week to reset the dang pillow-top.

And last question, is it called a pillow-top when it's not attached to the mattress? Maybe there's a better search term you can help me with.

This question was inspired by this Ask, which also solved one of my bed problems, but doesn't quite seem to solve this one.
posted by Sunburnt to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
Hmm... I would be tempted to put some shelf liner (the non-adhesive grippy kind) between the mattress and the pillow top thing, and see if that helped. Otherwise some of the Duvet clip suggestions from this question might be applicable to this scenario too
posted by brainmouse at 1:19 PM on January 21, 2020 [3 favorites]

Amazon has full size inserts to add the needed friction, much like those for rugs.
posted by Freedomboy at 1:24 PM on January 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

IKEA sells various sizes of a under-rug mat that's slightly sticky. I've cut those down to size to solve the problem of migrating couch cushions and I'd bet that it would work well to stop the slip of your pillow top. I'd also add a mattress cover with a fully elasticized edge over the top of the pillow top to keep it in-place.
posted by quince at 1:45 PM on January 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

My vote is rug mat and mattress cover, or the under-mattress type of fitted sheet clips.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:52 PM on January 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

It's an old-school pillow top, yes! I think I now more commonly hear it called a "pillow-topper" to make it clearer that it's a separate thing from a "pillow-top mattress."

An under-rug mat may be all of the grippiness you need to keep it reasonably set. I would probably put it under the mattress pad, though, since the mattress pad is supposed to keep your sweat and such off of the mattress?

If you want to go the DIY ratchet-strap route, you could use it near the foot of the bed, where you may find it with a toe, but it won't affect you overmuch.
posted by desuetude at 2:04 PM on January 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'd try removing it to see how I slept without it.
posted by rhizome at 2:09 PM on January 21, 2020

The solution to this problem exists: sheet stays, or sheet suspenders. They work just fine on a topper. Enjoy.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:10 PM on January 21, 2020 [3 favorites]

I would try get another mattress pad and, keeping all other layers the same, put the second mattress pad over the pillow-topper, sandwiching it between the two pads. Then continue with a bottom fitted sheet etc. as normal.
posted by DSime at 2:49 PM on January 21, 2020

It may be that the fabric has some directional pull to it. Try turning it around and see if it migrates to the other side. Then maybe your activities will balance things out.
posted by SLC Mom at 3:32 PM on January 21, 2020

Thanks all. I'm starting with the sheet stays, and probably move the thing under the mattress pad. In the process I'll give it a rotation as well. If the sheet stays don't do the trick, I've got a few other options from you all to try.

The friction idea is a little ungainly, but might be cheap to test as well. I have such a pad that's by no means big enough for a queen bed, rather, meant for a bathroom carpet, but it might serve as a good test.
posted by Sunburnt at 5:16 PM on January 21, 2020

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