Purple Pillow Review

Feeling adventurous while shopping for a new pillow? The Purple pillow feels unlike anything we’ve experienced before, and we’re going to tell you all about it.

The original Purple pillow is just plain different from standard pillows, and most people either love it or hate it. It’s made with the same stretchy, supportive Hyper-Elastic Polymer Smart Grid as the Purple mattress, plus a breathable nylon-spandex pillow cover. We think back sleepers will love it, larger stomach sleepers will like it, and side sleepers will need to add the included boosters to make it more comfortable. 

Purple is a bedding company famous for their spunky marketing and unique Hyper-Elastic Polymer comfort layer. Also known as the Purple Grid, this gel-like layer is designed to provide pressure relief and stay temperature neutral, offering breathability for hot sleepers. We’ve had the chance to write a mattress review for the Purple mattress, but today we’re measuring how the Purple pillow measures up. 

We’re going to take a close look at the original Purple pillow to see what it’s made of, how it feels for different sleeping positions and body types, and ultimately whether it will give you a good night’s sleep. Let’s get into it!

What Makes the Purple Pillow Stand Out

Pros

  • Breathable: The open grid structure of the Purple Smart Grid allows for tons of airflow. Additionally, the pillow cover is breathable and helps push body heat away from the sleeper. 
  • Conforming: This pillow may have a lower loft than some ultra-plush pillows, but it’s anything but flat. The polymer grid compresses easily under your head and conforms to the curve of your neck.
  • Responsive: The Hyper-Elastic Polymer Grid adjusts its surface shape in response to movement in real time. That way, you don’t need to re-mold your pillow every time you change position. You also don’t need to worry about ever fluffing this pillow.
  • Durable: Just like the Purple mattress, the Purple pillow is made to last way longer than memory foam, down and polyfoam. Purple even claims that it will never go flat or deteriorate. 

Cons

  • Heavy: This pillow weighs 11.7 lbs., so while it could stand in for your aerobic weights, it can’t easily be folded or manipulated.
  • Price: The Purple pillow is priced to match its luxury feel, and it might not be best for shoppers on an extreme budget.
  • One size: Purple offers their original pillow in only one size, so it may or may not fit in your pillow case. For more information on the right size of pillow for you, see our pillow size guide.

What is the Purple Pillow Made Of?

The original Purple pillow has a super simple construction: a single slab of the Purple Grid, a removable pillow cover, and optional foam boosters. We’ll break down how each of these materials contributes to the function of the pillow.

Hyper-Elastic Polymer

The bulk of the pillow is the Smart Comfort Grid, a.k.a. the Purple Grid or the Smart Grid (we know, so many names …). The grid is made from hyper-elastic polymer material molded into hundreds of tiny, conjoined triangles. If you’ve slept on a Purple mattress, you can expect a similar feel.

The Smart Grid feels not unlike those sticky hand toys a lot of us used to smack each other (and the wall) with as kids—but it’s much thicker, denser, and coated in a layer of non-toxic powder coating to keep it from sticking together. Standing alone, the pillow is about 3” tall and compresses about 0.5” under pressure.

Hyper-elastic polymer is hypoallergenic, CertiPUR-US certified, and Clean Air GOLD certified, so the chances of you noticing an off-gassing odor are slim. The materials are also food grade, so you can feel safe sharing your pillow with your kiddos. The brand even makes a Kid’s Purple pillow.

Breeze Mesh Cover

The Purple pillow cover fits snugly around the Purple Grid, and stretches to give you full range of motion on the pillow. It’s made with polyester, nylon, and spandex mesh, and feels similar to athletic-wear. This textile blend enhances the pillow’s breathability, softness, and moisture-wicking properties.

If it floats your boat, you can actually sleep right on the pillow cover without a pillow case since the cover is machine-washable. A u-shaped zipper on the back side enables you to remove the Smart Grid and any boosters. 

Boosters

The original Purple pillow comes with two foam boosters that add height to the pillow, if desired. You get a 1” tall and a 0.5” tall booster. Both are made of polyfoam wrapped in a polyester cover. To add the boosters, just unzip the pillow cover and slide them underneath the Smart Grid. If you’re a side sleeper with exceptionally broad shoulders, the added boosters can help you feel properly elevated and keep your spine in proper alignment.

What does the Purple Pillow Feel Like?

Overall Feel

One thing’s for certain—the original Purple pillow feels very different from traditional pillows. That makes it great for some people and uncomfortable for others. Whereas down or memory foam pillows have an airy body with lots of fluff, the Purple pillow feels dense and heavy. When you pick it up, it flops around and pretty much always finds its way back into its original flat form. 

When you press down gently into the surface of the Purple pillow, you can sense the individual triangles that make up the Smart Grid. But when you apply more pressure, the triangles relax in on one another, and it feels like you’re pressing into a blob of squishy gel. The polymer grid actually doesn’t compress that far, which means your head and neck stay supported without dipping down too far into the pillow. The pillow feels soft at first, and then firm to medium-firm once your head sinks down.

If you’re a hot sleeper, you’re in luck: The layout of the grid works in tandem with the breathable pillow cover to make an all-around cool pillow, which is great news for hot sleepers. Most people don’t notice very much—if any—heat retention on the Purple pillow. Check out the best cooling mattresses for beds to match.

For Different Sleeping Positions

The Purple pillow feels noticeably different based on your sleeping position. The pillow has a thickness of 3”, though you can add up to 1.5” of loft if you factor in the two included foam boosters. This loft range is ideal for back sleepers of all body types. The grid relaxes under the pressure of your head, but stays supportive under the curve of your neck, which keeps your head in alignment with your neck. Check out the best pillow for back sleepers for more of our top picks.

Stomach sleepers can also keep their spine aligned on the Purple pillow, though 3” may be too lofty for those with smaller, more petite body types, particularly since the grid material doesn’t compress very much. The pillow is designed to be firmer near the edges, so you’ll probably need to sleep in the center of the pillow to get enough pressure relief. We’ve also heard that some stomach sleepers find the triangle shapes a little difficult to get used to. For better options, see the best pillow for stomach sleepers.

The Purple pillow on its own is not the best pillow for side sleepers. A 3” height is typically not lofty enough to keep the head supported in line with the neck and spine. Most side sleepers will notice that their head tilts down on this pillow, which puts a lot of pressure on their shoulders. Unless you are a very petite side sleeper, you’ll want to use the boosters, and even then, you may just need a taller pillow (we typically recommend one that’s 5” or taller for side sleepers). 

Combination sleepers will benefit from this pillow’s super fast response time. The Smart Grid enables you to move from position to position easily without needing to rearrange or re-fluff the pillow core. Plus, the pillow stays flat everywhere except where you rest your head, so you don’t need to worry about your head rolling from one side or the other as you rest. Check out the best pillow for combination sleepers.

If you aren’t sure if the Purple pillow is what you need, check out our Best Pillow Guide.

Purple Pillow Pricing and Specs

Dimensions Price
Purple Pillow 24″ x 16″ x 3″ $109
Purple Pillow Boosters

(for adjustability)

24″ x 16″ x 1″

24″ x 16″ x 1/2″

Included with Purple Pillow purchase

Check out our Purple Coupons page for more information on Purple deals and promotions.

Purple Pillow Policies

Shipping

Purple ships their sleep accessories for free to the continental U.S. You can expect the pillow to be delivered within two weeks, and you don’t need to be home to sign for the package. Shipping to Alaska or Hawaii incurs an extra shipping fee, so keep that in mind if you’re not living on the mainland.

Sleep Trial

The Purple pillow comes with a 100-night trial period. This is your opportunity to try out the pillow on your own bed. Keep in mind, it can take up to 30 days for your body to adjust to a new pillow, and Purple requires you to keep the pillow for at least 21 days (an industry-standard “break-in period”) before initiating a return.

If you’re not a fan of the Purple pillow, you can request a free return and get a full refund. Just let the folks at Purple know, and they’ll send you a prepaid return shipping label. All you need to do is pop the pillow in a box or shipping bag, stick on the label, and drop it off at a shipping center. 

Note: If you bought your pillow from a retailer other than Purple, you’ll need to ask about their trial period and return policy.

Warranty Coverage

Your Purple pillow is protected by a 1-year warranty, as long as you’re the original owner. If you think your pillow has a workmanship or material defect, you may be eligible for a replacement pillow or repairs. The Purple pillow warranty applies to the pillow, pillow case, and boosters. Make sure you have your original proof of purchase when you contact Purple to make a claim.

Purple Pillow FAQs

Which side of the Purple pillow should you sleep on?

The original Purple pillow is one-sided. You can tell the top from the bottom by looking at the pillow cover—the side with the zipper is the bottom. If you take the pillow cover off, the bottom side of the Purple Grid is a much darker purple color. The darker purple side should be facing down.

How do you clean a Purple pillow?

The original Purple pillow cover is removable and machine washable. Make sure to use a gentle cycle with cold water and tumble dry on low heat. Watch out for the non-toxic powder coating when you open the pillow case (you may want to do this outside). The hyper-elastic polymer core needs to be hand-washed with mild detergent. Then let it air dry. The boosters are also hand-wash only, but they can be tumble dried. 

Where to buy the Purple pillow?

You can buy the Purple pillow directly from the Purple website, on Amazon, or through a whole host of retailers (for instance, Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s or Mattress Firm). Keep an eye on the Purple website, where Purple offers occasional discounts and package deals.

See purple.com for more FAQs.

The Nerd’s Final Take

The Purple pillow is one of the most unique pillows available. The hyper-elastic polymer grid is responsive, pressure-relieving and breathable. It also provides a lot of neck support. As an added bonus, the moisture-wicking cover is removable and machine-washable

We favor this pillow for hot sleepers, combination sleepers, those with neck pain, back sleepers, larger stomach sleepers, and petite side sleepers (with the boosters added).

If you’re not sure whether the Purple pillow’s unique construction is for you, give it a try at a brick-and-mortar Purple retail partner or test it out for over three months during the 100-night sleep trial. Regardless of whether you love it or return it, you can say you’ve tried one of the most innovative pillows on the market.

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