Purple vs. Nectar Mattress Comparison

The Purple mattress and the Nectar mattress are each the flagship models of popular online bed-in-a-box mattress brands, both made in the United States. In this mattress comparison we provide everything you need to know to find out which memory foam mattress will be best for you. 

While the Purple Original Mattress first came out in 2016, it’s still one of the most talked about bed-in-a-box brands. Its patented Hyper-Elastic Polymer grid construction is unlike anything on the market. With greatness comes competition: Nectar Sleep launched in 2017, and today it, too, is one of the most popular online mattresses in the industry.

So, how is a person to choose between these two great brands? Thankfully, there’s an easy answer: The Nectar Original is a softer mattress with a classic memory foam feel, which is especially good for side sleepers. The Purple features a more bouncy, responsive feel, thanks to its unique Purple Grid, and its especially good for back sleepers and hot sleepers looking for a cooling mattress. Read on for all the intense Mattress Nerd details to help you select the best bed for your sleep style

Comparing Purple & Nectar Mattresses

The Purple Original Mattress is a firmer foam mattress constructed of Purple’s unique proprietary Hyper-Elastic Polymer grid, the “Purple grid,” and polyfoam. The grid creates a firmer, sturdier memory foam, great for stomach and back sleepers of all sizes. Heavier side sleepers should sink into the Purple grid for contouring around the hips and shoulders.

Here we compare the Purple to the Nectar Original Mattress, a much softer memory foam mattress that’s ideal for lightweight and average-weight side sleepers. The Nectar will provide more pain relief for pressure points and more cooling for hot sleepers, thanks to a special gel memory foam layer.

Differences 

  • While both mattresses have a  memory foam construction, the Purple grid layer is unique to the Purple brand. 
  • The differences in firmness levels create very unique feeling mattresses. The Nectar will have the traditional memory foam sinking feel, while the Purple will have more of a bouncy, responsive feel.

Similarities

  • Both the Nectar and the Purple are memory foam mattresses that isolate motion well and are good options for couples.
  • Both mattresses work to cool sleepers through a breathable top layer that keeps heat from trapping like a traditional foam bed. 
  • Both mattresses offer pressure relief in a second layer of adaptive, memory foam with contouring capabilities.

Purple Mattress

Who Should Buy the Purple? 

  • Combination sleepers
  • Couples 
  • Strict back & stomach sleepers
Firmness

6.5

Trial period

100 nights

Warranty

10-year limited warranty

Price

$$

Who the Purple Original Mattress is Best For 

Best For…

  • Sleepers who enjoy firmer beds that conform more closely to the joints 
  • Average-weight and heavyweight sleepers
  • Those who tend to sleep hot
  • Couples who wake up easily from a partner’s movement
  • Sleepers who enjoy the feeling of sleeping “on” a mattress rather than “in” it

May Not be Best For…

  • Those who want a traditional memory foam feel
  • Heavyweight stomach and back sleepers who need adequate support for spinal alignment

Read our full Purple Mattress Review to learn more!

Nectar

Who Should Buy the Nectar?

  • Strict side sleepers
  • Hot sleepers
  • Couples
Firmness

6

Trial period

365

Warranty

Lifetime

Price

$$

Who the Nectar Original Mattress is Best For 

Best For…

  • Sleepers who enjoy a softer mattress that moderately cradles the joints
  • Sleepers who awaken easily due to their partner or pet’s movement or noise
  • Those who want a traditional sinking, cradling memory foam feel
  • Those who tend to sleep hot on all-foam mattresses
  • Those seeking pressure relief from back, neck or hip pain
  • Those who enjoy the feeling of sleeping “in” a mattress rather than sleeping “on” it

May Not be Best For…

  • Lightweight sleepers, as the mattress may feel too firm
  • Sleepers who want a responsive, hybrid feel or don’t enjoy the cradling feel of memory foam comfort layers
  • Heavier combination sleepers

Read our full Nectar Mattress Review to learn more! 

Deciding Between the Purple & Nectar Mattress

Firmness / Feel

A bed’s firmness refers to how soft or firm it feels to individual sleepers. At Mattress Nerd we rate mattresses on a firmness scale of 1 to 10, with one being the softest and 10 the firmest. 

The Purple’s grid structure and more supportive base make it feel more responsive than the Nectar, at a 6.5/10. The Nectar’s traditional sinking feel and cradling found in memory foam make it closer to a 6/10. Both mattresses can be considered medium-firm, but the overall feel of the smart comfort grid and the memory foam differ. 

While both mattresses can accommodate a variety of sleeping positions, the firmer Purple will provide a better surface for back, stomach and combination sleepers, and the Nectar will better suit side sleepers and lighter sleepers.  

Motion Isolation

Motion isolation is an important quality to consider if you sleep with a partner, pet or child. If you wake easily to movement or noise throughout the night, a bed with great motion isolation will be essential to achieve a great night’s sleep. 

Both the Nectar and the Purple have minimal motion transfer and produce minimal noise, though we think the Nectar is slightly superior in this category due to the double-layer comfort portion of the mattress.

The memory foam layers of each of these mattresses will absorb motion between partners better than traditional hybrid mattresses. To read more about the differences in mattress construction check out our Memory Foam vs. Hybrid article. 

Edge Support

If you have trouble getting in and out of bed or are concerned with a mattress’s durability, edge support is something to consider. Edge support refers to the degree to which the perimeter of a mattress supports body weight. 

While memory foam mattresses may absorb motion better, they often lack the reinforced edge support of coils present in hybrid mattresses. Both the Purple and Nectar show significant sinkage when the edges of the bed are compressed. especially for heavyweight sleepers. However, the Nectar performs slightly better in this area.

Pressure Relief

Pressure relief is important for all sleep positions dependent on your weight. The Purple’s Comfort Grid provides pressure relief for most sleepers who are lightweight or average-weight and sleep on their sides or backs. Stomach sleepers may find that the Purple sags too much in the hip area to provide adequate pressure relief.

As for the Nectar, pressure relief is one of its strengths. Its two memory foam comfort layers absorb and cradle the body, conforming to different areas and distributing weight evenly. All in all, the Nectar outpaces Purple slightly in this area, but it will come down to preference. If you like the feeling of sleeping “in” a bed, you may prefer the Nectar. If you like the feeling of sleeping “on” a bed, we suggest the Purple.

Spine Alignment

How well a bed is able to keep your spine in proper alignment is essential to achieving a great night’s sleep and improving or maintaining your overall health. When your spine is thrown out of alignment throughout the night, it can create long-lasting back and neck pain. 

The Purple provides spinal alignment for side, back and combination sleepers, but we think the grid sinks too much to provide support for heavier stomach sleepers. Alternately, the Nectar will keep average- weight sleepers and some lighter side sleepers’ spines aligned on the mattress. 

Durability

A new mattress is an investment, so it’s key to ensure your purchase will last at least several years. Both Purple and Nectar Sleep are relatively young companies, but customer reviews and the quality of the mattresses’ construction indicates that they will last roughly seven to eight years, which is average in the mattress industry. As always, rotating all-foam mattresses every three to six months is recommended to prevent body impressions from forming. 

Temperature

If you sleep hot or live in a warm climate, a bed that’s breathable to help you achieve a cool night’s sleep is essential. As an all-foam mattress, the Nectar will trap some heat throughout the night, but it is slightly cooler than other memory foam mattresses. Its gel memory foam upper layer works to combat heat entrapment in the dense memory foam layers.

Alternatively, the Purple’s Comfort Grid helps it sleep much cooler than other all-foam models, promoting steady airflow to keep the surface temperature-neutral at worst and cool at best. 

Purple Vs. Nectar: We compare the Purple construction (left) with the Nectar construction (right).

Purple Mattress Construction

Cover Soft Flex Knit Cover: breathable and stretchable to accommodate more than one type of sleeper 
Comfort Layer  2” Purple Grid: balance of support and pressure relief, creating a balanced feel overall
Transitional Layer 3.5” 1.8 PCF high-density polyfoam: softer, more responsive comfort layer
Support Layer 4” 2.0 PCF high-density polyfoam: supportive base layer
Mattress Thickness  9.5”

The Purple mattress, also known as the Original Purple, consists of a cover, a comfort layer, a transitional layer and base layers that altogether measure 9.5 inches thick. It’s important to note that this height profile is slightly thinner than average, and the transitional and support layers make up much of the mattress. This bed has a more supportive and firmer feel relative to other mixed-foam mattresses.

Nectar Construction

Cover Quilted Fabric
Comfort Layer  Gel Memory Foam: cooling surface and distribute weight across the mattress
Transitional Layer Adaptive Hi-Core Memory Foam: supports and adapts to body to prevent sinking
Support Layer Memory Foam Base Layer: supports and stabilizes other layers
Mattress Thickness  11”

The Nectar mattress consists of four layers: a cover, a comfort section with two layers of memory foam, a transitional layer of high-density memory foam, and a support core of high-density polyfoam. These layers total 11 inches—1.5 inches thicker than the Purple. The densities of these memory foams allow the bed to conform closely to the body without allowing too much sinking. They also sleep cooler than higher-density memory foams. For its signature balanced feel, the Nectar’s comfort layer distributes weight evenly and consistently while providing a nice hug to alleviate aches and pains.

Sizing & Price Comparisons 

Mattress Size  Nectar Price  Purple Price 
Twin $798 $599
Twin XL $ 868 $799
Full $ 1,098 $999
Queen $ 1,198 $1,149
King $1,398 $1,449
California King $1,398 $1,449

To see if these mattresses are within your budget, check out our Purple Mattress Coupons article and our Nectar Mattress Coupons article. 

Shipping and Returns for Nectar & Purple

Nectar Mattress

Nectar offers free shipping to the contiguous U.S. The company can ship anywhere in the U.S. and to Puerto Rico. For a flat fee, Nectar also offers White Glove delivery, meaning professionals will deliver your new mattress and remove your old one.

You’ll have 365 nights (one year) to decide to return the Nectar if it’s not right for you. But the company has a mandatory 30-day break-in period before free returns are eligible. On average, it can take the body up to 30 days to adjust to a new mattress.

If you decide to return your Nectar, the company will cover all shipping and handling expenses and coordinate mattress pickup on your behalf. Even better, each mattress comes with Nectar’s Lifetime Forever warranty.

Purple Mattress

Purple also offers free shipping to the contiguous U.S. The company can ship anywhere in the U.S. and in Canada. Like Nectar, Purple offers White Glove In-Home Delivery. Mattresses over 150 pounds come with complimentary White Glove Delivery (they’re too heavy to ship standard ground). For select mattresses weighing under 150 lbs., White Glove Delivery is available as an upgrade for a small fee, or free FedEx delivery to your door.

Unlike Nectar’s year-long sleep trial period, Purple will allow you 100 nights to decide if you want to return the mattress. But the company does not have a break-in period, although they recommend testing the mattress for 30 nights prior to making your decision.

If you decide to return your Purple Original, the company will cover all shipping and handling expenses. Further, Purple offers a 10-year warranty.

More Purple Mattresses

Purple Hybrid

The Purple Hybrid features the Original Purple mattress’s comfort grid but adds responsive support coils at the core for improved airflow, responsiveness and durability.

See our full Purple Hybrid Mattress Review to learn more. 

Purple Hybrid Premier

The Purple Hybrid Premier, like the Purple Hybrid, features a transitional layer and a support core of pocketed coils that sit atop a thin polyfoam base layer. This mattress was previously marketed as the New Purple, which included what is now the Purple Hybrid (formerly the Purple 2) and the Purple Hybrid Premier (formerly the Purple 3 and Purple 4).

See our full Purple Hybrid Premier Mattress Review to learn more.

More Nectar Mattresses

Nectar Lush

This 12" memory foam mattress has five layers that are branded as "life-changing comfort." Featuring dual-action cooling and premier support elements, the Nectar Lush could be the right choice for you. It is a good option for hot sleepers, couples and strict side sleepers.

Check out our full Nectar Lush Mattress Review to learn more. 

Our Final Take

The Nectar Original and Purple Original are both excellent, moderately priced, mixed-foam mattresses that work well for a variety of sizes of sleepers with different preferences. The beds vary relatively little in the price for all sizes, so the mattress that’s best for you will come down to your desired firmness level, need for temperature regulation and primary sleeping position.

If you enjoy the traditional, cradling feel of memory foam, we think you’ll love the Nectar. If you want a more responsive mattress and enjoy sleeping “on” your mattress rather than sinking deeply “in” it, we recommend the Purple Original.


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