Casper Essential Vs. Purple – Which Should You Choose?

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Casper Essential and Purple’s original model are both popular mattresses available for order online. These mattresses have similar feels, but they use different materials that will appeal to different sleepers. We’ll compare them here to help you make a more informed decision.

Key Similarities

  • Both are are made with three layers and do not feature coils in the support layer.
  • Both have responsive surfaces that are also fairly bouncy.
  • Both are suitable for side sleepers.
  • They are close in thickness. (Purple is 9.5″ thick, compared to Casper Essential’s 8.5″.)
  • Both offer 100-day trials, free shipping, and great customer service.

Key Differences

  • Purple costs more ($699 to $1,299 for the original Purple; $350 to $725 for Casper Essential).
  • Casper Essential is more of a budget mattress.
  • Purple is suitable for more sleep styles and positions.
  • Casper Essential uses memory foam, while Purple uses its proprietary hyper-elastic polymer in the top layer.
  • Casper Essential is just a little softer.

Deals: You can get a free Purple pillow with a mattress purchase by clicking HERE. You can get the highest available discount on the Casper by clicking HERE.

A mattress is opened to show its construction.

Casper Essential Construction

  • Casper Essential has a soft, polyknit cover that doesn’t affect the overall feel of the mattress too much.
  • The first layer is 2″ of bouncy, breathable, open-celled “Fusion Foam.”
  • The middle is comprised of 1.5″ of responsive memory foam that conforms to your contours.
  • The support layer is 4.5″ of durable polyfoam that is pretty standard on the market.

Read our full Casper Essential Review HERE.

Purple Construction

  • The original Purple has a relatively simple construction and features just three layers.
  • Purple’s cover is a breathable blend of viscose, polyester, and polyester-lycra.
  • On top is a 2″ layer of hyper-elastic polymer. This unique material gives the mattress its particular bounciness, pressure relief, and coolness. It is both supportive and pressure-relieving at the same time.
  • In the middle is 3.5″ of relatively dense polyurethane foam.
  • The base is 4″ of denser polyurethane foam that is also standard on the market.

Read our full Original Purple Mattress Review HERE.

Construction Differences/Notes

  • Both are made of three layers and neither has coils.  
  • Both have springy surfaces that are responsive to pressure.
  • Purple offers better support to back sleepers and more support overall. Make sure to check out our Casper Hybrid vs Purple comparison for a more supportive Casper option. 
  • Casper Essential works especially well for children and teens.

Firmness/Feel Differences

Both mattresses are responsive, springy, and relatively soft. I believe most will think the Essential is softer. The Purple is both firm and pressure-relieving at the same time. The only type of sleeper who might think it’s too firm is a lightweight side sleeper.

Motion Transfer Differences

Both mattresses isolate motion well from personal experience. I would give the Essential a little bit of an advantage in this area, but the differences are not huge. 

Pick Casper Essential If …

  • You are lightweight and you sleep on your side- Casper Essential is just a little softer. Also, people who weigh less may not get the full benefit of Purple’s gel, which requires some weight in order to be responsive.
  • You want to save money- This is a budget mattress and it’s great for something like a guest room.

Pick Purple If …

  • You weigh more- Purple is more supportive and most likely can handle heavier people better.
  • You switch positions in the night- Purple’s unique top material makes it supportive for side, back, and stomach sleepers alike.

RELATED: Best Mattress Choices Overall


These are two mattresses that will appeal to some of the same people, but not in all cases. Hopefully this comparison helped you determine which is a better fit for you. If you are looking for more information on how these mattresses stack up to different brands, it may be helpful to also check out our other Casper and Purple comparisons such as Casper Essential vs Ghostbed and Purple vs Amerisleep. Please leave any specific questions about Purple or Casper Essential in the comments.

Gravatar for Joe Auer

Joe Auer

Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.

He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.

Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.