If someone is looking for an all-foam mattress, they have probably come across the Casper and Nectar mattresses somewhere on the Internet. They are two of the most popular mattresses on the bed-in-a-box market and for good reason.
While at first it may seem that there many similarities between the mattresses, there actually a lot of differences as well. This article will go through the construction of both mattresses in detail and highlight the main takeaways consumers should know about before making a buying decision.
- They are similar in terms of thickness and are both all-foam mattresses.
- They have similar base layers that are pretty standard in the industry.
- They both incorporate memory foam somewhere in their construction.
- They have a similar overall firmness.
- The Nectar is more affordable than the Casper by a small but noticeable amount.
- There are some materials differences that give the mattresses different feels.
- The Casper features a zoned construction, but the Nectar has a more uniform feel throughout the mattress.
- The Casper has a balanced foam feel, and the Nectar has a classic memory foam feel where sleepers will slowly sink into the mattress.
- The Casper is 10” tall and features four separate foam layers.
- The cover is soft, cool, and thin, and it doesn’t affect the overall feel of the mattress significantly.
- It has a soft, thin cover that allows people to easily feel the soft upper layers of the mattress.
- The first layer of the Casper is 1.5” of a latex-like foam, that gives the mattress softness, pressure relief, and some resilience.
- Below this is 1.5” of memory foam, which has that slow sinking feel to it and helps with pressure relief.
- The next layer is 1.5” of a zoned transition foam. This moves sleepers from the soft upper layers to the support layers beneath, and it is firmer in the middle of the mattress and softer underneath the shoulder area.
- The base layer is 5” of a durable support foam that is pretty standard for a base layer in the industry.
Read the full breakdown and Casper Mattress Review, available here.
- The mattress is 11” tall and features four distinct foam layers.
- The cover is soft and woven together with Tencel fabric, and it also has 1” of gel memory foam quilted into it for additional pressure relief and softness.
- Next, there is a 3” layer of a soft, slow-responding, gel memory foam, which gives the mattress great pressure relief and body contouring.
- Then, there is around 1” of a foam transition layer that acts as a buffer between the memory foam and support layer underneath.
- Finally, the base layer is around 6” thick and is also pretty standard in the industry.
Read the full breakdown and Nectar Mattress Review, available here.
- The Nectar has a very thick layer of memory foam on top, which gives the mattress that classic memory foam feel. It reacts slowly, letting people slowly sink into the mattress.
- The Casper has a latex-like layer on top, followed by a memory foam layer, which gives the mattress a more balanced foam feel. It is more responsive, and people should sleep more on top of the mattress rather than in it.
- The Casper has Zoned Support, which makes the mattress firmer in the hip area and softer near the shoulder area. So, it is supportive when people are on their back and pressure relieving when they are on their side. It should be a good fit for all three sleeping positions and for combination sleepers.
- Both mattresses should be equal in terms of breathability. That being said, for all-foam mattresses, they should both sleep quite cool throughout the night.
Firmness And Feel Differences
From personal experience, both mattresses generally have a similar firmness. They both feel like a 6/10, just softer-than-average compared to other mattresses reviewed in this website.
Back sleeping on the Casper, I feel very well supported and comfortable. The Zoned Support ensures that my hips don’t sink in too far. When I am on my side, I also feel that Zoned Support going to work. The mattress is soft under my shoulder, so I feel great pressure relief there. On my stomach, I feel decent support, but I would probably want a firmer and more supportive mattress if I were just a stomach sleeper.
On the Nectar, I also felt good support on my back. My hips sink in just the right amount, and the thick layer of memory foam conforms to the curves of the body. However, I would say I feel better back sleeping on the Casper because of the effectiveness of the zoned support.
When I am on my side, I feel a little firmness at first, but then I slowly start to sink in, and I feel almost no pressure on my shoulders. When I am on my stomach, I don’t feel well supported and would want a firmer mattress ideally.
The Casper has a balanced foam feel overall that feels like a combination of multiple types of foam. The latex-like layer is responsive, so I don’t have trouble moving around. In addition, the Zoned Support keeps me from sinking in too far. It definitely feels like I am sleeping on top of the mattress as opposed to sleeping in it.
The Nectar has a classic memory foam feel where I slowly sink in, and the mattress envelops me. It is very slow moving, and I sink in quite a bit. So, it is not as easy to move around on the Nectar or switch positions.
See more about the Casper’s balanced foam feel in the video below.
Now, see what I thought of Nectar’s classic memory foam feel with the video below.
Motion Transfer Differences
When it comes to motion transfer, few materials handle it as well as memory foam because of its chemical nature. While both mattresses have memory foam somewhere in their construction, the Nectar has a thick layer on top, which is ideal for motion isolation.
Because of this, the Nectar deals with motion transfer better than the Casper. During my tests, the glass of water was barely disturbed when I pressed into the mattress. Also, when Marten moved around on the other side of the mattress, I barely felt his movements on my side.
Overall, the Nectar is a better mattress for couples who don’t want to be disturbed by their partner’s movements.
See how the Casper performed during my motion transfer tests in the video below.
Compare this to the Nectar’s motion transfer with the video below.
Edge Support Differences
While foam is quite good at handling motion transfer, it is sometimes not the best when it comes to edge support. Since both of these are all-foam mattresses and softer-than-average, I was not surprised by their lack of good edge support.
Sitting near the edge of both mattresses, the top layers collapsed pretty easily. Lying down near both their edges, I had a bit of that feeling that I might roll off the bed.
People can see the edge support of both mattresses in the photos below.
Marten is a staff writer for us and has a much different body type from me. He is 6’7″ and weighs about 230 lbs (I am 5’9″ and 160 lbs.). Here is what he thought about these mattresses and fitting they are for heavier sleepers:
I said the Casper was a 7/10 in terms of firmness and the Nectar was approximately a 6/10.
Back sleeping on the Casper, I feel very nice and feel the Zoned Support holding me up. On my side, I feel a little pressure on the shoulders and hips. When I’m on my stomach, I feel good overall support, becuase the Zoned Support is keeping my hips from sinking in too far.
On the Nectar, I also feel well supported on my back, but it’s definitely different in terms of feel. It has that classic memory foam feel that resembles quicksand. So, my hips sink in, and I feel the memory foam pressing up into the lumbar area.
When I’m on my side, I feel some firmness at first, but then I slowly sink into the mattress and feel very little pressure on the shoulders and hips. On my stomach, I definitely need more support and am bowing in the hips.
If someone is a heavier back sleeper, both mattresses could work for them. It’s more about what feel they tend to prefer. Casper gives people that balanced foam feel, and Nectar offers that classic memory foam feel.
If someone is a heavier side sleeper, they should lean toward the Nectar. If someone is a heavier stomach sleeper, they should choose the Casper.
While I thought the mattresses were the same in terms of firmness, Marten thought the Casper was firmer. This is often the case with heavier sleepers and foam mattresses. They may press further into the mattress and engage the lower layers. With the Zoned Support so near the top, Marten is probably pushing into that and feeling more firmness.
Who Should Pick Casper:
- Combination sleepers- The Zoned Support makes this a great fit for all three sleeping positions. Because the center of the mattress is firmer, it should support people on their back and stomach. At the same time, the shoulder area is softer, so people should feel nice pressure relief when they are on their side.
- Those who prefer to sleep on top of the mattress- Considering the Zoned Support and other responsive layers, people shouldn’t sink too far into the Casper. People will be sleeping more on top of the mattress as opposed to be in it.
- People who like a balanced foam feel- If people like the feeling of foam, but they don’t want to get stuck, the Casper should work for them. I has a mix of memory foam and latex qualities, so people get that soft memory foam experience while still being able to move around.
Who Should Pick Nectar:
- Those who are looking for a more affordable mattress- The Casper and Nectar are similar in quite a few ways. If someone is having trouble deciding between these two mattresses, they could save a few hundred dollars by choosing the Nectar.
- Side sleepers- While the Casper also relieves pressure quite well, some side sleepers may prefer the Nectar. If someone sleeps primarily in this position, they should feel almost no pressure on their shoulders and hips. People sink into the mattress and feel that pressure melt away.
- People who want a classic memory foam feel- If people like to slowly sink into their mattress, the Nectar is the way to go, because it has that soft, quicksand feel. It really allows people to sink and sleep in the mattress rather than on top.
If people consider all this information, it should be easy to choose between the Casper and Nectar because the differences are quite clear. Combination sleepers who like to sleep on top of their mattress should pick the Casper, while fans of memory foam who want to save some money should go with the Nectar. Please leave any specific comments or questions about the Casper or the Nectar in the comment section below.
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.
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