Life is full of choices. Pepperoni or sausage? Elvis or the Beatles? Freddy or Jason? The list goes on and on.
While these choices can be tough, they are nowhere near as difficult or important as when we must decide between different mattresses. Choosing the wrong pizza topping might ruin one meal, but picking the wrong mattress can have significantly longer-lasting effects on our sleep.
Anyone who has done just a little bit of bed-in-a-box research has definitely heard about the Casper and Purple mattresses. Let’s face it, they’re essentially the most popular online mattresses out there right now.
I’ve spent a lot of time sleeping on both mattresses, and I can’t really say which one is best. I’m not here to say one mattress is better than the other but to help all those confused shoppers out there make an informed decision.
So, I want to look under the hoods of the signature Casper and Purple mattresses, discuss their similarities and differences and, in the end, lay out what type of sleepers should pick each mattress.
This is an important decision, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult one!
- The Casper and Purple are two of the most popular bed-in-a-box mattresses currently available.
- Both companies offer some competitive customer service terms such as sleep trials, warranties, and financing.
- Depending on discounts, the Casper and Purple should fall within essentially the same price range.
- Looking at the construction of the Casper and Purple, they both feature a similar base layer.
- Both mattresses should be a particularly good fit for multiple sleeping positions.
- Combination sleepers should find that both mattresses offer enough comfort and support to meet their needs.
- In my experience, the Purple is firmer than the Casper.
- Besides the base layer, the materials and construction of these two mattresses are very different. Casper features multiple foam layers and a zoned construction, and the Purple contains a proprietary gel grid.
- The construction gives these two mattresses a very different feel. The Casper has a balanced foam feel, and the Purple is squishy yet firm.
- The Casper is 12” tall.
- The cover on the Casper is thin, soft, and shouldn’t really impact the feel of the mattress.
- The 1.5” top layer combines the qualities of memory foam and latex, so it is soft but also responsive.
- Below that, a 1.5” memory foam layer adds a bit more pressure relief to the mattress.
- The 1.5” transition layer features a Zoned Support system that is actually firmer toward the center of the mattress.
- Finally, the base layer is about 7” of support foam.
Read the full Casper mattress review
- The Purple is 9.5” tall.
- Around the Purple, there is a SoftFlex cover that is soft and breathable.
- The top layer of the Purple consists of 2” of their proprietary Purple Grid. It is made of a hyper-elastic gel polymer.
- A thick foam encasement surrounds the top layer, providing some more edge support.
- A foam transition layer can be found below the top layer. Below that, there is a base layer of support foam, similar to what is found in the Casper.
Read the full Purple mattress review
- The hyper-elastic gel polymer is really the bread-and-butter of the Purple, and this material is what sets it apart from pretty much all other mattresses. With standard foam mattresses, the heavier someone is, the more they will press into the mattress. The Purple Grid acts differently and stays flat until a certain amount of pressure is applied and, when that happens, that specific area of the mattress will collapse. The rest of the mattress will be essentially unaffected and should continue to stay supportive.
- The Purple Grid is worthy of more than one bullet point because its unique design makes the material both supportive and comfortable. Back sleepers will feel their hips sink in while the rest of their body is held up, and side sleepers will feel the gel collapse under their shoulders and hips. Stomach sleepers shouldn’t feel the gel collapse at all.
- Now, the Casper has some bread-and-butter to bring to the table as well! I am speaking, of course, about their Zoned Support, a system found in the mattress’s transition layer. Simply put, the center of that layer is significantly firmer than the shoulder area and bottom third of the mattress.
- This firmer zone is there to provide more support when sleepers are on their backs and stomachs. At the same time, when sleepers move to their sides, that firm zone will press up into the gap underneath the ribcage while the softer top zone relieves pressure on the shoulders.
- The Purple Grid’s effectiveness will really depend on each sleeper’s weight. For example, a much lighter side sleeper might not be heavy enough to collapse the Purple Grid, so the mattress might feel firmer to lighter side sleepers. At the same time, heavier side sleepers could collapse that gel grid more easily and feel much better pressure relief.
- The Casper will be a good fit for side sleeping no matter the sleeper’s weight because the Zoned Support makes it so the mattress feels nice and soft under the shoulders and hips.
- While their constructions are very different, both mattresses should be ideal for combination sleepers. The Purple Grid and Zoned Support are advanced systems that provide the right amount of comfort and support for different sleeping positions.
Before I get into the firmness of the Casper and Purple, I want to make a small note. The firmness of a mattress is primarily dependent on a sleeper’s size and weight. I am 5’9″ and I weigh 160 lbs, and I am going to have a different experience than someone much lighter or heavier.
So, for me, the Casper felt like a 6/10 in terms of firmness, just a bit softer-than-average, but the mattress does feel a bit softer and firmer depending on my sleeping position.
For instance, the Casper feels firmer when I am back sleeping, and I feel the firm center zone under my lumbar area as my hips sink in just the right amount. When I move to my side, the mattress is softer under my shoulders, and I am getting some pretty great pressure relief there.
While I am getting a noticeable amount of support when I am on my stomach, I don’t think I would recommend the mattress to pure stomach sleepers because they might want some more support under their hips.
Now, the Purple feels like a 7/10, a bit firmer-than-average. Again, the Purple Grid is very unique, and enough pressure needs to be applied before it collapses. At my current weight of 160 lbs, I am not activating this grid as much as a heavier person might, so larger people might actually think the Purple is softer than I thought.
For me, the Purple is a fantastic match for back sleeping because the mattress only collapses under my butt, and the rest of the gel grids supports me. I do prefer back sleeping on the Purple.
However, when I move to my side, the Purple is not the best match for me because I am feeling some more firmness than I felt on the Casper. Again, I don’t think I am heavy enough to get the most out of the Purple Grid, and I personally preferred side sleeping on the Casper.
Finally, the Purple is a very good fit when I am on my stomach. I don’t feel my hips sink in at all, and the mattress keeps me in neutral alignment. Most stomach sleepers should prefer the Purple mattress.
Motion Transfer Differences
A lot of the information provided above should apply to pretty much all types of sleepers. However, there are few mattress features that couples should look for in particular.
Namely, couples should find a mattress that cuts down on motion transfer. Sleeping partners may move around a lot at night. They may change positions or go to the bathroom. A mattress that isolates motion will ensure neither partner is disturbed at night. If a mattress does not cut down on motion transfer, simply put, it’s no fun.
Between these two mattresses, the Casper isolates motion better than the Purple. I think this is because the Casper contains memory foam, a material that absorbs motion quite well.
Couples should feel less disturbed on the Casper mattress.
Edge Support Differences
When a person sleeps with a partner, space is at a premium. Especially when we are talking about a Queen-size mattress, there is not a ton of room for both partners to stretch out. That’s where edge support comes into play.
A mattress with solid edge support allows both partners to sleep toward the edge of the mattress. This gives both partners more space.
While the Casper’s edge support isn’t too bad, the Purple’s edge support is superior. The mattress actually features a foam encasement, designed to help enhance the edge support. So, I feel very secure sitting and lying down near the edge of the Purple.
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As I wrote above, the Casper and Purple mattresses might feel different depending on the sleeper’s weight. To give the perspective of a larger sleeper, I asked Marten to come in and try out these two mattresses. I am 5’9” and weigh 160 lbs, but Marten is 6’7” and weighs 230 lbs. Here’s what he thought about these mattresses and how appropriate they are for heavier sleepers:
So, as Joe said, I am a bigger guy. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m 6’7” or maybe it’s that I’ve never met a pizza I didn’t like. Either way, I am larger than Joe, so I did have a different experience with the Casper and Purple.
First off, I did have some different thoughts regarding the firmness of both mattresses. The Casper felt like a 7/10, while Joe thought it was a 6/10. I think this is because my heavier weight is causing me to press further into the Casper and feel more of the firm support layers.
On the other hand, the Purple felt like a 6.5/10, and Joe thought it was a 7/10. With the Purple, I am getting the opposite effect of the Casper. My weight is actually activating the gel grid more than Joe’s weight did. This makes the mattress feel softer to me, especially when I am on my side.
I also felt a bit different with regard to sleeping positions. Back sleeping on the Casper, the mattress is giving me plenty of support. I do feel the Zoned Support pressing up into my lumbar area.
While I am feeling some more pressure on my shoulders and hips, the Casper is still a decent match for side sleeping. Stomach sleeping, I am getting some good support on my hips.
Similar to Joe, I thought the Purple was a fantastic match for back sleeping. The mattress only collapses under my butt and hips, and the rest of the mattress stays supportive.
Side sleeping, my heavier weight allows me to activate that gel grid, and the mattress cradles my pressure points.
Stomach sleeping, the Purple is also giving me the support I need.
So, heavier back and stomach sleepers should do well with either the Casper or Purple. I believe heavier side sleepers should prefer the Purple.
The Casper Should Be A Better Fit For…
- Those who prefer a softer mattress- Between these two mattresses, most sleepers should agree that the Casper is the softer option. People who want a plusher mattress that allows them to sink in a bit more should like the Casper.
- Side sleepers- In general, the Casper should provide better pressure relief than the Purple. Side sleepers, especially those that are medium-weight or lighter might not be heavy enough to get the full pressure-relieving effects of the Purple.
- Those who like a traditional foam mattress- Let’s face it: the Purple mattress has a unique feel that might not be for everyone. The Casper, on the other hand, has more of a traditional foam mattress feel. Fans of foam mattresses will undoubtedly prefer the Casper.
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The Purple Should Be A Better Fit For…
- Back sleepers- Even though the Casper is a supportive mattress, the Purple still wins out with regard to back sleeping. The Purple Grid will just collapse under the butt and provide enough support across the rest of the body. Back sleepers usually want to find a mattress with a balance of comfort and support, and the Purple has that in spades.
- Stomach sleepers- At the same time, the Purple should feel very supportive when stomach sleeping. That unique Purple Grid will stay supportive underneath the hips and should also provide nice support for the rest of the body.
- Those who like a firmer mattress- Again, this will depend on body weight, but I believe most people will agree the Purple is firmer than the Casper. People who like a firmer mattress with a bit less give should prefer the Purple.
I know this is a lot of information about the Casper and Purple mattresses, but as I said earlier, this is a very important decision. If the choice still isn’t clear, just leave a comment below and I can help settle the dispute!
How are the Casper and Purple similar?
These are both very popular mattresses that come with some great customer service terms. They are both similar in terms of price, and they feature almost identical base layers.
What is the difference between Casper and Purple?
These mattresses are different in quite a few ways. They feature very different materials in their comfort layers, and this gives them a different feel. The Casper is also softer than the Purple.
Is Casper or Purple better?
I can’t say that one mattress is being the other, but I can say they are a better match for different types of sleepers. The Casper is a good fit for side sleepers and fans of softer foam mattresses. The Purple should be better for back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and those who want something firmer.
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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