Purple and Saatva are two very popular mattresses that have seen great success selling online direct to consumers. At first they may appear to have a lot of similarities, but upon a closer look, they are actually quite different – this comparison will go through the construction of both mattresses in detail and highlight the main takeaways consumers should know about before making a purchase.
- The Purple and Saatva are both very popular mattresses that are similarly priced.
- They are similar in terms of firmness and are both a good fit for all three sleeping positions.
- They are both durable mattresses
- They should both be breathable mattresses.
- They incorporate very different materials in their construction. The Purple a hyper-elastic polymer over foam, while the Saatva has two layers of coils with a pillow top.
- Their feels are very different. The Purple has a unique, squishy-but-firm gel feel, but the Saatva has a traditional innerspring feel
- It is 9.5” tall and features three separate layers of foam and gel material.
- The cover is soft and thin and doesn’t affect the overall feel of the mattress significantly.
- The first layer is 2” of a Purple Smart Comfort Grid, which is a hyper-elastic polymer with a squishy feeling.
- Next, there are 3.5” of a Plush Comfort Foam that acts as a transition layer.
- The base layer is 4” of polyfoam, which is a pretty standard base layer on the market.
Read the full breakdown and Purple mattress review, available here.
- The custom slim Luxury Firm version is 11.5” tall and features multiple foam and steel coil layers.
- The cover is quilted with foam to create a Euro Top and give the mattress good softness and pressure relief.
- The next layer is a thin memory foam layer to provide enhanced lumbar support.
- This is followed by a layer of individually wrapped micro coils that contour well to the curves of the body.
- Finally, high-grade coils make up the bottom layer and are highly supportive, breathable, and durable.
- There is a foam encasement which helps with edge support.
Read the full breakdown and review for the Saatva mattress, available here.
- The comfort layer of the Purple is made of a very unique hyper-elastic polymer, which is pressure relieving but also firm and supportive. It is designed to collapse once a certain amount of pressure is applied.
- Both mattresses should be a great match for combination sleepers. The gel grid on the Purple will be supportive on a person’s back and stomach, while still giving them good pressure relief on their side. The pillow top on the Saatva will relieve pressure on their side and allow their hips to sink in just a bit when they are on their back. When they are on their stomach, the two layers of coils should also be supportive when they are on their back and stomach.
- The two layers of coils on the Saatva give the mattress a level of support while still conforming to the shape of the body. The high-grade coils on the bottom are very supportive, and the micro coils act independently so they contour to one’s curves.
- Both mattresses should be breathable and should sleep cool. The Purple’s gel grid allow for great airflow, as do the two layers of coils on the Saatva.
- They should both be more durable than many mattresses in their price range. They each incorporate durable materials, so they should be long-lasting.
In terms of firmness, both mattresses felt like a 7/10, a bit firmer than average, which makes me think that they could both be a good fit for combination sleepers, but let’s get more specific.
On the Purple, I felt very nice support when I was on my back. The gel grid allows my hips to sink in, but the rest of the mattress stays flat and supportive.
On my side, the grid does feel a little firm because as a lighter side sleeper, I may not engage with this material as much as a heavier sleeper might. They may find the mattress to be softer than I did and feel better pressure relief on their shoulders and hips.
On my stomach, I don’t bow in at the hips at all. It is a great match when I am on my stomach, and I feel properly aligned.
On the Saatva, I also feel well supported when I am on my back, as my hips sink into the pillow top just a bit, but not too much. On my side, I do feel some pressure on my shoulders and hips, but the pillow top feels fairly soft on my shoulders and hips. Lighter side sleepers will probably prefer the Saatva as a result.
However, when I am on my stomach, I do need more support to keep my spine aligned, as I do bow in at the hips somewhat.
In terms of feel, the Purple has a unique, squishy-but-firm gel feel that is responsive, so people get pressure relief without the feeling of getting stuck. The Saatva has a traditional spring feel with a pillow top, so fans of hotel mattresses will feel right at home on the Saatva.
See how the Purple responds to pressure in the video below.
Now, see how this compares to the firmness and feel of the innerspring Saatva mattress with the video below.
Motion Transfer Differences
If someone sleeps with a partner, they also want to consider how well their mattress cuts down on motion transfer. Are they going to sleep calmly or feel their partner moving around?
Neither of these mattresses handles motion transfer particularly well. The hyper-elastic polymer on the Purple is good with pressure relief, but it doesn’t absorb movement very well. Likewise, the pillow top and coils in the Saatva aren’t the best at cutting down on motion transfer.
See how the Purple deals with motion in the video below.
Now, look at how the Saatva performs with motion transfer in the video below.
Between these two mattresses, the Saatva definitely features better edge support. While the Purple is designed to collapse under pressure, the Saatva has a foam encasement and coils.
People should feel more secure sitting near the edge of the Saatva. Also, they should feel more stable lying down near the edge of this mattress.
People can see the very noticeable edge support differences in the photos below.
Marten is a staff writer for us and has a much different body type. 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 how appropriate they are for heavier sleepers:
As a heavier person, I was a big fan of both of these mattresses and thought they were excellent fits. In terms of firmness, I said the Purple was a 6.5/10 and the Saatva was a 7/10.
In terms of sleeping positions, sleeping on my back on the Purple, I felt very nice. My hips sunk in just the right amount, but the mattress stayed flat and supported everywhere else. On my side, there was very nice pressure relief, and there was barely any pressure on my shoulders and my hips. On my stomach, the mattress stayed flat, and I didn’t bow in and feel my spine get out of alignment.
On the Saatva, I felt fantastic when I was on my back, as the pillow top lets my hips sink in just a bit, and my lumbar are was supported. On my side, there was a bit of pressure on my shoulders and hips, but the pillow top did do a good job of relieving pressure. On my stomach, I was bowing in at the hips somewhat.
If someone is a heavier back sleeper, both could work, but it comes down to what feel they are looking for. The Purple has a squishy-but-firm gel feel, and the Saatva has a pillow top hybrid feel. If someone is a heavier side or stomach sleeper, they should lean toward the Purple.
Marten’s experience was not surprising to me. On the Purple, he engaged the gel grid more than I did. Because of this, he felt better pressure relief on his shoulders and hips. Like me, he also found the Purple to be more supportive when he was on his stomach.
Who Should Pick Purple:
- Stomach sleepers- Between the two mattresses, the Purple mattress should give people better support when they lie on their stomach. The Purple stays flat when someone is in this position, while the Saatva’s pillow top may allow their hips to sink in too far.
- Heavier side sleepers- If someone is larger, they may activate the gel material more than a lighter sleeper, which could give them better pressure relief than the pillow top on the Saatva.
Who Should Pick Saatva:
- Those who prefer a pillow top innerspring feel- If people like the feeling of a hotel innerspring mattress, the Saatva is the better choice. People will be able to feel the bounce of the springs, while the pillow top will give them a plush feeling as well.
- Lightweight side sleepers- If someone is a lightweight person, they might not activate the gel on the Purple, and it may feel very firm when they are on their side. If someone isn’t too heavy, the pillow top should on the Saatva should relieve pressure very well on the shoulders and hips.
Using this information, people shouldn’t have a hard time choosing between the Purple and the Saatva because the differences are pretty clear. Stomach sleepers and heavier side sleepers should feel better on the Purple, while lighter side sleepers and those who like a classic innerspring feel should lean toward the Saatva. Consumers should figure out the type of feel that they like best and then quickly the decision should become a lot clearer.
Please leave any specific comments or questions about the Purple or the Saatva 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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