Searching for a new mattress, you might find yourself with a wide range of options. As the bed-in-a-box market grows, there are more and more quality mattresses to choose from.
If you have spent much time sifting through all the options, you have most likely come across the Purple mattress and Bear mattress.
The Purple and Bear are two very popular online mattresses so, if you have narrowed your search down to these two, you are in great shape.
This comparison will go over the construction of both mattresses in detail and highlight the main takeaways consumers should know about before making a purchase.
- Both mattresses are a good fit for back sleepers and some side sleepers.
- They are both cooler-sleeping mattresses that are fairly breathable.
- The mattresses are similar in terms of firmness.
- The Bear is more affordable than the Purple by a small amount.
- The mattresses feature very different materials in their construction that give them different feels.
- The two mattresses have a different feel. The Purple has a unique firm-but-pressure relieving feel, and the Bear has that classic memory foam feel.
- It is 9.5” tall and features three separate layers.
- The cover is soft and thin and doesn’t affect the overall feel of the mattress too much.
- 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.
- The base layer is 4” of polyfoam that is pretty standard in the industry.
Read the full Purple mattress review
- The mattress is 10” tall and features four separate foam layers.
- The cover is soft and is woven together with Celliant, which can potentially bring sleepers certain health benefits.
- First, there is a layer of graphite-gel memory foam, which gives the mattress some softness and body contouring.
- This is followed by transition layer with a fair amount of bounce.
- Finally, the base layer is 6.5” of a high-density support foam, which is a pretty standard base layer.
Read the full Bear mattress review
- The Bear’s Celliant cover is designed to help with recovery and has been shown to keep sleepers cooler while promoting airflow as well. This makes it a great match for athletes.
- The Purple’s hyper-elastic gel polymer is proprietary and unique. It is a gel grid that stays flat and supportive until you apply a certain amount of pressure. When that happens, that specific area will collapse while the rest of the mattress stays flat.
- The construction is going to give these two mattresses a different feel. On the Bear, you will sink into the mattress and sleep within it. With the Purple, you will sleep on top.
- The Purple’s gel grid is more responsive than the Bear’s memory foam, which means it will be easier to move around on Purple.
- The Purple should be more supportive than the Bear, because the gel grid is a material that can handle heavier weights than the foams you find in the Bear.
- The Purple is the more breathable mattress. The gel grid allows for a good amount of airflow so that the mattress is temperature neutral.
- In terms of durability, Purple has the advantage, because the gel grid is a very durable material and shouldn’t sag too quickly.
In terms of feel, the Purple felt like a 7/10 and the Bear felt closer to a 6.5/10. It is important to note that one’s weight might affect how firm these mattresses feel to them. Specifically, the Purple might feel softer if someone is a larger person, because they could activate that gel grid more than a lighter person like me. Because of this, the Purple might feel softer to them.
In addition, if you are a larger person and lie on the Bear mattress, it could feel firmer to you than it did to me. You could press through the soft memory foam and hit the firmer layers beneath.
Here is how it felt sleeping on the Purple mattress:
- Back sleeping on the Purple, I feel like the mattress is a good match, as the gel grid collapses under my hips and butt, while the rest of the mattress stays supportive. The Purple is a good fit for back sleeping as a result.
- When I sleep on my side, I am feeling some pressure on my shoulders and hips, but the pressure relief is decent for someone my size. If someone is a bigger person, they could collapse that gel grid even more and feel better pressure relief than I did.
- Moving to my stomach, the Purple is supportive enough for me, because my hips don’t dip into the mattress, and my spine is kept in neutral alignment.
Here is how it felt sleeping on the Bear mattress:
- Back sleeping on the Bear, the mattress is also a good fit for me, as my hips sink into the top memory foam layer but not too far. In addition, the memory foam takes the shape of my body. However, while I enjoyed back sleeping on the Bear, I felt better on the Purple.
- When I sleep on my side, I feel great pressure relief. I sink into the memory foam layer but since I am not too heavy, I don’t drop into the firmer support layers. For someone of my size, the pressure relief should be quite good on the Bear mattress.
- However, when I lie on my stomach, the mattress is not giving me enough support. I do feel my hips bowing into the mattress somewhat.
These two mattresses are very different in terms of feel. The Purple has a unique feel that is actually hard to explain. It has a squishy, gel feel that is firm but pressure relieving at the same time. The mattress stays firm and supportive until you apply enough pressure. On the other hand, the Bear mattress has that classic memory foam feel where sleepers will slowly sink into the mattress and feel the memory foam envelop them.
People will sleep on top of the Purple mattress but within the Bear mattress. The Purple is also more responsive than the Bear. Because of this, it should be easier to move around on the Purple and switch positions.
See more of what I thought about the Purple’s firmness and feel in the video below.
Now, see what I thought of the Bear’s firmness and feel in the video below.
Motion Transfer Differences
If someone is looking for an option for couples, they will want to know how their mattress deals with motion transfer. When their partner moves around at night or gets up to go to the bathroom, will they disturb them?
To test out the motion isolation of these two mattresses, I placed a glass of water in the center of each mattress. When I pressed into each mattress, I saw less disturbance on the Bear. Also, I lay down on each mattress and asked Marten to move around on the other side of the mattress, and I felt fewer of his movements on the Bear.
This isn’t surprising given that the Bear mattress features soft memory foam in its top layer. This material is known for cutting down on motion transfer especially well.
If someone does want a mattress for couples, the Bear could be a very good option.
See how the Purple handles motion transfer in the video below.
Now, compare this to the Bear mattress’s motion transfer with the video below.
Edge Support Differences
If someone sleeps with a partner or simply wants to be able to use their whole mattress, they should also think about edge support. Edge support is a measure of how well the mattress supports someone when they sit or lie down near the edge.
Sitting down near the edge of both mattresses, they both collapse quite a bit. I don’t feel very secure sitting down and, when I lie down near the edge of both mattresses, I feel like I might roll off the mattress.
Neither mattress features the best edge support, but people can see for themselves 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 lb; I am 5’9″ and 160 lb. Here is what he thought about these mattresses and how appropriate they are for heavier sleepers:
In terms of firmness, I thought the Bear was close to a 7 or 7.5/10, and the Purple was closer to a 6.5/10.
Here is how it felt sleeping on the Bear:
- Back sleeping on the Bear, I feel very nice support, as my hips sink in the right amount, and I also feel some nice contouring from the top memory foam layer.
- Moving to my side, I’m feeling some serious pressure on the shoulders and hips, and I’m pressing pretty far into the mattress and hitting those support layers beneath.
- When I am on my stomach, I am not getting enough support, because my hips bow in, and I feel like I am getting out of alignment.
Here is how it felt sleeping on the Purple:
- When I am on my back, I feel very nice, as my hips sink in just a bit, and the rest of the mattress stays flat and supportive.
- Side sleeping, the gel grid collapses under my shoulders and hips, and I feel very nice pressure relief on the Purple.
- Moving to my stomach, the mattress does not collapse at all. I feel supported so the mattress is a nice match for stomach sleeping.
If someone is a heavier back sleeper, both mattresses could work for them. If someone is a heavier side or stomach sleeper, they should go with the Purple.
Marten is a larger person so, of course, he had a different experience on these two mattresses. With his heavier weight, he presses further into the Bear and feels more firmness than I did. At the same time, when he presses further into the Purple, the mattress actually feels ofter to him. If you want a mattress for large people, pay close attention to Marten’s comments.
Pick Purple If:
- Stomach sleepers- If someone sleeps primarily on their stomach, it is important that they get the proper amount of support. Between the two mattresses, the Purple is the more supportive mattress so it should ensure the hips don’t bow in.
- Larger people- If someone is on the heavier side, the Purple should be a better match for a number of reason. The Purple is more supportive and should be able to handle heavier weights, for example. Larger side sleepers should feel the grid collapse under their shoulders and hips so that they feel great pressure relief.
- Those who like to sleep on top of your mattress- If someone doesn’t like to sink too far into their mattress, the Purple is a good choice. People will sleep more on top of the Purple, and they shouldn’t have any trouble moving around.
RELATED: Best Mattress For Stomach Sleepers
Who Should Pick Bear:
- Light- or medium-weight side sleepers- If someone sleeps on their side and isn’t too heavy, the Bear should probably be a better choice. People should sink into the soft memory foam and feel nice pressure relief on their shoulders and hips. If someone is too light, they might not be able to activate the Purple’s gel grid when they are on their side.
- Those who prefer the classic memory foam feel- If someone likes the slow-moving feel of memory foam, the Bear is the way to go without question. It has that quicksand-like feel that lets people slowly sink into the mattress. Because of this, people will feel like they are sleeping more inside the mattress.
- Athletes- If someone is looking for a mattress to help them recover after a hard workout, the Bear could be a great choice. The cover contains Celliant which has been designed to increase blood flow and keep people cool while they sleep.
In the end, choosing between the Purple and Bear should not be too much of a challenge. The Purple is a good option for heavier people and those who like to sleep on top of their mattress, while the Bear should work better for lighter side sleepers and those who prefer to sink into their mattress. Leave any questions you have about the Purple and Bear mattresses in the comment section below. Readers should take a look through this article a few different times, assess their own preferred sleeping positions, and then make a more informed decision.
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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