If someone has been looking at buying a mattress online, they have undoubtedly come across the Purple and Nectar mattresses, which are very popular and for good reason. They are quality mattresses with many impressive attributes that a ton of sleepers will thoroughly enjoy.
While they are both great mattresses, deciding which of the two to get could be a very difficult decision. This comparison will go through the construction of both mattresses in detail and attempt to highlight the main takeaways that consumers should know about to make a more informed buying decision.
- They have similar bases layers that are made of poly foam.
- They are both smartly designed to give both excellent pressure relief and support.
- Nectar has memory foam layers, while Purple has a proprietary gel grid that is pressure-relieving but also supportive at the same time.
- Nectar has a classic memory foam feel, and Purple has a unique, springy gel feeling that is a little hard to describe.
- The Nectar will be softer than the Purple for the majority of sleepers.
- The mattress is 9.5″ tall and features an interesting construction that consists of two foam layers and the company’s proprietary 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 that is both firm and pressure-relieving at the same time.
- Next, there are 3.5” of a Plush Comfort Foam that acts as a buffer between the gel layer and the support layer underneath it.
- The base layer is 4” of polyfoam and is pretty standard for a base layer in a foam mattress.
- The mattress is 11” tall and features four separate foam layers.
- The cover is soft and woven together with Tencel fabric, and there is also 1” of gel memory foam quilted into it.
- Next, there is a 3” layer of a soft, slow-responding, gel memory foam that gives the mattress extra softness, pressure relief, and body contouring.
- Then, there is around 1” of a foam transition layer that acts as a buffer between the memory foam layers and the foam base layer underneath it.
- Finally, the base layer is around 6” thick and is also pretty standard in the industry.
- They have similar feeling covers, but the Nectar has gel memory foam quilted into the cover, which adds another level of pressure relief.
- Because of the memory foam in its top layer, Nectar has a classic memory foam feel that is quicksand-like. The Purple has a very unique hyper-elastic polymer grid that is firm but pressure relieving at the same time. It has a unique, springy feel that is a little hard to describe but that many people will enjoy.
- People will have less of a feeling of getting “stuck” on the Purple mattress because of the nature of the gel material. The gel grid responds quickly, so people should be able to move around easily and also switch positions.
- This gel grid also allows for more airflow than the Nectar does, which means the Purple may sleep cooler than the Nectar.
- Both mattresses should offer nice pressure relief for a number of reasons. The gel memory foam on top of the Nectar is very soft, and the Purple collapses under one’s weight to relieve pressure on the shoulders and hips.
- They have similar base layers that are pretty standard in the industry.
I felt like the Nectar was a 6/10 in terms of firmness, while the Purple was a 7/10. The Nectar is definitely softer than the Purple and most should agree with that statement.
With the Nectar, I felt best when I was on my side, because I sunk in and felt great pressure relief on the shoulders and hips. I did feel good support when I was on my back, but I needed more overall firmness and support when I was on my stomach.
On the Purple, I felt better when I was on my back and stomach. The gel grid collapses under the hips, but the rest of the mattress stays flat and supportive. I felt a little pressure when I was on my side because the gel didn’t quite collapse enough underneath the shoulders and hips.
In terms of feel, the Nectar has a classic memory foam feel where sleepers will really sink into the mattress. The Purple has a unique squishy, responsive gel feel that feels firm and supportive but pressure relieving at the same time.
See the firmness and feel differences in the videos below.
See how the slow-sinking Nectar might be best for side sleepers in the video below.
Between the two mattresses, I believe the Nectar is better with motion isolation because of how much memory foam it has. During the tests, there was less disturbance, and I also felt less of Marten’s movements when he rolled around on the other side of the bed.
I think this is due to the memory foam in the top layer of the Nectar. Memory foam is quite good at isolating motion, and that is definitely the case with the Nectar. While the gel grid in the Purple has many positive attributes, motion isolation is not really one of them. I believe Nectar is the better choice for couples who don’t want to be disturbed by their partner’s movements.
See the motion isolation differences in the videos below.
See how well the Nectar deals with motion transfer with the video below.
The edge support is not fantastic on either mattress, but I think the Purple performs a bit better. It does collapse when I sit near the edge, but I feel like I am going to fall off the mattress. Likewise, when I am lying down the edge, I feel more secure than I do on the Nectar.
See the edge support differences in the photos below.
Marten is a staff writer for us and has a much different body type than me: He is 6’7″ and weighs about 230 lb; I am 5’9″ and 160 lb. Here is what he thought about these two mattresses and how appropriate they are for heavier sleepers:
I thought the Nectar was a 6/10 in terms of firmness and thought the Purple was a 6.5/10.
On the Nectar, I feel good support when I am on my back and feel the foam pressing up into the lumbar area. On my side, I feel a little bit of pressure on the shoulders and the hips, but there is good overall pressure relief on the Nectar. On my stomach, I bow in at the hips and feel the spine get out of alignment.
On the Purple, I feel good support on my back, and on my side, there is very good pressure relief. I collapse that gel layer and it activates more for me than it did for Joe, and I feel very nice pressure relief on the shoulders and the hips. Moving onto the stomach, I feel good support and am not bowing in like I did on the Nectar. If someone is a heavier back sleeper, both mattresses should work for them.
If someone is a heavier side sleeper, they should get better pressure relief on the Purple. Also, if someone is a heavier stomach sleeper, the Purple should give them better support when they are on their stomach.
While our firmness scores were different, Marten agreed that the Nectar is softer than the Purple. He did feel different when it came to sleeping on his side. The top layer of the Purple collapsed more for him, so he felt better pressure relief than I did.
Who Should Pick Purple:
- Back or stomach sleepers- The Purple does a better job of supporting people when they are on their back and stomach. The gel grid collapses under their hips, but keeps the rest of their body flat and supported.
- Those who want a responsive sleeping surface- Unlike with the Nectar, it is easy to move around on the Purple. If someone prefers sleeping “on” their mattress, this is the better choice.
- People who want a firmer mattress- While it is not a very firm mattress, the Purple is the firmer of these two mattresses. If someone likes a bit of firmness and require more support, they should lean toward the Purple.
Who Should Pick Nectar:
- Side sleepers This is the softer of the two mattresses and, in my opinion, it may be better with pressure relief. People should feel less pressure on their shoulders and hips.
- People who prefer a classic memory foam feel- If someone likes sinking into their mattress and prefers sleeping “in” their mattress, the Nectar is probably the better pick. People get that slow compression that comes with memory foam.
These are both popular mattresses for a reason. If someone likes a classic memory foam feel and are primarily a side sleeper, the Nectar is probably the better bet for them. If someone wants a more responsive mattress that should give them better support without sacrificing pressure relief, the Purple may be the choice for them. Please leave any specific comments or questions about the Nectar or the Purple 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.