Purple Vs Tuft & Needle – Which Should You Choose?

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Finding the right bed in a box mattress isn’t easy, and it is even more difficult when peopleconsider all the fantastic online mattresses available right now.

The Purple and Tuft & Needle are two such mattresses that have a lot of offer and could be a great match for many types of people. To help people make a better decision, we pieced together this mattress comparison.  This article will go through the construction of both mattresses in detail and highlight the main takeaways consumers should know about before making a purchasing decision.

Key Similarities

  • These are both very popular mattresses that are pretty similar in terms of firmness.
  • Both companies have great customer service terms and generous sleep night trials and warranties.
  • Both mattresses have nice bounce, making it easy to move around, as well as switch positions at night,

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Key Differences

  • The Purple costs more than the Tuft & Needle by a noticeable amount.
  • The mattresses incorporate very different materials in their construction, which gives the mattresses very different feels.
  • The Purple has a unique, firm and pressure relieving gel feel, and the Tuft & Needle has a balanced foam feel.

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On online mattresses is opened to show its construction.

Purple Construction

  • The Purple is 9.5” tall and features two foam layers in addition to its gel material in the top layer.
  • 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 between the gel material and the base layer.
  • The base layer is 4” of polyfoam and is a pretty standard base layer in the industry.

Read the full breakdown and Purple mattress review, available here.

The inside of a bed in a box mattress.

Tuft & Needle Construction

  • The Tuft & Needle is 10” tall and features a simplified construction with two foam layers.
  • The cover is thin and soft and also doesn’t affect the overall feel of the mattress too much.
  • The first layer is 3” of an Adaptive foam, which mixes memory foam and latex-like qualities into one foam.
  • 7” of standard base polyfoam makes up the base and is also pretty similar to what people will find in many other foam mattresses online.

Check out the full breakdown and Tuft & Needle mattress review, available here.

Construction Differences/Notes

  • Tuft & Needle’s Adaptive Foam combines memory foam and latex qualities, and it allows people to sink in, but it is also responsive.
  • The hyper-elastic gel polymer is designed to stay flat and firm until someone applies enough pressure. Once that happens, the gel grid will collapse and no longer stay supportive. So, the mattress will collapse under the heavier parts of the body, but stay flat and supportive everywhere else.
  • These designs mean that the Purple has a unique, squishy feel, while the Tuft & Needle has a balanced foam feel.
  • The Purple should be more breathable than the Tuft & Needle, because the gel grid promotes fantastic airflow.
  • The Purple should also definitely be more durable than the Tuft & Needle. The hyper-elastic gel polymer is a very durable material, so it should stand up to more wear and tear than the Tuft & Needle.

RELATED: What Is The Best Mattress?

Firmness/Feel Differences

In terms of firmness, the Purple feels like a 7/10, and the Tuft & Needle feels like a 6.5/10. I will note that the Purple will feel different depending on one’s weight. People need to apply a certain amount of pressure before they activate the gel grid and get it to collapse. Lighter people might not activate the gel grid, so the mattress could feel firmer to them. Heavier people, on the other hand, will activate the gel grid, so the mattress will feel softer to them most likely.

Back sleeping on the Purple, I feel the perfect amount of support. My hips sink into the gel grid, but the rest of the mattress stays flat and supportive. When I lie on my side, I feel some decent comfort, as the gel does collapse a good bit underneath my shoulders and hips.

However, I think I might be too light to really get the best pressure relief, because I am not heavy enough to fully activate the gel grid. When I move to my stomach, the mattress doesn’t collapse at all, and I feel very well supported.

When I lie on my back, the Tuft & Needle is a good match, as my hips sink in but not too far. I will say that I felt better back sleeping on the Purple. Side sleeping, I feel fantastic on the Tuft & Needle, because the Adaptive Foam relieves pressure very well for someone of my size. I think light- and medium-weight side sleepers should prefer the Tuft & Needle.

However, when I move to my stomach, the mattress is too soft for me and I definitely need more support. My hips bow in somewhat, and I don’t feel properly aligned.

The Purple has a unique firm, yet squishy feel that is both supportive and pressure relieving at the same time. It also has some nice bounce, so it should be easy to move around on the mattress. The Tuft & Needle, on the other hand, has a balanced foam feel where people will sink into the mattress but not too far. The mattress also has a good amount of bounce, so people shouldn’t feel stuck in the mattress.

See more information about Purple’s gel grid in the video below.

Watch what I thought of Tuft & Needle’s balanced foam feel with the video below.

Motion Transfer Differences

If someone sleeps with a partner, they should want to know how their mattress will deal with motion transfer. Will they sleep soundly, or will their partner’s movements disturb them while they sleep?

I placed a glass of water on both mattresses and pushed into the surrounding area. I saw less disturbance on the Tuft & Needle. Also, I lay down on both mattresses and asked Marten to move around on the other side and felt less of his movement on the Tuft & Needle.

The Tuft & Needles handles motion transfer better than the Purple because of the foam used in the top layer.

See how the Purple performs in the video below.

Now, compare this to the Tuft & Needle’s motion transfer with the video below.

Edge Support Differences

If someone is looking for a mattress for couples, they should also think about how much of the mattress surface they can really utilize. How secure will they be sitting or sleeping near the edge of the mattress?

Between these two mattresses, the Purple features better edge support. I feel more comfortable sitting near the edge and, when I lie down near the edge, I feel less like I am going to roll off the mattress.

People can see the edge support differences in the photos below.

A man sits on the edge of a mattress.

A man sits down on his mattress.

Marten’s Take

Marten is a staff writer for us and has a much different body type than 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 how appropriate they are for heavier sleepers:

I said the Tuft & Needle was a 6.5/10, and the Purple was also a 6.5/10. The Purple felt a little softer to me than it did to Joe, because I am a heavier person. I am activating the top gel layer more than Joe did, so it definitely feels softer for me.

When I am on my back on the Tuft & Needle, I am not getting enough support, as my hips are sinking in too far. When I move to my side, I feel pretty good pressure relief overall. I am feeling some nice pressure relief on my shoulder and hips. On my stomach, I am not getting enough support and am bowing in at the hips and getting out of alignment.

Over on the Purple, I feel great support on my back, as my hips are sinking in just the right amount. On my side, I feel great pressure relief and softness. The gel collapses under my shoulders and hips, so I feel almost no pressure there.
On my stomach, I’m feeling very good overall support because the gel is saying flat and supportive across my body.

If someone is a heavier back sleeper, they should lean toward the Purple. If someone is a heavier side sleeper, both mattresses could work for them. It depends on what type of feel people prefer. Finally, if someone is a heavier stomach sleeper, they should go with the Purple.

Being that Marten is a heavier person, he had a different experience sleeping on the Purple. Especially when he was on his side, his weight activated the gel layer, so he felt better pressure relief than I did. As always, it is important to consider one’s size and weight when deciding on a mattress.

Who Should Pick Purple:

  • Heavier side sleepers- If someone is heavy enough, the Purple should be a great match when they are on their side. The gel grid is designed to stay firm and supportive until they apply enough pressure. If someone is a larger person, they should activate the gel grid and feel little pressure on their shoulders and hips.
  • Back or stomach sleepers- The Purple is definitely the more supportive mattress. If someone sleeps on their back or stomach, they shouldn’t sink too far into the mattress. Back sleepers should feel the mattress collapse under their hips and buttocks, but the rest of the mattress will remain supportive.
  • Those who are looking for a long-term investment- The Purple contains some very high-quality components. Because of this, the mattress should be durable and last for quite a while. The mattress will cost people more, but it should be a longer-lasting mattress.
  • Hot sleepers- If people overheat while they sleep, it might be worth considering the Purple mattress. The gel grid allows for some very nice airflow. The mattress should be more temperature neutral and sleep cooler than the Tuft & Needle.

RELATED: Most Comfortable Mattress

Who Should Pick Tuft & Needle:

  • Light- or medium-weight side sleepers- If someone sleeps on their side and they aren’t very heavy, the Tuft & Needle be the right choice. It should offer better pressure relief for people of lesser weights. Lighter-weight people might not activate the Purple’s gel layer.
  • Those who prefer a balanced foam feel- If someone likes the feel of a foam mattress, but they don’t want to get stuck, the Tuft & Needle should work for them. It lets people sink in a bit, but the Adaptive Foam is quite responsive. It should be easy to move around on the mattress.
  • People who want a more affordable mattress- Between the two mattresses, the Tuft & Needle costs less. If someone wants to save around $400 dollars, this mattress could be the way to go.


If people keep all this in mind, it shouldn’t be difficult to choose between these two mattresses because the differences are so clear. Back and stomach sleepers, as well as heavier side sleepers, should prefer the Purple mattress, while lighter side sleepers who like a balanced foam feel should like the Tuft & Needle. Please leave any specific comments or questions about the Purple or the Tuft & Needle in the comment section below.

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Gravatar for Joe Auer

Joe Auer

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.