Is Nectar the best mattress? How does it compare to Purple? That’s a question many consumers ask when mattress shopping. Sales of the Nectar brand have risen steadily since it was first introduced by Nectar Sleep in 2016. Nectar mattress ads and promotions appear almost everywhere, thanks to a savvy and aggressive marketing strategy.
But it’s important to look past the sales hype. There are several factors that consumers should consider when comparing the Nectar Mattress versus the Purple® Bed.
Nectar vs Purple: 12 Things to Compare
- Delivery and Packaging
- Trial Period and Return Policy
- Sleeping Position
- Pressure Point Relief
- Country of Origin
If you look on Amazon.com, the numbers of Purple® Mattress reviews and Nectar® Mattress reviews are pretty close. The mattresses have a similar firmness and can appeal to the same types of shoppers. There are many search queries for “Nectar mattress vs Purple” and “Nectar vs Purple Mattress,” and there are many online mattress reviews for each.
How do these two successful mattresses compare?
First and foremost, it’s important to point out that Nectar and Purple are not the same type of mattress. In fact, they are radically different mattress types. The Nectar bed is a memory foam mattress, while Purple mattresses do not contain any memory foam. The Purple® Bed has a unique, patented method of contouring to your body.
Nectar vs Purple: 12 Things to Compare
The ultimate consideration is whether the mattress you use gives you a good night’s sleep. You don’t want to spend the day fighting tiredness because of tossing and turning through a poor night’s sleep. When it comes to choosing the best mattress, there are many factors to consider. Let’s put these two popular brands to the test with a side-by-side comparison.
There is a definite material difference between the Nectar® mattress and the Original Purple® Bed.
Nectar is a foam bed with three layers of memory foam. The top layer is a quilted 1” of soft (3⅓ lb.) gel memory foam, covered by a cotton-Tencel™ fabric cover.
The next comfort layer in this foam mattress is 3” of 2 ¾-lb. gel memory foam. The goal of these two layers is to provide pressure relief. However, this foam layer is rather light, which can hinder the memory foam properties. Most quality memory foam has at least a 3 ½ lbs density (4 lbs. is better) which has better contouring and durability.
Memory foam is notoriously hot, and the added gel helps keep things cooler. However, the effectiveness of gel memory foam is questionable, since it heats up during the night anyway.
The third layer of the Nectar mattress consists of a 1 ½” transition layer of Adaptive Hi Core Memory Foam, which is extra dense. Denser memory foam is more conforming, but it is also much firmer, especially when cool.
Supporting the Nectar mattress is a breathable base layer made of firm polyurethane foam. Nectar describes this as “incredibly dense,” however, the 1.8-lb. density is actually standard density for foam support cores in mattresses.
The bottom of the mattress has a non-skid material which prevents the mattress from sliding around on the bed frame.
Purple began with scientific innovation, and this continues in their mattresses. The Original Purple® Bed has a responsive knit cover, which is a blend of polyester, rayon, and Lycra (spandex). The spandex makes the knit more stretchy, which means it conforms to the sleeper’s body and the mattress, so there’s no bunching or bridging.
The comfort layer is the 2” Purple™ Grid, which is made of a Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ material. Formed into an open grid to prevent heat retention and maximize airflow, the Purple™ Grid cradles the sleeper’s body at the points of pressure. Both the Original Purple® Bed and the New Purple® Mattress have the Purple Grid™ as the top comfort layer. However, in the New Purple® Mattress, the Purple™ Grid is customizable by height:
- Purple®.2 — 2” Purple™ Grid
- Purple®.3 — 3” Purple™ Grid
- Purple®.4 — 4” Purple™ Grid
The 3 ¼” transition layer of the Original Purple® Bed is Plush Comfort Foam, which is a resilient, high-density, soft polyurethane foam.
The 4” Base Layer of the Original Purple® Bed is a medium-firm, high-density polyurethane foam. It supports the other layers and the sleepers. With a density of 2.0 lbs, it is the preferred choice compared to Nectar’s 1.8 lbs density base layer.
In the New Purple® Mattresses (Purple®.2, Purple®.3, Purple®.4), the transition layer and the base layer are replaced by 7½” high pocketed coils with thin 1” sheets of high-density polyurethane foam above and beneath the responsive coils. The New Purple® Mattress also includes a dense foam border which provides enhanced edge support.
Both the Nectar mattress and the Original Purple® Bed are available in six sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King. The Nectar mattress ranges from $499 to $999. The Original Purple costs a little more, ranging from $649 to $1,299. The New Purple® Mattress is a premium bed, and therefore more expensive. For example, prices for the Purple®.2 range from $1,299 to $1899.
3. Delivery and Packaging
Both mattresses are compressed and rolled, then shipped in a box or bag. They are delivered by FedEx or UPS to the customer’s front door (sorry – these won’t fit into mailboxes). They can also be shipped to participating retailers where customers can then pick them up in person.
4. Trial Period and Return Policy
Purple’s trial period is for 100 nights, and returns are free. In the rare event that you have an issue, Purple will come and pick up your mattress, so you don’t have to worry about return shipping.
Nectar’s trial period is for 365 days. However, if you buy a Nectar mattress on Amazon, the trial period is cut in half to 180 days. According to customer reviews, both companies honor these sleep trial guaranties.
The Nectar mattress and the Purple mattresses are available for purchase online, or you can visit participating local retailers in your area.
Who carries the Nectar mattress?
Nectar has its own store and showroom in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia. Their mattress is also available in 1,150 other stores in the United States. This includes national and regional chains, such as Mattress Warehouse, Denver Mattress, Mattress World Northwest, Mattress Land, American Furniture Warehouse, and Mattress Firm, as well as several local outlets.
Who carries Purple mattresses?
Besides the Purple HQ showroom in Alpine, Utah, Purple mattresses are available for testing, purchasing, and pickup through several national chains: Denver Mattress, Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, HOM Furniture, Sleep Experts, and Mattress Firm. It is also available at Sam’s Club, where it is awarded “Top Rated.”
Both the Original Purple® Bed and the Nectar mattress are rated as medium-firm by reviewers and experts. However, keep in mind that how firm a mattress feels is largely subjective, depending on the sleeper’s size, weight, physical condition, and preferred sleeping position. The Nectar mattress is a little harder and less immersive than the Purple mattresses.
Purple is the clear winner when it comes to mattress breathability. The key to this is airflow. The open the Purple Grid™ of Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ material allows air to circulate at the top of the mattress, where it matters most. The base layer of the Nectar® Mattress has airflow channels, but the air has to reach these first to be effective, and air filtering through un-perforated/un-ventilated foam is not enough.
Most importantly, Purple mattresses do not contain any memory foam, which is well known for creating heat and breathability issues. The Nectar mattress contains multiple layers of memory foam. In addition to sleeping hot, be aware that memory foam is also not as durable as the Purple™ Grid.
8. Sleeping Position
There are three basic sleeping positions: back sleeping, side sleeping, and stomach sleeping. These distinctions are important since they impact the relative positions of the lower back and the neck.
Back sleeping is the most forgiving position, as far as mattress firmness is concerned, because it allows for the natural curves of the spine. However, with a soft mattress, a little more support for the lumbar is preferred. This is especially important for heavier people since their weight pushes the center of the mattress down more.
Side sleeping and stomach sleeping are at opposite poles. Sleeping on one’s side requires a softer mattress so the hips and shoulders can sink in, reducing pressure on these larger joints. This degree of softness depends on your body weight.
Stomach sleepers, on the other hand, need a firmer mattress. If the mattress is too soft, it lets the mid-section of the body sink in too far. Stomach sleeping on a soft mattress forces your spine into a bent-back position, causing you to wake up with a very painful back.
Both the Original Purple® Bed and the New Purple® Mattress provide better balance and support for all sleeping positions. The Nectar mattress may be too firm for side sleepers, in spite of the softer top two layers of memory foam. There is a noticeable difference in firmness between Nectar’s second and third layers, and sleeper may feel like they’re bottoming out on the Nectar transition layer.
Purple offers a 10-year warranty on both mattresses. You can count on these mattresses lasting for a long time, though you can expect the premium hybrid New Purple® Mattress to last the longest, thanks to its durable pocket coil system.
Nectar is still relatively new, so it’s not clear just how long their memory foam mattress will last. Nectar offers a “lifetime warranty,” guaranteeing the mattress to be free of defects for a lifetime. Be sure to read the fine print, however — for example, the Nectar mattress must sag more than 1 ½ inches before it qualifies as a defect. Be aware that once you’ve owned the mattress for 10 years, the buyer must pay all shipping costs for any defective claims.
As to the materials used, memory foam does break down over time, even when not used – the material itself simply ages. Generally, lighter memory foam breaks down sooner than heavier memory foam. As mentioned above, the Nectar mattress is constructed with fairly light memory foam.
Purple’s Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ material, on the other hand, is longer-lasting. It can compress many more times without breaking or degrading.
10. Pressure Point Relief
The overall support of a mattress is a critical issue when shopping for a mattress. A mattress needs to have some give so we don’t feel like we’re sleeping on a rock. On the other hand, without proper spinal alignment, we wake up with aching backs and/or necks.
Both Nectar and Purple mattresses provide pressure point relief. The memory foam in the Nectar mattress softens as it is warmed by body heat, though it may be a little too firm to provide long term pressure point relief for side sleepers.
The Purple™ Grid is not memory foam. Instead, it’s made with patented Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ material and provides exceptional pressure point relief. This comfort layer conforms to the shape of the sleeper, reducing pressure where needed while supporting smaller areas of the body, such as the lumbar.
Memory foam is notorious for off-gassing. There have been attempts to develop new types of memory foam compositions, such as substituting plant oils for some of the petroleum derivatives in manufacturing. Some manufacturers have had success with this, but cheaper memory foam, such as made in East Asia, still has serious problems with VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and other odor emissions.
You can expect a Nectar mattress to smell for a few days. To combat the smell, Nectar suggests sprinkling baking soda on their mattress and using white vinegar to diffuse the air.
Purple mattress do not have off-gassing. Since Purple® mattresses do not contain any memory foam, they do not have out-gassing problems. You can leave the baking soda and vinegar in the cupboard where it belongs.
12. Country of Origin
Purple makes its mattresses in the United States, using materials made in the USA with consistent quality control.
On the other hand, The Nectar mattress is made in China. This alone accounts for the lower prices. Unfortunately, China has a poor record on quality control. Chinese manufacturers have been caught cheating on quality and substituting cheaper materials, even when they prove to be toxic and dangerous.
Initially, Nectar made the mistake of claiming its mattress was “Assembled in the U.S.A.” when actually it is made and assembled in China and shipped to the United States already boxed. In a settlement with the FTC, Nectar dropped the claim.
Another concern with Chinese-imported mattresses is the time it takes to deliver the final product to the customer. If a mattress sits in the box for too long a time, it can damage the foam — especially the memory foam.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few of the questions which shoppers ask about the Nectar and Purple mattresses.
How are Purple and Nectar mattresses constructed?
The Nectar® Mattress and the Original Purple® Bed are foam support beds. The base layers are firm, high-density polyurethane foam.
The Nectar® is a 4-layer memory foam mattress. The top inch of gel memory foam is quilted to the cover fabric. The 3” second layer is also gel-infused memory foam. The third layer (the transition layer) is high-density memory foam. The HD poly foam base layer has molded-in air channels.
The Original Purple® Mattress has only three layers. Under the polyester-rayon-spandex super-stretch mattress cover is their signature feature, the Purple Grid™ made with Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ material. The transition layer and the base layer are both high-density polyurethane foam. The transition layer’s foam is soft, and the base layer is medium firm.
The New Purple® Mattress replaces the foam base of the original with a 7 ½ inch responsive pocket coil system. This provides premium support, proper bounce, and minimal motion transfer under the luxurious Purple™ Grid.
What are the fundamental differences between the Nectar and the Purple?
The most fundamental difference between the Nectar® Mattress and the Original Purple® Bed is the comfort layer material. Purple has the innovative Purple™ Grid made from a Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ material. This forms an open, square honeycomb pattern, while Nectar relies on memory foam.
Another fundamental difference is the country of origin. Nectar mattresses are made in China, while Purple makes its mattresses in the United States.
What are the similarities between purple and nectar mattresses?
The Original Purple® Bed and the Nectar® Mattress are both foam support mattresses. This distinguishes them from a variety of innerspring mattresses, waterbeds, and adjustable airbeds.
The New Purple® Mattress differs by providing responsive coils for support.
Which mattress company is better for people who get too hot at night?
As a rule of thumb, memory foam is known to create heat issues. Since Purple mattresses do not contain any memory foam, Purple is the perfect choice for hot sleepers.
Nectar vs. Purple: The Verdict
Only the Purple® Mattress has the patented Purple™ Grid.
As you are mattress shopping, it’s important to consider the quality of the design, the materials, the construction of the mattresses, and even the marketing integrity of the companies you are considering. Purple mattresses do not contain memory foam, so you can stay nice and cool all night long. Nothing tops the breathability of the Purple™ Grid — it’s made of Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ material which allows air to circulate at the top of the mattress.
Purple provides premium comfort for all sleeping positions. The Original Purple® Mattress is firm and supportive, with a soft comfort layer to cradle your body, while the New Purple® Mattress introduces responsive pocket coils for optimal support and minimal motion transfer. The choice is clear — just look at the ratings by customers, mattress experts, and independent reviewers, such as Consumer Reports or Sleep Like the Dead. On all these counts, customers love Purple.