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I've been sleeping on a Purple Mattress for a week — here's the pros and cons

The Purple mattress shown from the side on a gray fabric bed base
(Image credit: Purple)

Purchasing a new mattress can be a daunting experience. Not only are there dozens of options to choose from, but price points can easily soar beyond $2,000. 

Although I track mattress sales for a living, I'm by no means a mattress reviewer, so when it came time to buying a new mattress, my first stop was browsing through our best mattress guide, in particular — our Purple mattress review

My last mattress purchase was somewhat of a blind purchase and given that I tend to suffer from lower back issues, this time around I wanted to buy a good mattress that wasn't too expensive, offered good back support and was available to ship ASAP. 

So I opted for the Purple mattress because I was familiar with the brand (I'm sure we've all seen those silly Purple ads on TV) and because the mattresses happened to be on sale. 

Keep in mind that the original Purple mattress is just one mattress in Purple's lineup. The company also offers the Purple Plus (from $1,199), Purple Hybrid (from $1,899), Purple Hybrid Premier 3 (from $2,499), and the Purple Hybrid Premier 4 (from $3,199). These are all list prices for the twin-size mattress, so as you can see prices ramp up very fast.

What I love about the Purple mattress

Purple mattress grid

(Image credit: Purple)

The Purple mattress is a memory foam mattress, but unlike other foam mattresses, it features a special grid called the Purple grid, which the company claims to be more comfortable than other memory foam-only mattresses. 

It felt like I was sleeping on pockets of air. The Purple grid was molding itself to accommodate my body while simultaneously offering the right amount of bounce.

I've traditionally slept on spring-based mattresses, so I can't compare the Purple mattress to other memory foam mattresses. However, I can say that it offers a very distinct feel from a traditional spring-based mattress. In fact, I loved the Purple grid from day one. When you first lay on the mattress, you'll feel a squishy almost gel-like feel as you settle into the mattress. That's the 2 inches of Purple grid material contouring to your body. Underneath that are additional layers of high density foam. 

Combined, they're supposed to offer the comforts of memory foam with the spring-like bounce of a coil-based mattress. It felt like I was sleeping on pockets of air. I mean that in a good way. Every time I shuffled in bed, it felt like the Purple grid was molding itself to accommodate my body while simultaneously offering the right amount of bounce to keep my body from sagging into the mattress. I'm both a side sleeper and back sleeper and felt comfortable sleeping in both positions. 

Purple Mattress (Queen): was $1,399 now $1,249 @ Purple
Purple is taking up to $200 off its entire line of mattresses. Plus, you'll get a free bedding set ($160 value) with every mattress purchase. I recently purchased the original Purple mattress (queen) for $1,249 ($50 off). After a week with the mattress, I love how it gives you that "floating on air" experience while also supporting your entire body. All sizes of the mattress are currently on sale. 

What I don't like about the Purple mattress

Purple mattress shown with pillows

(Image credit: Purple)

In a word — the mattress smells. When bed-in-a-box mattresses are first unrolled, they give off an odor known as off-gassing. It's not a harsh or rancid smell, nor did it prevent me from getting a good night's sleep, but if I pay over a grand for a bed, I don't want it to smell. 

Seven nights in and I can still smell the off-gassing, although it's slowly dissipating. (By comparison, in our Purple mattress review, our tester didn't notice any off-gassing, so your mileage may vary). 

I also hate that the edges of the mattress are too squishy. Every now and then I tend to sit on the edge of my mattress and the edges on the Purple mattress tend to sink in as if you were sitting on an overly soft pillow. The good news is that I've only noticed this on the edges. And even when I'm sitting on the edge, it doesn't feel like I'm about to fall off, it's just that I'd like more support around the mattress' four corners. 

Finally, although I love how the bed contours to my body, I wish it were just a tad firmer. After years of sleeping on a coil-based mattress, I feel like my old mattress was firmer than my current mattress. Without any physical Purple mattress stores, your only way of knowing the firmness level of the mattress you're about to buy is by purchasing it. The good news is that Purple provides a 100-night trial with free returns. 

Bottom line

The Purple mattress is my first mattress purchase in over 20 years. It's also the first memory foam mattress I've ever owned. As someone with lower back issues, I've so far found it comfortable to lay on when sleeping on my back or side. Despite a few minor complaints like overly soft edges and off-gassing odors, I've loved my first week with the mattress and have no intentions of returning it.

That said, if you're used to coil-based mattresses or think you'd prefer a firmer bed, you might be better suited with one of Purple's hybrid beds or a bed in our best mattress in a box guide.  

Shopping for other Purple mattresses? Make sure to check out our guide to the best Purple mattress deals.

As deals editor at Tom’s Guide, Louis is constantly looking for ways to avoid paying full price for the latest gadgets. With over 10 years of deals-hunting experience, Louis price checks against multiple retailers and searches high and low for the best deals to bring readers. A born-and-bred New Yorker, Louis is also an avid swimmer and marathoner. His work has appeared on Gizmodo, CNET, and Time Out New York.