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Nectar vs Purple: their two most affordable mattresses compared

Purple Original mattress side by side with a Nectar Memory Foam mattress
(Image credit: Nectar/Purple)

A boxed mattress is one of the most affordable ways to upgrade your bed, and in our Nectar vs Purple comparison, we're pitting two of the most popular models against one another. Both these brands are rated highly in our best mattress guide (Nectar sits at the top), but we feel there are enough key differences between the two to help you make a choice more easily. 

Here we are specifically looking at the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress and the Purple Original Mattress, focusing on price, design, features and technology, and all the small details such as warranty and trial length. Of course, we’ll also be looking at the levels of comfort, support and pressure relief each mattress delivers to ensure you’re getting exactly what your body needs.

Let’s take a look now at Nectar vs Purple – two great choices when it comes to the best mattresses in a box money can buy.

Nectar vs Purple: At a glance

Nectar Mattress - best for:

  • Smaller budgets
  • Side and back sleepers
  • If you like a ‘huggy’ cradled feel

Purple Mattress - best for:

  • Firmer full body support
  • Hot sleepers
  • Couples who share a bed

Nectar is a trusted mattress manufacturer in the US and UK, offering three mattresses in the US and two in the UK; a mix of memory foam and hybrids. There’s the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress, the Nectar Premier and the Nectar Premier Copper in the US, and the Nectar Memory Foam and Nectar Hybrid in the UK. 

Purple has plenty to offer too but for US customers only. There are five mattresses to choose from, ranging from the Purple Original we’re looking at here, to the Purple Hybrid Premier 4 – a soft and luxurious hybrid mattress designed with four inches of the brand’s innovative GelFlex Grid. Again, our Purple Mattress review will give you the full low-down on this bed-in-a-box.

Our Nectar vs Purple comparison looks specifically at the Nectar Memory Foam and the Purple Original. The Nectar usually starts at $798 but is on sale for $499 (it also comes with up to $399 of free gifts), while the Purple Original starts at $799. There's a standard range of sizes on offer from both brands, from twin to Cal King, but Purple also offers a split king.

Both Purple and Nectar offer free shipping and returns within the US. For $200 you can also choose In-Home Setup with Purple, while Nectar’s White Glove delivery is cheaper at $149. When it comes to warranty and trial, Nectar offers a Forever Warranty and a 365-night trial, compared to Purple's shorter 100-night trial and average 10-year warranty.

Nectar vs Purple: Side by side

Three people lie on a Purple mattress that's placed in front of a wall of speakers

(Image credit: Purple)

Nectar Mattress

  • RRP: $499 to $1,199
  • Type: Bed-in-a-box
  • Best for: All sleepers; lighter bodies
  • Firmness: Medium (6)
  • Sleep trial: 365 nights
  • Warranty: Forever
  • Standout features: Breathable cover; good pressure relief; medium-firm feel
  • Materials: Poly-blend cover, supportive foam, adaptive response transition foam, gel memory foam
  • Depth: 12 inches
  • Weight: 40-84lbs
  • Sizes: Twin to split Cal king

Purple Mattress

  • RRP: From $799 to $1,998
  • Type: Bed-in-a-box
  • Best for: back sleepers; heavier bodies;  sleepers with back pain
  • Firmness: Medium firm (6.5)
  • Sleep trial: 100 nights
  • Warranty: 10 years 
  • Standout features: Purple GelFlex Grid, cooling design
  • Materials: Viscose, polyester, Lycra
  • Depth: 9.25 inches
  • Weight: 65-140lbs
  • Sizes: Twin to split king

Nectar vs Purple: Prices, trials

  • Nectar has a 365-night trial; Purple has a 100-night trial
  • Both brands offer free shipping and returns within the US
  • Nectar is currently a better value option than Purple

When it comes to sheer affordability, Nectar can't be beaten. The Nectar Memory Foam mattress is currently in the Nectar mattress sale for just $499 (was $798) and has up to $399 of free bedding bundled in too. The largest Cal king size Nectar Memory Foam mattress is now down to just $1,099 (was $1,598), making this choice super-size in both dimensions and savings.

The Purple Original Mattress starts at $799, which is just a dollar more than the RRP of the twin size Nectar. There are rarely free gifts with the Purple Original, but there are cash savings if you also want to buy a mattress protector (you can usually save $50) or an Ascent Adjustable Base (you can save $300, depending on the Purple mattress sale offer).

Nectar vs Purple: image shows the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress on a wooden bed frame and dressed with a white comforter and pillows

(Image credit: Nectar Sleep)

When you consider the innovation and materials used to make the Purple mattress, not to mention the posture support on offer, we think this starting price is very reasonable. If you’re looking to size up, the Cal king size is $1,799, making it just over $100 more expensive than the RRP of the Nectar Cal king.

Nectar also sits at the top of our best memory foam mattress guide because it's affordable and comfortable for most sleepers, regardless of the position you sleep in. It's also surprisingly breathable for an all-foam model, so hot sleepers will find it more comfortable than many of its foam competitors.

Both brands offer risk-free sleep trials, but Nectar offers you an entire year 365 to trial its mattress, plus you get a Lifetime Warranty. Purple’s 100-night trial is still more than enough to figure out whether the mattress suits your body, and the 10-year warranty is still good, but it doesn't come close to what Nectar offers.

Nectar vs Purple winner: Nectar wins here with ease. Not only is the mattress frequently on sale at a very affordable price, you'll also get up to $399 of free bedding added to your order too. Add in that 365-trial and a Forever Warranty, and it's truly unbeatable for value for money.

Nectar vs Purple: Build and materials

  • The Nectar is an all-foam mattress
  • The Purple Original features GelFlex Grid tech
  • Both mattresses are breathable

Without doubt, there’s plenty of quality on offer with both the Nectar Memory Foam and the Purple Mattress, but there’s enough here to set them apart from each other. The Nectar features foam layers with a 7-inch stay-stable base layer and a 2-inch dynamic support layer. 

On top of this you’ll find 3 inches of Nectar gel memory foam to keep your body cool and contoured with plenty of pressure relief and a cozy ‘hug’ feel. On the top lies a soft, breathable cover made with cooling and heat-wicking technology. The entire mattress then rests on a shift-resistant lower cover that keeps it in place no matter how much you move.

The Purple Original is also constructed in layers, with comfort foam at the base comprising a softer, cushioning layer and a firmer more supportive layer. Both are made using high-density durable foam.

Purple mattress review

(Image credit: Purple)

The key layer in Purple's offering is 2 inches of Purple GelFlex Grid. This proprietary technology is made using hyper-elastic and temperature-neutral GelFlex material that instantly adapts to cushion you at your pressure points, while still providing excellent support for the rest of your body.

The Purple grid design provides plenty of channels for air to flow freely through the mattress, which is ideal for hot sleepers. The cover is a custom breathable knit-fabric SoftFlex cover that enables enough movement for the grid layer to contour your body, while still feeling firm and comfortable to rest on.

Both mattresses are built to a high standard and are made using materials that are hypoallergenic and CertiPUR-US certified to guarantee low toxicity. Purple makes its mattresses in the US, while Nectar’s mattresses are made in China.

Nectar vs Purple winner: When it comes to innovation, Purple wins. The Purple GelFlex Grid, made with a hyper-elastic polymer to offer extreme durability and comfort, is highly innovative. We're impressed that Purple has added it to this entry-level model, and while the Nectar has a wealth of good quality materials, it just isn't as innovative as the Purple.

Nectar vs Purple: Support and comfort

  • The Purple offers firmer support
  • The Nectar suits all sleeping positions
  • Both are suitable for hot sleepers

The Nectar mattress has plenty to offer when it comes to comfort, offering full body support with each layer working together to help your body feel well-rested. There’s also lots of coziness, with just enough softness to keep you comfortable without sinking too much into the mattress. 

If you sleep on your side, or are lighter in weight, then you will probably prefer the Nectar Memory Foam over the Purple Original, with the softness cushioning all of your main pressure points nicely.

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

(Image credit: Nectar Sleep)

As expected, with its GridFlex technology, the Purple Original delivers big on comfort, feeling stable and adaptive if you prefer a medium-firm feel. While there is still plenty of coziness, if you are lighter in weight or prefer the feel of a softer mattress, then the Nectar is the better option for you. 

Saying that, because the Purple mattress is so adaptive, it somehow manages to be both soft and firm at once, with the mattress feeling more cushioned at the shoulders and hips, yet remaining firmer under the back.

If you sleep hot, we'd describe both mattresses as breathable – the Nectar in the form of its cooling gel layer, and the Purple with its grid-construction GelFlex layer, which lets air flow through the channels. For very hot sleepers, we'd recommend one of the best cooling mattresses instead.

Nectar vs Purple winner: We're declaring this a draw, as it entirely depends on your sleeping position, body weight, whether you sleep alone or with a partner, and your preference for a softer or firmer bed. The Purple is firmer and excellent for heavier bodies and back sleepers, while the Nectar is a superb option if you sleep on your back or side, or want something softer. Both isolate motion well, making them equally good choices for couples and restless sleepers.

Nectar vs Purple: User reviews

  • Both mattresses rated highly with customers
  • Both have positive feedback for comfort and pain relief
  • Nectar has the highest amount of positive user reviews

Nectar’s website features plenty of user reviews for its Memory Foam Mattress. There are over 41,200 user reviews and counting on the Nectar website right now, with an average score of 4.8 out of 5 stars. 

Positive feedback includes comments such as: “Comfortable and supportive, timely shipping, easy setup”, and “I enjoy the firmness of this mattress, contours to you great and you don't sink into it.” 

There were also many users saying they experienced less joint and back pain since sleeping on the Nectar. The company itself is quick to reply to all comments. There aren't many negative comments to analyze, but the ones that appear mostly focus on the mattress being firmer than expected. We have slept on the Nectar for well over a year now and found it to be very comfortable from the first night – and it still is.

Nectar vs Purple: a person places their hand on top of the Purple mattress

(Image credit: Purple)

Over on the Purple website it’s a similar story when it comes to the amount of reviews, with more than 31,000 for the Purple Original and an average user rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. 

Feedback includes statements such as, “I suffer from back, neck and shoulder pain. After a week of sleeping on our new Purple mattress, my pain is gone.” Another stated: “I recommend it to everyone. Traditional mattresses don’t compare. It provides support no matter what position you sleep in.”

As with Nectar, Purple are good at replying to all comments. Most of the critical comments centred around the mattress being either too firm or too soft for the sleeper, which only shows how subjective mattress firmness is. In most instances of the reviews we analyzed, Purple responded quickly, either with a solution or offering assistance with the warranty or returns.

Nectar vs Purple winner: Once again, Nectar edges Purple here and wins this section for its high levels of positive feedback from customers, many of whom now experience less back and shoulder pain thanks to sleeping on this mattress.

Nectar vs Purple: Which one should you buy?

The choice between Nectar vs Purple ultimately comes down to sleep style as well as budget. Both mattresses are very affordable, but Purple doesn't come close to rivalling Nectar in terms of value for money. At $100 off and up to $399 of free bedding, we've yet to come across such an excellent mid-range mattress that's as affordable as the Nectar.

Throw in the 365-night risk-free mattress trial and a Lifetime Warranty, and it's the perfect option for most people. We'd also recommend the Nectar over the Purple is you enjoy a slightly softer all-foam mattress but not one that lets you sink deep into the bed – that isn't what the Nectar does; it cradles while supporting you.

For a slightly firmer feel, which we think better suits heavier bodies and couples, then the Purple has what you need. It also delivers a higher level of pressure relief, meaning it would offer greater comfort to people with back pain and sore joints.

Hot sleepers, take your pick of either the Nectar or Purple as both are breathable and designed to dissipate heat rather than retain it. Ultimately the choice comes down to your budget and preference for firmness, and as both come on risk-free mattress trials, you could try one out to see if it works for you. If not, return it and get a refund. After all, sleep is so important, you deserve a comfy place to rest your body at night.

Whichever one you choose, make sure you invest in the best mattress protector for your budget to keep your new bed cleaner and fresher for longer. To amp your sleep comfort, consider using a great mattress topper too.

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Davina is an experienced sleep writer and mattress reviewer who also contributes to our sister site TechRadar, among other Future plc brands. Davina's a big fan of organic sleep products and has recently invested in a wool mattress topper that she quite happily describes as "life-changing." (Hey, we're serious about our sleep products). When she isn't testing mattresses or writing about sleep, Davina enjoys reading and creative writing, and incorporates meditation and yoga into her wellness routine.