Purple mattress review in brief
The Purple Original mattress is perhaps best known for its innovative grid layer (and to a lesser extent these days, its silly commercials). The brand has racked up numerous industry awards since it exploded onto the scene in 2015 courtesy of two Utah-based brothers with backgrounds in rocket science and manufacturing. We tested the Purple Original – the company's first mattress – for two weeks, assessing it in various areas of performance and comfort. Scroll below for our in-depth review to find out if 'the bed that broke the internet' is the best mattress for you. Or, for those in a hurry, here's the short version...
Type: 'GelFlex' mattress-in-a-box
Firmness: Medium-firm (7/10)
Height: 9.5 inches
Trial: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 years
Price bracket: Upper mid-range
Materials: Purple GelFlex Grid, foams, polyester-blend cover
Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king, split king
Purple's patented GelFlex Grid is a dynamic and durable hyper-elastic grid layer that flexes under pressure but springs back into shape immediately. It's designed to delivery the kind of tailored support you'll find with memory foam, but with none of the issues of trapping heat. We found the Purple Original mattress delivered a kind of floating sensation. The adaptive nature of the GelFlex Grid means it feels softer along the shoulders and hips and firmer under the lumbar, and we felt completely supported, no matter which sleeping position we assumed. However, it's not a traditional sleep feel, and as such might be off-putting to some people.
One benefit of the grid is that its open structure makes this mattress nice and breathable. – our hot sleepers remained comfortably cool throughout the night. We also found it to have low motion transfer, which is good news for co-sleepers who operate on different schedules or share a bed with a restless partner. If you're prone to moving toward the edge of the bed, beware that the Purple Original is lacking in edge support.
Since we first reviewed the flagship Original model, the range has expanded considerably. This mattress now sits in Purple's Essential collection, above the pared-back NewDay mattress and below the amped-up Plus version (read about that in our Purple Plus mattress review). There are also two fancier collections: Premium and Luxe.
Despite being on the cheaper end of this brand's range, the Purple Original is not a particularly cheap mattress (it sits in the upper mid-range, although there are occasional Purple mattress deals that make it a little more affordable) and the extras (a 100-night trial and 10-year warranty) aren't overly generous either. However, there's nothing really like it on the market. Want a closer look? Read on for our full Purple Original mattress review.
Purple Original mattress review: Design & materials
- USP is the bouncy, hyper-elastic gel grid layer
- Design also includes foams and a stretchy cover
- 9.5 inches tall, so shallower than most competitor models
The Purple Original is a bed-in-a-box that includes a bouncy 'GelFlex Grid' layer (2 on the diagram below). This sits at the top of the mattress and is designed to flex under the sleeper's body to provide custom support in a similar way to today's best memory foam mattresses, except this grid bounces back immediately when pressure is removed. Because of the open structure, it shouldn't trap heat. Around the perimeter of this layer is a foam border (3), designed to firm up the edges of the mattress.
On top of the grid layer is a stretchy knit cover (1) that's designed to flex with the mattress beneath, so you get the full adaptive benefits. Although it can be removed, Purple recommends spot-cleaning any spills rather than putting it in the washing machine (if you do, it’ll shrink and lose its softness). You can also keep it safe from stains by purchasing a mattress protector.
Under the Purple Grid is a layer of comfort foam (4), also designed to conform to the sleeper's body shape, and a base layer of sturdier support foam (5). See our mattress foam types guide for more info.
The overall feel is fairly unique – it's different from a memory foam mattress, but doesn't quite sit comfortably amongst today's best hybrid mattresses either, as those tend to include a coil layer.
At 9.5 inches tall, it's also one of the shallowest mattresses we've slept on. We usually recommend a minimum of 10 inches for most adults, although this model's unusual materials mean it manages to deliver more-than-adequate support and softness despite the thin profile. However, it won't have quite such a luxurious look and feel as chunkier models.
|Twin||38” x 75”||9.25”||Not listed|
|Twin XL||38” x 80”||9.25”||70 lbs|
|Full||54” x 75”||9.25”||81 lbs|
|Queen||60” x 80”||9.25”||110 lbs|
|King||76” x 80”||9.25”||140 lbs|
|Cal king||72” x 84”||9.25”||140 lbs|
|Split Cal king||76” x 80”||9.25”||2 packages 70 lbs each|
Purple mattress review: Price and deals
- A mid-range mattress that's on the higher end of the pricing scale
- Available to buy online or from brick-and-mortar partners
- Get a free item of your choice with purchase (worth up to $179)
The Purple Original is the brand's least expensive mattress. It sits comfortably within the mid-range tier, with prices ranging from $799 for a twin to $1,998 for a split king. The most popular size, a queen, retails for $1,399. Inflation has led to a gradual rise in these prices — between $200 and $400. But that's an issue that's not unique to Purple.
Fortunately. Purple mattress deals take place regularly throughout the year. During larger sale periods such as Black Friday, discounts of up to $400-$500 can be available when you buy your Purple mattress as part of a bundle deal. Currently, the brand is offering a free gift, featuring your choice of a Purple Harmony Pillow, Purple Complete Comfort Sheets, or a Purple Mattress Protector.
Here's the official pricing for all sizes of the Purple Original mattress:
- Twin: $799
- Twin XL: $999
- Full: $1,199
- Queen: $1,399
- King: $1,799
- Cal King: $1,799
- Split Cal King: $1,998
How does the Purple mattress compare to its mid-range rivals? It's cheaper than purchasing a twin-sized Casper Original mattress ($895) but you'll pay more for a queen-sized Purple Original. (It costs $1,295 for a Casper Original queen.)
When it comes to Nectar vs Purple, however, Nectar is hands-down a better value thanks to its low prices (a queen Nectar regularly goes for $799 on sale), hundreds of dollars worth of freebies, and generous amenities that include a 1-year trial and lifetime warranty. But we'd recommend you go for Nectar over Purple if you prefer a softer foam mattress with a traditional 'hug' of memory foam.
Within Purple's own range of mattresses, the Original has since been succeeded by the Purple Plus mattress, which features a taller yet slimmer design and even better airflow, among other upgrades — but it's also $400 to $500 more than its predecessor.
You can order online from Purple direct and avail of a 100-night trial, free delivery, and a 10-year warranty. It's also available to purchase from Purple’s brick-and-mortar retail partners, including Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Rooms to Go, and Mattress Firm. There's even a Purple storefront on Amazon. That said, we recommend you purchase straight from Purple in order to take full advantage of the trial and warranty period.
Purple mattress review: Firmness and comfort
- 7 out of 10 firmness
- Very little motion transfer
- Excellent temperature regulation
Purple classifies the Purple mattress as a medium-firm comfort level, or 6-7 out of 10 on the firmness scale (with 10 being the firmest). Our reviewers agreed: they found the mattress to be a 7, noting that it had a soft, plush feel on top, while also offering surprisingly firm support. It was squishy when pressed, but firm when we lay down.
Though technically an all-foam mattress, the Purple mattress feels different. The gel grid gives the impression that you’re floating while you sleep: there’s a simultaneous sensation of feeling completely supported, while hovering on the top of the mattress.
Our reviewers gave the Purple mattress high marks across the board. It was easy to order, and when it arrived it was fairly simple for two people to unzip, unpack and unroll, with no off-gassing or plastic smell.
When sleeping on the Purple mattress, our reviewers' pressure points - shoulders, hips and knees - were snuggly supported, with weight distributed easily. Side and back sleeping was super comfortable: if you’re a combination back and side sleeper, you’ll likely find the Purple mattress a great fit. If you’re a stomach sleeper, you still may appreciate the soft, firmness of the Purple mattress - but some may prefer a firmer option.
Overall, we think the Purple mattress will suit most people. Heavier back or stomach sleepers may prefer the Purple Hybrid mattress, though, which uses a layer of coils to provide even better pressure relief and support.
We slept on the Purple mattress for several weeks and could find little to complain about. However, if you’re not used to a foam mattress, you may need some adjustment time. Similarly, if you’ve been sleeping on a sub-standard mattress for a while, Purple advises giving the mattress 21 days to get used to it. According to Purple, some people’s bodies can become used to compensating for improper support, and it can take a few weeks to unwind back into a balanced state.
We found the Purple mattress to be a good option for couples. The unique polymer technology was excellent for reducing motion transfer, making it a particularly good choice for anyone with a restless partner - you’ll be much less likely to notice them tossing and turning.
As far as temperature goes, our reviewers remained cool and comfortable throughout the night. Whether that’s due to the polymer grid system - there are over 2,800 open air channels to allow cooling throughout the mattress - or the breathable foams and soft flex cover, we noticed little heat being trapped while sleeping. As a result, we think the Purple mattress is an excellent option for anyone who tends to overheat at night.
Purple mattress review: What we didn't like
- Edge support could be better
- Purple mattress box is heavy when it arrives
One area in which the Purple mattress could be better is edge support. While this feature has improved since the last iteration of the mattress, and is adequate, it’s still not best-in-class. When sitting on the edge of the bed, our reviewers notably sank in more than they did when lying on either side, or in the middle. We’re not saying it’s easy to roll right off, because we didn’t have that problem, but getting proper edge support is a challenge in a foam mattress bed-in-box, and the Purple does have this issue.
We also found that when the Purple mattress box arrived, it was a very heavy bundle and easily took two people to unpack and unroll. One of our reviewers could barely carry it inside alone, and noticed that the delivery driver used a dolly.
Purple Original mattress: User reviews
Our experience with the Purple mattress was extremely positive, but all mattresses are subjective. One person’s experience can be very different to that of another: your height, weight, sleeping style, body temperature and more all affect how you find a mattress. So to create a more rounded picture of what the Purple mattress is like to sleep on, we researched thousands of Purple mattress reviews from users on sites including Amazon, Google reviews and Consumer Affairs, and pulled out some recurring themes.
The Purple mattress has an excellent average score of 4.4 out of 5 from over 26,000 user reviews on the Purple website (Feb 2021). It’s rated similarly on Amazon, with 4.5 out of 5 from a much smaller user review pool of just over 200 people.
Many users say the Purple mattress relieved their pressure points and eased joint pain. Lots of people comment that they love the mattress and are sleeping far better than they were before. Some praise the mattress for its temperature regulation, saying they no longer wake up sweating. A few comment that they don’t notice any movement when their partner gets in and out of bed too.
However, some were not happy with the support the mattress offered. Of the comparatively few negative Purple mattress reviews, one recurring theme involved people waking up with aches and pains. Many of these complaints came from customers still within the 21 adjustment period, who were frustrated they couldn’t return their mattress until after the three weeks were up.
A handful of negative reviews also came from people who either weighed under 130 pounds or over 230 pounds. The lighter reviewers felt that the mattress was too hard; some heavier users said they could feel the grid material beneath them while lying down.
Should you buy the Purple Original mattress?
Our reviewers give the Purple mattress serious props. We found it more supportive, comfortable and cooler than typical foam mattresses or airbeds, and enjoyed the responsive, soft yet firm experience. Plus, the ease of ordering, and the convenience of setting it up (with a friend) when it arrives - along with its 100-night trial - make this mattress an easy choice to recommend.
However, if you weigh over 300lbs, we’d recommend a hybrid mattress that can offer more support than Purple's combo of gel and foam. Purple has its own line of hybrids, but for a much more affordable option consider the DreamCloud mattress, which typically costs $999 for a queen and includes hundreds of dollars worth of freebies along with a 1-year trial and lifetime warranty.
Alternatively, if you weigh under 130lbs you may find the Purple mattress too firm. In this case, we’d recommend the Nectar Memory Foam mattress, which is one of the best values out there for any mid-range bed-in-a-box. (A queen regularly costs $799 on sale and comes with $499 in premium bedding plus a 365-night trial.)
The GelFlex Grid may take some getting used to, which is a good thing Purple offers 100 nights to test it out at home. Should you ultimately adjust to it, you'll experience a level of comfort and support that'll leave you feeling refreshed in the morning. Not to mention, the open channels of Purple's grid, breathable foams, and soft flex cover will give most hot sleepers much-needed relief. And if you sleep with a restless partner, the low motion transfer will ensure you don't miss a single wink.
Bottom line: for heavier bodies, back sleepers, and individuals who like a firmer bed in general the Purple Orignal mattress is an excellent choice. And with its high level of pressure relief, it'll also suit most sleepers with joint or back pain.