Purple Original mattress review 2022

The Purple Original mattress stands out with its innovative gel grid, which flexes when you move. But is it right for you?

Purple Original mattress review lead image shows a woman lying on her side on said mattress
(Image: © Purple)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Purple mattress offers a premium sleep at a mid-range price. The breathable, dynamic grid feels soft to touch, while delivering a firmly supportive sleeping experience: it's like floating on air. We found it better at relieving pressure and more comfortable than typical foam mattresses or airbeds. Some people find its unique feel takes a little while to get used to - but we say it's worth the wait.

Pros

  • +

    Purple Grid is very supportive

  • +

    Stays cool at night

  • +

    Great for couples

Cons

  • -

    May take two people to unpack

  • -

    Edge support could be better

  • -

    Some won't like the gel-like feel

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Purple Original mattress: Review in brief

  • Features an adaptive proprietary gel grid for tailored relief
  • Sleeps cool and features low motion transfer
  • Comes with a 100-night trial plus a 10-year warranty

The Purple Original mattress is perhaps best known for its innovative grid layer (and to a lesser extent these days, its silly commercials). This flagship mattress is the company's least expensive offering, racking 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.

Purple's patented GelFlex Grid is a dynamic and durable hyper-elastic gel that flexes under pressure to deliver tailored support. It's also designed to improve airflow due to the thousands of air channels within it. This gives the Purple Original mattress a slightly different feel than traditional memory foam mattresses, which sleepers will either really enjoy or find strange. 

We tested the Purple Original mattress for two weeks in various areas of performance. Scroll below for our in-depth review to find out if 'the bed that broke the internet is the best mattress for you...

Purple mattress review

(Image credit: Purple)
At a glance: Purple Original

Best for: hot sleepers, couples, people with back pain
Type: mattress-in-a-box
Firmness: medium-firm (7/10)
Materials: Purple GelFlex Grid, foam, polyester-blend
Depth: 9.5 inches
Weight: 65-140lbs
Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king, split king

The Purple Original is the company’s first and most affordable mattress. A twin retails for $799, while the RRP for a queen is $1,399. Like most top mattress-in-a-box brands, inflation has given way to rising costs and that includes Purple. The cost of the Purple Original mattress has increased between $200 and $400. Despite the obvious jump in cost, it's still among the more competitively-priced mid-range mattresses out there, with frequent sales offering ways to save throughout the year and our Purple promo codes available for other ways to save  too.

Sleeping on the Purple Original mattress gave us the impression that we were floating due to the GelFlex Grid — but at the same time, we felt that full-body support, no matter which sleeping position we assumed. The adaptive nature of the GelFlex Grid meant it was softer along the shoulders and hips whilst firmer in the lumbar. However, the feel of the GelFlex Grid may be off-putting to sleepers who expect the more typical 'hug' of a memory foam mattress.

It's not a cooling mattress per se, but the construction of the Purple Original is made with breathability in mind. Our hot sleepers remained comfortably dry throughout the night. We also found it to have low motion transfer, even with the 'squishy' feel of the gel layer. That's 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 that area. It's also cumbersome to set up alone as it's a very heavy mattress, so make sure to enlist the help of a friend or family member, especially if you're ordering a larger size.

Purple includes a 100-night risk-free trial, giving you just over three months to decide if it's right for you. If you're not satisfied with it after 21 days (Purple's minimum trial period), you'll get a complete refund and be able to return it for free. Otherwise, you can keep the mattress and be backed by a 10-year warranty that covers defects, separation of the grid material, and any permanent body indentations an inch in depth or greater. It also covers the zippered top cover for defects and workmanship issues for two years after the original purchase.

See the Purple Original mattress from $799 + free gift (opens in new tab)

See the Purple Original mattress from $799 + free gift
(opens in new tab)Buy directly from Purple to avail of your choice of a free gift, (worth up to $179). Try its proprietary GelFlex Grid technology risk-free for 100 nights, and return it for free if you feel it's not right for you. But if you love the Purple Original enough to keep it, your purchase will be backed by a 10-year warranty.

Purple Original mattress: Materials

The Purple Original is a 9.5-inch mattress made from a unique layer of proprietary hyper-elastic polymer material plus dual layers of foam. These work to softly cradle your pressure points - whether you’re sleeping on your front, back or side - while keeping the rest of your body fully supported.

On top of the Purple mattress there’s a soft, cooling, knit top cover that’s non-toxic and fire retardant. This breathable soft flex cover is designed to promote airflow, and it can be removed, although Purple recommends spot-cleaning any spills rather than putting it in the washing machine (if you do, it’ll shrink and lose its plush sensation). You can also keep it safe from stains by purchasing a mattress protector.

The next layer consists of two inches of Purple's GelFlex Grid. This unique material is designed to flex under your shoulders and hips while supporting your spine. There are also thousands of air channels inside the grid, which boost airflow, and the material itself is temperature-neutral so it won’t trap your body heat. Instead, the mattress stays at a cool, comfortable temperature all night long.

Under the Purple Grid is a dual layer of comfort foam. First, 3.5 inches of soft, cushioning polyurethane foam creates a slight sink-in feeling; then a firmer 4-inch layer of high-density polyurethane foam provides support and stability across the mattress. Together, all the layers combine to deliver a firmer mattress experience than some bed-in-box options, resulting in the Purple mattress feeling different to a regular foam mattress.

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Purple Mattress: sizing
SizeDimensionsHeightWeight
Twin38” x 75”9.25”Not listed
Twin XL38” x 80”9.25”70 lbs
Full54” x 75”9.25”81 lbs
Queen60” x 80”9.25”110 lbs
King76” x 80”9.25”140 lbs
Cal king72” x 84”9.25”140 lbs
Split Cal king76” x 80”9.25”2 packages 70 lbs each

Purple Original mattress: Price and deals

Purple mattress review

(Image credit: Purple)
  • 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 Original mattress: Firmness and comfort

Purple mattress review

(Image credit: Purple)
  • 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 (opens in new tab), 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 Original mattress: 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

Purple mattress review

(Image credit: Purple)

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?

Purple mattress review

(Image credit: Purple)

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 (opens in new tab), 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.

Jennifer Nelson
Freelance mattress reviewer

Jennifer Nelson is a freelance mattress reviewer for Tom's Guide, and writes about sleep and sleep hygiene for a number of brands such as Phillips Respironics and The National Sleep Foundation, as well as publications like AARP, WebMD, NextAvenue.org, Shondaland and others. For Tom's Guide, Jennifer has tested a number of leading memory foam and hybrid mattresses, including the Saatva Classic, the Helix Midnight Mattress, and the Purple Mattress.