I slept on Purple's $199 DreamLayer pillow for a week — is it worth it?

Purple DreamLayer Pillow
(Image credit: Purple)

I've never been the type of person to fuss over pillows. A few years ago I purchased the Tempur-Cloud Adjustable Pillows and found them to be soft, comfy and firm enough to support my head/neck while I slept. Fast forward two years and my pillows are now flat and dull. 

Enter the new Purple DreamLayer Pillow. Released last month, the new pillow promises the contour-hugging support you expect from memory foam, but without trapping heat like some foam pillows tend to do. I've been using the pillow for just over a week and the good news is that Purple's pillow delivers exactly what it promises. The bad news is that one pillow costs $199. 

Fortunately, the pillow is on sale right now. You can get the Purple DreamLayer Pillow for just $159 at Purple. That's 20% off and the first time this pillow is on sale. It's part of Purple's broader Presidents' Day preview.  The question is — should you buy it. (For more deals, check out our Presidents Day mattress sales roundup). 

Purple DreamLayer Pillow: was $199 now $159 @ Purple

Purple DreamLayer Pillow: was $199 now $159 @ Purple
Released in 2024, the Purple DreamLayer Pillow uses Purple's proprietary GelFlex Grid with MicroAir Foam to create a pillow that contours to your head/neck, but dissipates heat to keep you cool at night. It includes two removable booster layers so you can customize your pillow to be low, medium, or tall. It's on sale for the first time for $159.

What I like about the Purple DreamLayer Pillow

Purple DreamLayer Pillow shown in box

(Image credit: Future)

Purple mattresses are known for the company's GelFlex grid. As we mentioned in our Purple Mattress review, it's designed to deliver the tailored support you'd find with memory foam, but without trapping any heat. I purchased a Purple Mattress two years ago and can attest that the grid is comfy and does a solid job of keeping you cool overnight. 

That same grid is the foundation of the new Purple DreamLayer Pillow. As someone who tends to sleep hot and enjoys a cool bed and pillow, the Purple DreamLayer Pillow is the first pillow I've used  that doesn't require me to rotate it overnight as I look for a "cool" spot to rest my head. 

I also like that the pillow comes with two removable booster layers, so you can adjust its height to your liking. I personally use one layer when sleeping or two layers if I want to prop myself up in bed. To be fair, there are many pillows that are adjustable, but few of them are adjustable and good at regulating heat. 

Finally, I like that the pillow feels heavy/substantial. It weighs 6.5 pounds and you can feel every pound when you lift it with one hand, but the pillow itself is actually very soft. (By comparison, my old Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Cloud Pillow weighed 4.5 pounds and felt very light).

What I don't like about the Purple DreamLayer Pillow

Purple DreamLayer Pillow

(Image credit: Purple)

In a word — it smells. Like many bed-in-a-box mattresses, the Purple DreamLayer Pillow releases a chemical-like odor when first taken out of the box. This process is known as off-gassing. The smell didn't prevent me from getting a good night's sleep, but if you're sensitive to smells or sleep on your side (with your nose close to the pillow), you'll definitely want to air it out for a few days before using it. 

Although I managed to find the right height level for my pillow, I wish the inserts came in different sizes. Removing both boosters results in a pillow that's too low for me, but a 0.5 booster I think would be ideal. 

Small gripes aside, it's the pillow's $199 price that makes it a hard recommendation. But on sale for $159 or less, it's a little less intimidating and a solid buy for anyone who tends to sleep hot. Stay tuned for our full review of the Purple DreamLayer Pillow.

Louis Ramirez

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.