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|Purple makes arguably the most unique and interesting mattresses on the market today.|
These beds are easy to contrast, but it’s hard to pick a winner. There are some real, legitimate reasons to get Helix over Purple and Purple over Helix. And while there’s a lot that goes into creating a mattress—and evaluating a mattress—this Helix vs Purple debate boils down to four major items.
As you’d expect, there’s a lot to consider with these two beds—more than we could fit into this video or the list above. Keeping reading for more details on Helix and Purple.
Both companies offer free shipping with their mattresses. This is the case with nearly all mattresses that we’ve reviewed. Helix ships their mattresses in a box that’s about 4-feet tall, while Purple ships the original Purple mattress in a big bag and the New Purple mattresses come with white glove delivery.
Helix and Purple also offer a 100-night risk-free trial period where you can sleep on the mattress for 3+ months without making your final decision. In other words, you can use the mattress for 99 nights and still return it if you don’t want it.
That’s right, both brands also have completely free returns. In fact, all you need to do is call them up and they’ll send someone to your house to pick up the bed, free of charge. That shows you just how competitive this whole online mattress shopping industry is and how confident Helix and Purple are in their mattresses.
If you decide to keep your Helix or Purple mattress, it comes with a 10-year warranty. That’s about the average duration for a warranty of an online mattress, although we’ve seen certain brands, such as Nectar, DreamCloud, and Avocado, all offer longer warranties.
Helix has one big sell that very few other brands have. And that is that they have a bed for everyone. Purple can’t say that. Casper can’t say that. Lull Bed can’t say that. And Puffy can’t say that. I could go on, but the list would be painstakingly long.
Helix actually has nine different mattress models, but don’t worry, you won’t need to know the difference between them or anything about them. Helix does all of the heavy lifting with their Sleep Quiz.
Helix runs customers through a short questionnaire in order to most accurately recommend a bed to them. It’s actually a really neat system that works very well.
The quiz takes only a minute or two to complete, but is really a great way to make the right selection the first time. It takes all of the guessing out of the equation. You can take the Sleep Quiz on HelixSleep.com.
Because Helix has nine different mattress models, the feel will differ somewhat from mattress to mattress. In general, though, they all have a traditional softer foam feel. There’s no overwhelming memory foam sensation and they do not feel like a mattress with a pillow top.
Helix makes several beds at each firmness level so they have a bed for strict side sleepers, back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and combination sleepers.
Generally, side sleepers want softer mattresses while back and stomach sleepers prefer firmer beds. Anyone that rotates positions throughout the night typically gravitates toward a mattress that’s middle of the road in terms of firmness. This is why Midnight is probably the most popular model that Helix offers.
Simple enough, Helix makes the more affordable bed, with and without discounts. For a queen size mattress, Helix is about $1,000 pre-discount. The original Purple is about the same, but Purple almost never offers mattress coupons.
The best you’ll see Purple do is bundle in a pillow, seat cushion, or sheets with your order. You can check here to see what promotions Purple is running today.
If you consider Purple 2, Purple 3, or Purple 4, the price difference with Helix is quite large. Suffice it to say that Helix is the more affordable option and, therefore, if you’re choosing purely based on price, Helix is the clear winner.
All Helix mattresses have a bottom cover and top cover. The bottom cover doesn’t do much for you, but the top cover is actually removable and machine washable. That might not sound all that great, but few beds have machine washable covers.
Helix also sells a cooling cover with a phase change material built in. The Helix Ultra Cool Cover is actually cool to the touch and does a pretty good job of cooling you down at night.
The cooling cover won’t turn Helix into the best cooling mattress for hot/sweaty sleepers, but it’s better than the standard cover if you tend to warm up at night.
There are a lot of mattresses that people can buy online nowadays, but there’s nothing quite like Purple out there. For some people that will be a good thing, but for others it won’t be. It’s new and unique, but that can be divisive.
All purple mattresses feature the company’s proprietary top layer, Hyper-Elastic Polymer. It’s a gel-like material that really is a breakthrough in bedding technology.
It’s hard to describe what Hyper-Elastic Polymer feels like, but we think it’s very comfortable. When you lay on it, you get a good amount of pressure relief and support, almost like you’re just floating there.
You can feel yourself displacing and pushing the material around, which some people like and others don’t. It also happens to be highly responsive, which makes switching sleeping positions effortless.
We really haven’t seen anything like this in terms of responsiveness. It’s somehow pressure relieving, supportive, and responsive, all at the same time. You can read more about Hyper-Elastic Polymer on Purple’s website.
Because the Hyper-Elastic Polymer material is laid out in a grid format, it actually has very little surface area and therefore allows for plenty of airflow.
Purple beds sleep quite cool because they allow for so much airflow. If you sleep hot at night, Purple is going to be one of your best options.
To be clear though, Purple beds are not cool to the touch—they just don’t tend to retain heat nearly as much as memory foam mattresses, for example.
Despite having a few big areas where each bed outright bests the other, there are a few places where we just can’t pick a winner.
All Helix mattresses have coils, which tend to be better over the long run for handling heavier folks (250 lb or more). They even make a specific model called Nightfall, which is a mattress for heavy and obese sleepers.
The New Purple mattresses are also spring/hybrid mattresses that are built to handle heavier folks. The only beds we can’t recommend for heavier people are the softer Helix models and the original Purple mattress.
Because both brands offer numerous mattress models, they have an option for all types of sleepers. The Original Purple mattress is suitable for all sleeping positions as long as you’re under 225 lb. Purple 2 is designed more for back and stomach sleepers. Purple 3 works for all sleepers, as does Purple 4.
For Helix, just use the Sleep Quiz on their website to find the right mattress for your dominant sleeping position. The two softer mattresses (Sunset and Moonlight) are meant mostly for side sleepers. The two medium beds (Midnight and Dusk) can handle all sleeping positions. And the two firm models (Twilight and Dawn) are designed for back and/or stomach sleepers in particular.
Edge support refers to how strong the perimeter of the bed is. The firmer Helix mattresses will be better in terms of edge support. The New Purple mattresses, since they have a dense, firm boarder, have great edges support. The softer Helix mattresses and the Original Purple won’t be great at supporting you along the edges.
Edge support is only really important for couples sleeping on a smaller bed (such as a full or a queen) where space is limited and you need to be able to utilize the entire surface of the mattress. If the bed doesn’t have strong edge support, it will compress so much that you’ll get a roll-off sensation, which can be pretty unnerving.
This is another element that’s mostly important for couples. Motion isolation refers to how well the bed deadens motion. Helix and Purple are both very good at isolating motion and therefore are a good option for light sleepers.
If your partner likes to get a midnight snack or just constantly has to go pee in the middle of the night, you can pretty much choose any Helix or Purple mattress and you should be fine. That said, if you’re really concerned with perfect motion isolation, make sure to check out our list of the best mattresses for light sleepers and motion isolation.