Two of the most well-known bed-in-a-box brands on the market that we consistently receive requests to compare are Nectar and Purple. On one hand, you have Nectar with an affordable memory foam bed in a box, and on the other, you have Purple, who made one of the most unconventionally comfortable beds in the game. In this post, we’ll break it all down for you, including which bed is best for which types of sleepers.
For those of you who prefer the Cliff Notes version, the primary differences when comparing Nectar vs Purple can be boiled down to a few points:
- Feel: Nectar has a dense memory foam feel, while the Purple beds use a Hyper-Elastic Polymer material that has a gel-like feel. This decision really comes down to personal preference.
- Sleep Temperature: If you’re a hot sleeper, the Purple beds allow for much more airflow.
Purple Mattress has taken sleepers by storm with a one-of-a-kind mattress material and feel, while Nectar has a reputation for being one of the most popular memory foam mattresses online. Each of these beds offers something different for the consumer, and we think the choice ultimately comes down to the type of feel you’re looking for and how much money you plan on spending.
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Nectar Vs. Purple Comparison Video
As you might imagine, there’s a lot more to the Purple vs. Nectar story than we can fit into a video or a few bullet points. So continue below to learn all about Nectar vs. Purple.
Nectar vs Purple Design & Construction
Depending on what you’re looking for, Nectar mattress vs. Purple mattresses offer very different construction, which provides a slightly different sleeping experience. Nectar is completely foam, full stop, whereas Purple is a little more one-of-a-kind because of its unique Hyper-Elastic Polymer material.
The Nectar Mattress Is A 12″ Thick All-foam Mattress
Most people familiar with the mattress in a box industry hear the name Nectar and automatically associate it with budget-level beds. And while Nectar is priced affordably, it’s also a solid mattress in almost all aspects. To give you an idea of the construction and design, here’s a breakdown of the layers:
- Base layer: A dense 7″ slab of polyurethane foam.
- Transition layer: This is a 2″ layer of the proprietary Adaptive Hi-Core Memory Foam.
- Comfort layer: At the top there are 3″ of gel memory foam.
- Cover: To wrap it all, there’s a removable cooling cover that is machine-washable!
Nectar recently introduced the Nectar Premier and Nectar Premier Copper, thicker than the original at 13″ and 14″. The construction is similar, but the layers are taller and they incorporate cooling technology. The Copper model includes copper fibers in the cover, making it feel cool to the touch.
The Original Purple Mattress Has a More Traditional Bed-In-A-Box Construction
Purple is one of, if not the most, unique online mattress brands on the market. And that designation is primarily due to the patented Hyper-Elastic Polymer material they use for the top layer on each of their models. Here’s a closer look at the layers that compose this unique mattress:
- Support layers: It has two layers of polyurethane foam at the bottom.
- Comfort layer: A 2″ slab of their signature Hyper-Elastic Polymer tops the bed.
The Purple Hybrid, Purple Hybrid Premier 3 and Purple Hybrid Premier 4 (formerly known as the New Purple 2/3/4), on the other hand, incorporate both coils and dense polyurethane foam for their support structure, as opposed to just dense polyurethane foam like the Original Purple. In addition to added support, the coils give these beds a little bounce.
Nectar vs Purple Feel & Firmness
Nectar and Purple mattresses are very similar in firmness, in between medium and medium-firm. The main differences are in how they feel due to the materials used by each brand. If the feel discussion were Nectar vs Casper vs Purple, we’ll say that the former is a traditional memory foam feel, Casper is soft foam and Purple feels like a Dr. Scholl’s insole.
Nectar has that typical memory foam feel where you sort of slowly sink in, and the bed starts to conform to your body’s shape. You will get a bit of that stuck-in-the-mud feel.
However, Nectar is different from a lot of memory foam beds out there in that it’s on the firmer side of the spectrum. We think it comes in around a medium-firm on the firmness scale. At the end of the day, we think it finds a pretty good balance between support and pressure relief.
The Nectar Premier and Premier Copper have a similar firmness and feel, but you get a slight cooling sensation when you lay on them.On the other hand, Purple is made with a proprietary material that sort of feels like a gel, but it’s not actually gel. It’s very responsive, stretchy, and soft, yet it’s oddly supportive, as well. Our team members rate the Purple Mattress as a medium, the Purple Hybrid is medium-firm, and Purple Hybrid Premier 3 and 4 are between medium and medium-firm.
Sleeper Type Analysis
- Side Sleepers
You do sort of nestle into Nectar enough to where your hips and shoulders receive good pressure relief when you’re on your side, so we recommend it to side sleepers. However, if you’re petite or want a truly soft mattress, you may want to pass on Nectar.
As for the Purple models, the original Purple and Purple Hybrid Premier 4 are the best mattresses for side sleepers, and they provide the most immersive experience with the Hyper-Elastic material.
- Combo Sleepers
Since Nectar offers both support and pressure relief, we recommend it for combo sleepers, but only if you like memory foam. Some combination sleepers might think it’s challenging to change positions with such dense memory foam.
If you’re more interested in Purple, the original model is a great mattress for combination sleepers. Though, Purple Hybrid 3 is also a solid option if you want a hybrid option with coils.
- Back & Stomach Sleepers
Nectar beds provide a good amount of support and are best for back and stomach sleepers. You don’t sink in too far to the point where your spine is no longer properly aligned.
The base Purple Hybrid is also ideal for back and stomach sleepers. Purple says this is the firmest option of all their mattresses, and we agree since you feel more of the firmer foam and pocketed coil springs below.
Body Type Analysis
Petite individuals can get away with most foam beds and most hybrid models (unless they’re ultra-thick supportive). As far as Nectar goes, we think that petite or light weight individuals won’t love it so much. We’d recommend going with Purple.
People of an average body type should be comfortable with either the Nectar or Purple mattress. Both beds will offer a similar level of firmness for you to sink into, so it comes down to other factors you’ll want to consider in your decision (like sleeper type).
Given coils are, in general, much more durable and supportive than foam, we’d recommend heavy sleepers go with one of the Purple Hybrid models. They’ll end up being thicker and more supportive in the long run!
Other Factors to Consider
When it comes to edge support in Purple vs Nectar, Purple Hybrid beds take the cake because of their reinforced foam and pocketed coil design.
The Nectar mattress provides pretty solid edge support for an all-foam bed. You really don’t get that roll-off sensation as you approach the edge. This comes into play for many couples where one person likes to hog the middle of the mattress and push the other person towards the edge.
What’s neat about Purple Hybrid beds is that they contain dense foam side rails to ensure sleepers feel supported around the edges. That’s good news for couples who like to have their own space and not cuddle throughout the night.
Nectar does a good job of limiting motion transfer, which is beneficial for couples with one partner who likes to toss and turn or get up a lot during the middle of the night. Purple’s Hyper-Elastic Polymer material also does a decent job of not transferring motion.
All in all, when it comes to motion isolation, both mattresses offer an ample amount. We think Nectar has the slight edge here, though, because of its dense foam construction.
The original Nectar will be fine for most sleepers who sleep hot, but it isn’t a mattress that’ll help cool you down either. But the new Nectar Premier and Nectar Premier Copper have a phase change special material and copper-infused fibers to keep you cool while sleeping.
Even though the Purple beds are not cool to the touch, they actually sleep quite cool due to two primary reasons. First, Hyper-Elastic Polymer is a naturally cooler material than foams since it doesn’t trap heat. Second, Purple lays out the Hyper-Elastic material in a grid formation, creating columns and rows that allow air to flow freely near the top of the bed.
Between the two original models, Purple is the clear winner for temperature regulation while sleeping. If you sleep hot, Purple is the mattress for you because Nectar won’t do anything to cool you down at night.
Nectar vs Purple Pricing
In comparing Nectar vs Purple, the suggested price is pretty similar, but you can always snag a Nectar mattress for a lot less after applying discounts and coupons. Plus, Nectar usually throws in two free pillows. If budget isn’t an issue, it might come down to whether you prefer the feel of memory foam or the polymer gel.
Nectar vs Purple Review Verdict
Overall, we are big fans of Purple, and it offers a unique experience for consumers. We think the Nectar mattress is a great value for people that like the feel of memory foam. It’s been a staple on our Best Budget Beds list for years.
Now that we’ve broken down these two brands, it’s probably pretty clear how they differ. To us, if you’re trying to pick between Nectar or Purple, the decision really comes down to these questions.
Are you on a budget? If so, Nectar is the clear winner. The Nectar mattress is quite a bit cheaper after discounts than even the original Purple.
Do you like or prefer the feel of memory foam? Some people do, which would make Nectar the clear choice. If your answer was no or maybe, then you might want to take a look at Purple. There’s a very good chance you’ll love the feel and benefits Purple beds provide.
Do you sleep hot? If so, Purple is going to be the better option, given its superior airflow.
What sleeping position do you prefer? If you’re a side sleeper, we recommend the original Purple mattress or the Purple Hybrid Premier 4. If you’re a back or stomach sleeper, we think you’d like the Nectar mattress.
- How We Test The Mattresses
The Slumber Yard has been around since the beginning of the bed-in-a-box craze. Our team has personally tested over 175 mattresses so far, and we keep more than 150 beds in our office so we can compare them (and take afternoon naps).
When testing mattresses, we evaluate the following factors:
- Construction: We cut mattresses open to see what’s inside and how it’s made.
- Feel: We check if it has a stuck-in-the-mud memory foam feel, or if it’s more of a neutral foam or a plush pillow top, etc.
- Firmness: We have our own firmness scale and evaluate how that may vary depending on your body and sleeper type.
- Pressure relief: We test what’s the sweet spot for different body and sleeper types.
- Support and how that changes by body/sleeper type
- Edge Support: This is important for couples who share a bed. Would you roll out of bed or can you sleep confidently close to the edges?
- Motion Isolation: We use the water glass test to see how the bed fares with motion transfer. This is another important factor for couples who don’t want to wake up when they move.
- Temperature Regulation: We use a temperature gun to evaluate if the bed warms up, stays neutral or actively cools while sleeping.
- Noise: This could be an issue in beds with coils or innerspring.
- Off-Gassing: Some beds could have a smell for a few weeks after unpacking, and we try to warn you about it.
- Company policies: We also take into account policies such as shipping, returns, trial period and warranty.
- Value: We look at a bed’s price in the context of what it offers in terms of features and quality of materials and construction.
The main difference is the “feel” of the beds. Nectar has a dense/viscous memory foam feel, while Purple has a squishy/stretchy feel that’s super unique.
Nectar is a little firmer than Purple. Though, they’re both around a 5/10 in terms of firmness.
There’s no denying that Purple is the better bed for hot sleepers. It does an incredible job of circulating airflow.
Yes. Both brands offer completely free returns. Nectar has a 365-night trial period and Purple has a 100-night trial period.
The life of a mattress depends on many factors, but the Purple mattress comes with a 10-year warranty. Note that the warranty requires you to use the mattress on a firm, non-spring foundation, and it doesn’t cover damage from things like spills or jumping on the mattress.
On the other hand, Nectar has a Forever Warranty that promises to cover any failure from normal use for as long as you own it. Like Purple, Nectar has also received an excellent durability rating from Consumer Reports.
Why Trust Us
Get the kind of sleep you’ve only dreamed of with some help from our team of mattress experts. We personally test more than 175 of the best sleep solutions from over 60 leading brands on site, so you can be sure you’re getting unbiased reviews, fair comparisons and personalized recommendations.
The Review Team