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If you’ve done even surface-level research to find a new mattress online, you’ve no doubt come across Saatva and Purple. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Saatva? I’m here to learn about Zenhaven!” Saatva owns three different mattress brands, one of which is Zenhaven—they also own Loom & Leaf.
With that out of the way, the structure for this post will be fairly simple. We’ll do a brief overview and then get into the meat and potatoes—that being the big reasons to get one of these beds versus the other. For anyone that’s fond of skimming, here’s the quick overview of those key differentiating factors for each bed.
- Construction — Under the hood, these beds are nothing alike.
- Feel, Firmness, and Sleeper Type — There’s a bit of overlap here, but each bed does have a distinct feel that we’d like to touch on.
- Price — Can’t forget about that. As an FYI, if you’re looking coupons to save money, make sure to check out our Mattress Deals page or even our Mattress Shopping Tips Guide.
So, that’s just a quick glimpse of the rest of this post. I should also point out that we’ve published full, individual reviews of both beds, and many others. You can find the review links below and on our Mattress Reviews page.
In the world of latex mattresses, Zenhaven is one of the best. This is a double-sided, flippable mattress made mostly of natural latex foam. The price tag might be a bit high, but there are a number of reasons why you would get Zenhaven over Purple.
About The Zenhaven Mattress
If you were to cut open your Zenhaven mattress (which we wouldn’t recommend), you’d see three layers of latex foam and wool batting. The simplicity of this mattress is actually one of its strengths since Zenhaven is among very few natural/organic mattresses. The foams are all talalay latex, the cover is organic cotton, and the wool fire barrier is actually organic. There’s a laundry list of certifications that Zenhaven has—you can see all of them on Zenhaven.com.
One thing that we like to point out in our latex mattress reviews is just how latex foam is made. It’s not like polyurethane foam that is a petrochemical product; latex foam is actually harvested from the sap of rubber trees, and talalay latex, in particular, is the most expensive and modern form of latex foam. So, in other words, you’re getting really nice, premium foams when you purchase the Zenhaven mattress.
Above is just a general image of latex foam (actually taken from the Spindle mattress) so that you can get get an idea of what it looks like. You’ll notice that it has little pinholes. These are necessary as part of the manufacturing process, but Saatva has done something interesting with these on the Zenhaven mattress. They’ve created a five-zone construction where they vary the distribution and volume of those pinholes in order to achieve a softer or firmer feel—it’s a really clever idea.
The mattress is also two-sided, with a Gentle Firm side and a Luxury Plush side, so you get two chances to get things right with Zenhaven. The Gentle Firm side sits in between a medium-firm and firm, while the Luxury Plush is about a medium-firm. In either case, Zenhaven will be most optimal for back and stomach sleepers.
One interesting quirk about Zenhaven, as you can see in the video above, is that since it’s made with latex foam, it’s sort of slinky and pliable. This means that, not only is the bed heavy, it’s a pain in the you-know-what to move. Small price to pay, though, for the natural and organic materials within the mattress.
What The Zenhaven Mattress Feels Like
Zenhaven has a bouncy, responsive, almost sponge-like feeling. It responds immediately to pressure, but doesn’t quite conform to your body the way that memory foam does. It actually feels a lot like a spring mattress despite the fact that it’s made entirely of foam.
Beyond being responsive, latex also happens to be a highly durable foam—even more so than polyurethane foams. On top of that, it’s a naturally cooler material that doesn’t tend to trap heat and therefore is a nice option for warmer sleepers.
Price: Zenhaven vs Purple
This is a little difficult to pin down because the price depends on the mattress you select and the size. For instance, Zenhaven at $2,400 for a queen size mattress, is essentially 2x the price of the original Purple mattress and about $400 more than the Purple Hybrid.
From there, Zenhaven (after discounts) ends up actually being more affordable than the Purple Hybrid Premier mattresses by a fairly significant margin. The Purple Hybrid Premier 3 and Hybrid Premier 4 in the queen size are about $2,200 and $2,800, respectively. You can check current pricing for Purple beds on their website, as they offer promotions from time to time.
We have plenty of great things to say about the Zenhaven mattress, but we wouldn’t consider it the right pick for everyone over Purple mattresses. In fact, Purple is amongst our favorite mattress brands, and we’ve placed their beds on numerous of our Best Mattress lists. Here’s what we consider to be Purple’s strengths relative to Zenhaven.
What Makes Purple Special
The MVP in all four purple mattresses is something called Hyper-Elastic Polymer, which is a proprietary material that was invented by the founders of the company long before they even dreamt of forming a mattress brand. It’s a gel-like material that reminds us a lot of Dr. Scholl’s insoles.
It’s squishy, pliable, and bendable—it can actually stretch 15x its resting state. You wouldn’t think that it belongs on a mattress, but somehow it works, and we’re big fans of the whole system.
As you can see in the image above, the material looks almost like silicone and is laid out in a grid format. A little inside fact is that the founders of Purple had to invent a special machine in order to make a slab of Hyper-Elastic Polymer large enough to fit mattresses. Hyper-Elastic Polymer does weigh quite a bit more than memory foam and poly foam beds, though not much more than a latex mattress.
Hyper-Elastic Polymer is as responsive and resilient as latex foam, but offers the pressure relief of memory foam. We like to say—even though this sounds impossible—that it’s soft and firm at the same time. It really does a great job of supporting you, but also contouring to the exact shape of your body.
Difference Between Purple Mattresses
If we haven’t made it abundantly clear by now, you should know that Purple makes four different mattresses. The original Purple mattress is 10″ thick and uses dense poly foam as its support layer. If you take a look at the image below, you’ll see that the original Purple mattress has about 7.5″ of foam and 2″ of Hyper-Elastic Polymer. Similar to Zenhaven, the original Purple mattress will end up being just fine for medium and petite individuals (under 250 lb).
The Purple Hybrid mattresses replace the support foam with pocketed coils. They are therefore more expensive, but also more supportive, durable, and heavy. If you’re over 250 lb, but are intrigued by Purple, you should take a look either the Purple Hybrid, Hybrid Premier 3 or Hybrid Premier 4. For reference, these three hybrid models used to be called the New Purple 2, New Purple 3 and New Purple 4.
The difference between the Purple Hybrid mattresses is fairly simple. The base Purple Hybrid has 2″ of Hyper-Elastic Polymer. The Purple Hybrid Premier 3 has 3″ of it. And the Purple Hybrid Premier 4 has 4″. Beyond that, there’s a difference in feel. The standard Purple Hybrid is their firmest bed, while the Hybrid Premier 4 is a near weightless experience. The Hybrid Premier 3 sits in between and we think is probably the sweet spot for most people.
All of the Purple mattresses will be just for all sleep styles (back, stomach, side, combo). The original Purple is perhaps slightly more ideal for side sleepers than anyone else and the standard Purple Hybrid is more designed for back and stomach sleepers. Still, we think in any position, you’ll be fine on Purple beds.
When it comes to finding a mattress for hot sleepers, you’re really looking for one of two things: (1) active-cooling element, as in the case of the Brooklyn Aurora mattress or (2) heat-dissipating materials/design, as in the case of Purple and Zenhaven.
If you didn’t catch that, both Zenhaven and Purple are viable options for hot sleepers, although we would give the edge to Purple. If you take a look at that top layer of Hyper-Elastic Polymer, you’ll notice that there’s plenty of room for air pockets.
Those air pockets won’t retain heat the way foam does and Hyper-Elastic Polymer (like latex) is a naturally cooler material. Purple beds just do a superb job of dissipating heat.