Like many online mattress retailers, Layla was born out of a desire to provide customers with a good-quality mattress without the markup typical of mattress warehouses. Around the same time, Purple shot to fame with a successful Kickstarter campaign that allowed them to make their mattress dream a reality.
The Purple mattress features a proprietary grid design made of a stretchy polymer material that provides excellent pressure relief and breathability. In contrast, the Layla mattress is a memory foam mattress featuring a flippable design that allows users to choose from a plush side or a firmer side.
Purple has since come out with several other mattresses. For the purposes of this review, we’ll be focusing on their flagship mattress.
Mattress Construction Comparison
Using the Layla mattress with the plush side on top gives you a mattress with a 3-inch thick comfort layer made of high-density (HD) memory foam. This layer has a density of 3.5 pounds per cubic foot (PCF).
The transition layer is 2 inches of convoluted foam (sometimes dubbed egg-crate foam) that allows decent airflow. This foam has a density of 1.8 PCF. The mattress core is made of an HD polyfoam with a density of 2 PCF. This layer is 4.5 inches thick.
Underneath this is a 1-inch layer of HD memory foam with a density of 3.5 PCF. This foam is firmer than the memory foam on the other side, and it’s the foam that you’ll find in the comfort layer if you flip the mattress over. In total, the mattress is 10 inches tall. Both the firm and plush layers of memory foam are infused with antibacterial copper gel. The copper wicks away heat and provides support.
The Layla mattress is encased in a fire sleeve and the cover is infused with ThermoGel, which activates a cooling technique in response to heat. It’s made of a soft polyester blend, with the firm and soft sides clearly labeled.
The top layer of the Purple mattress features the proprietary Purple® Smart Comfort Grid™. It’s 2 inches thick and made of non-toxic, hypoallergenic Hyper-Elastic Polymer™. This is arranged in a matrix that allows for generous airflow through the columns, which are 2x1 inches wide. The polymer is coated in a non-toxic polyethylene copolymer powder.
The columns of the Smart Comfort Grid are designed to relax under pressure, distributing weight to the nearby columns. The technology relieves pressure points while still providing support where needed.
Underneath the Smart Comfort Grid, there is a 3.5-inch layer of HD polyurethane foam with a density of 1.8 PCF. The 4-inch base layer is made of a medium-firm HD polyurethane foam with a density of 2 PCF.
The mattress is 9.5 inches tall, which is slightly under the average for a foam mattress. Purple uses a stretchy, breathable knit cover made of a viscose-polyester-Lycra blend with a Fireguard Knit Barrier® and a polyester non-slip bottom. The cover is stretchy, to maximize the potential of the Smart Comfort Grid.
The firmness of a mattress refers to how hard or soft it feels. It’s usually the first factor we take into consideration when describing how comfortable we find a mattress. Comfort is subjective, and one person might enjoy a firmer mattress while another might prefer a plush mattress. To get an idea of how firm a mattress is compared to other mattresses, we tend to assign it a number on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the firmest.
If you choose the firm side of the Layla mattress, you can expect it to feel about a 7 out of 10 on the firmness scale. The thin comfort layer means that heavier individuals might find it quite firm, as they will sink through to the dense polyfoam underneath. In contrast, the plush side of the Layla mattress is around a 5 out of 10, or medium-firm. With a thick comfort layer plus a transition layer, this side is great for alleviating pressure under the hips and shoulders.
It’s difficult to assign a firmness level to the Purple mattress. It’s not like a typical uniform surface, so it really depends on how much pressure you’re putting on it. As an estimate, it might rank around a 6 out of 10. The feeling of sleeping on a Purple mattress has been described as “floating” due to the nature of the supple comfort grid.
Lightweight sleepers who don’t exert much pressure on the grid will find the mattress firmer, and sleepers over 230 pounds may find they sink through the thin comfort layer into the firmer foam underneath. However, average weight sleepers find that the grid technology does a good job of supporting spinal alignment and alleviating pressure points.
Due to their radically different designs, the Layla and the Purple mattresses offer quite a different sleeping experience in certain areas. Here we’ll compare the Layla vs. Purple mattresses in terms of the most important factors.
A common problem with foam mattresses is that they retain heat and limit airflow. This causes the mattress to sleep hot, which can be uncomfortable for some sleepers. Many foam mattresses try to combat this using a variety of different techniques.
In the case of the Layla mattress, the ThermoGel cover and copper-infused memory foam do a fairly good job of dissipating heat. The convoluted foam also provides a way for heat to escape. All in all, the Layla mattress sleeps relatively cool for a foam mattress.
It’s hard to beat the polymer grid in the Purple mattress for breathability. Instead of including cooling features like gel beads in the foam, the Purple mattress elevates the sleeper off the foam completely. The mattress breathes by allowing air to flow through the ample space between the columns in the Smart Comfort Grid, effectively whisking away your body heat. Plus, the polymer doesn’t naturally retain heat as foam does.
Memory foam is known for its ability to limit motion transfer. This means that you won’t feel it when your sleeping partner tosses and turns, or gets out of bed. The Layla ranks well on motion isolation, as both the top layers are made of memory foam.
The columns in the Purple mattress grid respond to pressure by distributing it to adjacent columns. However, the movement is isolated to the adjacent squares, so the Purple also manages to effectively isolate motion within specific sections of the mattress.
The memory foam in the Layla mattress does an excellent job of contouring and reducing pressure points, and the copper infusion helps provide adequate support under the places where it’s needed. Together with the firm support core, the foam layers of the Layla mattress lay the ground for proper spinal alignment while you sleep. The soft side will provide more contouring, ideal for side sleepers, while the firm side will provide the support needed for heavier individuals.
The top layer of the Purple mattress conforms perfectly to your body. It firms up where you need support, and provides relief under pressure points. The layer of foam underneath is quite firm, so you can rest assured you won’t sink in too far and throw your spine out of alignment. Although the Purple mattress contours well and promotes proper spinal alignment, it won’t give you the “hug” feeling of a memory foam mattress, so if you like that feeling, you’d best go with the Layla.
Resilience and Bounce
Push down hard on your mattress and take note of how long it takes for the mattress to spring back to its original shape. Does it spring back quickly? That means your mattress is resilient, or bouncy. Resilient mattresses are great for people who like to move around on the surface of the bed without feeling like they’re sinking in.
Memory foam contours in response to pressure but is slow to regain its original shape. The Layla has memory foam in both its top layers and is, therefore, a low-resilience mattress.
The squares in the top layer of the Purple mattress buckle under pressure and spring back right away. This resilience makes it easy to move around on top of the Purple, which is handy for sex and combination sleepers.
The Purple mattress doesn’t have reinforced perimeters. As the material compresses underneath you, it may feel like you’re falling off the side of the bed.
The Layla also lacks reinforced edge support. Although the firmer side offers slightly better edge support than the plush side, you may want to broaden your search if edge support is important to you.
Off-gassing and Smell
All the foams in the Purple and Layla mattresses are CertiPUR-US certified, and the polymer in the Purple mattress is a non-toxic, food-grade material. You might notice a slight off-gassing odor from the foams, but this is not harmful and should dissipate within a few days.
Shipping, Trial, Warranty, and Returns
Both companies offer a sleep trial with a mandatory break-in period. However, there are some slight differences in the return policies and warranties.
|Delivery fee||Free in the contiguous U.S.
$125 in Alaska and Hawaii, $225 in Canada
|Free in contiguous US
Extra fee for Hawaii and Alaska
|How is it shipped?||Bed-in-a-box||Bed-in-a-tube; comes with handles|
|Old mattress removal?||No||No|
|Sleep trial length||120 nights; 2-week break-in period||100 nights; 21-night break-in period|
|Return cost and process||Free; local charity picks up
Shipping fees to Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada not refunded
|No charge; company picks up
Shipping fees not refunded
|Warranty length||Lifetime||10 years|
Prices, Sizes, and Value
All other things being equal, price may be a differentiating factor when you’re selecting a mattress.
The Layla and the Purple sell at similar price points, although you may want to take the difference in price into consideration if you’re considering a twin, King, or California King-sized mattress.
Purple highly recommends using stretchy Purple sheets with the Purple mattress so that the Smart Comfort Grid can work properly. This is an added cost to take into consideration when tallying up your total, although these items are sometimes bundled with the mattress purchase.
Layla Mattress vs. Purple Mattress – Which One Should You Buy?
The Layla mattress and the Purple mattress both offer clear benefits depending on your sleeping style. Here’s an easy list of differentiators to help guide your choice.
Buy the Layla mattress if you:
- Want a hug feeling: Nothing beats memory foam for that quintessential “hug” feeling that many sleepers love. Both sides of the Layla mattress are made of memory foam and will contour perfectly to your body’s curves.
- Want the freedom to choose: Since the Layla mattress is flippable, you have two chances at getting the firmness level right.
- Are a lightweight: Lightweight sleepers will find the plush side of the Layla mattress provides the perfect amount of give. This supports a healthy sleeping position without putting pressure on sensitive areas.
- Are a side sleeper: With its thick comfort layers and plush memory foam, the soft side of the Leesa offers superior pressure relief for side sleepers.
- Want peace of mind: The Layla offers a lifetime warranty, which is almost unheard of among its closest competitors.
Buy the Purple mattress if you:
- Tend to sleep hot: The Smart Comfort Grid allows for fantastic airflow, and most users will find the mattress sleeps much cooler than a foam mattress.
- Aren’t afraid to try new things: Sleeping on the Purple mattress is unlike sleeping on any other mattress. The feel of the grid underneath you is something new, but it’s gotten a lot of positive feedback.
- Are a combination sleeper: The Purple mattress provides pressure relief for side and back sleepers, and stomach sleepers will find it eliminates pressure points without the feeling of sinking into the mattress. Plus, it’s easy to move around on top of the Purple mattress.
- Share the bed: The motion isolation in the Purple is above average, so you won’t wake your sleeping partner on those nighttime visits to the washroom.
Layla and Purple have striven to seek out innovative ways to combat the traditional problems of memory foam mattresses. The resulting mattresses rank highly in terms of breathability, contouring, and pressure relief. If you’ve narrowed your choice down to the Purple vs. Layla mattress, then you’ve done your research well!
While both mattresses have proven track records with plenty of satisfied customers, each one proposes a unique sleeping experience. Only by analyzing what’s important to you can you choose the mattress that suits you best.