Purple and Leesa are two well-recognized brands that are currently selling mattresses online. Each has succeeded in large part by developing their own material to use in the topmost comfort layer of the mattress and in doing so giving their mattress a feel that appeals to a wide range of customers.
Both Purple (with their New Purple Mattress) and Leesa (with the Sapira hybrid) have branched out into new models and designs, but for this comparison, we’re focusing on their original and flagship mattresses. These original options are foam mattresses with three layers.
There are strong selling points for both the Purple and Leesa mattresses, and each has a huge base of happy customers who have found the mattress to deliver a high level of performance. This can make choosing one hard, but in this guide, we’ll cover the construction, firmness, price, and sleep experience associated with each to help you pick the one that is most likely to bring you years of good nights of sleep.
Mattress Construction Comparison
The construction of a mattress plays a critical role in how it feels and how likely it is to last. Both the Purple and the Leesa are considered to be all-foam mattresses, but they have some clear differences in how they are built.
The Original Purple mattress has a height of 9.5” and a cover that is made with knit fabric. Inside, the mattress has 3 layers. The top layer is 2” of the company’s Smart Comfort Grid. The material used in this layer is a proprietary and patented material known as a Hyper-Elastic Polymer.
As the name implies, it is a grid, and it is made up of many small squares. When weight is applied to the material, the squares compress down. The more weight that is applied, the more the squares compress, and once the weight is removed, they rapidly bounce back to their original shape. This gives the Smart Comfort Grid a high level of of both responsiveness and resilience.
The second layer of the mattress is 3.5” of polyfoam with a density of 1.8 PCF that gives more stability to this Smart Comfort Grid. The base layer is 4” of support polyfoam with a density of 2 PCF.
The original mattress from Leesa has a height of 10” and comes with a quilted polyester-lycra cover. Three layers of foam make up the interior of the mattress. The top layer uses 2” of Premium Foam, which is used uniquely by Leesa, who developed the foam. Premium Foam is often described as “latex-like,” meaning that, in relation to traditional memory foam, it has more bounce. However, it still has noticeable contouring properties and the ability to relieve pressure points. The density of the Premium Foam is 3.5 PCF, and its ILD is 20.
The second layer is 2” of memory foam with a density of 3 PCF and ILD of 9. The inclusion of memory foam, which is highly responsive, provides more pressure point relief and responsiveness. As a base layer, the Leesa has 6” of support polyfoam with a density of 1.8 PCF.
A necessary part of choosing a mattress is deciding what firmness level will be best for you because this will largely dictate how comfortable you are on the mattress. Comfort, though, is subjective since the firmness level that you find perfect might be too hard or too soft for someone else.
While there are terms like “plush” and “medium firm” that are used all the time to describe mattresses, it can be hard to know exactly what these mean or if different companies use different terminologies to describe firmness. That’s why we use a scale of 1-10 for mattress firmness. For this scale, a 1 is the softest that any mattress could be, and a 10 is the hardest. The most popular firmness level is medium (5-7), but you can find mattresses on the market at almost all parts of the firmness scale, save for 1 and 10, which tend to be too far to the extreme.
The Leesa and Purple are both medium firm mattresses that fit within this most popular firmness range. More specifically, the Purple is around a 6 while the Leesa is 6-7. As this indicates, the Leesa is normally thought of as virtually the same but perhaps slightly more firm.
Both the Purple and Leesa mattresses strive to provide a new type of feel distinct from the feel of traditional memory foam while still offering support and comfort. As a result, there are many aspects of the sleep experience that are relatively similar. Still, some differences remain, and we’ll compare and contrast these two mattresses in each of the subsections below.
The Leesa and the Purple mattress are excellent when it comes to regulating temperature, and the Purple does especially well in this regard. With some other foam materials, there is a tendency for the foam to retain heat or for the body to be hugged too tightly by the foam, causing someone to sweat during the night. However, both of these mattresses generally avoid this issue. The Leesa does not have excessive sink and has plenty of bounce to prevent feeling swallowed by the mattress in a way that blocks air flow. The Purple mattress also has these characteristics, but in addition, its abundant open spaces in the top layer’s Smart Comfort Grid prevent the material from retaining heat.
For people who share a mattress, motion isolation is extremely important. Motion isolation means that when someone moves on one part of the mattress, it is felt only minimally (or not at all) on other parts of the mattress. Because their materials respond to pressure only where it is applied, the Purple and Leesa mattresses are both very effective at motion isolation. However, of the two, the Leesa, with its contouring feel and second layer with memory foam, is modestly better at preventing motion transfer.
For a mattress to be supportive, it needs to be able to provide a different amount of cushioning to different parts of the body. For example, your ankles don’t need the same level of cushioning as your hips. When a mattress is responsive, it compresses in proportion to your body’s needs, which helps keep your body aligned and prevents your spine from being contorted in a way that can cause discomfort or pain.
A major plus of these two mattresses is that they are highly responsive. The Hyper-Elastic Polymer in the Purple mattress uses a grid design to be able to offer this kind of proportional support. Likewise, the Leesa’s combination of Premium Foam and memory foam is able to let the sleeping surface compress to contour to the body’s needs.
The biggest different in terms of support is for people who have very sharp pressure points or who weigh over 230 pounds. Because the Purple only has 2” of thickness to its comfort layer, it may not be thick enough to give enough cushioning in these instances. Instead, the pressure may immediately cause the Smart Comfort Grid to “bottom out,” putting more pressure on the less responsive layer underneath. In the Leesa, on the other hand, the combined thickness of the comfort layer is 3”, giving the mattress a greater ability to accommodate people who are heavier or who have pronounced pressure points.
Resilience and Bounce
A mattress often feels bouncy if is material springs back quickly to its original shape when you move on it or remove your weight from the bed. This bounce can facilitate movement on the bed when changing sleeping positions or engaging in sexual activity.
The design of the materials in these mattresses gives each of them a high level of resilience. Customers rarely report issues with moving on these mattresses, and the bounce helps prevent any feeling of being stuck in the bed.
As with many foam mattresses, edge support is a problem for the Leesa and Purple mattresses. There are no materials included in the design to strengthen the edges, and the result is that the material at the edge compresses considerably when you sit or lie down there. This effect will be more pronounced for people who weigh over 180 pounds. If edge support is a priority for you, it is worth broadening your search to consider other mattresses beyond these two.
Off-gassing and Smell
There is usually some smell that emanates from the foam materials of both of these mattresses when they are first removed from their packaging. This smell is only an inconvenience or nuisance: it is not harmful at all. But the smell usually fades within a few hours in a well-ventilated room and at most will last one day.
Shipping, Trial, Warranty, and Returns
The shipping, sleep trial, warranty, and return policies for the Purple and Leesa are very similar, as outlined in the table below.
|How is it shipped?||Bed-in-a-box||Bed-in-a-box|
|White glove delivery||No||No|
|Old mattress removal?||No||No|
|Sleep trial length||100 nights||100 nights|
|Return cost and process||No cost; company picks up||No cost; company picks up|
|Warranty length||10 years||10 years|
Prices, Sizes, and Value
The Leesa and Purple mattresses have a roughly similar price point. The specific retail price for each size of these mattresses is listed in the table below.
Promotions and discounts are extremely common in the online mattress industry, and Purple and Leesa are no exception. It is common to find coupons or promo codes that can bring down your final purchase price by at least $50.
As a result, these are both affordable mattresses that can deliver excellent durability and value for their cost. Of the two, though, the Leesa is less expensive, which may be a tie-breaking factor for some shoppers.
Purple Mattress vs. Leesa Mattress – Which One Should You Buy?
In comparing these two mattresses, there is no one “right” choice for everyone. Numerous factors influence which of these two may be best for you, and it can be hard to know in advance if you’re choosing the right one. For that reason, we’ve offered some shortcuts -- clear decision-making criteria -- that may help you select the best choice for you.
Buy the Purple mattress if you:
- Want to try a new and innovative mattress material: if you’ve never quite felt right on other materials or if you’re the type of person who likes to be among the first to test out something new, the Purple is a better bet. Its Smart Comfort Grid is proprietary and dramatically different from virtually any other mattress offering on the market today.
- Are worried about sleeping hot: a big plus of the Smart Comfort Grid is that it does not retain heat, so even though the Leesa also does well when it comes to heat regulation, the Purple is a safer bet if you have a tendency to sleep hot.
Buy the Leesa mattress if you:
- Want a Twin-size mattress: the Purple mattress is offered in a Twin XL but not a Twin, so if you need this specific size, the Purple isn’t an option.
- Weigh over 230 pounds or have sharp pressure points: because of its thicker comfort layer, the Leesa is more likely to be able to effectively accommodate people who weigh more or who have very exaggerated pressure points.
- You value a charitable cause: for every 10 mattresses that Leesa sells, they donate one new mattress to someone in need. As a result, this is the top choice if you want to give back as part of your purchase.
With specialty foams that offer comfort, support, and bounce, Leesa and Purple have been huge disruptors in the mattress industry. Each mattress has strengths and weaknesses, but on balance, these are two great options to consider.
By reviewing the factors that are most important for you, you can make a final choice to decide which is going to best serve you in getting the best sleep possible.