Purple vs. Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison
Purple and Tempur-Pedic are brands that are both known and well-loved for the materials that they use in their comfort layer. For Purple, it’s a new material called a Hyper-Elastic Polymer. In the Tempur-Pedic mattresses, its the TEMPUR memory foam.
While Purple is newer to the scene, it has won over thousands of customers with its innovative design. At the same time, Tempur-Pedic remains a dominant player in the mattress industry. There are strengths and weaknesses for each mattress, and understanding those strengths and weaknesses is a key step to choosing between these options.
It should be noted that though Purple has recently launched a new mattress -- the New Purple Mattress, a hybrid -- this comparison focuses on the original Purple.
In this guide, we’ll go over the details of the construction, firmness, performance, and price for each of these brands to help you in the process of deciding which mattress is right for you.
Mattress Construction Comparison
The Purple and Tempur-Pedic mattresses are both layered with different types of foam, but the specific components are quite different.
The Purple mattress has a height of 9.5”, and its cover is a simple knit fabric. A 3-layer design is used for the construction of the interior of the mattress.
The topmost layer is 2” of Purple’s Smart Comfort Grid. This is made with a Hyper-Elastic Polymer, a proprietary and patented material. This polymer is formed into a grid shape with numerous small squares. These squares compress when pressure is applied, but the nature of the material is such that it can quickly rebound to its original shape when that pressure is lifted. Because of this, the Smart Comfort Grid is both responsive and resilient.
The second layer of the original Purple mattress is polyfoam with a density of 1.8 PCF that is 3.5” thick. This foam transition layer provides a base for the Smart Comfort Grid. The bottom layer is 4” of polyfoam with a density of 2 PCF.
Tempur-Pedic mattress fall into three product lines: Cloud, Contour, and Flex. The Cloud and Contour lines are made only with foam layers, while the Flex is a hybrid.
The Cloud and Contour lines both have a memory foam top layer. Tempur-Pedic’s TEMPUR foam has a long-held reputation as high-quality memory foam. It is known for contouring and hugging the body. Beneath the memory foam is polyfoam that acts as a base for the comfort layer. Because there are more than 10 models in the Cloud and Contour lines, there is a lot of variance with regard to the height of these mattresses and the thicknesses of the layers.
The Tempur-Pedic Flex mattresses also use memory foam in the comfort layer. The support core in the Flex line, though, is made with pocketed innerspring coils. Pocketed coils add bounce to the mattress while preserving responsiveness.
Tempur-Pedic does not disclose technical specifications for their mattresses. For example, they do not list how thick the layers are or the density or ILD of the foams.
To wind up with a mattress that you really love, it’s essential that the mattress be comfortable. Comfort is dictated mostly by firmness, or how soft or hard a mattress feels. The “right” level of firmness is subjective as what is best for you may be way too hard or soft for someone else.
Instead of relying only on vague terms like “plush,” we describe mattresses on a scale of firmness from 1-10. On this scale, 1 is the softest and 10 is the hardest. The majority of mattresses are Medium Firm, falling between 4-7, but there are also options available that do not fall within that range.
The original Purple is available only with a Medium Firm feel of a 6-7 on the firmness scale. Though comfortable for a huge number of sleepers, it is unlikely to satisfy people who want something considerably firmer or softer. On the flip side, Tempur-Pedic manufactures mattresses with a much broader range of firmness options. For the Cloud and Contour lines, the options range from 3-8, and for the Flex line, they range from 4-6.
Customer satisfaction ratings are high for both the original Purple mattress and Tempur-Pedic mattresses. That said, there are some important ways in which the sleep experience is distinct. The sections below describe how these mattresses compare with regard to a number of the most important elements of the sleep experience.
The Purple mattress is better at temperature control than the Tempur-Pedic mattresses. The design of the Smart Comfort Grid preserves considerable open air in the comfort layer, and this keeps the material from building up heat through the night. In addition, the resilience and level of sink in the Purple mattress is effective at allowing air to flow around the body and thus cooling it down.
The TEMPUR foam has traditionally had issues with sleeping hot. Not only does memory foam retain heat, but as it heats up, it becomes softer, which means that the body sinks more and more into the mattress through the course of the night. As a result, airflow around the skin becomes further restricted, exacerbating overheating issues.
While Tempur-Pedic has made strides in recent years to modify their designs to reduce sleeping hot, the Purple mattress is still the better choice for people who are worried about overheating at night.
A goal of most mattresses is to prevent motion on one part of the mattress from being felt on another part. The Tempur-Pedic mattresses achieve this goal as well or perhaps better than almost any other mattress on the market. The hug offered by the TEMPUR foam insulates motion and prevents disruptions from a partner moving on the bed.
The Purple mattress also ranks average to above-average when it comes to motion isolation. However, the resilience and bounce of the Purple means that more motion is felt when compared to a material like that used in the Tempur-Pedic mattresses.
In order to wake up without discomfort, it’s key for the body to be supported and for the spine to be aligned. To achieve this support, a mattress should be responsive. In other words, it needs to be able to give cushioning to the parts of the body that need it most. This can vary based on the individual, but most often it’s the shoulders, abdomen, and hips.
The Tempur-Pedic mattress built its popularity on being an extremely supportive mattress thanks to memory foam. This foam has remarkable contouring properties, allowing it to compress to accommodate the body and relieve pressure points. Shoppers will be hard pressed to find a material that is more responsive than TEMPUR foam.
At the same time, the innovative Hyper Elastic Polymer in the Purple mattress also offers impressive responsiveness. The way that the squares compress allows the mattress to tailor the cushioning and contour to the body without excessive hug.
The main issue with the Purple mattress and some of the Tempur-Pedic models is having a top comfort layer that is too thin for sleepers who are heavier (over 200 pounds). With only 2” of the Smart Comfort Grid, some heavier people will push through this layer and put too much pressure on the transition foam below. The same can occur on Tempur-Pedic models that have thin comfort layers.
Resilience and Bounce
Bounce in a mattress helps prevent feeling stuck in the bed. It can also make it easy to move on top of the bed, which is important for people who often change sleeping positions or who prioritize a mattress that is good for sex. What gives a mattress bounce is its resilience. Resilience refers to how fast the mattress returns to its original size and shape after weight is removed from it.
The Purple mattress has much more bounce than the vast majority of the Tempur-Pedic models. The properties of the Hyper Elastic Polymer are such that the material rebounds very quickly to its normal state. On the other hand, memory foam tends to have a slow process for returning to its shape. The Tempur-Pedic Flex beds, which use pocketed innerspring coils, will have more resilience than the Cloud and Contour models, but these will still not have the level of bounce found with the Purple mattress.
The only mattresses from Purple or Tempur-Pedic that offer quality edge support are the Tempur-Pedic Flex mattresses. The support core of pocketed coils gives these beds more ability to withstand pressure when you lie down or sit near the edge of the bed.
For the Purple mattress as well as the Tempur-Pedic Cloud and Contour models, edge support is weak. It is common for people to report feeling that there is a sense of the foam collapsing at the edge because of how much it compresses. This is a common issue for foam beds that do not have any material to reinforce the edges.
Off-gassing and Smell
Off-gassing occurs when tiny compounds are released from the foam after it is removed from its packaging. This off-gassing is not harmful, but it can be smelly. This is an issue for both the Purple and Tempur-Pedic mattresses; however, customers can expect the smell to fade away within a few hours in a room with good ventilation.
Shipping, Trial, Warranty, and Returns
The shipping, sleep trial, warranty, and return policies for the Purple and Tempur-Pedic mattresses are listed in the table below.
|How is it shipped?||Bed-in-a-box||White-glove delivery|
|Old mattress removal?||No||Included with $25 delivery fee|
|Sleep trial length||100 nights||90 nights|
|Return cost and process||No cost; company picks up||Customer responsible for return shipping cost|
|Warranty length||10 years||10 years|
Prices, Sizes, and Value
There is a significant difference in price between most Tempur-Pedic mattresses and the original Purple mattress. The specific retail price for each size of these mattresses is listed in the table below.
|Twin||N/A||$1,299 - $2,299|
|Twin XL||$699||$1,299 - $4,299|
|Full||$899||$1,649 - $3,649|
|Queen||$999||$1,799 - $4,799|
|King||$1,299||$2,499 - $8.599|
|California King||$1,299||$2,499 - $8.599|
Both Purple and Tempur-Pedic regularly offer sales or promotions that can decrease the total cost of a mattress. Regardless of these discounts, though, the Tempur-Pedic mattresses are quite a bit more expensive than the Purple. Tempur-Pedic beds are not thought of as budget or value purchases but rather luxury mattresses. With excellent values on the market -- such as the Purple -- this price differential may make it difficult to justify the extra cost for a mattress like those from Tempur-Pedic.
Purple Mattress vs. Tempur-Pedic Mattress – Which One Should You Buy?
With so many factors influencing a mattress purchase, it’s clear that there’s no one “best” choice for everyone. Instead, you have to consider which of those factors are most important to you and which mattress most closely fits your needs. For some quick tips on how these factors might help select your mattress, check out the guidance below.
Buy the Purple mattress if you:
- Want the newest in mattress materials: the Hyper Elastic Polymer in the Purple’s Smart Comfort Grid is a real differentiator. If you’ve tried out lots of other beds and can’t seem to find the right fit, or if you like being among the first to try out something new, the Purple is the mattress that you should pick.
- Are worried about overheating: the Purple does not have heat retention issues like the Tempur-Pedic foam beds do, so if you want to ensure you sleep cool, go with the Purple.
- Prioritize resilience: if a mattress with more bounce is important to you -- either for sex or for not feeling like you’re sinking too much into the bed without the ability to move -- then the Purple will better suit your needs.
- If price is a key priority: obviously, you’ll save quite a bit by choosing the Purple over the Tempur-Pedic, so if cost is a key factor driving your decision, the Purple is the way to go.
Buy a Tempur-Pedic mattress if you:
- Are buying a Twin mattress: Purple doesn’t offer their mattress in a Twin size, whereas Tempur-Pedic offers several options in that size.
- Need the most contouring: you’ll get way more hug from a Tempur-Pedic mattress, so if contouring and pressure point relief is key for you, that’s the route to follow.
- Prefer the tried-and-true: Tempur-Pedic has years and years worth of experience producing memory foam mattresses and has an extended track record and reputation for quality. If going with the known entity brings you peace of mind, buy a Tempur-Pedic.
The Tempur-Pedic and Purple mattresses both have a lot to offer, and most customers will find that they both have far more strengths than weaknesses. Despite this, each one can be a better fit for some sleepers than others, and this guide should help lead you to clearly determining which one is the top choice for your situation.