Tuft & Needle vs. Purple Mattress Comparison

In the last few years, the number of companies selling mattresses online and directly to consumers has exploded. More and more mattresses are being purchased online and then shipped as a “bed-in-a-box.” A host of companies have sprung up in this industry, and two of the leaders are Tuft & Needle and Purple.

Both Purple and Tuft & Needle sell two different mattress models, but this comparison focuses on their original, flagship models that are more popular and have a more established track record. These are both all-foam mattresses, but they have significant differences in terms of their materials and construction.

Understanding the benefits and downsides of each mattress in relation to your own preferences and needs can help ensure that you end up satisfied with your purchase. For that reason, in this guide, we’ll walk through the vital information -- including about their design, firmness, performance, price, and more -- that you’ll need to choose between these two options.

Mattress Construction Comparison

Nothing determines the performance of a mattress like its construction. As a result, we'll start our comparison by looking under the hood at the design and build of both the Tuft & Needle and Purple mattresses.

Tuft & Needle

 

Tuft & Needle Mattress Construction

Tuft & Needle’s original mattress is a total of 10 inches tall and made with just two foam layers. The exterior of the mattress is a cover that is a blend of rayon and polyester.

The top layer of this mattress is 3” thick and is made with a foam that was developed specifically by Tuft & Needle. The company calls this Adaptive foam. It has a density of 2.8 PCF, and its characteristics fall in between memory foam and latex. For example, it offers contouring for pressure point relief, but it does not have as much sink as would be typical in traditional memory foam.

The bottom layer of the mattress is made with support polyfoam. This layer is 7” thick, and the density of the foam is 1.8 PCF.

Finally, the bottom layer is 5” of a support polyfoam that acts as a base for the rest of the layers.

Purple

 

Purple Mattress Construction

Purple’s original mattress is made with 3 layers of foam and has a total height of 9.5”. The exterior of the mattress is a simple knit fabric cover.

The top layer of the mattress is the most unique. It is made with 2” of a Hyper-Elastic Polymer developed and patented by Purple. The company refers to this layer as the “Smart Comfort Grid.” Rather than one uniform block of foam, this polymer is composed of many smaller grids, and when pressure is applied, these squares compress in order to cushion the body. When pressure is removed, the material can rapidly spring back to its shape, adding resilience in addition to responsiveness.

The second layer of this mattress is made with a 3.5” thick layer of polyfoam that has a density of 1.8 PCF. This foam serves as a transition layer, providing a buffer between the bottom layer and the Smart Comfort Grid. The bottom layer is made with 2 PCF density polyfoam and is 4” thick.

Firmness Comparison

Firmness is a logical starting point for any mattress comparison. Firmness describes how hard or soft a mattress feels, and it has a direct bearing on how comfortable a mattress will be for you. No matter how many features a mattress may have, it won’t matter if that mattress isn’t comfortable. To get a good night’s sleep, it’s critical that you select a mattress that has the right feel.

To have a common system for describing firmness, we use a scale from 1-10. On this firmness scale, 1 is the softest and 10 is the firmest. If you’re like most sleepers, a mattress that is Medium Firm and falls from 4-7 on this scale is the most comfortable. However, comfort is inherently subjective, and there are certainly many people who prefer something softer or firmer.

The Tuft & Needle and Purple mattresses, though, both fall between a 6-7 on the firmness scale. The overall feel of these mattresses is similar, though on average, many people would say that they perceive just a slightly firmer feel when lying down on the Tuft & Needle. If you want a comfort feel that is outside of this 6-7 range, though, you should look to other brands that offer more firmness choices.

Sleep Experience

Though comfort is an essential consideration, there are numerous other aspect of mattress performance and the sleep experience that you need to consider. Details about how the Purple and Tuft & Needle mattress compare on issues of temperature, support, bounce, and more, you can review the subsections below.

Temperature Control

Sleeping hot is not a significant issue on either the Tuft & Needle or Purple mattress as both have good reputations for effective temperature control.

Some foam mattresses cause overheating because the mattress material gets hotter and hotter through the night and because the foam can hug the body too closely and in a way that limits airflow and heats up the skin.

The Purple mattress retains very little heat because the Smart Comfort Grid is composed largely of open-air within the squares of the Hyper-Elastic Polymer. The Adaptive foam in the Tuft & Needle mattress has a greater propensity to retain heat, but it has been designed with cooling properties to try to limit this buildup. Both mattresses offer responsiveness but without excessive hug, which means that neither significantly impedes airflow.

For this reason, the issues that contribute to overheating do not apply strongly to the Purple or Tuft & Needle. Of the two, the Purple sleeps cooler and is the better choice if you have a known and pronounced tendency to sleep hot.

Motion Transfer

If you find that you are easily disturbed by the motion of a partner that you share your bed with, then you’ll be glad to know that both the Tuft & Needle and Purple mattresses get high marks for motion isolation. Because of the design of the comfort layers, movement on these mattresses is generally well-insulated making both beds a viable option for couples.

Responsiveness

If you want to wake up pain-free, your mattress has to be supportive. This means that it’s able to cushion the body so that the spine is correctly aligned. A mattress that does this well is responsive - it compresses as-needed based on the pressure applied by different parts of the body.

The Tuft & Needle and Purple mattress are both quite responsive. For the Tuft & Needle, the Adaptive foam in the comfort layer has the ability to compress and contour to the body without feeling like the body is being swallowed by the mattress. The Purple mattress uses the design of the Smart Comfort Grid to only compress where weight is applied. As a result, both mattresses get good reviews for overall support.

One area in which they differ, though, is in the thickness of the comfort layer. In the Purple mattress, it is 2” thick while in the Tuft & Needle, it is 3” thick. For sleepers who weigh over 200 pounds or who have significant pressure points, the Purple may lack in support. This is because the Smart Comfort Grid may fully compress and “bottom out,” putting more pressure on the underlying transition foam that is not as responsive.

Resilience and Bounce

Another important aspect of mattress performance relates to resilience. This describes how quickly a mattress springs back to its shape after weight is removed from it. The faster this happens, the more resilient the mattress is said to be. With resilience comes a feeling of bounce that some customers prefer. Bounce in a mattress can make it easier to switch your sleeping positions through the night and can better facilitate sex and intimacy on the mattress.

The Hyper-Elastic Polymer in the Purple mattress has well above-average resilience, and this gives a springy or bouncier feeling to the Purple mattress. The Tuft & Needle Adaptive foam also has more resilience than traditional memory foam but not as much as the Purple.

Edge Support

Edge support is a weak point for the Purple and Tuft & Needle mattresses. The foams in both are prone to compressing substantially more when you sit on the edge or lie down right near the edge. Neither has any sort of design to bolster or reinforce the edge, so if edge support is a critical need for you, it may be necessary to consider other mattress options.

Off-gassing and Smell

There will be some light smell from each of these mattresses when you first get them set up in your bedroom. This smell comes from tiny particles that are formed during the production of the foams and that are noticeable when the mattresses are decompressed. But there is no health risk associated with this offgassing, and almost all customers find the smell goes away within a few hours.

Shipping, Trial, Warranty, and Returns

Policies for both the Tuft & Needle and Purple mattresses for shipping, returns, and more are listed in the table below.

Tuft & NeedlePurple
Delivery feeFreeFree
How is it shipped?Bed-in-a-boxBed-in-a-box
Old mattress removal?NoNo
Sleep trial length100 nights100 nights
Return cost and processNo cost; company picks upNo cost; company picks up
Warranty length10 years10 years

Prices, Sizes, and Value

A key difference between the Tuft & Needle and the Purple mattresses is the price. The Purple mattress is not available in a Twin size, but prices for all other standard sizes are listed below.

Mattress SizeTuft & NeedlePurple
Twin$325N/A
Twin XL$375$699
Full$475$899
Queen$575$999
King$700$1,299
California King$700$1,299

The Tuft & Needle mattress is widely considered to be a top value among all of the mattresses sold online. Its price point is much lower than the Leesa (and many other competitors), but it still has excellent customer satisfaction ratings. Both Purple and Tuft & Needle will often offer discounts or have sales that can make your final out-of-pocket cost even lower than those listed in the table. Given the quality of its materials and performance, the Purple is also a solid value, especially when compared to most other foam mattresses sold online. At the end of the day, though, the Tuft & Needle is within the budget of a much larger number of customers and is simply one of the best mattresses for the money.

Tuft & Needle Mattress vs. Purple Mattress – Which One Should You Buy?

Many foam mattresses seem alike, but when you look more closely at how they are built, what it’s like to sleep on them, and other details, you can find that there are distinct reasons to prefer one over another. In this section, we’ll review some of those reasons why you may opt for either the Tuft & Needle or the Purple mattress.

Buy the Tuft & Needle mattress if you:

  • Put a premium on price and value: you’ll save a serious chunk of change if you go with the Tuft & Needle, but this doesn’t mean that you’re buying a bargain basement mattress. The combination of quality and price from the Tuft & Needle is difficult for any other mattress maker to match.
  • Have very sharp pressure points or weigh over 200 pounds: the fact that the Tuft & Needle has an extra inch of thickness in the comfort layer makes it a better fit for people who put more pressure on the comfort layer of their mattress. Having that extra inch can help keep you from bottoming out the comfort layer and wearing out the mattress prematurely.

 

Tuft & Needle Bed

Buy the Purple mattress if you

  • Prefer a bouncier feel: the Smart Comfort Grid in the Purple mattress has a pronounced ability to jump back to its original shape when you stop applying pressure to it. This resilience makes the mattress easy to move on top of, and makes it unlikely that you’ll ever feel stuck in the bed. Even though the Tuft & Needle also has a lot of resilience, if you want a springier feel, the Purple mattress is the better of these two to pick.
  • Are ready to try out a totally different mattress material: while the Tuft & Needle’s Adaptive foam is an important modification on traditional memory foam, the Purple’s Smart Comfort Grid is a major innovation. It’s a material that works in a totally different fashion than other foams and that many customers finds meets their needs in a way that foams can’t. If you feel ready to try out something different or are intrigued by the newest product designs, the Purple is for you.

 

Purple Mattress

The Purple mattress and the Tuft & Needle both have some substantial benefits, and the great majority of customers who buy these mattresses keep them and love them.

For this reason, choosing between them can feel like an overwhelming task. But with the right information, such as the details we’ve covered in this guide, you can consider your own preferences and match them with the mattress that will be most likely to deliver you the quality sleep that you need.

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