We’ve been looking forward to writing this article for quite some time now. Today we are going to put two of the biggest names in the mattress industry head to head against one another to see which one is best.
Both Casper and Purple have invested a huge amount of time and money into developing their products, they represent the very best the mattress world currently has to offer. They’re premium products (with premium price tags), but are they worth it?
We’re going to find out by looking at the construction, firmness, price, similarities, and differences between these two mega products.
Let’s get started.
The Purple Mattress
- Great Support – Both products provide impeccable levels of support, albeit in different ways
- Thermal Regulation – Both products provide the sleeper with a very cool sleeping surface throughout the night
- Quality Brands – Both products come from brands with a hard-earned reputation for quality, reliability, and durability.
- Materials – The Casper is a memory foam based product whereas the Purple is made from hyperelastic polymer
- Layers – The Casper is a quad-layer hybrid product, whereas the Purple is a tri-layer hybrid product
- Price – The Purple is slightly more expensive at larger mattress sizes than the Casper
We’re going to start this article off with the most detailed and important section – the construction comparison. We’ll dissect each mattress layer by layer to inspect the technologies and innovations they hold within.
Let’s start off by taking a look at the Casper. Like most modern mattresses it’s a hybrid product that combines multiple layers of different materials. This is done to allow manufacturers to utilize the various different properties of the materials to result in a product that has all of their strengths.
The top layer in the Casper is the most interesting (as is often the case), it’s made from a super high quality advanced open cell memory foam. Open cell memory foam is widely regarded as best kind of memory foam on the market in terms of heat dissipation. It’s a solution to the overheating issues that normal memory foam is well known for.
Part of what gives normal memory foam its contouring capabilities is that it is made up of countless thousand tiny individual little pockets (or cells) of air. When someone lies down on the mattress their body heat begins to heat it up, this heat makes its way down into the air inside the cells. As the cells are completely closed it has nowhere to escape, and as a result – the mattress heats up and the sleeper is uncomfortable.
Open cell memory foam does exactly what you’d expect it to from the name. The cells are partially open which allows the air inside to circulate throughout the layer. This air can then make its way out of the mattress into the bedroom (taking the heat with it). It’s an incredibly effective solution.
Underneath this open cell memory foam layer is another layer of reasonably firm normal memory foam. Using normal memory foam for middle layers is standard practice, even among premium brands (because it’s less prone to overheating as it has no direct contact with the sleeper). It’s this layer that provides the bulk of the support to the mattress, and it’s a durable high-quality foam that’s not going to degrade quickly.
However, this “normal” memory foam isn’t actually normal at all. The material its made from is pretty standard, but the way it has been constructed is quite unique. There are ventilation holes throughout the layer that allow the air from the open cell layer above to escape through the bottom.
The interesting thing is that these ventilation holes are not evenly distributed across the surface of the mattress, they’re in 5 different “zones”. Each of these zones has a different concentration of holes (and different sizes of holes) which results in each zone giving a different level of support. Your hips and head will sink into the mattress a little bit more, and the main pressure points (your hips) will get more support and sink in less. This creates an incredibly comfortable sleeping experience.
Next up is a thin, but important layer of comfort foam that’s reasonably standard. Its purpose is to provide a softer gradient between the memory foam above and the firmer foam below.
The final layer is a thick slab of high-density support foam. Again this is reasonably unremarkable but provides a super stable base for the more advanced foams above to rest upon.
The Casper is then wrapped up in a fairly standard, yet high quality knit cover which is washable and removable (and white, so it may stain).
The multi-zone support of the Casper above is one of the most innovative design patterns we’ve ever seen in the world of mattress design – but the Purple is even more revolutionary.
Purple have developed their product to be a “memory foam killer”, every single inch of it has been designed to outperform even the best memory foam products on the market. The top layer of the mattress is made from a material called hyperelastic polymer, which is something Purple themselves have invented and patented.
Hyperelastic polymer has contouring properties very similar to memory foam, it will mold and shape to your body to create a supportive base. If you took a slab of hyperelastic polymer and a slab of memory foam (in an identical shape) and tested them for support, memory foam would probably be crowned the winner…
The clever thing that Purple has done however is to create their top layer in a grid shape pattern called “the comfort grid”. These slight indentations and raised sections of the grid crumple under pressure and magnify the contouring properties of the material significantly. In this configuration, it’s easily as supportive as memory foam, perhaps even a little bit more supportive.
But why go to all this trouble to create a new material in a fancy design if it’s only “about as good” as memory foam?
It’s because hyperelastic polymer does not have any of the negative properties of memory foam.
The most obvious (and most beneficial) example of this is in regards to thermal regulation. As we learned in the Casper section above, memory foam is well known for becoming too hot throughout the night. Hyperelastic polymer, on the other hand, is an excellent thermal regulator, hotspots are almost non-existent as the heat spreads out over the mattress incredibly easily.
There are other benefits too, durability comes to mind. Over time memory foam will start to develop an indentation where the sleeper usually lies, when this happens it’s time to get a new mattress (and it happens faster than you’d expect). This isn’t a problem with the Purple mattress, hyperelastic polymer is incredibly hard wearing and durable.
The final layers of the Purple mattress are made up of pretty boring foam in comparison to the super hi-tech layer we’ve just talked about. The next layer down is 3.5 inches thick and is made from standard medium-firm comfort foam. Its main purpose is to add a little bit of support and to promote a smooth transition between the base layer and the top layer.
The base layer is again 3.5 inches thick and is made from a very firm high-density support foam. It’s unremarkable but high quality, and it provides a super stable base for the rest of the mattress to rest on. The mattress is covered with a highly breathable polyester and viscose cover which is soft to the touch and allows for excellent ventilation.
As is often the case with premium mattress manufacturers, both products are more or less the same firmness as one another. They are both medium-firm mattresses that rate around 6.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale. This is considered to be the most popular and most agreeable firmness level and unless you love a super soft or super firm bed, you’re going to be happy with it.
The only difference in firmness that could potentially be noticed between these two products is when you first get into bed. The Purple will immediately start contouring to your body without any ramp-up time whatsoever, but the Casper will not. This is because memory foam requires a little bit of heat to activate the contouring process, and before this happens it can be a little firmer than normal.
Both the Casper and the Purple are very similarly priced, they are premium products with premium price tags. However, there are some small differences that are worth noting.
- A twin XL Casper costs $645 and a twin XL Purple costs $699
- A queen-sized Casper almost costs the same as a queen-sized Purple ($995 vs $999)
- A California king-sized Casper costs $1,195 and a Purple costs $1,299
Which Bed Sleeps Cooler?
Considering that the Casper is made from memory foam, it’s an incredibly cool sleeping surface. The combination of open cell memory foam with the ventilation holes and the breathable cover is extremely effective. We highly doubt that anyone would be able to complain about the product’s thermal regulation capabilities.
However, while the Casper is good at keeping cool – the Purple is better.
As the Purple mattress is made from hyperelastic polymer, it doesn’t have to “work around” the problems that are present in memory foam. It’s inherently an excellent thermal regulator that keeps cool and distributes heat evenly.
But it’s the comfort grid design pattern that really makes the Purple excel in this category. Around each individual section on the comfort grid there are raised “borders” which in effect makes the entire layer one big ventilation channel. Air can flow freely outside the mattress into the bedroom (taking its heat with it).
The Purple is hands down one of the coolest mattresses on the market. So while it beats the Casper in this section, don’t let that make you think that the Casper is no good.
Which Bed Would Be Best For A Side Sleeper
This is a very tough section for us to evaluate. Both the Casper and the Purple are well known for being excellent choices for side sleepers.
The 5 zone structure of the Casper is literally custom made to ensure side sleepers have the best night’s sleep possible (as it’s the most popular sleeping position). Hips will be supported and the head and shoulders will sink in to create a near perfectly straight spine (which is optimal).
On the other hand, the Purple’s comfort grid design does all of this automatically without needing to be zoned into sections. Again the spine will be completely straight and comfort levels will be off the charts.
To be honest, we’re going to call this section a tie. If one is better than the other for side sleepers, the difference is negligible. Both are winners.
Should I buy a Casper or Purple Bed?
So, it’s crunch time. We really wish we didn’t have to pick a winner here, both of these products are outstanding examples of the very best the mattress world has to offer.
We really like the Casper, there are not many memory foam mattresses that can compete with the Purple in terms of support – but the 5 zone system is incredibly effective. It’s durable, it’s a good thermal regulator, and it’s made from high-quality materials.
However, we like the Purple a very tiny bit more.
It just seems to be very slightly better than the Casper in almost every category.
- The Casper sleeps cool – but the Purple sleeps cooler
- The Casper provides support – but the purple does the same (yet quicker)
- The Casper is durable – but the Purple lasts longer
As they’re the same price, we’d go for the Purple out of the two products. But to be totally honest, we could completely understand if you wanted to go the other way.
So there you have it, that’s what we think about the Casper and the Purple.
Both are great products, from great brands, that are going to stand the test of time. Both are more than worthy of being added to the top of your shortlist.