When shopping for a foam mattress online, two companies are especially popular: Tempur-Pedic and Purple. Tempur-Pedic has a longstanding reputation for its use of memory foam. The company was the first to popularize memory foam mattresses, and the company maintains a stronghold on its proprietary blend of memory foam initially used by NASA. Purple, on the other hand, is a newcomer that burst onto the mattress scene with a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign. The company quickly garnered attention for its use of the Purple Grid, a hyper-elastic polymer layer that responds uniquely to pressure with a cushioning feel.
We’ll compare two popular mattresses from these companies: the original Purple mattress and the Tempur-ProAdapt mattress. When deciding between these two mattresses, it’s important to note that for two foam mattresses, they couldn’t be more different. With the Purple mattress, you will feel like you’re sleeping “on” the mattress. With the Tempur-ProAdapt, you’re more likely to feel like you’re sleeping ‘in” the mattress. That has a lot to do with how the mattresses are constructed. This also impacts how the mattresses perform when it comes to motion isolation, edge support, and temperature regulation.
We know how hard it can be to decide which mattress is right for you. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive breakdown of both mattresses that includes details on construction, performance, and verified customer feedback. Both the Purple mattress and the Tempur-ProAdapt mattress have benefits and drawbacks for different sleepers, which depend on your sleeping position, comfort preferences, and body type. We highlight the key differences between the two mattresses, so you can understand whether one may be a better fit for you.
How Are These Mattresses Built?
There are a few common types of mattresses, including foam, hybrid, latex, and airbed models. Foam mattresses are generally made with memory foam and/or polyfoam layers and provide excellent pressure relief and motion isolation. Latex mattresses tend to use natural latex, which has more buoyancy than memory foam. Hybrid mattresses have an innerspring coil support core with comfort layers of foam or latex. Airbed mattresses have internal airchambers that allow for an adjustable firmness level.
The materials used in a mattress can impact the quality and durability of the mattress. Airbeds and latex mattresses are often more durable than synthetic foams, and are less likely to sag or break down over time. That said, high-density foam can add durability to foam mattresses and lasts much longer than low-density foam. Premium materials and quality construction extend the lifespan of the mattress and prevent sagging or deterioration over time.
Technically speaking, both the Tempur-ProAdapt mattress and the Purple mattress are foam mattresses. Both have a polyfoam base, but differ in height, construction, firmness, and feel. We’ll break down how each mattress is built here.
The Purple mattress is a lower profile foam mattress, with a height of 9.25 inches. The main components of the mattress include the trademark Purple Grid and layers of polyfoam.
The SoftFlex cover is made with viscose, polyester, and Lycra. The cover has stretch, so you can feel the benefits of the Purple Grid beneath it. This allows the cover to flex with the cushioning grid. The cover also encourages airflow throughout the mattress. The cover can’t be removed but can be spot cleaned as needed.
The comfort layer of the Purple mattress includes 2 inches of the Purple Grid. This hyperelastic polymer material has a flexible feel. The gel-like layer relieves pressure points by gently contouring to the shape of your body. This helps keep your spine aligned and prevents aches and pains. The Purple Grid is the main reason most people feel like they are sleeping “on” the mattress rather than “in” it. It cradles your body without restricting movement.
The grid design increases airflow throughout the top layer of the mattress and prevents heat retention. As a result, the Purple mattress sleeps cooler than most foam mattresses. The Purple Grid also helps the mattress isolate motion. It reacts to pressure and prevents movements from rippling across the bed. However, it should be noted that the grid still adds bounce to the mattress, which provides ease of movement and makes it easy to change positions as needed.
Beneath the Purple Grid is 3.5 inches of high-density polyfoam. This layer reinforces the gel grid and prevents the feeling of sinking into the mattress. The thick polyfoam also contributes to the overall firmness of the Purple mattress. While the Purple Grid is soft and flexible, the transition layer of foam has a medium firm feel that is responsive and supportive.
The foundation of the Purple mattress is made from 4 inches of polyfoam. This support core foam is denser than the transitional layer above it, and reinforces the entire mattress. Though most foam mattresses have a support base of 6 or more inches, the dual layers of polyfoam in the Purple mattress provide a stable base. The mattress also has a foam border that encases the Purple Grid for added edge support. The foams used are CertiPUR-US certified, meaning they are made without harmful chemicals.
The Purple mattress is hypoallergenic, which makes it ideal for those with allergies and skin sensitivities. The mattress is made in the United States.
The Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt mattress has a higher profile than the Purple mattress, with a total height of 12 inches. The mattress has several layers of Tempur-Pedic’s proprietary foam blends. The density and thickness of each layer is not disclosed by Tempur-Pedic, nor is the breakdown of materials used in the mattress cover. The company protects its memory foam formulation, which was initially developed by NASA.
The SmartClimate cover of the Tempur-ProAdapt mattress is dual-layered. The outer layer is cool to the touch, while the inner layer is stretchy. The cover is breathable and designed to offset some of the heat retention associated with memory foam. Both layers of the SmartClimate cover can be removed and washed as needed, and should be air-dried.
The comfort layer of the Tempur-ProAdapt mattress varies depending on the firmness option you choose. The soft mattress has a layer of TEMPUR-ES foam, which has a softer feel for close contouring. Of the three options, you’ll sink into the soft mattress the most. The medium firmness has a comfort layer of the original TEMPUR foam, which is highly adaptive and conforms to the shape of your body. The firm option has a layer of TEMPUR-APR foam for added pressure point relief.
The second layer of the Tempur-Pro Adapt mattress reinforces the comfort layer and keeps you from sinking in too deeply. This layer also differs among the three firmness levels. The soft mattress has a layer of the TEMPUR-APR foam. This foam contours to the shape of your body and relieves pressure points at the shoulders and hips. The medium firmness also has a layer of TEMPUR-APR foam. The firm option has a transition layer of original TEMPUR foam for adaptability and contouring comfort.
The foundation of the Tempur-ProAdapt mattress is high-density polyfoam. This adds durability to the mattress and reinforces the memory foam layers above. The mattress is manufactured in the United States.
All three firmness options isolate motion exceptionally well, cushion pressure points, and help keep the spine aligned. Tempur-Pedic memory foam evenly distributes your body weight and cushions areas that press into the mattress. It also returns to its original shape more quickly and prevents deep body impressions and sagging over time.
The Tempur-ProAdapt mattress is also available in a hybrid construction, though we focus on the foam version for the purpose of this review. The hybrid option has a medium firmness, with a comfort layer of TEMPUR-ES foam. The transition layer of TEMPUR-APR foam sits on top of premium spring coils that reinforce the mattress.
How Do The Purple and Tempur-Pedic Mattresses Feel?
There are basic similarities between the Purple mattress and the Tempur-ProAdapt mattress. Both mattresses are responsive with conforming properties for pressure point relief. However, there are key differences that set them apart and determine how each mattress feels.
The Tempur-Pedic Tempur-ProAdapt mattress responds slowly to pressure, so you sink in deeply and feel the mattress closely conform to your body. This gives the feeling of sleeping “in” the bed. This can also be referred to as feeling “hugged” by the mattress. It’s one of the divisive qualities of memory foam: you either love it, or you don’t. The Tempur-Pedic mattress is also thicker than the Purple mattress, and you can feel how thick the foam comfort layers are.
The Purple mattress, on the other hand, has a thinner comfort layer comprised solely of the Purple Grid. The malleable gel layer relieves pressure points without conforming as closely as Tempur-Pedic foam. There is a high-density polyfoam transition layer that prevents sinking into the mattress. These two layers give the feeling of sleeping “on” the mattress.
The differences in construction between the Purple vs. Tempur-Pedic mattresses determine the firmness, bounce, edge support, and temperature regulation of each mattress. We’ll break down each of those qualities here.
When shopping for a mattress, one of the most commonly discussed features is firmness. It’s typically rated on a scale of 1 to 10, or extremely soft to extremely firm. To appeal to a wide range of sleeping positions and body types, many mattresses fall in the middle of this spectrum and are considered medium to medium firm. Since firmness is a measure of comfort, it is highly subjective. What feels firm to a sleeper who weighs less than 130 pounds will feel softer for someone who weighs more than 200 pounds.
The Purple mattress is only available in one firmness level: medium firm. It falls around a 6 on the firmness scale. Unlike mattresses with memory foam in the comfort layers, the Purple mattress does not conform closely or “hug” the body. The grid is gel-like, so it responds to pressure and cushions areas like the hips and shoulders. The polyfoam beneath keeps sleepers from sinking in too deeply. This is an ideal firmness for anyone who likes to sleep on top of the mattress, rather than in it. Since the Purple mattress relieves pressure points and gently contours, it is ideal for side and back sleepers. Stomach sleepers who weigh more than 200 pounds tend to prefer a firmer mattress, and may find that the Purple grid does not fully support their abdomen and hips.
The Tempur-ProAdapt mattress is available in three firmness options: soft (2-3), medium (5), and firm (7-8). This means there is an option available for nearly every body type, sleeping position, and comfort preference. All three options offer pressure relief that is ideal for side and back sleepers. The soft option conforms closely, so you can truly sink into the mattress. The medium firmness closely contours to the shape of your body, but you’ll sink in less compared to the soft choice. The firm option prevents sinking into the mattress, but you still feel the conforming benefits and pressure point relief of the Tempur-Pedic memory foam.
Bounce in a mattress is important for a couple of reasons. It helps facilitate movement, which is key for combination sleepers who switch their sleeping positions throughout the night, and for couples engaging in intimate activity. If a bed isn’t bouncy enough, it’s not as easy to move around on, making sex more difficult. Hybrid and innerspring mattresses tend to facilitate movement the best, since the support core of innerspring coils add bounce to the mattress.
When comparing the Purple vs. Tempur-Pedic mattresses, it’s fairly obvious which bed is bouncier. The Purple mattress has a hyper-elastic polymer grid in the top layer that quickly springs back to its original shape. This results in a bouncier surface. The high-density polyfoam beneath the grid also prevents sinking in, so you stay on top of the mattress. As a result, the Purple mattress is higher rated for sex compared to the Tempur-Pedic mattress.
The Tempur-ProAdapt mattress has thick layers of memory foam. Though these layers are what give the mattress its motion-isolating properties and conforming feel, they also minimize the amount of bounce in the mattress. This can restrict movement, making it difficult to change positions. This makes the Tempur-ProAdapt mattress less ideal for couples who change positions frequently and want a resilient mattress.
Edge Support and Ease of Movement
Edge support in a mattress measures how well the perimeter of the bed supports weight. This is most noticeable when you are sitting on the edge of the bed, though people who sleep near the edge will also benefit from ample edge support. A bed with a reinforced perimeter is less likely to sag over time, and provides consistent support from edge to edge. Edge support also makes it easier to get in and out of bed, since the perimeter doesn’t sag or sink in when pressure is applied.
A common issue with foam mattresses is a lack of edge support. Purple improved the original Purple mattress design by adding a foam border that encases the Purple Grid and bolsters support around the perimeter. The high-density polyfoam base also increases the amount of support throughout the mattress. As a result, the Purple mattress has slightly better than average edge support for a foam mattress.
Edge support in the Tempur-Pedic mattress varies slightly among the three firmness levels. Since the soft option uses plush foams that you sink into, there is less support around the edges. The medium and firm options have better support from edge to edge, but you will still notice the mattress sinks in if you sit near the edge of the bed. This can result in a feeling of rolling off or feeling unsupported, especially for sleepers who weigh more than 200 pounds.
When considering support in a mattress, we also look at ease of movement. This determines how easy it is to get in and out of bed, change positions, and engage in sexual activity. A mattress that has edge support and is highly rated for ease of movement will be better for couples. While edge support increases the usable surface area of the bed, ease of movement makes it easier to change positions during sex. Edge support also allows couples to sleep near the edge of the bed, rather than crowding towards the center.
Both the Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt mattress and the Purple mattress take measures to regulate temperature and prevent heat retention. When comparing the two, however, the Purple mattress is the best option for those who tend to sleep hot.
The Purple mattress has a breathable cover that allows air to circulate throughout the mattress. Most importantly, the Purple Grid has open air channels. Since the gel grid does not conform closely to the shape of the body, it does not retain heat or restrict airflow. Air can circulate freely around the body. This helps the Purple mattress regulate temperature exceptionally well.
The Tempur-ProAdapt mattress has a dual-layer SmartClimate cover that offsets some of the heat retention of the mattress. However, since memory foam absorbs body heat and conforms closely to the shape of the body, there is a possibility of heat retention and the feeling of sleeping warm.
Both the Tempur-Pedic Tempur-ProAdapt mattress and the Purple mattress are great options if you are searching for a high-quality foam mattress. Since they are so different in terms of construction and overall feel, each mattress is better suited for certain needs. Based on our rigorous product testing and verified customer feedback, we have the following recommendations. Keep in mind that selecting a mattress is a personal decision, and will depend on additional factors that may not be covered here.
The Purple mattress is our choice for those who tend to sleep hot. The open channels of the Purple Grid allow air to flow freely throughout the mattress, and the breathable cover ensures that you benefit from the temperature-regulating properties. The grid also adds bounce and resilience to the mattress, so it is easier to change positions. This makes it a great choice for couples who prioritize ease of movement and combination sleepers who switch their sleeping positions throughout the night. The Purple mattress is a more affordable choice, with seasonal promotions that further discount the price of the mattress. This makes it ideal for those who want a high-quality foam mattress but are concerned about price.
The Tempur-Pedic mattress offers superior pressure relief with a closely conforming feel. With three firmness options to choose from, there is a choice that is ideal for every sleeping position. We have found that side sleepers, especially those under 130 pounds, tend to prefer the soft option, while back sleepers prefer the medium or firm choice. Stomach sleepers often benefit from a firm mattress. The only reason we’re less likely to recommend this mattress for combination sleepers is because of the lack of bounce. Combo sleepers may find it difficult to switch positions as needed throughout the night.
For couples, the Tempur-Pedic mattress offers excellent motion isolation. This minimizes sleep disturbances and ensures you won’t feel your partner’s movements throughout the night. Tempur-Pedic has also been around for a long time, and we are better able to speak to the longevity and lifespan of the mattress. The proprietary foam blends are dense and durable. This results in a higher price point for the Tempur-Pedic mattress.
When deciding between these two mattresses, these are just some of the factors you should take into consideration. Before shopping, establish your priorities and budget. This will help you determine if one mattress stands out as a better fit.
As we’ve mentioned, for two foam mattresses, the Purple and Tempur-ProAdapt mattresses could not be more different. One of the key differences between the two is how you feel when you lay down on the mattress. The Purple mattress prevents any feeling of sinking in, and some purchasers have described a feeling of “floating” on top of the mattress. The Tempur-ProAdapt is known for its conforming comfort layers, and you will feel more like you are sleeping “in” the mattress.
Both mattresses offer pressure point relief and cushion areas like the shoulders and hips. The Tempur-Pedic foam, however, offers top-notch contouring. It also isolates motion exceptionally well. This minimizes the amount of bounce in the Tempur-ProAdapt mattress, so couples should determine if they prioritize motion isolation over ease of movement. The Purple mattress is more resilient, so it bounces back to its original shape quickly and helps facilitate changing positions and getting in and out of bed.
The Tempur-ProAdapt mattress is not for those who tend to sleep hot. The thick memory foam layers are at risk of retaining heat, which is a common complaint for foam mattresses. On the other hand, the Purple mattress regulates temperature with increased airflow and breathable materials.
Another key difference is the price. While a queen-size Purple mattress costs less than $1,500, the Tempur-ProAdapt mattress is closer to $3,000. This is a substantial price difference, and may be a determining factor for anyone shopping on a budget.
Purple also offers two hybrid mattress models, listed here:
- Purple Hybrid: This is the hybrid version of the original Purple mattress, with the same 2-inch Purple Grid comfort layer on top of innerspring coils.
- Purple Hybrid Luxe: This luxe version of the Purple hybrid comes with your choice of a 3-inch or 4-inch Purple Grid comfort layer, which sits on top of responsive innerspring coils.
Tempur-Pedic has several other models to choose from:
- Tempur-ProAdapt Hybrid: This model has the SmartClimate cover with comfort layers of TEMPUR-ES and TEMPUR-APR foam, but with a support core of coils.
- Tempur-Cloud: The Tempur-Cloud mattress is a more affordable Tempur-Pedic mattress designed for bed-in-a-box delivery to your front door, rather than White Glove delivery.
- Tempur-Adapt: This classic style has the original TEMPUR foam construction. It’s also available in a hybrid construction with responsive coils.
- Tempur-LuxeAdapt: The Tempur-LuxeAdapt mattress has a thick 13-inch profile with conforming TEMPUR-APR foam in the comfort system.
- Tempur-Breeze: The Tempur-Breeze mattress has better temperature regulation than the other Tempur-Pedic models. It is available in a ProBreeze construction, which features TEMPUR-CM+ foam, and a LuxeBreeze construction, which has ventilation channels for a cooler sleep.
When buying a mattress online, it’s essential to review the company’s policies. Should the mattress not work out as you had hoped, you’ll want to understand how returns work and whether or not you’re eligible for a full refund. Tempur-Pedic and Purple have similar policies, though there are some key differences.
Purple offers free ground shipping within the contiguous United States. Additional charges apply for orders shipping to Alaska and Hawaii. White Glove delivery and old mattress removal is not available for Purple orders. If you want White Glove delivery, Tempur-Pedic offers it for free within the contiguous United States. This service includes old mattress removal. Additional delivery charges apply for Alaska and Hawaii.
Once the mattress is delivered, the sleep trial begins. For Purple, the length of this trial is 100 nights. This includes a 21-night minimum break-in period, which is common for mattress companies. This allows your body time to adjust to the new mattress before you make a decision. Tempur-Pedic offers a 90-day sleep trial with a 30-day break-in period.
If you decide to return the Purple mattress, Purple coordinates pick-up and donation of your mattress. The company then issues a full refund. Tempur-Pedic also coordinates the return of your mattress, but charges a $175 return transportation fee. This is a drawback for people who want a risk-free sleep trial with free returns.
The Purple mattress is covered by a warranty that differs between the mattress cover and the mattress interior. The cover is protected by a 2-year warranty, while the interior is protected by a 10-year warranty. This warranty covers any defects in workmanship and materials. Purple will repair or replace a defective mattress, but the purchaser is responsible for shipping and inspection costs.
Similarly, Tempur-Pedic covers the Tempur-ProAdapt mattress with a 10-year warranty. The company will repair or replace the mattress if any defects should arise, but the customer is responsible for transportation charges.