Tuft & Needle vs. Purple Mattress Comparison
If you’ve narrowed down your search for a new bed but are still struggling to decide between the Tuft & Needle mattress and the Purple mattress, you’re in the right place. Through our research, we’ve found that both of these all-foam models offer sleepers an excellent blend of performance and value.
Still, there are significant differences between the two that make each one more or less suitable for different sleepers. Your weight, preferred sleep positions, mobility needs, and overall mattress preferences will all play a role in deciding which bed is best for you.
Both the Tuft & Needle and the Purple are all-foam mattresses with a medium firm feel we’ve rated at 6 out of 10. However, while they share some standard features—such as support cores made from high-density polyfoam—their differences begin with the materials used in each bed.
While the Tuft & Needle has a reasonably normal construction for an all-foam bed, though with a graphite-infused gel polyfoam comfort system for a more refreshing sleep, the Purple focuses on innovative construction and features a “Purple Grid” comfort layer made from hyperelastic polymer.
Due to their different constructions, the Tuft & Needle and the Purple feel different to sleep on. The Tuft & Needle’s use of polyfoam creates a lightly conforming sleep surface that’s bouncier than beds with memory foam comfort layers. By contrast, the Purple offers targeted conforming in areas with more weight while still allowing for an overall ‘floating’ feeling.
We’ll guide you through each mattress’s similarities and differences, and by the end of this review, you should feel confident about which one is best for your needs.
T&N Original Mattress
- Best for back and combination sleepers
- Soothing pressure relief
- Offers great value for its price
- Easier to move in than many other all-foam beds
- Balanced feel of sleeping ‘in’ and ‘on’ the mattress
- Best for side sleepers
- Innovative hyperelastic polymer comfort layer
- Sleeps much cooler than other all-foam beds
- Ideal for couples
- Targeted conforming with a floating feel
How Are These Mattresses Built?
Most all-foam mattresses share a similar construction: a support core of high-density polyfoam, topped with comfort layers usually made from memory foam or polyfoam. Both the Tuft & Needle and the Purple mattress share some of these characteristics, while still standing out through innovative materials and careful design.
The materials used in a bed make a huge difference in how the mattress feels, and who it’s best suited for. However, construction also plays a crucial role in many other areas: the bed’s durability, how well it isolates motion and relieves pressure, whether it sleeps cool or warm, and other relevant categories.
To help you better understand the Tuft & Needle and the Purple mattresses, we’ve analyzed the materials used in each and will walk you through how both beds are constructed. Later on in this review, we’ll go into more detail about the differences in performance caused by their differences in construction.
Tuft & Needle
The Tuft & Needle has an integrated cover made from a knit blend of polyester and polyamide. While more people are familiar with polyester than polyamide, both are similar synthetic fabrics. They have a silky-soft feel, and by using both materials Tuft & Needle balances faults found in one or the other. For example, polyamide fabrics are softer than polyester but tend to absorb moisture. In contrast, polyester is hydrophobic and can wick moisture away for better temperature control and less of a ‘clammy’ feeling.
Because the cover is integrated, it cannot be removed for cleaning. It is stain-resistant, and Tuft & Needle suggests spot-cleaning as necessary. It also features an antimicrobial protectant embedded into the fabric that aims to prevent microbes from affecting the lifespan of the mattress. Customers concerned about this may want to consider using a waterproof mattress protector.
As with many all-foam mattresses, the Tuft & Needle mattress features a polyfoam comfort layer. At three inches, its comfort system has an average depth for this type of bed, but it steps away from the pack by using gel polyfoam and infusing it with graphite.
Gel foams are thought to sleep cooler than standard varieties due to improved heat transfer and better airflow. Graphite conducts energy well and is used in electronics to prevent overheating; by infusing it into the comfort layer, Tuft & Needle makes the bed retain less heat and therefore sleep cooler throughout the night.
Polyfoam also has a bouncier feel than memory foam, particularly the higher-density variety used here. While still lightly conforming and pressure-relieving, it allows for better responsiveness and suitability for sex. Sleepers are unlikely to feel as though they are sinking into the bed, though heavier sleepers may find this layer too shallow for their support needs.
Overall, most sleepers are likely to find the Tuft & Needle’s comfort system creates a balanced feel of sleeping both ‘in’ and ‘on’ their bed.
The Tuft & Needle has a fairly standard core. Seven inches thick and made with high-density polyfoam, this layer provides the mattress with stability and durability while also creating a foundation to properly support sleepers.
If the comfort layer plays a more significant role in some areas —such as how the mattress feels, as well as how well it isolates motion and relieves pressure— the core is a major player in determining how supportive and durable a bed is, as well as its edge support.
High-density polyfoam provides full-body support and allows for a lower price-point than the use of pocketed coils. However, it does have some downsides, and the Tuft & Needle has inherited some of these issues. While the bed has an average amount of durability, it is unlikely to last any longer than similar all-foam models.
Similarly, the Tuft & Needle’s edge support is let down by its core, which flexes more around the perimeter and therefore has below-average performance in this area. While not a problem for most people, this means that sleepers have to stay closer to the center for proper support. The dip caused by sitting on the edge of the bed can also make getting up difficult for people with mobility concerns.
The Purple’s soft and stretchy integrated cover is made from a knit blend of 67 percent polyester, 29 percent viscose (also known as rayon), and 4 percent Lycra spandex. It also features a slip-guard bottom made of 100 percent polyester to prevent the mattress from shifting on its foundation.
Polyester is a synthetic material with an extra-soft touch, stain resistance, and good moisture-wicking capabilities. Viscose, manufactured from cellulose fibers, is more breathable than fully synthetic fabrics and is more similar to cotton in that regard. It is also well-known for its luxurious, silk-like feel. The Lycra spandex is used in smaller amounts to provide the cover with stretchiness.
Like the Tuft & Needle, the Purple’s integrated cover means it cannot be removed for cleaning.
The Purple’s most impressive feature is its innovative Purple Grid comfort layer. It is made from hyperelastic polymers, a plastic-like material that compresses beneath pressure before buckling and stiffening.
These qualities give the Purple a unique feel, one which closely contours in targeted areas for excellent support and pressure relief. The Purple Grid provides an overall feeling of floating on the bed, rather than sinking into it.
One of the standout qualities of the Purple Grid is its responsiveness. While conforming enough for pressure relief and comfort, it adjusts quickly to also offer good ease of motion and above-average suitability for sex.
As its comfort layer is an open grid, the Purple has superior airflow to beds with heat-retaining foam comfort layers. It also has above-average motion isolation, thanks to the comfort layer compressing only beneath weight while leaving other areas relatively undisturbed.
In order to provide a medium firm feel and prevent sleepers from sinking against the denser foundation layer, the Purple uses a 3.5-inch transitional layer of high-density polyfoam between the comfort layer and the core.
This buffer layer can be considered as part of both the comfort and support systems. It not only plays a large role in the bed’s feel and firmness, but also makes up for the Purple’s otherwise quite thin foundation layer.
At four inches, the Purple’s high-density polyfoam support core is low-profile even for an all-foam mattress. However, when combined with the transitional layer made of only slightly less dense polyfoam, this allows for a mattress with above-average durability and reliable overall support for most sleepers.
One concern with all-foam beds is that polyfoam cores often have worse edge support than other options. The Purple is carefully constructed to offer enough edge support for the average sleeper. Still, those who want to sleep close to the edge, or people with mobility concerns, may find it inadequate for their needs.
Note: Customers who are interested in the Purple but prefer a pocketed coil support core may enjoy the Purple Hybrid or the Purple Hybrid Premier.
How Do The Tuft & Needle and Purple Mattresses Feel?
The feel of a mattress is vital. A bed might be technically ideal, but if you dislike how it feels to sleep on, you’re unlikely to enjoy the experience. Despite both being medium firm, all-foam beds, the Tuft & Needle and Purple mattresses each feel different to sleep on due to their differing constructions.
The Tuft & Needle offers sleepers a balanced feel of sleeping both ‘in’ and ‘on’ their bed, with a polyfoam comfort layer that conforms moderately for good overall pressure relief. In comparison, the Purple’s Purple Grid comfort layer, made of hyperelastic polymers, conforms closely in targeted areas while still creating the feeling of floating on the mattress.
To help you decide which mattress is best for you, we’ve broken down the way they feel into four important categories: how firm they are, which mattress is bouncier, their edge support and how easy they are to move on, and how cool they sleep.
Both the Tuft & Needle and the Purple mattresses are considered medium firm, and we’ve rated them both at 6 out of 10.
In general, lighter sleepers tend to prefer softer mattresses, while heavier sleepers gravitate towards firmer mattresses. This is for support, but also comfort: heavier sleepers compress foam more, meaning that they experience most beds as subjectively softer than lighter sleepers, and vice versa. When combined with preferred sleep position, weight is an important factor in determining mattress suitability.
Due to their shared firmness level, both the Tuft & Needle and the Purple suit similar people, but their differing constructions do make a difference. Both beds are most suitable for sleepers under 230 pounds, as those above this weight are likely to find neither offers adequate support for their needs. Between the two, the Tuft & Needle is more appropriate for heavier people, but only side sleepers in this range are likely to find it offers a good night’s sleep.
As this demonstrates, firmness (particularly when combined with pressure relief and overall support) also helps determine which sleep positions a bed supports best. Side and back sleepers are generally likely to appreciate both mattresses, while stomach sleepers may find the lack of pelvic support in each leads to next-day pain and stiffness in their lower back.
Bounciness is a classic mattress feature, but all-foam beds tend to absorb too much motion to allow for good scores in this area. However, both the Tuft & Needle and the Purple have better responsiveness and bounce than most of their competitors of this type. This is thanks to the thoughtful construction of each, though the two beds each take a different route to the same goal.
The Tuft & Needle uses higher-density polyfoam in their comfort system. Even low-density polyfoam tends to be bouncier than its memory foam equivalent, a quality that’s only emphasized by greater overall density. Though it may not satisfy customers looking for an innerspring or pocketed-coil style bounce, the Tuft & Needle is satisfyingly springy enough for the majority.
However, between the two, the Purple is the bouncier bed due to its Purple Grid layer of hyperelastic polymers. Once buckled, the grid will not sink further into the bed. Instead, it transmits the full bounciness of its high-density polyfoam transitional and support layers. Like the Tuft & Needle, the Purple is less responsive and bouncy than springs or coils, but still provides better performance here than most competitors.
A mattress doesn’t have to be bouncy to offer a good sleep, and many people are very happy in their bounce-less beds. Where bounce and responsiveness matter most is suitability for sex, with a direct connection between bouncier beds and higher scores in that category. Less bouncy sleep surfaces provide better traction but make it difficult to find or maintain a rhythm. Depending on how a bed is constructed, low amounts of bounce may also be associated with difficulty in changing positions.
Due to these factors, it’s no surprise that the Purple comes out ahead of the Tuft & Needle in terms of suitability for sex.
Edge Support and Ease of Movement
A mattress with good edge support doesn’t dip excessively when someone sits on the side of their bed, and people can sleep close to the edges without feeling less supported or as though they’re going to roll off. Ease of movement, on the other hand, is determined by how easy it is to get into, change positions on, and get out of bed. Softer mattresses that conform closely and lack responsiveness tend to be harder to move in, while those with more responsiveness and less contouring make movement easier.
The Tuft & Needle mattress has varying scores in both categories. Thanks to its springy polyfoam comfort system and minimal contouring, it allows for above-average ease of movement. Changing positions takes less effort than other all-foam models, and impressions disappear quickly. However, its core of high-density polyfoam is weak around the perimeter and has less edge support than some of its competitors.
One of those competitors is the Purple, with average scores in both areas. Like the Tuft & Needle, the Purple is relatively easy to move on for the average sleeper, though the Purple Grid is slightly less responsive than polyfoam. However, despite also using a high-density polyfoam core, it has better edge support with less of a tendency to sink.
Both of these categories are extremely important to some people while being less critical for others. For most people, they only begin to matter if they have a sleep partner: edge support and ease of movement are both factors in suitability for sex. Good edge support also allows partners to use the full sleep surface rather than only sleeping closer to the center of the bed. Sleepers with mobility concerns also require a mattress with good scores in these areas, as poor performance can make getting into or out of bed, as well as merely changing positions, very difficult.
While both beds are likely to satisfy most people’s needs in this area, the Purple is a better choice for couples thanks to its more balanced performance. People with mobility concerns may prefer one of the beds over the other depending on their needs, but should potentially consider a bed with better overall edge support and ease of movement.
It’s easier to fall asleep when you’re not too hot, and some people naturally sleep warmer than others. The ability of a bed to stay the perfect temperature for a cozy sleep can make a serious difference in how well you sleep, whether you wake up in the night, and how you feel in the morning.
Between the two mattresses, the Purple sleeps the coolest. All-foam beds tend to have very little airflow thanks to the properties of both polyfoam and memory foam, both of which also tend to absorb heat. However, the hyperelastic polymers used in the Purple’s comfort layer are reasonably temperature-neutral, while its open grid structure allows for significantly better airflow.
While the Tuft & Needle isn’t as cool as the Purple, it still has above-average temperature neutrality and performs better in this area than the majority of other all-foam beds. This excellence is thanks to its careful design, using a number of materials to help counteract cooling concerns: gel foam for better airflow, graphite to conduct heat from your body, and a breathable cover with good wicking abilities.
Both the Tuft & Needle and Purple mattresses are excellent options, but differing needs may make one choice more appealing than the other.
In the table below, we’ve summarized the recommendations made in the sections above. Both mattresses have their own strengths and weaknesses, and one mattress outshone the other in most of our judging categories. However, there were some categories where neither had the advantage, such as in material quality.
For most sleepers, a mattress’s suitability for their preferred sleep position is the most important consideration. However, when both mattresses are equally suitable — for stomach sleepers, in this case — other features may break the tie. This may also be true for couples, as it is sometimes difficult to find a mattress that suits both sleepers equally.
The Tuft & Needle and Purple are similar in many ways, but the T&N is more traditional compared to the Purple’s innovative Purple Grid design. While this difference is not shown here, it may also make a significant impact on your decision.
We’ve made these recommendations based on our testing process and understanding of each mattress, but your choice of bed is ultimately personal. By comparing your needs with our guidance, you’ll be closer to discovering which mattress will offer you the best night’s sleep.
As you may have learned through this review, the Tuft & Needle and Purple mattresses have both profound similarities — such as their foam core construction — and differences. To aid our readers in choosing the right mattress for their needs, we’ve consolidated those crucial differences into the points below.
- While the Tuft & Needle mattress offers a graphite-infused gel polyfoam comfort layer, the Purple mattress features its innovative Purple Grid comfort system made of hyperelastic polymers. This provides a unique, more responsive feel than the T&N’s more traditional sleep surface.
- Although neither mattress is as bouncy or responsive as one with an innerspring or pocketed coil support core, the Purple mattress’s hyperelastic polymers allow for more bounce than the Tuft & Needle’s polyfoam comfort system.
- Both mattresses are more suitable for sleepers under 230 pounds, but the Tuft & Needle also offers good support for side sleepers above 230 pounds, particularly those who prefer a medium firm mattress.
- The Purple provides more balanced performance for couples due to its temperature neutrality, edge support, and suitability for sex. (However, sleep position and weight suitability are still the most important deciding factors overall.)
- The Tuft & Needle is less expensive than the Purple, while still offering the same level of construction and material quality. Depending on your needs, this may make it an easy first choice.
Tuft & Needle and Purple currently offer the following models in addition to their flagship mattresses:
- Tuft & Needle Mint: The Mint’s construction is similar to the Tuft & Needle, but a 2-inch transitional layer makes it softer and more pressure-relieving.
- Tuft & Needle Hybrid: A coil-on-coil design and airy pocketed coil core make the Hybrid more supportive and temperature neutral, though it relieves less pressure than the Tuft & Needle.
- Purple Hybrid: While similar to the Purple, the Purple Hybrid exchanges pocketed coils for the original’s high-density polyfoam support core, and at 11 inches has a higher profile.
- Purple Hybrid Premier: In addition to its pocketed coil support core, the Purple Hybrid Premier offers two different thickness options with varying firmness levels.
Tuft & Needle ships their mattresses to all fifty American states. Shipping is free within the contiguous USA, while Hawaiians and Alaskans must pay a fee that is usually between $120 and $200. Mattresses are shipped via FedEx Ground, usually within three to seven business days, and same-day delivery is available for $50 per mattress in areas of some major cities. White Glove delivery, which includes old mattress removal, can be purchased for a flat fee of $150.
Purple ships to customers in every state, as well as throughout all of Canada. As with Tuft & Needle, their mattresses ship free within the contiguous states, while Alaskans, Hawaiians, and Canadians must pay a fee. Most mattresses arrive within five days of purchase, though expedited 2-day shipping is also available. Purple doesn’t currently offer White Glove delivery or mattress removal.
- Sleep Trial
Both the Tuft & Needle and the Purple have 100-night sleep trials with similar policies. The trials begin on the date of purchase, and customers can return their mattress for a full refund (minus any shipping costs) during the entire trial period. Customers who purchase the Tuft & Needle can choose to dispose of or donate their mattress themselves, though the company will also collect it at no fee, while Purple covers all shipping and handling on mattress returns unless there are extenuating circumstances.
Both brands allow you to exchange the bed for a different mattress model instead of receiving a refund. However, you’ll have to pay the difference between the models, and the replacement is not eligible for a sleep trial.
Although both the Tuft & Needle and Purple offer 10-year, non-prorated warranties for their mattresses, their terms differ slightly. Both cover manufacturing flaws that lead to the foam splitting or cracking, as well as lingering indentations. However, Tuft & Needle has a slightly stronger warranty, as it covers impressions 0.75 inches deep, as opposed to Purple, which covers 1-inch deep impressions. Tuft & Needle also includes the mattress cover in its warranty, while Purple covers its cover under a separate 2-year warranty.
Both warranties are considered void if the mattress is not adequately supported, and neither can be transferred if the mattress is sold or given away. Mattress warranties do not usually cover ordinary wear and tear, owner damage, and changes in owner preference.