Two online mattress brands have emerged with their proprietary entries in the past half-decade. If you have browsed our other guides, you may have already encountered them. We are referring to Tuft & Needle and Purple.
Both fall within the category of online retailers which have disrupted the industry once dominated by giant names. Yet, this group has also its winners, the cream of the crop. How do our 2 contenders maintain their edge over competitors and claim their spot at the top? We’ll get to the bottom of it in this Tuft & Needle vs Purple comparison guide.
Tuft & Needle was started by a software engineer who felt the whole customer experience in retail shops and showrooms could do better. And that the insanely high mark-ups weren’t doing sleepers any justice. So he partnered with a chief strategy officer from a brick-and-mortar store and put emphasis on a fair price and customer experience.
Purple comes as another digitally native brand that is backed by 40 years of cushioning expertise. Its founders are brothers-slash-engineers who later invented the Hyper-Elastic Polymer, which is the main material of the Purple Mattress. So, before we get ahead of ourselves, why don’t we just continue assessing the 2’s construction and materials?
Table of Contents
Tuft and Needle vs Purple Mattress Comparison
Tuft and Needle vs Purple Mattress Review
Construction & Materials
We are going to examine the flagship models, Original Purple Mattress and the T&N Original Mattress, to keep this review focused.
Let’s begin with the T&N Original Mattress. The star of the show here is the T&N Adaptive Foam, a proprietary material from the brand. Inside the mattress, you will find only 2 open-cell foams with their respective functions. Read more below:
- T&N Adaptive Foam – A proprietary material that aligns your spine by providing flexible support. It adapts to the pressure points, as well as your weight. It is also said to be breathable.
- Foundation Layer – There is no transition layer to introduce you to this 7-inch high-density polyfoam. This one gives the mattress its size and shape. Also, the bed may feel firmer than your average all-foam because of it.
- Polyester Blend Cover – Wrapping up this mattress is the thin, breathable polyester blend cover. It cannot be removed, so you will have to spot-clean any dust or stain that appears on its surface.
Now, let’s take a look at the Original Purple Mattress. Headlined by the Smart Comfort Grid, it’s designed to provide pressure relief, motion isolation, and breathability.
- Smart Comfort Grid – The top layer is called the Smart Comfort Grid for its open grid system with a gel-like quality. It’s made of the patented Hyper-Elastic Polymer we mentioned earlier, which is a super-stretchy material.
- Support Layer – Following the Purple Grid is the 3.5-inch, 1.8-pound high-density polyurethane foam that offers support and comfort at the same time. It eases you into the pushback you may experience from the bottom layer.
- Base Layer – At 4 inches thick inches and 2 pounds heavy, this base foam reinforces the support provided by the 2 previous foams. It also keeps the bed performing throughout its life.
- Soft, Breathable Cover – Completing the Original Purple is this blend of soft, breathable cover with the brand name sort of embossed on it.
Firmness & Feel
The firmness scale we use in our reviews ranges from 1 to 10–1 is softest and 10 is firmest. If this is your first time reading about this factor, it may help you to know that the universal comfort level is placed between 5.5 and 7. This is medium firmness, which is typically expected from all-foam bed-in-a-box models.
The Tuft & Needle version is given a 7 by experts and users alike. As we said above, the lack of a transition layer makes the bed firmer than other brands’ all-foam offerings, including the Purple mattress. Back and back-stomach combo sleepers can enjoy the optimal benefits of this bed. Side sleepers may feel fine, but they might feel some pressure on the shoulders.
When it comes to weight distribution, Purple does not disappoint. You have the Smart Comfort Grid to thank for the 6.5 firmness score. Also, it’s less firm than Tuft & Needle and feels like you’re floating on air. This makes it an ideal option for back and back-stomach combo sleepers. If you’re a stomach sleeper on the heavier side, it might be too plush.
Regarding both beds, stomach sleepers may need something really firm to evenly distribute their weight.
All-foam mattresses have become more advanced in this department. Components that wick away heat are infused in the top layer, usually a brand’s shot at a better version of memory foam. Getting this feature to work is one of the top priorities of many makers–as enabling you to sleep cool is constantly a top priority. Sleeping hot has been an issue with traditional memory foams.
Tuft & Needle brings in hardworking components in the form of graphite and ceramic gel. Graphite absorbs and conducts heat, but the latter is done through the mattress. No need to worry about breaking a sweat. The cooling gel beads further draw heat and moisture away from your body. Add the open-cell foam that promotes airflow to achieve that chilling combo.
Not to be outdone is the Purple Grid. This open grid design made of the super stretchy Hyper-Elastic Polymer is meant to improve breathability at the top layer. Air can circulate better within the grids, keeping the bed cool. This functionality is boosted by the Lycra cover. But this mattress is not exempt from sleeping warm later in the night. Tuft & Needle has a better chance of staying cool.
Winner: Tuft & Needle
Edge Support & Sinkage
Edge support appears as it sounds. It gives a solid and stable feel at the perimeter of your bed. You may find this important if you tend to roll toward the edge while you snooze. Good edge support won’t make you feel like you’re falling off to the floor. The other benefit is that it makes the mattress less prone to premature sagging, so its life span is lengthened.
There is significant sinkage when you lie on the edge of the T&N Original Mattress. This may be due to the materials used, just 2 foam layers. You can feel the dent if you sleep on the edge. And a bit of deformation appears. It may not be smart to overuse the perimeter. This issue is resolved in the T&N Mint Mattress, which sports a transition layer.
The all-foam Purple only has fair edge support as well. It’s a little better than Tuft & Needle in this regard. Although we suggest you don’t rely on it too much. Be wary about sitting or snoozing at the perimeter. Early sagging may still occur due to overuse of this area. Like its competitor, its best bet of redeeming itself in this department is the All-New Purple, which is a hybrid.
Are you sharing your bed with somebody else? Then this factor may concern you. Motion transfer should be little to nothing if you want to catch good, uninterrupted sleep, right? Through the years, all-foams have been able to contain movements in a specific area of the mattress, thereby reducing motion transfer. This is what we call motion isolation. And we’ll find out how our 2 contenders fare here.
In this case, Tuft & Needle is a pretty perfect choice for couples–or for anyone with a bed partner, whether it’s a sibling or a pet. Its comfort or top layer is able to insulate movements to keep light sleepers from being disturbed by their partner’s movements. The Adaptive Foam’s construction pays off because it responds to body parts instead of the entire body at once.
Purple does not fall behind with its solid performance. Again, the Purple grid is the one to credit. This super-stretchy and the flexible top layer are definitely made to isolate motion significantly. Go ahead and get this one if you’re sharing with someone who can’t stop shifting positions in their slumber. Combo sleepers are the one to benefit from this Purple bed the most.
Now, we’re on the second-to-the-last factor, which can be a dealbreaker for some of you. The prices these popular online retailers are known for are what enticed you to them in the first place. Still, not all brands and models are equal when it comes to what they mean as “fair price”. The more important thing here is: what does it mean to you? Is high-quality yet affordable good enough?
For Tuft & Needle, fair price means bringing down the Queen’s retail cost to around $500. You can get it lower if you take advantage of holiday sales and special promos, as well as online marketplace discounts (e.g. Amazon). The quality is good, as our review has revealed so far. But you may want to assess if you want a firmer bed (i.e. no transition layer).
Purple, of course, is also affordable. But its Queen regularly retails at $999. Compared to some of its counterparts, this all-foam version is a bit pricier. So it fits a certain budget, However, financing is available for those who are eligible to apply. It packs a lot of features that can help you achieve a sound, comfortable, and rejuvenating sleep. Not bad at all.
As we’re down to the final factor, we should remind our readers to check the fine print. Double-checking the company policies for returns and warranties can help prevent unnecessary stress in the future. Plus, you get to understand what you’re entitled to prior to purchase. Sleep trials and shipping should also be part of the deal. These 2 are essential to having a smooth online mattress shopping experience.
The Tuft & Needle mattress is delivered to your home compressed in a box. This makes it pretty easy and convenient to move through doorways, carry to the bedroom, and set up. In fact, you can do it on your own. Shipping and returns are free of charge. And you get to test it out for a maximum of 100 nights. The product is backed by a 10-year warranty.
Meanwhile, the Purple mattress is also placed in a box, sealed, and delivered to your doorstep. You can decompress it by yourself or with the help of family or friends. The bed comes with carrying handles for this purpose. It may emit some off-gassing odors upon opening and inflation, though. We advise you to keep your room ventilated throughout the process.
Available perks are free shipping and returns, a full refund, a 100-night trial, and a 10-year warranty.
Pros & Cons
Tuft and Needle Mattress
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The T&N Adaptive Foam is not without its shining moments. It caters to the needs of back and back-stomach combo sleepers well. And it’s one of the more affordable bed-in-a-box options on the market. If you go for it, you will have access to certain benefits. So it’s definitely not a bad deal.
At the end of the day, we just want to get the most value for our money. So we are leaving you to decide which of the 2 will be your final choice. And we hope this guide has helped you relieve the stress that comes with having too many choices. In case you still want something else, check out our other comparison guides:
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