Instantly conforms to the body
Doesn’t make any noise
Reduces motion transfer
Lack of carrying handles makes it difficult to move
Poor edge support
Personal preference plays a key role in determining a mattress’s comfort, but it's hard to beat the well-cushioned support of the Purple Original Mattress. Purple hit the market with a unique elastic-polymer grid that cradles the body and allows maximum airflow and breathability. While sleepers of all styles—back, front, and stomach—have reported great sleep on the Purple, it's best for back and side sleepers because of how the grid and foam layers conform to the body. We tested one out in our own home to see how different family members (with different sleep styles) would respond. Read on for our verdict.
Delivery and Setup: Worth the struggle
If you’ve ever ordered from a bed-in-a-box retailer, you know how mind-boggling it is to see your mattress show up in a far-from-mattress-sized package. Yes, it's big, but the Purple showed up in a bag that was nowhere near as large as we imagined.
Printed on the outside of the mattress bag were easy-to-follow, four-step instructions. While the directions proved simple, getting the mattress out of its packaging was a challenge. To shrink the mattress for shipping, the bed is vacuum-sealed in an airtight bag. It's then rolled in industrial plastic wrap and slipped into an additional bag.
The process of getting the mattress out of the first bag took almost 15 minutes. Unfortunately, the struggle didn’t end there. After getting through the exterior bag, we had to cut away at inner plastic wrap and then slice through the vacuum-sealed bag. Luckily, the mattress comes with a box cutter (as well as two sleep masks and a sample of the inner mattress grid) which made short work of the vacuum-sealed bag. The mattress was only 4 inches deep when in the sealed bag, but after being released, it popped up to 9 inches within a minute. It took another hour for it to reach its full height of 9.5 inches.
The mattress was only 4 inches deep when in the sealed bag, but after being released, it popped up to 9 inches within a minute.
The directions indicate that the mattress should be unrolled and decompressed on the bed where it will be used. However, we've had experience with foam mattresses and knew that it would need to air out for a bit. The Purple doesn't have an overly strong smell, but there is a slight chemical odor that was similar to plastic or rubber, and we wanted to make sure it was gone before moving it into our son’s bedroom. It took about 48 hours in a well-ventilated room for the smell to dissipate.
At moving time, we ran into more than a slight snag: The Purple doesn’t have any handles. We assume that’s because it’s intended to be unrolled where it will be used, but even if you install the mattress in a bedroom upon arrival, chances are you may need to move it at some point. The Purple is very flexible, and when you're moving an item of this size, flexibility does not help. We were able to slide it across the room alone, but lifting it onto the top of our son’s bunk bed required three people.
The instructions explicitly state that you should place the mattress on a solid surface or use slats that are no more than 3 inches apart. If the slats are too far apart, they can compromise the mattress’ structural integrity. Your warranty is only valid if you follow these instructions; it is voided if you place the mattress on an inadequate base.
Comfort: Conforms and cushions, but may leave some sleepers dissatisfied
The first time we laid on this mattress we were immediately impressed with how it conformed to our body. We sunk into it without feeling trapped, as we have with other memory foam models. A lot of that has to do with its construction, which is unique to Purple.
The top layer of the mattress is made of a 2-inch, hyper-elastic polymer grid. It’s incredibly flexible, but when you lay down on it for the first time, you can feel the grid through the mattress cover, which took some getting used to. The second layer consists of 3.5 inches of 1.8-pound density polyurethane foam. This layer adds support but also conforms to the body. You can feel it hug your body once it’s made its way through the grid. Finally, the 4-inch base layer, which consists of 2-pound density polyurethane foam, keeps you from sinking through to the bottom. This layer brings stability, support, and helps you maintain mobility while on the mattress. We found it interesting that with the Purple, you can feel each layer. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but something we hadn’t experienced before.
We found that for back and side sleeping, the Purple performed beautifully. It cushioned, conformed, and cooled—earning top marks on all accounts.
Five people slept on this mattress (one at a time), ranging in weight from 80 to 180 pounds. Four of the five loved the way the Purple conformed to their body. In fact, there was even some arguing over who got to sleep on the Purple each night. Of the five testers, four were back/side sleepers and one was a side/stomach sleeper. We found that for back and side sleeping, the Purple performed beautifully. It cushioned, conformed, and cooled—earning top marks on all accounts. However, the Purple could lead to issues for stomach sleepers. The deep cushioning caused uncomfortable bowing in the lower back. If you spend most of your time on your stomach, this might not be the right mattress for you.
We want to point out that the overall comfort, in part, comes from the mattress cover. It’s made of a flexible, four-way stretch, flame-retardant fabric. Purple points out that the stretch of the mattress cover is crucial to the design of the mattress. You can’t fully sink into it without a cover, mattress pad, and sheets that can stretch as much as the mattress. Purple warns that discomfort, in some cases, can stem from using sheets that aren’t as flexible as the mattress.
We can’t talk about the Purple without a discussion of air flow and breathability, and that’s where the grid really comes into play. It’s designed to be as comfortable as standard foam but to not hold on to heat. All we can say is—it worked. We tested the mattress during a particularly warm week, and none of our household’s testers reported overheating. It slept cool, and the surface even feels cool, which gets a major plus from us.
We also have to mention how quiet the Purple is and how it reduces motion transfer. You probably aren’t going to share a twin mattress with a partner (that’s a job for a queen), but even so, motion reduction can help you sleep better. If you’re a restless sleeper, you won’t create extra motion or noise with this mattress. We especially liked that as our sons share a room and a bunk bed, so a quiet mattress helps keep the peace.
Durability: Watch those edges
While we found the Purple to be incredibly comfortable, we did notice that the edges don’t offer much support. Part of the issue is the fact that it’s a foam mattress, so it naturally doesn’t have the same structural support as an innerspring or hybrid model. The other part of the equation is the fact that it’s designed to be compact and delivered in the mail; Purple couldn’t vacuum seal this mattress if it had a rigid structure around the edge.
While we found the Purple to be incredibly comfortable, we did notice that the edges don’t offer much support.
That being said, if you’re the type of sleeper who hugs the edge of the mattress, this might not be the best choice for you. Our heaviest tester weighed 180 pounds, and he felt like he was going to fall off if he got too close to the edge. That can also be an issue if you sit on the edge of the bed while putting your shoes on or getting dressed.
One more area where durability could be a potential issue is the polymer grid. There have been a few rare reports of the grid being misshapen upon arrival, creating divots. There are also a small number of users who felt like the grid broke down after about a year, which also resulted in low spots. However, the vast majority of users—us included—did not experience these problems, so we're not sure if this is a quality control issue or a matter of how the mattress has been used.
Other Considerations: Warranty and certifications
Purple provides a 10-year-limited warranty on all their mattresses. The warranty is only valid for the original purchaser and through authorized dealers, which usually means through the Purple website. Purple is very specific about the kinds of issues that apply to the warranty, including indentations that are deeper than one inch in comparison to the surrounding mattress. Validation requires careful measuring and visual evidence. Please note that the mattress cover has a separate two-year warranty.
The Purple Original Twin Mattress is CertiPUR-US certified. This independent organization tests products that contain polyurethane foam for off-gassing and potential exposure to harmful chemicals. Certifications from independent organizations can give you an idea about the quality of the material and whether or not it poses any health hazards.
Price: Mid-range for bed-in-a-box companies
At $650, the Purple falls at the higher end of the mid-range for twin mattresses. But for the comfort and breathability you get, we think it's worth the price. The Purple also comes with a 10-year warranty—AKA the average lifetime of most mattresses—so you’ll get your money’s worth.
Competition: Sleep style and body weight make a difference
We've found that comfort hinges on a person's weight and personal sleep style, making it difficult to compare mattresses. However, there are enough similarities and key differences between the Purple and the Leesa Twin Mattress to get an idea of the kinds of sleepers that will be more comfortable on each one.
Both are foam bed-in-a-box models. The Leesa is easier to set up despite the similarities in packaging. The Leesa’s three-layered foam design is definitely better for stomach sleepers, but is often too firm for side sleepers. Whereas stomach sleepers may end up with a bowed back and back pain on the Purple. While the Leesa provides better edge support than the Purple, the edges don’t hold up over time. It also has a cooling top layer, like the Purple. And, while the Leesa does a good job, it’s not up to the Purple’s superior breathability.
Asses your sleep style first—but you’ll likely love it.
The Purple works incredibly well for those who want and love foam mattresses that hug your body like a well-fitted glove. It’s also perfect for those who sleep hot. However, stomach sleepers and heavier side sleepers may find that sinking into the bottom support layer creates more aches and pains than it relieves.
- Product Name Original Twin Mattress
- Product Brand Purple
- Price $649.00
- Weight 80 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 38 x 75 x 9.5 in.
- Warranty 10 years