Opt for this popular mattress brand over its competitor
In our comparison, Purple reigns supreme over Casper.
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It seems as though there are endless choices when it comes to mattresses—with numerous mattress in a box brands that are well recognized. Casper and Purple are among the best-known out there—but that doesn’t mean they’re equals at the end of the day, er, overnight, shall we say. We pitted them against each other in a Casper vs. Purple faceoff to determine which is better.
Price and discounts
The brands have reasonably similar retail prices, with a queen-size Purple mattress at $1,299 and Casper’s Original in the same size for $1,100. Of course, those are only the sticker prices, which don’t account for mattress companies’ seemingly never-ending sales.
Purple mattresses are more expensive. Even with the company’s frequent promotions, we seldom see steep discounts. Usually, you can get the bed for $100 off. Unlike other companies, the price isn’t sweetened by additional freebies such as bed sheets or pillows.
Casper’s Original mattress may be less expensive, but it’s also a far lower quality product in our opinion. Casper frequently offers 15% discounts, meaning an Original queen is typically around $900. While Casper’s price takes the cake by several hundred in this regard, we don’t think it’s worth the money.
For those on a tighter budget, there are other choices out there that are better overall and have a better price. Take the Tuft & Needle Original—which in our tester's experience is on the firmer end of the spectrum like the Purple mattress. There's also the Nectar Mattress, which our tester recommends as a softer option. It bests Casper in terms of price at $799 for a queen.
Our pick: Casper—but you get what you pay for
Sleep surface sensation
The Purple mattress initially seems squishy if you only have one or two points of contact—for example, if you kneel on it. But when you lie down, it’s a different story. The mattress has a firm sleep surface that’s supportive—while supine, it feels almost nothing like the squishy foam you experience when you kneel on the bed. In our tester’s experience, it never felt too firm, providing the right balance of comfort and support. Our tester thinks it's great for stomach sleepers and found it was incredibly cool overnight—a huge perk for folks that sleep hot. Plus, in our lab testing, the mattress withstood hours of heat from an infrared bulb without any signs of warming up.
On the other hand, the Casper Original leaves a lot to be desired. In fact, our tester found that it wasn’t well suited to any sleep position. It wasn’t firm, but it wasn’t noticeably squishy either. When our tester sent it away after a month of sleeping on it, she realized she hadn’t slept well in weeks. We couldn’t pinpoint a single position for which we’d recommend this bed. In addition, the edge support was virtually non-existent; the mattress’s periphery collapsed beneath our tester’s body weight any time she sat down.
Our Pick: Purple
Purple’s proprietary “hyper-elastic polymer” most closely resembles a foam. Its least expensive mattress—which is also, coincidentally, the thinnest at 9.25 inches—is made of three layers. A two-inch section of the company’s Purple Grid sits atop two layers of polyurethane foam. The middle layer is 3.5 inches thick, and the lowest is 4 inches. The density and firmness of each layer increases from top to bottom.
In terms of temperature, the Purple mattress felt better to our tester because of its ultra-open gridded material that creates the top two inches of the mattress. Even in lab testing, we couldn't get the mattress to show any signs of heat retention—it didn't matter how many hours we blasted it with an infrared bulb.
At 11 inches tall, the Casper Original is a solid foam mattress that uses what’s called “open-cell” foam. During manufacture, the bubbles inside the foam rupture to create a webbed network. This construction is less prone to heat retention than closed-cell foam (wherein the bubbles retain their individual chambers and shape) because it has more space for airflow.
Its three layers include a slim piece of perforated foam that’s designed to improve breathability; a “zoned support” layer, which the company claims helps with alignment as it’s “softer under the shoulders” and “firmer around the hips, waist, and back;" and a “durable base,” which purports to provide support and prevent sinking or sagging. It's worth saying that despite the claims, our tester couldn't detect a difference in how the surface of the mattress felt.
Our pick: Purple
Trial and return policies
Both Casper and Purple offer 100-night trials. The only difference lies in the companies’ policies when it comes to how long you need to try the mattress before it’s eligible for return. Purple has a slightly better policy, allowing customers who aren’t satisfied with the mattress to return it after three weeks. Casper requires you to try its mattresses for at least 30 nights, meaning you could be stuck with something you don’t love for just over an extra week.
Purple will pick up the mattress and arrange a full refund on your behalf. But what happens to returned mattresses is another question entirely. A Purple customer service rep couldn’t confirm how exactly the mattresses are recycled, or whether the (presumably) lightly used components are used in newly minted mattresses.
Casper will also arrange for a courier to pick up the bed, meaning there’s no packing required on your end. The company has a better defined process for used mattresses. It claims it will try to recycle or donate returned mattresses to a charity, though based on the site there aren’t any guarantees.
Our pick: Purple
Our sleep writer has chatted with Purple’s customer service a number of times to get clarifications on mattress specifications. She’s found they’re very responsive and readily able to answer even difficult questions (including one about what the different densities of foam meant for user experience).
Purple also performs well with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with 245 reviews and an average rating of 3.8 stars out of 5. Despite its relatively high performance, the company has had 186 complaints in the last three years and 54 in the last 12 months. Most recent complaints relate to shipping delays on mattresses—some customers say it took over a month to receive the product, despite the company’s claim that mattresses usually leave the warehouse within three to five business days, and arrive at the customer’s doorstep within another three to five days.
Casper has a lower overall BBB rating, 2.2 stars, with only 43 customer reviews. Casper hasn’t faced as many grievances as Purple, but it’s still had its share: 173 complaints in the last three years, and 87 in the last 12 months. The reviews cover a spectrum of issues from slow or late deliveries to unshipped products.
When chatting with Casper's customer service, the one question we’ve never gotten a clear answer on is how the zoned support is designed and manufactured. We’d think it should be easy enough, especially with how much the company advertises it. But that’s a relatively minor complaint in the grand scheme of things.
Our Pick: Purple
Warranty and setup requirements
Purple’s warranty is fairly typical: You have 10 years to file a claim (if necessary). The company covers defects, like if the mattress develops an indent deeper than one inch, or if the materials “crack, split, or otherwise fail during normal use and handling.” You must be in accordance with Purple’s care instructions, which include using the mattress on a non-spring base or slats that are no more than 3 inches apart. (For details on other supports, be sure to check the full warranty policy—though the mattress is compatible with adjustable bases, and unlike many others, can even be used on the floor.)
Casper’s warranty is on-pace with that of Purple and most other online mattress companies: It offers a 10-year limited warranty. Casper recommends against using its mattresses on the floor as it can lead to condensation and the propagation of mold. Importantly, using it on the floor will negate the warranty, as will placing the bed on non-wooden slats, wood slats spaced more than 4 inches apart, or a box spring. A customer service representative suggested using the mattress with the company’s foundation (though almost any company will recommend this, likely in part because it will make them an extra buck). The rep noted this isn’t the only base you can use to maintain the warranty, just one the company would recommend.
Our Pick: Tie
And the winner is…
If you’re trying to choose between Casper and Purple, in our minds there’s no competition: Purple is the better choice, hands down. The mattress is supportive, cool, and comfortable. Our tester found it worked well for a variety of sleep positions—even though it may be a bit too firm for some side sleepers.
Casper’s Original mattress is not a good bed, in our opinion. It lacks a supportive and comfortable sleep surface, and our tester couldn’t wait to see it go. Nonetheless, if you’re bent on the podcast-sponsoring brand, you should consider its Costco-exclusive mattress, the Casper Select, which our tester loved.
We haven't tested the company's higher end models yet, either, so perhaps Casper's Wave Hybrid, which it bills as its most supportive model, is a dream for back and stomach sleepers. Similarly, the Purple Premier has a thicker layer of Purple's grid, which could provide a more cushioned surface for those who prefer it. But when comparing the the Purple mattress and Casper Original? The answer is simple: Go for the Purple mattress—the Casper Original can't compete.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.