DreamCloud vs. Nectar: Which mattress should you choose?
Nectar sounds sweet, but will DreamCloud whisk you away to dreamland faster?
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
With so many online options, looking for a mattress in a box can be hard. DreamCloud and Nectar, two mattress brands from the same parent company, both sound incredibly promising. Will the DreamCloud really whisk you off to dreamland? And is the Nectar truly as sweet as it sounds?
We put them both to the test. At Reviewed, we subject every mattress that rolls through our doors to rigorous trials, including extensive lab testing and monthlong stints at home. In the end, they're both solid options—it just depends on what you're looking for.
Price and discounts
Here’s the thing with online mattresses: There’s the MSRP and then there’s the evergreen sale price. We see certain beds perennially marked down anywhere from 10% to 20%.
The baseline DreamCloud comes in around $1,600, but the mattress is usually on sale for about $1,000. At full price, a Nectar mattress is about $1,400 for a queen, but ongoing promotions put a queen-size mattress closer to $900.
Either way, Nectar cinches the win from the standpoint of wallet-friendliness if you’ve got your budget high on the list of your considerations.
Our pick: Nectar
Sleep surface sensation
Our tester put the DreamCloud on the firmer end of the mattress spectrum, which she prefers as a stomach sleeper. She also thought it slept cool. The mattress doesn’t claim to have any special cooling materials, so this might have something to do with the extra airflow created by the mattress’ coils.
Unfortunately, she found the surface of the mattress uneven for a prolonged period after she unboxed it. It puffed up in the middle, but the edges lacked integrity. Even by the time they fully rose—close to the end of her monthlong sleep trial—the edges didn’t feel sturdy or supportive when she perched on the corner or side of the bed.
The Nectar mattress was much softer, which could be great for a side sleeper. Our tester said the surface was plush, but didn’t make her feel like she was drowning in quicksand, a feeling you might get with a traditional memory foam mattress.
Like the DreamCloud, the Nectar mattress also slept relatively cool. While it did temporarily hold onto warmth, it was able to diffuse it pretty quickly. According to our tester: “After sitting in the same spot for about 10 minutes, and moving off the spot for just a couple more, I was surprised to find the previously toasty spot felt completely cool.”
When it comes to sleep sensation, the winner will likely boil down to personal preference and sleep position. Most people spend more than half of the night sleeping on their side. If you fall into the majority and prefer that position, you might enjoy Nectar’s softer surface, as it will better cushion pressure points at the hips and shoulders. But if you’re a stomach or back sleeper, the firmer DreamCloud might be a better fit. Hot sleepers should be fine with either one.
Our pick: Nectar for a soft surface, DreamCloud for a firm one
At a foot tall, the Nectar mattress is composed of three internal layers: gel memory foam, a “dynamic support” layer, and a “stable” standard foam base. The mattress is wrapped in a fabric cover that, unlike many others on the market, is fully removable and can be machine-washed—though this negates the company’s warranty. A queen size weighs 66 pounds, which is on the lighter end of the beds in a box we’ve tested.
Dreamcloud is 14-inches tall and the queen size weighs 85 pounds. It’s made up of three layers of foam—two layers of conventional foam and one of gel memory foam—and one layer of coils. The mattress has a quilted foam and cashmere cover. The outer fabric revealed a small manufacturing defect that raised our tester’s eyebrows—a “minor hole in the stitching joining the side panels and top fabric” with fraying around the area. This made her wonder about the quality of the mattress.
It’s worth noting that Nectar is a foam mattress while DreamCloud is a hybrid mattress. Hybrids contain both foam and coils, while foam beds don’t have innersprings. This might be part of why the DreamCloud mattress was more difficult to move, as hybrid beds are generally heavier.
It’s a tough call, as the two mattresses have such different materials. But given the fraying, Nectar may be a better bet.
Our pick: Nectar
Trial and return policy
As Nectar and DreamCloud are manufactured by the same company, Resident Home, it isn’t shocking that they have the same return policy. Customers have a full year to try out their new mattress—a fairly generous sleep trial as many other companies offer just 100 days. There’s one caveat: You can’t initiate a Nectar or DreamCloud return until you've owned the product for 30 days. The companies claim that it may take some time for your body to adjust to a new bed.
DreamCloud mattresses must be clean and undamaged to be returned; the same is true for Nectar. Environmental damage such as mold could void your ability to return a Nectar mattress.
Your bedroom setup matters, too. Both mattresses must be kept on a bed base, as opposed to the floor, to be eligible for a return. A customer service representative said this allows for proper air flow and avoids damage.
If you find that a mattress from either company isn’t for you, Nectar and DreamCloud will work with you to donate it in your community or dispose of it. You initiate a return for either one by filling out a form through Resident Home, the parent company of Nectar and DreamCloud.
Our pick: Tie
Unboxing a mattress isn’t the most glamorous or exciting part of buying a new bed, but the DreamCloud managed to make it surprisingly fun.
DreamCloud, which proclaims to offer a luxury experience, made our tester feel like she had entered a “Great Gatsby level of bougie” when she opened its box. The mattress came with a cutter to hack through the plastic wrapping—a nice touch that was far easier to use than our tester’s usual scissors.
Things took a turn for the worse once the mattress was open. For one, it was difficult to move. Our tester needed her roommate to help her, and the two laughed about how it felt like moving heavy Jell-O.
Even more concerning was the mattress’ scent. Most new mattresses smell bad when they’re first unboxed, but the smell typically fades after a day or so. The DreamCloud released unpleasant, synthetic odors for close to two weeks. The stench was so bad that our tester loathed to let her nose venture past the periphery of her pillow.
The Nectar came without the dramatic highs and lows of the DreamCloud. No fancy clouds or box cutters, but it was easy to maneuver and its chemical scent faded after a day. Unless you’re looking for an Instagram photo-op, simple is probably best.
Our pick: Nectar
Neither mattress does great in this category (again, same parent company).
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has logged more than 1,600 complaints against Nectar over the last few years—so many that it issued a warning about the company. Customers have complained about uncomfortable mattresses and difficulty in processing returns.
DreamCloud racked up nearly 500 BBB complaints in the past three years, although it does appear that the company has responded to a number of the complaints.
Most concerningly, the parent company of Nectar and DreamCloud, Resident Home, has faced multiple FTC charges for falsely claiming it used materials made in the United States and assembled its products in the U.S.
Our pick: A tossup, but not a good one
Warranty and setup requirements
Both Nectar and Dreamcloud claim to have a lifetime warranty. The warranties cover bad workmanship such as cracks or body impressions deeper than 1.5 inches, but both could be voided if the company believes you have mistreated your mattress.
As mentioned, a DreamCloud mattress must be used on “an appropriate base such as a platform bed or other suitable bed frame.” If the mattress is burned or damaged the warranty could be voided.
The Nectar warranty will be voided if the mattress’ cover has been removed. The mattress must be kept on a “firm, solid-surface, such as a bed base.”
When asked about any differences, a customer service representative said: “When it comes to warranty, they are the same.”
Our pick: Tie
And the winner is….
In the end, Nectar may slightly edge out DreamCloud. The brand’s customer service is cause for concern, but the DreamCloud mattress raised a few additional red flags. The smell, while temporary, was off-putting, and the hole in the mattress made us concerned about its durability and overall quality.
But when you look at the minutiae, the answer isn’t as clear. If you prefer a firm mattress or primarily sleep on your stomach, you may well like the DreamCloud more than Nectar. Both companies promise generous return policies and warranties, with the aim to lessen customers’ concerns of being pigeon-holed into a bed they won’t like.
Other mattresses in a box that we recommend
If you’re looking for a firm mattress, the Tuft & Needle Original might be the right place to start. Its surface makes you feel as though you’re floating above the mattress. Plus, it's one of the more affordable beds we've tested, and the brand regularly offers promotions. Read more about the Tuft & Needle Original.
The Lull mattress caught our tester by surprise when she found it on TikTok, and wound up absolutely loving it. It’s firmer, too, but felt supportive all night long when she slept on her stomach and side. Read more about the Lull mattress.
While our tester can’t say she’s a fan of the Casper Original mattress, she felt completely different about the Casper Select, a bed-in-a-box that’s manufactured by the popular brand and sold exclusively at Costco. It’s not too firm or too forgiving, plus it has great edge support, especially for a foam mattress. Read more about the Casper Select.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.