Both Casper and Purple mattresses sell universal comfort beds designed to accommodate the majority of sleepers. They’re both the same thickness (9.5 inches) and come in only one firmness level.

The main difference between Casper and Purple comes down to the materials used to manufacture them. Both use CertiPUR certified polyurethane foams, but Casper is a blend of poly and memory foams, whereas Purple tops poly foam with a hyper-elastic polymer material, otherwise known as buckling column gel. This top layer of Purple is unique in the mattress industry and sets Purple apart from its competitors.

Mattress Construction

The Casper is a 9.5 inch mattress constructed from four layers of foam and encased in a 100% polyester cover.

Casper-mattress-rating-3-300x225@2x

Casper’s layers are described in detail here:

  • The top layer: 1.5 inches of poly foam, meant to be responsive, provide bounce, and minimize heat retention.
  • The second layer: 1.5 inches of memory foam, meant to hug the body and provide support and pressure relief.  
  • The third layer: 1.5 inches of transitional poly foam, meant to help evenly distribute weight.
  • The bottom layer: 5 inches of high density support foam, meant to provide foundational support.

Purple is a 9.5 inch mattress comprised of one layer hyper-elastic polymer and two layers of polyurethane foam, encased in a polyester-blend cover.

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Purple’s layers are described in detail here:

  • The cover: A blend of polyester, viscose, and lycra, meant to be breathable and stretchy.
  • The top layer: 2 inches of hyper-elastic polymer, manufactured with FDA certified food grade, or food-contact grade, materials, and meant to provide air-flow and keep the sleeper cool, as well as displace pressure on the body.
  • The middle layer: 3.5 inches of polyurethane foam, meant to help transition between the top and bottom layers.
  • The bottom layer: 4 inches of polyurethane foam, meant to provide foundational support.

A side-by-side comparison of the Casper and Purple can be found in the following table:

Mattress Specs Capser Purple
Cost of a Queen $950 $999
Total inches 9.5 inches 9.5 inches
Cover Polyester Poly-lycra-viscose blend
Top layer 1.5 inches poly foam 2 inches buckling column gel 
ILD | PCF 3.5 PCF** N/A
Middle Layer 1.5 inches memory foam 2 inches high-density poly foam
ILD | PCF ILD 15 | 3.5 PCF* 1.8 PCF
Second middle layer 1.5 inches poly foam
ILD | PCF 2.5 PCF**
Bottom layer 5 inches high density support foam 4 inches high-density poly foam
ILD | PCF 1.8 PCF** 2.0 PCF

*Casper does not publish their ILD or PCF information online. Casper’s support team provided me with the ILD and PCF information for their memory foam layer, but none of the additional layers, which they said were unavailable. Given Casper’s strong hold on the bed-in-a-box market, this lack of transparency is surprising.

**PCF information for Casper’s additional polyurethane foam layers has been previously reported by an independent source (sleeplikethedead.com). Casper’s customer support team would not confirm these numbers.

Trial Period + Warranty + Shipping Information

Casper and Purple both offer an 100-night sleep trial to test their mattresses. Customers who are unsatisfied within that time period can return their mattress for a full refund. Should you decide to return your Casper mattress, Casper will quickly arrange for a courier service to pick it up, and it will either be donated to charity, recycled, or junked. Purple allows their customers to email them a copy of their donation or recycling receipt, providing proof that the mattress was dropped off (or picked up) by a donation or recycling center. After they verify the authenticity of the receipt with the organization that provided it, you will be issued a full refund.

The following table provides shipping and delivery details for Casper and Purple:  

Casper Purple
Cost of Shipping Free – including Alaska & Hawaii Free within the lower 48 states of the US. Purple will ship to Hawaii and Alaska for an additional fee depending on the zip code, expect to pay at least $200.
International availability Canada, Germany, UK, Austria, Switzerland Canada – Additional fee applies, depending on zip code, expect to pay at least $200.
Shipment details All size mattresses ship compressed in a 19 x 19 x 42 inch box All Purple mattresses ship compressed, and depending on the size ordered, come in a tube between 38 and 72 inches long and with a 15.5 inch diameter.
Shipping length 1-5 days Dependent on location – between 2 days and 3 weeks.

Firmness

Casper is on the firmer side of medium-firm, with the first and second layers designed to give a bit of bounce and push back before the sleeper reaches the supportive bottom layers.

Purple is also a medium-firm mattress designed to fit the majority of sleepers; however, their top layer is hyper-elastic polymer and provides more a unique feel – some describe as sleeping on “jello”. The material used in Purple’s top layer was created by the two founders of the company and, although it has been used in mattresses before, the have the patent on the specific technology that allows the gel to be roll packed and shipped compressed. 

Performance Differences

Motion Transfer

The casper mattress does an average job compared to similar foam beds of isolating motion while the purple mattress will be slightly superior on this front due to it’s construction.

Edge Support

Like most foam mattresses, Casper does not have great edge support. Purple, while topped with a unique polymer layer, is still more than two-thirds foam, and the average person will see roughly 3 inches of sinkage while sitting on the edge of the Purple bed. Minimal edge support increases the likelihood that a sleeper will feel close to rolling off the bed.

Offgassing

Both Purple and Casper beds will emit some off-gassing while decompressing and settling into their new positions. Smell from the Casper should dissipate within a week. Smell from the Purple tends to be quite strong, and may last a few days longer, but the smell but should ultimately disappear as well.

Longevity/Durability

It is unusual for a mattress company to withhold ILD and PCF information from their customers, such as Casper does. This might indicate on-going changes to the basic composition of their mattresses, or it might indicate the inclusion of lower-quality foams that will not hold up well over time. Casper is a relatively new company that has only been in business for a few years, so time will tell.

The hyperelastic polymer Purple uses in their top layer is more durable than foams. Using this material in conjunction with the high density poly foams in the bottom two layers, suggests the Purple mattress will last longer than the all-foam alternative.

Sex

Both Casper and Purple don’t have the “bounce” associated with innerspring/hybrid or all latex mattresses and will be roughly the same when it comes to amorous activities. 

Sleeping Positions

Purple’s top layer is adaptive, and should provide spinal support to sleepers between 100 and 230 pounds. Those on the heavier end will experience more sinkage and body contour from the Purple bed than those on the lighter end of the spectrum. Sleepers above 230 pounds who want to sleep on a medium-firm mattress would be best served by a mattress that has at least 4 inches of the top comfort layer.

Sleeping Positions
Light (<130 lbs) Average (130-230 lbs) Heavy (>230 lbs)
Side Casper will feel very firm, Purple will have minimal sinkage or contour but should still feel supportive. The Casper and Purple are made for average-size people and should work well for most side sleepers with a BMI above 21. The Casper’s top layers may not be thick enough to support all pressure points for heavy sleepers.
Back Back sleepers who prefer a firmer surface should be okay on either Casper or Purple. The Casper and Purple are made for average-size people and should work well for back sleepers. The Purple should work particularly well for heavy sleepers who prefer to stay on their backs.
Stomach Stomach sleepers prefer a firmer surface, so light sleepers should be okay on either Casper or Purple. The Casper and Purple are made for average-size people and should work well for stomach sleepers.

Heavy stomach sleepers might prefer a firmer mattress, both the Casper and Purple will have a high degree of body contour at this level.

Summary

You’ll like the Purple mattress if:

  • You want a mattress that delivers a cooler sleeping experience.
  • You are a light or average, as the Purple’s top layer is highly adaptive across a range of body weights.

You’ll like the Casper mattress if:

  • You’re not concerned with the nitty-gritty specifics and just want a well-priced foam mattress with quick shipping and delivery.

You might not be suited for the Purple mattress if:

  • You need a traditionally smaller size – the Purple doesn’t come in Twin or Full size (although they do carry a Twin XL), or if you don’t like a lot of bounce.
  • You are a heavier sleeper (over 230lbs) – you’ll likely sink through the column gel and hence won’t notice any of it’s benefits.

You might not be suited for the Casper mattress if:

  • You on the taller or heavier side, as there are more supportive options on the market.

Conclusion

Which mattress comes out on top?

Both Casper and Purple are two excellent options under $1000, and both produce several additional sleep, and non-sleep, related products to support their customers. Ultimately, you’ll probably prefer Casper if you’re looking for an all-foam mattress with that body-hug feel, and you’ll probably prefer Purple if you have an eye towards durability and a unique feel. If you’re still not sure, check out these individual reviews for Casper and Purple for more information.

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