Mattress Face-Off: Tuft & Needle vs. Purple

These two foam mattresses are popular, but how did they perform in CR's exhaustive tests?

The Tuft & Needle Mint mattress (left) and Purple The Purple mattress (right)

Beds-in-a-box from online-only retailers have surged in popularity, so we decided to do a face-off with two of the most highly searched brands: Tuft & Needle and Purple.

“Buzzy doesn’t always mean top performance when it comes to bed-in-a-box mattresses,” says Christopher Regan, the project leader in charge of our mattress testing program at Consumer Reports. “But, rest-assured, you can get a bed-in-a-box mattress that’s on a par with one you would have shipped from a store. We’ve found products that offer good support no matter how they're shipped.”

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So do the Tuft & Needle Mint and Purple The Purple mattresses past muster? Which one is more likely to give you the support you need for years of great sleep? Here’s a close look at how they match up in each of Consumer Reports' extensive mattress tests. (At CR we buy and test queen-size mattresses because that’s the most widely sold size.)

For more information on what to consider when buying a mattress, see our complete mattress buying guide. CR members can also access the full test results of more than 150 mattresses in our mattress ratings.


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Vitals

Tuft & Needle: The Tuft & Needle Mint mattress is made of three layers of foam with two layers of the company’s “adaptive foam” in the mix. It’s called the “Mint” because Tuft & Needle claims that gel beads and a layer of graphite on the top of the bed helps keep you nice and cool. It seems to work; in our tests, we found this mattress didn't retain warmth. The Tuft & Needle earns a 4 on our firmness scale from 1 to 10 (with 10 being the firmest). Its dimensions are 81 inches long by 61 inches wide by 12 inches tall.

Quick Take

Tuft & Needle Mint

Price: $995

Average back sleeper
Average side sleeper
Stabilization
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Purple: The Purple mattress is made of two layers of foam and is built with a purple-colored "hyper-elastic polymer" grid layer that is purported to keep the mattress cool and improve support so that "your shoulders and hips are cradled.” Purple says the grid layer helps the mattress sleep cooler compared to memory foam. And in our tests, this mattress does stay cool. The Purple is a tad softer than the Tuft & Needle, earning a 3 on our firmness scale. We measured its dimensions to be 78 inches long by 60 inches wide by 9 inches tall.

Quick Take

Purple The Purple Mattress

Price: $1,000

Average back sleeper
Average side sleeper
Stabilization
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CR members can read on for details about of how these two mattresses perform in our tests, in which we assess support, stability, durability, and features.

Test by Test

Support: In this test, we collect hundreds of data points for each mattress and rate them on how well they keep side sleepers’ spines aligned and back sleeper’s spines straight, like they would be if they were standing erect.

The Tuft & Needle earns a rating of Very Good for sleepers of all sizes and sleeping positions. Results for the Purple are mixed.

It earns Good (but not the best) ratings for supporting large and tall sleepers (typically a man 6 feet, 2 inches to 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighing 220 to 242 pounds) no matter their sleep style. Other foam mattresses in our ratings score higher.

The Purple also earns Very Good ratings for petite and average side and back sleepers. (For petite sleepers, we use a woman 4 feet, 11½ inches to 5 feet, 1½ inches tall and weighing 110 to 128 pounds as a benchmark; an average-size sleeper is someone who is between the sizes of our petite and large and tall sleepers.) For support, the Tuft & Needle beats the Purple handily.

Stabilization: Ideally, you don’t want to be bounced around in your sleep or have trouble changing positions. The more you move during sleep, the harder it is to get quality shut-eye. In this test, we assess how much bouncing or vibration transfers when there is movement on a mattress. We also note how easy it is to move around and change positions. The less bounce and the easier it is to shift positions, the better.

Both mattresses do well at minimizing vibration and allowing for easy movement. The Tuft & Needle earns an Excellent rating while the Purple earns a Very Good rating. The Tuft & Needle has the edge here, and wins this round. 

Durability: How well will a mattress hold up over years of use? In this test, we use a machine that pushes and pulls a 308-pound wood roller across the mattress 30,000 times to simulate eight to 10 years of use. The Purple and Tuft & Needle both receive an Excellent rating; both should hold up well over time. It's a tie in this test.

Features: Neither mattress has grips, so you’re likely to need an extra pair of hands to move or rotate these mattresses for even wear. Both companies offer free shipping and a 100-night sleep trial with free returns if you’re not totally happy with how you sleep. So it’s a wash where features are concerned.

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