Purple mattress vs PurpleFlex: which should I buy?

Purple mattress vs PurpleFlex
(Image credit: Purple)

Purple is one of the US's most popular mattress brands. It makes a wide selection of mattresses, but in this article we'll specifically be comparing the two most affordable options – the original Purple mattress versus the PurpleFlex (originally NewDay) – to see which is the better buy.

The Purple mattress is the brand's original bed, featuring its trademark GelFlex Grid on top of a layer of comfort foam and finished off with a durable layer of base foam. Meanwhile the PurpleFlex mattress is the option to look at if you're on a budget, with just the GelFlex Grid and a layer of base foam; no layer of comfort foam here. Naturally the PurpleFlex is the cheapest option in Purple's line-up, and of course both beds are cheaper when Purple mattress deals are in effect.

Purple doesn't run mattress deals all the time, though, and when it does you might not find that all its beds are discounted, so you might find that the Purple mattress is actually cheaper than the PurpleFlex in some size. To help you choose, let's take a closer look at the differences between the two models, so you can see how they compare. Alternatively, head to our Purple mattress review or PurpleFlex mattress review for an in-depth look at each one individually. 

PurpleFlex vs Purple mattress: specs

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Header Cell - Column 0 Purple MattressPurpleFlex
TypeGelFlex HybridGelFlex Hybrid
MaterialsGelFlex grid, foamsGelFlex grid, foams
CoverStretchy, not removableStretchy, not removable
Firmness (1-10)We rate 7We rate 7.5
Height9.75 inches8 inches
Trial period100 nights100 nights
Guarantee10 years10 years
Price bracketUpper mid-rangeUpper mid-range
Queen priceMSRP $1,499 (lowest deal price: $999)MSRP $1,299 (lowest deal price: $995)
SizesTwin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king, split kingTwin, full queen king
DeliveryFree standardFree standard
ReturnsPrice minus shipping and other costsPrice minus shipping and other costs

PurpleFlex vs Purple mattress: price & value for money

At full MSRP, the PurpleFlex is the cheaper of the two mattresses. Prices start from $695 for the twin, and a queen is $1,299. For the Purple mattress, a twin is $999 and a queen costs $1,499. So if you're paying full price, the PurpleFlex is the cheaper option. 

However, Purple sales crop up semi-regularly and the discounts vary, so there may well be a situation when the Purple mattress is cheaper. The maximum discount we've seen on either mattress is $400 off MSRP, and so far the pricier mattress has tended to attract the bigger discounts. 

Both come with a 100 night trial and 10 year warranty, which is fine but nothing out of the ordinary. There's free standard delivery to your doorstep, and if you decide to return the mattress during your trial, Purple will deduct "the value of any discount, interest accrued, and shipping charges", which is confusing and unusual (typically, returns are either completely free or come with a fixed charge). 

Winner: PurpleFlex, unless there's a sale on...

PurpleFlex vs Purple mattress: design

Both mattresses have a similar design, combining a GelFlex Grid (with foam surround to boost edge support) and base layers of foam. Both have a stretchy, non-removable cover and no handles.

The main difference is that the Purple mattress has an extra layer of 'comfort foam' between the Grid and the 'base foam'. This means the whole thing is a bit thicker – it has a 9.75 inch profile, compared to 8 inches for the PurpleFlex. Neither are particularly thick, as mattresses go, though. 

Winner: Purple mattress

PurpleFlex vs Purple mattress: comfort & support

The Purple Grid layer beneath the cover, gives both the PurpleFlex and Purple mattress the same unusual feel. This bouncy, elastic layer responds to pressure, molding around the sleeper's joints and relieving pressure. The grid can be felt though the stretchy cover, which won't appeal to everyone, but both of our testers agreed that it delivered when it came to support – it feels firm or soft exactly where it's needed.

Purple GelFlex Grid

Both mattresses feature the unique Purple Grid (Image credit: Purple)

Although that adaptive feel makes applying a general firmness rating tricky, our reviewers settled on a score of 7 out of 10 for the Purple mattress (with 10 being rock-hard) and a 7.5 out of 10 for the PurpleFlex. The extra layer of foam is likely responsible for the slightly softer feel on the original Purple, although there's not a lot in it. The reviewer of the PurpleFlex found it best suited to back and stomach sleepers, while our Purple mattress tester would recommend it to any sleep position. 

Winner: Purple mattress

PurpleFlex vs Purple mattress: performance

Both the Purple and PurpleFlex scored highly across the board in our performance tests. Let's start with temperature regulation, for which both mattresses were awarded a full 5/5. Due to the open structure of the GelFlex Grid, all of Purple's mattress excel when it comes to keeping the sleeper cool. In fact, we rate the original model as the best cooling mattress around. Those seeking a contouring feel but who struggle with overheating would be much better picking a Purple mattress rather than a foam mattress, as even the best memory foam mattresses can cling on to body heat.

Similarly impressive is motion isolation. This refers to how well a mattress absorbs movements, and again the Grid comes into its own here, dampening any motion so it doesn't reverberate across the sleep surface. The PurpleFlex scored slightly higher in this area (the full 5/5, compared to 4.5/10 for the original Purple). But either would be a good choice for couples.

PurpleFlex mattress with weight resting on edge

The shallower profile of the PurpleFlex mattress means the edges can feel a bit less sturdy (Image credit: Future)

On the edge support front, we awarded the original Purple 4.5/5, while the PurpleFlex scored 4/5. Our tester commented that they thought a taller profile would have helped with edge support – the PurpleFlex is pretty thin, at just 8 inches tall. Both are good scores, but if you need a sturdy edge to press up off to get up in the morning, the original Purple might be a better choice. 

Winner: Draw. Both scored highly across the board, with the Purple offering marginally better edge support and the PurpleFlex delivering slightly more effective motion isolation. 

PurpleFlex vs Purple mattress: which should I buy?

Buy the Purple Mattress if...

You want a thicker mattress: The Purple is just under 2 inches taller than the PurpleFlex – and at only 8 inches tall, the PurpleFlex might just be that bit too thin for some people. 

You need a less common size: The PurpleFlex is only available in the four most common sizes; the Purple mattress has a wider selection of options, including twin L, Cal king and split king. 

You need a sturdy edge to press up off: Perhaps due to the slightly taller profile, our testers found the Purple mattress offered better edge support than the PurpleFlex (although neither scored badly on this front). 

It's on sale: While the Purple mattress is pricier than the PurpleFlex at full price, it tends to attract bigger discounts. If you snag a deal, the Purple is better value for money. 

Buy the PurpleFlex (originally NewDay) if...

You want the cheapest option: At full price, the PurpleFlex is the cheapest Purple mattress, so if you're on a tight budget, this will likely be your best option. However, deals sometimes make the Purple mattress cheaper than the PurpleFlex, so do double-check before you buy...

You want a streamlined mattress: At just 8 inches thick, the PurpleFlex is on the thin side. Great if you want a more streamlined mattress and aren't fussed about something thick and luxurious. 

Ruth Hamilton
Homes Editor

Ruth is TechRadar's Homes Editor, reviewing and writing about everything from air fryers to vacuum cleaners to coffee machines, as well as the latest smart home gadgets. She's here to help you find the perfect kit to upgrade your home. Prior to making the shift to Homes, Ruth was TechRadar's Sleep Editor, testing and reviewing mattresses and other sleep products. She's also a Certified Sleep Science Coach.

With contributions from