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Written by

Daniel Noyed

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Direct-to-consumer companies Purple and Helix have each taken an innovative approach to their mattresses. Both companies have expanded rapidly over the past few years and now offer bedding, bed frames, and other sleep accessories in addition to their extensive mattress lines.

Purple’s mattress lineup centers around the use of the Purple Grid, a hyper-elastic polymer grid that’s designed to contour in response to pressure. The flagship Purple mattress has an all-foam design with a layer of Purple Grid over two supportive layers of polyfoam. Purple has since released several hybrid versions, the Purple Hybrid and the Purple Hybrid Premier 12-inch and 13-inch models. These feature varying thicknesses of the Purple Grid over a pocketed coil support core.

Helix makes six mattresses, which are named the Sunset, Moonlight, Midnight, Dusk, Twilight, and Dawn. Each mattress features a different combination of foams and pocketed coils, with the ultimate goal of providing every sleeper with a mattress that’s right for their body. To this end, Helix provides a quick sleep quiz to help match them to the perfect mattress. All six mattresses are available in either standard or Luxe formats. Helix also makes a mattress for heavier individuals called the Helix Plus, as well as a latex hybrid called the Birch.

Helix and Purple both have a history of satisfied customers, but which company makes the mattress that’s ideal for you? We’ll take an in-depth look at specs, sleeper ratings, and other practical details to help you decide.

Quick Look

Price Range (Queen)

$1,099-$2,099

Price Range (Queen)

$999-$1,799

Firmness Options

Medium (5), Medium Firm (6)

Firmness Options

Soft (2-3), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7-8)

Standout Features

  • Unique pressure relief from hyperelastic polymer grid
  • Best-in-class temperature neutrality
  • High point elasticity allows for motion isolation without sacrificing responsiveness

Standout Features

  • Sleep quiz matches sleepers to their ideal mattress
  • Wide range of firmness options and optional luxury features
  • Lower-than-average price point for a hybrid mattress

Models

Models

Sleep Trial & Warranty

100-night sleep trial, 21-night break-in period
10-year limited warranty

Sleep Trial & Warranty

100-night sleep trial, 30-night break-in period
10-year limited warranty, 15-year limited warranty (Luxe)

Customer Service

A+

Customer Service

A+

Purple

Up to $350 Off Mattress + Sleep Bundle

Helix

Labor Day Sale: Save up to $200 + 2 free pillows. Use code: LDS200

Sizing and Weight Options

The mattress is the focal point of any bedroom, so it’s important to choose a model that makes good use of the space and fits your existing bed frame or foundation.

Mattress height and weight are also important from a practical point of view. People with limited mobility may want to have a mattress and foundation that are just high enough to facilitate getting in and out of bed. For those who end up buying a mattress with a profile that’s higher than average, this may mean investing in deep-pocket fitted sheets.

Mattress weight is just as important, especially for people who foresee moving houses often. Even once the initial setup is done, heavier mattresses will be harder to rotate, flip, and transport. Since mattress weight usually goes hand-in-hand with mattress type, this may limit your options.

Purple

Height Size Options
9.5" Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, California King
Height Size Options
11" Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, California King
Height Size Options
12" or 13" Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, California King

Helix

Height Size Options
12" Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Height Size Options
12" Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Height Size Options
12" Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Height Size Options
12" Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Height Size Options
12" Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Height Size Options
12" Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Height Size Options
14" Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Height Size Options
- -
Height Size Options
14" Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Height Size Options
14" Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Height Size Options
14" Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Height Size Options
14" Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Height Size Options
12" Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Purple and Helix approach their mattress lines from slightly different angles, with Purple offering both foam and hybrid options, and Helix concentrating on hybrid options alone.

Purple has just four mattresses in total, but within these four options there should be something to suit most sleepers. The flagship Purple mattress is a practical all-foam model that’s lightweight and thin. The Purple Hybrid mattresses are slightly larger, but shoppers can choose from three different profiles according to which one suits them better.

While Helix makes twelve mattresses counting the Luxe versions, these are offered in just two profiles, 12-inch and 14-inch. Both are considered taller than average, and the mattresses are also quite heavy. Some sleepers may like the luxurious look of a high mattress, while others may find the mattress too big for their bedroom.

Helix and Purple sell most of their mattresses in all six standard mattress sizes, so there should be no problem finding bed frames, bedding, or other sleep accessories to match.

Purple

Up to $350 Off Mattress + Sleep Bundle

Helix

Labor Day Sale: Save up to $200 + 2 free pillows. Use code: LDS200

Construction and Materials Comparison

All mattresses aim to perform the dual functions of providing support and pressure relief. To accomplish this, each mattress features a unique combination of materials that alters the feel and makes it more or less suitable for a given type of sleeper.

The comfort layers, or the ones found in the top half of a mattress, can be made of polyfoam, memory foam, latex, micro-coils, cotton, wool, or other materials that provide cushioning. In turn, the support core is usually made of more robust materials such as high-density polyfoam, latex, or innerspring coils. The quality and type of the materials used confer certain advantages and disadvantages, which sleepers must weigh against each other when deciding which model they like best.

We’ve included a rundown of specifications for the Purple and Helix mattresses to give you a better grasp of how they stack up against each other.

Purple

All of the Purple mattresses are made with a top layer of Purple Grid. This is a hyper-elastic polymer material that contours closely to the sleeper, but also has an instantaneous response to pressure and plenty of room for airflow. The Purple mattresses feature a stretchy viscose-polyester cover that allows free reign to the grid’s conforming abilities.

All of the Purple mattresses are made with durable materials that give them a long expected lifespan. The foams used in the mattresses are certified to be low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and made without a number of harmful chemicals by CertiPUR-US.

Purple Mattress

Purple’s flagship mattress is made with a Purple Grid comfort layer over several firmer polyfoam layers:

  • 2 inches of Purple grid
  • 3.5 inches of transitional polyfoam
  • 4 inches of high-density polyfoam

Immediately following the Purple Grid is a thick layer of transitional polyfoam, which cradles sleepers and promotes proper spinal alignment in conjunction with the high-density polyfoam support core.

Purple Hybrid, Hybrid Premier

The Purple Hybrid features a similar construction, but as a hybrid mattress, it has a support core made of individually wrapped coils:

  • 2 inches of Purple Grid
  • 1 inch of transitional polyfoam
  • 7.5-inch pocketed coil support core

The pocketed coils provide extra bounce, making the Purple Hybrid an ideal choice for combination sleepers. The coils also provide sturdier support for individuals over 230 pounds.

Purple makes two more hybrid models, the Purple Hybrid Premier 12-inch and 13-inch. The only difference between them is the thickness of the Purple Grid layer, with 3 inches of Purple Grid in the 12-inch model and 4 inches in the 13-inch model. The thicker Grid layers are designed for sleepers seeking extra pressure relief, such as side sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds.

Helix

Helix offers six mattresses that are designed to encompass the entire gamut of body types and sleeping styles. Each model features one or more of the following proprietary foams:

  • Memory Foam Plus: This foam makes an appearance in many of the first and second layers of the Helix mattresses. It provides contouring pressure relief and comes in different firmness levels depending on the mattress model.
  • Helix Dynamic Foam: Said to resemble latex, this is a synthetic foam with more resilience than typical polyfoam. Used as a transitional layer and occasionally a top comfort layer, Helix Dynamic Foam may also come in different firmness levels in different mattress models.
  • High-Grade Polyfoam: The primary function of this foam is to help the sleeper transition from the comfort layers to the support layers. It’s mainly used in the firmer mattresses.

The standard Helix mattresses have a breathable and slightly stretchy polyester cover, as well as an 8-inch pocketed coil support core that adds bounce and airflow. Unlike traditional innerspring coils, pocketed coils respond individually to pressure, meaning they transfer less motion across the bed. Helix has included two rows of reinforced coils for stronger edge support, and a high-density polyfoam base for added stability.

Every Helix mattress is also offered in a Luxe version. Luxe mattresses share the same firmness level as their eponymous counterparts, but they have several differences compared with the original. Luxe mattresses are 2 inches taller than the standard models. As a result, they perform better on motion isolation and pressure relief, but may retain more heat. To combat this, the Luxe mattresses feature a quilted pillow top with a cover made of moisture-wicking Tencel fabric. The pocketed coils are zoned to provide more support in the lumbar region and along the entire perimeter of the mattress.

All the Helix mattresses are CertiPUR-US and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified as being free of harmful substances.

The Helix mattresses are organized in three firmness levels: soft, medium firm, and firm. Within these levels, one mattress is designed with memory foam in the top layer for side sleepers, and the other for back and stomach sleepers. In general, the softer mattresses are best for sleepers under 130 pounds and the firmer mattresses are best for sleepers over 230 pounds. The most popular mattress is the Helix Midnight, with a medium firm feel that appeals to the vast majority of sleepers.

Soft:

Helix Sunset (side sleepers)

  • Memory foam (Memory Plus Foam)
  • Latex-like polyfoam (Helix Dynamic Foam)
  • Pocketed coils
  • Polyfoam

Helix Moonlight (back and stomach sleepers)

  • Latex-like polyfoam (Helix Dynamic Foam)
  • Latex-like polyfoam (Helix Dynamic Foam)
  • Pocketed coils
  • Polyfoam

Medium Firm:

Helix Midnight (side sleepers)

  • Memory foam (Memory Plus Foam)
  • Transition polyfoam (High-Grade Polyfoam)
  • Pocketed coils
  • Polyfoam

Helix Dusk (back and stomach sleepers)

  • Latex-like polyfoam (Helix Dynamic Foam)
  • Memory foam (Memory Plus Foam)
  • Pocketed coils
  • Polyfoam

Firm:

Helix Twilight (side sleepers)

  • Memory foam (Memory Plus Foam)
  • Transition polyfoam (High-Grade Polyfoam)
  • Pocketed coils
  • Polyfoam

Helix Dawn (back and stomach sleepers)

  • Latex-like polyfoam (Helix Dynamic Foam)
  • Transition polyfoam (High-Grade Polyfoam)
  • Pocketed coils
  • Polyfoam

Average Customer Ratings

Customer reviews are a great way to see what previous buyers think about a mattress, but they should be approached cautiously as they can be highly subjective. When assessing customer reviews, be sure to take the following into account:

  • Does the reviewer share your priorities? Since mattresses are such a personal item, you may come across conflicting reviews. As a general rule, you should pay more attention to reviews from people who share your body type and sleeping style.
  • What’s the total score, and how many reviews are there? The global rating and the number of reviews can give you a quick snapshot of how well the mattress has been received. The more reviews a mattress has, the more accurate the total score is likely to be.
  • Did the reviewer receive compensation for their review? Some companies hand out free mattresses or other perks in exchange for a favorable review, which may result in biased comments.
  • Are the reviews from real customers? Especially on third-party websites that amass reviews from different sources, some reviewers may not even be real customers at all.
Model Average Rating
Purple Mattress 4.3/5
Purple Hybrid 4.4/5
Purple Hybrid Premier 4.4/5
Model Average Rating
Helix Sunset 4.5/5
Helix Moonlight 4.5/5
Helix Midnight 4.5/5
Helix Dusk 4.5/5
Helix Twilight 4.5/5
Helix Dawn 4.5/5
Helix Sunset Luxe 4.5/5
-
Helix Midnight Luxe 4.5/5
Helix Dusk Luxe 4.5/5
Helix Twilight Luxe 4.5/5
Helix Dawn Luxe 4.5/5
Helix Plus 4.5/5

In-Depth Ratings

There are so many mattress options on the market that it can be difficult to know where to start looking. Luckily, most differences between models can be boiled down to several factors. Once you understand which of the following attributes you value most in a mattress, it becomes easier to compare and contrast across models.

Durability
Mattresses are designed to withstand many hours of use every night, but even the best mattresses will start to break down over time. As the mattress starts to dip and sag, it loses its ability to support the sleeper properly, and eventually needs to be replaced. Buying a mattress made with high-quality, durable materials can help ensure the mattress enjoys a longer lifespan before this happens.

Motion Isolation
Motion isolation is important for people who share the bed, especially those who are easily awakened by their partner’s movements. All-foam and latex mattresses tend to be more effective at reducing motion transfer. These materials have higher point elasticity and are able to respond locally to changes in pressure. Innerspring coils are considered the worst offenders for motion transfer, although today’s pocketed coils move independently of one another and manage to isolate a significant amount of motion.

Sex
It’s widely agreed that the most convenient mattresses for sex are those made with responsive materials. Most couples prefer mattresses with latex or innerspring coils, which provide the bounce that many people seek. However, bounce isn’t everything. Some couples may pay more attention to noise, edge support, and cooling features when selecting a mattress, and others may prefer the traction of a closer-conforming material like polyfoam or even memory foam.

Temperature Neutrality
In addition to causing discomfort, a sleeping environment that’s too warm can also impact sleep quality. For those who are prone to sleeping hot, a mattress made with breathable materials or cooling technology can help stave off the worst of the heat. Additionally, mattresses that conform less closely leave more room for airflow around the body. This allows heat to dissipate and helps promote temperature neutrality.

Pressure Relief
A mattress’s comfort layers are designed to reduce pressure points. They accomplish this by contouring around heavier parts of the body, such as the hips, and distributing body weight to prevent pressure build-up in common hotspots. How well a mattress relieves pressure for a given sleeper depends on how the sleeper interacts with the comfort layers, so it’s important to understand which firmness level is best-suited to your individual body type and sleeping style.

Off-gassing
Off-gassing is common with mattresses, particularly those that contain synthetic foams such as polyfoam or memory foam. The “new mattress smell” is caused by the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and usually goes away within a few days. These odors are not usually considered harmful, but they may bother people who are sensitive to smell.

Ease of Movement
Combination sleepers often complain that close-conforming mattresses can restrict movement, particularly if the top layers also have a slow response to pressure. For this reason, latex, hybrid, and firmer polyfoam mattresses are generally favored by active sleepers. To minimize feelings of restriction when switching sleeping positions, be sure to choose a mattress with a firmness level that’s appropriate for your body type, so you don’t sink too far into the mattress.

Edge Support
A mattress with weak edge support can be problematic for those who like sleeping near the edge of the bed. For couples who share the bed, this effectively reduces the usable sleeping surface, making the bed feel smaller than it is. People who enjoy sleeping near or sitting on the edge of the bed, or those who have trouble getting in and out of bed, should look for a mattress with a reinforced perimeter that reduces sagging and lends a feeling of stability.

The following tables illustrate how the Purple vs. Helix mattresses perform, based on our research and testing.

Purple

Purple Purple Mattress Purple Hybrid Purple Hybrid Premier
Firmness Medium Firm (6) Medium Firm (6) Medium Soft (5), Medium Firm (6)
Durability 3/5 4/5 4/5
Motion Isolation 4/5 4/5 4/5
Sex 4/5 4/5 4/5
Sleeps Cool 5/5 5/5 5/5
Pressure Relief 4/5 4/5 4/5
Off-Gassing 3/5 3/5 4/5
Ease of Movement 3/5 4/5 4/5
Edge Support 3/5 3/5 3/5
Scroll L - R for more details

Helix

Helix Helix Sunset Helix Moonlight Helix Midnight Helix Dusk Helix Twilight Helix Dawn Helix Sunset Luxe Helix Midnight Luxe Helix Dusk Luxe Helix Twilight Luxe Helix Dawn Luxe Helix Plus
Firmness Soft (3) Soft (3) Medium Firm (6) Medium Firm (6) Firm (7) Firm (7) Soft (3) - Medium Firm (6) Medium Firm (6) Firm (7) Firm (7) Firm (8)
Durability 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 - 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 4/5
Motion Isolation 4/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 - 4/5 4/5 3/5 4/5 4/5
Sex 2/5 2/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 2/5 - 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5
Sleeps Cool 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 3/5 - 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5
Pressure Relief 4/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 - 4/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 4/5
Off-Gassing 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 2/5 3/5 3/5 - 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5
Ease of Movement 2/5 2/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 2/5 - 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5
Edge Support 2/5 2/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 3/5 - 3/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 3/5
Scroll L - R for more details

Prices and Sizing

Mattresses come in every price-point imaginable, and it’s sometimes hard to discern why one model might cost more than another. Comparing mattress prices becomes even more complicated as many companies offer frequent discounts, making it difficult to know what a mattress is really worth.

This is all to say that a higher price doesn’t always mean that a mattress is of better quality. Additional factors that can influence the price tag include:

  • The type of mattress
  • The total height of the mattress
  • The number of layers
  • The materials used in each layer
  • The sourcing of the materials and place of manufacture
  • Organic, Fair Trade, or other certifications
  • Special or proprietary features

The rise of direct-to-consumer mattress shopping in recent years has led to a wide variety of mattresses being sold at very reasonable prices. Like many of their competitors, Purple and Helix offer both affordable and luxury options, with something to suit a range of budgets.

Purple

Purple Purple Mattress Purple Hybrid Purple Hybrid Premier
Twin $649 N/A N/A
Twin XL $749 $1299 $1899 or $2499
Full $949 $1499 $2099 or $2699
Queen $1099 $1599 $2199 or $2999
King $1399 $1899 $2699 or $3499
California King $1399 $1899 $2699 or $3499
Split King $1498 $2598 $3798 or $4998
Scroll L - R for more details
Purple

Up to $350 Off Mattress + Sleep Bundle

Helix

Helix Helix Sunset Helix Moonlight Helix Midnight Helix Dusk Helix Twilight Helix Dawn Helix Sunset Luxe Helix Midnight Luxe Helix Dusk Luxe Helix Twilight Luxe Helix Dawn Luxe Helix Plus
Twin $600 $600 $600 $600 $600 $600 $995 - $995 $995 $995 $995 $800
Twin XL $700 $700 $700 $700 $700 $700 $1249 - $1249 $1249 $1249 $1249 $900
Full $850 $850 $850 $850 $850 $850 $1499 - $1499 $1499 $1499 $1499 $1050
Queen - - - - - - $1799 - $1799 $1799 $1799 $1799 $1199
King $1,249 $1,249 $1,249 $1,249 $1,249 $1,249 $2199 - $2199 $2199 $2199 $2199 $1449
California King $1,249 $1,249 $1,249 $1,249 $1,249 $1,249 $2199 - $2199 $2199 $2199 $2199 $1449
Split King - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Scroll L - R for more details
Helix

Labor Day Sale: Save up to $200 + 2 free pillows. Use code: LDS200

The Purple mattress and the Purple Hybrid have average price-points compared with other mattresses in their respective categories. The Purple Hybrid Premier mattresses are more expensive due to their thicker layer of Purple Grid. This makes them most viable for customers who are prepared to pay a little more for a luxury feel.

The standard Helix mattresses are priced very reasonably. In fact, it’s rare to find hybrid mattresses at this price-point, so the Helix models may be an attractive choice for sleepers who are looking for a hybrid mattress on a lower budget.

For a higher price, Helix offers the upgraded Luxe line of mattresses. The extra expense may be worth it for sleepers who need targeted support or for those who enjoy the feel of a pillow top.

Trials, Warranty, and Delivery

Warranty Shipping
10 Year, Non-prorated Free
Warranty Shipping
10 Year, Limited Free

Shipping

Bed-in-a-Box

Like most online mattress companies, Helix and Purple both offer the option to ship their mattresses as a bed-in-a-box. This means the mattress is shrink-wrapped, compressed, and sent in a cardboard box via ground shipping. To set up the mattress, simply remove it from the box, cut open the plastic, and let it unfurl. It may take a few days for the mattress to reach its full size. Bed-in-a-box mattresses usually arrive within a few business days to a week.

Helix ships free to all 50 states, with an extra charge of $250 plus customs fees for Canada. Helix mattresses are not available for purchase in Yukon, Nunavut, or the Northwest Territories.

Purple mattresses ship free to the contiguous U.S. via FedEx Ground, with an extra charge for Alaska and Hawaii. Purple mattresses are also available for purchase in Canada.

White Glove Delivery

Customers who need a hand setting up their mattress may choose to pay an extra fee for White Glove delivery. This means that a third-party delivery team will come to set up the mattress and remove the packaging. Along with White Glove delivery, some companies also offer the option to tack on old mattress removal.

Due to the extra weight and bulk, Purple Hybrid Premier mattresses and any Purple mattresses that weigh more than 150 pounds are delivered with complimentary White Glove delivery. This service includes old mattress removal if desired. Purple Hybrid customers with smaller mattresses can also opt for White Glove delivery for an extra fee. Unfortunately, mattress models that are too heavy to be delivered by ground shipping are not currently available for purchase in Hawaii or Alaska.

Helix offers White Glove delivery and old mattress removal for an extra fee in the contiguous U.S.

Returns

Sleep trials are standard in the online mattress industry. These are meant to reduce the risk for the consumer by allowing customers to try out the mattress before committing to the purchase. Industry standard dictates that a sleep trial should last at at least 90 nights. Customers who elect to return the mattress during this time can return it for a refund if they don’t like it. Most of the time, the company will organize mattress pickup and ensure it is responsibly disposed of in a local charity or recycling plant.

Some companies require customers to observe a minimum break-in period before returning the mattress, and others may charge a small restocking fee for returned mattresses. Extra fees such as shipping fees are usually non-refundable.

Helix offers a 100-night sleep trial with a 30-night mandatory break-in period. Between the 30th and 100th nights, customers can return the mattress and receive a full refund. If the problem stems from a firmness preference, customers can also contact customer service and request a free comfort layer to adjust the feel.

Purple also offers a 100-night sleep trial, subject to a 21-night break-in period. Between the 21st and 100 nights, customers can either return the mattress for a refund or elect to try out another Purple model.

Warranties

Every mattress should come with a warranty to protect the consumer against workmanship and manufacturing defects. The average mattress warranty lasts at least 10 years, and it may be prorated or non-prorated. Prorated warranties require customers to pay an increasing percentage of the return or repair costs as the years go by.

Among other things, warranties tend to cover visible indentations and splitting or cracking of the foam layers. Warranties are not intended to cover problems that arise from misuse or abuse, such as use without a proper foundation or soiled, burned, or otherwise unsanitary mattresses. Individual comfort preferences and normal softening of the foams are usually excluded from the warranty terms as well.

Helix offers a 10-year limited warranty for its standard mattresses and a 15-year limited warranty for the Luxe mattresses. The warranty covers defects including visible indentations of at least 1 inch. Customers are responsible for initial shipping charges, but may be reimbursed up to $100 for mattresses that are deemed defective. If wished, customers can also pay to upgrade from a defective mattress to a better model, which shall come with its own warranty period.

All the Purple mattresses are backed by a 10-year limited warranty against defects including visible indentations of at least 1 inch. Mattress covers have their own 2-year warranty. Customers are responsible for return shipping costs.