The Helix and Purple mattresses are both bed-in-a-box models with good bounce and mobility. But beyond these similarities, they’re also distinct in several notable ways, featuring unique constructions and feels best-suited to different types of sleepers. That could be useful, because it means one of these beds is likely to be the clear choice for you!
So… Is the Helix or the Purple better for your personal sleep needs? Let’s check out these mattresses’ similarities, differences, and unique features to find out!
No time to read the full comparison? Click here to jump to the summary!
At first glance, the flagship Helix and Purple don’t seem all that similar. But they do have a few features in common:
- Bed-in-a-box companies – Both Helix and Purple are bed-in-a-box companies, and that means the Helix and Purple mattresses both come compressed in a box and ship directly to you.
- Good bounce – Both mattresses have a fairly bouncy feel that makes it easy to move around on the bed and switch positions during the night.
- Policies – Helix and Purple have similar company policies: Both mattresses come with free shipping, a 100-night trial period, and a 10-year warranty.
It’s worth noting that both Helix and Purple sell several models, so the level of bounce might vary a bit depending on which model you choose. But when we’re looking at the standard Helix and Purple, it’s fair to say that they offer comparable levels of mobility.
While the Helix and Purple do have a few similarities, they have many more differences! Let’s review these beds layer by layer to identify the materials in each mattress and how they affect the overall feel of each model.
As I noted above, Helix offers several models (six standard models, a Luxe line, and a Plus model, to be exact!). The construction varies a bit from model to model, but here’s an overview of what you’ll find on most of the standard Helixes.
Cover – First up is a polyester cover. It’s thin, breathable, and helps the mattress sleep a touch cooler.
Comfort layer – Next you’ll find a comfort layer made of memory foam. It has a classic memory foam feel that lets you sink into the mattress for some nice pressure relief at the shoulders and hips. This could appeal to combo sleepers who need to feel comfortable in a variety of positions.
Transition layer – Below the comfort layer, there’s a slightly firmer poly foam layer. It offers cradling support that eases you from the softer comfort layer toward the supportive coils.
Support layer – Speaking of coils: At the base of its foam layers, the hybrid Helix has a layer of pocketed coils. These lend support and bounce to the mattress, much like with a traditional innerspring. The coils are wrapped individually, so they can move independently and isolate motion better than conventional coils. This could be a big plus for couples.
Thoughts: The Helix has a hybrid feel that offers a balance of comfort and support. It’s quite bouncy, which might appeal to combo sleepers who need to change positions throughout the night. Depending on the model you choose, the Helix can suit a variety of sleep positions.
As with the Helix, the Purple offers multiple models that vary a bit in terms of construction. Here’s an overview of Purple’s flagship makeup.
Cover – First you’ll find a cover that’s made from a blend of polyester, viscose, and lycra. It’s thin, breathable, and stretchy, which allows it to move with the layers beneath it.
Comfort layer – Purple’s comfort layer is made from a unique hyper-elastic polymer grid. This proprietary material sleeps cool and offers some nice bounce. The walls of the grid collapse strategically under your weight in the areas where you most need pressure relief, which means it’s possible to get comfortable in a range of positions. At the same time, the grid bounces back quickly so you don’t feel stuck when you want to shift positions.
Edge support layer – Wrapped around the edge of the Purple mattress is a layer of poly foam edge support. This helps ensure that you can utilize the full surface of the mattress, which could be good news for couples.
Transition layer – The high-density poly foam transition layer helps ease you from the gel grid comfort layer toward the firmer support layer beneath. This layer is a bit firmer than the grid above it.
Support layer – Finally, you’ll find another layer of high-density polyfoam in the Purple’s support layer. This layer has a firm feel and provides support for the overall mattress.
Thoughts: The Purple mattress has a unique feel thanks to its proprietary hyper-elastic polymer grid. Because it collapses where you need pressure relief and stays firm where you need support, the grid provides a balance of support and comfort that might really appeal to combo sleepers.
Helix vs. Purple
Now that we’ve gotten a pretty clear sense of how these mattresses are built, it’s time to compare them even more directly. Contrasting the constructions of these two beds will help us figure out how they might feel for different sleeping styles.
Helix offers a variety of models with different firmnesses and slightly different constructions, so you can tailor the model to your sleep preferences. While the feel of the Helix can vary widely, the flagship Helix has a hybrid construction that combines the softness and pressure relief of foams with the support of coils. In addition to support, the coils also provide bounciness and mobility, so it’s easy to move around and switch positions on the bed.
The Purple stands out for its proprietary hyper-elastic polymer gel grid. The grid creates a distinct feel that is both pressure-relieving and supportive. This balance might work well for combo sleepers, who need to feel both comfort and support in multiple positions. And because the grid is temperature neutral, the Purple might also be a good choice for folks who are worried about sleeping hot. Meanwhile, the edge support layer means the bed might work well for couples, who need to utilize the full surface of their mattress.
After looking at these constructions side by side, I’m most struck by the hybrid construction and room for customization on the Helix and the unique gel grid on the Purple. Combo sleepers and people who like their mattress to have some bounce could appreciate either of these mattresses. Those who prefer a traditional hybrid feel or want to customize a mattress to their specific preferences will definitely lean toward the Helix, while sleepers who are willing to try out a really unique-feeling mattress might look to the Purple.
Which Mattress Has the Best Feel?
Okay, so we’ve analyzed the constructions of the Helix and Purple and have discussed how these different constructions might align with various types of sleepers. Now it’s time to look more closely at how it might feel to sleep on top of these mattresses! I run a whole slew of tests to explore this question, most notably my Firmness test.
The test is scored on a scale from 1 (extra-soft) to 10 (extra-hard), with 6.5 serving as the industry standard for medium firmness. This range is a bit subjective, because everyone perceives firmness differently based on their body type, preferences, and so on. The numbers you see below reflect how the mattresses feel to me, but note that you might feel differently.
The Helix comes in several models with a variety of firmnesses ranging from 5.5 to 7.5 out of 10. I ranked the Sunset and Moonlight around 5.5, the Midnight and Dusk around 6.5, and the Twilight and Dawn around 7.5. If you know your preferred sleep position and feel preferences, you can dial in on a firmness level that suits you best.
For instance, the softer options (i.e. the Sunset and Moonlight) are most likely to appeal to side sleepers. Combo sleepers will probably find their sweet spot on one of the medium firm models, such as the Midnight or Dusk. Meanwhile, back and stomach sleepers will probably want to consider one of the firmer models to make sure their hips don’t sink too far into the mattress and their spine stays aligned. In addition to their different firmnesses, these models might also have slightly different constructions. For instance, the Moonlight features a latex-like dynamic foam, while the Midnight uses a thick layer of memory foam. The different materials can create some variation in feel.
I ranked the flagship Purple around a 7 out of 10, or just a hair firmer than medium firm. True to medium firm feel, the mattress offers a nice mix of support and pressure relief. Meanwhile, the gel grid does a nice job of accommodating multiple sleep positions.
When I’m lying on my back on the Purple, I feel like my weight is evenly distributed. My hips sink in a bit but not too far, so I feel a nice balance of comfort and support. It’s easy to change positions to my side, where I feel the grid walls collapse to give me pressure relief where I need it around my shoulder. Still, I’m not sure that I’d want to spend all night on my side on this mattress; if you’re a strict side sleeper, you might want to look for a softer model. But combo sleepers who only spend part of the night on their sides should do okay. On my stomach, the Purple did an okay job of supporting my hips. If you spend part of the night here as a combo sleeper, I think the support will be adequate. But if you’re a strict stomach sleeper, you’ll probably want a mattress with even firmer support.
While I’ve focused much of this comparison on the standard Helix and Purple, it’s worth noting that both brands offer several other models. Comparing the standard mattresses to other versions helps illuminate the characteristics of each bed. So let’s dive in!
- This is a luxury version of the Helix mattress. It includes the same model range as the standard line, but with souped up features.
- The Luxe mattresses have a sturdier build than the standard line, as well as extra foam layers for added pressure relief. For instance, the Helix Twilight Luxe has a whopping 5 layers of memory foam.
- Like the standard Helix models, the Helix Luxe is a bed-in-a-box hybrid.
- Read the full Helix Luxe review.
- As with the standard and Luxe Helix models, the Helix Plus is also a bed-in-a-box hybrid.
- The Helix Plus is designed specifically with the needs of heavier folks in mind. It offers sturdy construction and support that’s meant for people weighing 250 to 300 pounds.
- Read the full Helix Plus review.
- The hybrid versions of the Purple mattress use the same hyper-elastic polymer as the standard model, but they also incorporate pocketed coils for added support and bounce.
- The Purple Hybrid comes in several models, which are distinguished by the depth of the hyper-elastic polymer. The Purple Hybrid 2” has a firmer feel for stomach and back sleepers; the Purple Hybrid Premier 3” has a medium firm feel that’s good for combo sleepers; and the Purple Hybrid Premier 4” is the softest mattress in the Purple line and is most likely to suit side sleepers.
- The Purple Hybrid costs significantly more than the flagship model. The original Purple starts at $999 for a Queen, while the same size Purple 2 starts at $1,599, a Queen-sized Purple 3 starts at $2,199, and the Purple 4 starts at $2,799 for a Queen.
- Read the full Purple Hybrid review.
We’ve covered the construction, firmness, and feel of both of these beds, and we’re nearly to the end of our Helix vs. Purple comparison! There’s only one question left: Which mattress is the one for you? I can’t answer that on your behalf, but the sections below should help with your decision!
The standard Helix line features six mattresses with hybrid constructions in varying levels of firmness. Thanks to the pocketed coils, all of these mattresses offer a certain amount of bounce and mobility, with the medium firm and firmer models offering the most bounce. Because they pair foam with coils, the beds also provide a balance of comfort and support. Strict side sleepers will probably prefer the softest models, strict back and stomach sleepers are likely to prefer the firmest options, and combo sleepers will probably find their sweet spot on one of Helix’s medium firm models.
Meanwhile, the standard Purple features a unique construction thanks to its proprietary hyper-elastic gel polymer grid. The grid has a unique feel that offers pressure relief when strong pressure is applied (e.g. around a side sleeper’s shoulder) and lends support everywhere else. Because of this balance of comfort and support, the Purple is well-suited to combo sleepers. Combo sleepers will also appreciate the fact that it’s easy to change positions on this mattress. Other standout features? The gel grid is temperature neutral, and the reinforced edge support is ideal for couples.
Bottom line? Folks who know exactly what they want from a bed will appreciate the many options for customizing the Helix, while combo sleepers might really like the Purple. Couples might like the Purple’s reinforced edge support, which lets partners maximize the bed’s entire surface. People who tend to sleep hot might want to check out the Purple for its temperature neutral grid. Meanwhile, fans of a hybrid feel will want to check out the Helix.
Still deciding between the Helix vs. Purple? Let’s aid your decision making with an overview of a few of the most important takeaways from this review!
- Helix is ideal for folks who know what they want from a mattress. The brand offers a range of models including six standard models, a Luxe line, and the Helix Plus, which is designed specifically for heavier folks. If you know the kind of sleeper you are and the firmness you’re looking for, this can let you achieve exactly the feel that you desire.
- Compared to the standard Purple mattress, the Helix offers stronger support. That’s thanks to the pocketed coils, which make the mattress a bit sturdier and more durable.
- Compared to the Helix, the Purple sleeps a bit cooler. The hyper-elastic polymer grid is temperature neutral, so it should prevent you from sleeping too hot.
- The standard Purple is an especially great option for combo sleepers. The gel grid features a quick response to pressure, which makes it easy to switch positions, along with a nice mix of support and comfort in multiple positions.
Logan is the content director of Sleepopolis, which means he not only reviews new mattresses every week, but also curates all the comparisons, best of pages, and video guides on the site. He takes a straightforward, honest approach to his reviews and endeavors to give viewers an objective look at each new product he tries out. Logan has perfected his method by personally testing over 200 different mattresses, so he’s not only able to discern the overall vibe of a specific bed, but to contextualize its feel within the bed-in-a-box market as a whole. When he’s not hopping on a new bed or working with our editorial team to whip up an engaging sleep education guide, you can find him reading books on world history, walking his dog Pepper, or searching for the best cheeseburger in New York City.