So, you’re deciding between the Leesa and Nectar mattresses? It makes total sense! These are fantastic beds that serve serious comfort in a fairly affordable package. But though they might seem quite similar on paper, they’re actually super different. How different you ask? Well, allow me to show you.
In this comparison, I’m going to size up the Original all-foam Leesa mattress against the Nectar. We’ll compare constructions, talk about their distinct feels, and chat about which sleepers might like them most. That way, you’ll know with absolute clarity which one is right for you and your unique sleep needs.
Check out my full Leesa vs. Nectar comparison below!
Before we get into all the things that make these mattresses so different, let’s start with a few similarities. This will give us a little extra context to compare and contrast these beds throughout the rest of this guide.
All-Foam – Both the Leesa and Nectar are entirely built of foam. While their constructions do have pretty distinct feels, those who enjoy a bit of cushiony sink should well enjoy either mattress.
Memory Foam for Pressure Relief – Additionally, both of these beds employ memory foam to relieve pressure at the shoulders, hips, and lower back. However, this doesn’t mean they use the material to the same effect; in fact, they use it in surprisingly different ways.
What Are These Mattresses Made Of?
Now that we’ve gone over the similarities, let’s chat about the major design differences between these two beds. I’m going to give you a brief overview of their unique constructions, but would also encourage you to take a peek at my full reviews of the Leesa and Nectar mattresses.
Cover – Made of a thick polyester blend, the Leesa cover is soft to the touch with a cozy hand feel.
Comfort – The first layer of foam is comprised of what the brand calls a “Cooling Foam Top Layer”. This material is kind of like latex in that it’s bouncy, supportive, and cooling, but also has a slightly firmer poly foam feel to it. Its position at the top of the mattress ensures that most folks will probably feel more “on top” of the bed than “in” it. I should also add that the material is quite breathable.
Transition – Up next, you’ll find 2” of memory foam. This material has a slower response to pressure than the foam above it, allowing for some nice body-contouring and sinkage. However, because it’s placed underneath the bouncier comfort layer, this sinkage isn’t bound to overwhelm the structure. This means you should get all the cushiony benefits of memory foam without that pesky “stuck-in-the-bed” feeling.
Base – The construction wraps up with a thick layer of high-density poly foam for stability and shape.
Cover – The Nectar kicks things off with a cover that’s quilted with a bit of memory foam. It’s got a plush feel to it and should provide sleepers with some immediate comfort as soon as they hop on the bed.
Comfort – Built with gel-infused memory foam, the comfort layer has a supremely slow response to pressure. As you stretch out on the bed, you’ll likely feel yourself sinking deeply into this top layer, with the material contouring to your body for pressure relief at the shoulders and hips. This comfort layer is quite different from the one we saw in the Leesa, and could be especially beneficial to side sleepers. Plus, the gel infusion here works to actively curb memory foam’s tendency to overheat at night.
Transition – Up next you’ll find yet another layer of memory foam, though this one has a slightly quicker response to pressure than the gel memory foam above it. This section is meant to ease the sleeper into the firmer base below, working to extend the contouring of the comfort layer even deeper into the mattress.
Base – And finally, we land on a layer of high-density poly foam. This dense material provides the bed with stability and shape.
Leesa vs. Nectar
After peeking underneath their respective covers, it’s clear these two beds are pretty different! So, let’s chat about some of my biggest takeaways.
First and foremost, the thick top layers of memory foam in the Nectar make it much softer and more pressure-relieving than the Leesa. The memory foam in this bed produces a lot of body-contouring and sinkage, which works to alleviate tension at the shoulders, hips, and lower back. Therefore, the Nectar could be a fantastic pick for folks who deal with aches and pains at night or those who sleep solely on their sides. The Leesa is good for this too, but the Nectar might just be a little bit better.
While the Nectar is dominated by a single material, the Leesa takes a more balanced approach to comfort. The use of both latex-like foam and memory foam creates a dynamic structure with plenty of lift and give. Combo sleepers in particular might enjoy this vibe, which makes it easy to roll around and change positions while also providing uniform pressure relief across the body. It’s also worth noting that you’re more likely to feel “on top” of the Leesa than on the Nectar.
To keep the conversation going, let’s move away from the materials themselves and get into the feels these materials produce!
What Do These Mattresses Feel Like?
In this section, I’m going to do my best to give you a sense of how these beds feel. To do this, I’m going to focus on factors like firmness, pressure relief, bounce, and sinkage.
However, before we get into all that, I want to take a moment to acknowledge that “feel” is always going to be a subjective thing and can change a lot depending on one’s body size, shape, and weight. So, my response to these beds may very well be different from your own. For reference, I’m about 5’10”, 190 lbs. and sleep primarily on my stomach.
As far as the Leesa mattress is concerned, it gets a 6.5/10 for me. This places it right in line with the industry standard for medium firmness, which means it hits the sweet spot between pressure relief and support.
Specifically, I think this feel could work wonders for those who switch between their back and side in the night. There’s enough pressure relief here to alleviate tension at the shoulders and hips while providing steady support at the lumbar region. However, strict side sleepers may find that the mattress is a touch too firm for their needs. Similarly, strict stomach sleepers likely won’t get the support they need at the lower back to prevent bowing of the spine. But, in general, the Leesa rocks a very solid one-bed-fits-all kind of vibe.
After rolling around on the Nectar, I decided to give it a 6/10 on the firmness scale. Again, when compared to the industry standard of 6.5 for medium firmness, it seems this mattress is slightly on the softer side.
Even before hopping on this bed, I knew it was going to be super gentle, thanks to its thick top layers of memory foam. This material provides the structure with a ton of sinkage and body-contouring, which means most folks will feel more “in” the bed than “on top” of it. This softness could work especially well for side sleepers or other folks in need of deep pressure relief. However, stomach sleepers and those who move between multiple positions in the night may find that the mattress isn’t quite firm enough to support their slumber preferences.
Though Nectar only sells one kind of mattress, Leesa sells a few different models, so I thought I’d chat about them here. I’m not going to go into too much detail, but just wanted to provide some context with which to compare all the available options.
Other Leesa Models
- The Leesa Hybrid uses a mix of foam and coils to produce a bouncy, supportive, and medium-firm feel. It’s got great motion isolation and edge support, so could be a nice pick for couples.
- The Leesa Legend is another hybrid mattress, but is slightly softer than the Leesa Hybrid. In general, I like this bed for its plush feel, which could work well for strict side sleepers.
- The Leesa Studio is the brand’s budget-friendly bed, but don’t be fooled by it’s relatively low price tag! It’s still super comfortable built as it is with plush memory foam for deep pressure relief.
Leesa vs. Nectar
Woo! We’ve almost reached the end of this comparison. After digging into these mattresses’ constructions and feels, it’s time to round things out with a few final thoughts from me.
I think one of the biggest differences between these two beds is how much sinkage you’re likely to experience while snoozing upon them. The Nectar features thick top layers of memory foam, which draw the sleeper in for deep body-contouring and pressure relief. You’re likely to feel more “in” the Nectar than “on top” of it, the opposite is true for the Leesa, where a buoyant top layer of latex-like foam works to position the sleeper squarely on top of the bed.
That being said, I’d recommend the Nectar for side sleepers or those with joint pain at the shoulders and hips. These folks could benefit from the pressure relief they’ll likely experience as they sink into the thick top layers of memory foam. And as for the Leesa, I think it’s best for combo sleepers or other folks who like to move around and change positions in the night. Specifically, Leesa’s balanced feel could work wonders for those who switch between their back and side.
Of course, your decision might also come down to the price difference between these two beds. For a full price comparison, check out the table below:
To get even more specific about my recommendations, I’m going to wrap things up with some of my favorite aspects of each mattress.
- The Leesa is a great fit for combination sleepers looking for a balanced vibe of pressure relief and support. Even if you’re not sure what kind of sleeper you are, the Leesa will likely provide you with plenty of comfort.
- I’d also say that the Leesa sleeps slightly cooler than the Nectar.
- If you’re a memory foam fan, the Nectar could be an excellent mattress for you. This bad boy epitomizes all the great benefits of the material, namely its deep body-contouring and pressure relief.
- The Nectar provides great pressure relief for side sleepers.
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.