Regardless of how you toss and turn, it can take years to find your perfect pillow. Just ask Purple creators, brothers Tony and Terry Pearce, who have dedicated their careers to mastering the science of comfort.
If you haven’t heard of Purple — the company that invented mattresses with squishy, violet-colored grids — you’ve still likely used they’re pressure-relieving technology. The Pearce brothers helped engineer Dr. Scholl’s insoles, Jansport’s backpack straps, and soft-catch toy balls for Nickelodeon.
When the brothers released The Purple Mattress in 2016, their reputations paired with the product’s unique, porous build instantly sparked conversation.
Now, Purple offers pillows that mimic the design of the company’s original eponymous mattress. While the brand says their products can help just about anyone sleep better, they also claim their pillows can relieve back, neck, and shoulder tension.
The three models we reviewed vary in loft and firmness, but all are designed to keep side, back, and stomach sleepers cool as cucumbers.
Dreamers, hang on to your nightcaps as we find which Purple pillow is right for you.
- Variety. Purple’s pillows are all designed to prioritize different features, like loft (height), firmness, and feel to accommodate just about every sleeping style. To top it off, some models are also adjustable with zippers and inserts to raise, lower, soften, or firm up your pillow.
- Temperature regulation. “The Purple Grid,” the brand’s porous design, is said to relieve pressure while keeping sleepers cool. While only The Purple Pillow is built like the original mattress, all three pillows prioritize breathability — from moisture-wicking covers to latex foam cores.
- Safety. All of Purple’s products are CertiPUR-US certified, meaning they’re made without the harmful chemicals frequently found in foam mattresses and pillows. The designs are also flame-retardant without added chemicals and the Purple Grid is free of allergens.
- Brand experience. The brand offers a 100-night sleep trial, a 1-year warranty, and free shipping and returns on all of their products to make the buying process less stressful.
- Price. In researching customer feedback, the most frequent complaint about The Purple Pillow and The Purple Harmony Pillow was the price. Respectively priced at $109 and $159, these products are more suitable for higher budgets.
- Packaging. Online reviews also reveal shipping and packaging quirks, like plastic powder coating and strange smells. While these features don’t affect quality, the pillows may need time to air out.
- High maintenance hygiene. The Purple Plush Pillow can be thrown into a washer and dryer worry-free, while the other two pillows need to be hand washed and air dried for at least 24 hours.
As far as luxury pillows go, Purple’s products range from moderately priced to expensive.
The Purple Plush Pillow is priced similarly to other high-end, standard pillows, while the other pillows are meant for buyers with higher budgets. For instance, comparable gel and memory foam pillows range anywhere from $70–$200.
- $ = under $60
- $$ = $60–$120
- $$$ = over $120
The Purple Pillow
- Price: $$
- Firmness: Very firm
- Loft: 3 inches (without foam inserts)
- Weight: 11.7 pounds (standard)
- Best for: Back and side sleepers, people who sleep hot, or those with back, shoulder, or neck tension
The Purple Pillow is made from the company’s Purple Grid. The company says this porous design paired with a polyester-blend pillow cover makes for cooler sleep.
While the original design is thinner than a standard therapeutic pillow, the product also comes with two foam inserts, which can add extra height to your pillow.
Reviewers who knew what they were getting into before purchasing the pillow tend to love it. People prepared for the firm feel of the Purple Grid say they enjoy its strict structure, which is firmer along the edges to support your neck and softer toward the middle to cradle your head.
The biggest con is the product’s maintenance. You can machine wash and dry the mesh cover. But you have to wash the inner materials by hand before air drying them for at least 24 hours.
The Purple Plush Pillow
- Price: $
- Firmness: Soft
- Loft: 5.5 inches (zipped)
- Weight: 3.6 pounds (standard)
- Best for: Stomach sleepers and people who prefer softer pillows
The Purple Plush Pillow is the brand’s luxurious take on a standard pillow.
This pillow is significantly cheaper than Purple’s other offerings, as it trades the Purple Grid for what the company calls “smart fluff.” It’s made with poly-fiber balls (fluffy, ball-shaped stuffing).
The lighter interior paired with a soft pillow cover is intended to feel like snuggling a cloud.
The pillow is also adjustable with zippers on each side. The company says keeping the zippers closed makes the pillow firmer by compressing the fill together, while unzipping it makes it softer.
Reviewers compliment the product’s adaptability, but testimonials claim it’s less cooling and supportive than the other Purple pillows. Some customers report that the pillow feels flatter over the course of a few weeks.
The Purple Harmony Pillow
- Price: $$$
- Firmness: Medium
- Loft: 6.5 or 7.5 inches
- Weight: 4.5 pounds (standard)
- Best for: Back and side sleepers
The Purple Harmony Pillow combines elements of The Purple Pillow and The Purple Plush Pillow, giving Purple fans a supportive, but softer option.
On the surface, it looks like The Purple Harmony is designed similarly to The Purple Pillow. But instead of the original Purple Grid, it has a honeycombed-shaped elastic grid wrapped around an inner pillow made of Talalay latex foam.
This pillow comes in two height options. Purple provides recommendations for which height to get based on your sleeping position and body type.
Of the three, The Purple Harmony has the highest reviews on the company’s website. Happy customers say the pillow is both firm and compressible, while effectively cooling their noggins.
The brand often has sales on holidays like Black Friday, giving sought-after deals for keen couponers.
Not sure which of the Purple pillows is right for you? Here’s what to keep in mind.
Purple’s pillows are unique from other pillows on the market. Many companies use various foams, feathers, or synthetic materials to fill their pillows. However, Purple uses its own elastic material that they say provides the ideal combination of pressure relief, durability, and temperature regulation.
Many reviewers confirm that products with the Purple Grid provide fantastic pressure relief without trapping heat, unlike traditional memory foam. If this material interests you, opt for The Purple Pillow or The Purple Harmony Pillow.
If you’re looking for a fluffier feel, The Purple Plush Pillow is made without the Purple Grid and may be a good option to try.
While research on pillow firmness is limited, a
Overall, though, firmness is a personal preference. If you sleep comfortably and pain-free on a soft pillow, for instance, you can absolutely choose a soft pillow over a firm one.
Loft refers to the height of the pillow. Side and back sleepers tend to prefer taller pillows that keep their neck aligned with their spine. On the other hand, stomach sleepers usually prefer flatter pillows.
Two of Purple’s pillows are either adjustable or come in multiple height options. Adjustability and multiple height options can make it easier to find a pillow that works best for you.
The Purple Pillow is 3 inches, and it comes with two boosters (one 1-inch and one 1/2-inch) to adjust the height. Meanwhile, The Purple Harmony Pillow comes in two heights: 6.5 or 7.5 inches.
Purple’s business reputation is in great standing, based on the following criteria:
- Purple has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). They appear to address and resolve many of their customer complaints on the site, and many are redacted.
- They have not been involved in any lawsuits pertaining to business practices. The company did, however, successfully sue a journalist and publication for defamation, who the court found lied about the toxicity of packaging powder to intentionally soil Purple’s reputation. This lawsuit demonstrates how seriously Purple takes their commitment to safety.
- None of their products have been recalled.
Keep in mind that this information was true at the time of publication, but things could change. A quick Google search will help you find the most up-to-date information when making a decision.
Regarding transparency, all of Purple’s products are CertiPUR-US certified. The website advertises that their Purple Grid is made with food-grade and food contact-grade material. This means there are no known toxins or allergens.
As a company, Purple receives mostly positive reviews for customer service.
While their products come highly reviewed on their website, averaging 3–4.5 stars, Purple also responds to negative feedback on their site and their BBB profile.
Most negative reviews say customer service told them they weren’t eligible to return their Purple products, either because they bought something final sale or had not tried it for at least 21 nights.
While many negative reviews mention difficult returns, several of these complaints were eventually resolved and redacted.
As with many companies, Purple says some customers are facing delivery delays during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If any of the Purple pillows are not right for you, the company has a solid return policy.
Their policies feature a 100-night sleep trial, a full year warranty, and free shipping and returns, as long as the products come back clean and undamaged.
The only caveat is that the company insists you try their product for at least 21 nights before initiating a return.
Because their products are ergonomically designed to change the way you sleep, some customers report initially experiencing soreness before getting comfortable. Purple refers to these awkward couple of weeks as the “adjustment period.”
Since the original Purple mattress came out in 2016, Purple has made a name with their unique products designed to suit the needs of every sleeper.
Not every pillow, however, will be your perfect snuggling companion. It’s important to do your research before purchasing a pillow, so you can understand which design will help you drift off best.
Growing up, Megan Sauer’s favorite pastimes were writing plays and coercing her cousins into performing them in her grandparents’ living room. Now, the recent Medill graduate reports on politics, travel, and health. Her work has been published in USA Today, Condé Nast Traveler, Tampa Bay Times, SKATING magazine, and more. When Sauer isn’t writing about her life as if it belonged inside a book jacket, she spends her time figure skating, binge-watching The Office, and typing incoherent ideas in her iPhone’s Notes app when she’s half asleep.