Nectar vs Tempur-Pedic: which mattress brand is best?

Nectar vs Tempur-Pedic: could the iconic brand be brought to an end by a box mattress?

Nectar vs Tempur-Pedic - a nectar memory foam mattress
(Image credit: Nectar)

Tempur-Pedic is one of the biggest names in sleep. Tempur make premium mattresses that come with a premium price tag. However, their star has started to fade in recent years with the introduction of box mattresses from brands like Nectar.

Where Tempur mattresses tend to be expensive, Nectar's are budget-friendly. A Nectar mattress is vacuum-packed and delivered like an Amazon package, straight to your door. All you need to do is carry the box to the room of your choice, unwrap the plastic, and wait for the mattress to inflate. It's quick, convenient, and cost-effective: everything the Tempur process isn't. 

We decided to pit these brands against each other and see which came out on top. In the interests of a fair fight, we wanted to test the best mattress from each store. We settled on the Nectar Memory Foam and the Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Mattress. Both claim to suit all sorts of sleepers and strive to strike the perfect balance between comfort and support. With such similar marketing, it can be hard to split the difference between the products. 

That's where we come in. Our experts slept on these mattresses for months, if not years, to monitor their performance over time. Casey tested the Nectar, while Jaclyn tried the Tempur-Pedic, and they found that these mattresses suit different sorts of sleepers. We've laid out the pros and cons so that you can make an informed choice. We've evaluated each mattress on the basis of comfort, cooling properties, edge and weight support, motion isolation, sustainability, and the all-important price. 

Nectar vs Tempur-Pedic − Overall

The Nectar is firm, cool, and comfortable. It comes in every size, from Twin through to California King, without touching the thousand-dollar mark. That's why it boasts tens of thousands of five-star reviews on the Nectar Site. This bed-in-a-box was delivered right to Casey's door. All she had to do was open the box, roll out the mattress, and wait a day or two for it to inflate. 

The Tempur-Pedic is plush and heavy. Since the queen-sized mattress weighs over 100 pounds, Jaclyn opted for white-glove delivery. The Tempur team carried the mattress to the room of her choice and safely disposed of all the packagaing. This hybrid mattress combines the feel of memory foam with the support of 1000 premium spring coils. 


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Our tests found this the best memory foam mattress you can buy, now even cheaper. The deal is made even sweeter with more than $500 off a set of pillows, bedding and a mattress topper. 

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Nectar vs Tempur – Which is more comfortable?

A Tempur-Pedic mattress in a bedroom.

(Image credit: Tempur-Pedic)

WINNER: Tempur-Pedic

While both beds are designed to suit all sorts of sleepers, the Tempur-Pedic features a far more sophisticated support system. This mattress is filled with a unique blend of polyurethane and polyester fibers, which flex in response to each sleeper's body weight, shape and temperature. Jaclyn found it contoured to her every curve and absorbed pressure from her joints.

Since Casey suffers from fibromyalgia, she's looking for a mattress that can alleviate her aches and pains. She found her perfect mixture of comfort and support in the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress. When she slept on her front, the mattress sank under her chest to make some breathing room. When she slept on her back, it kept her hips and spine in line. For a memory foam mattress, the Nectar is on the firmer side. If you prefer to sleep on a softer surface, you're better off shopping elsewhere.

Nectar vs Tempur – which is more cooling?

A Tempur-Pedic mattress in a bedroom.

(Image credit: Tempur-Pedic)

WINNER: Tempur-Pedic

Jaclyn tested the Tempur in Atlanta, Georgia, as the weather turned from winter to spring. Since her bedroom tends to hold heat, Jaclyn doubted the cooling capacity of her mattress. Now, she believes the hype. The Tempur is supported by 1000 coil springs, which promote airflow through the mattress. The whole thing is wrapped in a cooling cover, which channels heat away from your body and out of the mattress.

Like most memory foam mattresses, the Nectar tends to sleep hot. All that dense fabric is a breeding ground for heat and moisture. This mattress comes with a cooling cover, but it's pretty ineffective. Casey woke up in a hot sweat most nights, even with her fan on full blast.

Nectar vs Tempur – which offers better edge support?

The edge of a Tempur-Pedic mattress.

(Image credit: Tempur-Pedic)

WINNER: Tempur-Pedic

Casey found that the Nectar mattress had pretty poor edge support. She couldn't even sit on the edge of the bed to tie her sneakers. A lack of edge support poses a particular problem for light sleepers who share a bed. While you might not wake every time your partner turns in the night, you'll likely notice when they get up to use the bathroom. 

The Tempur is filled with stronger springs around the sides of the mattress, which offer superior edge support. If you sit on the side of the bed, you'll still sink a little, but you won't slide right off. 

Nectar vs Tempur – which offers better motion isolation?

A woman and a dog sitting on a Tempur-Pedic mattress.

(Image credit: Tempur-Pedic)

WINNER: Tempur-Pedic

Our motion isolation test is a fun one. We ask our expert testers to fill a glass with water, set it on one side of the mattress, then toss and turn beside it to try and topple the glass. The more water spills, the worse the motion isolation, and the tougher it will be for a light sleeper to get some rest. 

No water spilled in the Nectar test. That's down to a three-inch transition layer, which works to minimize motion transfer, as well as a seven-inch supportive bed base. No water spilled onto the Tempur, either, even when Jaclyn's dog jumped up and bounced all over the bed. There's no such thing as an immovable mattress, but the Tempur comes pretty close.

Nectar vs Tempur – which is better at bearing weight?

A kettlebell on top of a Tempur-Pedic mattress.

(Image credit: Future / Jaclyn Turner)

WINNER: Tempur-Pedic

Our weight bearing test is somewhat simpler. We ask our experts to grab hold of a dumbbell, the sort you'd find in a standard home gym, and set it in the middle of the mattress. The best mattress will contour to the shape of the dumbbell but spring back into shape once the weight is removed. 

When Casey dropped a 10-pound dumbbell onto the Nectar mattress, she found it sank three quarters of an inch and left a faint impression once removed. Jaclyn took the weight test a few steps further. She placed a 50-lb kettlebell in the center of the Tempur and found it sank by about six inches. As soon as the weight was removed, the mattress bounced back. That's the good thing about hybrids: the memory foam cushions, but the innerspring boosts, keeping your mattress in shape.

Nectar vs Tempur – which is more sustainable?

Inside a Nectar mattress.

(Image credit: Nectar)

WINNER: It's a draw. 

Here, the mattresses are evenly matched. Both the Nectar and the Tempur are filled with CertiPUR-US certified foams, which means they're free from ozone-depleting chemicals. If you're shopping for a mattress with serious eco-credentials, I recommend the Avocado Green mattress. Made from organic wool, cotton, and latex, the Avocado Green is the best organic mattress on the market. 

Nectar vs Tempur – which should I buy?

A Tempur-Pedic mattress in a bedroom.

(Image credit: Tempur-Pedic)

The Tempur beat the Nectar in almost all of our sleep categories, but it's seriously expensive. A queen-sized Tempur ProAdapt costs more than $3000. Then, there's the problem of returns. Tempur-Pedic offers a short 100-day sleep trial on all their mattresses. That's just three months, or one season. If you buy the Tempur in the summer, and love it, but find it sleeps too cool in the fall, it's already too late to return, and you're down a few thousand dollars. 

The Nectar has a 365-day sleep trial, as well as a lifetime warranty to protect your purchase. Plus, it's far more affordable upfront. A queen-sized Nectar Memory Foam Mattress costs just $659. You can bag a bedding bundle, including sheets, pillows, and a mattress protector, without hitting the thousand-dollar mark. The Nectar is much better value for money, and it performed pretty well on test: just not quite as well as the Tempur. 

If you're shopping for the best hybrid mattress money can buy, you won't be disappointed with the Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt. If you're on a budget, and you don't mind the dense feel of memory foam, I'd recommend the Nectar, instead.

How we test

A close-up of a test mattress.

(Image credit: Camryn Rabideau)

We've written an entire feature about how we test mattresses. It takes a lot more than sleeping on the job. If you don't have time to read the whole thing, here's what you need to know. 

Our expert testers sleep on mattresses for months, if not years, to monitor their performance over time. We sleep through all four seasons, with partners and pets, noting whether the mattress kept us cool and how often we wake in the night. 

To test the firmness of a mattress, we set a weight in the middle of the bed. We tend to use an ordinary dumbbell, the kind you'd find in a home gym. The further the mattress dips, the softer it is. From there, we determine which sort of sleeper this mattress could best support. Stomach sleepers should opt for the best firm mattress to keep their hips and spine aligned. If you sleep on your back or your side, you might prefer a softer surface to cushion your neck and shoulders. 

To test motion isolation, we fill a glass with water and set it on one side of the mattress. Then, we toss and turn, thump and jump beside it to see if the cup topples. The more water spills, the poorer the motion isolation. Our edge support test is far simpler: we just sit on the side of the bed and think. 

We record all of the materials in each mattress in the search for innovative design and eco-friendly fabrics. Finally, we consider the cost of the mattress, as well as any warranties and sleep trials, to determine its value for money. 

Meet the team

Casey Clark freelancer
Casey Clark

Casey is a freelance writer who covers all things beauty, style, and sleep. You can find her work in Tom's Guide, Real Simple, Taste of Home, Forbes, and Insider, among other publications. For this article, Casey tested the Nectar Memory Foam mattress.

Jaclyn Turner photo
Jaclyn Turner

Jaclyn is one of our former sleep editors. In her time at Homes & Gardens, she covered all things mattresses and bedding. You can also find her work in Real Homes, Livingetc., Apartment Therapy, MyDomaine, and The Spruce. For this article, Jaclyn tested the Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Mattress. 

A headshot of eCommerce Editor Emilia Hitching
Emilia Hitching

Emilia is our resident sleep writer at Homes & Gardens. By day, she searches the web for the best bedding deals: by night, she tests the best comforters, sheets, and mattresses on the market. 

Nectar vs Tempur FAQs

Are these the best mattresses Nectar and Tempur make?

It depends what you're looking for. If you sleep on your back, and wake up with aches and pains, you'll appreciate the pressure-relieving properties of the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress. If you sleep on your front or sides, instead, you might like the Nectar Premier. It's an inch thicker to better support your neck and shoulders. 

We think the Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt is the best hybrid mattress on the market, but it's seriously expensive. If you're set on a Tempur hybrid, but you're looking to save a few thousand dollars, I recommend the Tempur Cloud. This mattress offers the same memory foam feel and innerspring support for a fraction of the price.

How should I choose a mattress?

We've written a whole article about how to choose a mattress. Here are the headlines.

Consider how much room you need to sleep. Kids and teens could get away with a twin-sized mattress, while a Twin XL could accommodate a shorter adult in a smaller space. Most single sleepers could fit in a full-sized bed, though a Queen affords more space to sprawl. You could cuddle up with a partner or your pets in a king-sized bed, though taller couples might prefer a California King. If you and your partner share a bed, but not a sleep style, you might appreciate a Split King Bed, which is two Twin XLs pushed together. That way, each sleeper can choose the firmness level that suits their needs. 

The best mattress will strike a balance between comfort and support. With that said, certain sorts of sleepers should opt for particular firmness levels. Side sleepers are best supported by softer mattresses, which cushion your neck and shoulders. Back sleepers, by contrast, need a firmer surface that stops them from sinking in. If you sleep on your front, you should consider a firmer mattress that keeps your hips in line with your spine. 

Cooling properties
Whether you live in a warmer climate, suffer from night sweats, or just run a little hot, you'll appreciate a mattress that can keep you cool and dry. Many of the best cooling mattresses incorporate thermoregulating technology to wick away heat and moisture while you sleep. Just remember to avoid memory foam: this dense material tends to retain heat. 

Final thoughts

A white comforter on a bed with a gray throw.

(Image credit: Saatva)

If you know you need a new mattress, but you aren't too bothered about brand names, take a look through our best mattress guide. From luxury latex to affordable innersprings, we've found a mattress to suit every bedroom and budget. 

If you just can't make up your mind between memory foam vs innerspring mattress, then you're in luck: we've laid out all the pros and cons so that you can decide for yourself.

Emilia Hitching
eCommerce Editor

Before she joined Homes & Gardens, Emilia studied English at the University of Oxford, where she sharpened her critical writing skills. She also worked on the other side of the aisle writing press releases for regional newspapers and crafting copy for Sky. Emilia combines her business savvy with her creative flair as our eCommerce Editor, connecting you with the products you’ll love. When she’s not in the office, Emilia is happiest when entertaining friends al fresco or out in the country.

With contributions from