Nectar vs Tempur-Pedic − which mattress is best on test?

To settle the score between Nectar vs Tempur-Pedic, I compared their best beds for comfort, cooling, and the all-important cost

(Image credit: Tempur-Pedic; Nectar)

Nectar vs Tempur-Pedic: it's like David vs Goliath. Nectar is the up-and-comer, the box mattress brand with plush comfort and ergonomic support at low prices. Tempur-Pedic is a giant of a mattress brand, offering premium beds with a premium price tag.

It's hard to imagine a world in which a Nectar bed performs better than a Tempur-Pedic mattress, but you can't deny that the Nectar process is so much simpler. Their beds are vacuum-packed and delivered like an Amazon package, straight to your door. All you need to do is carry the box to the bedroom, cut the plastic, and let the bed inflate. It's quick, convenient, and cost-effective: everything that the Tempur-Pedic process isn't.

We decided to pit Nectar vs Tempur-Pedic head-to-head to see which mattress brand is best. For the sake of a fair fight, we wanted to test the best mattress from each brand: that's the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress and the Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Mattress. Our expert tester, Casey Clark, took on the Nectar bed, while our former sleep writer Jaclyn Turner tested the Tempur-Pedic. Both beds were assessed against the same criteria: comfort; support; breathability; motion isolation; edge support; and weight bearing capacity.

Nectar vs Tempur-Pedic – which is best on test?

The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress comes in all the standard sizes, as well as a Split King option. That's two Twin XLs pushed together, which is a great option for couples with wildly different sleep styles. This box mattress was quickly delivered, compactly packaged, and easy to unwrap. Casey just had to cut the plastic, roll out the mattress, and wait a few hours for the bed to inflate. She slept on it that same night.

The Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Mattress comes in all the standard sizes, plus Split King and Split California King. This bed also comes in multiple comfort levels, so that you can pick the level of support that suits you: there's Soft, Medium, Medium Hybrid, and Firm. Jaclyn opted for White Glove Delivery, which comes free with select mattress purchases, so she could sit back and relax while her bed was set up, ready to sleep that same night.

Nectar vs Tempur-Pedic − which is more comfortable?

Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Mattress against a blue-gray wall.

(Image credit: Tempur-Pedic)

WINNER: Tempur-Pedic

It's a close call, but the Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Mattress takes the crown for versatility. This bed comes in four comfort levels to suit every sort of sleeper. Jaclyn recommends the softer surfaces for side sleepers who need a bed with a bit of give, while the firmer surfaces feel better for front and back sleepers. Each version of the Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Mattress is filled with Tempur-material, which is a special sort of memory foam, designed to bear your weight and take the pressure off your joints.

That's not to say that the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress is uncomfortable: far from it. Casey suffers from fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition that affects her whole body, and ordinarily makes her super-stiff when she wakes up. She found that she could finally sleep comfortably on the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress, which dipped under her chest to make breathing room but still kept her hips and spine in line. This bed only comes in one comfort level, Medium-Firm, which should suit most sleepers, aside from those who like a much softer surface.

Nectar vs Tempur-Pedic − which is more breathable?

The Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Mattress against a blue wall.

(Image credit: Tempur-Pedic)

WINNER: Tempur-Pedic

It's no contest, really. Like any memory foam mattress, the Nectar tends to trap heat: all that thick foam leaves little room for air to flow. Casey is a seriously hot sleeper and she woke up in a sweat most nights, despite the best efforts of Nectar's cooling mattress cover.

The Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Mattress is far more breathable. Jaclyn puts that down to the construction of the hybrid mattress: with every compression and depression, the steel coils make air flow through the bed. The mattress is wrapped in a cooling cover, which Jaclyn found actually felt cool to the touch, even through her fitted sheet. She tested the Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Mattress through a heatwave in Atlanta, Georgia, and she still managed to keep cool.

Nectar vs Tempur-Pedic − which has better motion isolation?

A man and a woman lying on the Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Mattress.

(Image credit: Tempur-Pedic)

WINNER: It's a tie

The Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Mattress boasts excellent motion isolation, which will come as no surprise to anyone who remembers their commercials back in the early 2000s (that full glass of red wine that never spilled a drop, even as the actors jumped up and down around it). We like to conduct our own version of the red wine test with a full glass of water in the center of the bed. No matter how much Jaclyn and her dog tossed and turn beside the glass, not a drop of water spilled.

The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress also has excellent motion isolation. Casey put her hands right around the cup, pressed hard, and still no water spilled. That's one of the best things about memory foam: all that thick foam works to absorb movement, so you shouldn't feel your partner tossing and turning in the night.

Nectar vs Tempur-Pedic − which has better edge support?

The edge of a Tempur-Pedic mattress.

(Image credit: Tempur-Pedic)

WINNER: Tempur-Pedic

This one wasn't such a close call. Like a lot of memory foam mattresses, the Nectar bed has pretty poor edge support: the squishiness of the foam extends around the sides. Casey found that she couldn't sleep comfortably on the edge of the mattress or even sit on the side of the bed to tie her sneakers.

The Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Mattress has much better edge support, which Jaclyn attributes to a row of reinforced steel coils right around the edge of the mattress. Solid edge support makes it much easier to get in and out of bed, so I'd recommend the Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Mattress to anyone who struggles with mobility.

Nectar vs Tempur-Pedic − which is better at bearing weight?

A kettlebell on top of a Tempur-Pedic mattress.

(Image credit: Future / Jaclyn Turner)

WINNER: Tempur-Pedic

Both of these beds are good at bearing weight, but only the Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Mattress managed to spring back into shape once the weight was removed. Jaclyn set a 50-lb kettlebell in the center of the bed, where it sank around six inches. As soon as she removed the weight, the surface of the mattress smoothed out again: there were no lumps, bumps, or indentations.

Casey took a 10-pound dumbbell and set it in the middle of the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress. The foam sank around three quarters of an inch and stayed there, even after the mattress was removed. This sort of impressionability is par for the course with memory foam, but it could create problems further down the line. Any sagging in the mattress decreases comfort and support.

Nectar vs Tempur-Pedic − which is more sustainable?

Inside a Nectar mattress.

(Image credit: Nectar)

WINNER: It's a tie

Here, the mattresses are evenly matched. Both the beds are filled with CertiPUR-US certified foams, which are free from ozone-depleting chemicals, but that's about as far as their sustainability goes. If you're serious about shopping for a sustainable bed, I recommend you buy the best organic mattress, instead.

Nectar vs Tempur-Pedic − which should I buy?

The Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Mattress on a bed against a white wall.

(Image credit: Tempur-Pedic)

It all depends how much you're prepared to spend. The Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Mattress is unquestionably the better bed, but it's seriously expensive. You'd have to fork out more than $3,000 for a Queen, and even a Twin Tempur costs more than a California King at Nectar. Then, there's the matter of returns. Tempur-Pedic only offers a 90-night mattress sleep trial, which is scarcely enough time to test your bed through the seasons before you need to commit to your purchase. Say you buy the Tempur-Pedic mattress in the summer, and love it, but find it sleeps too cool in the fall: it's too late to return it, and you're $3,000 worse off.

The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress retails for $1,099 for a Queen, but it's almost always listed for less in the mattress sales. You can take full advantage of their 365-night sleep trial, as well as a lifetime warranty to protect your purchase. The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress is the best affordable mattress on the market: it's just not quite as good as the Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Mattress.

How we test mattresses

Birch Luxe Natural Mattress wrapped up on a bed frame against a blue wall.

(Image credit: Future / Kaitlin Madden)

We put a lot of thought into how we test mattresses. Our expert testers sample beds for months, if not years, to monitor their performance over time and get a good sense of their thermoregulation throughout the seasons. We assess each mattress against the same criteria: comfort; support; cooling properties; motion isolation; edge support; and weight-bearing capacity.

Some of our tests are subjective. The best way to measure the comfort level of a mattress is to sit on it, sleep on it, and see how you feel. Others are more scientific: we use weights and water glasses to measure the motion isolation of a mattress.

Where possible, we like to compare our findings against verified customer reviews to bring you a range of perspectives on the same bed. We consider all the practical details, from sleep trials to mattress warranties, before we bring it all back to the price of the product to help you determine value for money.

Emilia Hitching
Sleep Editor

Emilia is our resident sleep writer. She spends her days tracking down the lowest prices on the best bedding and spends her nights testing it out from the comfort of her own home – it's a dream job. Her quest to learn how to sleep better has taken her all around the world, from mattress factories in Arizona to sleep retreats in Scandinavia. Before she joined Homes & Gardens, Emilia studied English at the University of Oxford. She also worked on the other side of the aisle, writing press releases for regional newspapers and crafting copy for Sky.