In the last few years, direct-to-retail online bed-in-box brands have taken the U.S. market by storm, all but cornering the marketplace. Two brands that led and continue to remain at the front of this revolution are Leesa and Nectar.
Today, Nectar and Leesa are some of the most popular mattress manufacturers in the U.S., and their premier offerings, the Nectar Mattress and the Original Leesa Mattress, now make up a significant percentage of all online bed sales in the country.
However, while both options are all-foam mattresses that pack a similar construction that is suitable for sleepers who are keen on getting the best sleeping experience possible, the few sublime differences between these beds can make all the difference.
Hence, in this report, we’ll give you highlights of both mattresses and all the details you need to make the right choice for your body type and sleeping needs.
Leesa Mattress Overview
With the Leesa Mattress, you get a taste of one company’s attempt to reinvent the foam mattress. The main defining factor with this bed is its use of a layer of Avena foam, a custom form of adaptive foam that brings a more springy latex-feel as opposed to the deep contouring of traditional memory foam.
Consequently, the Leesa Mattress brings a happy medium for people who dislike the excessive sink of regular memory foam but are not willing to make the jump to the high responsiveness of latex options.
With its mix of a unique, arguably more balanced feel, high-end aesthetics, and material construction that ranks up there with the most premium market offerings, the Leesa Mattress levels up to the best of the best.
Nectar Mattress Overview
The Nectar Mattress, on the other hand, brings a more traditional memory foam feel that seasoned users of the material will know and love. For people who enjoy the high conformability and cradling embrace you get with memory foam beds, few mattresses will serve you as well as the Nectar Mattress.
However, the Nectar Mattress is not your basic memory foam mattress.
This bed also addresses one of the most concerning issues with memory foam—overheating, with its use of a gel-infused foam layer that helps to keep the sleeping surface cool.
Plus, add in the fact that the Nectar Mattress retails at one of the most competitive price points in the category, and you have a deal that is hard to pass over.
Leesa vs. Nectar
With the Leesa and Nectar mattresses, you get two top-performing all-foam options that pack a similar construction, but sport differing feels that ultimately influences your sleeping experience.
The Nectar Mattress brings a natural memory foam texture, complete with intense softness, a cradling frame-hugging embrace that lets you sink in and provides deep pressure relief.
The Leesa Mattress, on the other hand, opts instead for a less conventional route. Thanks to its unique Avena foam construction, With the Leesa Mattress, you end up with a distinct feel that is bouncier than memory foam and adds up to a relatively firmer bed.
The main deciding factor in figuring out which of these mattresses is best for you is whether you prefer the traditional memory foam feel, or the springier alternative you get with the Leesa bed.
Design and Construction
When it comes to their build, with both the Leesa and Nectar mattress, you get a similar foam construction that packs a high-density support layer, a moderate transition layer, and a memory foam topper that completes the experience.
However, with either mattress option, you get a markedly different top layer that produces two unique, contrasting sleeping surfaces.
For the support layer, with the Leesa Mattress, you get a 6-inch slab of high-density polyfoam, which is pretty much standard for beds with this level of thickness. This base adds core support to the entire structure and packs all the carrying capacity to brace your frame.
The Nectar Mattress opts instead for a 5.5-inch vegetable-base foam for its core.
However, whichever option you pick, you won’t have any issue with core support, as the base layer on both mattresses is dense enough to handle most sleepers.
The second layer on the Leesa Mattress is a 2-inch slab of contouring memory foam that provides a buffer zone above the dense support layer and brings intense full-body pressure relief.
Here, the Nectar Mattresses use a smaller 1.5-inch transition layer that uses Adaptive Hi Core Memory Foam to create a zone of gradual adjustment from the sturdy base.
However, while the Leesa Mattress may seem like the apparent winner in this department, Nectar more than makes up for the smaller transitional layer with an extra 1-inch sheet of memory foam quilted into its cover.
Nevertheless, with either bed, you get comparable levels of pressure relief from the middle layer, and these transition zones also do excellent jobs of concealing the hardness of the base layers.
The top layer is where all the magic happens, and here, you get entirely different offerings from Leesa and Nectar Mattress.
With the Nectar Mattress, you get 3 inches of memory foam that brings that traditional memory foam feels—intense contouring, slow response, and deep pressure relief.
Here, expect to sink into the mattress and experience an extra soft foam that hugs your frame in cradling embrace through the night. However, since this foam layer sports gel-infused memory foam, the top layer on the Nectar mattress manages to stay cool through the night despite offering a considerable sink.
With the Leesa Mattress, on the other hand, you get a 2-inch layer of Avena foam, which completely diverts from the typical experience you would expect from a foam surface.
Avena foam is a 2.5 density polyfoam that is lighter than regular memory foam and thus provides a more springy surface that offers more bounce than most foam mattresses.
Consequently, with the Leesa Mattress, you get a top layer that offers minimal conforming, stays relatively flat, and brings a more springy feel that feels more like a toned-down version of latex than memory foam.
Hence, if you are looking to choose between the Leesa and Nectar Mattress, the top layer is sure to be an essential factor to consider.
For those who prefer the frame-hugging conforming and profound relief of traditional memory foam, the Nectar will be the clear winner. However, the excessive sink is not everybody’s cup of tea, and the Leesa is hands down the best alternative for those who want some sturdiness and bounce but still love foam mattresses.
Both mattresses pack soft covers that add a plush feel but does not change much when it comes to the overall feel of the bed.
However, with the Nectar mattress, you get an extra inch of gel-infused memory foam quilted into the cover, which adds even more softness to the already soft, mushy feel of the Nectar mattress.
The Nectar Mattress adds up to a medium firmness thanks to its use of soft, conforming memory foam that offers a deep level of sinkage. The slow responsiveness of the mattress also means you get comparatively less bounce.
The Leesa Mattress, on the other hand, packs a slightly firmer feel and increased responsiveness that creates a sturdier, more level sleep surface.
Consequently, the Leesa Mattress is the preferred option if you want more support and increased ease when changing positions, but the Nectar bed is the apparent winner when it comes to body-conforming and pressure relief.
Both options provide decent levels of performance that measure up to the best beds in this category—however, the mattress option that best suits you will depend on your frame type and sleeping preferences.
For Side Sleepers
When sleeping on your side, the key to maximum comfort is getting the right amount of sinkage for your body type, and here, the Nectar Mattress excels.
For most petite to average-size sleepers, the Nectar bed brings enough sink and body-conforming to keep your entire frame in proper alignment, preventing any pressure points. Plus, the intense, cradling embrace you get from this bed means that it also provides top tier pressure relief to all potential pain points.
However, with the Leesa Mattress, you get far less frame conforming and an overall firmer bed that won’t provide as much pressure relief—a critical comfort factor for side sleepers, as you get with the Nectar.
Hence, the Nectar Mattress is the obvious choice when it comes to side sleeping, as most side sleepers who enjoy a significantly more comfortable experience with it over the Leesa bed.
However, no thanks to its thin 11-inch thickness, even the Nectar Mattress will struggle with side sleepers that weight over 240 lbs. Sleepers in this category are better off with a dedicated mattress for heavy-set folks.
For Back Sleepers
Back sleepers typically need mattresses that pack enough firmness to maintain shape and provide even support across the entire sleeping surface, and here, the Leesa Mattress is King.
The Leesa Mattress offers significantly more firmness than the Nectar option, and it is miles ahead in performance when it comes to maintaining a relatively flat surface. Consequently, with the Leesa bed, you get a firm surface that holds you up, allowing only minimal sink, and keeping your spine aligned correctly.
With the Nectar Mattress, sleepers under 140 lbs will typically get decent sleeping performance on their backs, as while they will get some sink around the hips, the minimal pressure they exert on the bed means that their frame will remain correctly aligned.
However, more heavy-set sleepers will find the Nectar problematic and are better off opting for the Leesa bed.
For most back sleepers that weigh 240 lbs or lower, the Leesa Mattress will be a match made in heaven.
For Stomach Sleepers
When it comes to sleeping on your stomach, both mattresses perform relatively poorly compared to other top market options.
However, the Nectar mattress posts even worse results, as the softness of the foam means that you get an excessive sink that can throw your spine out of alignment and create intense pressure points.
For Combination Sleepers
For sleepers who change position often during the night, the Leesa Mattress is the clear pick, as the high responsiveness and bounce of the bed allow for fluid movements that make it significantly more comfortable for you to change positions and move around.
Here, the deep body-conforming you get with the Nectar bed becomes a con as the foam provides more resistance to free movement.
Another critical factor to consider when choosing a bed is how it holds up when you are pairing with a partner. Two factors that influence a mattress performance in this department are its motion isolation and edge support properties.
However, while foam mattresses often bring the best in motion isolation, the experience with the Leesa and Nectar mattresses differ significantly.
With the Leesa Mattress, you get a relatively springy bed that is significantly more responsive and brings less sink than the Nectar Mattress. Hence, the Nectar provides superior motion isolation, as the cradling foam absorbs any disturbance from motion.
With all-foam mattresses, you will get significant sinkage around the edge that reduces how much quality sleeping surface area you have as a couple. Here, both beds deliver comparable subpar performance.
However, the superior motion isolation you get with the Nectar Mattress makes it a significantly better choice for couples.
Other Important Things
Both mattresses tout themselves as the solution to the overheating problem that is common with memory foam beds, but which one comes out on top?
The Nectar Mattress aims to fix the temperature regulation problem by using a top layer of gel-infused memory foam, which provides significantly more cooling than a slab of regular memory foam. The Nectar bed also includes a Tencel/cotton blend cover that is exceptionally breathable.
However, while the Nectar does a great job of keeping temperature levels down, the Leesa Mattress brings even more to the table.
With the Leesa, you get a top layer that is aerated with pin core holes to maximize airflow and keep you cool. Also, since you don’t get as much sink on this bed as you would with the Nectar, the added aeration with the Leesa creates a winning formula that is sure to impress.
The queen-size Leesa Mattress retails for $849, a price point that is comparable to other similar bed-in-box models available today.
However, the Nectar Mattress, on the other hand, packs some of the most competitive pricing schemes in the category, with its queen option selling for only $799, a significant $150 discount over a Nectar bed of the same size.
Plus, with the Nectar Mattress, with each purchase, you also get a pair of pillows, a sheet set, and a mattress protector included in the package for free, further sweetening the deal.
Hence, in terms of price efficiency and value-added, the Nectar Mattress is the clear winner.
The Nectar Mattress also leads the way in terms of warranty coverages. With each Nectar purchase, you get a massive 365-trial period and lifetime warranty coverage—a proposal that obliterates everything the competition has on offer.
With their unique lifetime coverage policy, Nectar maintains a coverage scheme that lets you exchange your mattress within the first ten years of use, no question asked. Outside these ten years, the company continues to cover your purchase for manufacturing defects.
The Leesa Mattress, on the other hand, ships with only a 10-year limited warranty, and a 100-night trial period—a fairly standard market offering that is typically good enough but pales in comparison to what you get with the Nectar.
For people who favor the deep-contouring hug of traditional memory foam, the Nectar bed is the obvious pick. At the same time, the Leesa Mattress offers a bouncier alternative for people who want more responsiveness but don’t want to make the jump to an innerspring.
Price-wise, the Nectar Mattress provides a significantly more attractive price-to-value ratio and is the obvious pick for many value-conscious buyers.
Nevertheless, irrespective of which bed you pick, you are guaranteed to get decent sleeping performance, as the Leesa Mattress and the Nectar Mattress arguably represents the current peak of the online mattress phenomenon.