While Casper is already one of the most well-known names in the online mattress industry, Nectar has been steadily gaining traction and recognition. Like Casper, Nectar offers an all-foam mattress that is delivered to your home as a bed-in-a-box.
These two mattresses share a number of characteristics including some of their design elements and materials. However, not everything is the same, and savvy customers will benefit from knowing how they differ in construction, pricing, performance, and more. Sorting through these similarities and differences with your priorities in mind will help lead you to the optimal mattress choice for your bedroom.
As we get started with comparing these mattresses, keep in mind that we are focusing on the original Casper mattress (rather than the Wave or Essential models) and the flagship mattress for Nectar (rather than its new brand, DreamCloud).
Mattress Construction Comparison
The best starting point for evaluating a mattress is by looking directly at how it is built. You can compare the construction of the Casper and Nectar below.
Casper’s namesake mattress is made with four layers of foam, has a polyester cover, and is 9.5” tall.
The top layer of foam in the mattress is 1.5” thick and is composed of open-cell polyfoam. This foam is built to have contouring properties but without as much sink as traditional memory foam. The fact that it is open-cell foam means that it is also better than traditional memory foam when it comes to preventing heat retention.
The second foam layer is 1.5” of memory foam. Memory foam strengthens the responsiveness and contouring of the Casper mattress.
The third layer is a transition foam layer made with 1.5” of polyfoam. The bottom layer is also polyfoam and is 5” thick.
Specific technical details for these foams, in particular the foam density, is not published by Casper.
The Nectar mattress is 11” tall and has a cover made with Tencel fabric that provides a soft, smooth feel. Inside the mattress is constructed with four layers. The top layer is 1” of a gel-infused memory foam. This foam has a density of 4 PCF. The use of gel-infused foam in this layer is intended to help with temperature regulation.
The second layer of the mattress is made with memory foam that has a density of 3.5 PCF. This layer is 3” thick and furthers the ability of the Nectar mattress to contour to the body and relieve pressure points.
The third layer is 1.75” thick and is a transition polyfoam. The bottom layer is support polyfoam that is 5.25” thick and has a density of 2.2 PCF.
Nectar publishes the technical specifications for all layers of the mattress except for the transition layer.
The first thing that most people notice about a mattress is whether or not it’s comfortable, and this makes sense because if a mattress doesn’t feel right when you’re lying down on it, then it probably won’t provide you with a good night’s sleep. What mostly determines whether or not a mattress feels comfortable is its firmness.
To have a common system for describing firmness — as opposed to just using general terms like “soft” or “plush” — we use a scale of 1-10. Using this scale, a mattress that is a 1 is as soft as can be while a mattress that is a 10 is as hard as can be. The majority of mattresses are made to be 4-7 on this scale or what is usually called Medium Firm because this has the widest appeal among customers.
Both the Casper and the Nectar mattress fall into this category as each is between a 6-7 on the firmness scale. Customers who want a much firmer or softer feel should consider other mattress options since neither of these is available in anything other than a Medium Firm comfort level.
The Casper and Nectar mattresses employ similar designs and materials, and for this reason the sleep experience on these beds also has a great deal in common. But this experience is not identical, and making an informed decision about which mattress to buy requires understanding both their similarities and differences. In this section, we’ll review the main elements of the performance of both the Casper and Nectar mattresses.
One issue that can arise with foam mattresses is sleeping hot. Some foams, including memory foam, tend to accumulate heat through the night. In addition, airflow around the body is necessary to cool the body down, but if a person sinks too deeply into the mattress, that airflow may be disrupted.
When it comes to temperature control, the Casper has a slight edge. Its open-cell polyfoam in the top layer does not retain heat in the same way that memory foam does. The mattress also does not permit so much sink as to cause major airflow issues. The Nectar mattress has gel-infused memory foam in its top layer, which is intended to help prevent heat retention. While this is effective to a degree, more customers report issues with sleeping hot on the Nectar than on the Casper.
People who share a mattress want a bed with limited motion transfer. In other words, they want to be able to keep sleeping without disruption even if their partner is moving on the mattress.
The Nectar mattress, with its two layers of memory foam, does an excellent job of motion isolation. The contouring effect of memory foam and its ability to hold that shape helps prevent motion transfer. The Casper has contouring properties and does an above-average job of motion isolation.
To promote spinal alignment, a mattress should be able to accommodate each part of the body proportionally. This means that the foam compresses more or less depending on the amount of weight that is applied to that specific part of the mattress. This ensures that pressure points like the hips and shoulders get the cushioning they need to not sink out of line with the body as a whole.
Both the Casper and the Nectar are above-average when it comes to responsiveness. Each utilizes two layers of foam at the top of the mattress to allow the mattress to effectively contour to the body. The Nectar mattress has slightly more sink and contouring based on its use of memory foam, but the Casper offers sufficient responsiveness for most sleepers.
People who weigh more than 200 pounds or who have extremely sharp pressure points may find that the Nectar better suits their needs because it has 4” of foam in its top layers as opposed to the 3” in the Casper. This gives more padding to absorb additional weight or pressure.
Resilience and Bounce
One property of different foams that can affect mattress performance is resilience. A low-resilience foam is one that very slowly retakes its original shape. A high-resilience foam quickly springs back, and this can give a feeling of bounce. Many customers want more bounce because it makes it easier to move on the mattress, reducing the risk of feeling stuck in the bed.
While neither of these mattresses has as much resilience as a latex mattress, the Casper has more bounce because of the specialty polyfoam used in its comfort layer. Memory foam is low-resilience, so the Nectar’s foams will take longer to retake their primary shape and size.
Both the Nectar and Casper mattresses struggle when it comes to providing edge support. These mattresses do not have any design elements that are meant to bolster the foam at the edge, and because of this, it may feel unstable or that the foam is giving way when you sit or lie down at the edge.
Off-gassing and Smell
It is normal for foam mattresses to have a smell when they are brand new and just installed in your home. This off-gassing is not harmful, though, and as long as your bedroom has good ventilation and airflow, the smell should go away within a few hours or at most a couple of days.
Shipping, Trial, Warranty, and Returns
The following table lists the policies for shipping, returns, warranties, and more for the Casper and Nectar mattresses. In general, these policies are very similar.
|How is it shipped?||Bed-in-a-box||Bed-in-a-box|
|Old mattress removal?||At additional cost and only in select markets||At additional cost|
|Sleep trial length||100 nights||365 nights|
|Return cost and process||No cost; company picks up||No cost; company picks up|
|Warranty length||10 years||Lifetime|
Prices, Sizes, and Value
The prices for the Casper and Nectar mattresses are listed in the table for each of the standard mattress sizes.
The Nectar mattress generally has an edge price-wise when compared to the Casper. For either mattress, you are likely to find promotions or coupons that can decrease your final price by $50 or more. Bigger promotions are more commonly offered by Nectar than Casper. The price for the Nectar mattress also comes with a sleep trial of a full year as well as a lifetime warranty, both of which far exceed the standards for the industry. While these two mattresses are close in price, there is some additional value to be had with the Nectar.
Casper Mattress vs. Nectar Mattress – Which One Should You Buy?
Now that you’ve got the low-down on these two mattresses, it’s time to think about which one is actually the right fit for you. This section offers some simple tips that may help you decide between these two excellent options.
Buy the Casper mattress if you:
- Put faith the market leader: Casper was one of the first companies to really break through in selling mattresses online and directly to customers. They have a large and loyal following and a longer track record than Nectar. If you put faith in Casper being the market leader for a reason, then it makes sense to choose it over the Nectar mattress.
- Want the mattress with a bit more bounce: the polyfoam in the top layer of the Casper has more resilience than memory foam, so if bounce and moving on top of the mattress is important for you — such as for sexual activity or just switching up your sleeping position in the night — then err toward the Casper.
- Prefer the mattress that sleeps cooler: thanks to its use of open-cell foam in the topmost layer, the Casper has less heat retention than the Nectar. Very few customers complain about the Casper sleeping hot, which offers peace of mind that it has more than sufficient temperature control.
Buy the Nectar mattress if you:
- Want as long as possible to try out the mattress: a 365-night sleep trial is more than three times as long as the sleep trial offered by Casper. This means that you have months and months more to test the Nectar out and determine if it gives you the support and comfort that you need.
- Get peace of mind from a lifetime warranty: it’s rare that you’d ever actually need to make a claim under a mattress warranty, but having a robust warranty can help ease your mind when making a major purchase. If having that coverage indefinitely is worth a lot to you, the Nectar is the clear choice.
- Need to know what’s under the hood: we don’t know the density of the foams in the Casper mattress because the company does not disclose the technical specifications for the mattress. If knowing the details of what’s in your mattress matters to you, this is a major turn-off for the Casper.
- Want a thicker comfort layer: the combined comfort layer in the Nectar mattress is an inch thicker than in the Casper, which may be important for you if you weigh more than average or if you have very sharp pressure points that need lots of cushioning in your preferred sleeping position.
The Casper and Nectar mattresses are built according to a similar formula — 4 foam layers, a Medium Firm feel, effective contouring without too much sink — and not surprisingly share many characteristics. However, the differences are meaningful enough to require careful consideration to choose between them. While either choice is likely to deliver a great night’s sleep, carefully reviewing this guide and all the details can lead you to the optimal choice so that you can make the most of your mattress purchase.