With the dawn of internet-based commerce, the competition in the sleep industry has become incredibly stiff as many mattress makers relying solely on internet-based delivery have sprung up, giving competition to established names such as Serta and Sealy.
Nectar and Casper Original are two such newcomers who have carved out significant chunks of the market for themselves because of their premium quality features and affordable pricing.
I’ve written this Nectar vs Casper Original comparison to discuss the strengths and limitations of these high-end foam mattresses with respect to each other, with the idea that it will help you decide which one is better suited for your sleep style.
Breakdown of Nectar Mattress
The Nectar is a typical memory foam mattress uses extra-firm lower layers to counter some of the sinkages that are generated by its plush upper layers.
The Nectar boasts a cover made from Tencel® fiber – this material has organic origins since it is derived from eucalyptus trees. It is soft and light, and in fact has better breathability than organic cotton, resulting in a comfortable, cool and skin-friendly surface for you to sleep on.
The manufacturer has a free replacement policy for this cover (separate from the main warranty policy), should it become damaged – all you have to do is call them.
1” of quilted gel viscoelastic foam is used to create the top layer of the mattress. It is given a rating of 14 ILD, which corresponds to the highly cushioning and adaptive response that it generates. This layer absorbs some of the initial impact of your body on the bed, and the gel incorporated into its foam structure means that it is much better at transporting heat away from the surface than ordinary memory foam products.
Next, we have a second layer of gel memory foam, but this one has a thickness of 3” and an ILD rating of 15. The increase in thickness and firmness translates into a slightly greater viscous drag i.e. this layer still contours to your body, but in a slower manner than the upper layer – thus, it is responsible for aligning to the posture you assume during sleep.
This layer uses high-end adaptive Hi-Core viscoelastic foam at a thickness of 0.5 inches. This foam is known for its robust lumbar support, and its placement in the transition layer definitely indicates that the manufacturer wanted to incorporate this property into the mattress.
Besides the lumbar support, this layer also slows down the sinkage of your body further inwards and binds the soft upper layers with the stiff base underneath. It has an ILD rating of 45, which is a bit stiffer than most transition layers but is necessary for the resistance it needs to create against your weight.
The lowermost layer of the Nectar offers solid, unyielding support for your body after the upper layers have adapted themselves to the contours of your body and absorbed the immediate pressure. This layer keeps your body from sinking down further (which can lead to awkward stress on your joints and muscles due to the resulting misalignment of your spine).
To generate this tough response, this layer has been made from 55 ILD 2.2 lbs./cu.ft. polyurethane foam, and a healthy 5.5-inch thickness.
Firmness and Feel
Comfort and Support
There is only a medium-firm firmness level in which the Nectar is available, and this combines the plush response of memory foam with the stiff reaction of extra high-density polyurethane. As a result, you get an evenly balanced overall feel that has both pressure relief and support.
It is worth noting that the Nectar, by virtue of its Adaptive Hi-Core foam transition layer, is a bit firmer and more supportive than most other viscoelastic products – this isn’t unpleasant: rather, it reduces some of the sinkings feelings that are exhibited by the material. Of course, Casper’s open-celled structure takes care of that in a bit more responsive fashion, so the Nectar is definitely a truer viscoelastic product than the Casper in any case.
The Nectar, like any other mattress that uses viscoelastic foam so generously, tends to sink a bit when you put your weight at sides. However, it doesn’t sink all the way down (like most memory foam products), because the sharp increase in ILD rating in the third and fourth layers is able to counter the yielding nature of the upper layers.
As such, it fares much better than your average memory foam mattress in this department. The Casper’s response, for different reasons, is also quite similar.
The Nectar fares reasonably well in this department (better than most memory foam mattresses at least) thanks to the heat absorbing action of its two upper layers, and the ventilation enabled by the breathable Tencel® cover and the air channels in the base. The stiffer response of the base and intermediate layers also reduces some of the cradling effects of the upper layers, so you don’t feel trapped in your own body heat that much.
That being said, the Casper does better than the Nectar, because its open-cell foam upper layer is more effective at removing heat than all the features mentioned above.
The Nectar’s purely viscoelastic upper layers (and an intermediate layer too) ensure that practically all impacts on the surface are absorbed locally and do not disturb the surroundings. Even the little bounce that is present in the Casper because of the open-celled foam is absent in this case: in short, the Nectar yields the typical dead response of a memory foam mattress in terms of motion isolation.
The Nectar is considerably less expensive than the Casper (particularly when you factor in the discount it currently ships with). Despite its lower cost, it doesn’t compromise on the quality of its materials and has an industry-leading trial and warranty policies. Put short, the Nectar is a premium quality memory foam mattress selling at a bargain price.
Signature viscoelastic feel with lessened sinkage
Where the Casper deals with memory foam’s lack of response and sinkage through modified open-celled foam that gives the mattress some latex-like bounce, the Nectar sticks to the tried and test formula of memory foam, but instead throws in a layer of extra-firm memory foam in the middle to enhance the resistivity of the mattress to your weight.
Although this doesn’t make the mattress more responsive to changes in your sleep position per se, it does reduce the cratering effect that memory foam creates, which makes the surface far easier to move around on.
The Nectar’s Tencel® cover has organic origins which makes it inherently safe for your household environment and for prolonged exposure to your skin. The Casper’s polyester cover is also quite safe, but there is still the slight chance that it could lead to skin irritation in hot weather, as synthetic materials are not as moisture absorbent as organics – and certainly not Tencel®, which is even more breathable than cotton!
Longer money back guarantee period
The Nectar comes with a yearlong trial period – extremely impressive for its price-point and a lot more than what many higher priced competitors (including the Casper) can offer. A yearlong trial gives you the opportunity to try the mattress out in all weather conditions, to see if it will be useful for you in the long term.
The Nectar comes with a lifetime warranty compared to the average 10-year policy of the Casper Original . Once again, I feel compelled to point out the price difference, which indicates that the Nectar’s manufacturer is quite confident in the durability of the materials they’ve used.
The Casper Original is an all-foam mattress that tries to counter memory foam’s heat retention and lack of response using a top layer of special open-celled foam.
The cover of the Casper Original is made out of pure polyester – it is thick as covers go but fitted tightly over the mattress. The cover can be removed for laundering easily and has been designed to be respectably breathable despite its synthetic origins.
The Casper Original’s uppermost layer is crafted from open-cell foam at a thickness of 1.5 inches. It is able to contour to your form similar to memory foam, but thanks to the open-cell structure, it is also quite responsive to changes in your posture – something that memory foam lacks. The open cellular design also promotes heat dissipation by letting air pass freely, which is another major issue with viscoelastic foam.
Next up is 1.5 inches of 4 lbs./cu.ft. of memory foam, which brings further conformity to the mattress’ response to create an optimal pressure relieving sleep experience. It may seem a little unorthodox to have the memory foam layer underneath another layer (since this material is primarily used for surface comfort), but in this case, it makes sense as the open-celled foam layer above ensures a responsive surface which would otherwise have been impossible.
Having the memory foam layer at number two position also means that the heat it (inevitably) traps will be less of a nuisance for you.
Next up, you’ve got a layer transition foam at a density of 2.5 lbs./cu.ft. and a thickness of 1.5 inches. This layer serves to create a smooth connection between the plusher upper layers and the hard base layer. Thus, it yields a mixture of comfort and supportiveness, while at the same time slowing down your body’s sinkage further into the mattress.
This layer has been given a zoned design – it is softer at pressure points such as your shoulder (where the mattress needs to conform more), and firmer at points where your weight is concentrated i.e. hips and lower back (where the mattress needs to be a bit resistive to the extra weight). This zoning translates into targeted support and pressure relief and ensures that your spine is correctly aligned.
This layer is the base of the mattress and is thus intended to be as rigid and supportive as possible. It consists of 1.8 lbs./cu.ft. polyurethane foam at a thickness of 7.5 inches. After the upper layers have provided your posture with accommodation and absorbed the initial impact that your body made, it is this layer’s job to ensure that it doesn’t sink any further and is held in an upright position, so that none of your joints are exposed to strain overnight.
Firmness and Feel
Comfort and Support
The Casper Original is available in just one firmness option – medium. The manufacturer does not give ILD ratings
or even a comparative illustration of the firmness level, except that it is compatible with all sleepers. As per my research, this notion of widespread compatibility is correct: the mattress does indeed yield a balance of pressure relieving comfort and firm support.
The upper two layers provide most of the pressure relief, whereas the intermediate transition foam layer stabilizes the transition to the base layer. The base then takes care of the deep compressive support required by your body for correct spinal alignment.
It is worth mentioning here that the zoned design of the transition layer plays a considerable role in proper spinal positioning too – it ensures that the support from the base is distributed to your various body parts as it is needed.
It is only natural to experience some amount of sinkage from an all-foam mattress, but all things considered, the Casper is more supportive than most pure memory foam beds. The HD polyfoam base plays a role in this – its stiffness counters some of the contouring created by the two upper layers.
The open-celled foam structure does its job when it comes to dissipating heat: it allows the heat to transfer into the surroundings where it cannot bother you. Moreover, since the memory foam layer (which is the actual cause of heat buildup in most products) is placed under this layer of open-celled foam, it does not trap heat directly from your body, and thus has its thermal impact considerably reduced.
The polyester cover, while naturally not being on par with the Nectar’s organic Tencel® cover in terms of breathability, is still not so impermeable that it completely blocks the conduction of heat away from your body.
Thanks to the use of contouring foam in its two upper layers, the Casper Original is able to restrict the impact of sudden motion reasonably well. Of course, the open-celled layer does create a bit of a bounce-back because of its slightly latex-like behavior, but this isn’t noticeable in most cases (certainly not for someone who is sleeping).
Moreover, this bounciness means that you won’t feel trapped in your bed (a common complaint of restless sleepers regarding viscoelastic mattresses).
Conformity-like memory foam combined with latex-like responsiveness
As mentioned above, Casper Original’s unique approach of combining an open-celled first layer with a viscoelastic second layer means that it can exhibit properties that are similar to both latex and memory foam. It yields to your bodily pressure and conforms to your sleep style, but at the same time is quickly able to recover its shape once pressure is removed.
This enables it to adapt rapidly to changes in your posture and prevents you from feeling like you’re sleeping in a crater (both notable problems with exclusively viscoelastic products).
Cool for a viscoelastic product
The open-celled structure of its topmost layer is highly effective at preventing a heat-buildup close to the surface that could interrupt your sleep. Indeed, the Casper Original’s is better at staying cool than most memory foam products we’ve tested (including the Nectar) – it even gives some innerspring hybrid mattresses a run for the money!
Targeted support from zoned transition layer
Most mattresses (including the Nectar) have a uniform firmness level throughout their various layers, which provides an even level of pressure relief/support to all parts of your body. This works well for most sleep styles and sleepers, but sometimes, when you’ve got a weight imbalance and an especially awkward posture at the same time (tough luck), you need a bed that provides different levels of support to different regions of your body to compensate for the imbalance. This is exactly what the Casper Original achieves with its zoned transition layer.
Here are some reasons to consider the Nectar:
You’re on a budget: As described above, the Nectar packs a lot of value at an asking price lower than the Casper, as well as most other direct competitors. For someone who is on a budget, or is not willing to take a huge risk by spending big, the Nectar can be an affordable yet thoroughly premium sleep solution.
You want an authentic memory foam experience: The Nectar’s adherence to a standard viscoelastic design approach (with exception of its use of firmer than usual foam in its two lower layers), means that it generates the slow, cradling and plush response that is sought after by many side sleepers and lightweight individuals who find it hard to get comfortable on firmer materials.
You prefer an organic cover: The Casper Original’s cover may be breathable and unobtrusive, but it doesn’t quite manage to offer the comfort and peace of mind that comes with an organic cover. The Nectar’s Tencel® cover, however, fits the bill perfectly, which is why it is a good choice for anyone who wants to avoid exposing themselves to plastics in their bedroom. Moreover, the Tencel® cover’s superb breathability means that it can prevent the accumulation of sweat on the surface, thereby minimizing skin irritation and allergies.
You want more time to try out your new mattress: The yearlong trial offered by the Nectar means you’ve got plenty of time to decide whether the expense is justified or not. This is especially useful for people using a memory foam bed for the first time, who might not be sure of its benefits beforehand. It is also great if there is a chance that your needs may change in a few months, in a way that it makes the mattress an unnecessary purchase.
A longer warranty is important for you: The lifetime warranty coverage of the Nectar is an indicator that the manufacturer is quite sure that their product will survive the test of time – of course, most mattresses do not remain warrantable after a decade or so of usage, but a lifetime guarantee implies that the mattress maker is prepared to at least compensate a claim should it arise.
If you believe that a longer warranty translates into a safer and more reliable investment, then it makes sense to choose the Nectar over the Casper Original, considering that the latter is only covered for a decade.
However, you might want to go for the Casper Original if:
You want both responsiveness and conformity from your bed: The Casper Original’s ability to yield plush conformity and healthy responsiveness have already been discussed above – this type of response is especially suited for people who don’t enjoy the sinking feeling exhibited by memory foam mattress. It is also good if you tend to move a lot in bed, or have difficulty in getting in and out of bed.
You’ve got an imbalanced weight and an especially awkward sleep posture: As a bulky individual, you may find yourself sinking through memory foam more rapidly than most people – this problem becomes even worse when you’ve got a sleep style that causes your body to sink into the mattress at different degrees in various regions.
The Nectar does offer some support for bulky sleepers through its Adaptive Hi-Core foam layer, but Casper Original’s zoned transition layer is a bit more effective at relieving pressure from your body’s different regions because it offers each of them the support they need instead of a singular level (as in the case of the Nectar).
You want a cool bed to sleep in: I’ve already discussed the superior cooling capabilities of the Casper Original at length above – suffice to say if you’re sensitive to temperature rise while sleeping but still want a mattress that offers viscoelastic contouring, the Nectar is hands-down the better choice of the two. You’ll have to put up with a bit of bounce which isn’t present in mainstream memory foam products, but this is hardly noticeable and its benefits outweigh the slight divergence in response.
I hope you found this comparison between two modern all-foam mattresses interesting and educational. If you know someone who is looking to purchase a new mattress with similar properties, do pass this post onto them – they may end up with a bargain! As usual, if you’ve got questions or comments, make use of the section below.
Nectar vs Casper Comparison
|Height||11 inches||12 inches|
|Breathability||Slightly below average||Above average|