The Nectar and Layla are two of the most popular bed-in-a-box mattresses on the Internet. While both of these models are built with gentle foams for deep pressure relief and body-contouring, they actually have several notable differences. For example, the Layla is flippable and offers different levels of firmness, while the Nectar features a whopping five inches of memory foam that encourages deep sinkage into the mattress.
So when comparing the Nectar vs Layla mattresses, which is better for you? I’ll cover these mattresses’ similarities, differences, and unique features so you can find the best option for your sleep needs. Read on for all the deets or click here to jump to the summary!
In some ways, the Layla and Nectar are like two peas in a pod. Let’s take a quick look at the similarities between these two mattresses. (Want to learn more about either of these beds? Then check out my full reviews for the Layla and Nectar!)
- Memory foam – Both the Layla and the Nectar are all-foam beds with memory foam comfort layers, which create a contouring feel and offer pressure relief.
- Ideal for side sleepers – Because both mattresses provide body-contouring and relieve pressure, they might appeal to side sleepers, who don’t want to feel jammed up at the shoulder or hip.
- Heat trap defenses – The Layla features a copper-infused memory foam, and that infusion helps draw heat away from a sleeper’s body. Similarly, the Nectar features an infusion that’s meant to defend against trapped heat — in this case, gel-infused memory foam.
While the Layla and Nectar have several similarities, they also have notable differences! Let’s go through each of these beds layer by layer to understand the materials in each mattress and how they affect the overall feel of each bed.
[Note: The order of layers mentioned here is for the Layla with the softer side up.]
Cover – First up is a thin, breathable, polyester cover that makes for a cozy feel. It helps with temperature control by creating a layer of separation between the sleeper and the memory foam layer below, since memory foam can sometimes trap heat.
Soft Comfort Layer – Beneath the cover, you’ll find a 3” layer of memory foam. In classic memory foam form, this layer provides pressure relief, body-contouring, and a slow response to pressure. It’s also infused with copper, which helps draw heat away from the body.
Transition Layer – After the soft comfort layer comes 2” of high-density poly foam to transition the sleeper from the pressure-relieving memory foam to the firmer support layers beneath it.
Support Layer – Yet another layer of high-density poly foam offers 5” of foundational support. HD poly foam is a common material used in the base of many bed-in-a-box mattresses.
The firm side of the Layla is distinct from the soft side in a couple ways: It features a thinner (1”) layer of copper-infused memory foam, and there’s no transition layer between the soft memory foam and the HD poly foam support layer. While the memory foam provides a bit of pressure relief, it transitions quickly into the firmer, high-density polyfoam below it.
Thoughts: The Layla has a memory foam feel on both its soft and firm sides, but there’s a notable difference between them as the firm side has 1” of memory foam and the soft side has 3”. This means you’ll enjoy more pressure relief on the soft side and more support on the firm side. Strict side sleepers will likely prefer the softer side of the mattress because of its extra pressure relief, while back sleepers and combo back/side sleepers might prefer the firmer side for its added support and mobility.
Cover – The Nectar’s cover is made from a blend of cotton and Tencel, a natural, breathable material that helps the mattress sleep a little cooler. The cover is quilted with a bit of memory foam, so you’ll likely enjoy some pressure relief right off the bat.
Soft Comfort Layer – Next up is a 3” comfort layer of gel-infused memory foam. Much like the copper infusion in the Layla, the gel infusion helps draw away heat (though the copper might do a better job). Meanwhile the memory foam offers pressure relief, body contouring, and an especially slow response to pressure. Sleepers will most likely feel more “in” the bed than on top of it.
Transition Layer – Beneath the memory foam comfort layer, you’ll find even more memory foam! Together, the top layers of the Nectar offer 5” of memory foam, so it’s easy to sink deeply into the mattress and enjoy some serious body-contouring and pressure relief. The transitional layer offers a slightly quicker response to pressure than the foam above it and helps ease the sleeper down to the support layer.
Support Layer – Underneath all that memory foam, you’ll find a 6” high-density poly foam base to provide support to the overall structure.
Thoughts: The Nectar has a classic memory foam feel that lets you sink deeply into the mattress and enjoy a lot of contouring and pressure relief. For this reason, the mattress might appeal most to side sleepers, who need room to sink into the mattress in order to avoid tension at the shoulders or hips.
Layla vs. Nectar
Now that you know the similarities and differences between the Layla and the Nectar, it’s time to compare these mattresses head-on. Contrasting the construction of these two beds tells us a lot about how they might feel for different sleep styles.
The Layla’s most unique feature is definitely that it’s flippable and has both a softer and a firmer side. Back sleepers should enjoy proper spinal alignment on either side, because the firmer poly foam layers offer adequate support. (The firmer side is especially well-suited to back sleepers or back/side combo sleepers, because it offers a little more support and makes it easier to change positions.) Strict side sleepers should feel more pressure relief around the shoulder by sticking to the soft side. This will likely also the side of choice for people who prefer the feeling of sinking into their mattress; sleepers will feel more “on top of” the mattress with the firm side up.
The Nectar’s abundance of memory foam provides tons of body-contouring and lets sleepers sink deeply into the mattress for deep pressure relief. For this reason, the mattress is likely to appeal to side sleepers, who don’t want to spend the night feeling jammed up around their shoulders or hips. But don’t worry, back sleepers: The Nectar might work for you too! While it has a lot of memory foam, it’s still a medium firm mattress. This means it should offer adequate support for back sleepers who like to feel enveloped by their mattress. Finally, couples will appreciate that the thick memory foam layers do a great job of minimizing motion transfer.
After looking at these constructions side by side, I’m most struck by the multiple firmness options on the Layla, the thick memory foam layers on the Nectar, and the memory foam feel on both mattresses.
Which Mattress Has the Best Feel?
Alright, so you’ve looked at the construction of the Layla and the Nectar, and you have some idea of how these different constructions might jive with various types of sleepers. Now it’s time to take a closer look at what it feels like to sleep on top of these mattresses! I run several tests to explore this question, the most important of which is probably my Firmness test.
The test is scored on a scale from 1 (meaning super-duper soft) to 10 (meaning extra-hard), with 6.5 being the industry standard for medium firmness. Of course, this range is a bit subjective, because different mattresses feel different to different bodies. (Did I say “different” enough?) The numbers you see below reflect how the mattresses feel to me, but your feelings may vary a bit.
I ranked the Layla’s soft side at a 5.5 out of 10. This is definitely on the softer side compared to the medium-firm standard of 6.5. No matter your sleep position, this side should give plenty of body-contouring and pressure relief. This could make the mattress an especially good fit for side sleepers, who need plenty of contouring at the shoulders and hips. At the same time, the high-density poly foam in the transition and support layers should provide enough support for side (and possibly back) sleepers’ spines.
I gave the firm side of the Layla a 6.5 out of 10. This is smack dab in line with the industry standard for medium firmness, so I think it’s fair to say this side of the mattress is medium firm! The 1” layer of memory foam is thinner than the memory foam on the softer side, so there’s more support and not quite as much body-contouring or pressure relief. This could appeal to back sleepers who like to sink into their mattress just a touch but also want plenty of support. The thinner comfort layer also makes it easier to change positions, which could adhere this side to combo back/side sleepers. Even the firmer side of the Layla is probably not firm enough to properly support the hips and spine when you’re on your stomach.
Much like the firm side of the Layla, I ranked the Nectar at a 6.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale. This is right at the industry standard for medium firmness, and I do think that label applies to the Nectar. The medium firm feel should adequately support the spines of back and side sleepers. The mattress could be an especially great fit for side sleepers, because it offers tons of sinkage, body contouring, and pressure relief thanks to the 5” of memory foam. Combo back/side sleepers might also like this mattress, though they might have a little difficulty moving between positions because of all the foam.
As with both sides of the Layla, stomach sleepers might not find the Nectar to be a great fit. Because it’s only medium firm and offers a lot of sinkage, it’s likely the hips will bow into the mattress and the spine will get out of alignment. Strict stomach sleepers will probably want to look for a firmer mattress.
Bottom line? Both the Layla and the Nectar should work well for side sleepers. They might also be a good fit for back sleepers or back/side combo sleepers. They probably won’t appeal to sleepers who spend all night on their stomach.
While I’ve focused this comparison on the Nectar and the original Layla, it’s worth noting that Layla has just released a hybrid model. That mattress has a bouncier feel that offers more mobility than all-foam mattresses. Comparing the original Layla to the hybrid version helps illuminate the characteristics of each bed. So let’s do it!
- Instead of using high-density poly foam in the base layer, the Layla hybrid uses pocketed coils for support. These coils add bounce to the mattress, which makes it easier to change positions and makes the sleeper feel more on top of the bed rather than “in” it.
- Like the original Layla, the Layla hybrid features a flippable design with a softer and a firmer side. The soft side has a plush feel that lets you sink into the mattress and enjoy some pressure relief. At the same time, it’s easier to change positions on the hybrid because the coils add more bounce and mobility.
- The soft side of both the original Layla and the Layla hybrid does a good job of isolating motion transfer, so both mattresses could work well for couples. Because the hybrid uses pocketed coils, it might provide more support for the combined weight of two people.
- The Layla hybrid uses a copper-infused memory foam in its comfort layer, much like the original Layla. This layer offers some body-contouring and pressure relief, and the copper infusion helps draw heat away from the sleeper’s body.
- Learn more in my full Layla Hybrid Review
We’re nearly to the end of our head-to-head comparison of the Layla and the Nectar! We’ve covered the construction, firmness, and feel of both of these beds. Now just one question remains: Which mattress is the winner for you? I can’t answer that for you, but hopefully the section below will help you with your decision!
The soft side of the Layla has the memory foam feel that some sleepers love: It lets you sink in a bit and enjoy body-contouring and pressure relief, which could be especially ideal for side sleepers. The tradeoff is that this side of the mattress isn’t very bouncy, so it can be a little hard to change positions. Additionally, neither side of the Layla is likely firm enough for strict stomach sleepers, who need more support to ensure their hips don’t bow into the mattress. That said, the firm side might be perfect for back sleepers or back/side combo sleepers, because it offers a nice balance of comfort and support.
The Nectar has a medium firm feel and 5” of memory foam, which makes room for plenty of sinkage, contouring, and pressure relief. The abundance of memory foam should make this mattress an especially good choice for side sleepers, because they’re unlikely to feel jammed up at the shoulder or hip. At the same time, the medium firm feel and the high-density, poly foam support layer mean that back sleepers who love the feeling of being enveloped by memory foam might find enough support on this mattress. Again, strict stomach sleepers will probably need something even more supportive.
Bottom line? Side sleepers and back/side combo sleepers might like both the Layla and the Nectar. Couples might prefer the motion isolation on the Nectar, which might also take the top spot for folks who love to sink into their mattress. If you like some body contouring but don’t want to feel totally enveloped by your mattress, consider the Layla. Likewise for folks who are concerned about sleeping hot!
Still on the fence about the Layla vs. Nectar? Let’s wrap things up with a few of the most important takeaways from this review!
- While both mattresses incorporate infusions to help defend against heat trap in the memory foam layers, I think the Layla does a better job of sleeping cool. The copper infusion in the memory foam does a good job of dissipating heat, so this mattress could be a better choice for people who like the feel of memory foam but worry about overheating.
- The Layla offers two firmness options for the price of one. So if you’re not exactly sure what level of support you need, you can try out multiple options on the same mattress.
- The Nectar might be the better choice for couples. Based on my motion transfer tests, it seemed to do a better job of isolating motion compared to the original Layla. This is probably thanks to the thick layers of memory foam, which does a good job of minimizing motion.
- While both the Layla and the Nectar incorporate memory foam, the Nectar has more of that classic memory foam feel. The 5” of memory foam let you sink really deep into the mattress and get even more body contouring than you do on the Layla.
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