With so many mattresses on the market, I’ve always had trouble deciding which to purchase. When I look at them separately they’re all so wonderful, yet somehow so similar at first glance. To get a proper feel for what each one is like I need to take them together and put them up against each other, which is exactly what I’m going to do with Nectar and Sealy today.
Should I Buy Nectar or Sealy?
First off, each mattress has its blatant standouts even before we dive into the specifics. If that’s all you need to help you make your decision, then this should be an easy choice.
Choose Nectar If:
- You adore full memory foam
- A full year of sleep trial appeals to you
- You want a lifetime warranty
- The environment matters to you so you want almost no off-gassing
- You’re interested in bundling products to get a mattress, bed frame, bedding and more
Choose Sealy If:
- You want the unique feeling that gel brings
- Deep mattresses are your favourite
- You want something springy
- Back support is vital
- You want a choice of several mattresses from a brand
So, How Are These Mattresses Made?
Unlike several brands on the market, Nectar and Sealy are actually quite a bit different. For instance, Nectar is a classic memory foam mattress. Meanwhile, Sealy’s Olympia Geltex is a hybrid. It has gel and springs that come together to form a well-constructed mattress with tons of assets.
These constructions have different strong and weak areas, so we’ll break things down bit by bit for you.
Nectar contains 9 centimetres of memory foam, more than many memory foam competitors. It’s not all in one go, though, it’s in several layers that start off with a cover to keep you cool. Then, we have the following layers:
- Smart memory foam for wicking moisture and pulling heat away
- Pressure relief memory foam to add support and comfort in all the right spots
- A base with seven support zones to help your body where it needs it most
- Positioning base, a second foamy base material that helps the mattress stay in place
Sealy doesn’t go into depth on the layers of the Olympia Geltex, but does discuss the technology that goes into the mattress’s construction.
It starts with a cover made to reduce allergens and wick sweat away from your body. Sealy refers to this construction as smart fibres and it’s endorsed by the British Allergy Foundation. This makes it excellent for people with asthma and allergies.
Under the cover there’s Geltex, a cushy material that’s made to support your body, help with pressure relief and distribute your weight well. It’s also highly breathable which works well paired with the cover that’s made to keep you cool and dry.
Finally, most of the support comes from 1,000 pocket springs, made to keep things a little bouncy while reducing excessive motion transfer.
If there are any other layers in the mattress, Sealy doesn’t disclose or discuss them.
A standard mattress is 20–35 centimetres thick and both mattresses fall within that window. Which one is better thickness-wise is purely up to preference.
Nectar’s mattress is 25 centimetres thick, which is ample and above the minimum. It’s great for people with higher bedframes who don’t want to be too elevated, or for people who want to be lower when on their mattress.
Sealy is a bit thicker at 30 centimetres, for those of you who like a high bed and mattress. The further thickness gives the inner components a bit more room to work at making things as sturdy and comfortable for you as possible.
Both of these mattresses are medium-firm, but it’s how they create this feeling that makes the difference.
Memory foam isn’t something you can simply sleep on. When it gets warm and feels pressure, the sleeper slowly sinks into it and so you sleep in it. You get a medium-firm feel but the sensation that you’re sleeping on something squishy and cloud-like.
The foam underneath the memory foam mainly adds the support, so you’ll feel like you’re on something decently rigid, yet still malleable with some give.
With the Sealy, you don’t have to worry about sinking into the mattress if that’s a feeling you dislike. You also won’t have to worry about it having a gel-like squishy feel, because the gel is packed together tightly. You’ll again feel like you’re on something firm but with some give.
However, the medium-firm feel has the support of something firmer due to weight distribution. The mattress ensures your weight is spread out, so you’re not sinking further in at the points your body is heaviest. This provides a sense of more rigid support, suitable for heavier people and people with back pain.
People in those categories won’t fare too well on the memory foam mattress, though, as they need to be on the surface and not sink into their mattress.
Edge sleepers need edge support to keep them comfortable at night, and while it’s not the most important part of a bed, it’s pretty vital for people moving around or if you end up in a crowded bed—for example, kids and pets creeping in and pushing you further towards the edge.
Memory foam, by default, has fantastic edge support. Since you sink into it regardless of where in the mattress you are you’re pretty much stuck and the edge won’t sink and let you roll-off.
In fact, you can barely move side to side without a little effort on the Nectar mattress. You’ll have to scoot up and over since you’re in the mattress. This can be a pain for people who move around a lot at night or have mobility issues. But you can’t deny it’s an asset for people who sleep on the edge of the bed.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to tell what Sealy’s edge support is like. Since we don’t know much about the inner construction of the mattress, we can’t determine if there are elements in place to add rigidity to the edges and keep you in bed.
Arguments can be made that if you’re not right on the edge, you should be safe thanks to the pocket spring construction. The springs move as individuals, not in one sweeping mass, so let’s say you’re lying on your back near the edge, with your arm right along the edge.
The springs under your arm will be down slightly, but the springs under your torso will sink down further, making the springs under your arm a slight barrier. This is decent edge support, with the gel on top keeps you lying relatively evenly on it.
However, if part of your torso is on those outer edge springs, it’s impossible to say what will happen without knowing more about the internal workings of the mattress.
Low or no motion transfer is vital for people who move around a lot at night and share a bed. You don’t want to wake your partner with your constant tossing and turning.
Memory foam in general has essentially no motion transfer. You’re stuck in the little dent your body made when you moved, and that happens with each move. If you turn over, only the foam right underneath you is going to shift.
There are no springs or other elements that can cause vibrations in the layers. This makes it impossible for the motion to transfer. The foam absorbs the vibrations of your movements, and that’s that. You could throw a bowling ball at your pillow and not wake your partner, especially in the Nectar with its thicker-than-average memory foam construction.
Again, it’s hard to tell with Sealy. It’s difficult to say whether or not the gel element has motion transfer.
It’s possible to theorize that there’s some light motion transfer, but as the gel is so tightly packed together so it doesn’t feel squishy, the vibrations causing transfer may be cancelled out.
Then there’s the matter of the springs, which are easier to delve into. Normal coils inside a mattress vibrate, which travels through the adjacent springs and moves your partner a bit. With pocket springs it’s different, as each coil is wrapped. The wrapping absorbs the vibrations so only the next two, maybe three springs will feel something, if anything, of your move.
If you move, only the springs right under you will move with you. This minimizes motion transfer and leads to a peaceful night.
Breathability and Temperature
Most good brand mattresses do well with breathability and temperature, regardless of their construction. It’s no different with Nectar and Sealy.
Nectar does very well for a memory foam mattress. Memory foam naturally absorbs heat and reflects it back on you, causing a sweaty and uncomfortable night. Plus, dense foam isn’t as breathable as something softer and more porous so the heat gets trapped in the bed. Nectar took steps to combat this.
The mattress starts off with a cover that’s designed to suck the heat away from you then send fresh air shooting back every time you move. Under that, there’s altered memory foam that instead of just drawing heat dissipates it, along with any moisture.
So despite the memory foam construction, you’ll never be sweltering, which is exactly what you want to hear.
Sealy, too, has a breathable cover that sits atop Geltex, which is also breathable so you’re covered there. Going further into the mattress there’s enhanced airflow as it’s not too difficult for air to pass through the fabric covering the coils. The coils themselves are open so they allow air to pass through, all of it leading to a naturally breathable mattress.
Nectar vs Sealy: An Overview
So we’ve broken it down, but now we need to put it all together and explore the mattresses at their highest and lowest points.
- Great for spinal alignment
- Pressure relief
- Sleeps snug as you sink into the mattress
- Naturally hypoallergenic and easy to clean
- People with mobility issues will struggle
- Heavier people will sink right in, too deep
- Not for people who dislike being enclosed while sleeping
- More difficult to move around at night
The Nectar mattress is a breathable cloud-like mattress with zero motion transfer. Being memory foam means it’s also naturally hypoallergenic as memory foam can’t absorb dust, dead skin or mites. A quick wipe down cleans it just fine and you’re ready to get to sleep.
When night comes you lie on top of it and slowly sink in, wonderful for people who like to be cradled in slumber. Once in, you’re free to move around as you please, though you’ll be slightly constrained by the sides coming up around you. Again, a benefit to someone who dislikes moving around and wants to be held while sleeping.
Despite being sunk into the mattress you’re still supported, though not to the extent you need if you have back pain or you carry extra weight. Extra weight will just send you deeper into the mattress, making it harder for you to move. This mattress is really best for lighter people, and ones without mobility issues at that.
While theoretically, someone with mobility issues wouldn’t have too many problems with the mattress if they’re light, it’s still never going to be the best. With other mattresses, you can just slide across to the edge, but with this one, it’s up and out. You may need assistance because of that.
When you’re light and mobile you’re golden, though. You’re in for a night of comfort, luxury and pressure relief, not to mention spinal alignment which memory foam is fantastic at. As you sink further into the mattress based on weight, your heavier body parts will be in deeper which sets your spine straight, therefore preventing back issues.
- Suits almost anyone
- Highly breathable
- Provides more support than a regular medium-firm mattress
- Great for people with mobility issues, extra weight or back pain
- Springs add a bounce that can help some people
- Little to no motion transfer
- Not perfect for someone with both back pain and extra weight
- Bounce isn’t for everyone
- The inner workings of the mattress remain largely mysterious
Sealy is also a wonderfully breathable and medium-firm mattress, except it excels differently. Instead of letting you sink down into the mattress it provides support on top and feels slightly firmer than it is as your weight is distributed evenly.
The even distribution causes pressure relief, making this a fantastic pick for people with tension. As it also relieves pressure on the back while providing support it’s suitable for people with back pain, and heavier people won’t sink too deep in here.
People with mobility issues will also be fine, you can slide right over to the edge, pivot, and get to the floor. Be mindful of the Sealy’s thickness though and ensure you have a low enough bed frame if you have short legs and can’t handle a small drop or jump to the ground.
The slight bounce of the springs may even be an asset to someone who needs more help climbing out of bed, and that’s something you won’t find in memory foam. Despite the Sealy’s bounce, it won’t radiate over to your partner, who can stay sound asleep while you get up early or sneak off for a mid-night drink or bathroom trip.
Overall, this is a mattress that can suit anyone really, although it might not be the most suitable for people who are both heavier and suffering from back problems. While the gel distributes weight evenly, it may not provide as much support when it’s under a lot of weight-related pressure as its efforts are spread out and the springs below it are under strain, too.
The faults of both mattresses are mainly specific to taste and requirements, where the pros are widely applicable. That makes either mattress an asset to the right sleeper. One is best for people who like snuggling into the mattress, the other is better for mobility, weight or pain issues.
If you fall into none of the categories above, then the only thing that can influence your choice is preference, and maybe budget the Nectar costs less. Neither mattress is better than the other as they’re too different to make such a statement. In the end, it comes down to your needs, then your wants. Figure those out and you’ll have made the right choice.