The Nectar Mattress Solved All of My Side Sleeper Problems

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To all side sleepers struggling with shoulder and hip pain: this mattress is your answer.

I remember when my parents bought their first memory foam mattress. It was the early aughts and the technology had been newly popularized. Naturally my family all took turns squishing our hands into the plush bed surface and marveling as our handprints slowly receded.

Nowadays, memory foam is a key component of some of the most popular mattresses, but that doesn’t mean it’s all created equal. In fact, the satisfying squish of memory foam can bring with it some significant drawbacks. For one, memory foam has a reputation of absorbing and retaining body heat, making for an uncomfortably hot sleeping experience. It also tends to lose support over time as the springy quality of the foam weakens.

What’s the solution for the notable cons of memory foam? Enter: Nectar mattresses. With five (count them: five!) layers in every mattress—including a temperature-adaptive foam and a cover quilted with cooling technology—the Nectar Premier Copper Memory Foam Mattress actively combats heat retention while supporting you from the bottom up. I would know—I’ve been sleeping on one for the past thirty days. This is my Nectar mattress review.

What is a Nectar mattress?

As I said, the Nectar Premier Copper Memory Foam mattress has five key components:

  1. Shift-resistant lower cover
  2. Nine-inch base foam layer
  3. One-inch dynamic support layer
  4. Four-inch phase-changing smart layer with pressure-relieving gel foam that adapts to your body temperature
  5. Quilted cool cover made with heat-conductive copper fibers that combats body heat

The copper is what separates this version from the previous Nectar Premier Memory Foam Mattress.

Nectar mattress first impressions

Nectar Sleep Mattress In Box at homeReina Glenn/rd.com

The Nectar mattress arrived at my building in a box that was impressively compact for a king-size mattress (about half the size of a bookshelf). But as efficient as it was size-was, it was difficult to maneuver into my apartment. The mattress weighed upwards of 100 pounds, but it felt even heavier. After a brief attempt at lifting it, my husband and I opted to use a cart.

Once it was out of the box, we could see why it felt so solid—the mattress was shrink-wrapped into a jelly roll and protected by multiple layers of plastic. The blade Nectar included to help with unwrapping was a nice touch, though it did snap in half almost immediately. We ended up using scissors and, with a little patience, managed to get all the plastic off in a few minutes.

The moment the mattress was free of wrapping, it was a beauty. Unlike other types of boxed beds, the Nectar mattress inflated in a matter of seconds. Sitting noticeably taller than my previous mattress, I could immediately see how plush and comfy it would be.

The informational insert warned of off-gassing smells, and I did notice a faint odor when I laid down for the first time, but it wasn’t unpleasant—it just smelled new. Running my hand along the cover, I felt the cooling sensation of the copper threading and how silky smooth the fabric was. I almost didn’t want to cover it with sheets and a comforter. But of course I did, because the most important job was still ahead of me: sleeping.

How we tested the Nectar mattress

For thirty nights, I rated the quality of sleep I got on the Nectar mattress according to five categories:

  • Comfort: I’m a side (and sometimes stomach) sleeper, and my husband is mostly a back sleeper, so this consideration represented every type of sleeping style.
  • Support: Did the mattress stack up to my previous innerspring pillow-top?
  • Heat retention: How well did the copper threading and cooling technology work? Did it work too well and make me reach for extra blankets?
  • Motion transfer: My husband is what I like to call a sleep dancer, in that he is constantly spinning, kicking, and contorting himself in his sleep. On our old mattress, I felt him tossing and turning. How did the Nectar compare?
  • Pain relief: Did I wake up feeling achy or sore from too much firmness under pressure points? Did the mattress help or hurt my recurring low-back pain?

What a chiropractor says about memory foam mattresses

According to Dr. Samuel Spillman of Balanced Chiropractic & Physical Therapy in Charlottesville, VA, side sleeping is the “optimal position for spinal health.” (Go team side sleepers!) However, unlike the medium to firm mattresses best suited to back and stomach sleepers, he advises that side sleepers choose a slightly softer mattress to allow for hip and shoulder pressure point relief.

“Memory foam is exceptionally comfortable because it molds to the body in response to both heat and pressure,” he says. For side sleepers, that molding ability is what prevents pinched shoulders and aching hips in the morning. Spillman also notes that “memory foam [comes] in different levels of density, viscosity, and resilience, which can be combined for different effects.” Remember all those layers in the Nectar mattress? They were chosen specifically to create this support-meets-comfort combo.

Is Nectar a good mattress?

From day one to day thirty, Nectar passed each of my sleep quality categories with flying colors.

  • Comfort: Nectar describes the Premier Copper Memory Foam Mattress as a 6.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale. This level of comfort offered just the right amount of give at pressure points without feeling like I was sinking into the mattress.
  • Support: The dynamic support layer of the Nectar mattress does some seriously impressive work. It’s the reason you can lie on your side (or back, or stomach) and still feel like you’re being suspended at the top of the mattress. It’s firm enough to support your whole body, but not so firm that it pushes back against you. Honestly, it felt like a hug.
  • Heat retention: My husband is a furnace-person, and he turns into a human inferno when he sleeps, but even Mr. Surface Of The Sun said he was comfortably cool all night long on the Nectar mattress. I, a notorious vampire who has no body heat to speak of, thought the cool factor might make me chilly, but I found that it made the mattress feel fresh and clean rather than cold. A blessing for my icicle toes.
  • Motion transfer: Virtually none. I was floating in a beautiful oasis of stillness, only disturbed by my cat, who continued his nightly ritual of trying to sleep on my face.
  • Pain relief: I felt a significant reduction in shoulder joint pain thanks to the top layer of foam, but the most surprising factor of the Nectar mattress was its lower back support. With my old mattress, when I did occasionally sleep on my back, I always woke up feeling like I’d been arching all night (because I had). The Nectar mattress filled in that gap between my spine and the mattress, giving me an extra boost of support and zapping those morning kinks.

Nectar mattress pros

  • Near-instant inflation—go to sleep immediately!
  • Cover feels silky smooth and has a noticeable cooling sensation
  • Perfect balance of comfort and support
  • Especially good for side sleepers and helps with lower back pain
  • Nonexistent motion transfer
  • Full year risk-free trial period and forever warranty
  • Free shipping and returns

Nectar mattress cons

  • Very heavy box if you order a king-size
  • Difficult to remove from the plastic packaging
  • Has a slight odor after first opening
  • Not as much edge support as a spring mattress—be careful sitting on the corner to tie your shoes
  • Non-flippable

Nectar mattress cost

The Premier Copper Memory Foam Mattress comes in sizes twin to California king, with prices ranging from $1,697 to $2,497. It’s a little pricier than other similar boxed beds, but Nectar does run regular promotions that shave hundreds off the list price. They also sometimes throw in extras like mattress protectors, sheet sets, and premium pillows. Plus, qualified buyers can pay over the course of a year with zero percent APR financing.

As an extra bonus, the Nectar Premier and Premier Copper options both come with a Google Nest Hub, which has Sleep Sensing technology to help you track your sleep patterns. If you’re still interested in Nectar but want a more affordable option, the Nectar Mattress (the brand’s original offering) starts at just $499.

Cat On Nectar Sleep Mattress Reina GlennReina Glenn/rd.com

How many years do Nectar mattresses last?

While Nectar does not provide an average lifespan for its mattresses, it does promise a “forever” warranty, meaning that whenever you feel like your mattress is starting to wane in quality (be it one year, ten, or a hundred), you can file a warranty claim. If a verified impression of 1.5 inches or more is found on your mattress, Nectar will repair or replace it for free.

Return policy

In addition to a 365-night trial, a warranty that never expires, and free shipping, Nectar offers free returns in the contiguous U.S. if you decide the mattress isn’t for you within your trial year. You won’t need to worry about repackaging it, either. Just fill out a return request form and a customer support representative will be in touch to get the mattress donated or recycled.

Where to buy a Nectar mattress

The best place to buy a Nectar mattress is through the company’s direct-to-consumer website: nectarsleep.com. You can also find them at familiar retailers like Amazon, Mattress Firm, Mattress Warehouse, and department stores like Macy’s.

Once you’ve got your mattress squared away, find out how to make your bed as cozy as possible. Then, read this review of the Pillow Cube—it’s a dream come true for side sleepers.

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Reina Glenn
Reina is a senior editor with Reader’s Digest. A generalist by trade, she’s produced stories on everything from food to finance and has worked with national brands like Kroger and Canon. She also runs the newsletter for Reader’s Digest and leads most of the product and purchasing content you see here.