Nectar mattress review

Our Nectar mattress review takes a good long look at – and lie down on – this memory foam mattress. It's got a great reputation but does it live up to it?

Nectar mattress 2021
(Image credit: Nectar)
Real Homes Verdict

A top-end foam mattress that's worth it for the year-long trial alone

Reasons to buy
  • +

    365 night trial

  • +

    Forever guarantee

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    No handles

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Nectar mattress at a glance

Type: memory foam
: it rates as medium
Sizes: Twin to Cal King
Sleep position: it suits side, front and back sleepers.
Your weight: it's suitable for people of average and above-average weight.
Motion transfer: fidget next to you? Motion transfer is negligible.
How it feels: supportive but soft.

Heard good things about the Nectar mattress? Read our review to see if it lives up to the hype when it comes to the best memory foam mattresses. I've been sleeping on a vast range of mattresses and putting them through their paces to bring you a true picture of how comfortable each one is and how much support it provides. I've also roped in my husband Nick to create a balanced view of what each mattress is like for women (so often the purchasers) and men, persuaded friends and family to try them out, and have conducted some semi-scientific testing so that you can buy your mattress online with confidence. 

If you're looking to find the best mattress for your needs, you'll find plenty of choices in our guide to the top picks – but don't miss our deep reviews first. Here, we review the Nectar mattress after spending a week sleeping on it. 

Who will the Nectar mattress suit?

  • Anyone looking for a completely risk-free experience;
  • Anyone looking for a cheap mattress that doesn't reflect in its quality
  • Memory foam lovers looking for a mattress at a fair price;
  • Side sleepers will love its sinkability;
  • Back and joint pain sufferers: it's effective for hip and shoulder pain;
  • Fidgets: restless sleepers won't bother their partners;
  • Apartment/flat and small home dwellers: comes in a box; easy to lug up the stairs.

Nectar mattress 2021

(Image credit: Nectar)

What's the Nectar like to sleep on?

We had been back on our old faithful sprung mattress for a few weeks before the Nectar mattress arrived for testing so it was almost like experiencing memory foam for the first time all over again. However, that first whiff of off-gassing that comes with every memory foam soon brought it all back to us. To be fair, I think my olfactory receptors have been on high alert since having children, strong smells certainly seem to bother me much more now and Nick said it wasn’t THAT bad (it was). We had the Nectar on our bed for two weeks and happily the odor faded significantly in that time, but it was still lingering in the curtains a little. The other aspect of memory foam we hadn’t missed was the initial firmness. Yup, they all feel flat and unresponsive on the first flop. If you need bounce in your life, go for a hybrid. 

Can you use an electric blanket with a Nectar mattress?

Here's what Nectar has to say on the subject: 'For some people, having an electric blanket gives the added warmth that they need. With a memory foam mattress, you might feel a little trepidation about using one. So the question is, could outside heat mess up that equation? While some memory foam might not be able to handle an electric blanket, the Nectar mattress is able to work with an electric blanket without harm to your mattress (and more importantly yourself). So you can use an electric blanket with memory foam mattresses. With that in mind, we have three quick safety tips for using your electric blanket safely, soundly, and snuggly. So read up and grab your comfort pillows, it’s about to get cosy up in here.' We say, read the advice!

Moving swiftly onto the good news, and there’s plenty of it. Our first night may have started with that ‘here we go again’ feeling when we lay all-too-firmly on the surface but it was only a matter of minutes before the memory foam started to give and our joints began to feel cushioned. Lush. Without wishing to sound like a Smug Runner (you know the ones, posting their PRs all over your Facebook feed), I have been upping my running game of late. Nothing crazy, I don’t have a Marathon in me, but just a couple of decent four to five miles a week (she says casually). The trouble is I’m already a bit old and achy and pounding pavements isn’t helping. But what did help was the Nectar. Instead of waking up feeling like I'd been backed over by a truck (several times), I felt like I hadn’t run further than my fridge. Sorry trusty sprung mattress, but the Nectar definitely trounced you on that score. Nick and I both slept soundly throughout our two-week sojourn in fact. And the only reason we were happy to switch back to our regular mattress was that the Nectar we tested was a King, and ours is a California King (we’re married, touching is no longer a thing). 

On to the nitty-gritty then. With regards to motion transfer, the Nectar scored as well as any memory foam. If sliding into your other half during the night is a massive bug-bear, I’d always recommend all-memory foam (rather than a hybrid). Similar story if you have a partner who tosses and turns. If I couldn't hear Nick breathing (too) loudly, I could easily have felt like I was sleeping alone, bliss. 

On the firmness front (see below), the Nectar is rated 5.5-7.5 on the website, which the company claims is 'Just right'. Ignoring the Goldilocks syndrome going on there, it is a valid assessment that was backed up by our usual team of tame testers (three male, three female, ranging from 140-210 lbs). They went for a slightly firmer range, from 6 to 8 (with 10 being firmer than Channing Tatum’s buttocks) and all agreed it wasn’t too firm. Nobody wants a mattress that is too firm, trust me (and my aged joints).  

Nectar mattress firmness test

(Image credit: Linda Clayton)

It’s a little tricky to tell from my dodgy iPhone photos but the Nectar rated really well in terms of evenness. By which I mean my weight test (below) registered a solid 9cm on both the middle and side. Side support is particularly important the smaller your mattress, as you don’t want to lose precious inches trying not to slide off the bed. 

Nectar mattress weight test middle

(Image credit: Linda Clayton)

It was interesting to watch the weight when we put it on the mattress actually – to begin with it sat high, at around 5cm, but gradually, as we were setting up the laser level, it sunk down, eventually settling on the 9cm mark. I’m imagining this is what happens to our pressure points (shoulders and hips) when we lay down, and explains why we slept so well on the Nectar.

Linda Clayton Nectar mattress weight test edge

(Image credit: Linda Clayton)

Unsurprisingly, the posture test (below) also revealed pretty decent results, with the laser aligning well with Nick’s spine. It did miss the mark a bit near his head, which was resting on a Nectar pillow. Not that shocking given we both found the pillows uncomfortably high, but that’s another test review, for another time. However, his shoulders and hips look well supported and, with our normal pillows, we didn’t suffer any neck pain on the Nectar.

Nectar mattress posture test

(Image credit: Linda Clayton)

How does the Nectar rate online? 

On the Nectar website, its mattress gets 4.7 stars out of five from more than 20,000 reviewers. Because it's the Nectar website, though, it felt a bit biased to just top there, so we dug a little deeper. 

More than 2,000 Amazon reviewers give the mattress a solid four out of five stars. Common review highlights include mentions that it was worth the price, provided ample support, and relieved back pain. Detractors most commonly cited the off-gassing smell, with some pointing out the mattress was too firm. 

Also of note, the Nectar mattress appears on our list of the best mattresses.

What do you get for your money?

Now, this is where it gets quite exciting, if you get excited about mattresses that is. The Nectar comes with an unprecedented 365-night trial period. If on night 364 you decide it's not for you, they will come and pick it up free of charge and return all your pennies. And, if that’s not enough for you, it also comes with a Forever Guarantee. This covers the lifetime of the original purchaser – you can’t bequeath it to your children in your will. Well, you can, but it won’t be guaranteed. No other memory foam mattress company that I know about is quite so generous on the ‘peace of mind’ front. 

Is the Nectar worth it?

It’s a big fat YES (X-Factor style) from Nick and I, but of course, our verdict on any mattress is always going to reflect our personal preferences/body shapes etc. However, since your purchase is completely risk-free (you have a YEAR to change your mind people, a year, and a lifetime’s worth of free replacement should it develop a fault), I would have to argue that the Nectar is worth a punt no matter what your size, shape, preferred sleeping position or mattress material preference may be. Oh and do lookout for special offers on the Nectar website, such as free pillows or $100 off – they seem to be pretty much ongoing. If I had to be grumpy and come up with something negative to say about the Nectar, it would have to be the lack of handles. Not unusual in memory foams, but the Nectar is a heavy lump of solidness in a fairly slippery cover that needs to be regularly turned. I tried the task solo, and failed.

Nectar mattress fillings

There’s nothing especially unusual about the Nectar’s construction but, as mentioned, it is reassuringly heavy, which is always a sign of quality. So, from the top, a specially quilted cooling cover draws heat away from your body and circulates fresh air with every move you make (according to the blurb). I’d agree with this claim. I sleep really hot (there may be some hot flushes involved, I’m in denial). Although I can’t say this mattress made them any better, it doesn't have magic powers or a refrigeration unit inside, after all, they were certainly no worse than usual. Next is a decent layer of proper memory foam, which again is nicely aerated, and then comes the pressure-relieving foam that deals with contouring to your curvy bits. Finally, the seven-zone base foam provides more contoured support plus depth. Altogether you’re looking at a depth of 12", which is about standard for a decent memory foam mattress.

Nectar mattress layers

(Image credit: Nectar)

Ordering and delivery

  • The ordering and delivery were super easy and the mattress arrived when I was told it would be, carried by two very helpful young men who offered to pop it upstairs for me. Oh, and they called ahead with an eta, love it. 
  • Delivery is free in the US  and Nectar will recycle your old mattress if you ask.
  • There are also a few delayed payments and financing options available if you would prefer to pay in installments but do, for the love of God, read the small print. 

About our review and our reviewer

Linda Clayton has been writing about homes and interiors for nearly 20 years, working for publications such as Homes & Gardens, Country Homes & Interiors, Real Homes, Ideal Home, Livingetc and House Beautiful. Linda and her husband spend between five and 10 nights sleeping on each mattress. Find her on Twitter at @lindaclayton and  @lindaclaytonwrites on Insta.

All our reviews, as in the case of the Nectar Mattress, are based on the real-life experience of using these products at home. The products are given to us free of charge and we test them for as long as possible before sending them back to the brand unless we are able to keep them. This means that we can continue to use the product which gives us the opportunity to return to our reviews for updating, so you can keep up-to-date with how it's fared over a period of time.

Linda Clayton

Linda is a freelance journalist who has specialised in homes and interiors for the past 19 years, beginning on a trade rag for the Daily Mail Group and now writing full-time for the likes of Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors, and of course Real Homes. Linda is our resident mattress reviewer. She spends at least a week on every mattress she tests for us, as does her ever-patient husband. In reviewing mattresses for us for more than a year, she has become something of a very opinionated expert. She lives in Devon with her cabinetmaker husband, two daughters and many pets, and is locked in an on-going battle to drag their red brick Victorian home out of 1970s swirly-carpet hell...