Numerical simulations and experimental results are reported on bistable switching in a semiconductor nonlinear vertical Bragg reflector. An improved structure with an additional linear rear mirror and a phase-adjusting layer was predicted to have lower threshold for bistability than a Fabry-Perot type device. The experimental observation of bistable switching in a nonlinear Bragg reflector is reported. Achieved threshold was comparable with a nonlinear Fabry-Perot device; the simpler structure of a nonlinear Bragg device may represent an advantage with respect to growth tolerances.