Need something special to make your bed the most comfortable place on Earth?
When you're looking to find a great mattress and get a good night's sleep, there are a lot of options out there. You'd be remiss, however, if you didn't take a look at the mattress that started the direct to consumer model for Internet-sold mattresses.
Tuft & Needle, a company that began this model for mattresses, has worked to create a better mattress out of a new kind of foam and to sell it for a lower price than that of standard mattresses. The best Tuft & Needle mattresses review number in the tens of thousands.
As a result, they've become the best-selling mattress on Amazon.
But is the mattress worth the hype? Read on to discover more.
About the Tuft & Needle Mattress
What should I know about the Tuft & Needle mattress?
Tuft & Needle has created a simple, two-ply mattress with a unique top foam that is like no other foam on the market. It is designed to push back on your pressure points, creating excellent support, and to keep you cool when you sleep.
A thin, easy-clean cover helps to keep you cool as well and keeps the cost down on this no-nonsense mattress.
Check out these specs!
- Queen mattresses weight 70 lbs and measure 60 x 80 x 10 inches
- 100-day sleep test guarantee and 10-year warranty
- Two-ply poly foam construction
- Washable tencel cover
What are the advantages and disadvantages of these mattresses?
- An inexpensive, high-quality mattress
- One size fits all, so it's easy to choose
- Easy to order and ship directly to your home
- So comfortable that there's only a 1- 2% return rate
- The pioneer in direct marketing, great customer service!
- An inexpensive, high-quality mattress
- One size fits all, so it's easy to choose
- Easy to order and ship directly to your home
- So comfortable that there's only a 1- 2% return rate
- The pioneer in direct marketing, great customer service!
Tuft & Needle Mattress
The History of Tuft & Needle
Tuft & Needle was created by a pair of Silicon Valley software engineers. The story began when a newlywed went shopping for a new mattress.
As an engineer who was in the design field, his goal was to go to different mattress stores, learn as much as he could about how the mattresses were made, and then use that to figure out the best options in materials at the most economical rate.
However, when he actually went to the stores, he was shocked to find that there was no rhyme or reason to the pricing on mattresses. Some seemingly identical mattresses could vary by up to $1,000.
Wow, what a complicated business mattress buying turned out to be!
The creator then teamed up with a second software engineer who had a similar bad experience, and the two engineers sought to build a better mattress. Along the way, they discovered a few things.
First, typical mattresses are made of the same four materials in different proportions.
Second, typical mattresses have a markup of 5-10 times their production cost. This is because of all the middlemen involved. So, the company founders decided to find a better material and to cut out the middlemen to make the mattresses better and cheaper than anything else out there.
As software creators, they knew that the most efficient way to do this was to skip the stores and go straight to internet direct sales.
Here's how the beginning of sales went.
So, the owners began working on better materials. They figured out that they could roll and vacuum pack their mattresses to cut way back on shipping costs. And one box at a time, the mattresses began to roll off the shelves.
At first, the return rate was somewhat on the high side. The owners made long, detailed phone calls to every return to find out everything that went wrong and use it to make a better product. Today, their return rate is less than 1%.
Less than 1% return rate! That's incredible!
Now, Tuft & Needle has started a wave of direct mattress companies who use similar shipping methods to shave costs. And yet, they're still #1 in Amazon mattress sales, which is saying something.
Read on to discover their secrets, how they're made, and how they stand up to all their fiercest competitors in a side-by-side comparison of features.back to menu ↑
Tuft & Needle Specifications Analysis
Tuft & Needle sells mattresses that range from twins to California kings. The specifications below are based on a queen:
What's not to love about all that?
- CertiPur US, Standard 100 by OEKO TEX, and GREENGUARD Gold certified. This means that they are free from phthalates, heavy metals, offgassing organic chemicals, and other substances that can be difficult for those with allergies or sensitivity to manufacturing chemicals.
- Made of a pair of uniquely made pressure-relieving foams that are designed differently than any other foam products on the market by the engineer owners of the company.
- Soft and bouncy but supportive foam combination
- Gel and graphite foam layers to help absorb heat and keep you cool (since the company is based in Phoenix, you know that they take cool sleeping seriously!)
- The mattress has over 10K 5-star reviews and counting!
- They have won awards for company culture, customer service, and a darn good mattress that everyone (well, just about) loves and keeps.
- Tuft & Needle makes a single mattress product, as they believe that their mattress is one size fits all
- Designed to minimize movement from your partner and provide pressure relief no matter your size or shape
- Comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year mattress warranty on top of that
- Made in the USA in the owners' hometown of Phoenix, AZ.
- Works with beds that have box springs, platforms, slatted bases, and adjustable positions like medical beds.
So how are the mattresses made?
The mattress has very simple construction. The core of the mattress consists of a pair of foam layers. The star of this is the adaptive foam that is the top layer of the foam pairing. This is uniquely made in a way that it pushes back the harder you push on it in a way that is actually comfortable for you.
Beneath that is a second supportive layer that prevents you from sinking too deeply into the 10-inch mattress and feeling the platform beneath. This works for most people of any weight.
The combination is wrapped in a highly breathable outer fabric coating, called tactel, that is designed to protect the mattress and be soft and clean for you.
All components are green certified by three different companies.
Comfortable, soft, and green. Gotta love it! And guess what else...back to menu ↑
Sleeping cool and comfortable is what this company is all about.
- The top layer is crafted from patented 1.9 lb density foam
- A combination of gel and graphite work to wick heat away from your body for a cool sleep
- The graphite in the patented foam layer has the added benefit of absorbing odors
- 3 inches of top foam sits on 7 inches of supportive foam to create a combination that provides plenty of cradling for your pressure points and little to no risk of sinking into the mattress to the point where you hit pressure points or end up too hot.
Firmness and Comfort
So the answer to this question is great for around 90-95% of all Tuft & Needle mattress owners. The firmness of the patented foam is just enough to sleep comfortably and well worth the price.
The best way to describe laying on this mattress is a feeling of floating as opposed to being hugged. This was an important consideration for the developers because sinking into the mattress means holding in more heat, something that can make you sleep hot.
There seems to be a bit of trade off in some of the places that foam gets dinged in other mattress comparisons.
First, edge support. Unless there is some sort of a box around a foam mattress, the edge will collapse if you lean on it. This is a problem with the firmness on the edge of these mattresses, but it is the case with every one of the direct to consumer mattresses that can be vacuum rolled and shipped, as the box would make it impossible to do this.
The best solution for this, if you like this kind of a mattress, is to choose a platform bed with some sort of box around the outside and to use that for edge support instead of the mattress.
The second thing that people mention about the mattress is the motion transfer. Again, with all foams, there is a trade-off between a number of things. Heat, pressure, and motion transfer are all possible to mitigate for with foam, but you typically need to pick two.
What’s the solution?
In the case of the Tuft & Needle, heat (not one complaint about sleeping hot on this baby!) and pressure are well-covered with the design of their patented carbon gel mattress layer. While motion transfer is addressed with the lower layer, it's not a bed where you can say you don't feel your partner (or your dog) moving at all.
Overall, most people find the mattress to be very comfortable. Again, there are some reports that it takes a week or two to get used to. As joints age and people who are sleeping on bad mattresses need a little time to unwind their knotted muscles, it makes sense that there is an adjustment period to be had.
However, again there is a satisfaction of around 90 percent of reviews at 5 stars, and only a 1% return rate, so clearly most people find it plenty comfortable.
Comfortable for just about everyone is the bottom line. But what if you're in the one percent?
Tuft and Needle Mattress Review
Casper vs Tuft & Needle
Casper Mattresses is another company that ships direct to consumers. From the outside, the mattresses look similar to the Tuft & Needle in size (height) and the height of the outer fabric. Here's how the two mattresses look in a side-by-side comparison:
So what's the bottom line?
- Construction: As you know by now, the Tuft & Needle's 10 inches of foam are made from 7 inches of base foam and 3 inches of patented, pressure-relieving, heat mitigating foam with gel and graphite. The Casper mattress, on the other hand, is constructed of several layers of foam stacked together in different densities. The 9.5-inch mattress has several layers of foam stacked together. In this case, the Casper has 5 inches of base foam instead of 7 inches of base foam. It has two 1.5-inch layers of poly foam with a 1.5-inch layer of memory foam sandwiched in the middle.
- The firmness of the two mattresses is similar. However, the Casper allows you to sink down a bit more than the Tuft & Needle mattress. This means a hugging feeling from the Casper vs a floating feeling for the Tuft & Needle.
- Cover: In both cases, the mattress companies have opted for a very fine cover that is highly breathable and thin. This keeps you cooler. In both cases, there is some risk of tearing when you move the mattress. There is little difference overall in cover for these two brands.
- Warranty: The two mattress companies have a nearly identical warranty (10 years) and 100-day sleep trial.
- Price for these mattresses is not as equivalent- Casper mattresses run about 30% higher in cost than the Tuft & Needle.
Ultimately, the best mattress comes down to what you want. All other things being equal, (and there is a lot that is equivalent between these two mattresses) the Casper runs a little bit firmer than the Tuft & Needle. It offers a sink-down feel versus the floating feel of the Tuft & Needle. If these two things are important than the Casper is a better choice.
The Tuft & Needle is better if you want a lower cost mattress, you want a softer mattress that you lay on and not in- a must for cool sleeping.
So much to love!
Tuft & Needle vs Leesa
The two mattress companies again offer very similar products. The Leesa offers a slightly different foam configuration and a few more bells and whistles. They also cost a bit more. Here is a look at how the specs line up when you compare them side by side:
So which mattress is best?
- Foam: The Leesa offers a hybrid foam product. They have a 6-inch support foam base, with 2 inches of Avena foam in an egg crate pattern at the top, sitting on 2 inches of memory foam. This is considered to be a hybrid mattress design. The Tuft & Needle offers slightly more support foam and 3 inches of their patented poly foam. Both mattresses measure an identical 10 inches in height.
- The covers of the two mattresses are slightly different. The cover of the Tuft & Needle is minimalistic and very thin, designed for ultimate breathability and cool sleeping. The Leesa mattress offers a nearly seamless cover with four aesthetic white bands across the lower third of the bed. This has no function but offers a slightly fancier looking mattress.
- Firmness in these two mattresses varies a little bit. Out of 10, users rate the Leesa a 6 and the Tuft & Needle a 7. Like the Casper, there is more sink-down in the Leesa and more float atop on the Tuft & Needle. This can maximize coolness while you sleep.
- The warranties are nearly identical once again, as is the 100-day sleep trial. Shipping and ordering speeds are also basically identical.
- Durability is one place where users have complained more about the Leesa than the Tuft & Needle. The Avena foam has been known to break down on some people, and the mattress does not seem to last as long without deteriorating.
- The cost of the Leesa is about $200 more per mattress type than that of the Tuft & Needle. They offer some discount coupons, which give you a little bit back. However, you'll still end up paying more overall than you would with the Tuft & Needle, a company who prefers to give the rock bottom price every time.
If you like a slightly softer mattress or are willing to pay a bit more to have something look especially stylized, then the Leesa may be a better choice. However, if you prefer something similar that costs less, and the minimalistic, low pricing and no-nonsense approach appeal to your sensibilities, choose the Tuft & Needle.
Also, based on reviews, you're less likely to use that 10-year warranty with the Tuft & Needle, as they appear to be a bit more durable.
Sounds like both provide a good sleep, but it's a question of fancy over functional.
Ghostbed vs Tuft And Needle
Ghostbed, like most of these other companies, has taken the model that Tuft & Needle created and tried to improve on it. One unique feature about the Ghostbed is that it seems to be the only company that didn't add 30% back into the cost of the mattress.
Instead, they offer a mattress that is almost the same price with a difference of under $100. If you get it with a rebate or coupon, you might actually spend less. Here's how the two companies compare side by side:
So who is better?
- Foam: Ghostbed is an inch thicker than the Tuft & Needle mattress, at 11 inches instead of 10. They have a combined pair of layers of aerated latex and then gel to try and give the best balance of form and support versus immediate response and bounceback. Aerating their latex helps a lot with breathability, while the gel is a heat absorber. They offer 1.5 inches of latex, 2 inches of gel, and 7.5 inches of support, a more similar pairing to Tuft & Needle's 3 inches of poly and 7 inches of support foam.
- Fabric: The polyester coating on the outside of the Ghostbed is thin and breathable, though not as thin as the Tuft & Needle. They also offer a bit of aesthetic difference with dark, diamond-stitched sides and a white top. Again, Tuft & Needle offers a thin, minimalistic, all-white cover.
- Edge Support: This is one place where the Ghostbed definitely shines. Poly is not a great mattress when it comes to edge support, and a bed with sides surrounding the mattress can mitigate for this.
- Warranty: The Ghostbed has intentionally set out to outdo the Tuft & Needle here, with a 20-year warranty and a 101-day sleep guarantee. Tuft & Needle has responded to longer warranties like this, however, saying that all foam mattresses should be replaced once a decade for hygiene purposes and that it limits their warranty in keeping with this advisement. Since neither company has been around for 10 or 20 years yet, the truth of this remains to be seen.
This is one company that has beaten Tuft & Needle in some online head-to-head competitions. As always, it depends on if you want the slightly softer Ghostbed or the slightly firmer Tuft & Needle.
If edge support is a deal breaker for you, you probably want to go with the Ghostbed or get a sunken platform bed with sides.
GhostBed vs Tuft and Needle Mattress Comparison
Tuft & Needle vs Purple
No matter which mattress you might end up choosing, the purple ads are fun- they drop a large glass panel on the bed, showing unbroken raw eggs beneath- a sign of just how gently they cradle your pressure points. But how does it compare to internet pioneer Tuft & Needle?
So who is better?
- The foam: These two mattresses both have a poly support base. 7 inches for the Tuft & Needle, and a pair of medium and firm support bases at 3.5 and 4 inches for the Purple. Where Tuft & Needle has 3 inches of top poly foam, Purple does something really innovative: they offer a "smart grid" of latex- essentially a waffle pattern of hyperelastic polymer that's 2 inches in height. This allows for air and truly weight-rated collapsibility to best support those heavier pressure points.
- Weight rating: the Purple supports up to 300 lbs on a side. The Tuft & Needle doesn't show a weight rating and will support that. However, you may need a top padding to work with pressure points on the T & N, versus the Purple which is designed for it.
- Firmness: The Purple is a mattress that you will sink into. The T & N is a mattress that you will float on.
- Price: Again, the Purple costs about 30% more and has fewer choices of size than the T & N.
- Warranties, delivery, and sleep trials for these mattresses are identical.
This is a tougher comparison. Really, the best mattress here is based on two things. Do you like to sink into your mattress (Purple) or float on it (T & N)? Do you have pressure points that cause mobility issues after a night's sleep?
If so, choose the Purple. If a price is a bigger deal, the Tuft & Needle offers a better cost basis. Both companies are equally rated in most everything else, from firmness to order/delivery to customer service to warranty.
What else should you know?back to menu ↑
Care and maintenance
Like most mattresses, there are only a few things to worry about when it comes to caring for this mattress. Initial setup, breaking in, and cleanup are the three basic things to remember. All three are a snap, and take no time at all to figure out:
Your mattress will arrive rolled up in a vacuum sealed bag. It will be much smaller than you expected, because much of your mattress is air, and it's all been sucked out with a high-powered vacuum to let the company ship to you in a surprisingly tiny box, thus saving them and you massive shipping charges (and saving your grateful UPS or FedEx or USPS guy a whole lot of pain carting the thing around!)
To set up, simply open the bag, unroll the mattress, and wait for a few hours as the mattress expands all on its own.
This is also an easy step, but the few people who had suggestions to make this mattress better in reviews have some good tips. Basically, part of the reason that Tuft & Needle gives a 100-day trial period is that it can take a couple weeks for you to get used to the mattress.
Early days with this mattress may also have a bit of a chemical smell, as initial off-gassing is a common problem with many new foam mattresses once they've been unrolled. Luckily, these chemicals tend to dissipate quickly. If it's not quick enough, add a fan to the room for some ventilation and sprinkle the mattress with a bit of baking soda to minimize odor.
First, the cover does not come off. Don't take it off, it will void your warranty.
Second, if there is a stain of some kind, work quickly and use a combination of water, lemon juice, and pressure to get it off.
Gentle dish soap can help too. Don't use a lot, just dab. If something wet has gone deeper, try a wet-dry vac. Try to rinse as much out as possible with fresh water, applying pressure to soak it all out between attempts.
Finally, sprinkle the remaining mattress with a bit of baking soda and let dry, then vacuum it up. On sheet changing day, it's also a good idea to sprinkle the mattress with a bit of baking soda, let it sit a bit, then vacuum it all up to prevent smells from forming.
Sounds pretty easy to me! What else do I need to know?
Tuft & Needle Mattress Unboxing
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So the warranty comes in two parts with these mattresses. First, there is a 100-day love it or return it sleep guarantee.
Basically, if you aren't in love with the mattress in the first 100 days, you'll get a full refund, no questions asked (Well, that's not totally true, more on that in a bit...).
They simply ask that you donate the mattress to charity and turn in a donation slip to make sure that someone out there gets a chance to love this new mattress.
As for questions?
They will happily return the money. However, don't be surprised if you get a call from customer service (and maybe even the owners in person) to see what it was you didn't love about the mattress.
Remember, these owners worked in the tech field where IT guys were constantly adding weekly to monthly patches to software to make it better and better for everyone who used it. The owners have taken the same philosophy with their mattress company.
As a result, they may ask you lots of questions about what they did wrong, what they did right, and what the real deal breakers were in terms of the mattress. This is a conversation worth having with this company, as they have used all the feedback they've gotten to make their product better and better.
But what about the long term warranty?
Once the 100-night trial period is over, the 10-year warranty kicks in. This is a limited warranty, but it covers defects in the cover and the foam over a 10-year period.
The company has said that hygienically, a mattress should be replaced every 10 years, so they don't offer a warranty beyond this.
So what's normal use?
The warranty works if you've been using the mattress in ways you'd expect to use a bed-- reclining, sleeping, cuddling with your three rescue Newfoundlands, various passionate activities, and perching on it in your crowded efficiency apartment while writing the great American novel between shifts as a waiter or waitress, things like that.
It does not cover things like rafting down the river, sliding down a hill, using your mattress for wrestling practice, using it to catch your cousin falling from a building during stuntman training, and other such non-uses.
Basically, if you've used your mattress as a bed, and only as a bed, and you've found that any of the items in the limited warranty have come to pass, you're a phone call away from a fresh new mattress arriving at your doorstep.
Sounds like a peace of mind to me! But how does it stack up to the competition?
- Sagging in the foam of 3/4 of an inch or greater, most likely leaving body impressions
- Any cracking or splitting of the foam
- Any unraveling of the seams or tears in the fabric
- All warranty coverage is based on normal use
Frequently Asked Questions about the Best Tuft & Needle Mattresses
What are the most commonly asked questions about these mattresses?
Between Amazon and their site, there are a number of really good questions asked, and some pretty impressive answers from the company and from actual purchasers:
This question was answered by a number of users. While most were happy with the mattress exactly as it was, there were a few who added a padded mattress cover to give just a touch more protection to those nagging pressure points.
While the Tuft & Needle mattress wasn't able to get the problem solved alone for these people, they did mention that no other mattress was able to solve it without some adaptation either.
On this note, Tuft & Needle says that they are continuing to tweak their product with an ultimate goal of making it truly comfortable for everyone. Will they succeed? Stay tuned.
While this is posted as a top question on Tuft & Needle's website, it was kind of set up as a way for them to link to their own proprietary sheets, called &Sheets. That said, not one complaint was made about ill-fitting sheets of any form. This is not a thick mattress and does not require deep pocket sheets. Most any sheet will fit.
If you order through Amazon, it's offered with two-day shipping through Prime. Ordering directly from the website means 2-4 shipping days in the continental U.S., and up to 10 days for Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, and U.S. territories. International customers should call the company to get more details on the timeline for their situations.
Bounce and support are one thing when you're trying to get some sleep. The bounce you need in the bedroom when you're not alone can be quite another.
This mattress seems to not only stand up to a night of making love, hooking up, or otherwise having fun, but sex on these mattresses became its own Reddit thread that was so positive it's being shared by the company itself.
Okay, so if you order through Amazon, you have to work through them, and not through Tuft & Needle. If you order from the company directly, however, they will work with you to find a great local place to donate your mattress.
Simply show them the receipt for donating, and they'll trade it for the refund. And there's no need to put the fully expanded mattress back into the tiny box from which it came. The company is well aware that that is one bell that can't be un-rung without a supervacuum like the one they have in their factory.
If re-boxing is the only reason you're keeping the mattress, you can rest assured that no one expects you to get it back in there.
This is a great mattress in that you just need to put it on a firm surface. You can use your old box spring, a platform bed, and even a medical bed that elevates the head and/or feet. And, if you spent all your money buying the mattress, you can even have it on the floor until next payday.
Tuft & Needle does not currently sell any form of bed to go with their mattresses. Instead, you can pretty much pick anything you want, so long as there's something firm at the bottom.
So is the mattress worth it?
Tuft & Needle is a smart company who came up with a smart product worth discovering. The price of this mattress is around a half to a third of many other company's mattresses. The 100-day warranty means little to no risk for you.
The mattress is easy to care for, easy to set up, and designed to be as comfortable as possible for every body type. This is why they only make one model.
If you are in the 98-99% of people who will love this mattress (and may someday write some of the best Tuft & Needle mattresses reviews yourself), then you have every reason to save hundreds to thousands of dollars and discover why this mattress is, above all, a viral sensation.
As more companies try to improve on the model that Tuft & Needle has pioneered, it is important to remember that they are also continuing to strive to create the best one-size-fits-all mattress for every consumer at the lowest price possible.
In this way, they are still the leader in the industry. They continue to call customers and solicit opinions on how to make the best mattress for as little money as possible. They have tried to reach out to older clients by offering a demo store designed for older clients who are suspicious about buying products sight unseen.
Unlike most mattress stores, however, they are a single-brand store that is more streamlined and without cash registers, more like the model of the Apple Store. This first flagship store is in the owners' hometown of Phoenix, but there is a discussion about bringing more of these stores to targeted locations if it turns out that they are helpful to getting everyone excited about their mattresses.
It's a refreshing viewpoint to find a company that adapts to the way that consumers want to shop and buy, instead of forcing consumers to adapt to a product and model. This kind of forward thinking is likely to keep Tuft & Needle at the forefront of the mattress market for decades to come.
And there's every reason to love that.