Buying a mattress can be such a surreal experience that comedy acts from Monty Python to Key and Peele have done fan-favorite skits about the process. And the founders of Tuft and Needle agreed. In 2012, they launched their company to develop foam mattresses you can buy online without the hassle and expense of navigating your local mattress outlet.
Many buyers find walking into a mattress store much like running an obstacle course that will part them with too much of their money before they can escape. You'll find a large room full of an overwhelming array of models that all look the same and all cost too much with a flock of hungry sales people hovering over you.
A well-constructed, comfortable queen-sized mattress can set you back as much as $3,000; that’s why so many retailers have in-store financing. The problem with spending that much money is that it’s still no guarantee of quality. Sure, you can bounce up and down on the models at the store if you don’t feel too silly. But, you still don't know how it sleeps until you get it home and get to know it a little better.
What’s Different about a Tuft and Needle Mattress?
Although you may see similar models now, Tuft and Needle was one of the first companies to sell compressed foam mattresses you could buy online. This meant no more wasting your weekend scouting local retailers to find a new mattress. A simple click of the button guarantees that in just a few days, your new mattress will arrive.
Along with this revolutionary concept, Tuft and Needle constructs their mattresses out of two layers of foam suitable for the average sleeper. The first layer provides a soft, cooling surface that molds itself to the sleeper’s body and shape. The second layer provides support.
In their 10-inch tall mattress, the top layer is 3 inches of Tuft and Needle’s proprietary poly foam blend. Designed with a 2.9-pound density per square foot, it reacts quickly when you lay down on it, sinking gently to cradle you above the support layer. This very high-density poly foam provides durability similar to the that of a latex mattress, but without the cost factor or possible allergy risks.
The base layer offers 7 inches of foam with a density of 1.8 pounds per square foot. This layer provides support for the “comfort layer” above and gives the mattress its structure.
These poly foam layers often beat out latex or memory foam for breathability, as well, providing better airflow and keeping you cooler at night.
How Does the Tuft and Needle Mattress Perform?
Industry specialists have devised some ways to measure how well a mattress performs. Many of these metrics can be subjective, however. On the whole, professional reviewers and consumer advocates have rated the Tuft and Needle mattress under specific performance categories.
Based on the supposition that extra layers and the glue that binds them can restrict air flow, Tuft and Needle uses only two layers of foam. Along with minimal layers, the company also uses a proprietary poly foam on the top layer. They call it their “T&N Adaptive Foam,” which they say contains gel and graphite. This helps draw heat from the sleeper’s body, providing a cooling effect for better slumber.
The zippered mattress ticking consists of Tactel fabric, which feels silky while providing coolness. This soft, washable material wicks moisture away from the mattress to protect without the unpleasant smell and feel of a mattress pad. It’s also a fast-drying material, which means you’ll sleep in dry, cool comfort more quickly if you’re subject to night sweats.
Both professional and customer reviews of Tuft and Needle mattress construction noted that it’s a better fit for the average-sized sleeper than those on either end of the spectrum. Some small sleepers (under 130 pounds) found that the top layer didn’t compress well enough to mold to their shape. On the other end, larger sleepers (over 250 pounds) found the 3-inch top layer a little too thin. This left them to rest completely on the foundation bottom layer, which many found too firm for their liking. On the plus side, for average-sized users, the top comfort layer provided just enough give to feel cozy without giving the sometimes-suffocating feel of memory foam.
Part of how a mattress keeps you comfortable throughout the night is how well it distributes your weight in every position. Most sleepers rotate throughout a repertoire of sleep positions, from side to back to belly.
Those who primarily sleep on their backs found that the Tuft and Needle mattress provided adequate lumbar support if the sleeper was of average size. This means the top layer managed to conform to the curve of the lower back without misaligning their hips. It also means the layer was sufficient to keep them above the lower, firmer layer.
The Tuft and Needle mattress is a bit less kind to side sleepers, some of whom found the top layer didn’t provide enough support to reduce the pressure on their hips or shoulders. An additional mattress pad or topper may alleviate that problem, however.
Some smaller stomach sleepers found the top layer too firm to sink properly and provide alignment to the spine. Again, a softer topper pad may provide a less resilient top layer for comfort.
All professional reviewers and consumer groups rated the Tuft and Needle mattress at a mid-range firmness. The company aims to please the average customer and provides a medium firmness level. The softer top layer and the firmer foundation provides a compromise that aims to suit the majority.
One area where the Tuft and Needle fails to deliver is edge firmness. Although some customers found it supportive enough to keep them from sliding, others felt like they were “falling off the edge” of the mattress.
This seems to be a common downfall of foam mattresses in general, rather than just Tuft and Needle. Unlike traditional mattresses, there’s no internal support or edge stitching to provide a stiffer edge around the mattress. Larger sleepers and those who share a bed may find this an off-putting disadvantage.
On the other hand, if you find edge seams and trim cause unnecessary pressure on your legs or arms, you’ll appreciate this aspect of foam mattresses.
One place where the Tuft and Needle mattress shines is in the elimination of motion transfer. If you sleep with a partner or small, bouncy children, their tossing, turning, and other movements can transfer throughout the mattress and disturb you while sleeping.
Most foam mattresses score well in this department, and the T&N mattress proved true to the standards. Light sleepers and parents who co-sleep with small children will find the motion transfer reduction a huge benefit.
Tuft and Needle provides a 10-year warranty for their foam mattress. Unfortunately, this relatively new company hasn’t been around long enough to check their record. However, their mattresses have been rigorously tested through mechanical simulation tests. And it did beautifully: After an 8-year simulated use test, the T&N brand showed little damage, sag, or loss of firmness.
Tuft and Needle mattresses come in a wide range of sizes, from twin to California king size. All of their base mattresses are 10 inches tall.
39 x 75 inches
39 x 80 inches
54 x 75 inches
60 x 80 inches
80 x 76 inches
84 x 72 inches
One of the more significant benefits of the Tufts and Needle mattress is the 100-night trial period on offer. This allows you to try it out and see how it fits. Best of all, should you decide it’s not the right mattress for you, just donate to a local charity for a full refund.
Boasting a toxin-free and odor-free sleep experience, Tuft and Needle holds three important certifications:
Passes gas and chemical standards
Made with low emissions to create healthier indoor environments
Free from more than 300 toxic chemicals
All the materials for the T&N mattress are designed and manufactured in the U.S. With ticking made by a family-owned mill in the Carolinas, and the sewing and packing process completed in California, Tuft and Needle supports US manufacturers and crafters with their sourcing policies.
What Do Tuft and Needles Customers Have to Say?
Consumers who love the T&N mattress haven’t held back on their glowing opinions. You’ll find dozens of consumer reviews online on sites like Consumer Reports and Yelp, and thousands of reviews on Amazon.
Consumer Reports customer feedback includes 48 reviews at the time of this writing, with an average score of 4.2 stars out of 5. Favorable reviews cited low price, comfort, and great customer service.
Tuft and Needle Yelp reviews refer to their brick and mortar showrooms in Arizona. With a total of 142 reviews for these locations, they scored an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars for customer satisfaction.
Many of the 5-star reviews mentioned the low cost and convenience, as well as the lack of pushy sales tactics. Other great reviews referred to relief from back pain. Others with chronic pain issues, like fibromyalgia, lauded the mattress for the best night’s sleep they’d had in ages. Even those who didn’t find it a good fit for them left five stars for their superior customer service and donation program.
The few negative reviews centered mainly on long waits at the showroom.
- PROVEN: We're not shy to say, people love us; This mattress has one of the highest percentages of five star reviews...
- PROPRIETARY ADAPTIVE FOAM: Constructed with freshly poured T and N Adaptive foam, this mattress provides a bouncy yet...
- NOT HOT, NOT COLD, JUST RIGHT: Our high grade foam is more advanced than outdated materials such as latex and memory...
Since Amazon primarily serves as a warehouse and distributor, many reviews for products focus on Amazon’s delivery problems rather than the quality of the actual products. Although the retailer makes some attempt to weed out these irrelevant reviews, it’s a Herculean task for sure. This is especially true considering that Tuft and Needle enjoys over 6,500 Amazon reviews at the time of this writing.
Regardless, T&N rates an average of 4.2 out of 5 stars from these 6,500+ reviews, with an 85 percent rate of positive or very positive reviews. The majority cited the right combination of softness and support, with many saying it was much superior to the memory foam mattresses they’ve tried. Many also referenced T&N’s extraordinary service.
A small number, about 5 percent, truly disliked the mattress and found that it didn’t offer the sleep quality and support they expected. As stated above, smaller and larger sleepers may find the 3-inch top layer either too resistant for their weight or not thick enough for a heavier weight.
Very few complained about the price.
TUFT AND NEEDLE PRICING
Speaking of price points, Tuft and Needle provides a bargain basement price for their foam mattress when compared to the price of a conventional mattress. Ranging from around $350 for the twin size up to $750 for the two king sizes, the tiny price tag beats even the thriftiest budget box set.
How Tuft and Needle Compares to Other Foam Mattresses
With so many consumers falling in love with the ease of online mattress shopping, plenty of other companies have lept into the market. This even includes traditional mattress brands like Sealy and Serta. However, taking a look at a few of the newer brands in competition, let’s compare price, rating, and customer satisfaction.
- ULTIMATE KING BED - Our king size mattress distributes equalized pressure and supports proper spine alignment. Together,...
- MOTION ISOLATION - Purple Innovations designed this king sized mattress using sleep science and leading technology to...
- FREE-FLOW AIR CHANNELS - The Free Air Flow technology with breathable channels neutralizes temperatures and won’t trap...
Purple’s foam mattress features a “Smart Comfort Grid” for temperature control and superior support. With a top layer of 2-inches of their proprietary “Hyper-Elastic Polymer™” along with a middle layer and a foundation layer, it also features a breathable ticking cover.
Purple customer reviews
The company boasts of over 13,000 reviews on its website, with an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Consumer Reports customer reviews, however, are less enthusiastic. Consumer Reports gave it a 76 rating, but customer reviews averaged at only 3.4 over 28 reviews. Complaints cited indifferent customer service, and others said that the mattress itself was too firm while the topper layer developed permanent indentations from use.
Amazon customers gave Purple 4.1 stars out of 5, and the product FAQ reveals that Amazon buyers may not get the 100-night trial.
The price point for the Purple foam bed runs significantly higher than that of Tuft and Needle, with the twin size currently priced at $699. At the top end, the California king size is $1,299. One disadvantage is that they don’t offer an extra-long twin suitable for growing teens and adult singles. Purple does offer a financing option for their mattresses, however.
- Our mattress: Great things come in small packages. The Leesa mattress in a box is beautifully designed with three...
- Cooling comfort: Our exclusive high quality foam’s microcell structure promotes airflow while still providing the...
- Made in USA: The Leesa mattress is designed, assembled and manufactured in the USA with high-performance foams.
Leesa is another popular foam mattress brand, also featuring a height of 10 inches. In this case, you get a three-layer mattress comprising a 2-inch foam layer that promises to keep you cool, a 2-inch layer of memory foam, and a 6-inch layer of dense core foam for foundational support.
Leesa customer reviews
Leesa also features many five-star reviews on its website.
However, Consumer Reports only gave it a 68 rating, with customer reviews averaging 3.2 stars out of 5 with a total of 22 reviews. Many negative reviews mentioned poor customer service, an annoying return process, chemical odors, and increased back pain.
Amazon reviewers gave Leesa 4 out of 5 stars.
Cost for the Leesa foam mattress is higher than that for Tuft and Needle, with the twin currently listed for $525. At the top end, their king and California king come in at $1,195. Leesa offers a quick financing option through their website
How we reviewed
We performed a systemic review including those from industry experts, consumer advocate sites, and thousands of customers to collate the most significant and outstanding features and flaws of the Tuft and Needle mattress. Since many manufacturer site reviews are often obtained with incentives, we focused mainly on those independent sites like Consumer Reports, Consumer Affairs, and Yelp.
Our Quick Takeaway
Nothing in life is perfect, especially a one-size-fits-all mattress for under $600 that you can buy online. However, Tuft and Needle's customer service and generous trial period certainly compensates for its minor flaws. You'll find the pros hold more weight than any cons when it comes to T&N.
Tuft and Needle
T&N Adaptive Foam
4.2 out of 5.0
4.5 out of 5.0
4.2 out of 5.0
Smart Comfort Grid
3.4 out of 5.0
4.1 out of 5.0
10 Inches Height
3.2 out of 5.0
4.0 out of 5.0
Putting This Review to Bed
Sleepers of average size may find this to be the best inexpensive foam mattress on the market. It’s proven itself in durability tests as well as garnering thousands of positive reviews from delighted customers.
Side sleepers, especially those on the heavy side, may want to choose a different mattress or consider adding another layer as a mattress topper. This will give them a deeper cushion to buffer sinking hips and shoulders against the firmer foundation level.
Lastly, it also enjoys an endorsement from Consumer Reports. Certainly beating out the competition, with a respectable 4.2 out of five stars from Consumer Reports, who put it first on the best mattresses under $600.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive new mattress of medium firmness and willing to take a chance on an in-the-box model, Tuft and Needle is the place to start. Choosing a mattress is a very personal and subjective decision. So, it’s reassuring to know that if your T&N mattress isn’t right for you, you can donate it to a worthy charity and still get a full refund to boot.