Tuft & Needle Review (2020): Honest & Unbiased Product Guide

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Our extensive analysis of the Tuft & Needle Original Mattress alongside our comparison guide aims to provide you with all you need to know about what it’s like hitting the sack with this sleeper-favorite mattress.  

Back in the day, shopping for a mattress meant physically going to the store, lying down on different grades and types of cushions, making your selection, then waiting for days to have your new mattress delivered. That was how tedious it was until the whole bed-in-a-box movement changed the entire bedding industry forever.

Bed-in-a-box is literally just that, a mattress you ordered online and sent straight to your doorstep, stuffed inside a box. While having your mattress curled up might sound strange to others, beds-in-boxes are all the rage right now, thanks to their online accessibility and long trial periods. And one company that’s been around to give sleepers a constant good night’s rest is Tuft & Needle.

Tuft & Needle: What’s In A Name?

tuft & needle mattress

“Who wants to sleep on something associated with needles?” is a good question Tuft & Needle’s two founders asked themselves when they were trying to come up with a catchy name for their newly-formed company. Regardless, the founders decided to stick with the captivating name because, admittedly, needles were a considerable part of their learning experience in fabricating their first hand-crafted mattress from scratch.  

The word “tuft,” on the other hand, refers to the sewn up button that holds the materials in place. This helps to keep the mattress in its original form, despite the heavy usage and deterioration.   

With the two word combination in place, Tuft & Needle (often stylized as “T&N”) was born. It’s impressive to note that with just an initial capital of $6,000, the e-commerce startup now rakes in over $180 million in revenue and is among the leading brands in the sleep industry.  

T&N’s Original Mattress, the starter mattress that they launched in 2012, is a favorite among consumers, especially those sleepers who tend to move around their beds frequently at night. T&N hasn’t hopped on the memory foam bandwagon, choosing to use their high-density, proprietary T&N Adaptive foam instead.

A memory foam typically uses the sleeper’s body heat to mold into the sleeper’s shape, allowing for softer support and comfort. In contrast, T&N’s Original Mattress is composed of a cooling gel that traps heat away from a sleeper’s body, resulting in motion and contour isolation on the cushion. Albeit that the T&N Original doesn’t give off that “hugging effect” that a typical memory foam does, the way the mattress is put together still makes it extra comfy.

Other than the signature T&N Adaptive foam, the T&N Original is also made of graphite, which acts as a heat absorber; an open-cell support foam that provides a breathable layer to ensure longer sleep; and a ceramic gel that is responsible for the cooling gel beads that draw out body heat and moisture. The T&N Original Mattress is 10 inches tall and is a medium-firm in the mattress firmness scale. To help you decipher if a T&N Original Mattress is right for you, let’s examine the elements of what makes a perfect bed for each sleeper type.

Mattress Firmness Scale

When you’re out trying mattresses, the first thing you always notice is how “soft,” “plushy,” or “hard” the cushion is. Those are words loosely used when describing the firmness of a mattress and will determine what the consumer is looking for in a bed.    

Generally speaking, mattress firmness refers to the resistance levels that offset against the body when lying down on a mattress.  

This mattress firmness scale from Mattresshelp.org uses this scorecard from 1 to 10, categorizing each firmness level as follows:

  • 1-2: Soft – provides the least amount of support and will cause the sleeper to “sink” into the bed

  • 3-4: Medium-soft  – still on the plush side with some contouring capacity

  • 5-7: Medium-firm – offers a right balance of support and contour comfort

  • 8-10: Firm – hard layer that gives sturdy support and hardly any “sinking.”

The mattress firmness scale is often used in conjunction with two more elements that round up the sleeper guide, namely, Sleeping Positions and Sleeper Weight.

Sleeping Positions

Everyone’s got their favorite sleeping position. Whether it be sleeping on your side, your back, your stomach, or a combination of the three, a person’s sleeping position will most definitely affect, in some way, his or her physical and mental activities for the day. You can figure out here what type of sleeping position you fall in:

side sleepingSide sleeping position – Laying down mostly on either the left or right side of your body, forming a 90-degree angle. This is the most popular one among sleepers. While it’s good for digestion and heartburn reduction (especially those sleeping on the left side), the disadvantages for continually sleeping on your side is that it can cause facial wrinkles on the side of your face that you continuously sleep on and can also cause stiffness on the shoulders. Variants of side sleeping include the lateral side position and the fetal position.

stomach sleeperStomach sleeping position – Laying down mostly on your belly, with the rest of the front side of your body facing the mattress’ surface. Stomach sleepers loosen up when it comes to snoring as airways will be freed up from any fleshy obstructions, but other problems may arise like neck stiffness and nerve pain. Other alternatives to stomach sleeping are the freefall position and the prone position.

back sleeperBack sleeping position – Laying down flat with your backside touching the mattress. Back sleepers who use a pillow to elevate their heads can avoid heartburn, but the dangers of back sleeping include low back pain and aggravated sleep apnea. The supine position, soldier position, and starfish position are among the specific kinds of back sleeping.

Having considered mattress firmness scale and sleeping positions, it’s now time to look into the third element that can help you decide to select the right mattress: your sleeper weight.  

Sleeper Weight

When considering sleeper weight, try also to consider if you will be sleeping with a partner and how much your combined weights will be. 

Lightweight Sleepers  (less than 130 lbs.) – Due to their feathery frame, lightweight sleepers don’t cause a deep depression into a mattress as they lay down, utilizing only the mattresses’ upper comfort layers the most. Lightweight sleepers generally prefer a soft mattress.

Average-weight Sleepers (from 130 to 200 lbs.) – This weight group tends to choose medium-soft or medium-firm mattresses.  Their standard size allows for a right balance of motion isolation in bed, as well as contour comfort in the foam.

Heavyweight Sleepers (200 lbs. and over) – Considering their cumbersome weight, heavyweight sleepers will naturally depress a mattress deeper, needing a firmer support core to counterbalance the “sinking” sensation. The best mattresses for heavyweight sleepers range between the medium-firm and firm levels.

Now that all the elements for choosing the right mattress are in place, we can now discuss in greater detail what makes Tuft & Needle’s Original Mattress a game-changer mattress brand and who gains the best advantage from sleeping on them.     

What are the core strengths of a T&N Original Mattress?

On the mattress firmness scale, the T&N Original Mattress ranks a 7, making it a medium-firm mattress. This medium-firm rating provides for a harder pressure relief than usual. It also curtails any noise-making sounds when shifting around the bed, owing to its excellent motion isolation control. This benefit is perfect for those who easily wake up whenever their partner moves around their shared bed frequently. The medium-firm rating, likewise, prevents easy sinkage on the bed, allowing consumers to sit, meditate, work, or copulate on top of their beds easily.

On the flip side, the T&N Original Mattress doesn’t provide the same kind of plushy comfort that a memory foam offers, nor does it offer strong edge support, owing to its non-inclusion of coil springs into its layers.

Who Can Benefit The Most from a T&N Original Mattress?

While the T&N Original Mattress can serve anyone looking for a peaceful slumber, it’s mostly recommended for side sleepers and some back sleepers who weigh average and heavy. The medium-firmness feel is just right for those who can sleep on their sides and backs because it gives them sufficient support without any worry of sagging and heating up. It’s not recommended for stomach sleepers as the level of firmness could potentially cause misalignment between the hips and the shoulders, resulting in back pain later in the day.  

The T&N Original Mattress is ideal for average-weight sleepers who can thrive on a balanced mix of contour comfort and proper pressure relief. Lightweight sleepers might find the T&N Original Mattress too stiff for their frames. On the other hand, heavyweight sleepers could rely on the T&N Original Mattress to some extent, especially for those who weigh over 230 lbs. but not too far from it.  

Most people choose the T&N Original Mattress as the best regular foam mattress for those with back pain and weighing under 200 lbs. because it allows them ease getting in and out of bed or shifting around in different positions.   

T&N Original Mattress is also the best foam choice for pregnant mothers, owing to its adaptive contour support, superior motion isolation control, and flexible body heat regulation features.

Comparing T&N Original Mattress vs. Other Brands

The Tuft & Needle Original Mattress does indeed offer excellent benefits and extra features. Still, it’s also good to see the bigger picture and see how it compares to other top mattress brands in the sleeping arena today. We’ve listed four leading mattress providers to see just how well T&N Original Mattress fares against them

Novaform ComfortGrande

Novaform’s main attraction is its memory foam made of its proprietary EVENcor Gel Plus material, which adapts to any temperature in the bedroom. Be it warm or cold, Novaform ComfortGrande’s mattress feels just right. Compared to the T&N Original Mattress’ two-foam layers, Novaform has three premium layers that provide optimum comfort and solid support.  

Comparably, the Novaform ComfortGrande uses the malleable memory foam mattress while T&N’s consists of the sinkage-resistant polyfoam. The Novaform ComfortGrande only comes in Queen and King sizes, while T&N’s Original Mattress comes in all sizes, from Twin to California King. Even though both brands register medium-firm in the mattress firmness level, Novaform ComfortGrande measures a whopping 14 inches high compared to T&N’s 10 inches tall.  

Price-wise, T&N’s Original Mattress costs about $595 for a queen-sized cushion, with a 100-night trial period. That’s a lot cheaper and longer relatively, compared to Novaform ComfortGrande’s price listed at $871 for a queen-sized mattress, with only a 20-night trial period.

Bloom Hybrid by Brooklyn Bedding

Admittedly, there’s already a massive divide between Tuft & Needle’s Original Mattress compared to Bloom Hybrid by Brooklyn Bedding. In terms of pricing alone, a standard queen-sized mattress for T&N costs $595, while Bloom Hybrid can go as high as $1,800. The staggering price difference owes to Bloom Hybrid’s materials, Talalay latex, which is extracted from rubber trees, Joma Wool, which is shorn from crossbred sheep in New Zealand, and an organic cotton cover.  

Bloom Hybrid consists of 3 layers of foam and inner coil springs, which give the mattress better reactivity and minimize sleep disturbance from extra movements. The Bloom Hybrid also offers more options in the mattress firmness scale. You can choose from soft, medium, and firm.  While a T&N Original Mattress can be reversible, the Bloom Hybrid, meanwhile, isn’t.  

Brooklyn Bedding offers a 120-trial period for testing out a Bloom Hybrid mattress with a 10-year warranty.  Bloom Hybrid comes in all sizes, from Twin to California King.

Casper Nova Hybrid

Casper is undeniably one of Tuft & Needle’s fiercest competitor in the bed-in-a-box industry.  Launching just two years after T&N, Casper has made a name for itself, thanks to its diverse product line and attention-grabbing content marketing strategies. The Nova Hybrid is their newest product, which boasts an optimum balance between superior plushness and pressure relief and support.

The Nova Hybrid consists of 2 layers of polyfoam at the top, to offer utmost comfort, matched with another 7 layers of foam and coils to provide strong support at the bottom. This mattress, unlike T&N Original Mattress, is made of memory foam, and it boasts of a sensation like sinking into a cloud. So definitely, in contrast with T&N, Casper Nova Hybrid is ideal for lightweight sleepers, and those who can sleep in any position as long as the contouring comfort is high.   

The Casper Nova Hybrid mattress is, however, a lot more expensive than T&N, costing about $1,696 for a queen-sized cushion. They ship anywhere to the U.S. for free and offer a 100-night risk-free trial.

Nectar Foam Mattress

Nectar Sleep, the Nectar Foam Mattress manufacturer, launched in 2016, even much later than Tuft & Needle and Casper. Yet, it’s established its foothold in the bedding industry as a key player, likewise. Nectar Foam Mattress is also a memory foam mattress, with five layers of foam comprising the 11-inch high cushion. It boasts constant airflow to keep you cool through the night and minimizes motion transfer while your sleep partner moves around.  

On the mattress firmness scale, the Nectar registers at 6.5, which means it’s a medium-firm, just like the T&N Original. The Nectar’s comfort layer, meanwhile, is much thicker than that of the T&N Original, which makes it more suited towards side sleepers. The memory foam layers allow for greater sinkage, relieving pressure on your hips and shoulders much better than the T&N Original.  

Costing $799 for a queen-sized mattress, the Nectar is more expensive than T&N. Nonetheless, the Nectar offers the most extended trial period of all the brands, allowing you a full 365 nights to test out a mattress, with free shipping and free returns. 

That flexible trial period and waived surcharges are definitely what draws a good chunk of sleepers toward the Nectar Foam Mattress.

Comparing T&N Original Mattress vs. other T&N mattress types

While we’re at it, we decided to go ahead and also size up the Original Mattress against two other mattresses in the Tuft & Needle product line so you can get a more precise assessment of which mattress will suit you best.

Tuft & Needle Mint Mattress

tuft and needle mint mattress

In 2018, six years after Tuft & Needle broke out into the online bed-in-a-box world with the T&N Original, they launched their upgraded mattress, the T&N Mint. 

Softer and thicker than the Original, the Mint packs in a total of 12 inches of comfort, 2 inches taller than the Original. T&N added an extra layer of foam on the Mint, a transition layer sandwiched between the comfort layer at the top and the support core foam at the bottom.   Both top and bottom layers are also what make up a T&N Original.

On the mattress firmness scale, the Mint measures a 6, which makes it softer than the Original by a point. Unlike the Original, the Mint’s top comfort layer has 30% more graphite, which helps keep body heat at bay, giving the sleeper a much more refreshing sensation.

The most significant difference between the two T&N mattresses is the price. For a queen-sized mattress, the Mint costs $995, which is about $300 more than what you would pay for the Original. Like the Original before it, the Mint is up for trial for 100-nights, with a 10-year warranty on purchase. 

Tuft & Needle Hybrid Mattress

tuft and needle hybrid mattress

In the Tuft & Needle product line, the Hybrid Mattress is the most luxurious one in the set.  The Hybrid has an extra 2 layers of micro-coils and pocketed coils embedded within 4 layers of various cooling and support foams. Like the 2 other T&N mattresses before it, the Hybrid also has the T&N proprietary Adaptive foam that makes sleeping on the sides more comfortable for the hips and shoulders.

The Hybrid measures a 5 in the mattress firmness scale, still categorizing it in the medium-firm level.  The Hybrid’s cover layer, a quilted cover that’s infused with more carbon fiber and graphite than the two, gives this product a five-star hotel mattress feel. Compared to the other 2 mattresses, the Hybrid also is made of foams that have gel-bead materials that make it much cooler to sleep on, even in warmer temperatures.  

As anticipated, the Hybrid comes with a hefty price tag, with a standard queen-sized cushion costing around $1,270. As with the Original and the Mint, it also has a 100-night free trial period with a 10-year warranty. The Hybrid is perfect for side sleepers who value deluxe comfort and support over expenditure.  

Last March, T&N launched its advocacy program of donating a set of twin sheets for every Hybrid mattress purchased to Sleep In Heavenly Peace, a non-profit that sets out to provide bed-less children their very own bed at home.

A Final Word

There’s no question about it, the Tuft & Needle Original Mattress is not a one-size-fits-all type of mattress. It is better suited for back and stomach sleepers who are on a budget, without having to compromise quality and comfort. 

Albeit that T&N hasn’t shifted to memory foams just yet, it’s apparent that they know their strength lies in the durability and reliability of their proprietary foam and other sturdy materials. It’s no wonder that the T&N Original continues to sell steadily among sleepers, despite many different mattress brands popping all over the market. Now, we can finally put this mattress review to bed.

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