Tuft & Needle Mattress Review
Jake Comfort | Updated: May 1, 2019
Tuft & Needle was a unique mattress when it first came out, but since that time it’s faced some stiff competition. There seems to have been an explosion of online mattress retailers that sell easy to ship ready out of the box foam mattresses. As competition has increased in this industry, so has the quality of the products being offered and the deals that consumers can get on them.
So while Tuft & Needle was once an innovative and fresh offering in the world of mattresses, they now have to deal with competition from Leesa, Brooklyn Bedding, Purple, Helix, and others. Let’s see how the mattress stacks up to the new kids on the block in this review.
© Tuft & Needle
The Tuft & Needle is a bit different from many of the other foam mattresses we’ve looked at in that it is made up of only two layers, instead of the standard three or more that most of the newer companies are doing. While more layers doesn’t automatically mean a mattress is better, it does allow companies to take advantage of the different properties that are found in different materials, and to prioritize these different characteristics by altering the layering order and thickness of them.
© Tuft & Needle
The two layers of foam in the Tuft & Needle mattress have a combined thickness of 10”, which is about average for foam mattresses.
- Top – the top layer of the mattress is made from 4” of poly foam. This layer is intended to provide support, comfort, breathability, and cooling for the mattress.
- Bottom – the bottom layer acts as the foundation of the mattress, and it is made from 7” of base support foam. It provides the bottom support for the mattress while helping it keep its shape.
The cover on the Tuft & Needle is very thin and simple. It helps to keep the mattress cool while allowing sleepers to more directly experience the foam layers of the mattress. The thinness of the cover also helps the mattress breath to take heat away.
However, because the cover is so thin, it doesn’t provide the same sort of softness or pressure relief that you get in other similar foam mattresses or in traditional mattresses. This may be something that puts people off the Tuft & Needle mattress.
The basic design of the cover might not look fancy, but keep in mind it will usually be covered with sheets anyway. Additionally, by opting for a basic design, Tuft & Needle can keep their prices down. This is something of a trend with Tuft & Needle design, as they look for ways to remove many of the frills you find on mattresses and focus on providing the basics of what you need for a good night’s sleep.
Firmness, Feel, Support
© Tuft & Needle
The Tuft & Needle is intended to be comfortable for the vast majority of sleepers. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being least firm and 10 being most firm, the Tuft & Needle ranks at a solid 6.5. That means it’s a bit more firm that average, but will still be comfortable for most sleepers.
The Tuft & Needle mattress used to be more firm, but over the years they’ve gradually softened it so that it will work for a wider range of customers. This has worked out for them, as in the past the mattress was mostly suitable to back and stomach sleepers. Now that the mattresses is a bit softer it is good for side sleepers as well. The foams they use feel like a mix between latex and memory foams, providing a responsiveness that isn’t instant, but also isn’t slow. The contouring aspects of it share similar qualities, it doesn’t tightly hug you, but you don’t feel as if you’re floating on top of the mattress.
There’s something different about the feel of a Tuft & Needle mattress. It’s not a bad feeling, but it’s also not remarkable. The foams and designs used, as well as the layering strategy, is very basic. On one side this does help keep the price down, but you do lose a lot from the feel you could have from another foam mattress.
Moreover, the foam seems to have something of an identity crisis. While most foam mattress companies try to get the right mix of attributes out of the foams they use to get the best possible sleep experience, the Tuft & Needle mattress sits between the latex side of things that provides good bounce and cooling, and the memory foam qualities of pressure relief and contour. It doesn’t go far enough in either direction to get the best results, and feels like indecision.
Another thing to note is that by decreasing the firmness of the mattress Tuft & Needle has reduced the support the mattress offers. Firmness and support aren’t necessarily the same thing, but the soft mattress doesn’t afford the same support that the firmer design did. The softer mattress also has more issues with sinkage than the previous iterations of the Tuft & Needle had.
On the whole the Tuft & Needle isn’t a bad mattress, it’s just not great. The use of only two layers and using a top layer that can’t seem to decide if it wants bounce and breathability or contour and hug result in a mattress that is decent, but not great. It does save consumers some money though, and it’s sure to be an improvement if you’re sleeping on an older mattress or one that doesn’t suite your needs anymore.
© Tuft & Needle
Our sinkage tests are conducted with an individual who weighs ~140lbs. In all of the tests except for the sitting tests the researcher’s weight was evenly distributed as in normal sleep. The slight edge sit test involves sitting on the edge of the bed but not applying the full weight of your body pressure to it, while the full edge sit involves putting all of your body pressure on the bed.
- Laying on back – this test resulted in 1” of sinkage
- Laying on side – we measured 1.5” of sinkage when laying on the side.
- Slight edge sit – lightly sitting on the edge created 3.5” of sinkage.
- Full edge sit – fully sitting on the edge resulted in 5” of sinkage
- Standing in middle – standing in the middle of the bed with both feet created 6” of sinkage.
Keep in mind that the weight of a person will affect the amount of sinkage, so you may get different results. On the whole these numbers roughly line up with the sinkage that we measure in similar foam mattresses, although the Tuft & Needle went a bit deeper on the full edge test and the standing in the middle test than many of the newer foam combo mattresses on the market today.
The prices on a Tuft & Needle mattress are a bit lower than many of the closest competitors. The tradeoff for this is that the sleep experience we had with the Tuft & Needle wasn’t up to the same level of quality as some of its competition, and we feel that the price difference is wide enough to justify the performance difference.
© Tuft & Needle
- Shipping – The Tuft & Needle will show up at your door compressed in a box in 1-5 days, and the shipping is free.
- Warranty – Tuft & Needle offers a 10 year warranty on their mattress, which is standard for the industry.
- Trial – customers have 100 nights to see if the Tuft & Needle is right for them.
- Made in the USA
Should I Buy the Tuft & Needle Mattress?
We can talk about and compare the Tuft & Needle mattress all day, but the real question you’re probably asking is whether or not you should buy it. While the Tuft & Needle was a solid choice for online mattress options when the industry first started, they haven’t done as good of a job keeping up with the trends in the industry as we’d like to see from them.
Specifically, the Tuft & Needle seems to have tried to do too much, and so doesn’t do anything well enough to be noteworthy. The top foam layer as some breathability and some contour, but it sits awkwardly between a cool sleep and a nice gentle hug. The reduction of firmness now means the mattress will appeal to more people, but that heavier sleepers and those who sleep on the edge of the bed won’t get the same quality experience they’d get with other options.
That being said, the Tuft & Needle mattress is still one of the cheapest foam mattress options around, and it will be a dramatic improvement for anyone sleeping on an older mattress or older style of mattress. However, there are a few competitors who have a reasonably close price and that offer a much better product. If you’re considering the Tuft & Needle mattress we recommend checking out the Leesa, Love & Sleep, and eLuxurySupply options. These companies have a price point very near to the Tuft & Needle , but they use more advanced materials and construction techniques to produce a mattress that performs better overall. Moreover, these companies have produced products that succeed at the goal that Tuft & Needle set for itself. Namely, they use combinations of materials in layers to maximize the desirable qualities of the different foams used while minimizing any potential drawbacks. As a result, for a few dollars more (but still below the average cost for this category of mattress) you can have a much more enjoyable rest. After all, mattresses are expected to last at least 10 years, and given that you’ll be sleeping on it almost every night it’s far better to spend a bit more and get a mattress you can be happy with for the next decade.