2016 Update – after 18 months of mattress testing and sleeping on over 45 different mattresses a lot has changed since I first reviewed Tuft & Needle. Below is my updated review, summary, and analysis. The quick summary? Tuft and Needle was once a unique offering, however, many competitors are now creating better products at a similar or sometimes even lower price point…Example: eLuxury makes a very similar mattress for $82 less, Leesa, GhostBed, and Brooklyn Bedding offer a more balanced feel and use better materials (in my opinion), & Purple is innovating with their hyper elastic polymer mattress. My advice…don’t simply buy Tuft & Needle without considering all of the options available.
Tuft and Needle is among a handful of new mattress companies who are shaking up the industry in a big way. Gone are the days of extravagant mattress show rooms, middle-men, and $3,000 beds that come with remote controls. But can a $600 10″ polyfoam mattress really create amazing sleep? Continue reading below to find out!
In a bit of a rush? Click here to skip down to the review summary.
The Tuft and Needle mattress is built from 2 layers of foam to a total thickness of 10″.
- Top layer (comfort) – the top layer of the Tuft and Needle is a 3.0″ layer of polyfoam. It is 2.9 PCF (pounds per cubic foot). This layer is designed to provide most of the comfort, support, and cooling for the mattress.
- Bottom layer (foundational) – the bottom layer of the Tuft and Needle is a 7.0″ of base support foam. It is a 1.8 PCF. This layer creates the foundational support for the mattress and provides shape also.
The cover is 100% white, quite simple, and thin. The thinness is by design and helps to improve the cooling of the mattress, while also allowing sleepers to more directly contact the foam layers. The thin cover is in contrast to more traditional quilted padded covers, which create more immediate softness and pressure relief (ex. Nest’s Alexander or Brooklyn Bedding).
Aesthetically the cover is basic. It doesn’t make much of a statement and is reminiscent of the all white rectangles you’d see stacked along a typical mattress store. That said, I suspect this is probably by design, as a cheaper cover allows Tuft & Needle to keep their prices a little bit lower. Tuft and Needle seems to have tried to remove many of the bells and whistles and get down to really the basics of the mattress.
Firmness, Feel, & Support
The Tuft and Needle comes in at 6-6.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale. Over the course of the last 2 years Tuft and Needle has gradually decreased the firmness of their mattress. This is the 4th Tuft and Needle mattress I’ve tried. The first was extremely firm, an 8-8.5 out of 10. The second, slightly softer at a 7.5. The third, softer yet at a 7 out of 10 on the firmness scale. Their most recent mattress is much closer to a medium, 6’ish out of 10, which is the most common firmness level, especially for online bed-in-a-box mattresses.
By making their mattress closer to a medium feel Tuft & Needle has become a mattress more suitable to a wider range of sleepers. When it was firmer it was really only a good option for back and stomach sleepers, but the increase in softness makes it a suitable option for side sleepers now as well. The feel of the foams is something of an in-between of the feel of latex and memory foam. The response isn’t instant, but it’s not slow either. Similarly, the contour isn’t pronounced, but it’s also not floating either.
Tuft & Needle’s feel is a strange one for me. There’s nothing tremendously negative about it, but there’s not all that positive either. It sits in a weird middle area. It’s not that I don’t like it, but it’s not a mattress I really enjoyed sleeping on. The design and foams used are very simple, which helps keep the price down…which is great, but you do give up something in terms of feel.
Personally, I wish the foam was a bit more in any direction. A bit more like latex it would add a nice degree of bounce, cooling, and response or it could be a bit more like memory foam, with more pressure relief and contouring. Sitting in the middle leaves me wanting something more.
Historically, Tuft & Needle mattresses have had excellent support. This in large part came from their mattresses having a firmer feel in the 7-8.5 range. By decreasing the firmness they have also given up a certain level of support also. Firmness doesn’t always equate support, but in this case I feel like the extra firm feels were helping them. At a 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale you have more softness, but it also creates a more noted level of sinkage, which created a lack of support for me during my sleep tests.
Overall, the feel of the Tuft and Needle is simply not among my favorite mattresses. Using a polyfoam comfort layer instead of visco elastic memory foam or latex is a mistake in my opinion. It just causes the mattress to feel a bit lacking. I appreciate their desire to create a mattress that’s less expensive, but their cost cutting approach results in a bed that simply doesn’t perform nearly as well as many of their competitors.
All mattress reviews on Sleepopolis go through a short series of sinkage tests. I created these tests to help my readers understand the different level of sinkage and hug, and how those variations compare across a wide range of mattresses.
- Lying on back – in a normal lying position on my back I experienced 1-1.5″ of sinkage.
- Lying on side – in a normal side lying position I experienced 1-1.5″ of sinkage.
- Sitting on edge (conservative) – in a normal sitting position, where I was sitting a bit further back on the mattress, I saw 3.5″ of sinkage.
- Sitting on edge (aggressive) – in a more aggressive sitting position, where I was sitting directly on the edge of the mattress, I saw 4.5-5″ of sinkage.
- Standing in middle – while standing directly in the middle of the mattress I saw 5″ of sinkage.
Bear in mind that your sinkage levels will vary based on your weight. For your reference I weight 140 pounds.
- Shipping – free shipping, comes compressed in a box in 1-5 days
- Warranty – 10 years
- Trial Period – 100 nights
- Discounts – none available
- Made in the USA
The final and big question, is the Tuft and Needle mattress truly right for you? When you look at Tuft and Needle with respect to the universe of online mattresses available it is clear that it is a very average mattress. While it may be an upgrade over the current mattress you’re sleeping on, there are likely even better mattresses available at a similar price level.
When I first reviewed the Tuft and Needle I was fairly impressed with it. However, over the course of the last couple of years dozens of new companies have stepped up to challenge Tuft and Needle. Many of these companies are creating better products in my opinion. As a result, I no longer would recommend Tuft and Needle mattress. Below are similar mattresses and price points that I think offer much better overall value and performance:
- eLuxurySupply – has a feel very similar to Tuft and Needle, but uses a better visco elastic memory foam instead of Tuft & Needle’s polyfoam. This is a more durable foam and simply feels better in my opinion. It still has the slightly firmer feel, but has a more balanced hug and better support for a wider range of sleepers. Additionally, it’s $82 cheaper than Tuft & Needle in the Queen size (when discounts applied).
- Leesa – one of my personal favorites and one of the best overall values for mattresses, both on and offline. Has a much more balanced feel and is a good bit softer at a 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale. Foam layers are thicker and the foams are high density, which results in better longevity.
- GhostBed – strikes a nice in between balance at a 6.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale. Thicker comfort layer at 3.5″ and higher density foams, which results in better longevity.
- See my full list of mattress reviews for other options