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  • What is Tuft & Needle?

  • How did we test the Tuft & Needle Original?

  • What’s it like to unbox the Tuft & Needle Original?

  • What’s great about Tuft & Needle Original mattress?

  • What’s not great about Tuft & Needle?

  • What are Tuft & Needle’s trial, return, and warranty policies?

  • What are current owners saying?

  • Is the Tuft & Needle Original worth it?

  • Related content

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Comfortable

  • Supportive

Cons

  • May be too firm for some

  • Some heat retention

I’m happy to report: I couldn’t have been more wrong. I felt nothing when the Tuft & Needle mattress review; I bring a new mattress home every month. But by the time testing was over, I was gutted to say goodbye. The least I could do was crown it our “best mattress you can buy online.”

What is Tuft & Needle?

Tuft & Needle may not have the immediate name recognition of Casper and Nectar. Founded in 2012, the brand became known for high-quality, affordable boxed mattresses. The company has three models: the Original mattress, the Mint mattress, and the Hybrid mattress. We tested the most popular and cheapest model, the Original.

The brand has also branched into products like sheets, blankets, and pillows. (We like its foam pillow for side sleeping.) They also carry a handful of bed frames and bases.

How did we test the Tuft & Needle Original?

hands press into the surface of the Tuft & Needle Original mattress
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

We put the Tuft & Needle through a month-long sleep test and lab tests to determine whether it retains heat, how supportive it is, and more.

Our mattress testing has two key components: an at-home sleep test and lab tests. In the home tests, I spend a full month sleeping on it. I assess a variety of criteria, including a mattress’s comfort, how well it cradles and supports my body in different sleep positions, whether it’s good at motion isolation (that is, whether or not I feel “motion transfer” disturbances when another person or my rather large cat moves around on the bed), and if it sleeps hot throughout the night.

In the lab, our scientists check mattresses for heat retention by monitoring the bed’s temperature under a heated blanket. They examine its cradling capabilities based on how well it curves up beneath a heavy barbell. They also test its supportiveness and bounciness around the edges, corners, and interior by dropping and balancing a bowling ball.

What’s it like to unbox the Tuft & Needle Original?

Extricating the Tuft & Needle Original from its packaging was like most other mattress unboxings. At 72 pounds of somewhat floppy foam, it wasn’t easy. But it still weighs less than many competitors, and was less squirrelly than others, making it above average for maneuverability.

It did have the familiar mild chemical odor common with foam mattresses, but it wasn’t particularly noticeable, and was almost entirely gone by the next day. That’s a major plus; one mattress we tested stank for the better part of a month. The mattress was unremarkable at first, but once testing began, it was incredible.

What’s great about Tuft & Needle Original mattress?

a woman sits and reads on the Tuft & Needle Original mattress
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Tuft & Needle Original has a firm surface that is forgiving, but doesn't suck you in like memory foam.

This mattress is solid in a literal and metaphorical sense—it’s firm. Sure, it’s made entirely of foam layers (it’s not a hybrid mattress of foam and coils), and it flops a bit when you’re moving it, but once it’s planted on a bed frame, it feels like it’s made of something far more substantive.

Experts recommend a firmer sleep surface, since it’s easier to soften up a firm bed with a mattress topper than to firm up one that caves under the slightest pressure. The Tuft & Needle Original’s top "adaptive foam" layer doesn’t have a lot of “memory”. You don’t sink into the foam like quicksand. That’s bolstered by a base layer of support foam that provides further structure.

Co-founder JT Marino told me the company wanted its mattress to feel as though you’re “floating” on top, rather than slowly being enveloped in it. I’ve never felt like I’m floating in any scenario, but lying atop this mattress is as close as I’ve come.

It has good edge support

Edge support refers to how much a mattress’s sides hold up under pressure. Solid foam mattresses usually lack structure around the perimeter, so edge support becomes very relative. But while it could never compare to the structure of an innerspring, the Tuft & Needle was surprisingly supportive.

When lying on the very edge, it didn’t collapse beneath me or make me feel as though I was going to roll off, as some mattresses have. If I fidgeted around enough, I’d probably find myself acquainted with the floor, but for people who like to curl up along the edge of the bed, it should provide sufficient support.

The price can’t be beat

Finally, there’s the price. The Tuft & Needle Original is $695 for a queen. It’s hard to find a good mattress from a reputable brand for less than that. It felt so wonderful to sleep on—better than much pricier beds I’ve tried—that I had to wonder how the company charges so little relative to its competition.

I asked Marino how Tuft & Needle keeps prices so reasonable. “We’ve tried to operate off less of a margin than a typical company would,” he says. It’s impossible to know how true this is, but the comparatively low price doesn’t lie. Even the frequent “deep” discounts other mattress companies offer can’t beat the Tuft & Needle Original’s retail price (which also sees discounts sometimes).

Sleep is an essential investment. It benefits short- and long-term health, affecting mood, focus, energy level, and more. Good mattresses are expensive, but Tuft & Needle provides a less-costly option that can still benefit your nightly rest.

What’s not great about Tuft & Needle?

a close up of the tag on the foot of the Tuft & Needle Original mattress
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

From an aesthetics standpoint, the Tuft & Needle leaves a little something to be desired.

It retains some heat, but dissipates it quickly

One of the biggest concerns with foam mattresses is temperature—the material is known for retaining heat. In lab tests, the Tuft & Needle retained a little more heat than average for a foam mattress. In my personal experience, the heat dissipated quickly.

It may be too firm for some

Yes, this mattress is on the firmer side. It’s not as responsive as memory foams, nor does it give you that hugged sensation that some foam mattresses can. That’s either a pro or con, depending on your preferences.

That said, I never wanted more cushion from the surface layer, even sleeping on my side, which is the position most likely to require pressure relief. On the contrary, I found it more appealingly supportive than many of the other pure foam mattresses I’ve slept on, including Casper and Nectar.

If you sleep on a cushy mattress, or one that’s sagging from years of use, this could take a while to adjust to. I noticed its firmness right off the bat, and I sleep on a new mattress every 30 days. Though the change didn’t bother me, I can see where folks might need to give themselves a bit of time to acclimate.

It’s not aesthetically pleasing

The Tuft & Needle’s design leaves something to be desired. It’s not ugly, but it doesn’t give off the same luxury vibe as other mattresses I’ve tested, like the DreamCloud and Leesa Hybrid.

It doesn’t matter much, since they get covered with sheets and comforters, anyway, and they’re more about function than appearance. But if you want to be impressed by how your bed looks on laundry day, T&N Original isn’t your pick.

What are Tuft & Needle’s trial, return, and warranty policies?

the Tuft & Needle mattress on a bed frame
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Tuft & Needle has a 100 night trial so you can test the mattress for yourself.

Like many mattress-in-a-box companies, Tuft & Needle offers a 100-night trial period. If its Original mattress doesn’t appeal to you as much as it did to me, just fill out the company’s return form before the 100-night window closes.

Tuft & Needle will help you find a local non-profit or charity to take the mattress. If there’s nothing available, they’ll coordinate with a pick-up service at no charge to you. After requesting the return, they’ll provide you with a link. Upload a scan or photo of your donation receipt at that link, and then your refund will be processed.

Tuft & Needle has a 10-year limited warranty on its mattresses. If it sags, develops cracks or fissures in the foam, or exhibits another defect related to its materials or construction, they’ll replace or repair it.

However, there are a few limitations. Mattresses can’t be used in “a manner that’s incompatible with the intended design.” That’s quite important (and also fairly common when it comes to mattress warranties). Using this mattress in the wrong setup might unknowingly void the warranty.

According to Tuft & Needle’s website, its mattresses should be used “on a solid surface that’s structurally capable of supporting the weight of the mattress and user upon it.” A customer service rep confirmed that it’s compatible with box springs and platforms. It can also be used with slats, though they must be less than five inches apart, in order to not negate the warranty.

The floor is another option, though the customer service representative recommended putting something beneath it to prevent it from getting dirty, and propping it “on its side every so often to let it ventilate.”

What are current owners saying?

The overwhelming majority of owner reviews extol the virtues of the Tuft & Needle Original mattress. With over 34,000 reviews, the average rating is 4.6 stars.

Back and stomach sleepers are particularly enamored with the Tuft & Needle Original. One back sleeper wrote, “I am a 5-foot-6, 130-pound woman with a history of low-back pain. The Tuft & Needle provides the right amount of support for me and I'm so happy I finally found a mattress that works!” Some side sleepers mention its firmness as a downside, while others find it provides sufficient cushion.

A handful of reviews speak to the mattress's relative longevity. One customer reviewed their mattress seven years later, writing: “It's a bed that I can't wait to crawl into at the end of each day. Whenever I travel, I find myself wishing that every place had a Tuft & Needle mattress, and I can't wait to get home to sleep in my comfy bed again.”

Numerous reviewers (including some who didn’t wind up keeping the mattress) praise the company for its customer service. “The only thing better than the quality of the product is the responsive and tireless customer service,” one wrote. “Tuft & Needle for life!”

Is the Tuft & Needle Original worth it?

Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Tuft & Needle Original brings incredible value for its price.

If I were to stop testing mattresses and buy my own tomorrow, my choice would be a Tuft & Needle Original, no hesitation. (Though if money was no concern, I’d be weighing it heavily against the Leesa Hybrid.) The overarching theme with this bed was how much it defied my expectations. I seldom yearn for more time with a mattress, but I did with the Tuft & Needle Original.

I can’t overstate the quality of this mattress given its price. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone and everyone I know—with the caveat that it is firm for a foam bed and could take a little getting used to.

Related content

What to Consider When Buying a Mattress in a Box

  • Can you try the mattress in a store first? Some are online-only, but not all. Casper has a handful of brick-and-mortar stores. Other companies partner with retailers, like Leesa, teaming up with West Elm and Pottery Barn. Likewise, Tuft & Needle has some retail locations, as well as partnerships with Sam’s Club, Crate & Barrel, and more.

  • What level of firmness do you want? Mattresses range from extra firm to medium firmness to soft and squishy. Finding the right firmness level for you is essential to getting a good night’s sleep. If you’re not sure what you want, you can visit a mattress showroom to get a sense of your preferences before buying online.

  • What fabrication are you looking for? Beds in a box come in memory foam, traditional coiled springs, hybrid mattresses (which combine foam and coils), or something unusual like Purple’s unique polymer.

Each type has benefits and drawbacks. Memory foam, for example, contours well to your body, but can retain heat, and feels too enveloping to some people. Coils can provide more support, but will also feel bouncier and may transfer more motion from a restless partner.

  • Do you want more edge support? Edge support can help prevent you, a partner, the kids, and even pets from rolling overboard. If you like to sit on the edge of the bed as you put on shoes or socks, edge support can prevent the mattress from sloping or collapsing underneath you. Coil and some hybrid mattresses have an encasement around the bed to help provide support around the edges, but it can be an issue for foam mattresses.

  • Does the mattress require a box spring or a foundation? Box springs are fabric-covered wood frames filled with springs. They increase bed buoyancy and raise the mattress’s height. Many newer mattresses work fine without them, as long as you have a platform bed or enough slats for adequate support. Check the mattress specifications before it arrives. If you do need a base, many mattress companies sell matching ones.

  • Does the mattress require special accessories? Some mattresses, such as the extra-thick Saatva, may not work well with standard sheets or bed frames. That could mean replacing your favorite bed sheets with a deep-pocket set, or even shelling out for a new bed frame.

The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest deals, product reviews, and more.

Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Meet the tester

Lindsey Vickers

Lindsey Vickers

Senior Staff Writer, Sleep

@lindseyvix

Lindsey writes about sleep, lifestyle, and more for Reviewed. In her waking hours, she likes to spend time outside, read, cook, and bake. She holds a master’s in journalism from Boston University and bachelors' degrees in English Literature and Anthropology from the University of Utah.

See all of Lindsey Vickers's reviews

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