Tuft & Needle: all-around comfort at a non-needling cost.
Entering into the world of mattress buying has always been a difficult challenge for me. Whenever I would go out to a mattress store, I would always be hassled by so many salesmen who would never know anything about how to address my unique medical needs when it came to actually selecting and purchasing a mattress. When I was younger, I endured a rather traumatic event. I was out dirt biking, and then suddenly out of nowhere my front tire hit rock. As a result of being catapulted from my bike, I always had on-and-off issues with soft tissue pain. After having significant woes with my lower back, I out of anyone else understand the true value of having a mattress that both supports your body and has the quality build to last for the long haul. Constantly spending endless hours and nights agonizing over the latest search engine result, I finally stumbled upon what would become my favorite mattress brand of all time: Tuft & Needle.
One of the first things that really drew my eye to the brand was the fact that they’re based in the United States. It’s already hard enough to find good products that are made anywhere in the world, let alone ones that are made domestically in the good old USA. However, the fact that they advertised being a “bed-in-a-box” was peculiar to me. Despite all of the advances of the modern world, I never considered anything even in the realm of a mattress coming in a box. I had seen commercials in the past of mattresses in boxes, and I always thought that it was simply some sort of gimmick. I always wondered if these mattresses were really quality items, or if there was some simple stage trick or editing tomfoolery that allowed the mattress to seemingly unfurl so easily and perfectly onto the box spring or bed stands. Apparently not so with the Tuft & Needle brand; truly their mattress was to roll right out and free from the box!
Reading onward I saw that the Tuft & Needle mattresses are stitched to form a comfort layer top and that’s followed by a gel-graphite infused foam. I had absolutely no idea about the nuance and engineered fineness of such things, but I did find out that the Tuft & Needle mattress is about a six and a half on a scale of 10 for firmness, ranking the mattress as a medium-firm overall. I liked the sound of that, as my back was needy for something to support it during slumber, and I had read previously that mattresses that ranked on the firmer side were better for one’s spine. In addition to that, thicker mattresses tended to not compress as easily over a long period of time. I skated the line between something that was both conforming to the uniqueness of my body and yet still provided enough support. It’s important therefore to note that the “polyfoam” comfort layer is not a true layer of “memory foam”, so you won’t be sinking into it like a lead brick into a bed of plaster to be frozen and stiff throughout the night. This was good to know, as I always preferred the idea of sleeping on top of my mattress rather than inside of it!
The perfect weight for those seeking to buy the Tuft & Needle brand would be somewhere between 130 and 230 pounds. At 175 pounds, I fell right into the sweet spot and haven’t fluctuated greatly in either direction since the purchase. As far as my skeletal structure goes, I’m a “mesomorph”. That means that my body has what would be considered a standard size taper from shoulders to hips. However, the Tuft & Needle mattress has received rave reviews from people who are endomorphic (wide-framed) and ectomorphic (thin-framed) as well. Despite not having any memory foam, the bed was very good at dampening motion, and I didn’t notice a lot of sound or excess movement at the top layer of the mattress while I shuffled all around to test it out. It has never been uncommon for me to turn into a bit of a washing machine between the sheets, rocking back and forth chasing the perfect temperature during the warmer nights. Thankfully, Tuft & Needle absorbs way less body heat than what a memory foam mattress would normally take in throughout the night. The human body always sleeps better when cooler, and recalling my previous experiences testing out different mattresses, I could already tell that the “bed-in-a box” was going to prove superior in the temperature department. For all the technology inside of it, the mattress was at a great price point. For under 600 dollars, I had to give it a shot.
Some issues where the Tuft & Needle brand may fall short would be in adequately supporting people who have a larger figure or people who are looking for a more responsive, springy mattress. The mattress was able to perform admirably when comparing back sleeping, side sleeping, or stomach sleeping users, but never was able to transcend “mediocre” scores for those under 130 pounds or over 230 pounds. This difference in performance was amplified at the edges, where there is the least support. How it performs so differently based on user weight while also being able to perform universally well for different styles of sleep all boils down to the construction. It is this that I found perhaps the most interesting as not only did it pertain to the comfort I would experience, but also the ease at which the mattress would unfurl itself from packaging.
Dissecting all of the various bits and layers to the Tuft & Needle mattress felt like learning all about the geology of Earth again from highschool. On the very top, there is a cover made out of a mix of polyamide and polyester. It has a knitted texture and has a breathable membrane-like sensation on the skin. Tuft & Needle strongly recommends that if it’s stained, that you spot-clean with warm water and a mild detergent. I’m not judging you for what you do in your bed, but ease of maintenance and restoration is always a good thing to know! Below the comfort knit cover, there is a three inch layer of polyfoam. The manufacturer says this layer is considered “low density” which allows for less absorption of body heat that most brands. This part has been infused with graphite and cooling gel, and this is also the layer that allows you to feel like you’re being caressed by your mattress. However, the lack of density suggests that this is the layer which would be more prone to breaking down over time.
Continuing onward, I reached the support layers for the Tuft & Needle mattress. It has a whopping seven inches at its core for support, this time made out of a high-density polyfoam. The density of this layer is meant to prevent anybody laying on top of it from sinking too far into the mattress. The best benefit of this, besides being the increased durability, is that this is the segment that will allow you to feel like you’re truly “on top” of your mattress. Alas, though, that the support waned at the edges; minimal reinforcement was provided along the rim. Overall, the mattress stood ten inches in total. It isn’t the largest or the thickest that I’ve seen, but it also isn’t the thinnest. I therefore didn’t worry about my bedsheets looking two sizes too small or otherwise comically too large.
Getting the box in the mail was an experience in and of itself. I bought the queen-sized mattress, and wondered how it would be delivered. It came through FedEx Ground in five business days after I ordered it. The box it arrived in was plain white cardboard with a large letter “N” on one side and the company name “Tuft & Needle” on the other side. My significant other and I carried it up to the bedroom, and with some deft scissor work, slid the thing out from its confines. We had already moved the previous mattress and base to a room we were converting from a study to a guest bedroom, so finding space was no issue; I also went out earlier and purchased a good support frame for the mattress to rest on. Once the mattress was out, it looked…small. Too small, in fact, and thin. I wondered if I perhaps made the wrong call. Could something so compact make for a good sleeping surface? Would it really puff up to ten inches? A few more snips along the sealed plastic, and we were about to find out.
The Tuft & Needle mattress unrolled beautifully, just like in every online review that I saw. I couldn’t resist running my hands along the surface, feeling the “puff” occurring in real-time as I savored the smooth knit top. In about 14 hours the mattress looked like it was ready to be used. I had heard that the mattress would need up to 24 hours of self-fluffing before being ready to sleep on, and was pleasantly surprised to find out that this wasn’t the case for me. Your mileage might vary due to the altitude and humidity, but I couldn’t imagine it being much longer than that. It took a lot of willpower to resist jumping onto the bed at some point; I blame my inner child. Finally after fully expanding, I grabbed some fresh sheets from the dryer, put them on the bed, and prepared for the first slide into sleep nirvana.
The mixed-foam feel was immediately apparent. I tried to relax my joints and muscles, moving to the center of the mattress before calming my mind to try and focus on the experience. I had some conformation to my body, but didn’t sink too deeply into the foam. I liked that the Tuft & Needle mattress also felt “springy” compared to purely memory foam ones. I felt my spinal alignment come into play when laying on my side. Grabbing my favorite pillow, I placed my noggin in what felt like the most typical sleeping position for me. After staying still for about five minutes, I felt fairly confident that I was in the “sweet spot” for weight. I would say that if I was 30 or 40 pounds heavier that I’d be sinking in a little too much for my liking. Making my way to the edges, I slid onto my stomach and felt the bed give a little more than I would have liked. However, this was not unexpected, as the Tuft & Needle mattress was never known to have robust edge support, and as I hung my arm over the side, thought how I’d never be sleeping like this anyway.
Getting up quickly, I went to my sink to fill a glass of water. Cheesy, I know, but after seeing all of those commercials about how beds like these were supposed to perform at reducing motion transfer, how could I resist? Going back to bed, I placed the water where my significant other would normally sleep. Hustling around to the other side, I not-too-delicately plopped my butt onto my side of the bed while keeping a sharp eye on the glass. I’d say that I filled it a little under two inches from the rim, and had the water slosh only slightly at first impact. Climbing fully onto the mattress, the water moved even less as I rocked from side to side, telling me that I wouldn’t have my lovely lady kicking my ribs for turning our bed into a dinghy lost at sea. Making my way back to the edge again, I didn’t feel as though I would roll off or have a lot of instability, but I still felt the difference in support with all of my appendages on the mattress this time. The two areas of my body that I felt sinking into the mattress the most were my hips and shoulders. After remaining still, I could barely feel the buildup of heat. Clearly the cooling gel was doing its job, and I felt like the average warm summer night wasn’t going to be a nightmare.
After getting rid of the glass of water and performing my evening routines, my significant other and I were ready for a good night’s sleep. She had experimented on the bed while I went through the paces of my routine, and corroborated much of what I’d already discovered. She weighs about 50 pounds less than I do though, and we both believe that the Tuft & Needle mattress will support her better in the long run. After starting off on my back, I quickly fell asleep and although can’t give you a play-by-play of how it went during slumber, I can tell you that it was one of the more comfortable nights I’ve had on this planet. I didn’t get woken up by my significant other, and didn’t wake up in a pile of my own sweat. I didn’t have any issues with my back, which if you recall is normally a problem area for me, and all of my other joints were just as well maintained. Neither of us seemed to travel very close to the edges of the bed, a result which I would attribute to the slight conforming that the top layer of foam provides. My significant other said that she was feeling very “lazy” and couldn’t wait to spend the morning lounging about in the new bed. Already she was making a nest out of our blankets so that she had a little space to snuggle up with her laptop and eat breakfast. I decided that I would join her; we spent a good extra hour longer than normal just shuffling around, rocking to-and-fro, and playing around after breakfast. All-in-all, it was a great first night and a good sign of things to come for us and our new bedtime acquisition.
The areas I’d say Tuft & Needle excels most is in pressure-point relief and motion isolation, and this will translate to durability. Tuft & Needle mattresses are built to give outstanding performance for six to seven years, which is roughly the average for mattresses made from similar materials and have a similar thickness.. As this is a medium-firm mattress, it’s less prone to egregious sagging like some other brands in the price point. The only caveat is the top layer, which has the greatest risk of deterioration out of any other area of the mattress. The risks of any sagging are minimized if owners rotate their mattress every three to six months from head to toe. I will certainly be doing so as although this was a good deal for the money, I don’t want to waste the lifespan of something I spent several hundred dollars on and rely on for back support eight hours a day.
When I first cut the plastic for my Tuft & Needle to expand, I smelled a bit of off-gassing. It wasn’t anything overly offensive, but I think that some people may be sensitive to the smell. After spending the first night in the bed, I didn’t really smell it in the morning. This could either have been because it was originally faint and simply dissipated throughout the night, or I became oder-blind to the off-gassing. When I went to work and came back later in the evening, I didn’t seem to smell any odor nearly as strong as when I originally set up the mattress, however, I could still detect it slightly in the room. Online reviews say that long-term off-gassing isn’t a concern because it is not a major issue for most owners, and it only takes a few days for any smell to fully leave the mattress once it has been expanded. I can honestly say that it didn’t bother me; most mattresses experience off-gassing when they are new and ones that are purely made out of memory foam are the ones that are the most offensive to my nose.
Over the next several days, I attempted sleeping in multiple different positions. Back, side, stomach… I tried them all throughout the course of the week. I found that the Tuft & Needle mattress alleviated pressure very well, and that I never had to worry about waking up sore the next morning after a particularly grueling day at work. I would attribute it to the medium-firm build for the foam layers as well as the fact that I’m in the “sweet spot” weight-wise. I still wouldn’t want to go any firmer out of fear that I would lose that slight conforming feeling, and wouldn’t want to go any lighter and risk losing the outstanding support. Even at the edges, which are considered lacking in support, I didn’t feel it particularly different from what an innerspring or hybrid bed would offer.
Noise dampening is certainly an area where the Tuft & Needle mattress shines above its competition; throughout the entire night my significant other and I didn’t hear any disturbing squeaks, creaks, ruffles or crinkles. I’d imagine that the benefits would extend to our “intimate time” as well. However, the lack of spring-back and the sensation of sinking too deep via our hands and feet caused pause. It wouldn’t be that big of an issue when compared to memory foam mattresses or other beds in its design category, but an innerspring would provide a couple with a more “traditional” experience. The tradeoff here is that if you and your lover were looking for a session of stealth lovemaking, that the Tuft & Needle would provide the noise dampening required for the act while an innerspring would give way to the inevitable, familiar squeaking heard from any floor in the home. Since many have children or sometimes even older adults in the home that they care for, the ability to have a period of covert intimacy with your lover is something I’d consider a net win, so kudos to the brand for being able to provide the cover that so many working couples need when they want to “unwind” with one another!
Tuft & Needle Mattresses are available to buy on the Tuft & Needle website as well as on Amazon. Although the mattresses are on sale from various other third-party authorized dealers, I find that the most reliable means of purchasing the brand is from the internet. Tuft & Needle itself operates eight brick-and-mortar physical stores throughout the United States, the locations and store hours of which could easily be found on their website. Live in Hawaii or Alaska? No problem, because the company ships to all 50 states. Within the contiguous United States, Tuft & Needle offers what they call their “white glove” service for the cost of 150 dollars. What this entails is the removal of your old mattress and the perfect placement of your new one. As of this time, the delivery policy for Tuft & Needle mattresses are managed through FedEx Ground shipping. Most buyers report receiving their mattress as early as three business days after purchasing, with the latest being an average of seven business days. For any customer ordering a mattress who lives in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, Seattle, or Los Angeles, an additional 50 dollars to Tuft & Needle will provide you with a same-day delivery. From what I could find, the drop-off normally takes place between 4 PM and 9:30 PM., so long as the order was placed before 3:45 PM that day.
Tuft & Needle really comforted me because they have a 100 night sleep trial satisfaction guarantee. The business promised that it required no “break-in period”Or I would otherwise have to “get used” to the mattress for a minimum of say 30 days or so. Even better, if I wanted a larger mattress, all I would have to do is pay the difference between what I was currently sleeping on and what I wanted to exchange for. Interestingly enough, you could also downgrade and receive a refund for a smaller mattress. Full refunds we’re guaranteed for all returns. Eco-friendly and hygenic, the company highly encouraged recycling for unwanted mattresses. However, it is important to note that there is only one return allowed per year per household.
I always look for warranties when I purchase products, and the Tuft & Needle mattress was no different. The company offers a stellar, non-prorated warranty for ten years and upon inspection of your mattress, will decide to replace the mattress or repair it of any flaws. However, if your mattress is completely replaced, the warranty will not be re-issued or extended. It is also significant to note that the warranty is dependent on proper foundational support, which means that you can’t just throw the thing on top of a foundation of rocks and then complain later that the mattress doesn’t offer proper back and joint support or about ripping seams. Although it may seem like common sense, the company still feels it important to remind buyers that products need to be used in the intended way they were designed for warranties to hold water. I can’t say that I blame them after using Google to check out the sleeping setups of some folks out there!
Sags, indents and physical issues stemming from assembly are all covered in the warranty as well. However, the sags and indentations have to be ¾ of an inch or deeper; the company will not cover it otherwise. Early breakdown of the foam and fabric rips along the cover are things to watch out for in the first month of use, as this would be something to utilize the warranty for. Unraveling seams and the edges, which already are not stellarly rated for their support, is another problem you’ll want to nip in the bud. Any “dents” less than ¾ inches, or if you spill a bottle of your favorite wine all over the cover, or if you take up knife-flipping in bed and skewer the foam, are all things for which the warranty won’t provide replacement or repair. The warranty also can’t be transferred to another person. It’s exclusive to the original purchaser and their Tuft & Needle mattress. Anyone buying one second-hand should also take note that they don’t qualify for coverage under the original warranty.
With over an 8/10 average purchaser experience rating, Tuft & Needle seems to have the customer satisfaction angle locked down. In business since 2012 as an American company with an A+ BBB score, the brand gave me all the extra confidence I needed to take the plunge and make a purchase. I never thought that a “bed-in-a-box” could be so novel and yet so comfortable, yet there I sleep. I’m looking forward to many more comfortable nights in the future. Here’s to everyone out there struggling for some good Zzz’s!