Our honest review of Tuft & Needle's budget mattress, which starts at $450 for a twin
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- The Original Mattress is Tuft & Needle’s budget bed-in-a-box offering.
- I’ve slept on it for three years now, and it’s a great entry-level foam mattress.
- It’s also the top pick for firm support in our guide to the best foam mattresses.
That was three years ago. We’ve been sleeping on it ever since and it’s seen us through more than 1,000 nights of sleep, multiple moves, and a pandemic (where I’ve worked from my bed more times I care to admit). Here’s everything you need to know about the Tuft & Needle Original Mattress.
Design and specs
The Tuft & Needle Original Mattress is 10 inches thick and made of two layers of memory foam: a comfort layer of adaptive foam, and a support layer of open-cell foam. The two layers are contained within a white knit cover. Here are the details of the Original Mattress at a glace:
- Best for: All sleeping styles
- Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
- Mattress type: Foam
- Firmness: Medium to medium firm
- Motion isolation: Great
- Heat dissipation: Moderate
- Edge support: Poor
- Trial period: 100 nights
- Warranty: 10 years
- Shipping and returns: Free shipping and returns
- White-glove delivery and mattress removal: Currently not offered on Tuft & Needle’s website
Like many modern bedding companies, Tuft & Needle ships its mattresses compressed in a box. Ours arrived conveniently dropped at our back door, which was a nice touch since at the time we lived in the middle of the city and package theft was common (though I’m not sure who is easily making off with a 72 pound mattress box). It arrived when my husband was out of the house and I was eager to get the mattress set up, so I lugged the hefty box up the stairs myself. It was doable, but it wasn’t easy, so I recommend teaming up with a partner.
Once in my bedroom, I was able to open the box, slide the mattress out and unroll it. The most fun part was cutting the vacuum wrapped packaging, which allowed the mattress to instantly expand into a full plush bed. The whole process only took a few minutes and would have gone faster if I was patient enough to wait for my husband to come home and help. I let the mattress sit and air out for a few hours, though I didn’t notice any “new bed” smell and the mattress looked plenty plush right out of the package.
Review of the Tuft & Needle Original Mattress
As someone who has spent most of their life sleeping happily on spring mattresses, I was a bit worried about my transition to an all-foam mattress, especially since I struggle with both back pain and insomnia even under the best of sleep circumstances. I was so worried about it that I also insisted that we buy the Tuft & Needle Mattress Topper because I was sure that the mattress wouldn’t be supportive enough on its own.
Fortunately, those fears turned out to be unfounded. The mattress topper was delayed in getting to us by about a week, and in that time I slept so soundly on the Tuft & Needle Original Mattress that we ended up returning the mattress topper when it arrived.
The mattress is supportive, but still plush and comfortable. The company states the mattress is medium-firm, but if I were to rate the firmness on a scale of one to 10, I’d probably give it a five or six. It offers a little bit of “sinking in,” but not so much that I feel enveloped by the mattress. I can confidently say that it’s the most comfortable memory foam mattress I’ve slept on.
I’m a back and side sleeper, while my husband tends to sleep on his stomach. We’ve found this mattress supports the range of sleep positions relatively well. In my opinion, the mattress is a bit more supportive for side sleeping than back sleeping, since I can feel some sinking around my hips when I’m lying on my back, but it’s never bothered me or exacerbated my back issues.
There’s very little motion transfer; when my husband hops into bed at night, I barely feel his movements — and that’s saying something since I’m an extraordinarily light sleeper. Our chonky 15-pound bowling ball of a cat also often pounces on the mattress looking for pets (or food?) in the middle of the night, and if it weren’t for her persistent meows, I would hardly know she was there.
After three years with the Tuft & Needle Original Mattress, I can also say it’s held up very well over time. There’s no sinking on either side (and my husband and I are both large people) and the mattress still feels plenty supportive.
Cons to consider
The mattress sleeps a little hot, and edge support leaves a bit to be desired. The sinking feeling I get when I roll to the outer edges of the mattress makes the bed feel smaller than it is. For that reason, I’ve actually been lobbying my husband to upgrade to a King-sized mattress so we can both have a little bit more room.
As much as I like our Tuft & Needle mattress, it hasn’t fully assuaged my preference for a firmer spring mattresses. But honestly, I’m not sure any all-foam mattress can. When we purchased our Tuft & Needle mattress, hybrid beds-in-a-box weren’t quite a thing yet and I’m intrigued by the happy medium they might offer me and my husband. For this reason, when it comes time for us to make that King bed upgrade, I’m probably going to opt for a hybrid over an all-foam mattress like the Tuft & Needle Original.
Should you buy it?
If you love the feel of memory foam and are in the market for an inexpensive mattress, the Tuft & Needle Original Mattress is a comfortable option at a relatively affordable price. It’s one of the best mattresses you can get in the under $1,000 range, at $695 for a Queen mattress, and is an especially good choice if you’re looking for the next upgrade from that old Ikea mattress.
What are your alternatives?
The closest competitor to the Tuft & Needle Original Mattress is the Casper Element, priced at $595 for a Queen. However, our mattress reporter was not overly impressed with the Casper Element, and thought that it was too firm and too hot. He did however give high ratings to the Zinus Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress, which is about $365 for a Queen and is the “best budget pick” in our guide to the best mattresses.
The bottom line
If you’re in the market for a great inexpensive to mid-priced foam mattress, the Tuft & Needle Original Mattress is a solid choice. If you’re on the fence, Tuft & Needle’s 100-night trial and free returns make it easy to try before you decide if it’s right for you.
Pros: Very comfortable, made of supportive memory foam, inexpensive, great motion transfer isolation, 100-night trial and free returns
Cons: Sleeps hot, poor edge support, not for those who prefer a firmer spring mattress
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