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Tuft and Needle Original mattress review

A basic memory foam mattress with an attractive price tag

Tuft and Needle mattress review
(Image: © Tuft & Needle)

Our Verdict

The Tuft and Needle Original mattress provides adequate pressure relief and stellar customer service. There are some question marks over its durability and longevity, but when it comes to budget mattresses it's one of the best you can buy.

For

  • Very affordable
  • Easy to set up
  • Good for couples
  • Excellent customer service

Against

  • Lack of edge support
  • May not be durable long-term
  • Hot sleepers might not find relief

The flagship Tuft and Needle Original mattress is the entry-level option from mattress upstart Tuft and Needle. Founded in 2012 by two software engineers, the company merged with established mattress maker Serta Simmons Bedding in 2018, and continued its mission to make online mattress shopping as painless as possible.

So does this budget mattress deserve a spot on your bed? After weeks of testing, we’ve put together a full Tuft and Needle Original mattress review to help you decide if it's the best mattress for you. 

What is the Tuft and Needle Original mattress?

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  • Medium-firm comfort level
  • 10 inches deep with two layers of foam
  • Proprietary foam designed for comfort and cooling

The American-made Tuft and Needle Original mattress is geared toward all types of sleeper, and anyone who wants a comfortable, uncomplicated mattress. It consists of six inches of stabilizing support foam, plus three inches of Tuft and Needle’s adaptive foam. This proprietary material has been retooled to address common customer concerns with the company’s previous iteration of the mattress. (The founders are ex-engineers, after all.)

Tuft and Needle Original mattress: specs

Depth: 10 inches
Firmness: 6.5/10
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full Queen, King, California King
Material: foam
Flip: no
Delivery fee: free
Return fee: free
Trial length: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 years 

T&N adaptive foam is infused with graphite and ceramic gel to help wick away heat. Its open-cell construction molds to and supports the contours of your body, even as you toss and turn at night.

The Tuft and Needle Original mattress follows US sizing conventions. It comes in six sizes, ranging from twin to California king.

You can opt for free standard shipping to have the mattress delivered right to your doorstep vacuum-sealed in a box. Setup is quite simple — just unroll the mattress onto your bed, remove the plastic, and watch it expand before your eyes.

Alternatively, you can choose white glove delivery at an additional $150. If you take this option, a Tuft and Needle rep will come to your house to set up your new mattress and remove your existing one.

Like most other bed-in-a-box services, Tuft and Needle offers a 100-night trial and a 10-year limited warranty. If you’re not satisfied with the Tuft and Needle Original mattress within the trial period, the company will issue a full refund and donate the mattress to a local charity. However, the onus is on the customer to find and contact said charity.

 Tuft and Needle Original mattress: price 

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  • Good value, budget mattress
  • Much cheaper than Casper, Purple and others
  • Frequent sales reduce the price further

One of the most attractive features of the Tuft and Needle Original mattress is its affordable price tag. Compared to other popular bed-in-a-box brands, Tuft & Needle’s prices are among the least intimidating. 

For example, Tuft and Needle offers its Original queen-sized mattress for the same price as Casper’s Original twin-sized mattress. (Meanwhile, a queen-sized Casper Original mattress costs $500 more.) T&N even undercuts Nectar’s current sale price for its queen-sized mattress by $200.

Here is the official pricing for all sizes:

  • Twin: $350
  • Twin XL: $395
  • Full: $495
  • Queen: $595
  • King: $750
  • California King: $750

You can also score even lower prices via sitewide sales that crop up occasionally throughout the year. These discounts are typically within the 10 per cent to 15 per cent off range. That's miniscule compared to the recent promotions rolled out by the likes of Nectar, but given that Tuft and Needle’s retail prices are already among the cheapest available, any extra money off is a bonus. 

Tuft and Needle Original mattress: comfort

  • Takes very little time to set up
  • No sinking feeling
  • Minimal motion transfer

Tuft and Needle classifies its mattress as medium-firm, with a 6.5/10 rating on the firmness scale. I found this to be an accurate assessment.

When I first sat on the Tuft and Needle Original mattress, I was surprised at how firm it was after just rolling it out. It did take a few hours to fully expand — the company says it may take up to 72 hours — but I was able to sleep on the mattress straight away.

I slept on the Tuft and Needle Original mattress for over two weeks. Tuft and Needle says it takes a week for the mattress to reach its max comfort level. After a brief adjustment period — I was accustomed to sleeping on a flattened coil mattress for years — the mattress and I have settled in quite nicely.

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As a side sleeper, I found the Tuft and Needle mattress provided decent support for my back and hips. This translated into fewer bouts of lower back pain. However, I sometimes end up on my stomach by the time I wake up, and this was a less ideal position because my hips slightly sunk into the top foam layer, creating pressure on my lower back.

T&N’s adaptive foam comfortably hugged the contours of my body, even as I tossed and turned throughout the night. There’s no uncomfortable sinking feeling or obvious shifting, which bodes well for couples; especially anyone with a restless partner.

One area where this mattress fell short for me is its heat-wicking. Despite sleeping on cotton sheets, foregoing a mattress pad, and running central air, I still woke up sweating some mornings. I’m a hot sleeper, so I was banking on the gel-infused foam to successfully keep me cool every night.

Anything not so good to know about?

  • Edge support is lacking
  • May not be enough support for larger people

Tuft and Needle describes the edge support for this mattress as “basic”, and we found that to be correct. The edges are soft and thin, and while you can sit or lay on them without causing immediate damage to the mattress, it’s not particularly comfortable. (Tuft and Needle’s Mint and Hybrid mattress provides more structure around the edges.)

While it’s certainly not poorly made, the Tuft and Needle Original mattress may seem flimsy with its two foam layers next to comparable mattresses, which typically have at least three layers. People with larger builds might not find enough support here.

Tuft and Needle mattress: user reviews

  • Average score of 4.6/5 stars from 30,000 user reviews
  • Many customers praise its motion absorption
  • However there are questions about longevity

Mattresses are subjective. We all have our own preferences, which are affected by factors including our body composition, temperature and sleeping style. So here we’ve combed through hundreds of Tuft and Needle mattress reviews from customers to paint a more comprehensive picture of the Original.

The mattress is rated 4.6 out of 5 stars from over 30,000 reviews on Tuft and Needle’s website (October 2020). Over at Amazon, it averages 4.3 out of 5 stars from more than 10,000 customers.

Positive reviews praise the low price and easy setup. In terms of performance, customers say the Tuft and Needle mattress is excellent at absorbing movement and limiting motion transfer so they’re not woken up by their partners.

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Meanwhile, critical reviews say the mattress doesn’t have much longevity and wears out well before its 10-year warranty. This has culminated in complaints of poor sleep quality and back pain from some users.

Also, while I (and many others) find the Tuft and Needle mattress to be medium-firm as advertised, several users claim theirs were too soft to provide sufficient support. 

Tuft and Needle is lauded for its attentive customer service regarding refunds and replacements. However, some customers were unaware that the 100-night trial does not apply to Amazon purchases. Mattresses ordered via Amazon have a 30-night trial instead.

Should you buy the Tuft and Needle Original mattress?

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Yes. If you’re on a budget and don’t need anything sophisticated, the Tuft and Needle Original mattress should suit you. The top-layer adaptive foam will keep you relatively stable if you move around a lot at night, which makes it a good mattress for couples to consider. Setup is also dead easy and Tuft and Needle’s customer support is considered one of the best in the business. 

However, many users claim it isn't as durable as some similar memory foam mattresses, with only two foam layers and very little edge support. If longevity is something you’re seeking, try the Nectar Memory Foam mattress (from $499), which  is comfortable, supportive, and will keep you cool throughout the night. It also includes a 365-night trial and a lifetime warranty. 

We’d also recommend the upgraded — and still affordable — Tuft & Needle Mint mattress (from $595). This includes a middle transitional layer, better cooling, and more edge support than its predecessor, but it’s also softer.

If you need to upgrade your old mattress ASAP, the Tuft and Needle Original mattress will fill that gap nicely for a few years until you’re ready to move on to something more substantial. Alternatively, it would be perfect for a guest bedroom or kid’s bedroom — instances where there’s little heavy-duty use.