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Article updated on April 26, 2024 at 8:30 AM PDT

Tuft & Needle Original Mattress Review: Where Simple Meets Comfort

This all-foam mattress is accommodating and affordable. If you're looking for a cozy bed without the frills, check it out.

Our Experts

Written by 
McKenzie Dillon
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
McKenzie Dillon Writer
McKenzie, a Certified Sleep Science Coach and proclaimed mattress expert, has been writing sleep content in the wellness space for over four years. After earning her certification from the Spencer Institute and dedicating hundreds of hours to sleep research, she has extensive knowledge on the topic and how to improve your quality of rest. Having more experience with lying on mattresses than most, McKenzie has reviewed over 150 beds and a variety of different sleep products including pillows, mattress toppers and sheets. McKenzie has also been a guest on multiple radio shows including WGN Chicago as a sleep expert and contributed sleep advice to over 50 different websites.
Expertise Certified Sleep Science Coach, Certified Stress Management Coach, Bachelor of English.
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Tuft & Needle mattresses are delivered in surprisingly compact boxes.

Tuft & Needle

First impressions

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Tuft & Needle mattresses are delivered in surprisingly compact boxes.

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Editor's note: The T&N Original's cover has changed slightly in appearance since we took these photos. It now has a gray bottom and a white top.

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Thanks to Tuft & Needle's foam construction, it's great at isolating motion. 

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I think the Tuft & Needle Original mattress will be best for people who weigh under 230 pounds. 

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Clean, basic and comfy were a few of my first thoughts upon starting my Tuft & Needle Original mattress review process. It looks kind of like a big, rectangular marshmallow on top of the bed frame. The cover is textured in bright white, giving it a fresh, aesthetically pleasing look.

There is a zipper, meaning you can remove the cover from your Tuft & Needle Original, but I wouldn't recommend it as it's not the most fun to put back on. Also, beware of throwing it in the washing machine, and definitely avoid putting it in the dryer. It might be tempting, but if it shrinks, the struggle will be real when you try to put it back on. 

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Video: Tuft & Needle Original Mattress Review

Watch CNET video producer Owen Poole review the Tuft & Needle Original mattress.

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Tuft & Needle feel and firmness

What does Tuft & Needle feel like?

If the feel of memory foam mattresses turns you off, you'll probably enjoy the Tuft & Needle Original bed. Rather than molding around your body and giving you a sinking feeling, it gently hugs you and responds quickly to pressure, allowing you to move around easily. 

How firm is the Tuft & Needle mattress?

It's also plush yet supportive and, at the same time, a great middle ground to accommodate a wide range of sleepers. That's why I rated the Tuft & Needle Original mattress around a medium on the firmness scale, or a 5 out of 10, with 10 being the firmest. 

Read More: Best Firm Mattress

screenshot-2024-04-23-at-9-37-38am.png

Editor's note: The T&N Original's cover has changed slightly in appearance since we took these photos. It now has a gray bottom and a white top.

Jonathan Gomez/CNET
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Construction

The Tuft & Needle Original bed is 10 inches thick, which is standard compared to your typical bed-in-a-box mattress. It only has two layers, whereas the average bed has three. I'm not knocking its construction. It's simple and gets the job done nicely for people who don't need additional support. 

  1. At 7 inches tall, the bottom layer is the thickest, made with firm polyurethane foam, and it's the primary foundation for the mattress. 
  2. The top layer is responsible for providing comfort. It's made with graphite-infused foam called T&N Adaptive foam, and cooling gel is added to help maintain a neutral temperature. 

The cover is made with a knitted material that feels really soft. Still, it's breathable and not warm like your favorite knitted sweater.

A close up of the Tuft & Needle Original mattress

Thanks to Tuft & Needle's foam construction, it's great at isolating motion. 

My Slumber Yard
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Tuft & Needle mattress performance

Motion isolation

This bed's foam construction makes it great at absorbing motion. If you sleep with a partner (or a large pet), it's nice to get a mattress that won't bounce or shake when they move in the middle of the night. Tuft & Needle excels in this category.

Edge support

During my Tuft & Needle testing, I found the edge support isn't great. It's not going to give out on you and send you flying off the edge of the bed, but it doesn't feel the most supportive if you're pushed to the edge. Nonetheless, I wouldn't call it a deal-breaker for this bed. I don't expect anything stellar from a two-layer, wallet-friendly mattress. 

Temperature

Tuft & Needle markets this mattress as a cooling mattress, but I wouldn't necessarily agree. It does help regulate temperature better than traditional foam mattresses, but you won't feel a cooling sensation, nor is it as breathable a bed as the Purple mattress, for example. 

Durability

The Tuft & Needle Original mattress is a two-layer foam mattress, making it less durable than hybrid mattresses or thick foam beds. Your Tuft & Needle mattress should last around five years or more if you take good care of it. That means yearly mattress deep cleans, regularly washing sheets, rotating every six months (if the bed's construction allows) and avoiding spills in bed. If you want a more supportive and durable mattress, opt for the Tuft & Needle Mint Hybrid

Off-gassing

Bed-in-a-box mattresses omit a new mattress smell, similar to a new car smell. After being manufactured and compressed into an air-tight seal to fit inside a box, your Tuft & Needle bed will off-gas once you unbox and free it from its packaging. It shouldn't last more than two or three days, and I recommend opening a window to help air it out.

An overhead look at the Tuft & Needle mattress inside of a bedroom.

I think the Tuft & Needle Original mattress will be best for people who weigh under 230 pounds. 

My Slumber Yard
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Who is the Tuft & Needle mattress best for?

Not every bed is one size fits all. While the Tuft & Needle Original is a good mattress, it might not be the most comfortable or accommodating bed for everyone. Here's who I found sleeps best on it.

Position

Considering its medium firmness level, I'd recommend it for most sleeping positions. It's soft enough to give pressure relief to side sleepers, but firm enough to support most back and stomach sleepers. It quickly responds to pressure when switching positions, a plus for combination sleepers.

Diagram of back, stomach and combo sleepers, depicting the pressure points of each type.
Zooey Liao/CNET

The only exceptions would be plus-size back and stomach sleepers or petite side sleepers. 

Body type

This bed is two layers thick and made of foam materials only. For that reason, I think people over 230 pounds should consider the Tuft & Needle Mint Hybrid mattress. It has many of the same qualities, is still affordable and is more supportive for heavier body types. You can also check out our other favorite hybrid mattresses on our best mattress for heavy people list. 

If you weigh under 230 pounds, the Tuft & Needle Original mattress is a perfectly suitable option. 

Tuft & Needle mattress pricing

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SizeMeasurements (inches)Price
Twin 38 x 75 inches$745
Twin XL 38 x 80 inches$795
Full 54 x 74 inches$895
Queen 60 x 80 inches$995
King 76 x 80 inches$1,395
Cal king 72 x 84 inches$1,395

We've been hyping this bed's low price for long enough, so now let's get into its value. Prices start at $745 for a twin and go up to $1,395 for a California King. Since prices are already low, the company doesn't always run discounts. We might be able to provide you with one, or you can watch out for major holiday sales. You can also consider the more premium Mint mattress if you're looking to spend a little more money on a new bed. 

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Trial and warranty

As far as company policies go, the Tuft & Needle Original will be shipped to your home for free, rolled up inside a cardboard box. All you have to do is unbox and unroll. Tuft & Needle will give you the chance to test it for up to 100 nights, and if you decide you don't want to keep it, you can get a full refund for your purchase. 

For those who buy and decide to keep it, the bed will be backed by a 10-year limited warranty. 

We also want to give you a heads-up about a little thing called off-gassing. It's the odor that'll come from your mattress once you unbox it. It's smelly, but don't worry. It won't last for long. Give it about 24 to 48 hours, and the scent will dissipate. This is standard for most bed-in-a-box mattresses unless they're made with natural and organic materials like the Avocado mattress

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The final verdict

To encapsulate our impressions of this mattress to round out our Tuft & Needle Original review, these are the pros and cons of our experience. 

You might like this mattress if:

  • You're on a budget
  • You dislike the feel of memory foam
  • You weigh under 230 pounds
  • You want a medium firmness level to offer simultaneous pressure relief and support

You might not like it if: 

  • You're looking for more support
  • You want a very soft or very firm mattress
  • You are a petite side sleeper
  • You weight more than 230 pounds
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Other mattresses from Tuft & Needle

Tuft & Needle Nod

The Tuft and Needle Nod bed is an ultra wallet-friendly mattress, even more so than the Tuft & Needle Original. It's available on Amazon and is perfect for college kids, young children and budget shoppers who just need a simple, affordable mattress. It has a neutral, responsive feel like the Original model so it's easy to switch positions on. It's also rated a five on the firmness scale, making it suitable for all sleeping positions. 

Tuft & Needle Mint 

Side sleepers will love the soft profile of the Tuft and Needle Mint mattress. It has a similar neutral-foam feel to the other Tuft & Needle beds, but it's rated around a four on the firmness scale. It offers ample pressure relief for the hips and shoulders, making it best for people who want a lighter, plusher firmness level. Although, it is a little more expensive than the flagship model. 

Tuft & Needle Mint Hybrid 

Tuft & Needle designed its mattresses to have a similar accommodating and neutral feel, and the Tuft & Needle Mint Hybrid mattress is no different. The main difference between the hybrid model and the original is that the Tuft & Needle Mint Hybrid has a bottom support layer made of pocketed steel coils. This makes it more supportive, durable and long-lasting. I recommend this bed to people around over 230 pounds or more who want the Tuft & Needle feel with extra reinforcements. 

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How does Tuft & Needle compare to other beds?

Here's how Tuft & Needle stacks up versus other big-wigs in the industry. 

Tuft & Needle vs. Nectar

The Nectar is one of the most popular memory foam bed-in-a-box mattresses and it's made several of our best lists, including Best Firm Mattress and Best Memory Foam Mattress. It has a dense, firm memory foam feel similar to Tempur-Pedic, but it's a fraction of the cost. Compared to Tuft & Needle, it's much slower to respond to pressure, rated a six out of 10 rather than five and it's a little more expensive. I think Nectar is best for back, stomach and combination sleepers who love the feel of memory foam. 

Tuft & Needle vs. Purple 

The Original Purple mattress is unlike many beds out there, including Tuft & Needle. Tuft & Needle is a safer pick, while Purple is meant for people who don't like memory foam or traditional mattresses. Purple's secret sauce is its Purple Grid, a gel-like layer on the top of the mattress that's soft and supportive at the same time. It contours around your curves but immediately springs back to its original shape once pressure is removed. It also sleeps cooler than foam mattresses because the grid design allows for maximum airflow. 

Tuft & Needle, on the other hand, feels like your regular foam mattress and runs for a more affordable price. 

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Tuft & Needle Original FAQs

Do Tuft & Needle mattresses sag?

Most foam mattresses will start to sag over time, but you'll have a solid six years or so until you start to notice significant wear and tear (like sags) on your Tuft and Needle bed. 

Are Tuft & Needle mattresses made in China?

Tuft & Needle is owned by the bedding veteran Serta Simmons. All of their mattresses are made here in the United States. 

How firm is the Tuft & Needle Original?

It's rated around a medium firmness level or a 5 out of 10 on the firmness scale, meaning it's right in the middle between firm and soft. It offers enough pressure relief for most sleepers unless you're a strict side sleeper under 150 pounds. In that case, you might want a more plush mattress. 

Are Tuft & Needle mattresses healthy?

Yes. The Tuft & Needle mattress doesn't boast an organic certification, but it is CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD gold certified. This means the bed was made following strict chemical emission standards, the foam is low in VOCs for indoor air quality, and it doesn't contain harmful chemicals like ozone depleters or carcinogens. 

Which is better, Casper or Tuft & Needle?

That depends on budget and design. Both are made from all foam and have medium firmness levels, but Tuft & Needle is a more wallet-friendly mattress. Casper, on the other hand, is made with more foam layers and contains a Zoned Support layer which is ergonomically made to provide targeted support and pressure relief where it's most needed. 

Does the Tuft & Needle need a box spring?

No, most bed-in-a-box mattresses don't require that you use a box spring. Your mattress will be sitting high in the air if you have one. Go with a bed frame instead, whether it be slatted, adjustable or a flat foundation.