Tuft & Needle: A better path to sleep


About a decade ago and roughly a mile from where I lived at the time there was a mansion on a hill. As I don’t much care about mansions I don’t recall many of the details. I do remember a huge pool in the center of the house with columns running along the sides and reaching up to the glass ceiling far above and the various courtyards that the sprawling building wrapped around. These I remember because they were where the party was held.

Hundreds of people attended this annual event. The man who owned the house invited all his friends, all his employes and, to avoid complaint, all the neighbors. That last was how we made the cut.

The fine liquors flowed and the food was wildly diverse. Both were relentlessly replenished and each courtyard held a different live band. Indeed, the best Blues I’ve ever heard was in one of those courtyards here in New Hampshire. And I grew up in Chicago.

It was the kind of party Gatsby would have thrown if Gatsby had had, you know, real money.

I got to know our host fairly well over the years. He made his money in many and various enterprises and unfortunately one of these involved buying and bulldozing the 150 acres of woods behind my house. This land had been logged by the earliest settlers who then tried to farm the rocky soil, building beautiful stone walls in their vain attempts to clear the fields. Eventually they gave up and the forest returned. When hiking it I was always trespassing, of course.

I enjoyed it mostly in late Fall, Winter and early Spring when the bugs were gone and the low, marshy spots were frozen. The dog and I would wander about, inspecting the old hunter’s blinds and the two shot-up derelict cars from the 1940s. It was hilly terrain and there was a lovely little pond tucked into a ravine. Chunks of granite stuck up out of the ground here and there and a couple of these made fine spots to sit, rest and enjoy a cigar. Only once did I ever see anyone else back there.

By the time his crews had finished, the hills were leveled, the pond drained, the derelict cars hauled off and not even the granite outcroppings remained. I couldn’t identify a single landmark I’d once known. In their place was a nice flat suburban subdivision with winding roads named after his daughters and million-dollar houses on the rise.

But his real money was made selling mattresses. He owned a chain of retail stores for that purpose. Because I knew him, I got to know just how incredibly profitable selling “discount” mattresses is. Because he tore down “my” forest, when I needed one I bought from his competitor. I still paid too much.

I paid too much partially because his competitor enjoyed the same handsome markups and partially because I bought a high quality mattress. This quality assessment I based on the fact that it was expensive and fancy.

I was willing to pay for expensive and fancy because I don’t sleep well. Most folks chalk this up to the likelihood that I have a bad conscience. Could be.

Unfortunately, the expensive and fancy new mattress did nothing for my conscience or my insomnia. In fact, we had it replaced three times.

Each time they sent out a Mattress Inspector. Did you know there were such things as Mattress Inspectors? I didn’t.

Anyway, each time the inspector came to our home, took careful measurements, sent in his report and shortly thereafter we received a new mattress. Seems it would have been cheaper just to send out the replacements without the inspector but then, what do I know?

This was all very odd as presumably the inspector found the mattress defective and yet each replacement was exactly the same. Finally we gave up and just chose to live with it, looking forward to the time when we could justify replacing it. Hopefully with a better choice.

As it happens, earlier this year I was planning to do just that. Not a task I was looking forward to. Then, in the summer, I received an email from Daehee Park.

T&N founders on bed

Mr. Park and his partner John-Thomas Marino

Operating this blog I get lots of emails trying to entice me into featuring some product or another so as to pawn it off you. It takes me about 3 seconds to hit the delete button. I was a breathe away from doing the same with Mr. Park’s.

But something made me pause. I read it more carefully and decided to respond. Among other things I said:

“So my first question is, do you really read my blog and has it really helped in launching your business? I’d ask that you take a moment to tell me how and what you like about it, just so I know this isn’t a spam email.”

I figured this would chase him away. But instead I got a reply that said in part:

“I originally came across your blog through a link/comment over at Mr. Money Mustache.

“Following your advice, especially the Stock Series, I got my personal savings plan in order while bootstrapping Tuft & Needle. I opened a Roth IRA for the first time and set up a 401k plan for the company. I took your portfolio advice and selected the recommended low-cost Vanguard funds (mainly VTSAX). It was tough getting it going while committing resources to a startup, but I’m glad I developed the ritual and habit early on.

“My favorite and most useful post, which I also refer our team members to is this one: https://jlcollinsnh.com/2011/06/08/how-i-failed-my-daughter-and-a-simple-path-to-wealth/

Then, being the astute businessman he clearly is, he went on to tell me a bit more about his company:

“Back in 2012, my co-founder JT and I left the software technology industry in Silicon Valley and launched Tuft & Needle with $6,000 of our own savings. We’ve grown quite a bit since then. We’re now 15 team members and we did over $1MM in sales in the first quarter of 2014.

“…we are trying to a) cut out the middleman markups and b) put the customer experience first.”

It didn’t take long for me to start thinking of these guys as the Republic Wireless of the mattress space. That is, a way to buy a better mattress at a lower cost and not have to do business with the guy who ripped up “my” forest. Not that I’m one to hold a grudge.

So I began my due diligence. Anyone who reads this blog knows I value simplicity and here the T&N folks score big.

You chose what thickness you want (5″ or 10″) and you choose what size you need. That’s it. You’re done.

I also value, well, value. Depending on size, your T&N mattress will cost you between $250 and $750. That’s right. You can’t pay more than $750 even for their biggest, thickest king size mattress. Shipping is, as it always should be in my opinion, free.

Didn’t take long before my personal order was in: 10″ Queen. $600. To put that price in perspective, my same-sized fancy mattress from the “discount” store in 2007 cost $1299.

It arrived, as promised, on the appointed day. When I got home I expected to find a large rectangle waiting to be unpacked. Instead it was a more compact, but still large, cylinder. That’s interesting, I thought.

This cylinder was tightly wrapped in plastic and as I carefully cut this away the mattress, which had been very tightly rolled and bound, began to inflate. “Inflate” is really the wrong word. It wasn’t actually being pumped up with air or anything. But that’s what it looked like. That, or some monster breaking free of it’s bonds.

Mmmm, I thought, this can’t be good; as much fun as it is to watch.

I don’t like air mattresses and I couldn’t get the whole inflate concept out of my head. But I shouldn’t have worried.

In short order it expanded (ah, that’s the better word) to it’s full size and has proved comfortably firm. And, importantly, when I move or my wife does, the movement isn’t transferred across to the other person.

I’ll let you go to their very cool website (click on the ad at the top of this page) for the details of how these mattresses are made and why they perform so well. But I will say one of the best things is that these guys aren’t just middle-men. They custom manufacture their products to their own specifications.

T&N crafting_0065

 So, we’ve been sleeping on our T&N mattress for a couple of months now and we remain thoroughly impressed. I doubt we’ll need another for many years to come, but when we do this is where we’ll return.

Ok, let’s see. What else?  Well…

…They offer a 30 day trial and a 7-year warranty. I can’t speak to either of those because there is no way I’m letting them have mine back. But I do like the attitude reflected in what they say about it:

“Contact us if you’d like to make a return so that we may begin our hassle-free process for a full refund.”

…They don’t pick up and dispose of your old mattress. This initially concerned me but at their suggestion we contacted The Salvation Army and the problem was solved easily enough and in a way that benefited somebody else.

…They don’t sell box springs. But we already had ours. Plus, if I were buying a bed frame again I’d get a platform style. It’s that whole simplicity ethic again. Box springs really are silly extra things.

That’s about it.

So if you need a mattress, and I can’t imagine you’ve read this far if you don’t, this is the place I use.

I like the company. I like their product,  I like their prices,  I like their service, I like their style, I like their business ethic and approach and I like them.

That’s why Tuft & Needle is only the third company ever, along with Betterment and Empower, I’ve accepted as an affiliate. For me each is a big step and one I’m slow to take.

If you click on the ad at the top of this page, it will take you to that really cool website I mentioned earlier. There you’ll find lots more information and you can begin your own due diligence.

Then, if you decide to buy (and by way of full disclosure) this blog will earn a small commission. Your price is the same regardless.

Oh, in case you’re wondering, as nice as it is, my new T&N mattress has not cured my insomnia. But, I’m a whole lot more comfortable now staring thru the darkness at the ceiling.


Cool News:

As of November 1, 2016 T&N is a sponsor of this blog and their ad at the top of each page here takes you directly to their site.

It replaces those sometimes awful Adsense ads that used to rotate there. Yay!

As this is a company I truly believe in and whose product I actually sleep on, I endorse them without reservation. Hope you’ll check ’em out!


More Cool News: 

T&N has come out with a new mattress and a new frame. Here’s my review:

Walnut Frame and Mint Mattress


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Important Resources

  • Talent Stacker is a resource that I learned about through my work with Jonathan and Brad at ChooseFI, and first heard about Salesforce as a career option in an episode where they featured Bradley Rice on the Podcast. In that episode, Bradley shared how he reached FI quickly thanks to his huge paychecks and discipline in keeping his expenses low. Jonathan teamed up with Bradley to build Talent Stacker, and they have helped more than 1,000 students from all walks of life complete the program and land jobs like clockwork, earning double or even triple their old salaries using a Salesforce certification to break into a no-code tech career.
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  • Empower is a free tool to manage and evaluate your investments. With great visuals you can track your net worth, asset allocation, and portfolio performance, including costs. At a glance you'll see what's working and what you might want to change. Here's my full review.
  • Betterment is my recommendation for hands-off investors who prefer a DIFM (Do It For Me) approach. It is also a great tool for reaching short-term savings goals. Here is my Betterment Review
  • NewRetirement offers cool tools to help guide you in answering the question: Do I have enough money to retire? And getting started is free. Sign up and you will be offered two paths into their retirement planner. I was also on their podcast and you can check that out here:Video version, Podcast version.
  • Tuft & Needle (T&N) helps me sleep at night. They are a very cool company with a great product. Here’s my review of what we are currently sleeping on: Our Walnut Frame and Mint Mattress.
  • Vanguard.com


  1. Ralph says

    @rlcollinsnh, I’d be interested in a follow up on this in another couple of months. I purchased a new mattress just over a year ago to help with some lower back pain I was experiencing. I purchased an intellibed at the recommendation of my chiropractor and while I liked it at first I still find myself waking up with lower back pain.

    I’ve started to consider another bed purchase but I can’t bring myself to spend that kind of money again. Especially only a year after I already spent too much for one. I did some quick searching and stumbled on some of these ‘inflating’ beds. For the most part the reviews seem to be quite good, but the poor reviews usually come with a note about how happy they initially were (first 2-6 months) and then follow ups about poor quality and significant sagging resulting in terrible sleep.

    Anyway it sounds like you’re still on the front end of this and I’d like to hear if you opinion remains the same after another couple months or so. If it does then this would definitely be a winner for me.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Ralph…

      Years ago I had a lower back injury and although much improved now I still have bouts of pain.

      We’ve been sleeping on the T&N for over 2 months now and I waited this long to write about it for exactly the reason you mention. So far we still love it and it shows no signs of sagging or deterioration. I expect we’ll continue to love it or I wouldn’t have written about it.

      However, if it does turn bad you can be sure I’ll report on that too and/or take down this post.

      One good thing, unlike our previous $1299 mattress, this one only runs $500 so the risk is far lower.

      Good luck in your search and I hope you’ll find one that works for you! T&N or not, please report back on what you chose.

      • jian says

        Mr. Collins,

        I used to have lower back pain too years ago, not from any injuries but from occupational hazard of working in software. The way I finally successfully beat it back is by swimming a few times a week and later by doing yoga at least twice a week.

        Wonder if you have tried either? Of course, always clear it with the doctor first!

        • jlcollinsnh says

          Hi Jian…

          I went thru a decade of unrelenting pain due to my back injury. This was mostly, I realize now, by following the doctor’s orders of rest.

          It was only once I started ignoring that advice and began exercising, very gingerly at first, that my back improved. It has now been over 25 years and while I still have a twinge now and again from conversation with my peers I seem to have less back pain than most my age.

          In my case it wasn’t swimming or yoga but I can see where those would be great choices.

  2. Big Guy Money says

    Hey Jim,

    I remembered running across Tuft and Needle in the comments of one of MMM’s posts. We’re planning on purchasing one (maybe two) mattresses when we move here in a month or two. From everything I’ve been able to tell, they seem pretty legit and it’s good to see others are thinking/experiencing the same thing. When we make our order, I’ll make sure we use your link 🙂

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks BGM…

      As you know I’m also a big guy and it handles my weight and restless sleep just fine and without disturbing my wife.

      If and when you chose to buy I appreciate you using the link here!

  3. SavvyFinancialLatina says

    Wow…I wish I knew about this company 1.5 years ago. We spent $3K on our tempurpedic mattress. Although I don’t regret this decision because our bed is AMAZING, it was still super expensive!!! And I know mattress companies make huge profits.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi SFL…

      I wish I had too! It would have meant 1.5 years more on my T&N and, even more importantly, 1.5 years less on my fancy/expensive mistake. 🙂

      As I mentioned in the post I was beginning to think about a new mattress when Daehee’s email arrived.

      I was strongly considering the tempurpedic and struggling to get past the huge price tag.

      I just got lucky on the timing. 😉

  4. Trisha Ray says

    Who else could make insomnia a compelling read? I enjoyed it!

    In my former life as an importer/wholesaler, I often ran into a group called the “Specialty Sleep Association”.

    You can find these companies showing their goods at the Las Vegas Furniture Market twice a year. (it’s wholesale only, so create a temporary interior design business card if you want to get in.) Many were once futon makers in their early days.

    These guys are INTO it. They have everything. Latex, foam, adjustable, bio, floatation, green, memory this and that, water, futon, and a bunch of things I never heard of.
    They’re into good sleep.

    When Stan had sciatica problems, he came with me to a market and tried bed after bed. And there were some great ones. These people KNOW their products.

    We got a great bed, and learned all sorts of things no retailer seems to know about sleep.

    • arebelspy says

      “Who else could make insomnia a compelling read? I enjoyed it!”


      I have no want or need for a new mattress, yet I couldn’t stop reading.

      I’ll enjoy the day JLC goes (back?) to fiction.

      • jlcollinsnh says

        Thank you my friend!

        Actually I have given fiction a try and for my money it is much harder.

        Someday I’d like to try it again but so far I’ve written nothing in that arena I’m proud enough to put out in public. 😉

  5. Cesar says

    Thanks for sharing. We are remodeling my sons bedroom and just purchased a queen size bed for him-next on the list was a mattress-this post came at the right time!

  6. Daehee Park says

    Hello, Daehee here from Tuft & Needle. Thank you Jim for the review, and we’re humbled to be included in the conversation.

    We started our company when my co-founder JT got married and bought a $3,000 memory foam mattress. The mattress didn’t meet his expectations, but he couldn’t return it because of all the obstacles set by the company. After ranting about his experience to me, we figured we could start a business by fixing this shopping experience.

    We later discovered that his $3,000 mattress only cost a few hundred dollars to make—the markups were an even more interesting problem to solve.

    That’s a little bit about how we got started. I’ll do my best to reply to any questions you all may have about Tuft & Needle or the mattress industry.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Welcome Daehee…

      Thanks for checking in!

      Here’s a question I never thought to ask you in our earlier conversations:

      How long did it take you and JT to get T&N off the ground — From concept to shipping your first mattress?

      • Daehee Park says

        JT and I left our jobs at a software startup in June 2012. We officially opened the doors at TuftandNeedle.com in December 2012. We started simple and small with a minimum viable product for both our mattress and our website, then focused on iterating from there with customer feedback.

    • Prob8 says

      I may be in market for a new mattress soon. I have had an experience similar to Jim’s with having to jump through the hoops to return an expensive mattress that craps out after 4-5 years. A frustrating process.

      Daehee – can you tell me how your mattresses rank on a firmness scale of 1-10 with 10 being like sleeping on the floor? I recently bought 2 memory foam mattresses for my boys (from 2 different internet companies) and they are too firm for me and my wife to use. I would rank each of them about 8 on the scale.

      Jim – where does your 10 inch rank on the scale?

      • jlcollinsnh says

        Hi Prob8…


        Well if a 10 on your scale was a super hard mattress, I’d put this one at an 8 and my old one at a 6.

        If the floor, assuming no carpet or rug 🙂 , is the 10, this one is more a 6-7 and the old one a 4-5.

        The extra firmness over my old one is a pleasant surprise especially as watching it unfold had me worried it would be very soft.

        One nice thing is that even though it feels firm, it conforms to my body so I don’t feel pressure points. I’m guessing that’s because of the foam construction, but Daehee can better explain it than I.

        Anyway, good luck with your choice!

      • Draggon says

        Prob8 – Tuft & Needle has a pretty extensive FAQ on their website at https://www.tuftandneedle.com/about/faq

        Here is their answer to your question:

        “How firm are the Tuft & Needle Mattresses?

        Both the Five and the Ten are designed to be plush on top while remaining supportive. Put differently, our mattress are about a 7 on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being a feather pillow and 10 a hardwood floor.”

        Not trying to be a smart-a** – just trying to help you get a quick answer… 🙂

    • jian says

      Hi there, I’ve been looking for a new mattress for over a year now and was excited to read Mr. Collin’s favorable review of Tuft & Needle. I’m basically ready to order, except that I’d really prefer mattress made of wool (or cotton). Wool is elastic, naturally breathable, and fire-resistant, and feels wonderful to the skin.

      Does your company have plans to introduce mattresses made of natural materials? I understand they will cost a lot more and am willing to pay ‘fancy’ price :). As much as I’d like to think of myself as being very special, I can’t be the only odd consumer out there looking for an alternative to conventional mattresses? Would appreciate it, if you’d share product roadmap (how’s that for software speak!) for the next 1-2 year. Thanks.

      • Daehee Park says

        Hi Jian,

        We actually prototyped the first versions of our mattress with cotton and wool filling. That’s actually how we came up our name “Tuft & Needle”, because we started out by hand-tufting a very traditional mattress (the tufting process is so that the filling does not shift around).

        Through firsthand testing we noticed ways to significantly improve the properties of these natural materials—most notability in longevity, comfort and breathability. The foam that we’ve developed retains its shape and firmness for 7+ years, sleeps cool throughout the night, and breathes well to avoid molding in humid environments.

        So we iterated towards the current version of the mattress through lots of customer feedback. We have one model (in two thicknesses) that we pour all our attention and innovations into. Hope this helps!

        We have a free 30 night trial, so we’d love for you to give us a try. Let me know if you have any other questions. You can also reach me at daehee@tuftandneedle.com.

        • jian says


          Just a quick update. I finally took the leap of faith:) and ordered the 10-inch T&N mattress about 2 weeks ago. (My back was not going to put up with my indecision any longer.) Everything happened exactly as Mr. Collins described in his post, and I’ve been pretty happy with it. Waking up every morning without back pain is a great way to start a new day!

          Still hoping there will be an “All Natural Materials” option someday, but it’s definitely a great mattress at this price. The hassle-free online purchasing process is a winner too! I would recommend it to anyone who asks me. Thanks again, Mr. Collins, for sharing your experience here.

  7. Draggon says

    Wow – great timing! Our old (expensive) mattress has been long in the tooth for some time, but I have sooooooo been dreading the idea of shopping for a new one. Lo and behold, your post shows up in my In-Box, I brought it up to the wife, and I just placed my order. Looking forward to it! Thanks.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hey Draggon…

      I guess this makes you my first official convert! 🙂

      After you get it, if you are so inclined and I hope you are, check back and let us all know what you and your wife think of it.

      • Draggon says

        Hi Jim – well, I’ve been sleeping on my new king-size T&N mattress for one week as of this morning. I have to say, I am very impressed and very happy with this purchase! I knew my old mattress was way overdue for replacement, but I had several things working against me including being a bit of a tightwad and just dreading the “buying experience” of traditional mattress shopping.

        T&N have nailed it. Learning, Shopping, Purchasing, Unpacking and most of all, Using the new mattress have all been painless and dare I say, FUN! Especially the unpacking. That was a trip!

        Anyway, the first few nights we were a bit apprehensive because the mattress feels very firm to the touch or when climbing into bed, but once you lie down – wow! I honestly haven’t slept better in years.

        So – thank you for posting your experience with T&N. These guys are doing it right, and I will not hesitate to recommend them to friends, family or perfect strangers for that matter! I’m a convert for sure!

      • jlcollinsnh says

        Hi Draggon…

        I’m thrilled yours has been such a great experience. Thanks for checking back in and letting us know.

        “…dare I say, FUN! Especially the unpacking. That was a trip!”

        LOL! Isn’t it just?! It is so cool watching it take shape and amazing to me how firm it is afterwards.

        Please tell those friends, family and perfect strangers to link thru the blog to T&N when they buy. 😉

  8. Liz says

    I already dread the day I have to go out and buy a new mattress. I love the one we have now and fear that I will not be able to find another one like it.
    The concept behind Tuft & Needle seems solid and most of all, customer oriented. Those mattress stores on the other hand, with their flashy store fronts and super discounts, always seem dubious and somewhat shady.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Liz…

      Yep, I was dreading it too.

      It is always nice when you can not only buy a good product at a good price, but also from a place you feel good about dealing with.

  9. Tom Lilienthal says

    Hey Jim,

    I love the timeliness of your latest blog about the mattress. Patricia and I are living at my mother’s condo for a couple of more months and then will be moving to our own place, once she gets her work permit and a job. At that point, we plan on buying a mattress and I was dreading the dance you originally went through, having gone through it myself before. I will check out your source and probably buy from them. Thanks for the great tip! Hope you guys are doing well!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Tom…

      Glad the timing works for you, but maybe you need to buy two.

      You know, in case we come out to visit… 😉

  10. jian says

    Thanks for sharing your experience with the company and their product. The timing is perfect, for me at least :), as I’ve been in the market for a new mattress for over a year now but just can’t pull the trigger. Who knew searching for a mattress could be this agonizing!

    I’m actually willing to pay more for ‘fancy’ mattress, if it’s well-made and uses natural materials like cotton or wool. Will definitely check out the Tuft & Needle site to see what options they have.

    Thanks very much again for your thoughtful piece. Love, love your blog and have shared it with everyone and anyone I know who would listen! Surprisingly, not all of them do.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Jian…

      Glad the timing works for you. Good luck in your search.

      As for me, as long as I have T&N I’ll never buy expensive and fancy again. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing the blog!

  11. kbindrim says

    When I bought a small house last year, I couldn’t fit my box spring up the stairs. my solution was a solid pine platform bed with storage underneath from ikea and a memory foam mattress I purchased on amazon. I have really enjoyed it. With memory foam supposedly the durability is all in the density of the foam. The more dense the longer it should last. I got a mid grade and its held up well so far over the last year. I do get overheated every once in a while sleeping on it and I’ll have to look into Tuft & Needle when it comes time to get a new bed. Being made in USA is a huge plus for me too.

    I’ve watched my home town quintuple in size and my parent’s backyard turn from forest/grassland to expensive houses too. I purchased a well maintained 1950’s house and do enjoy knowing I’m not apart of the new development areas. If only small towns would stay small, I wouldn’t have gotten pushed out of my hometown.

    Keep trying to cure your insomnia with blogging, it’s bound to work eventually!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      We had the same problem when we bought our new bed frame and original box spring/mattress set back in the 80s. The solution was a split box spring for our queen bed. Basically two smaller BS that sit side by side and are easier to get up and down stairs.

      I always cringe a little when I see formerly open land being carved into housing developments, especially when there are plenty of older houses that need renovation.

  12. MileyM says

    Mr. Collins,

    First time commenting. Thank you so much for your wonderful website. I’ve learned so much. Really appreciate all that you do.

    Just placed an order for the mattress with T&N and excited for it to be here. 😉

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Welcome Miley…

      I’m glad this post lured you out into the open and I very much appreciate your kind words.

      Thanks for placing your T&N order thru my link. I hope you enjoy yours as much as we enjoy ours. Since writing the post my awareness of our mattress has increase — I had ceased to notice it after the first week or so — and it is remarkable how much more comfortable it has been for me. 🙂

      After your get yours, drop back and let us know what you think.

  13. Shilpan says

    This is an inspirational story Jim! I always admire those who have courage to pursue their dreams and entrepreneurial spirit. Hats off to these guys as I know they are going to succeed in the overcrowded mattress business. Thanks for sharing. Now, I need to ask my wife if she can reconsider not buying another tempur-pedic and instead try Tuft and needle 🙂

    • jlcollinsnh says

      I agree Shilpan…

      It is always a pleasure to get behind folks pursuing a dream by delivering more value to their customers.

      Personally, I’s sure take a gamble on a $500 T&N before paying thousands for a tempur-pedic. Of course I would spend money on either unless I really needed a new mattress. 😉

    • jlcollinsnh says


      I hope you like it and report back on your experience.

      I’m also kinda hoping somebody checks in who has returned theirs with a report on that experience…..

  14. Fred Meissner says

    Love the description of the woods behind the house…eerily familiar to where I grew up in NH. I would spent most days as a kid exploring there, climbing granite faces and stone walls, marvelling at beaver dams, and wondering how those really old cars ended up there.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks for letting me know, Fred…

      Glad it worked for you and brought back some memories…

      …it was my way of providing something for those readers not interested in a mattress just now. 🙂

  15. John Lynch says

    Think you should point out to your readers that Tuft & Needle just raised their prices significantly. The price for the 10 inch queen just jumped from $500 to $600, a 20% increase. Cal-King from $600 to $750, a 25% increase. Drag.

    John Lynch

    • Allen says

      That seems like a HUGE price increase, and I would really like to know what warrants raising prices by 25%. Did they make a 25% error when originally pricing their mattresses? Have they decided to cash in on their recent popularity by raising prices 25%? Either way I don’t think that’s a very good indication of the management quality of the company.

      I’m also not so sure that my next mattress will be a T&N anymore. The last one I bought was a queen-size Sealy for about $600. It wasn’t the best mattress in the world but it served me well. (Donated it when I moved out of the country.) If I’m not going to save any money then I don’t see much of a reason to take a risk on a new, unproven company.

      • jlcollinsnh says

        Hi Allen…

        I’ll ask Daehee to offer his insights into the price increase.

        My 2-cents is that the value here isn’t just the low price, but the quality. My $500 10″ queen now sells for $600. Personally, I’d happily pay that for it. It is a far better mattress than the one I paid $1299 for back in 2007.

        But then for me, T&N is no longer a new, unproven option and my comfort level is higher. So I can understand your concern.

      • Evan Maridou says

        Hey Allen,

        Evan here from Tuft & Needle. I head up our customer experience and operations teams.

        Thanks for raising this concern. We’re all about transparency as a company so here we go! I apologize in advance as this is an incredible amount of information. We just want to be as honest as possible and give you all of the details (something we should have been more proactive about in the first place.)

        This past Tuesday, we started shipping a new version of our mattress. We’ve been working over the past year to develop a new type of foam. For years, the industry has had the same three options in foam: Memory Foam, Latex Foam and Poly Foam.

        Before Tuesday, we used poly foam. All three have their pros and cons. And for years, mattress companies have tried to layer them on top of each other to realize the benefits of each. It honestly just doesn’t work.

        While we used our poly foam, we heard a few complaints from customers. Not many, but they kept us awake at night none the less. So we set out to address these.

        The new foam we’ve created is truly unique. We partnered with some of the best manufacturers in the United States and created it from scratch. We’re not big fans of gimmicky names but I can tell you that we are the only place that offers this new formulation.

        The biggest innovation in the foam is that it is more comfortable for more people. If you have our current foam and find it comfortable, this foam wouldn’t feel like much of an improvement. But for anyone in the past who has returned our foam for being too firm or too soft, we’ve devised a way to provide different levels of comfort to different individuals. We’re now able to set the firmness for individuals of any weight, independent of each other.

        The new foam also has a new technology we call localized bounce. Memory foam is great in that you won’t feel your partner moving around. The downside is that it feels like quick sand when you try to roll over. Our new foam is both responsive and pressure relieving. It’s like that old commercial where someone would put a wine glass on the bed and drop a bowling bowl on the other-side and the glass wouldn’t move. The only problem was the bowling bowl wouldn’t bounce. On our foam, it will.

        The final innovation is better pressure relief. Again, for owners of our current foam who find it comfortable, they’re not missing out by not owning the new foam. But for the customers who chose to return their mattresses for being too firm, they would likely find our new foam to be extremely comfortable.

        There are only two downsides to this foam. It’s heavier and it costs A LOT more to make. The heavier piece doesn’t have an impact on the consumer, except that the box it ships in is slightly heavier to lift when you first move it in. After that, it won’t have any impact on comfort. It’s also no heavier than a traditional mattress. It is heavier than our previous version though.

        We’re using this foam on the top 30% of the mattress. Using it all the way through would cost way too much and does absolutely nothing for comfort (The same way a box spring has little to no impact on comfort level). Just how much more expensive is this new foam? It’s three times the cost of the old foam we were using.

        The good news is that foam is only part of the cost of our mattress, and in this case, only 30%, of part of that cost, has increased in price by 3x. This is where you saw price increases of up to 25%

        John Lynch also made a good point that our King Size mattress price increased more than the rest, up to 25%. The reason for this is the increase in weight was most profound on our king size mattress. FedEx (and UPS) charge us based on three factors when shipping a mattress. How much it weighs, how much space (cubic volume) it occupies and how far it travels. The king size mattresses now cost more to ship than our old king size mattresses. And the increase in price related to shipping was much more expensive for the King size mattresses than the rest.

        All of this is a long way of saying that our price increase only reflects our increased cost for making this new product.

        Some people might argue that this is still our fault for not setting our prices with enough cushion in the first place to handle increasing costs of manufacturing. Or that if we were developing this product over the course of the year, we could have slowly introduced price increases over time.

        We whole-heartedly disagree. One of our core values as a company is to charge fair and transparent pricing. It would be completely unfair (in our opinion) to charge our customers a higher price before this new product arrived. We wanted to ensure that only those individuals who got our new foam, paid a higher price.

        So to address your specific concerns, we’ve operated our company with the same margin since we started. It’s modest and is enough to cover our costs, pay our employees competitive wages, manufacture in America and continue to innovative on our product.

        Our goal was never to create the cheapest product. It was to create a product of superior value. We’re not blind to the fact that this was a significant price increase. That being said, our goal from day one has been to make the best mattress in the world, at a fair price. We truly believe that this new version is a major step in reaching that goal.

        We back all of this up with our 30 day return policy. You can return the mattress for any reason at absolutely no cost to you. No questions asked.

        Next week, we will also be announcing that we are increasing our warranty to 10 years. This will apply to new as well as existing customers. We stand behind the quality of our mattress and are always looking for ways to increase the value we provide to consumers.

        I hope this helps provide some clarity on why we chose to increase our prices. We really do appreciate your feedback and if we’re putting ourselves in your shoes, we agree these price increases are a bit shocking. We apologize for not being more in front of this and explaining all of this reasoning to our customers in the first place. With the information available, your conclusions were fair and warranted.

        If you have any other questions, we’re always standing by. You can email myself or our cofounders and we’d be happy to discuss it in more detail. evan@tuftandneedle.com, jt@tuftandneedle.com or daehee@tuftandneedle.com.

        I said it before but I want to re-iterate that we’re grateful for your feedback. Our customers have called us out before (why are your products $299 and not $300) and we’re only better because of it.


        • Allen says

          Hi Evan,

          Thank you for the detailed reply. That’s a great way to win back a potential customer.

          I think my and John Lynch’s concerns could have been addressed easily had T&N simply updated the copy on its website at the same time that it updated its pricing.

          As I’m sure you can agree, it looks suspicious to see such dramatic changes in pricing on a product website without seeing any indication that there were changes in the product itself.

          Now that you’ve got a notice on your website explaining the difference in prices, there shouldn’t be any further confusion.


  16. SCW says

    Jim and Everyone,
    Here is your chance to hear from someone who is strongly thinking of sending our mattress back to the company. To be fair, nothing fits everyone and Tuft & Needle did as promised which is deliver it on the correct day. I’m not trying to throw water on the mattress issue but simply looking for input. We received our mattress yesterday and watched it gain it’s shape with fascination. I couldn’t wait to try it. When we went to bed I found myself waking up every time I turned because I was uncomfortable and my wife’s back hurt right from the start (she has a bad back too) and all night to the point that at
    4 am she went to the sofa. I am writing to know if anyone else had this sort of experience, and if goes away? Maybe it simply isn’t right fit/feel for us?
    I would appreciate input from anyone who owns one and loves it as I want to love it too but can’t say that this morning. Oh, my wife and I really don’t want to sleep on it again but I am willing to try another night or two if I hear we aren’t the only ones who experienced this. Anyone?
    Thank you,

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Wow, SCW…

      I am very sorry to hear this. Most, like us, seem to love it. But, as you say, nothing fits everyone.

      Since your reaction was so bad you are reluctant to try it for a second night, I’d say who cares what anyone else thinks? If it’s not working for you, it’s not working for you. And that’s the only thing that matters.

      Personally, I’d send it back.

      Good luck, and if you do send it back, please keep us posted on that experience.

      • scw says

        In an effort to keep the T&N mattress one of my daughters, who likes a little harder mattress, offered to switch with us for a week. She has an almost new “W” Westin mattress which is comfortable for her but she thought she might like ours after laying on it. So, we switched. This was not easy as it meant up and down stairs and moving to my daughters house etc..
        She used it for 3 nights and called to say she wanted her mattress back as this was making her back hurt just as it had my wife’s back. Then we had to move them both again but we put our Tuft and Needle in the basement and brought our old mattress back upstairs and I will be returning the new mattress to Tuft and Needle.
        We have since ordered a “W” mattress for twice as much as the T&N mattress but enjoyed sleeping on it the 5 nights we had it. My wife’s back no longer hurt with the “W”. So we await the delivery of the new mattress and will contact T&N for the return.

    • Evan says

      Hey SCW,

      Evan from T&N here. Really sorry to hear about your initial experience.

      First and foremost, rest assured that if you do decide to send it back, we’ll get you a full refund. Just reach out to our customer experience team and we’ll get you squared away.

      I got my first Tuft & Needle almost a year ago. I was previously sleeping on a softer innerspring mattress. It took me about two days for my back to adjust to a firmer sleeping experience. A lot of customers who initially find it too firm, do eventually adjust to it and really enjoy it after the fact.

      Another thing to note is that our new foam is slightly more temperature sensitive. If your mattress was outside in colder weather, it will take a few hours at room temperature before it softens up a bit.

      Finally, our mattress does require a small break in period. When it is compressed in the box, most of the “breaking” in already occurs. That being said, it will continue to become softer in the first week of use (albeit not significantly softer).

      All of this being said, we understand if you and your wife find it too firm. It is way more important to us that you and your wife get a good sleep than keep our mattress. If you decide to return it, our customer experience team can even make some recommendations of less firm mattresses that we’ve had good experiences with. In the end, we want everyone to be able to find a fairly priced and high quality mattress, even if it’s not ours.

      Feel free to shoot me an email as well and I’ll be more than happy to help you out: evan@tuftandneedle.com.



    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi SCW…

      Very curious as to what you decided.

      –If you return it, please report back on that experience.
      –If you buy another mattress that works for you, please let us know from where and what that experience was like.
      –If you decided to keep the T&N, how is it working out for you?


      • SCW says

        Just a note to update our experience with Tuft and Needle. Evan and the team at Tuft and Needle should write a book on customer service because they really provide it, even to people like us who want to return our mattress because we want a somewhat softer mattress. When it didn’t work for us our daughter said she would try it and gave us her mattress to use while she spent 4 nights testing it out. It must just be our family because it was not her cup of tea either and she wanted her mattress back. We called T&N and they were beyond professional and did not make us feel like we did something wrong. We ended up donating the mattress to charity and they refunded our money immediately with no questions asked. If every company operated like T&N there would be no more complaining about customer service. All in all we ended up wishing we would have loved the mattress so we could be happy T&N customers.
        We have since ordered a Westin mattress (twice the money) because my daughter who travels internationally likes them best when she stays in their hotels. She has a Westin mattress so we tried it and liked it enough to order one (not here yet). When we’ve been sleeping on it for 60 days or so I’ll report one last time.

        • jlcollinsnh says

          Thanks SCW…

          I appriciate the update. Too bad the mattress didn’t work out, but great to hear how well T&N handled it and glad to hear it didn’t go to waste.

          Hope the Westin works for you and I look forward to hearing about it. If you like it, please post a link to their site.

        • Steve S says

          We ordered a Tuft & Needle king size mattress because the above discussion showed that we could return it if we did not like it. We are very happy with it, and are keeping it. I wanted to let Tuft & Needle to know that their “no hassle” return policy was the reason that we felt comfortable ordering it (I am normally reluctant to order things on line). I was looking back at this post since I was recommending the Tuft mattress to my brother.

  17. Suresh Maddipoti says

    I bought full size 10 Inch from them 3 weeks ago, I love it ,delivered on time, got an email and a letter asking if I have any questions. I feel that it is better than Costco ‘s Novafoam mattress. Thanks for the recommendation.


    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Suresh…

      Thanks for checking in and letting us know.

      It’s great to see how well these mattresses are working for my readers who have bought them and also great to hear how well (see comment above) T&N handles it when they don’t.

  18. Tom Lilienthal says

    Hi Jim,

    After reading your blog about the Tuft & Needle mattress and knowing that we would be purchasing a new mattress within months, we finally moved to our new apartment, took your advice and ordered a new mattress from them.

    Both my wife and I agree that we have never slept on a more comfortable mattress before. In addition to that, the company provided exceptional service by providing us with tracking information, our invoice and quick delivery. It was only a matter of days from when we ordered online and took delivery.

    Tuft & Needle have our highest recommendation! Thanks for letting us know about them, Jim.


    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Tom…

      Congratulations on the new apartment and the new mattress!

      I’m glad both worked out well for you!

      As it happens we’ll very likely be moving to a new place as well. Our lease is up at the end of June and, while we love our location and we’ve liked loft living, we’re ready for a change. Since we travel during the summer, if all comes together as planned we’ll put our stuff in storage, save a couple of months rent, and move in to the new place upon our return.

      Ah, the beauties of renting! 🙂

  19. Jager says

    Hello again Mr. Collins!
    Another satisfied T&N customer here. Just before Christmas I mentioned this article to my wife; having both been completely sick and tired of our old, VERY firm newlywed mattress, we decided a new mattress was the perfect gift for one another. Despite warnings about slightly longer delivery times near the holidays, T&N had our new mattress to us in no time. Their customer service was A+ throughout and even helped us arrange for donation of the previous mattress. A month and a half later we’re even more pleased with our purchase. I think we have even convinced my in-laws to go with T&N soon, too.

    BTW, I’m not sure if the affiliate link worked, but we certainly tried to get there through your website.

    thanks much,


    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Jager…

      Great to hear you are enjoying it and your service experience was first rate.

      My wife, pretty much out of the blue, commented the other day how much she likes ours.

      If you got it in December, that would have been when I was no longer an affiliate. No matter. They are still an awesome company with a great product!

      Rest well!

  20. Mike says

    I randomly clicked on this article, not expecting to want to buy a mattress when done reading it.

    Thanks for the thorough review. I overheard someone talking about Tuft and Needle, but I did not hear much other than the name. If I had, I would have looked more into it.

    Hope your sleep is better these days. If not, have you looked into “resistant starch”? I have been reading/eating it a lot more these days, and one of the most noticable side effects for people is vivid dreams/improved sleep. All from eating heated/cooled potatoes. Inexpensive and it just works. Here is a pretty comprehensive link if you are interested. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-definitive-guide-to-resistant-starch/#axzz4Aq6K9jIk

  21. Prob8 says

    Just ordered my second mattress through your link. Great mattress at a great price. I have owned much more expensive mattresses from other companies and they have all been a let down. I have high hopes for the long term with this mattress based on my initial impressions. Thanks for the review, Jim.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Always a pleasure to see you check in, Prob8.

      I’m so glad you tried the mattress and like it. We’ve been sleeping on our T&N for a couple of years now and love it.

      My highest praise: I never think about my mattress. It just kinda disappears under me.

      Let us know what you think after a few months.

  22. EfficiencyNerd says

    First of all, thanks for this review. I think I first found the Tuft & Needle mattress here a few months ago, and immediately liked that the guy was into your blog as well as MMM’s. After doing a ton of research and waiting a bit, I’ll now soon to buy a new T&N mattress – my wife and I will finally make the upgrade from a double (which will go into a spare bedroom in our new apartment) to a queen.

    Anyhow, my other reason for commenting is – and this is generally for anyone reading this – what have people done about a box spring or other foundation, if you didn’t already have one? My wife and I found a free queen bed frame someone was getting rid of via the “letgo” app – seems to be lots of decent stuff in the free section of that app, at least in our area.

    So currently, my options seem to be – 1) buy a new box spring somewhere (really don’t want to go used… bedbugs scare me), 2) get some kind of plywood platform to sit in the current frame, or similarly 3) buy/find some boards I can cut into extra slats that would support the mattress directly on the frame (T&N suggests slats that are no more than 4 inches apart will work). Has anyone done this? I don’t really want to buy a new box spring, as eventually we plan to upgrade to a platform-style frame with drawers underneath. That might just be the best option, however.

    Anyone have suggestions?

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi EN…

      We use a box spring with ours, just because we had one. But I think they are silly things.

      We are also thinking of getting a guest bed (with a T&N mattress of course!) and will look for a cheap platform style either with close slats or a flat surface.

      Hope this helps and please report back on what you decide and how it works.

      • EfficiencyNerd says

        Hi JLC –

        Wow, T&N is a very nice mattress. Been using it for about a week now, and initial impressions are very good. It feels soft and yet firm at the same time, and I don’t sink into it and get hot like our previous mattress (Loom & Leaf, FWIW).

        In the end, it turned out my wife’s parents had a queen box spring not currently being used – well, actually, a split box spring, two pieces that pushed together are the size of a queen. It seems to work fine. Right now the actual bed frame is in the process of being repainted, so we have the box spring on the floor. We plan to add support posts to the crossbeams of the (all-wood) frame, since the split box spring would likely otherwise sag in the middle.

  23. Jay says

    Hi Jim:
    I’m a big fan of your blog. Thanks for putting this information together. I’ve been looking at Tuft and Needle for about a year and finally pulled the trigger today. I’ve had lower back issues for years now and it will be interesting to see if this bed makes a difference. I’ll return to give a report on my progress.


    • jlcollinsnh says

      We also just got two new T&Ns for Kibanda.

      I will say they have a new formula and it is softer than our original. Seems that is what the market prefers. While these a fine and we sleep well on them, we did prefer the old, firmer style.

      The cool thing is, T&N is great to work with whether you like the mattress or you find it doesn’t work for you.

      Please keep us posted!

  24. Dave A says

    You’ve simplified my investing strategy in 1 week! And given me a whole lot of headache!

    I stumbled upon your podcast interviews when I took a week off to help with family commitments while visiting Sacramento, CA.

    I’m a senior IT professional in the Bay Area with $1M in 401k, $200k in Vanguard brokerage account, real estate worth $2M.
    With my job and rental income, I earn about $500k/year (and pay a ton of taxes which no one wants to deal with).

    Your blogs and podcast interviews have done the following:
    – Removed the clutter from all my investment accounts (retirement and otherwise)
    – Provided clarity of thought on my investment strategy
    – Provided clarity of thought in life priorities (time vs family vs friends vs hobbies vs work)
    – Stress less about losing my job (since I think I can manage comfortably)
    – Rebalancing my portfolio after so many years
    – And the head-ache part: Starting Q1’19, I need to focus on scheduling to start off-loading my real estate holdings to be more mobile, travel the world, stress less about investments, stress less about rental maintenance and repairs, be more liquid, etc, etc.

    To summarize: Thank you!!
    P.S. – When are where is the next Chatauqua in 2019?


  25. Yankee21 says

    Mint enroute, went through the blog, pm at my email to let me know if the blog has not received its commission. Super excited and hope all is well Big Guy, Best.

  26. Bob C says

    A quote from your blog:

    “You chose what thickness you want (5″ or 10″) and you chose what size you need. That’s it. You’re done.

    I also value, well, value. Depending on size, your T&N mattress will cost you between $250 and $750. That’s right. You can’t pay more than $750 even for their biggest, thickest king size mattress.”

    Unfortunately, this is not their business anymore. I was recently looking to buy a 5″ mattress. No do at T&N.

    As far as their prices, the recent promo stating “Save up to $625 on mattresses” says it all.

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