Sleep Number vs. Tuft & Needle – Which One Is Best For You?

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There is a lot to like about both of this mattress and their respective companies. Sleep Number and Tuft & Needle have both been in the business for awhile but make beds that are best suited for certain types of sleepers. Which one could be the right fit for you? We’ve put them side-by-side to help you pick.

What They’re All About

Sleep Number:

Sleep Number may be best known for its adjustable air beds, which allow you to change the firmness and support of the bed to meet your needs via a remote.

There are four different types/series of beds, starting with the Classic Series and ending with the 360 Smart Beds. There are numerous models that offer different comfort options within each series.

The beds tend to be popular with couples because they can be made with dual air chambers, so each person can adjust to their preferred setting without compromising.

Prices range depending on the series and model of each bed. The most basic model (c-2) retails for $899 for a Queen while the i-10 360 SmartBed will run you $4,999 for a Queen.

Sleep Number mattresses come with a 100-night sleep trial (read the fine print for exclusions).

Sleep Number’s popular p-5 model (for a full review of this mattress, click here.)

Tuft & Needle:

Tuft & Needle is an online mattress retailer that has been in the bed-in-a-box business for several years. During that time they’ve used customer feedback and additional research to tweak their foam mattress.

The company is well-known for its high-quality materials and construction at an affordable price. It’s hard to find another Queen mattress under $600 and Tuft & Needle’s retails for $575.

The mattress is made with the company’s proprietary T&N Adaptive Foam. They say they engineered a new foam-based purely on customer feedback. It’s not memory foam or latex but it does have a similar bounce to latex.

Based on our experience the mattress is on the firmer side, making it a good fit for back and stomach sleepers.

The mattresses come in a variety of sizes, from Twin to California King, work with most bases (check the website for details) and are shipped directly to you for unboxing.

Tuft & Needle offers a 100-night trial and 10-year warranty.

Tuft & Needle mattress (for the full review, click here.)

Construction Differences

Sleep Number:

Sleep Number offers several models organized into four categories: Classic Series, Performance Series, Innovation Series and 360 Smart Beds.

The air chamber/dual air chamber option with adjustable settings and your personalized Sleep Number will be incorporated into all beds and make up the base of the Sleep Number bed.

Each series essentially builds from the other. The Classic Series beds, the c-2, c-4 and cse, offer the most standard options with minimal layers between the air chamber(s) and the mattress top.

The Innovation Series and 360 Smart Beds will have the largest, thickest layers and most added features.

Some of the additional features that come with the higher-end models like those in the Innovation Series and 360 Smart Bed series include:

  • Additional comfort layers (Plush Fit, Exclusive Fit and Dual Gel Memory Foam)
  • Temperature balancing sleep surface
  • 5-7 zones of contouring support
  • SleepIQ Technology included
  • Beds that automatically and effortlessly adjusts to you (Smart Beds)

C2MattressConstruction_SLSleep Number c-2 model

To see a breakdown of the most basic Sleep Number bed, the c-2, click here.

Tuft & Needle

Tuft & Needle’s mattress is 10” thick and all-foam. The company is transparent about their construction, so visit their website if you really want to deep dive into the materials and how the mattress is manufactured. Here are the highlights;

  • The mattress is made in a factory in the US
  • The T&N Adaptive Foam is proprietary, we think it feels more like latex than memory foam, but the aim is to get the best of both foams in this one.
  • There is also a supportive base layer that’s paired with the T&N Adaptive Foam – this forms the foundation of the mattress.
  • The cover is made from rayon and polyester. It allows air to flow through the foam to help the mattress breathe and is soft and stretchy to the touch.

Based on other reviews we’ve read, the Tuft & Needle mattress is durable, plus they have a standard mattress warranty in place to cover you in the long term.

Tuft and Needle Rating

Tuft & Needle Mattress (for a full review, click here).

You Will Love Sleep Number If…

You want a firm mattress one day and a plush one the next.

All Sleep Number beds come with their Dual Adjustability feature. It allows you to adjust firmness, comfort, and support on each side of the bed to your individual Sleep Number setting. If you don’t like your current setting, it’s easy to change the comfort level with the remote that comes with the bed.

You’ve got money to spend on a luxurious bed.

Sleep Number beds really run the full scope of basic to luxurious. The most basic Sleep Number bed starts at $899 for a Queen and can go much higher with their 360 Smart Bed series. Sleep Number also has other accessories, like FlexFit Adjustable Bases or sheets, that you can buy to complement your mattress. If you have the means, you can go all out on both the air bed and on their adjustable bases and other extras.

You want to try it in person.

Sleep Number has been around for a long time and has showrooms across the country where you can go and test out different mattresses. They’ll even walk you through finding your personal Sleep Number and make suggestions on the type of mattress that could work for you.

You Will Love Tuft & Needle If…

You value quality but are on a budget.

It’s hard to beat the price point of a Tuft & Needle mattress – a Queen is just around $575 – some of the lowest pricing we’ve seen. The real highlight is that the brand doesn’t skimp on quality materials or construction to make their bed, so you know it will last. For the price and quality, this mattress stands above its online bed-in-a-box competitors (based on our experience, at least!).

You want/need some extra support.

Based on our experience, the mattress is on the firmer side – roughly a 7.5/10 on the firmness scale. This means that it’s not going to be a universal best fit but geared towards those looking for extra support. Stomach sleepers might like this mattress best.

You want to know what other people think about it.

Tuft & Needle has been an online mattress retailer for several years, which means they’ve racked up a lot of reviews (and made tweaks based on customer feedback). If you want to know what everyday people think about this bed, Tuft & Needle has plenty of reviews for you to read.

Firmness Comparison

Sleep Number:

One reason why people tend to like Sleep Number beds is that you can adjust the firmness and support of your mattress (or your side of the mattress) at any given time using a remote that comes with the bed.

Your Sleep Number number (also called your Sleep Number setting) corresponds to your ideal firmness and support. Numbers range from 0 to 100 and the higher your number, the more air/firmer your Sleep Number bed will be.

Sleep Numbers are personal to you and can change when your sleep needs change. The model you choose will also affect your firmness and support. Picking a model with plush layers between the mattress top and the air chamber will feel different than a more standard model.

Sleep Number i-10 360 Smart Bed

Tuft & Needle:

Tuft & Needle uses their own proprietary foam that they engineered based on customer feedback. It’s not memory foam or latex – though it feels closer to latex than anything else) and has good responsiveness.

Based on our experience, the bed feels a bit firmer than average. We’d give it a 7.5/10 on the firmness scale. This makes it a good fit for those who want more support, like some stomach sleepers.

You can watch our video review of the mattress here to get more details and a better look at the mattress firmness and feel.

Bottom Line

The great news is that both Sleep Number and Tuft & Needle have been in the industry for years and have good reputations. Based on our experience, these beds seem to be suited for different types of people.

If you want luxury, adjustability and you want to try it before you buy it, Sleep Number is the way to go. However, if you are on a budget but don’t want to skimp on quality and durability, Tuft & Needle’s unique foam mattress may be the perfect fit (and it comes directly to your door for a great price).

Both come with 100-night trials (read the fine print!) and warranties.

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Katie Golde

Katie manages the day to day operations of the Mattress Clarity news site and reviews sleep products in addition to writing and editing sleep news.She hails from Austin, where she lives with her growing family. She is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and has a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and has a background in health and science content. Her work can be found in print and online publications like Discover Magazine, USA Today and The Huffington Post.

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