If you’ve been hunting for an all-foam mattress, you’re probably exhausted. There are countless foam mattresses that you need to sift through. Well, I have reviewed a large number of all-foam mattresses, and two of the more popular are the Tuft & Needle and Nectar mattresses.
This comparison will go over the construction of both mattresses in detail and highlight the main takeaways that consumers should know about before making a decision.
- They are both all-foam mattresses that have a similar base layer.
- They are in the same general firmness range.
- Both should be a good match for combo sleepers, side sleepers, and back sleepers.
- The Nectar is taller than the Tuft & Needle and has a thicker comfort layer.
- The Nectar has four layers while the Tuft & Needle has two.
- The Nectar features memory foam in its top layer, but the Tuft & Needle features a more responsive Adaptive Foam.
- The Nectar has a classic memory foam feel, and the Tuft & Needle has more of a balanced foam feel.
- The Tuft & Needle costs less than the Nectar, but both are great values.
Tuft & Needle Construction
- The mattress is 10” tall and features three separate foam layers.
- On top, there is a thin, soft cover that doesn’t affect the overall feel of the mattress significantly.
- Then, there is a 3” layer of Adaptive Foam, which mixes memory foam and latex qualities into one foam.
- The base is made up of 7” of standard base polyfoam.
Read the full breakdown and Tuft & Needle review, available here.
- The mattress is 11” tall and features four separate foam layers.
- The cover contains Tencel fabric and is quilted with 1” of gel memory foam to add softness and pressure relief.
- Below that, there are 3” of gel memory foam, which give the mattress great pressure relief and body contouring.
- Then, there is about 1” of a foam transition layer that acts as a buffer between the comfort and support layers.
- The base is 6” of a base polyfoam that is pretty standard in the industry.
Read the full breakdown and Nectar mattress review, available here.
- The Tuft & Needle features a very streamlined design that has two layers so its construction is less complex than the Nectar’s.
- The Tuft & Needle’s Adaptive Foam has both memory foam and latex qualities. It is soft and relieves pressure quite well, but at the same time, it is responsive so people shouldn’t have issues changing position on top of this mattress.
- The Adaptive Foam is open-celled which makes it more breathable than the memory foam people will find in many bed-in-a-box mattresses. This should keep the top of the mattress from trapping heat and making people sleep hot.
- The Nectar has a thicker comfort layer than what you find on the Tuft & Needle. This means it could be a better option for side sleepers. You sink in more and could feel better pressure relief on your shoulders and hips.
- In addition, the Nectar’s thick comfort layer should be a good match for larger people. While large people might “bottom out” side sleeping on the Tuft & Needle, they shouldn’t have this issue so much on the Nectar.
- The construction is going to give these mattresses a different feel. The Tuft & Needle’s Adaptive Foam gives the mattress a more balanced foam feel where you sleep on top of the mattress. The Nectar has a classic memory foam feel that allows you to sleep in the mattress.
In terms of firmness, I found the Tuft & Needle to be close to a 6.5/10, and the Nectar felt closer to a 6/10. I will note that the firmness of these mattresses is really going to depend on one’s weight. If someone is a larger person, for example, they could press further into the Tuft & Needle and hit the support layer underneath. This might lead people to feel the Tuft & Needle is firmer than what I thought.
That being said, here is how it felt sleeping on the Tuft & Needle.
- When I lie on my back, the Tuft & Needle is a good match for me. I feel like the mattress is supporting me overall, and my hips are allowed to sink in a fair amount.
- Side sleeping on the Tuft & Needle, the mattress also works for me, and I feel like the mattress relieves some pressure on my shoulders and hips.
- Stomach sleeping, the Tuft & Needle is decently supportive. Between the two mattresses, I am getting more overall support from the Tuft & Needle.
Now, compare this to how it felt sleeping on the Nectar mattress.
- Back sleeping on the Nectar, I am very well supported, because my hips sink into the memory foam layer, but I am still getting enough support on my lumbar area. The memory foam also conforms to the curves of my body and gives great lumbar support.
- Lying on my side, I first feel a bit of firmness on my shoulders and hips, but I then slowly sink into the mattress and that pressure disappears. Overall, I feel better pressure relief with the Nectar.
- When I move to my stomach, the Nectar is not quite supportive enough, and I could use some more support on my hips.
These mattresses are quite different in terms of feel. The Tuft & Needle is more responsive and has a balanced foam feel. The top layer is soft, but it is still very easy to move around on the mattress. The Nectar has more of that slow-moving memory foam feel. It is not as easy to move around on the Nectar.
See more of what I thought of the Tuft & Needle’s firmness and feel in the video below.
Check out what I thought of the Nectar’s firmness and feel in the video below.
If someone sleeps with a partner, they should keep motion transfer in mind. When their partner moves around at night, will they feel this motion on your side of the bed? Also, when they move around, will their partner feel their movements?
Memory foam is one of the best materials for dealing with motion transfer because of its chemical nature. So, I was not surprised that the Nectar isolates motion better than the Tuft & Needle, given its thick memory foam layer on top. That thick layer of memory foam really stops the motion from transferring across the mattress.
When I place a glass of water on the Nectar and push into the surrounding areas, the water is barely disturbed. When I perform this test on the Tuft & Needle, I saw a bit more disturbance.
See how the Tuft & Needle handles motion transfer in the video below.
Now, compare this to the Nectar’s motion transfer with the video below.
Edge Support Differences
For those people who do sleep with a partner, they will want to find a mattress that allows them to sleep toward the edge without falling off. This means they will want a mattress with excellent edge support.
Sitting near the edge of both these mattresses, I do not feel very secure, and both foam mattresses collapse under my weight. Also, when I lie down near the edge of both mattresses, I do feel like I might roll off.
People can see the edge support on these mattresses in the photos below.
As mentioned above, someone’s weight might affect their experience with these mattresses, namely the Tuft & Needle. To give people the perspective of a larger person, I asked Marten to try out the Tuft & Needle and Nectar. I am 5’9″ 160 lbs, and he is 6’7″ 230 lbs, and here is what he thought of these two mattresses and how appropriate they are for heavier sleepers:
In terms of firmness, I thought the Tuft & Needle was a 6.5/10, and the Nectar was approximately a 6/10.
Here is how it felt sleeping on the Tuft & Needle.
- When I’m on my back on the Tuft & Needle, the mattress is not quite supportive enough for me, because I sink into the mattress without feeling enough overall support. I also need more lumbar support and body contouring most likely.
- Moving to my side, I’m feeling some decent pressure relief on the shoulders and hip area. If someone is heavier than I am, they could press further into the mattress and feel some more pressure on their shoulders and hips.
- Stomach sleeping, I am not getting enough support on the Tuft & Needle, because he center of my body is sinking into the mattress, and I am bowing in there.
Here is how it felt sleeping on the Nectar.
- While the Nectar is softer than the Tuft & Needle, I am feeling better support when I am back sleeping. I feel some nice lumbar support, and the memory foam contours to the shape of my body.
- Side sleeping, I feel great pressure relief on the Nectar because of the thick memory foam layer. As Joe said, the memory foam does take some time to kick in, but then I slowly sink into the mattress and feel almost no pressure on the shoulders and hips.
- When I move to my stomach, I need more firmness and support from the Nectar. As I did on the Tuft & Needle, I am bowing in and feeling some lower back strain.
If someone is a heavier back sleeper, they should take a look at the Nectar. While I felt nice side sleeping on both mattresses, if you are over 250 lbs, the Nectar should be the better choice. Stomach sleepers should look for a firmer, more supportive mattress.
Again, it is always important to consider one’s weight when buying a mattress. If someone is a larger stomach sleeper, it seems like neither of these mattresses is right for them. Also, if someone is larger than 230 lbs, the Tuft & Needle might not be the best match for side sleeping.
Who Should Pick Tuft & Needle:
- Stomach sleepers- The Tuft & Needle is the firmer of these two mattresses and provides better support when people are sleeping on their stomach. Sleepers should feel more support on their hips, and the mattress should keep them in better alignment.
- Those who like sleeping on top of their mattress- The Tuft & Needle features a responsive Adaptive Foam that keeps people from sinking in too far into the mattress. People should feel like they are sleeping on top of the mattress. If someone doesn’t like to sink into their mattress too much, the Tuft & Needle should work really well for them.
- People who want to move around easily- The Tuft & Needle’s Adaptive Foam is more responsive than the memory foam you find in the Nectar. Because of this, it is much easier to change positions on the Tuft & Needle. You shouldn’t feel stuck in the mattress.
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Who Should Pick Nectar:
- Side sleepers- The Nectar is the thicker mattress and also features the thicker comfort layer, which is ideal for side sleeping. The slow-moving memory foam lets people sink into the mattress and really lets the pressure melt away. Even larger side sleepers should get great pressure relief on the Nectar.
- Those who like the classic memory foam feel- The Nectar contains a thick layer of soft memory foam, giving it a true memory foam feel. This allows sleepers to slowly sink into the mattress with a quicksand-like feel. If people like sleeping more inside their mattress, the Nectar is definitely the way to go.
- People who sleep with a partner- If someone shares their bed with someone, the Nectar should work better for them. The memory foam will cut down on motion transfer so people won’t really feel every move their partner makes at night.
At this point, it should be easy to choose between the Tuft & Needle and Nectar, because the differences are pretty big. The Tuft & Needle should be a better choice for stomach sleepers who like to sleep on top of their mattress, while the Nectar should work better for side sleepers and those who prefer to sink into their mattress. Consumers should read through this article multiple times, assess their sleeping preferences, and then make a more informed decision.
Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.
He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.
Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.
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