The king sized mattress that I had for 5 years had developed a sag in the middle. Laying in the bed to fall asleep you would feel yourself getting pulled into the middle of the bed. It’s not necessarily a bad thing when sleeping alone, but with my girlfriend it was pretty annoying.
It was time to get a new mattress.
I had heard of these ‘online mattress brands’ selling memory foam mattresses with rave reviews, at relatively low price points. I buy everything online and absolutely hate going into stores, so needless to say my mattress shopping was going online.
Over the years I had slept on some of these memory mattresses in various AirBNBs I’ve stayed at and recall a couple of them being AWESOME, I unfortunately never checked their brand, so I would have to start my search from scratch.
The Shit Show Of Direct To Consumer Mattresses
After a couple searches for mattresses my online world was hammered with virtual billboards for no less than 50 mattress brands. Seriously there must be at least 50 online mattress brands out there running ads. It was overwhelming.
They all have their own marketing points and claim to be ‘the best’.
Like Zoma which sponsors pro athletes and targets a market of athletes. As a runner, weightlifter, and mountain biker, I was certainly intrigued by them.
As a business person and marketer my intuition was telling me that most of the foam mattresses are probably the same (or at least VERY similar).
Reviews Are Subjective
Reading reviews on mattresses doesn’t really help.
Professional reviewers typically never say anything bad about a mattress; either because they’re all pretty similar or they don’t want to piss off the company that is compensating them.
Consumer reviews seem to be all over the place, with a mix of wildly varying rave reviews and and negative reviews for every mattress. Some reviews would describe a mattress as firm, while others would describe it as soft and spongey.
In the absence of reliance on reviews…
What Actually Mattered When Buying An Online Mattress
Sifting through the bullshit was hard. I research the shit out of things and here’s what I eventually figured out would matter (to me).
A Refund Policy That Was Honored. While basically all the companies have some kind of ‘satisfaction guaranteed policy’ a quick sift through the reviews will show that some don’t honor it, or they make it difficult.
Fiberglass. The low budget mattresses usually contain fiberglass. Reviews are mixed on it. Some people have no issues, some people say that fiberglass gets out of its sleeve and makes them itchy. To avoid issues, I was looking for a mattress without fiberglass.
Foam Density. I don’t full understand foam density and the different it makes, but my understanding is that the higher the density, the longer the mattress will last, and companies that don’t publish a density are usually just using low grade shit.
Cost. I wanted to stay under $1,000 for a king size mattress. I did spend a little more than that.
11″ Height. This was a personal one for me as I needed a mattress that would full cover the 10″ gap between my box spring and headboard. Also I think taller beds look better, so no thin, lower cost options for me.
(why) The Tuft & Needle Mattress I Ordered
After mental anguish due to the paradox of choice, I settled on ordering a Tuft & Needle mattress. Why? Well there is a visible track record of them honoring their satisfaction policy, so if I didn’t like it, it could be sent back. Their mattresses don’t use fiberglass. They publish their foam density.
There is another relatively less known brand I found and considered but did not order from, simply opting for the brand recognition of T&N.
I ordered a king size Tuft & Needle Mint Mattress for $1,188.54 (after a discount and tax applied) which was a bit more than their ‘original’ mattress. While the Mint mattress does have some enhancement features like a removable cover and extra foam, the only reason I went with the mint is that it is 2″ thicker at 12″ which would cover a gap between the headboard.
If I didn’t care about that 2″ of height, I would’ve just ordered the original.
The Mattress Arrived
I ordered the mattress on December 18th and on December 27th it was delivered.
It came compressed in a box. Although not overwhelming large, the box was quite heavy.
After getting it to the bedroom and out of the box, you basically just lay it on the bed and cut the plastic off.
After opening it up entirely at about 2pm when it was delivered I left it on the bed to expand fully. It would be 8-9 hours until we used it for the night. Upon opening it, it did smell strongly of polyurethane, but the smell went away relatively quickly.
Here it is at some point in the afternoon.
What I Think About It
Here’s the review now that I have been sleeping on it for 6 months.
Keep in mind, I’m a stomach sleeper and generally find myself feeling ‘hot’.
Initially when I got it, I thought the mattress was VERY firm. Maybe even a bit too much for my liking. A few weeks into it, the mattress had gotten a bit softer and more comfortable.
The mattress doesn’t transfer much energy at all, so if I am tossing and turning, my girlfriend usually won’t even notice.
I do seem to find myself feeling not as ‘hot’ as I did with my older traditional mattress. Maybe it is because of the foam engineering used by T&N. Maybe it is in my head. Maybe that is because I got it in the winter.
Do I like the mattress? YES. It’s comfy. I sleep well on it — better than my old mattress.
Does the mattress absolutely blow me away? No. In fact I do recall sleeping on a foam mattress at an Airbnb in Mammoth Lakes California that I like more.
Ultimately when buying a mattress online, without trying it, perfection is probably near impossible and you wouldn’t know perfect if you got it.
Going forward I will certainly be pulling up sheets to look at mattress brands when I find a comfy one in a vacation rental lol.
Possible Excellent Low Cost Mattress
In my search I ran across a brand called ‘Sweet Night’. Their mattresses don’t use fiberglass and reviews indicate that honor their satisfaction policy.
They have options for 12″ king size mattresses starting at $650 and a hybrid foam and spring mattress for $680. This is an incredible pricepoint even far lower than mattresses that are thinner and do contain fiberglass.
If I needed to save money this would’ve been the choice, and even looking at their products today, I’m curious to see how they feel.