About Tuft & Needle
Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Tuft & Needle is a direct to consumer mattress brand that has cut out the middlemen and delivered value to consumers in both lower prices and higher quality. "Mattress stores are greedy," Tuft & Needle writes on their website. "Over-priced, over-complicated mattresses have been the standard. Until now."
The Problems They Solve
According to this leading direct to consumer mattress maker, mattress companies have driven up a 6-12x markup by confusing consumers with "the same 4 old layers, mixed and matched under different names so you can't compare and price shop."
Tuft & Needle set out to solve the common problems with each of the 4 typical layers of mattresses: latex (excess pressure), memory foam (heat, sinking), springs (mostly empty space), egg crate foam (a way to cut foam in half and position as a bonus feature).
Instead, the company developed a new type of foam (T&N Adaptive Foam) to provide the best elements of each traditional layer, without their downsides.
Products and Prices
Tuft & Needle currently offers two types of memory foam mattresses, with affordable price points: $325 - $750 for their standard "T&N" mattress (10" thickness, 2 layers of memory foam), and $650 - $1050 for their premium Mint mattresses (12" thick, 3 layers of foam). The product description says the premium Mint mattress hold 30% more gel beads and 30% more graphite material, providing more cushioned support and carrying away 50% more body heat.
The company also sells affordably-priced metal bases, slatted foundations, box foundations, and full bed frames. As with their mattresses, this direct to consumer brand also offers free shipping on their frames.
Shopping, Shipping, and Service
Customer service looks responsive and comprehensive, with online chat and seven-day-a-week phone support. If you'd like to try the mattress before you buy it, Tuft & Needle has a few options for you. The company has stores in Gilbert (AZ), Scottsdale (AZ), and Seattle, in addition to partner locations in New York City, Chicago, and Austin.
Otherwise, you'll need to order your mattress on faith, but it won't be a very big gamble—the company offers a 100-day trial program, where you can send it back for a full refund within the first 100 days! And to make you feel even better: 95% of customers keep their mattress, according to the company, and the Tuft & Needle Reviews
page on their website shows they've received over 130,000 reviews.
How They Deliver Value to Consumers
This direct to consumer leader offers the best of both worlds, in delivering value to consumers. Tuft & Needle's pricing is the lowest of the No Middleman mattress companies, and yet, their customer reviews and 95% satisfaction rate indicate that the company delivers a high-quality mattress.
How Direct to Consumer Are They?
We expect this brand to remain fiercely committed to their direct to consumer business model, despite a recent partnership with Lowe's. Tuft & Needle has been expanding into their own stores, and we believe the Lowe's partnership is partially the classic strategy of driving more consumer awareness at the cost of margin, but largely a strategy of using Lowe's supply chain so people can pick up their mattress on the day they need it. According to a July 2017 article on Recode.net
, Tuft & Needle was using Amazon's distribution capabilities in a similar way:
"Customers who order at the new Seattle store will receive one-day shipping through Amazon Prime if they are members," Recode wrote, adding: "How many people really need a mattress that quickly? The results of one previous Tuft & Needle experiment resulted in more than you might think. Typically, around 28 percent of shoppers who visit a Tuft & Needle store make a purchase before leaving. When the startup tested a same-day delivery offering, that conversion rate increased by nearly 50 percent."
With numbers like that—a doubling
of sales when consumers can try the mattress and get it the same day—it makes sense that Tuft & Needle would experiment with traditional retail channels in ways that don't impact quality or pricing.
In fact, when we checked the pricing across all of Tuft & Needle's channels (Amazon, website, and Lowe's), the prices reconciled as the same, and one mattress industry watchdog pointed out that the brand has actually had a recent history of lowering
prices across the board, instead of raising them to absorb the costs of retail. It's easy to see why Tuft & Needle is a No Middleman favorite!
Final Thoughts on Tuft & Needle
We're optimistic toward the future of this investor-free, middleman-minimizing brand! For their exceptional quality, low prices, and direct to consumer leadership, Tuft & Needle is a No Middleman favorite in the direct to consumer mattresses