I impulse-bought a T&N. Was I dumb, and is plywood laid over a one-beam frame an okay mattress platform?

As the topic says, I just bought king sized Tuft & Needle mattress. I did some preliminary research on Consumer Reports and Sweethome (I don’t have the ability to transport a mattress that large, so I’m basically locked into sleep trials with mattress-in-a-box companies), and T&N was a quick stand-out. Both review outlets recommended them highly, and unlike Casper and Leesa so did the end users on Consumer Reports. They also had the best price on either list by several hundred dollars, and excellent customer service (they allowed me to cancel my already-shipped Queen and upgrade to a King instead, free of charge or hassle).

I was excited to recieve my mattress and get off my worn-out Serta that’s killing my back, but the spin factory that is Sleepopolis made me start doubting my choice, and in turn my skepticism of their netutrality brought me here (yay! this is an incredible community that I wish more indisutries had). After looking over the Tutorial and Phoenix’s comments on T&N vs eLuxurySupply (I had no idea density ratings were not standardized across materials), I’m reassured and I only have two questions left that I wasn’t able to find the answers to:

  • Are there other notable quality-per-dollar mattresses that I missed and should consider testing? I’m limited to things that can be shipped to my apartment, but I’m seeing Dreamfoam mentioned a lot in that category. Are they a comparable value? Any others?

  • [strike]And secondly, what’s the most cost-effective way to support this mattress on the classic metal skeleton frame with a single center beam? I asked T&N if I should go with narrowly spaced slats or a solid sheet of finished plywood (and if plywood, how thick), and they didn’t have much of an opinion. They’re very confident that their mattress will work on anything, but I’m worried about long-term sagging in the plywood.[/strike] Nevermind, I found the platform thread. Thank you!

Thank you Phoenix for building this incredible community, and for sticking with us after your loss earlier this year. I can only imagine how hard that must be. =(

Hi Your Loyal Vizier,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :slight_smile:

You may have already seen my comments about the Consumer Reports mattress ratings and recommendations in post #2 here and in this topic. While they may be a good source of information about more “objective” purchases, I would consider them to be an unreliable source of information or guidance about purchasing a mattress and their “ratings” are somewhat nonsensical and meaningless. My thoughts are also shared by most of the more knowledgeable people in the industry (see post #5 here for an example).

You can see my comments about the Sleepopolis Site (and many other similar so called “review sites” which are really just revenue sites that know little about mattresses or mattress materials) in post #11 here and in posts #4 and #6 here but the good news is that you ended up buying a great quality/value mattress in spite of the somewhat questionable information there.

The “bed in a box” category is one that continues to grow, so if a product being able to be shipped either compressed or in components is important to you, you certainly have many choices.

Just in case you haven’t read it yet … the first place to start your research is the mattress shopping tutorial here which includes all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choice … and perhaps more importantly know how and why to avoid the worst ones.

Two of the most important links in the tutorial that I would especially make sure you’ve read are post #2 here which has more about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress (either locally or online) that is the best “match” for you in terms of “comfort”, firmness, and PPP that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for and post #13 here which has more about the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase which can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability (how well he will sleep), durability (how long he will sleep well), and the overall value of a mattress compared to your other finalists based on all the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you (including the price of course and the options you have available after a purchase if your choice doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for).

Then I would make sure that you find out information listed here about any mattress you’re considering so you can compare the quality of the materials and components to the durability guidelines here to make sure there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress that would be a cause for concern relative to the durability and useful life of a mattress before making any purchase.

Once you’ve done that bit of reading, you might then wish to look online and use the experience and expertise of the members listed in post #21 here who are all very experienced and knowledgeable and specialize in providing the type of help and guidance on the phone that can help you make good choices with the type of mattress you are considering. There are a wide range of latex and memory foam and option (shipping compressed or in pieces) included in the choices there and I believe that all of them compete well with the best in the industry in terms of their quality, value, service, and transparency.

Their detailed knowledge of their mattresses and how they fit with different body types and sleeping positions along with your feedback from local testing, a customer base of many people that they can use as reference points, and any exchange, return, or any options they have available to customize a mattress after a purchase can help lower the risk of an online purchase.

You may also want to visit the Simplified Choice thread here, as it provides quite a few details about many of the “one-size-fits-all” mattresses, most of which ship compressed to your home.

If you come up with other more specific questions, let me know.

I appreciate your kind words.


I’m back! Follow-up opinion: this thing is a g^&%*#(n brick.

Let me preface this rant with some user context: I’m a 5’6" 205lbs male who rotates between back and stomach sleeping (with rare side sleep to relieve a knee pain triggered by extension). My girlfriend is a 5’2" 175 dedicated side sleeper. Between us we cover almost all the bases, and after more than two weeks of break-in neither one of us has managed to get a single night of restful sleep on the new mattress

Since I’m above average weight, I expected it would feel softer than reported… not so. It’s so hard that once I fall asleep on my back, I often wake up on my side, then my stomach, then my side again, as though my poor unconscious self is trying any means necessary to find comfort. Even the nights I think I slept okay, my girlfriend tells me I shifted and flopped about and mumbled all night long. I’m not getting any actual rest when I sleep, to the point where it’s making me listless and bipolar during the day. I always try to keep the inherent subjectivity of choices like this in mind, but I really am struggling to understand how ANYONE could get a good night’s sleep on this thing. I grew up on a futon and it pales in comparison to this… it’s bad, guys. Maybe I got a bad apple? I put an encasement protector on it, not sure to what degree that affects the feel. I also know the floor beneath the mattress is somewhat pitted under the carpet, but I don’t think that explains irregular firmness…

Regardless, it’s going back to T&N. I came back to pick your brain about what to try next, as I’m pretty skeptical of the Leesa and Casper options that The Sweethome recommended. They’re usually pretty objective, but this is a subjective area and that’s a non-trivial step up in price.

But before I could even post, I saw the megathread about the currently-introductory-priced Arctic Dream from Dreamfoam. If it weren’t for your comments defending the build quality, I never would have entertained something with this pricetag as a valid option! Money is tighter than I like to admit right now, so replacing the T&N with something that costs half as much is truly exciting (as is the free pillow, I worry my current one might be part of my problem). I already left Chuck a voicemail asking what firmness he thought I should choose, and I’m looking forward to hearing back. In the meantime, have any other ultrabudget wonders cropped up lately that bear investigating?

I also found a princess-and-the-pea thread where you commented that a variance of 0.25" or more in your foundation can create a noticable difference in mattress feel. That’s shocking, and very worrying. As I mentioned before, I live in a s&$^@^le apartment where they’ve obviously just recarpet over damage to the floors from previous tenants… it’s not easily visible under carpet, but there are pits deep enough to feel with your foot all over my room, and my T&N mattress is currently lying directly on the floor (their website claims this is fine). What is my most budget-conscious option to try and responsibly correct this?

Hi Your Loyal Vizier,

Nice to hear from you again, and thanks for the follow up (I did edit a few words in your reply. While I sympathize with your pain, I do try to keep the language here on the board “above board” :wink: .)

I’m sorry to hear your Tuft and Needle mattress isn’t working out for you as well as you planned. As you’ve only had the item for two weeks, it will certainly soften up a bit and lose some of that “false firmness”, although I understand this might not be making enough difference for you in comfort to find the product something that suits your needs.

Replying on other “reports” or the advice of some of the other sites you mentioned in your previous post is one of the least reliable ways to select a mattress, and one of the reasons I recommend to eschew such items. It is possible that you are not sleeping well on your new mattress because your body finds the product uncomfortable and is constantly repositioning because the pressure build-up requires this. It is also possible that you are going through a normal period of retrogression, where your body is not used to a new product and it will take some time for you to adjust. Ultimately, I would tend to trust your instincts, and if you think the product is too firm for your liking, that’s most likely correct.

As you know, comfort is subjective, and there are people who find a product like this too soft, so not being good for you doesn’t necessarily mean that it wouldn’t be comfortable for others. But ultimately, it is your opinion that is the most important, as you’re the one who needs to achieve good, restorative sleep.

I’m not sure what you mean by “irregular firmness”. The sheets of foam used in the product are solid sheets. If there is an area of the mattress that feels quite a bit softer than another, that is something that you may wish to bring to the attention of Tuft and Needle in a phone call. I will say that if the floor underneath your mattress is irregular, this will impact the feel of the mattress. Perhaps there is one area in your home where the floor is perfectly flat and firm where you could compare the feel of the product? And while I know this is an obvious thing, do you have the mattress oriented properly with the base foam side down? I know it seems silly to ask, but it happens more times than you might think that people have the mattress “upside down”.

I would include sites like what you just mentioned in the cautions I listed to you in my previous reply of ignoring them as a reliable source of mattress selecting advice.

The Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams is a budget-friendly item that uses higher-quality layers than what you would normally find in that budget price range. They’ve recently expanded their offerings in this line, and a phone conversation with Chuck, explaining what you have right now and what you’re trying to accomplish, would be your best option. He’ll be the first to admit what this mattress is all about and the potential pitfalls to assist you in managing your expectations.

My previous reply to you had some of my best suggestions for online options, but as you’re considering a more restricted budget range, then post #4 here and the posts it links to also include many of the better lower budget online options I’m aware of.

It is correct that small imperfections on a floor can translate through to the comfort of the mattress. I don’t know if your flooring imperfections would rise to that level of unevenness, so my best suggestion is as I listed previously to find an area in your apartment where the floor is perfectly flat, perhaps without carpet, jut to test and see if the mattress feels about the same. If you did find that you had rather large imperfections in your floor, the least expensive option I can come up with would be plywood sheeting on top of the carpeting.

I’ll be interested to learn of your conversation with Chuck at Dreamfoam (they’re members here, which means I think highly of them), as his suggestions for you.