Tuft & Needle vs. Nectar Mattress Comparison

Updated on January 17, 2020 While all product recommendations are chosen independently, we may receive compensation for purchases made through our site. Learn more about our affiliate program here.

Tuft & Needle and Nectar Sleep are two of the leading names in the bed-in-a-box market. Both are relatively new companies that offer quality all-foam mattresses at competitive prices.

Tuft & Needle took the market by storm in 2012, claiming to fill the gap for a quality mattress at a non-inflated price point. The company makes a simple, dual-layer mattress that leaves almost everybody satisfied.

Nectar Sleep was founded in 2017. The Nectar mattress is thick, with four layers of foam that aim to provide a better sleeping experience.

Both companies have racked up a long list of satisfied customers, and deciding which is a better mattress is a matter of personal preference. In this article we’ll cover the specifics of Nectar Sleep vs. Tuft & Needle and help you decide which mattress is right for you.

Tuft & Needle has since released an upgraded mattress, the Mint, and Nectar has branched into hybrid mattresses with its DreamCloud offshoot. However, for the purposes of this review, we’ll be focusing on the Nectar and Tuft & Needle flagship mattresses.

Mattress Construction Comparison

Tuft & Needle

The Tuft & Needle flagship mattress is made of two layers. The mattress cover is a micro polyamide/polyester blend that sleeps cool.

The top layer is a 3 inch comfort layer made of proprietary “adaptive” foam that aims to mimic the best features of memory foam and latex. It has a density of about 2.8 pounds per cubic foot (PCF). The foam is infused with heat-wicking graphite and cooling gel.

The base layer is a 7 inch support layer made of a polyfoam with a density of about 1.8 PCF. In total, the mattress is 10 inches tall.

Tuft & Needle Layers


The Nectar mattress is 11 inches thick. It’s made of a foam base layer, three memory foam layers, and an eco-friendly Tencel cover, which helps wick away heat and circulate fresh air.

The 1 inch comfort layer is a quilted gel memory foam that conforms to the body to relieve pressure while providing loft and breathability.

The next is a 3 inch layer of semi-firm medical-grade gel memory foam. This is a semi-open foam which helps regulate heat and distributes your weight evenly.

Under that is a 1.75 inch layer of adaptive hi-core memory foam which is built to provide support. Nectar claims to be the only direct-to-consumer bed company that uses this heavy, high-quality foam in their mattresses.

The 5.25 inch base layer is a high-density foam, specially constructed for breathability and support.


Firmness Comparison

The firmness of a mattress refers to how hard or soft the mattress feels. It’s one of the biggest components that determines how comfortable you’ll find a mattress. Mattress firmness is subjective and a mattress that is too soft for one person might be just right for another. Your body mass index (BMI), your sleeping position, whether you sleep hot or cool, and other factors all play a role in determining your sweet spot for mattress firmness.

Mattress firmness is usually described on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being extremely soft or “plush” and 10 being rock-hard. The vast majority of people tend to prefer mattresses that are “medium-firm,” between a 5 and a 7 on the firmness scale. Some companies offer different firmness options for their mattresses but almost all mattress companies aim to provide at least the option of a medium-firm mattress, as it’s the most popular firmness level.

Both the Tuft & Needle and the Nectar only offer their mattresses in one firmness level. The Tuft & Needle is a 6.5, or medium-firm on the firmness scale. While most customers were initially happy with this firmness, a number of people reported that the foam became markedly softer after six months to a year. This might be due to the lower-density foam used in the mattress, which is not as durable. Other customers also complained they could feel the support layers through the relatively thin top layer, which might be a problem for heavier sleepers.

The Nectar uses better-quality foam and features a transition layer that eliminates this problem. This mattress also falls around a 6.5 on the firmness scale.

Sleep Experience

Factors like temperature control, motion transfer, responsiveness, and edge support also play a role in the overall sleeping experience. The Tuft & Needle and the Nectar each have a different feel due to the differences in their construction, and each mattress will appeal to different types of sleepers. In this section, we’ll compare the sleep experience of the Tuft & Needle vs. Nectar mattresses.

Temperature Control

Not all mattresses are cut from the same cloth when it comes to temperature regulation. Some mattresses are built with materials that retain more heat, and some mattresses let you sink into the top layer, which reduces airflow around your body. Both of these factors lead to overheating, or “sleeping hot.”

Some people naturally sleep hotter than others. If you’re one of those people who wake up bathed in sweat even on a comparatively cool night, you’ll want to avoid mattresses that sleep hot.

Unfortunately, memory-foam mattresses have a reputation for sleeping hot. Traditional memory foam has a high heat retention rate. Memory foam also contours to your body curves, leaving less room for airflow and increasing your body temperature.

Although both the Nectar and the Tuft & Needle have top layers made of memory foam, both mattresses have elements to provide a cooler sleeping experience.

The Tuft & Needle features a proprietary “adaptive” foam in its top layer that is infused with a cooling gel and graphite, which is known for its heat-wicking properties. Most people find the Tuft & Needle sufficiently breathable.

Customers have been largely satisfied with the cooling techniques used in the Nectar. The Tencel cooling cover does a good job of circulating air and wicking away heat, and the gel cooling memory foam increases breathability.

Motion Transfer

Motion transfer refers to the impact of movement in one part of the mattress on other parts of the mattress. A mattress is said to have good motion isolation when you’re able to toss and turn without your movements annoying your sleeping partner.

Memory foam generally does well in this category, as it adapts and contours locally without the movement being felt on other parts of the mattress. Predictably, both the Tuft & Needle and the Nectar rate well on motion isolation.


A responsive mattress will tailor its cushioning in proportion to the weight that is applied to it. This helps support the parts of your body that naturally sink further into the mattress, such as your shoulders and hips. Ideally, a responsive mattress will help relieve pressure points and keep your spine aligned.

Memory foam does an excellent job of adapting to your body’s contours, compressing in response to pressure and providing support where you need it most. Heavier people might appreciate the extra comfort layers in the Nectar.

Resilience and Bounce

One of the biggest disadvantages of memory foam is that it has low resilience. Resilience refers to the ability of a mattress to spring back to its original shape when pressure is no longer being applied to it.

Mattresses with high resilience feel bouncier, while mattresses with low resilience are harder to move around in and can lead to feelings of being stuck in the bed. Mattresses with low resilience are counter-productive for sex and for people who frequently shift sleeping positions.

As they’re made of memory foam, neither the Tuft & Needle nor the Nectar could be described as bouncy. However, both are firmer than many other memory foam mattresses. The Tuft & Needle’s proprietary “adaptive” foam aims to mimic the bounciness of latex.

Edge Support

A common complaint with foam mattresses is the lack of edge support, which can make it feel like you’re falling off the edge of the bed. Both the Tuft & Needle and the Nectar mattresses lack reinforced edge support. This can be a drawback for people who like sitting on the edge of the mattress or who have trouble getting out of bed.

Off-gassing and Smell

Off-gassing refers to the odor that is often released when a compressed mattress is unpacked from its box. The odor can hang around for a few hours or up to a few days, depending on the quality of the materials. Off-gassing is caused by “volatile organic compounds” (VOCs). They can be unpleasant, but there is no evidence that inhaling mattress VOCs is harmful to health.

Tuft & Needle’s mattress is CertiPUR-US® and GREENGUARD Gold certified and customers report a very faint odor, if any, upon unpacking. The Nectar mattress is also CertiPUR-US® certified. Some customers reported a faint off-gassing odor upon receipt of the Nectar mattress, but the smell dissipated within 24 hours of unpacking.


Shipping, Trial, Warranty, and Returns

It takes around 30 days for your body to become accustomed to a new mattress, so it’s important to have a decent trial period and return policy. Warranties can help against serious manufacturing defects.

Tuft & NeedleNectar
Delivery fee Free shipping in the contiguous U.S. Free shipping in the contiguous U.S.
How is it shipped?Bed-in-a-boxBed-in-a-box
Old mattress removal?Free in CaliforniaAt additional cost
Sleep trial length100 nights365 nights
Return cost and processFull refund with donation receipt; customer responsible for removalNo cost; company picks up
Warranty length10 yearsLifetime

Prices, Sizes, and Value

Still can’t choose between the Nectar mattress vs. the Tuft & Needle? If both mattresses offer the features you’re looking for, then budget might be the deciding factor when choosing your mattress.

Mattress Size Tuft & Needle Nectar
Twin XL$395$569
California King$750$999

The Nectar and the Tuft & Needle mattresses are in a similar price bracket. The Nectar is slightly more expensive, but both mattress companies offer a decent product at a reasonable price.

Tuft & Needle puts an emphasis on the universal appeal of its mattress and claims to offer the quality of a high-end mattress at a cheaper price point. While many customers are very happy with their Tuft & Needle mattress, there have been reports of the foam losing its integrity after the first year.

With its better-quality materials, the Nectar mattress might be worth the slightly higher price if you want a more durable product. If you keep an eye out, you can catch the Nectar at a discount. It’s rarer for the Tuft & Needle to be discounted.


Tuft & Needle Mattress vs. Nectar Mattress – Which One Should You Buy?

It’s difficult to compare the Nectar mattress to the Tuft & Needle. Here are some factors that may help you make up your mind when deciding which mattress is right for you.

Buy the Tuft & Needle mattress if you:

  • Are price-conscious: It’s hard to beat the value of the Tuft & Needle. Everything else aside, the Tuft & Needle is clearly cheaper than the Nectar. If cost is a major consideration, go with the Tuft & Needle.
  • Are a side sleeper: Side sleepers, especially average-weight side sleepers, rated the Tuft & Needle slightly higher than the Nectar. This might be because the Tuft & Needle loses some firmness within the first few months, reducing pressure points at the hips and shoulders.
  • Care about customer service: Tuft & Needle has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and a reputation for taking client feedback seriously. Since customer service is hugely important when buying a mattress online, this might be a factor to consider.

Buy the Nectar mattress if you:

  • Are a heavyweight sleeper: The Nectar devotes more room to its comfort layers, meaning you’re less likely to feel the uncomfortable support layers – a common complaint with the Tuft & Needle.
  • Are worried about longevity: The higher-quality foam used in the Nectar mattress means it’s likely to last longer than the Tuft & Needle.
  • Are having trouble making up your mind: With its 365-night sleep trial and forever warranty, the Nectar offers peace of mind for sleepers who aren’t sure they’ll love their new mattress.

Both the Tuft & Needle and the Nectar provide an affordable night’s sleep, with materials that punch above their weight in terms of value for money.

Despite the differences in their materials, both are all-foam mattresses with a similar firmness level. They share many of the same advantages: superior motion isolation, excellent contouring, and a tendency to sleep relatively cool for memory foam.

Ultimately, the choice is up to you. Whether you choose the Tuft & Needle or the Nectar, you can rest assured you’re investing in a quality product.


See how the Tuft & Needle and Nectar compare to other mattresses: