Budget Mattress Startup Showdown: Tuft & Needle vs. Casper

I recently went through the process of vetting and buying not one, but two mattresses from two of the better known mattress startups (which apparently is a thing now).

One of the more devastating impacts of my now not-so-recent breakup was losing my brand spanking new Tuft & Needle, something my former S.O. and I had debated getting for months before finally pulling the trigger and getting rid of our old mattress. We had that bad boy maybe 4-5 weeks before I was given the old heave-ho, myself. While I could’ve probably made the case to bring it with me, he loved it more, and I figured there was no better time to try out Casper.

So, although unplanned, I got to effectively try out each mattress for at least a month, and pick a winner. I thought I’d share my experience, in case anyone else was on the market for a new budget-friendly mattress — although hopefully under different circumstances.

The Contenders

While there are a good amount of mattress startups in the world (seriously, who knew?), it came down to Tuft & Needle and Casper.

Business Model

Both are relative newcomers and rapidly growing startups (woo!), but I’ll give this win to Tuft & Needle for producing their mattresses (and all components) domestically. Meanwhile Casper’s mostly produced domestically, but the fabric and assembly are done in Belgium and Mexico, respectively.

Otherwise, they share a few similarities on the business side:

  • 100-night return policy and money-back guarantee
  • 10-year warranty
  • Free shipping and returns
  • If you don’t love your mattress, they’ll donate them to local charities!

This means, worst case scenario, I get my money back and a local shelter gets a brand spanking new mattress. Win-win. Best case scenario, I sleep easy knowing I’m covered for 10 years.

Construction

Both share roughly the same dimensions, and are made entirely of foam. While Tuft & Needle has two distinct layers of polyurethane, Casper has four layers – two of polyfoam, a base foam, and one memory foam layer.

Both mattresses arrive tightly rolled in an unassuming (and surprisingly heavy) box. I have to say, watching these mattresses to “inflate” is pretty damn satisfying.

How They Feel

Both are great at keeping you cool, are perfectly breathable, but Casper was noticeably softer, giving that perfect just-sinking-in-enough feeling. T&N sinks down maybe half an inch, while Casper lets you sink in an inch or an inch and a half. Casper just feels like a good relationship memory foam mattress is supposed to feel – soft and supportive. No toppers required.

Personally, I found Casper to be the winner in terms of construction and comfort. I’ve never slept so well in my life.

Costs

Casper v. T&F Prices

No need to mince words – Tuft & Needle wins on cost, regardless of size. The difference is anywhere from $200 to $400 on a mattress, so if firm mattresses are your thing, that’s the clear winner.

If, however, for those of us that love that sinking-into-your-dreams feeling, it’s been so worth the $350 difference.

The Verdict

Come on, obviously Casper was my winner. But that’s just based on my preference for a supportive-yet-cloud-like mattress. Outside of that, the two were incredibly similar.

If not for the feeling of having your whole body hugged by a cool marshmallow, I’d have to give this one to Tuft & Needle, based on cost and the fact that it’s produced entirely domestically.

But really though. Internal struggle of budget and US-produced goods aside, get yourself a Casper. Even outside of the startup-mattress niche, it’s the single best mattress I’ve ever slept on.

2 thoughts on “Budget Mattress Startup Showdown: Tuft & Needle vs. Casper

  1. You know, I don’t usually read blogs for mattress comparisons, but this was actually beneficial lol. Probably within the next year or so I’ll probably be in the market for one. Will have to keep this in mind. Just too bad they are so expensive no matter where you go. But worth it!

    • I’m so glad it’s useful! Didn’t expect to compare the two, but I figured since I tried both I may as well share the experience. Hope you love your next mattress as much as I love mine!

      It’s one of those “big three” that separate you from the ground: shoes, tires, mattress. Always worth it to buy once, and buy right.

Leave a Reply