Tuft & Needle vs. Helix Mattress Comparison 2022 : Which Is Better?

View The Winner

There’s nothing like the sudden death contest between two mattress companies with limited mattress offerings. In fact, the two approaches are so different that we might need more time to sort everything out.

Just kidding.

We’ve got your definitive guide to which mattress deserves a place in your bedroom with our Tuft & Needle versus Helix matchup. Let’s get to it.

About The Brands

First, a bit about the brands.

Tuft & Needle Recap Full Review

What To Like

  • very affordable
  • simple layers are durable
  • sleeps cooler than other foam mattresses
  • good for back pain

What Not To Like

  • no firmness options
  • no consideration for heavy sleepers

Helix Recap Full Review

What To Like

  • mattress customization
  • dual sided options
  • temperature regulation for different preferences
  • affordable

What Not To Like

  • weight doesn’t seem to figure heavily into the customization system
  • edge support is lacking

Tuft & Needle And Helix Comparison

Honestly, these two companies take such different approaches to the mattress in a box question that we aren’t sure exactly where to start. Let’s begin with a few things that fall on the same side.

How Are Tuft & Needle and Helix Similar?

The underlying premise of their mattress options is the same.

Contouring and Supporting Layers

We had to get away from the single layer of coils mattress concept because it just wasn’t working. Sure, you could name all kinds of technology as being more revolutionary, but the basic idea behind our sleep deserves to be on that list.

Old mattresses forced your body to conform to the surface of the bed. They compressed your shoulders and kept you from finding a comfortable position. Some mattresses weren’t any different than sleeping on the floor, and softer options weren’t supportive at all.

The idea of adaptive layers changed the way we think about mattresses. Usually, comfort materials on the top contour to your body and allow the broadest sections to sink further into the mattress than where you curve in. Contouring layers fill in those gaps, so every part of you is in a comfortable, aligned position.

The support layers underneath prevented the mattress from buckling or sagging underneath you, so your spine stays straight and your legs don’t get thrust up over parts of your hips and torso. It’s a beautiful concept.

Motion Transfer

The other issue with traditional coil mattresses is that if your partner moves even a little during the night, that motion reverberates throughout the bed. Both of these companies have arranged layers in their mattresses that limit that transfer so that you get a better night’s sleep.

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Another benefit of motion isolation is that there’s no dip in the mattress underneath the heavier partner. You won’t roll towards each other in the middle of the night (unless you want to) and each of you gets a nice, flat surface to sleep on.

Temperature Regulation

Both mattresses do a great job of helping your body stay a little cooler during the night. The newest Mint mattress goes to great lengths to help hot sleepers remain a little more comfortable, and part of Helix’s customization process is to determine whether you sleep hotter than the average person, so they can arrange layers accordingly.

Financing

Even with mattress companies lowering the cost of mattresses by selling directly to the consumer, we understand that sometimes you don’t have a few hundred or thousand lying around. If this is you, both companies offer simple financing directly through their website. You receive a decision in minutes and can proceed with checkout as usual.

Warranty

Both companies offer a ten-year warranty for defective mattresses. They’ll replace any mattress that suffers damage or sag outside standard wear-and-tear entirely free for you. Your bed must be adequately supported, and you shouldn’t be doing anything outside regular use (no using it as a sled, guys).

Manufacturing and Customer Service

We get it. You want to support companies that contribute to the economy and haven’t outsourced production to an unnamed country abroad. You also don’t want to wait several weeks for your mattress to ship.

Both companies are based in the United States and manufacture their mattresses right here. You aren’t going to wait a million years for a bed to ship, and you get the satisfaction of support a company that’s supporting the US economy.

Customer service also appears to be domestic as well. When you call for an issue or with a question, it’s a relief to hear someone on the other line who speaks your language and doesn’t have any cultural differences that impede understanding. And again, you know that you’re supporting a company that provides jobs in the United States.

Trial Period

Both of these companies are essentially online only, so you’ll need some time to figure out if the mattress meets your needs. With Helix, even if you could find an option in the showroom, there’s no way you’d be able to try out every available combination.

Both companies give you 100 nights to sleep on your new mattress before deciding if it’s the one. This leeway gives you plenty of time to adjust to the bed and see if your pain or restlessness is improved over a period.

Be sure to sleep on the mattress for at least a month so you get the full idea of how your body will respond to the mattress.

Delivery

Delivery is simple. Your mattress is compressed and packaged into a simple box that arrives on your doorstep. There’s no waiting for a delivery person. You don’t even have to be home when the box comes.

You unpack the box and carefully tear away the plastic to allow the mattress to inflate. Give it a few hours and your new bed from either company will be ready for you.

Shipping is free, but the downside is that no one will be there to help you set up your mattress. You’ll have to ask a friend if you need help and arrange to have your old mattress hauled away or donated.

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Accessories

If you need to redo your entire sleep situation, you’re in luck. Both companies offer a range of accessories intended to complement their mattresses. You can find regular and adjustable bases, sheets and protectors, and pillows that mimic the bed itself (foam layers for Tuft & Needle and customizable for Helix).

Neither offers the option of a pet bed, yet, but we’re waiting patiently.

How are Tuft & Needle And Helix Different?

The approach to this new type of contouring/supporting mattress is very different between the two companies.

Tuft & Needle

Tuft & Needle uses a straightforward approach. It’s two layers of foam, one contouring and one supporting. The contouring layer is gel infused to help distribute heat away from your body and return the mattress to the ambient temperature of the room. The bottom layer is a dense support foam that pushes back against your body and keeps your spine aligned.

The Tuft & Needle Mint is a newer three-layer design that uses extra charcoal infused fabrics and more gel infusion for an even cooler night’s sleep. The bottom layer lends edge support and structural integrity to the mattress overall.

Helix

Helix uses a questionnaire system that tells them how to customize your mattress. You tell them your sleep preferences, temperature, position, whether you sleep with a partner, and other information. They arrange layers of foam based on those questions.

If you and your partner have vastly different sleep preferences, you can even split the larger sizes of bed so that you each get something more tailored to you.

It uses both foam and pocketed micro-coils, so it’s a little more responsive than a traditional memory foam mattress. It has cooling layers, contouring layers, and support layers of foam, all arranged differently for each customer.

Price and Sizing

Tuft & Needle is very affordable with a twin costing you just around $325 and a California King costing around $700. That’s a very budget mattress. The Tuft & Needle Mint jumps to $650 for a twin and $1050 for a California King.

Helix starts at $600 for a twin and $1250 for a California king. That isn’t much difference between the Mint, but if you’re on a serious budget, the original Tuft & Needle is the way to go.

They both have comparable sizes from twin to California king, but they don’t offer less common sizes besides the Twin XL.

And The Winner Is…

Tuft & Needle! Buy Online Now

We’re confident recommending Tuft & Needle as the best choice based on our analysis of key factors that an average, discerning mattress shopper would care most about.

We had a tough time, honestly, because we’re fascinated by the possibilities of the Helix customization model, but at this time, we aren’t entirely sure it works. As the company perfects its method and we can see more opinions rolling in besides our limited experience, we may change our mind.

Tuft & Needle is a well-crafted, ultra-budget option for people who want a simple mattress and don’t buy into the bells and whistles idea of a bed. The Mint is seriously cooling, and although it costs a bit more, if you tend to wake up in a puddle of sweat, it’s worth it to spend a little more. If your temperature stays pretty close to average, do your wallet a favor and get a quality, budget mattress.

  • Quality – Tie
  • Price – Tuft & Needle
  • Reputation – Tie
  • Sleep Trial – Tie
  • Warranty – Tie
  • Customer Support – Tie
  • Product Selection – Tuft & Needle
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For sleepers with specific needs…

We have a few specific recommendations for you to keep in mind.

Side Sleepers: Choose Tuft & Needle

Here’s why. Both of Tuft & Needle’s options offer you contouring and support so that you settle into the mattress more naturally. Although its edge support isn’t great, you aren’t going to get much better with the Helix. You should have enough to sleep somewhat near the edge without losing too much of your support although it won’t be as comfortable as the middle.

Stomach Sleepers: Choose Tuft & Needle

Here’s why. Tuft & Needle’s basic concept provides a lot of support for stomach sleepers. It’s firm enough to keep your spine from getting bent out of shape although if you prefer a truly firm mattress, you might consider Helix after all. Edge support is roughly the same, but the cost to your wallet will be different.

Back Pain: Choose Tuft & Needle

Here’s why. The basic layers of both models of Tuft & Needle gently position your body into a better place and encourage you to stay there without tossing and turning all night long. Again, if you need a very firm mattress, you might consider the Helix, but we think Tuft & Needle will address most back issues.

Heavy People: Choose Neither

Here’s why. Neither mattress does much to address the specific needs of someone who is heavier than the average sleeper. Unfortunately, that means that you’re going to lose a lot of support and contouring. Helix does give you the option if inputting weights for couples, but we got the same results whether we input an average difference of 50 to 100 pounds or 200 to 400 pounds of difference. We aren’t convinced that weight honestly factors into their algorithm yet.

Couples: Choose Helix

Here’s why. Helix gives you the option of customizing firmness and cooling if you have dramatic differences. If your partner needs to sleep in a refrigerator and you can’t get enough blankets on you, this might be a welcome option.

Plus, the micro-coil layer of the helix is often more fun for couple’s activities, but motion isolation gives you both a better night’s sleep. Tuft & Needle will be excellent if you need a budget option, but we might give the dual mattress option of Helix a try.

Conclusion

Sometimes, simple is better. Tuft & Needle forgoes the ultra-complicated mess of adaptive layers and gets back to basics with their two layer or three layer options. Both types contour to your body and provide support, plus regulate temperature, so there’s no need for anything fancier.

Helix’s customization model is intriguing, and we see a lot of potential there. Until we can get more info from other types of sleepers with very different needs from ours, we think it’s safer to go with Tuft & Needle, particularly their budget option.

What’s your take on the questionnaire method? Are you sold, or do you think it’s too risky still? Let us know in the comments below.

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