In This Article
- About the Brands
- Tuft & Needle and Zinus Comparison
- And the winner is…
Mattress shopping is the worst. We’d almost rather continue to sleep on the innerspring mattress in our grandmother’s house forever than set foot in a showroom again. Thankfully, enough companies are disrupting the mattress industry that we won’t have to do either.
Tuft & Needle and Zinus are two ultra-budget options from the bed-in-a-box world that can get you into a new bed without breaking your wallet and without making you traipse around the circus that is a mattress showroom. Which one is the best low-cost option? Let’s take a look together.
About the Brands
Before we start, we should give you a few points of reference on each brand.
Tuft & Needle Recap Full Review
What To Like
- very cooling sleep option
- good support for back pain
- made in the United States
- very affordable
What Not To Like
- edge support is iffy
- no options for heavier than average sleepers
Zinus Recap Full Review
What To Like
- very affordable
- options for firmness
- both innerspring and foam choices
- showroom availability
What Not To Like
- manufactured in China
- no options for heavy sleepers
Tuft & Needle and Zinus Comparison
These companies take different approaches to the mattress disruption solution, but there are a few things they have in common.
How are Tuft & Needle and Zinus Similar?
Let’s start with the boring things before we get to what you really want to know.
Contour and Support
Your grandmother’s mattress was terrible at conforming to your body. It forced your body into a weird position because it didn’t contour to the body’s natural curves. The result? Your shoulders got squished and your torso overextended. Ouch.
Both of these companies take a different approach. The top layers of each mattress are contouring layers. They give way where you’re more broad, such as through the shoulder and hip area, so those areas sink down into the bed. The material then expands to fill in curves, such as around your torso, so instead of bowing or looking like a straight line, the surface of the mattress looks like you.
Underneath, support layers push back against your body to keep you from sinking too far. Your spine stays aligned, and your legs don’t bend along with your body.
Honestly, both companies struggle with edge support. We notice a lot of compression when we sit on the side of the mattress or when sleeping next to the side of the bed. It’s not the worst that we’ve seen, so you slide or tumble off, but there’s probably a sweet spot in the middle that will be the most comfortable.
Grandma’s mattress was also terrible at waking you up if someone next to you was restless. You could feel each tiny (or significant) motion, so your nights were likely a bit restless unless both of you slept like the dead.
Both of these companies are great at reducing overall motion so that you sleep more peacefully. Layers of adaptive foams or individually wrapped coils come together to isolate movement and keep everybody relatively peaceful.
Another benefit of motion isolation is that no one creates a dip in the bed by being heavier than the other. If you’ve ever rolled towards someone in the middle of the night because of that dip, this should be good news for you.
If you don’t want to pay for the entire mattress, you have financing options available from both companies. You receive a decision within minutes, and you can check out as usual.
Both companies use a compression method that makes it possible to ship your mattress in a box. The box arrives on your doorstep, and you carefully unpack and tear the plastic away from the bed to allow it to re-inflate.
Your mattress should be ready to sleep on in a matter of hours, but Zinus might take a little longer.
The upside to this type of delivery is that you don’t have to wait on a delivery person to get there during a specific time frame. The downside is that there’s no one to help you set up your mattress and the delivery person isn’t going to haul away your old one.
The transition to your new mattress isn’t quite as seamless, but it will save you some money and time if you’re able to coordinate all those things yourself.
Warranty and Sleep Trial
Both companies give you a full 100 nights to try out your mattress with no minimum number of trial nights. We recommend that you give your new mattress at least 30 days to allow your body to adjust to the new mattress and allow pain to subside over time.
Both companies also offer a ten-year warranty against defective mattresses. Your mattress needs to be adequately supported to prevent voiding the warranty, and your bed can’t be used for anything that falls outside its original usage (no using it as a landing pad for your high jumps).
Options For Heavy Sleepers
Both companies have a gap in their mattress offerings when it comes to heavier than average people. The weight ratings aren’t high enough to accommodate larger people, so you’re going to lose the contouring benefits, and the mattresses may feel firmer than they would to a person of average weight. We recommend changing course to a bed that considers your unique needs.
How Are Tuft & Needle and Zinus Different?
Here’s what you’ve been waiting for: what sets these two apart?
Tuft & Needle Mattress Styles
Tuft & Needle has two basic styles. The original uses two layers of foam, one contouring and one supporting. They have cooling properties built into the layers to keep you from getting hot and sweaty during the night. The Mint uses three layers and has even more charcoal and gel infusions to be even colder. It’s also covered in a Japanese material that aids in further temperature regulation.
Zinus Mattress Styles
Zinus has three different styles of mattress, but each line has a lot of options. The memory foam line uses different types of adaptive foam layers that are contouring and supporting. The inner spring line uses individually wrapped coils plus comfort materials for more response while still isolating motion and providing contouring. The hybrid option uses both to give memory foam lovers their beloved hug while still offering bounce and support that innerspring lovers crave.
Each style has beds intended to solve different issues. Some are cooling for those who tend to sleep hot and sweaty. Some have infusions that help with odor control (also for sweaty sleepers). Some are firmer for back pain, and others are softer for side sleepers. Many of the models also have different depths, so you don’t have to buy all new linens unless you want to.
Tuft & Needle is manufactured in the United States and mattresses ship from those locations. If it’s crucial for you to support a company that keeps its business here, Tuft & Needle is the way to go.
Zinus is an international company. It has product design teams in South Korea and currently manufactures in Xiamen, China. The upside is that cost savings are passed along to you, but you’ll have to decide if that’s worth it.
Both of these companies are considered budget lines, but Zinus is a little cheaper. Most twin options start for as little as $104 to $198 depending on the model and go up to around $285 to just under $500 for a California King. There is some variation between the models, but that’s about the average range.
The Tuft & Needle budget model starts at just $325 for a twin and goes to about $700 for a California King. The Mint begins at $650 for a twin and goes to $1050 for a California King.
Zinus puts some of their mattresses in showrooms and retails stores across the United States. The most famous is Walmart. It’s possible to test out a few of their models in person before you make your decision.
Tuft & Needle doesn’t have a showroom, so you’ll have to rely on their sleep trial to decide if it’s right for you. The upside is that you have plenty of time with their generous sleep trial and you don’t have to give up your old mattress during delivery.
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.
Tuft & Needle might be a little more expensive, but we think that the overall composition of the mattress, plus the fact that you aren’t waiting for international shipment, outweighs the ultra-budget properties of Zinus. Zinus is a good option if your only consideration is price (guest beds, anyone?) but the little bit of extra cash will get you a more durable mattress.
When you look at the comparison, they’re mostly tied, but Tuft & Needle is manufactured in the United States and seems to have a longer lifespan than the Zinus models. We also like Tuft & Needle’s cooling properties a little more. You don’t necessarily need the Mint, but we think the extra money here is worth it.
- Quality – Tuft & Needle
- Price – Zinus
- Reputation – Tuft & Needle
- Sleep Trial – Tie
- Warranty – Tie
- Customer Support – Tie
- Product Selection – Zinus
For sleepers with specific needs…
Side Sleepers: Choose Tuft & Needle
Here’s why. The depth of the Tuft & Needle mattress gives you more contour when you’re lying on your side. Although edge support is lacking, the bed itself is pretty supportive of side sleepers.
Stomach Sleepers: Choose Tuft & Needle
Here’s why. Tuft & Needle’s medium firmness gives stomach sleepers good support and prevents the back from overextending while you’re sleeping in Superman position. You can’t use the side as effectively to get into position, but it’s still proper support.
Back Pain: Choose Tuft & Needle
Here’s why. Tuft & Needle’s medium firm plus cooling option prevents you from tossing and turning during the night. The less you move looking for a comfortable position, the less likely you are to wrench your back into a weird place and wake up with pain in the morning.
Heavy People: Choose neither
Here’s why. Neither option is right for heavier sleepers because they aren’t rated for any weight over that of the average sleeper range. The contouring layers won’t be as contouring, and you’ll interact with the support layer more, so the mattress will feel too firm. Some of the thinner Zinus models may be especially bad in this regard.
We recommend going with a company that has a higher weight rating (Purple or Ghostbed) or is specially made for those who are heavier than the average sleeper (Winkbeds Plus).
Couples: Choose Tuft & Needle
Here’s why. Unless you’re completely sold on an all innerspring mattress, Tuft & Needle’s cooling properties should keep both of you comfortable. The medium firm choices are great for those who need combination support or sleep in different types of positions. It hits all the highs for the average sleeper, and we think you’ll be delighted with it.
Sometimes, it’s worth it to spend a little more to get better quality. Zinus is excellent for a guest bed or occasional sleeping, but we think the durability of the Tuft & Needle is a better and you won’t go looking for a new mattress before you have to.
Zinus’s manufacturing location may not be an issue for you, but for some, international manufacturing can break the deal. Tuft & Needle is manufactured exclusively in the United States, so your mattress spends less time in transit and less time wrapped in plastic. There’s a smaller chance that the foam will be damaged during compression periods.
If you have the slight extra budget, we think it’s worth it in this case so that you can get a mattress that addresses your needs and has more durability. It’s worth it.
How important is it that your mattress is manufactured in the United States? Does budget take priority over that? Let us know in the comments below.