bear vs tuft and needle mattress review

Bear vs Tuft and Needle Mattress Review

Which bed in a box mattress is best? Find out in this Tuft and Needle vs Bear comparison.

In this post, we compare two of the most popular bed-in-a-box mattresses on the market, Tuft & Needle and Bear. We cover feel, firmness, sleeper type, and a lot more. Let's get to it.
AT A GLANCEPRICINGHEADLINE
bear mattress review coupon code promo code discount bedMemory Foam Feel$125 Off

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10" thick bed-in-a-box that has a soft, memory foam feel and is ideal for side and combo sleepers. It also has a special Celliant cover, which is great for active people.
tuft and needle mattress couponNeutral-Foam Feel See on AmazonOne of the most popular budget mattress-in-a-box options on the market. The bed has a soft, neutral-foam feel and accommodates all sleeper types.

Tuft And Needle Mattress vs Bear Synopsis

If you’re short on time or you just want to get down to brass tacks, here are the primary differences between these two beds.

  • Feel — The Bear mattress has a soft, memory foam feel, while Tuft & Needle has a slightly firmer, neutral-foam feel.
  • Price — Tuft & Needle is the more affordable option if you’re on a tight budget.
  • Sleeper Type — Tuft & Needle is preferable for back and stomach sleepers, while Bear is better for side sleepers.
  • Special Cover — The Bear mattress uses a Celliant cover, which provides several benefits for active people.

Those are the big differences. However, we go into much more detail about each point below. Keep reading to learn more about each of these bed-in-a-box mattresses.

Shipping, Returns, Trial Periods, And Warranties

Don’t let the term bed-in-a-box scare you off. Trust me, it’s much more convenient to purchase a bed online these days. You might be asking, well how do I try it before buying? We go over all that more in this section. Let’s start with Bear.

The Bear mattress comes with free shipping and will arrive at your doorstep (wait for it…) in a box. From there, just flex your muscles and move the box to your room. After you remove the plastic and unroll the mattress, just make sure to let it breathe for about 48-72 hours before you use it.

Unboxing the Bear mattress

Here’s where we circle back to the whole “try it before you buy it” subject. Once the mattress arrives, Bear offers you a 100-night risk-free sleep trial. The company is basically letting you test the mattress in the comfort of your own home for over three months to decide whether you truly like it. That sure beats the pants off trying a bed for a minute your local mattress store, right?

What happens if I don’t like it? Great question. It’s easy. If, after 30 days, you decide the Bear mattress isn’t your jam, no worries, just contact customer support and they’ll hook you up. First, they’ll schedule a third party crew to come pick up the mattress from your home for no additional fee. Once that happens, just provide Bear proof (usually just a pick-up receipt) that the bed has indeed been removed from your home and they’ll issue you a refund. Lastly, the Bear mattress also comes with a 10-year warranty. You can read more about it on the company’s website.

Tuft & Needle, like Bear, offers similar policies. The Tuft & Needle mattress comes with free delivery (arrives in a box as well), free returns, a 100-night trial period, and a 10-year warranty. To be honest, the policies we just reviewed are what you’ll get with most bed-in-a-box mattresses, so if you find Bear or T&N aren’t for you, don’t panic. What you’ll want to do next is take a deep breathe and then use our Mattress Finder Quiz.

Bear Mattress

BEST FOR:

  • People who like a memory foam feel
  • Side and combo sleepers
  • Petite and average sized body types
  • Folks who live an active lifestyle (Celliant cover)

NOT BEST FOR:

  • Heavy people (250+ lb)
  • Primary back and stomach sleepers
  • Folks who dislike a memory foam feel

First, it’s important to note Bear made some slight changes to the mattress in 2018. If you watched one of our Bear videos from 2017, you may have noticed how we talked about how firm the bed was. That’s not the case anymore. The new iteration of the bed is much softer and accommodating.

Bear Has A Memory Foam Feel

If you like memory foam, time to perk up because chances are you’ll dig the Bear mattress. For the top layer on the bed, Bear uses a thick layer of gel memory foam, which gives the bed a memory foam feel (big shocker). The bed is very soft and comfortable. As you lay down, you sink down into the bed a bit and the top layers conform to your body’s shape.

Responsive memory foam top layer

However, what’s unique about Bear is that the top memory foam layer is actually fairly responsive. Traditionally, memory foam is known for having slow responsiveness and sort of trapping the person sleeping. That doesn’t happen with this bed. In other words, there’s no stuck-in-the-mud feel with the Bear mattress, which is nice.

Bottom line, if you’re a fan of soft memory foam, we think you’ll like the feel of Bear.

Bear Is Better For Side Sleepers

In terms of advantages, Bear definitely gets the edge for side sleepers. Overall, the Bear mattress is softer than Tuft & Needle and provides a bit more pressure relief. Generally speaking, sleepers who spend a lot of time on their side prefer softer beds that are gentle around their pressure points. Sometimes with firm beds, these types of sleepers will start to feel some discomfort in their shoulders and hips after a long period of sleep.

bear mattress review side sleepers
Lots of pressure relief for side sleepers

Overall, we think the Bear mattress comes in around a medium-soft on the firmness scale, while Tuft & Needle lands around a medium. As a result, the Bear mattress is just more accommodating for side sleepers. The top layer of memory foam does a good job of cradling the more sensitive parts of your body.

That’s not to say the Tuft & Needle mattress is bad for side sleepers, though. We actually think it will work for combo sleepers (people who rotate between their back, stomach, and side), it’s just not the best option for strict side sleepers. Keep in mind that all beds (especially all-foam beds) soften over time, so the T&N bed will become more accommodating as time passes.

Special Celliant Cover

One feature about the Bear mattress that the company likes to heavily promote is its Celliant cover. Celliant, for those of who who don’t know, is actually a FDA recognized wellness material. It’s supposed to help to help with recovery, promote blood flow, and increase energy levels.

bear mattress review cover celiant
A closer look at the Celliant cover on the Bear mattress

As such, we think the Bear mattress is a great option for people with a super active lifestyle. In fact, Bear even made our list of the Best Mattresses For Athletes.

Tuft & Needle Mattress

BEST FOR:

  • Folks who prefer more of a neutral-foam feel
  • Back, stomach, and combo sleepers
  • Small and medium sized individuals
  • Shoppers on a budget

NOT BEST FOR:

  • Large body types
  • Strict side sleepers

Tuft & Needle was one of the early pioneers of the bed-in-a-box concept and has achieved tremendous success in recent years. In fact, the company was even acquired by the bedding giant Serta Simmons in 2018. Let’s discuss some of the advantages the Original Tuft & Needle mattress has over the Bear mattress.

Tuft & Needle Has A Neutral-Foam Feel

While Bear has a memory foam feel, the Tuft & Needle mattress has more of what we call a neutral-foam feel. For its top layer, the mattress uses a proprietary foam, which the company calls its T&N Adaptive foam. We use the term “neutral” because the foam is soft and comfortable (like memory foam), but it doesn’t really conform or hug your body the way memory foam does (i.e. it’s more neutral).

tuft and needle mattress review back and stomach sleepers
More of a soft, neutral-foam feel compared to Bear

Really, there’s no right or wrong when it comes to how a mattress should feel. Memory foam isn’t necessarily better or worse than neutral-foam. It just comes down to your personal preference. Some people love being sort of hugged by memory foam and some people don’t like it. It’s a case-by-case and person-by-person decision. However, with that said, we’ve found that soft, neutral-foam seems to satisfy a large amount of sleepers. It just seems like it lands in the center of the fairway for a lot of folks out there.

All in all, if you don’t like memory foam or you just simply don’t know what you like, the Tuft & Needle mattress is a safe option.

Better For Back And Stomach Sleepers

We referenced this above, but the Tuft & Needle mattress is slightly firmer than Bear. Overall, we think it provides a bit more support, as well. At the end of the day, you sleep more on top of the Tuft & Needle mattress compared to Bear. As a result, your hips don’t sink in as far and stay in better alignment with the rest of your body.

tuft and needle mattress review firmness graphic

Given this, we think T&N is the better choice for back and stomach sleepers. The mattress does a good job of providing support under your lower back/trunk and keeping your spine in proper alignment.

More Affordable Than Bear

This advantage is pretty straightforward. The Tuft & Needle mattress is much cheaper than Bear. In fact, T&N is one of, if not, the most popular budget bed-in-a-box on the market. It’s a staple on our annual list of the Best Cheap Mattresses. For comparison purposes, the Bear queen size mattress has a MSRP of about $900, while a queen size T&N mattress goes for around $600.

To be fair, though, Bear is more aggressive when it comes to coupon codes and discounts. You can almost always count on taking advantage of a sale or promo code to make the mattress even cheaper. We regularly see Bear offer $60-$100 of their beds.

Check the discount box at the top of this page to see what they’re currently offering. Tuft & Needle is a little more selective when it comes to sales and discounts. They don’t regularly offer coupon codes or promo codes. However, you will occasionally see the bed discounted on Amazon.

Similarities Between Bear And Tuft & Needle

If you read the sections above, stop here and get ready for a pop quiz. Just kidding, we graduated from third grade a long time ago. Above, we described the differences, but here’s what both beds have in common.

Better Options For Heavy People

While we think both Bear and Tuft & Needle are great for small and average sized individuals, they’re just not the best options for heavy folks. It’s not that they’re not solid beds, they are all things considered. Really, we say that just because of their all-foam constructions.

Heavy people place more pressure on a bed compared to smaller body types and, as such, we typically like to point heavy body types toward hybrid and innerspring beds that contain coils (pocketed or part of an innerspring unit). That’s because coils are able to compress like dense support foams that all-foam beds (like T&N and Bear) use, but also push back and provide some resistance against pressure (unlike dense support foams). As a result, beds that contain coils are better suited to support big folks.

How big folks feel about hybrid beds

If you fall into the big body type category, you should check out our list of the Best Beds For Heavy Sleepers.

Temperature Regulation

We think both of these online mattresses sleep temperature neutral. In other words, neither of these mattresses will be the primary reason why you cool down or heat up at night. This is tough subject to wrangle, though. In all honesty, we’ve only tested a handful of beds that we truly consider cooling mattresses. The rest fall into the temperature neutral category.

That’s because there are several external factors that also play a role when it comes to temperature regulation. For example, a few that to come mind include what climate you live in, whether you crank your air conditioner, and what type of sheets and blankets you use. These are just a few of the factors that can influence how warm or cool you sleep.

Couples

In our opinion, both beds are also viable options for couples. However, Tuft & Needle does have a slight edge in one area as you will read below. Although, when it comes to motion isolation, both beds perform well. In our tests, we noticed very little motion that was transferred from one side of the bed to the other.

Good motion isolation with both beds

This is an important subject for active sleeping partners. In other words, couples in which one or both partners tend to toss and turn or move around a lot. A bed (like T&N or Bear) that does a good job of deadening movement will generally mean you’ll feel less of your partner’s movements during the night. Ultimately, the less your disturbed will translate to a better night of sleep.

The next topic that is important for couples is edge support. This is the area where we give Tuft & Needle the slight edge. It just feels a little more solid around the perimeter of the bed compared to Bear. This is most likely due to the firmness level but don’t freak out, because honestly, most couples will be just fine on either mattress.

tuft and needle mattress review edge support
Solid edge support

Beds that provide solid edge support are especially important for couples who don’t like to cuddle or share a smaller size mattress. Good support around the perimeter of the bed means there’s more room for both partners to spread out and get comfortable.

Responsiveness

This is a minor point, but both beds are fairly responsive, meaning the top layers snap back to position quickly after pressure is released off the bed. This is good for active and combo sleepers who switch positions a lot. In most cases on responsive beds, these types of sleepers will find it quite easy to switch from their back to their stomach to their side and so on.

Bear vs Tuft & Needle Mattress Review Verdict

Congrats, you made it to the end of the comparison. Thanks for staying with us. Buying a new mattress is a big deal and we understand that. Chances are you’re still a little confused as to which bed to purchase. To us, the decision between Bear and Tuft & Needle comes down to three main factors.

  • Price — If you’re on a tight budget, the Tuft & Needle mattress is going to be your best option.
  • Feel — This comes down to your personal preferences. If you like memory foam, Bear is the clear choice. If not, Tuft & Needle has edge.
  • Sleeper Type — We recommend back and stomach sleepers go with Tuft & Needle and primary side sleepers go with Bear.

That’s it for this post. Thanks for choosing to spend your time with The Slumber Yard.

Review Team

Kaite

Kaite Johnston

Combo Sleeper

Kelsie Longerbeam

Stomach Sleeper

Jeff Rizzo

Jeff Rizzo

Combo Sleeper

Matt

Matt Ross

Back Sleeper

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