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 as we review both of these beds. Let's get to it.

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 memory foam feel, while Tuft & Needle has a neutral-foam feel.
  • Price — Tuft & Needle is the more affordable option if you’re on an extra-tight budget. Bear is also under $700 (queen size) after discounts.
  • Sleeper Type — We wouldn’t consider either bed to be “soft,” but they both can accomodate a variety of sleeping styles.
  • 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.

First, it’s important to note Bear made some slight changes to the mattress in 2019. If you watched one of our Bear videos from before, you may have noticed how we talked about how soft the bed was. That’s not the case anymore. The new iteration of the bed is a bit firmer.

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 layer of gel memory foam, which gives the bed a memory foam feel (big shocker). As you lay down, you sink down into the bed a bit and the top layers conform to your body’s shape.

bear mattress review stomach sleepers
If you want to lay on top of the bed and you like memory foam, Bear is probably for you

In contrast to the previous iteration of Bear, the updated model is firm enough such that you mostly remain on top of the bed. Yes, there is a contouring effect and you can feel the memory foam, but it’s not like a 1990s memory foam bed—you’re not going to feel stuck in it.

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. You can read about the Celliant material on Bear’s website.

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

While we can’t say with certainty if Bear’s claims are true because we aren’t scientists, some people swear by the Celliant cover and it definitely doesn’t hurt to have it. In fact, Bear even made our list of the Best Mattresses For Athletes. As such, we think the Bear mattress is a great option for people with a super active lifestyle. You will also see the Celliant cover on the Bear Hybrid mattress.

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 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.

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 $800, while a queen size T&N mattress goes for around $600.

tuft and needle mattress review cover and design
It’s a pretty simple and affordable foam bed

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 $150 off, if not more.

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 around major holidays. Be sure to check the T&N website to see if the bed is discounted right now.

Verdict: Bear vs Tuft & Needle Mattress

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 slightly cheaper.
  • Feel — This comes down to your personal preferences. If you like memory foam, Bear is the clear choice. If not, Tuft & Needle has edge.
  • Firmness — There is a difference in firmness (Bear is a little firmer), but they’re fairly close. If you’re a side sleeper, both should work, but neither is our favorite mattress for side sleepers.

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