Every entrenched industry is getting a dose of disruption these days. And as fans of the little guy, we’re all for it.
The latest to see some shakeup is the $14 billion American mattress trade–and it couldn’t happen to a better brute. News articles in recent years have shone a light on the industry’s pain-inducing merchandising tactics. For one, big mattress makers create lines with only slight variations, allowing retailers to claim exclusive offerings and thwart comparison shopping. A recent Bloomberg article calls mattress pricing “almost entirely unhinged from the cost of producing a mattress,” noting a former industry insider’s insight that “much of the sector’s handsome returns are built on customer confusion.” And that’s to say nothing of pressure from commission-based salespeople.
Enter the new mattress disrupters–a growing number of startups trying to take the pain out of mattress shopping by selling online, cutting the commission-based sales, and dramatically streamlining the number of choices (many of these companies offer only one mattress). As the founders of Tuft & Needle note: “It doesn’t cost a ton of money to craft a comfortable mattress with quality ingredients. It’s such a straightforward system, you’d think more people would follow it.”
Lucky for us, they are.
Above: New York–based Casper, established in 2013, offers one mattress–10 inches thick and made of cooling latex foam over supportive memory foam. The company, like most, allows customers 100 nights to try out the bed and will come pick it up if you’re not satisfied. The mattress is made in the US and ships for free to the US and Canada with an average delivery time of five days. Like all the foam mattresses described here, it doesn’t require a box spring, and it ships compressed in a small box that will fit through any door. If you want to try before buying, Casper has showrooms in LA and NYC. A queen-sized Casper Mattress is $850.
Above: Founded in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2014, Yogabed positions itself as Casper’s direct competitor (even publishing a handy chart on its website comparing the two). The company produces one US-made mattress (of memory foam), offers a 101-night trial period, and ships for free in the contiguous US with delivery in about five days. Yogabed stands out by including pillows with every mattress–two pillows for queen or larger–and for its removable, machine-washable cover. A queen-size Yogabed Mattress is $799.
Tuft & Needle
Above: A Silicon Valley startup, the not-exactly-restful-sounding Tuft & Needle launched in 2013 after cofounder John-Thomas Marino dissected his own $3,000 mattress and tracked down every ingredient. “We realized we could source the whole thing for $300 to $350,” he says. “When we saw that, it blew our minds.”
The company’s single product is, impressively, the highest-rated mattress on Amazon. It’s made in the US of a proprietary blend of foam, is built to order, and ships for free in the contiguous US in approximately seven days. Tuft & Needle recently matched its competitors’ 100-day trial period (originally set at 30 days). Note, however, that orders via Amazon are still subject to Amazon’s own 30-day return policy. A queen Tuft & Needle Mattress is $600.
Above: Leesa, founded in 2014 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, offers its own made-to-order mattress fabricated in Pennsylvania. The three-layer mattress (comprised of a base layer of dense support foam, a middle layer of memory foam, and a top layer of cooling foam) comes with a 100-night trial period. Shipping is free throughout the US (including Alaska and Hawaii) and generally takes three to five days. A queen Leesa Mattress is $890.
Saatva/Loom & Leaf
Above: Founded in 2010 in Westport, Pennsylvania, Saatva‘s model departs a bit from the four above: Its mattresses aren’t foam and Saatva offers choices. For instance, its cushioned-coil mattresses come in three firmness options, each in two heights–all at the same price. The mattresses are made in the US, are sold online only, and come with a 75-night trial period. The company sells mattress foundations, but notes that Saatva will work with your existing box spring. A queen Saatva Mattress is $899.
Above: Keetsa, founded in San Francisco in 2007, focuses on eco-friendliness (read about its materials and practices here). The brand makes seven mattresses–some out of foam, some using coils, some a mix of both. It also offers optional comfort layers, pillows, box springs, and mattress protectors. Keetsa has showrooms in San Francisco, Berkeley, LA, and New York, and unlike the other brands listed here, has a wholesale arm–in addition to its own online shop, Keetsa is sold by BluDot, Burke Decor, and others. The company offers a 90-day trial period and free shipping within the contiguous US and most of Canada. The most affordable Keetsa mattress–the Plus–is $681.45 for a queen; a queen in the highest-end Tea Leaf Dream is $2,098.95.
Above: To be clear, Luna is not a mattress–it’s a mattress cover–but it certainly fits in the sleep disrupter category. Set to launch this winter, the Luna turns any mattress new or old into a “smart” bed: It gives each side of the mattress its own temperature-control setting, and learns your bedtime, so the temperature is set before you crawl into bed. Luna tracks your sleep phases and your heart and breathing rates, and can make recommendations (with partner science-based sleep apps) on what’s best for your sleep. Luna is also an alarm clock: When you’re in the right moment (between cycles of REM sleep), Luna will wake you up. Out of the box, it’s ready to communicate with smart home devices, such as the Nest thermostat, and can be controlled via an app on your smart phone or computer. Luna is available for pre-order (with $50 savings) for $199 for the queen size and is expected to start shipping in November.
For more of our sleep remedies, see:
- 10 Easy Pieces: Editors’ Favorite Mattresses
- 5 Favorites: Mattress Toppers
- Domestic Dispatches: 7 Secrets to Making the Perfect Bed
- How to Achieve Total Darkness in the Bedroom (and Why It Matters)