Product Reviews

Helix Sleep Mattress Review

Helix Sleep participates in our affiliate program, so we'll get a small commission if you purchase a mattress by following a Helix Sleep link from this page, and it won't cost you anything extra.  We bought our mattress before we found Helix Sleep in our affiliate program, and we did not receive any freebies or discounts from them.

About a year ago, we set off on our honeymoon in our "aluminum tent" Airstream.  We were so far from finished, all we had inside was a refrigerator (but no propane to run it off-grid), an Air Head composting toilet (but no bathroom wall), and a Tuft and Needle mattress.

We learned fairly quickly that a bathroom wall is essential for marital bliss, so I set out on building one as soon as we circled back to home base.

Next, we had to deal with the mattress.  Tuft and Needle had been highly recommended by one of our friends, and the customer service had been great, but I just didn't like the product.  I'd wake up several times a night with dead arms or legs.  It's like the top layer of foam was too soft, and the bottom layer was too hard, so you'd sink right down and lose all circulation.

After some exhaustive googling, we decided to try Helix Sleep.  When you sign on to Helix's website, it asks you lots of questions about your height, weight, body type, sleeping style, etc.  And it asks the same questions about your sleeping partner (if you have one).  Instead of Tuft and Needle's one-size-fits-people-who-aren't-me approach, they custom build a mattress that will work for you as an individual.  If you share the bed with a partner, you can choose a "happy medium" that should work for both of you, or you can split the bed down the middle, and have exactly the mattress you want on your half.

The thing that sold me about the Helix mattress is that they don't just have a couple layers of foam -- they include a layer of pocket coils.  The coils add some extra "give" (and a little "bounce") to help relieve pressure, which was my main problem with the Tuft and Needle mattress.

We paid $800 for our full size mattress, which is a good bit more than the $530 that the Tuft and Needle cost.  But if I'm going to get a better night's sleep, it's well worth the price difference.

The customer service experience after the sale with Helix was almost identical to Tuft and Needle.  They proactively solicited my feedback to make sure I was happy.  Helix has a money-back guarantee very similar to Tuft and Needle, but I never had to return the Helix mattress.

A year later, I'm still enjoying my Helix mattress.  Will it work for you?  It's hard to say.  Since the Helix Sleep mattress is customized to each individual, your mattress will be different than mine.  But if the cheaper bed-in-a-box type mattresses aren't working for you, Helix is worth a shot.  Check them out here.

Tuft and Needle Mattress Review

Leanne and I were looking for a full size foam mattress for the Airstream.  A friend recommended Tuft and Needle, so we thought we'd give them a shot.  Tuft and Needle has a bunch of reviews saying the mattress is too firm, but that's a pretty subjective thing.  Different people will like different mattresses.  Besides, they have a 100 night guarantee, so we'd be able to try it out for a while and return it if we weren't happy.

We bought our mattress on May 22nd for $500, plus $30 tax, free shipping.  Super cheap for a mattress.  It shipped on the 23rd and arrived on the 25th.  Super fast turnaround time.

The mattress is 3" of soft foam sitting on top of 7" of firm foam.  Out of the box, it feels cushy like any other foam mattress.  Sleeping on it was the real test.

I'm a side-sleeper, and I woke up several times throughout the first night with dead arms.  I'm no mattress expert, but it seems to me that the top layer is too soft and the bottom layer is too firm.  I sink straight through the top layer, and the firm bottom layer cuts off blood circulation to my extremities. 

Leanne, I should note, thought the mattress was just fine.

We kept using it hoping either it would "break in," or my body would get used to it.  Didn't happen.  I would have to force myself to fall asleep laying on my back, and would wake up multiple times every night when I've rolled over in my sleep and strangled one arm or the other.  Even my hips would get sore from sleeping on my side.

On June 6th, I received an email from Tuft and Needle asking, "how likely are you to recommend Tuft and Needle to a friend?"  The only content in the message was a 1 (not likely) to 10 (very likely) scale.  I clicked on 1, and explained that the mattress was uncomfortable.

On June 7th, I received this email:

Hi Daniel,

Thanks a bunch for reaching out! We're really glad to be hearing your feedback. I'm so sorry that the mattress has been feeling too firm for your needs, and we are happy to help you return. 

The mattress does "break in" after about two weeks of use, during which time the foam becomes a lot less stiff as your body gets used to it, so we'd recommend trying it out for those two weeks to see if it helps. Thank you for continuing to give it a chance!

As a solution to firmness, mattress pads are recommended for extra padding and comfort, but keep in mind that they tend to generate heat while sleeping. 

If you would like to consider a topper to soften the mattress, I went ahead and refunded your order $75.00 off your total purchase price so that you can try one and see if it helps. Feel free to check out the receipt for that here. You'll see the credit return to your purchasing card in 3-5 business days!

Here are some we recommend: 

[link] Pinzon Basics Overfilled Microplush Mattress Topper
[link] Extra Plush Fitted Mattress Topper

If the topper doesn't help with the discomfort you're experiencing and you'd still like to return your mattress, we'd be happy to help you with that per our 100 night sleep trial. Keep in mind that for your return, we'll only be able to refund you the remainder of your purchase price $455.00.

Also, please hang on to your topper purchase information just in case you need to return that through Amazon as well. And remember that Amazon's return policy is 30 days from the day you receive your topper. :)

If you'd prefer to simply return your mattress, we would love to help with that as well. To return, we help you donate your mattress to a local charity or non-profit, and then, once you have a donation receipt, just email us a photo of it. Once we have that photo, we’d process your refund in full!

Please let us know how you would like to move forward- we're here for you!


Kendall Davis

I bought the more expensive of the two recommended mattress toppers, but it didn't help.  It added some fluff on the top, but didn't fix my problem with my arms falling asleep.

We decided to go ahead and return the mattress.  The "return" process requires you to find a local charity that would accept mattresses (there aren't many).  Then you have to haul it over there yourself.  It's nice that we were able to donate to a local charity who could match it up with someone who needs it (hopefully not a side-sleeper).  But as far as "returns" go, it was a hassle, and would have been worse if we didn't have a pickup truck.

On July 17th, I send a copy of my donation receipt. I received the following email on July 18th:

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for donating your Tuft & Needle Mattress to the Wider Circle center! Sorry it did not work out for you but I am glad it went to a good cause. The receipt image you've provided is perfect.

I just processed your refund in full and it will return to the account in 3-5 business days. Sometimes banks do hold up the refund process, so if you do not see it back in your account within 5-7 business days then please contact your financial institution.

You're all set! Let us know if you have any other questions or comments. 


Freddy L

So, our search for a mattress continues.  Overall, Tuft & Needle has great customer service.  They were proactive about making sure we were happy, and did what they said they would.  I'd love to encourage you to buy from them, but I didn't like the actual product.  If you're not a side sleeper, or if you share body-types with Leanne, Tuft & Needle might be worth a shot.

Follow our quest to find a better mattress here.