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Both Helix and Tuft & Needle are well established, although still relatively new companies on the market. Tuft & Needle was launched in 2012 with its flagship T&N mattress. Besides that one, the company offers the gel and graphite infused Mint Mattress.
Helix was founded in 2015, but most of their best sellers were introduced in 2018. In addition to the Helix Midnight, our pick for this article, they sell hybrids like Moonlight, Sunset, Twilight, Dawn and Dusk, and heavier weight-friendly Nightfall. Their extensive product line also includes dual-firmness beds like Dual Extra and Dual Balanced.
As you can see, these two manufacturers already have a lot on display, hoping to suit everybody’s taste and need. The reason we have chosen to compare only the two mattresses and not include the rest in this article is simple – out of all the beds mentioned, they are the most alike, automatically making one’s choice between them the most challenging.
The pros and cons list based on which you will make a final decision extends further than just the costs, warranties and the firmness of your bed. Do you experience back pain? Would you prefer flatter, bouncier surfaces or close conforming while you sleep? Do you sleep with a partner, and do they keep accidentally waking you up?
Everybody has different needs, but there are some repeating, universal factors to consider before making the purchase. These criteria are important, as it is through them that you will be able to make an informed decision and make the most out of your new bed at the end of this article. But first, let’s take a look at the Helix and T&N individually.
Tuft & Needle
This idea behind this mattress’ design is simple and efficient. Made from only two layers, T&N mattress features a 1.8 PCF high-density polyfoam base and a 2.8 PCF polyfoam comfort layer. This combination makes for a medium firm (6.5), supportive surface covered with a blend of polyester and rayon.
The bed is ten inches thick, which meets your average mattress thickness, but the Queen size weighs only 72 pounds, making it lighter even compared to some all-foam beds, and easy to move or rotate as needed.
The Helix Midnight
The Helix Midnight comes in two versions, with some vital differences in their construction. The Midnight consists of a comfort layer made of memory foam, a transitional layer made of polyfoam, and a pocket coil and high-density polyfoam support core. Its cover is made from polyester and stretch. The Midnight is ten inches thick and weighs 84 pounds in Queen size, which is a bit heavier than the T&N, but most people still don’t find it challenging to lift.
The Helix Midnight Luxe has a double comfort system from standard and gel memory foam. Its support configuration differs from the Midnight, too, featuring thinner, higher-gauge coils under the shoulder area, and lower-gauge coils below the hips. The transitional polyfoam and high-density polyfoam base are the same as with the Midnight, and its pillow-top cover is to blame for the difference in the profile compared to the standard Midnight, at least to some extent. As a result, the Luxe is 14 inches tall and its weight in Queen size is 120 pounds, which is considerably heavier than its standard version, making it a bit difficult to handle for many customers. Despite their different construction, both the Midnight and the Midnight Luxe are ranked as medium firm (5.5).
Obviously, you want your bed to last as long as possible once you set it up in the bedroom. Like most similar designs, the T&N is supposed to stay in shape for about six or seven years. However, this particular model hasn’t been around for long so we can’t say for sure. A similar case is with the Helix Midnight Luxe. What we do know for certain is that the standard Midnight lasts up to seven years on average, so that would be the safest pick for this category.
Couples, pay attention to this one. Sleeping together is good for your health if you can manage to maintain it without interruptions. Even if you aren’t particularly sensitive to motion during sleep, your companion’s tossing and turning on a more responsive surface might wake you up. In such a scenario, one partner’s sleepless night might quickly become the other one’s, too. T&N is a solid choice here. Despite being completely memory foam-free, this bed keeps the rest of its surface almost wholly unphased when you switch positions or first lay down. The Helix Midnight offers similar motion isolation, above average compared to other hybrids.
Another factor for couples’ consideration; excessive noise is a known sleep disruptor. Environmental noise pollution may be avoided to an extent, but what if the sound comes from your bed? Well, the Midnight’s coils are designed to be as quiet as possible, but it’s still louder than all-foam mattresses. The T&N, on the other hand, made this issue almost non-existent. When bearing weight, this bed makes next to zero noise.
Edge support refers to the sinking potential around the bed’s perimeter in case the owner leans or sits at the edges often. It is generally not advisable as the bed might deviate from its original form over time. If you insist on it, the T&N will most likely develop indentations after a while as edge support is not one of its stronger suits. However, the Midnight excels in this category due to its added layers and coil configuration.
The mattress’ ability to adapt to your body is beneficial for various spine alignment issues, relieving pain from your back, neck, shoulders and relaxing your pressure points. This is due to the way a conforming mattress shapes to fit your form without letting you sink too deep into the surface and deform your posture. Of course, a lot of this depends on your sleeping position and weight, but higher conformity is universally recommended for people facing these problems.
To serve this purpose, both mattresses may be good enough, but the winner is the Midnight. It hugs around your body quite tightly compared to the T&N, which does the job on par with most similar beds but ranks lower in this case.
Some off-gassing upon unpacking and assembling your new mattress is common, although you may be surprised at first. The smell doesn’t signify anything dangerous and usually dissipates after a few days, but for a highly sensitive individual, this may count as greater downside than for others. The T&N may be slightly more problematic in this scenario, as its smell is stronger than the Midnight’s. They both air out quickly, though, so try to focus on other, permanent features instead.
The T&N is not bad at keeping you fresh during sleep, although there have been a few complaints on this account. But the Helix Midnight does a far better job here thanks to the coil design. Without a doubt, this bed would take care of all the hot-sleeping struggles you may otherwise experience regularly.
The responsiveness commonly sought after when it comes to sex is less than ideal in the T&N, but a bit more promising in the Midnight. Although this bed is nowhere near excellent in this category, it does have a bouncier surface than its all-latex or foam competitors. You rarely get the full package of features in a single mattress, and this category is often among the first to be overlooked, but the Midnight certainly offers a compromise worth considering.
Sizes and Prices
Both models come in a range of six different sizes, from Twin to California King. When it comes to prices, the T&N is notably cheaper, starting with the $350 Twin and reaching $750 for both King and California King sizes, making it a no-brainer for a tight budget. The standard Midnight offers the Twin model at $500 and the California King for $1149, while the Luxe has even higher price listings, as the name implies. This model’s Twin is $895, already exceeding T&N’s California King price, and the Luxe’s California King comes at a $1945.
Sleep Trials, Warranty, and Delivery
For this mattress, Tuft & Needle offers a 100-night sleep trial, without a mandatory break-in period. However, this applies only to owners who bought the product directly from Tuft & Needle or Huckberry. One household may receive only one sleep trial per year.
You may return the bed at any point, but for Alaska and Hawaii, Tuft & Needle won’t refund the shipping charges. Otherwise, the company will pick up the mattress for you and cover the shipping cost along with all other refunds necessary.
The warranty is entirely non-prorated and lasts ten years, or until the mattress leaves the US. It also becomes void if the bed isn’t used with an appropriate, firm support system. The warranty covers for indentations deeper than ¾ inches, manufacturing abnormalities with the zippers or seams, and physical defects that cause the foam to crack. It will not cover for sagging measuring less than ¾ inches, damage done due to neglect like burns, stains or scratch marks, and the owner’s custom repair wishes. The warranty only applies to the original owner of the bed and cannot be transferred to the next owner, should the mattress be sold.
Tuft & Needle ships all over the US. The delivery arrives between three and seven business days since the purchase has been made. For the customers from the contiguous US, free shipping is available, along with the same-day shipping for $50. Customers from Alaska or Hawaii may have to pay additional charges.
The Helix Midnight
The sleep trial for the Midnight lasts a 100 nights, too, but only after the mandatory 30-day period can you request to return your mattress. Helix will issue a full refund and pick up your bed for no additional money.
The warranty for the Midnight lasts ten years, and fifteen for the Midnight Luxe, both of them entirely non-prorated. The transportation costs for repairs must be paid by the customer, but up to $100 may be refunded by Helix should a defect be discovered.
Both Midnight and Luxe are to be used with a solid base surface. Otherwise, the warranty becomes void. Defects such as indentations deeper than an inch and other physical flaws with the damaged foam or cover surface will be covered by the warranty. However, sagging under 1 inch deep and misuse-related defects doesn’t qualify for the guarantee. As with the Tuft & Needle, this warranty can’t be transferred to another owner.
Helix delivers to most of Canada and the entire US. The Midnight delivery usually takes from three to seven business days, but the Luxe may take up to ten since the purchase was made. The UPS coordinates all Helix deliveries.
The Final Verdict
The T&N is a suitable choice if:
- You like a medium firm, moderately conforming surface
- You weigh 130 pounds or more
- You suffer from minor shoulder or back issues
- You and your companion wake up easily due to noise or movement
- Your budget is limited, but you want a foam bed
Keep looking if you weigh under 130 pounds, have different firmness preferences or want a more responsive mattress.
The Helix Midnight might suit you if:
- You are a hot sleeper and struggle to keep cool on foam beds
- You regularly experience back or neck pain
- You’d like a medium firm mattress that is moderately conforming
- You want coil beds but easily wake up due to noise or motion
- You seek a more responsive mattress but not at the cost of the factors above
This bed may not be the best pick if you want a surface that conforms more closely or you like lower-profile beds.
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Michael is a professional writer based in Boston and someone who has always been fascinated with the mysteries of sleep. When he’s not reading about new sleep studies and working on our news section, you can find him playing video games or visiting local comic book stores.