Mon Jan 22 - Written by: Daehee
Why we started Boring Mattress Co.
Back in 2012, I co-founded Tuft & Needle, one of the earliest direct-to-consumer mattress brands. Tuft & Needle pioneered the concept of a single-model, universally-comfortable mattress sold at a fair price and delivered to your door. Customers loved the idea and the brand grew like crazy.
We started Tuft & Needle with just our personal savings and grew it to over $200 million in sales and disrupted the traditional brick & mortar retail experience. Then in 2018, we merged with Serta Simmons.
Today, the mattress market’s a total mess. It’s way too complicated, full of useless gimmicks, and it’s a real pain for anyone just trying to find a decent bed. In the past, you only had to dodge the pushy sales guy at the local mattress store. Now, shopping online bombards you with too many brands and a crazy amount of mattress models.
Picture this: over 200 mattress brands online, each trying to one-up the others with the flashiest tech or the latest “revolutionary” material. They toss around phrases like “sleep technology” and “advanced comfort,” but mostly, they’re just sticking big price tags on ordinary mattresses.
Just when you think the mattress market can’t get any more crowded, every brand that’s ever sold a pillow, bedsheet, or piece of furniture decided they want to crash the mattress party too.
On top of all that, mattress review blogs made a bad situation worse. Try a quick google search - for anything mattress related, really. You get pages filled with so-called “Best Mattress” lists and glowing reviews that sound too good to be true. (Spoiler alert: these review sites slap five-star ratings on the brands that offer the highest sales commission.)
It’s a circus out there, and consumers are trapped in a cycle of hype and disappointment.
This time last year, I was ranting about how awful online mattress shopping had gotten. The brands that once shook up and “disrupted” the market had ditched their roots, chasing luxury pricing and slick sales tactics instead. After Casper was taken over by the bankers in 2021, their new CEO set the tone: “We’re not in the business of not making money anymore.” Purple now sells a $12,000 mattress with 8 layers. Even Tuft & Needle, the brand I co-founded, lost sight of its original mission after merging with Serta. It began mimicking the industry norms we once joked about - like mixing in extravagant, unnecessary features (e.g. diamond dust) and hiking up prices. The fundamental concept of offering a comfortable, affordable mattress without any gimmicks had faded away.
That’s when Tyler, Corben and I had the idea: let’s make a boring mattress company. Our vision was simple: cut the crap and make buying a mattress easy and brutally honest. No more navigating through a maze of overhyped buzzwords and confusing jargon.
Tyler was our first employee at Tuft & Needle and head of product development since day one. Corben is an ethical hacker who thought mattress shopping was kind of absurd and brought a fresh outsider perspective on how to fix it. For me, I’m building the mattress company I would have started in the first place with the benefit of all that experience and hindsight.
So here it is, our first product: The Mattress. It’s a 10” mattress with foam and springs. You know, the kind the industry likes to call “hybrid technology” to sound fancy and charge more. Our mattress starts at $499, it’s made in the USA with proven quality materials, and comes with a no-nonsense sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
We’re here to bring back the basics and focus on what really matters. We want you to have great sleep, and you don’t need all the bells and whistles to get that.