To Tuft Or Not To Tuft A Mattress – What’s the Difference?

Tuft mattress

As you walk through our showroom trying mattresses, it can be difficult to know all the lingo and terminology as you read the descriptions propped near each of them. Or even while online shopping and being tempted to buy a boxed mattress, you might be wondering what even is in memory foam. 

With a good night’s sleep at stake, understanding what the difference is between some of these terms is important to narrowing down the mattress best for you. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the difference between a tufted and non-tufted mattress and why it could be a big deal when deciding on a mattress. 

Tuft or Not to Tuft, That Is the Question

Tufting a mattress is a part of the manufacturing process that is often used to hold together the layers of the mattress. This keeps the mattress from shifting or sagging as many are wont to do. It also provides you with a more even and comfortable sleeping surface. No one likes a princess and the pea situation and choosing a non-tufted mattress could cause one if you’re particular about the surface of your bed (and who isn’t?). In the same vein, a con of a tufted mattress for some people are the dips and valleys created by each tuft. This is why it’s important to know what your preferences are to the best of your ability before heading to the showroom or placing an order. 

Now, tufting isn’t the only way to put together a mattress, but read more to find out why some options may or may not work for you. 

Non-Tufted Mattresses

If a multi-layer mattress is not tufted, it won’t hold together as long. If a mattress contains springs, latex, or foams then it doesn’t need to be tufted and technically can’t without disturbing or damaging the material within. But in the case of mattresses full of layers of wool, cotton, and other natural fibers — tufting is the best way to go and will help your mattress have a longer life. 

Some non-tufted mattresses with fibers within it that should be tufted rely on adhesives to hold each soft layer together. The adhesives work…for a while. And this inexpensive approach used by manufacturers trying to lower costs will eventually cause you to spend more money when the mattress inevitably falls apart much earlier than expected. 

Quilted Mattresses 

A great alternative to tufting is quilting. Quilting a mattress involves stitching several layers of material together. 

With long pieces of thread to hold the soft layers of the mattress, quilting reinforces the structure of the mattress and it’s less likely for layers to separate and clump together creating big lumps under your back. 

The stitching can be in a number of different patterns, but usually quilted mattresses have undulated stitching that runs from side to side. Hand tufted mattresses is a huge indicator that the mattress is of high quality and hand craftsmanship. Quilted mattresses are a little harder to use as an indicator since the technique is used across a wide range of products. For instance, foam-filled mattresses and innerspring mattresses are often quilted. In contrast, almost all mattresses with pocket spring coils have tufted exteriors.

Innerspring mattresses were long the standard option, but they are not as comfortable as pocket spring coils. Pocket spring coils have individual coils spread throughout the mattress which disperses movement. This means that  if your partner is rolling over during the night, you’re less likely to feel it on your side of the bed.

Solid Foam Mattress

If a mattress doesn’t have multiple layers, then the layers don’t need to be tufted, quilted, or kept together using adhesives like we mentioned above. In particular, solid foam mattresses don’t require it because it is one solid piece of foam with a cover over it. Unfortunately, many people find solid foam mattresses too difficult and dense to sink into after a long day. 

The other factor to consider is if you would prefer a mattress that is as organic as possible. If you have concerns about synthetic, manmade materials you may want to avoid a solid foam mattress made of polyurethane. While we may not want it to occur, mattresses can release off-gassed chemicals and interfere with your long-term health. With a Gardner mattress, especially from our natural sleep collection made with organic and highest quality materials, any concern about off-gasses can be put aside. 

Foam Tops

For an added layer of comfort, a layer of foam or natural latex might be added as the top later for the mattress and provide a great night sleep. When this layer is added, quilting or tufting isn’t needed. So again it’s a decision on your needs, what you prefer, and any concerns you may have about the longevity of your investment in a mattress. 

Quality mattress manufacturers often let you choose from multiple mattress toppers such as 3-inch latex, 2-inch latex, 2-inch memory foam, or 1-inch foam. On top of that, they also offer hand tufted upholstery options. 

A tufted mattress is not the only option, and there are valid reasons for exploring alternatives. However, a tufted mattress is often a sign of high quality. That’s especially true if you work with a manufacturer who uses high-quality organic materials, like us. At Gardner Mattress we take pride in our craftsmanship and handcrafting each mattress of the highest quality. 

Ready to take the plunge and feel the comfort of a tufted mattress? Then, order today at Gardner Mattress. We have a wide range of options that are perfect for all kinds of sleepers. Contact us today at 1-800-564-2736 or visit one of our showrooms to learn more.


Visit one of our three conveniently located showrooms. Our original factory and showroom in Salem, Massachusetts, or one of our newer showrooms in Needham and Woburn.

Gardner Mattress Showroom in Salem, Massachusetts

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Hours of Operation

Sunday & Monday: Closed
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Saturday: 10:00am – 4:00pm