This blog was a restart for me when I moved back in with my parent’s a few years ago. My previous blog was so gaming-focused that real life never felt on-topic. Starting over gave me the opportunity to talk about so many more things, and I had a lot to talk about.
I had been living in Illinois, but when I found out my mother’s cancer diagnosis, I packed up anything I could fit in my small pickup truck and headed home to Alabama to do whatever I could. Unfortunately, I did not have the space to bring home with me a mattress that I had inherited from my parents, dragged off to college at the University of Alabama, and then moved to the suburbs of Chicago. After a few weeks of sleeping on a day bed mattress with maybe an inch of support (which had been compressed in its decades-long run), I needed a mattress as soon as possible.
At the time, I felt like taking a chance. When you blog regularly and you want more content, sometimes the failures are even more fun to write about than the successes. I decided to take the chance on a direct-to-consumer mattress company called Tuft & Needle. I loved the idea of putting a hunk of foam on the floor and treating it like the next closest thing to an Asian bedroom. It was a departure from what I had always known (frame, box spring, and mattress) and that was about as adventurous as I could afford to get at the time.
Rather than a failure to write about, my Tuft & Needle was an absolute delight. I ended up reviewing it, which got me a lot of hits and even brought in a little ad revenue to help cover a few expenses. Though I do not regret writing those posts, it was a little disheartening to find them so successful when I was writing so many “great” video game blog posts throughout that time too.
Up until a little over a week ago, I was still using my Tuft & Needle mattress. I brought it with me when I moved to Florida and moved in with Diane. She liked it a lot too, but since I had opted to buy a Full, it was always pretty cramped. When we moved again just recently into a new apartment, we decided to finally invest in a frame for the bed, but that just made it feel smaller since neither of us could hang off the edge and onto the carpet.
We knew we would need something larger, but after the move and along with our regular debts (student loans, car payments, etc.), we also knew it was a future purchase at best but I still started researching what we might purchase. I obviously started with Tuft & Needle, as we both agreed we liked what we had, we just wanted something larger.
Here is where brand loyalty gets created. I had taken a chance on Tuft & Needle and been successful. I wrote about it. They sent me a thank you card for my honest opinion. Over the years since, I have asked them other questions or for suggestions to best maximize their product, and they happily obliged with some truly amazing customer service. Knowing I wanted to support them again, if possible, I went ahead and contacted them about any secret discounts for longtime fans or special financing they might be able to provide that would get us a new mattress sooner.
They did not have any financing options. There were no secret discounts. Instead, they mentioned my loyalty and they thanked me again for my support. They recognized that when I took a chance on them, they were a brand new company with a brand new product forging a new space of direct-to-consumer mattress sales that circumvented the red tape and markups of selling to a mattress store to sell to someone in need like me. They mentioned their mattresses have changed since I purchased mine, and that they had a new proprietary foam they were using. Then they asked me, “How would you like a free upgrade for your taking that chance?”
I was stunned. When I shared the offer with Diane, she was stunned too. As was my father and her mother, and pretty much anyone else I have told. Frankly, I am still stunned and I am already sleeping on it.
Being an adult is not easy. Diane and I are fortunate enough, but like so many, we still live dangerously close to losing everything. A serious accident or sickness and we would need to start selling stuff to make ends meet. We are not prepared for retirement now or in the future. We are better off than many – we have each other, we have great family, we have food, a roof, and our health. That aside, we are not used to charity, of any kind. Try as you might to spin this as a reward for my loyalty, it is still a $750 mattress that I did not pay for.
Other than immediate disbelief and an even quicker, “Yes, of course I will take you up on that offer”, I responded by ordering a fairly expensive assortment of chocolates which I had sent to the main offices of Tuft & Needle. I am not a believer in karma, but charity without showing gratitude does no one any good. Plus, who doesn’t want a bunch of truffles magically appearing at their job?
As for the bed itself, I really like it. The construction is still top notch. My original Tuft & Needle has withstood a lot of sleeping and moving. I don’t foresee this one giving me anything less than the original.
The size is perfect for Diane, myself, and sometimes our cat. Our “niece” (her sister’s dog) fits too whenever we dogsit. It is a lot plusher with the additional layer of foam on top. The original model was a lot firmer, which I personally liked more. It still gives plenty of support, so no real cause for concern.
Now that it has been a few weeks, I can safely say this new version is one of the most comfortable mattresses I have ever owned. Diane and I have been sleeping great and without bumping into one another all the same. There is even room for the cat to around around us in hopes that we will wake up and feed her.
I couldn’t be happier or more grateful.