The T&N Hybrid Mattress: A Conversation With T&N’s VP of Product & Architecture

To celebrate the launch of our third mattress—the T&N Hybrid Mattress—we sat down with our VP of Product & Architecture, Aaron Whitney, and asked him a few questions about the creation of this mattress and how he feels about it.

What sparked this product? Where’d the idea/need come from?
We knew we were missing a segment of potential customers that prefer the more traditional construction and feel of a spring/hybrid bed. We want everyone to have the opportunity to sleep on a T&N mattress—and we believe we’re providing a top-quality product at a much more approachable price point than what is currently available.

Additionally, we found that many people are seeking a more plush/luxurious sleep experience and are drawn to pillow-top mattresses, but pillow-top mattresses haven’t changed over time and are often what people associate with the spring mattresses of the past that break down over time and sink in the middle. We often see poor quality foams and fiber fill in the pillow-top itself—arguably the most important component that is closest to your body. So we used a proprietary foam solution infused with carbon fiber to give the plush feel people are seeking, while being incredibly durable and breathable.

We wanted to provide a channel for airflow as close to the sleeping surface as possible and found springs to be the best solution in the form of a NanoCoil.®

Who was the core team on the assignment?
The T&N Hybrid Mattress was touched by the entire Product Team at T&N and a collaboration with several outside partners.

T&N Hybrid Mattress 2

How many months is it in the making?
We’ve been thinking about a mattress like this for years, but from the moment we started heavy product development it will have taken just under a year to complete. However, many of the components used were in development long before we had a product to put them in.

For this project, we had to acknowledge that times are changing and traditional materials (springs) are evolving. So, we took the best of what is available today and made it better. It was hard to revisit things we had written-off in the past, but we landed on a great product that will appeal to a broader group of people than ever before.

Can you share some of your personal highs and lows that came along with creating the T&N Hybrid Mattress?
The high will be seeing the product launch because we know we’ve made a great product and believe it will be received well by an audience that's been ignored.

It was especially challenging to produce a shippable product—that can get to our customers as quickly as possible—while staying within weight constraints and still maintaining the features and benefits that we felt were required. It took numerous iterations of design and development to get us to where we are now.

What did the Product Team learn along the way?
It was an exercise in foundational thinking and questioning everything we thought we knew about mattress construction and materials. In the early days at T&N, we took a very strong stance on the materials used in our product because we felt we had a superior solution to what was available in a stagnate industry. For this project, we had to acknowledge that times are changing and traditional materials (springs) are evolving. So, we took the best of what is available today and made it better. It was hard to revisit things we had written-off in the past, but we landed on a great product that will appeal to a broader group of people than ever before.

Who did you design this product for? Who is going to love it?
We honestly believe that anyone sleeping on this mattress will fall in love with it, but as mentioned above, this was really about reinventing the more traditional spring mattress and giving it a T&N spin. Those that love the support, feel, and breathability of pillow-top spring mattresses will find everything they’re looking for without any of the drawbacks they’ve seen in the past—no sinking to the middle and rolling into your partner on this mattress!

What’s your single favorite aspect of the T&N Hybrid Mattress?
I love the cover—it feels even more comfortable than it looks, it integrates the best in foam technology, and it looks like a furniture piece in your home (I almost hate to see it with sheets on.).

You just put so much time and energy behind a thoughtful product. What’s it like to finally be able to share it with the world? Are you nervous? Thrilled? All of the feelings? Be honest!
Thrilled!  And always a little nervous…we listen to our customers, so until the final product is in their hands, we won’t know if we’ve truly succeeded.

For more information, check out the T&N Hybrid Mattress here.

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T&N Team
T&N Team

Tuft & Needle, a Phoenix-based mattress company, is leading the revolution against mattress markups, poor customer service, and inferior products by creating exceptional, honestly priced products, and redefining the purchasing experience.

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