For Subscribers

How Tuft & Needle Disrupted a Tired Mattress Marketplace

With word-of-mouth marketing and a focus on customer service, two friends are becoming the sleeper hit of the mattress industry.

By Jason Daley

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It's one thing to stand in a grocery store aisle choosing from dozens of cereal or shampoo brands, but standing amid a sea of mattresses, trying to distinguish one from another, is a different proposition altogether.

In 2011, newlywed John-Thomas ("JT") Marino ran headfirst into the mattress-buying morass. An engineer at a Silicon Valley startup, Marino took an analytical approach, intending to dissect the process of making his purchase before ever entering a mattress store. Things didn't go well.

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