What's in This Guide?
I love stories where the hero has to beat the giant in spite of his arrogance and hubris in order to collect the gold. Casper, Leesa, and Tuft & Needle, online mattress companies that pride themselves on being up-from-nothing, want to tell you that story when you visit their websites.
Big Mattress has deceived you for quite a long time, so we’re offering a lower price, and we’re going to deliver a quality mattress. It is true that companies that make such claims often cut quality, confuse customers, and aim for big profits become their own greatest threat. Smaller players also exaggerate a lot. Taking all these concerns into account, we’ve put together a list of the best mattresses online to tell the tale of plucky upstarts, giants, and mountains of marketing.
1. Money Pile and Big Mattress
The big mattress industry is dominated by four brands from two companies, and they all enjoy high profits. The following two people are available for you: Serta and Simmons. Other options include Sealy and Tempur-Pedic. Their market share for traditional mattresses is over 77 percent. In addition, they produce hundreds of mattress styles with various features, styles, and softness levels that are exclusive to a retailer or department store. In comparison to a Tempur-Flex Supreme Breeze, how does a Tempur-Cloud Breeze Luxe differ from the Tempur-Contour Elite Breeze? How did you plan to spend your day?
Both department stores and showrooms conceal details and apply pressure to customers despite the mattress manufacturers’ demand that their products be named after Las Vegas nightclubs. The overall experience was not any better in 2012, and hasn’t improved much in recent years, according to Stephen Saltzman, Consumer Reports managing editor. “Is there a home purchase more confusing and anxious than buying a mattress?”, the New York Times asked in 2014. Moreover, many of the models will be named confusingly, lit in bright lights, you’ll be forced to try numerous models, getting confused as to which one is softest, and you’ll see endless “blowout” sales.
In this fog, retailers and bed manufacturers can hide greatly increased price tags. Consumer Reports consistently reviews mattresses and explains the industry in great depth for years. They have stated that wholesalers and retailers have profit margins of 30 to 40 percent. According to Consumer Reports in January 2016, “[Retailers] can lower prices by 50 percent or more when they have frequent sales due to high markups.”. A minimum of 37 percent or even 53 percent profit margin has consistently been achieved by Tempur Sealy since 2003. Even when they were in the same market, Ford Motor Company gained 3 to 7 percent gross profit margins during those years.
It is profitable to sell rectangles made of cotton, springs, and foam.
The free-flowing cash of Sealy and Simmons attracted private equity firms in the 1990s. Soon after, competing mattress firms essentially stopped competing and began raising prices and marking up their mattresses in order to make more profits.
Salon magazine writes that as Sealy and Simmons prices soared too high and sales declined, the companies that own Sealy and Simmons demanded that their mattress manufacturers design one-sided beds that could not be flipped over. Mattress companies removed the bottom cover from mattresses and replaced it with a cheaper support spring or foam. In addition, the mattress could only last a maximum of 15 or 20 years, but marketing efforts concentrated on the “no-flip” aspect of the mattress, and cigars and yachts became profitable.
As it turned out, Tempur-Pedic popped up out of nowhere at the middle of this. At this point, their only competitors were Sealy and Simmons, which were quickly overtaken by Tempur-Pedic.
Tempur-Pedic would advertise aggressively and Sealy/Simmons would stagnate, allowing one-sided foam mattresses to gain market share. Yet Tempur-Pedic beds tended to cost $2,000 or more, with 60 to 80 percent markups. Initially, customers of rivals like BedInABox and Amerisleep had the option of purchasing foam mattresses directly from the company at a considerable discount. However, it wasn’t until 2010 that a whole party of challengers arrived after enough people were comfortable buying online.
2. An Alternative Type of Mattress
On his website, John-Thomas Marino recounts his story about acquiring his $3,200 memory foam mattress. He and a coworker investigated memory foam after he and his new wife were disappointed with it. The two claim to be owners of a small mattress store, claiming that their mattress cost just $300 to make. Tuft & Needle was founded in 2012, after they researched the best bed maker. Those following in 2014 would be Casper and Leesa. It is now possible to buy single foam-mattress models online from more than a dozen mattress makers, many of whom have the same story about how they came to make them.
One website that provides only one foam mattress model, surrounded by exposed brick and a MacBook, provides a magic solution to the confusing mattress buying process, claim the newcomers. There is a full description of every layer on the website. Your mattress will be packed in a box, vacuum-sealed in plastic, folded in half, rolled up, and sent by UPS or FedEx once you place your order. It can be returned for a full refund after sleeping on it for 100 nights. It will then be donated, recycled, or otherwise disposed of by the firm. Despite offering comfort guarantees, most mattress manufacturers charge a return fee. The company charges for redelivery as well.
A “new generation” of Web-based sellers focus on strong customer support, according to Nick Robinson, owner of Sleep Like the Dead, founded in 2008. A number of these companies have responded to all customer complaints,” she said. These measures include blogs, the hiring of journalists for a sleep-related Web publication, affiliate programs, and the installation of tracking ads across the Internet.
3. Überfoam Does Not Exist
Finally, one mattress that would fit everyone represents the strongest marketing angle. There are mattresses that say they’re the best, they’re best for everybody, and there are mattresses that say they’re universally comfortable. But you learn when you study sleep and sleep on mattresses that there is no universally good mattress. The Mattress Underground forum explains this as follows:
There would only be a few mattresses needed in the industry if there was a universally comfortable mattress. However, they are restricted to those within the bell curve who are most likely to be interested or suitable for the offer.
When I interviewed Nick Robinson, the site’s founder and editor, 84 percent of customers rated BedInABox as satisfied or extremely satisfied on Sleep Like the Dead. Robinson said the claims of universal comfort were misleading, since only 16 percent of customers, even those who gave the company the highest rating, agreed. Despite development of unique foam blends by the newest companies, their mattresses are manufactured by established mattress companies, and all of them are manufactured in the United States, which is, whilst a novelty nowadays, usually how beds are made.
It’s impossible to know what people really want when it comes to mattresses, so don’t blame the new firms exclusively. The mattress industry funds almost all sleep research as it relates to mattresses. An industry-funded study of 128 healthy individuals, which analyzed mattresses of varying firmness levels and had them sleep on each for one month, had the best results. Based on Rogers’ report at Vice, Kaleigh’s findings are rather meh:
In all, 16 percent of participants rated no single mattress as “best,” while 12 percent rated all mattresses as “best”. Subjects did not choose their “best bed” mattresses.
4. Ample Room for Spreading Out
Approximately $14 billion is brought in by the mattress industry every year in the US, according to Furniture Today. During the first ten months of 2014, Casper earned 20 million in revenue, while Tuft & Needle made $9 million. The three largest mattress companies in the U.S. in 2005 were Mattress Firm, Select Comfort, and Sealy. According to Bloomberg in March 2015, mattress startups of all sizes hadn’t yet sold 100,000 beds. Amazon was once mentioned in a similar way, however.
In the mattress industry, there are a number of problems, but the giants have enough time to deal with the startups. It is possible to re-design the industry so that the products are transparent, the trials are convenient, and customer service is enthusiastic. Whoever ever had to purchase a big mattress would be celebrating a real comeback victory.