You May Have Noticed An Explosion In Online Mattress Sales Recently
You will have noticed advertisements for mattress in a box companies in the subway, on TV, or on billboards. Mattresses in a box is a concept that has really exploded over the past few years.
According to USA Today, the online mattress business went from “nothing to a $1.5 billion dollar business in the blink of an eye”. The pace does not look like it is giving up any time soon: my research on mattresses shows that popular models are selling thousands and thousands of mattresses per month. There are now more than 150 retailers offering to sell you a mattress online in the United States alone.
Let’s take a look at how this all started, and some of the reasons why I think online mattress purchases are soaring. I’ve also included a cool video at the end which shows the thing that’s really made this all possible.
How Did It All Begin?
The very first company to introduce this concept was BedInABox. BedInABox was founded in 2006, and shipped memory foam mattresses straight to the consumer online. For about six years, they were the only prevalent company using this business model. In 2014, Casper introduced their mattress to the market, and sales took off like a rocket.
We Are Waking Up To How Sleep Deprived We Are
According to the CDC, the average American sleeps less than seven hours per night. This is less than the recommended 7-8 hours, and a whole 2 hours per night less than we slept 100 years ago. This means that a lot of people are walking around in a state of chronic sleep deprivation.
This can have massive effects on our health, putting us at risk of chronic diseases and accidents. These end up costing the economy an estimated $411 billion per year. I’m from New Zealand, and that mind boggling dollar amount is more than double the GDP of my country!
We have emerged from the era where it was thought sleep was just an unnecessary waste of time (Thomas Edison predicted we would eventually do away with sleep all together) and are waking up to how vital it actually is. This means that the market for sleep items in general has exploded. For example, according to Consumer Reports, Americans spent $408 million on melatonin supplements in 2017 (read my article about what melatonin is and how it works here). This is just one very small thing people are doing to invest in their sleep.
An obvious area to invest in during the quest for a better sleep is the mattress we sleep on.
- The quality of the surface we sleep on has a massive impact on how well we sleep.
- If you sleep on an old mattress, you may be waking up with aches and pains.
- You may be tossing and turning all night, or have trouble falling asleep.
- People are becoming more aware that they should replace their mattress after a certain amount of time.
We Are Ultra Comfortable Making Online Purchases
We buy all sorts of things online these days. You don’t even need to go to the grocery store or phone for a taxi anymore! Virtually every single product or service we could ever dream of wanting is available online. And we are more and more comfortable with that. Gone are the days when we used to panic and hesitate giving our details on the internet to make purchases on sites we trust, we now do it all the time. Your device probably has your credit card details saved so you don’t even need to waste time putting your number in anymore!
However, mattresses one of the very last items we have come around to feeling comfortable buying online. This is because many people would never in a million years dream of buying a mattress they had not tried out! People are more conscious of the fact that lying awkwardly on a mattress in a store and then paying top dollar for it is potentially more risky than buying online. This is because online, you can often purchase a mattress with a long sleep trial, so you can test the mattress out, risk free, in the privacy of your own home.
I think the online mattress companies are actually taking a gamble here. They are betting on the fact that you probably won’t want to return it. Some companies make it easy, and collect the mattress if you request it. Others will make you show proof you donated it somewhere, which involves a bit of grunt work for yourself. It appears that many people don’t even know they CAN return the mattress within the trial period. They think that because the mattress won’t compress back into the box that they are stuck with it. You only need to read through the one star reviews on Amazon to see literally thousands of complaints from people saying they are “stuck” with a mattress they could actually return.
What About Bricks and Mortar Mattress Stores?
Don’t despair, if you are someone who really loves to go into a store and lie down on all the mattresses before you make your choice, stores are not going anywhere. Market experts predict online mattress sales will peak at around a 30% share of the market. They currently make up around 10%.
This is good news for companies such as Mattress Firm, previously America’s largest mattress store with thousands of shops across the country, who narrowly avoided bankruptcy last year in the wake of the online explosion . They have, however, had to shut more than 600 of stores.
A mattress in a box is not for everyone, there will always be people prepared to pay the markups you find in store, and deal with the salespeople.
Technology Has Made The “Mattress In A Box” Possible
I want to leave you with a short video, which showcases the piece of technology which has really made this whole online mattress revolution possible.
The machine I am talking about is the Roll Pack machine, the evolution of which has allowed for mattresses to be compressed into boxes.
Want to see exactly how a mattress gets compressed to become a “bed in a box” that can be shipped to you?
This short video inside a mattress factory shows you how it’s done. Watch this and you’ll also start to understand why you’ll never be able to get that mattress back into its box!
Do you think there are other factors contributing to the massive growth in the online mattress industry? Please leave me a comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts.