The mattress industry has been going through a significant change in the last few years. In part, this change has been driven by the changing demographics of the mattress customer. As baby boomers have been getting older, they are looking at ways to keep themselves feeling younger and more energetic. They are far more willing to try new products than their parents before them, especially with more personal items like mattresses.
This trend has been driving other industries as well, notably the weight loss and plastic surgery industries. But over the last few years there has been a significant growth in the sleep industry, and the mattress industry as a whole has shifted significantly to try to give a more comfortable and luxurious sleep experience.
What has this meant to you, the consumer? Over the past few years, there has been an internet explosion as people have become more comfortable with ordering larger ticket items on the internet.
With the ability to vacuum package and ship a mattress on a FedEx or UPS truck, an entire industry has stormed the web. There are new companies selling pure latex mattresses such as Habitat Furnishings, Zenhaven, Plushbeds, and others. There are also companies like Casper, OnPurple, Loom &Leaf, FCO Homegoods, and others, offering hybrid mattresses made using a variety of innovative materials.
Some of these companies have not been around very long, so I always advise buyers to consider purchasing a mattress from companies that have been around for 10 years of more to make sure they stand the test of time, and can service your warranty and return issue down the line.
Some of the big players, like Tempur-Pedic, Select Comfort, Simmons, Sealy, and Serta, continue to innovate, though their products tend to be far more expensive than beds made of equal quality by much smaller, boutique style manufacturers. When you see the advertising that is always chasing us around the internet for these products, you need to be aware that the consumer pays for the cost of these ads.
A lot of the smaller companies riding the coattails of these corporate behemoths are merely catching the breadcrumbs left by the big players, and that in and of itself is a huge marketplace.
The trend now is the tightening of prices for a decent mattress. The healthy competition in the industry has led to a much more comfortable price point for many of these mattresses. It is easy to spend $700-800 on a queen size mattress and get something that is really decent that will last.
High end bedding is still available for consumption, though. Companies like Hastens, and even American lines, like the Simmons Black series, have price tags of $5,000 and up. Select Comfort sells their higher end digital air bed models for $5,000 and more.
Innovative And Healing Ingredients Used In Mattress Design
There are so many great new and fresh technologies being developed in the mattress industry, largely driven by consumer interest in sleep hygiene and health, that it’s hard to keep up with the exploding category of hybrid mattresses. Hybrid mattresses are those made using several different kinds of components, each offering unique benefits to the user, sometimes with quite exotic ingredients.
One such exotic ingredient is copper, which is known as a healing substance both in dietary uses, and when in contact with the body, such as copper healing bracelets and other objects.
Several innovative mattress companies are experimenting with infusing copper into such materials as natural latex, offering immediate body contact or closeness to the element itself.
Copper reduces inflammation caused by arthritis, relieves pain, increases energy levels, and helps with a host of other medical issues.
Aluminum is also being infused into specialized memory foam layers to deflect heat, making mattresses far more comfortable for hot sleepers.
The fabrics used in the outer covering of mattresses are also becoming very innovative as well. Natural fabrics such as bamboo fiber, wool, and others offer a chemical free alternative to the vastly growing eco-friendly and environmentally conscious marketplace. Also, advanced heat reducing fabrics such as Tencil, and other reflective materials are rapidly gaining popularity as well.
Finally, there has been a fair amount of growth lately in the adjustable bedding area. This used to primarily be an institutional market product for the elderly or bed bound. Now manufacturers see a huge area of growth with younger markets, as well as the aging yet physically active baby boomer market.
It seems many manufacturers are reinventing the adjustable bed category, with prices starting in the $600-700 range for a queen size adjustable bed, with many models offering sleek features like LED under lighting, massage, sophisticated fabrics, and other options.
These models are sleeker, more family oriented, with high tech connectivity to smart phones, and ergonomic remote controls, and look like anything but the old school “hospital bed” that moved up and down.
Also, the American culture has been shifting to a more health conscious ethos, with emphasis placed on getting proper restorative sleep, putting in your eight hours, and having a quality mattress. Eagerness to explore new kinds of mattresses is also on an uptick, with the industry strongly suggesting that the average consumer replace their mattress every eight years or so.
Gone are the days when couples would buy a mattress and keep them for the duration of their marriage, or even their lives, thanks to an aggressive, and competitive marketplace with many new and innovative ideas about sleep and bedding in general.