A recent survey of people who were satisfied with their current mattress (which in most cases was purchased over 8 years ago), revealed 47% would want to buy an exact replica of it. This means that nearly half of these mattress shoppers would happily forego the ‘latest and greatest’ mattress innovations in order to have something ‘tried and true.’
Why don’t more consumers value mattress innovation?
For the mattress industry, this begs an obvious question: why are there so many consumers that don’t value innovation when it comes to mattresses? After all, mattress companies work hard on continuously improving their products — to the point where the mattress you had before probably isn’t even made anymore.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the kind of question that’s easy to ask people in a survey. However, we can get some pretty big clues by looking at why mattresses (at least historically speaking) aren’t like some of the other product categories mentioned above:
- Mattresses don’t tend to have actively used features (unlike TV’s, computers, and mountain bikes). There’s an obvious reason for this: it’s a product we use primarily when we’re sleeping.
- Mattress performance tends to be difficult to assess (unlike golf clubs, musical instruments, and power tools). Historically, it’s been very hard for most people to gauge and appreciate how a mattress is really ‘performing’ in terms of the quality of their sleep.
- Mattresses don’t tend to make a style statement (unlike couches, clothing, and carpeting). The plain fact here is that mattresses are covered up most of the time.
What can the mattress industry do to place a higher value on innovation?
These same examples provide a road map for what the mattress industry can do to encourage consumers to place a higher value on mattress innovation in the future:
- Give mattress products more actively used features. The rising popularity of adjustable base beds, as well as beds that have adjustable comfort or temperature settings, offers new potential for the mattress industry. These are actively used features that people can evaluate and compare (and crave) when shopping for a mattress.
- Encourage consumers to measure the performance of their mattress. Numerous consumer technology companies are working on new ways to measure sleep. By encouraging consumers to use this technology to actively discern how their new mattress is improving their sleep, the mattress industry may be able to give consumers more tangible reasons to upgrade their sleep surface.