The rise of online mattress companies is an epic underdog story. No competitive business environment epitomizes the David and Goliath concept better. It started with a whisper around 10 years ago when Bedlnabox became the first challenger to test the waters. The initial impact was more of a ripple than a tidal wave. However, their slow but steady growth inspired a host of new entries into the market. Start ups like Casper, Tuft & Needle, Leesa and Saatva have emerged as major online players. Every day, new companies are launched.
The bedding industry was once thought to be immuned to Internet competition. Most experts doubted consumers would buy a mattress without trying it first. Oh, how wrong they were! In just a few short years, modest online mattress sales have rison to a 1.5 billion dollar a year business.
How did this happen so quickly?
What seemed like an overnight sensation was really decades in the making. For years, a handful of household names have dominated retail mattress sales. Recent times have seen major competitors join forces to further dominate the market. Sealy, Stearns & Foster and Tempur-Pedic are now under the same corporate umbrella. Simmons and Serta have merged as well. These unions of one time rivals created the makings of potential mattress monopolies. Corporate profits remain as high as ever and so do retail prices.
It's true that most online mattress companies are relative newcomers. However, the current business environment evolved over a much longer period of time. The retail bedding industry underestimated how how internet savvy the general public has become. And we’re not just talking about Millennials. From teens to seniors, everyone is getting getting more connected. Today's shoppers are armed with more information than ever before. They are no longer easy prey for retail gimmicks.
Retail store headaches and frustration
Consumers were already in search of better values. The fact they could avoid the unpleasantness of a retail showroom just enhanced online purchase appeal. No high pressure salespeople, price haggling or awkwardly laying on a mattress in public. Being able to shop in the comfort of your own home is a plus. Paying far less for the same or better quality for many is a no brainier. Even shoppers who ultimately buy from a retail location pre-shop shop online. Internet options have definitely tilted the scale back on the side of consumers.Budget Mattresses
The bulk of online mattress companies still focus on the under $1,000 category. These mattresses are primarily bed in a box type offerings. They consist of Memory Foam, synthetic latex or other proprietary polyurethane based foams. The common denominator is most can be rolled or squeezed into a box for easy shipment. More often than not deliveries are free and returns easy. Cutting out the middleman keeps costs low and dollar values high.
Typically, these companies build one mattress in a mid range comfort feel. The positive is that this helps keeps costs and prices low. Of course it also means no one single offering will satisfy every customer. Be sure to check out return policies of any company before ordering your mattress. Also, research consumer reviews on customer service and actual comfort feel.
Most companies will state their mattress is suitable for all sleepers. No one mattress is best for everyone. Back sleepers and stomach sleepers typically sleep more comfortably on a medium firm. Side sleepers gravitate to softer feels to relieve pressure to shoulders and hips.
There is also a growing market for luxury beds. Winkbeds, Spindle, Loom & Leaf and PlushBeds are a few of the next tier of companies. They bridge the gap between value and quality. Whether you are talking a hand built traditional innerspring or an all natural latex mattress, you’ll find exceptional values online. Many of these companies spec out the same or better than quality retail offerings. It's here where you find the most significant savings. The price differences are staggering! In some cases, these beds are thousands of dollars less than retail prices.
You will generally find more comfort feel options in this category. Spindle natural latex mattress delivers 5 different comfort feels in one bed. The mattress arrives in 3 layers that can be arranged to create multiple levels of softness. Choose from extra firm, firm, medium, soft or extra soft and make adjustments as needed. Others offer flippable mattresses with dual comfort levels. Zenhaven, for example, has a gentle firm on one side and luxury plush on the other. This type of creative thinking increases the odds of finding your best comfort feel.
No middle man, no retail store overhead, and no salesmen’s commissions to pay. That said, what really makes online companies successful goes far beyond price. It’s their understanding that price alone won’t earn your business. Free (or low priced) deliveries with generous return policies help build confidence. Great service confirms you made the right decision. Of course, we’re not implying all companies offer the same quality, value or service. What we are saying is that you owe it to yourself to take a look at all options before making your decision.