Gone are the days when shoppers would spend their weekend at their local brick-and-mortar mattress store, testing an endless number of beds that all seemed to feel the same. And after spending just minutes laying on each mattress, a decision is made, a delivery time is set up and maybe $1,000+ is spent. All of this happens so quickly that the customer leaves the store possibly forgetting what the mattress they just dropped a month’s rent on even felt like.
In the past five years, all of this has changed. Consumers today are more comfortable making big purchases over the internet, which has created an opportunity for online bed in a box companies to change the way people think about buying mattresses. By selling directly to consumers, companies can eliminate the middleman and control costs by avoiding sales commissions and showroom fees. This cost savings is then passed down to the consumer, making the cost of buying a mattress online significantly less than an in-store purchase.
There are now more than 50 online mattress companies, making the industry one of the fastest growing. According to Forbes, the online retail segment is now responsible for more than 5% of the mattress market and is projected to soon reach 10%.
While they all may seem the same based on the images of their websites, every online mattress retailer does offer a slightly different product. But the general business model seems to remain consistent across the board. Here are some of the guarantees that are pushing consumers to buy online:
- Free Shipping
- It’s hard to find an online mattress company that charges for shipping. This is now an expected feature across the industry.
- 100-Night Trial
- Since in-store testing for a lot of online mattresses isn’t an option, they all offer some type of trial period. The benefit here is that you have plenty of time to test out the mattress in the comfort of your own home.
- Easy Returns
- If you don’t find comfort within the trial period, the return process is easy for the majority of online retailers. However, the process may be different. Some companies will pick up the mattress for free and donate it to a local charity, while others have more detailed policies that may require you to put in some work.
- 10-Year Warranties
- Most retailers offer 10-year limited warranties, but the extent of what they cover will differ depending on the brand.
With new companies starting almost every day, the choice of which mattress to buy seems like the only hard part. Here are a few key players in the game:
Tuft & Needle
One of the first companies on the scene, Tuft & Needle was founded in 2012. Their two-layered mattress is an affordable option, with their queen mattress selling for $575. In 2016, Tuft & Needle recorded $100 million in revenue, which is an impressive feat for a company that rejected all offers from venture capitalists.
Probably the most recognizable name in the industry, Casper launched in 2013 and saw revenues surpassing $200 million in 2016. Much of this was attributed to the buzz generated by the venture capital funding they received. The company started off selling a mattress with a mix of four foam layers and has since expanded to offer two other mattress types, sheets, pillows and even dog beds.
Leesa’s three-layered memory foam mattress was introduced in 2014. By 2016, the company reported just under $80 million in revenue. Their revenue for 2017 is expected to nearly double that, thanks to the addition of other products like a bed frame, pillow and blanket.
One of the newest companies, Blello’s mattress in a box officially launched in late 2017. The company is up-front about their foam mattress being medium-firm, which is in line with their commitment to customer education.
Bottom line: buying a mattress has never been easier. And thanks to 100-night trials and free returns, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to find the perfect mattress with less hassle and at a cost you can afford.
Vital Design is a digital marketing agency based in New Hampshire.