From online upstarts to retail chains, e-commerce sales of mattresses continue to rise. But the growth is slowing.

Online mattress sales continued to balloon in 2017, with more than $1.767 billion in revenue generated by 14 mattress retailers in the Internet Retailer Top 1000. That’s a 60.6% rise over the year before, when those mattress retailers broke the billion-dollar barrier with $1.100 billion in online sales.

The 60.6% growth is slower than it was the past two years as mattress companies mature. The median year mattress retailer launched e-commerce sales in 2014. That’s the year when Casper, the mattress retailer with the most online sales and No. 132 in the Top 1000, launched, along with other big web-only players Leesa Sleep LLC (No. 286) and Helix Sleep (No. 375).

 

However, new mattress startups aren’t out of the question. 2017 saw the launch of Nectar Sleep, which sold more than $55 million in mattresses online that year, propelling it to No. 654 in the Top 1000. It expects to do $330 million in online sales this year and launched a sister brand, Wovenly, which sells rugs online.

Online-native mattress retailers dominate the market

Another online-only mattress retailer that launched in 2017, Molecule, landed football star Tom Brady as a spokesperson this year. He had previously represented the Beautyrest line from Serta Simmons Bedding (No. 817), a larger mattress manufacturer that sells through bricks-and-mortar shops and department stores, in addition to its websites.

Serta Simmons Bedding took a hit when a major chain that sells its mattress in store and online,  Mattress Firm Inc. (No. 305), filed for bankruptcy. The retail chain is closing up to 700 stores as part of the restructuring and Serta Simmons is left as one of Mattress Firm’s largest creditors in the bankruptcy.

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Online mattress sales are mostly coming from web-based startups. Online-only startups like Purple (No. 226), Tuft & Needle (No. 254) and Brentwood Home (No. 524) accounted for 78.5% of Top 1000 mattress sales in 2017, but made up only 64.2% or nine of the 14 included retailers. That’s up from 69.9% of 2016 online mattress sales for the same set of retailers. These web natives grew a cumulative 80.4% in 2017, compared with just 14.5% for traditional mattress brands like Serta and Tempur-Pedic (No. 564).

An online-only existence isn’t enough to continue this growth though. Casper is a digitally native brand following the trend of moving into physical spaces to continue growing. It already has more than 20 stores and kiosks around the country and plans to have 200 in three years. It’s also worked with Target to introduce its mattresses to more shoppers in stores.

These online mattress brands have also helped ancillary e-retailers shine. Brooklinen (No. 489), which sells luxury bedding, grew online sales 79.4% in 2017; Boll & Branch (No. 562) grew web sales 50.0%. And the mattress makers themselves are getting in on selling accessories, with Casper and Tuft & Needle offering full lines of bed linens.

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