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Why Are There So Many Mattress Companies?

By Jeff Frank

On average mattresses last 10 years or more before replacement.

That may seem to be infrequent. But almost every person in each home needs their own mattress.

  • Take a family of 4 – two parents and two children. That is three mattresses. Add another mattress (or two) for occasional guests.
  • Additional kids and live-in relatives need their own mattresses as well.

Compare that with how many refrigerators or washing machines can be found in each household.

  • From a very simplistic view, it would make sense if there were 4 or more mattress stores for each one that sells refrigerators.
  • Mattresses typically have much higher profit margins than appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators, making them even more attractive for retailers.

Over the past decade, online mattress sales have increased dramatically.

  • New technology improvements in both product design and supply systems have enabled smaller start up manufacturers to ship mattresses more efficiently.
  • Several of these direct to consumer manufacturers have been able to grow extremely large.
  • There are now well over 100 different mattress brands, available online, that can be shipped anywhere within the U.S.
    • 20 years ago, fewer than a dozen significant national brands existed.
  • 10 or 20 years from now, it is very possible that online mattress sales will surpass those made through brick and mortar retail stores.

The mattress industry has a well financed campaign to convince customers that mattresses should be replaced every 8 years, but most people still hang onto their mattresses longer than that.

There is one more important factor for a complete answer to your question.
There really are too many mattress stores in many places.

  • Mattress Firm, the largest U.S. mattress retailer (with approx. 3500 retail stores) filed for bankruptcy in August 2018.
  • One of the reasons cited in the bankruptcy filing was “too many retail outlets and franchises.”

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