Bed-in-a-box industry

Millennials are target of mail-order mattresses

It seems every commercial break (on networks that still run commercials) includes an ad for an online mattress that promises to give you the best night’s sleep ever.

The list of companies offering a bed-in-a-box, delivered to your door, is getting longer. Caspar, Leesa, Tuft & Needle, 8sleep, Nectar, Helix, Purple, Nest, Oso, Bear, 4sleep and Saatva all claim you will sigh with delight as you sink into their mattresses.

Those online mattress companies are just the tip of the iceberg. According to Curbed, one mattress company’s CEO estimated there are 150 online mattress companies. Another said the number is more like 500.

Consumer Reports estimated direct-to-consumer mattress firms now command 12 percent of the market, up from a mere 6 percent in 2014.

Adding to the allure, Consumer Reports also pointed out many bed-in-a-box firms offer free shipping and have  liberal trial periods, 100 days, sometimes longer, and easy return policies.

The bed-in-a-box has spread to other sleep-related industries. According to IBISWorld, some linen companies have started subscription-style bedding programs. That’s not to mention the My Pillow surge, which also promises a great night’s snooze.

So, who loses in the mail-order mattress surge? Traditional mattress retailers are in a free-fall from the onslaught of online competition. Last October, Mattress Firm closed 700 stores and filed for bankruptcy.

The winner of the mattress war depends on who likes what in a virtual way. Joe Alexander, CEO and founder of Nest Bedding, told AListDaily that millennials are spurning traditional brands by buying from whichever company that the internet declares as “good.”




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