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The Allure Of Latex Mattresses

I have spoken to a lot of mattress industry insiders, and they all have intimated to me that they secretly think latex is the best sleeping surface.  Why is that the case and what is the general allure of the material?

Latex is very resilient.  That means that if you move around a lot in your bed, the mattress will conform very quickly, and it will not take any time to return to its proper shape.  With memory foam, this is not the case, and it can be a little annoying for people who do tend to move a little bit in the bed.

Latex is a more natural material than memory foam.  Latex is in its pure foam is 100% natural, and it actually comes from a rubber tree.  Not every mattress company will use natural latex, but it’s still more natural than memory foam, which is made from petrochemicals.  In an era where people are caring more and more about having natural products that are free from chemicals, latex is becoming an increasingly popular choice.

Latex mattresses do not trap heat and they tend to keep their cool, no matter the climate outside.  A lot of people have a great deal of discomfort when their mattress heats up.  That is just not the case with latex mattresses.

Latex mattresses are springier than other types.  You get a good bounce to them, which is a feeling a lot of people tend to like. This makes this type of mattress especially good for sexual activity.

The problems with latex are that they tend to be very heavy and they are more expensive.  A lot of good marketing has gone into making memory foam mattresses as popular as they are today.  If a similar marketing push happens with latex, and companies can figure out a way to make latex beds more affordable, I think latex will really increase in popularity too.

It’s no secret that latex is a really great surface to sleep on.

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Do Memory Foam Mattresses Sleep Hot?

A lot of people talk about mattresses “sleeping hot.”  This is normally most associated with memory foam mattresses.  It is true that a lot of memory foam mattresses can retain heat and be a little uncomfortable.  This can be really uncomfortable in particularly warm climates.  This is because of the chemical composition of memory foam, which tends to trap heat more so than other mattress types.

What do companies do to get around this?  Well, this is certainly a big issue and something companies try directly to address.  One thing that companies will do is to make their memory foam “gel-infused.”  This means a cooling gel is infused into the memory foam itself.  While a lot of the marketing that is done will say that this works wonders for keeping a mattress cool, studies show that is actually not the case.  Having a gel-infused mattress is only slightly cooler than a normal memory foam mattress.  In many cases, it’s the exact same temperature.

Another method that companies will use is to use bio-based foams.  Studies do show that using plant-based foams is very effective at keeping a mattress cool.  The problem here is that the process to make plant-based foams is pretty expensive, so usually the mattress will be more expensive.  However, this methodology does tend to work.

Another method companies will use is to actually laminate a gel layer onto the foam.  This differs from gel-infused because it is not infused, it is laminated onto the top layer of the mattress.  Studies also show that this is an effective form of keeping a mattress cool.

Those are the three main ways companies will try to design a mattress that stays cool.  Latex and innerspring tend not to experience this problem very much.  Memory foam has a lot of benefits, but those benefits can be combated if the mattress sleeps really hot.  Luckily, most companies are starting to pick up on the best ways to address that issue.

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The New Mattress Companies Are Coming, Brace Yourselves!

With the great success of the new online mattress companies (especially Casper with all the press that they’ve gotten), I think we’re seeing the advent of a new era in the mattress industry.  It’s already started to happen, and I think it’s only going to continue.  There will be more and more new mattress companies at a faster pace than ever in the industry.  Casper proved that a new company can come in and have immediate success.  There are other success stories as well.  Saatva has been around a long time, and they have slowly built their business, rather than raise money and try to become successful immediately.  Leesa came into the market somewhat recently too, and they appear to have had lots of success as well.  It all makes a lot of sense, as buying online is probably the best way to get a good deal on a mattres (as I’ve written about here).

How will everything play out?  Well, I think there’s a few different ways new companies will try to enter the market and differentiate themselves.  The free trial period and return policy is already extremely favorable for these new companies, so I don’t think there’s really any room for differentiation there.  I think there will be more Casper clones that will attack the price point around $700-1,000.  That seems to be that sweet spot in the market right now.  From there, I think companies will aim for going much below that price point and then there will be luxury mattress companies that sell online as well.

Companies will also try to differentiate themselves by the product itself.  The foam that is used and the layers will be a big point of differentiation.  At some point, however, consumers won’t really care so much about that.  There isn’t a whole lot that differentiates the different hybrid foams, for example.  I do think there will be a company that will sell a truly organic mattress online.  No one’s really successfully made that play just yet, but it’s a trend that is undeniable at this point.  People want organic products, and I think the mattress market is where consumers want to look next.

The online mattress business model is very disruptive and is taking the world by storm.  That is only going to continue.  Established companies will come out with new brands that attack different types of mattress and price points.  New companies will come in very quickly.  It doesn’t take that much time or funding to really get a new mattress company going, so the barriers to entry are quite low.  It will be interesting to see how things play out.

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How To Make It As An Online Mattress Company

Given that there have been so many new companies that sell mattresses directly to consumers online, I thought I would give my thoughts on what it would take to be successful in that market.  A lot of companies have already been very successful in this space, but there are so many new companies coming in that it might be tough to sustain that success for the long-term.  Here are my thoughts.

Free Shipping

I think regardless of the industry, offering free shipping is becoming more and more important.  Consumers just don’t want to pay for shipping.  Furthermore, it’s quite a surprise if someone thinks the mattress will cost a certain amount, only to be surprised that it is actually an extra $150 because of shipping.  It’s the right thing to do for consumers and it will make sure that companies can maximize their conversion rates and get the most effectiveness out of their advertising budgets (see this article for more on why free shipping is so important).

Amazing Customer Service

If an online mattress company has bad customer service, they just aren’t going to last.  They will be found out and outed on the review sites very quickly.  The consumer is taking a leap of faith by not trying the mattress out ahead of time.  They need a great customer service team to be ready to handle any issue they might have to really make the business work well.

Savvy Digital Marketers

There are several ways to be successful online selling mattresses.  A company could get lots of press on a regular basis.  Casper has done this very effectively.  If a company has the opportunity, they should certainly take advantage of it.  Companies can also develop great relationships with affiliates / mattress reviewers and make sure that they have very favorable things written about them across the Internet.  Furthermore, advertising with Google AdWords is a very effective and widely-used tool to get attention to a company’s website.  To make AdWords and other online advertising platforms work, companies need to make sure they have a very savvy team of digital marketers working for them.  If they don’t, they might not be able to make the math work for them.  With more companies coming in, advertising costs are only going to go up.  For that reason, it’s all that more important to have an experienced team of marketers who can get the most out of every advertising dollar spent.

Product That Differentiates

It’s easy to make a memory foam mattress.  It’s easy to make a hybrid foam mattress.  What’s difficult is to convince consumers why your company’s product and design is different and better than other companies.  Companies should consider how good and unique their design is and how easily a competitor could copy it.  They should seek to make their design as easy to understand, quality, and unique as possible.  At a certain point, product quality will matter for long-term success.

Great Reviews

Companies should do whatever they can to make sure they get good reviews online.  There are several sites dedicated to reviewing mattresses.  There are other sites that aggregate a lot of individual reviews (Goodbed is a big one, for example).  Either way, lots of people turn to those sites before they ever consider making a purchasing decision.  Companies should figure out ways to make sure the reviews that show up on those sites are as favorable for them as possible.  This might mean encouraging happy customers to go onto those sites and put up a review.

mattress wars

Agility

The online mattress market is always changing, and it is changing very quickly.  Companies should be agile and ready to adapt quickly to those changes.  They have to have a flexible management that can make quick decisions.  Lethargic, bureaucratic organizations will be left behind in the long-term.

Good Story

We’re seeing better and better stories come out with each new mattress company.  Some companies are donating a mattress to a homeless shelter after every 10 sales.  Other companies are doing similar giveaways.  These companies have great stories where they aren’t just making a profit, but rather they are also doing lots of good for their community and the world.  At a certain point, consumers will pay attention such stories, so it’s important for a company to have a good story to tell, especially when compared to others.

Those are some of the main things I think will be critical for being successful for online mattress companies going forward.  There’s certainly other things companies should keep in mind, but I think this is a pretty good list.

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A Note On Online Mattress Reviews

There’s a few things you should look out for when reading reviews of different mattresses online.  I’m going to try to run through a few of these things so that you can be fully equipped to make a great decision on which mattress brand you will want to buy.

-Be careful and take it with a grain of salt when you read the reviews on a mattress company’s own website.  While every company will claim that they are publishing reviews of legitimate customers, you have to wonder whether they are willing to publish the bad reviews as well.  It wouldn’t make too much business sense to publish a really bad review of your product on your website.  It’s just going to hurt sales.  Having said that, I am in no way accusing any company of doing anything inappropriate, but I’m just saying to take everything you read on the Internet with a grain of salt, especially when the reviews are on the company’s website.

-Figure out whether the person doing the review has actually slept on the mattress.  A lot of times people will review a mattress brand without having personal experience with it.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s just something you want to figure out and keep in mind when you are being influenced.

-Personal preference really makes a difference.  You will noticed that some people will say a mattress is too firm and another person will say the same mattress is too soft.  It happens all the time and it’s because the sleeping experience is so personal and particular that a lot of times it’s difficult to come to a consensus as to whether a particular mattress will be a good fit for most people.

mattress reviews advice

-You definitely want to read enough reviews so that you can get a good consensus on what the average person thinks about a mattress.  I would read multiple reviews or take a look at a site that aggregates multiple reviews (see, for example, the reviews of Saatva mattress on Trustpilot).  Viewpoints is another example of a site that aggregates reviews for mattress brands.  No matter what site(s) you are looking at, always dig deeper.  Some sites will provide reviews of customers who haven’t had much or any experience with the mattress at all.  You want to be careful in that situation and just make sure you understand how long the customer has had the mattress for.

You can’t believe everything you read on the Internet, but if you do enough digging, you’ll be able to get a pretty good consensus on the mattresses you are looking at and be confident that you will be making a really good decision.

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Be Particular With Your Mattress

We’ve all been there – you walk into a mattress store, and you want to get out as quick as you can.  The salesman is leering over your shoulder, trying to grab a cigarette every 10 minutes while you peruse the store aimlessly.  The truth of the matter is that if you walk into a mattress store and you don’t know what you want, you are destined to fail.

This is a time in your life when you really need to commit to making yourself happy.  When you walk around that mattress store for the first time, you need to really understand how it can benefit you.  Think about your future without back pain, without tossing and turning, and without that nasty mattress smell that accompanies a bad purchase.  There is plenty of opportunity for you to change your life with this purchase, if only you take the time to find one that really suits your sleep preferences.  I would recommend visiting Slumber Sage at his Instagram or PearlTrees account as a starting point for seeing which types of mattresses will best suit you.

The one thing that we know is that you’re looking for real value when you buy the mattress.  Check out this video which talks about some of the best mattresses you can purchase for the least amount of money.

Deals in the mattress industry are definitely not easy to find, but if you do your research ahead of time, there is opportunity to walk out of a winner.  These days a lot of the startups making memory foam are really offering a good deal, so if memory foam is something that you are interested in exploring, start with the direct to consumer mattress companies.

Other options include latex foam and standard coil mattresses, both of which suit different types of sleepers.  Do your research on each of these types, and be armed with a ton of questions to make your mattress salesman really earn his commission.

 

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Incentives

Just wanted to write a quick post here.  I wanted to provide a word of caution about two things: those who recommend what to buy online and those salespeople who recommend a certain mattress in a store.  Not all mattress salespeople have your best interests in mind.  Some get commissions for pushing certain products over other ones, regardless of whether it will be a better fit for you or not.

You need to keep this in mind.  If a mattress salesman is telling you you need to buy a specific mattress, you need to ask if he/she gets a special commission if you happen to buy that particular mattress.  Most salespeople work mainly on a commission basis, so they will want you to buy the most expensive mattress possible.  You should be wary of that.  You need to decide what mattress you want irrespective of what a person with certain financial incentives tells you.  This is why it’s so important to do your own independent research.  You should try to have a pretty good idea of what you want to buy before you ever step foot into a mattress store.

The same goes with shopping around online.  Some people might pitch a certain mattress over another.  They may be doing this because they genuinely believe it is the best option for you.  However, they might also be doing it because they will receive some sort of commission if you purchase that particular brand.  This isn’t always the case, but you should at least be made aware of it and adjust your activity accordingly.

So, you should be wary of the incentives of the people that are giving you advice.  If you do so, you will end up with a much better mattress than you would otherwise.

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Some Mattresses Just Look Bad

This will probably just be a short post, but I’ve been shocked at how some mattresses are designed in a way that make them look bad.  They may be constructed perfectly with hours upon hours of thought going into what materials they will be made out of.  BUT, the end result just looks terrible.  I’m not going to call out anyone particular, but those companies probably know who they are.  It’s a smaller consideration, but why would anyone want a mattress that just doesn’t look good.  One of the biggest offenses is that the mattress is completely monotone.  I have no idea why a manufacturer/designer wouldn’t at least try to add a little bit of color and/or contrast to the mattress to make it look okay.  Certainly anyone who buys a mattress can make it look better by putting on the right sheets and all that, but I think people are willing to pay a little bit more for a mattress that is designed to look nice on its own without anyone having to do any of that.

That’s really all that I had to say.  If you are a mattress company executive, do a self-audit and really analyze whether you should improve the design and look of your mattress.  Even if it has great construction and materials, you should at least consider the look of the mattress a little bit.

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Mattress Reviews Online- My Thoughts

In general, I think it’s good advice to be very careful when you are reading reviews of different mattress brands and types online.  For one, and this is probably the biggest reason why, is that there are not a lot of checks and balances to see whether the person writing the review is unbiased.  So, you’ll see that companies will have a testimonials page on their website and by chance almost all of the reviews are positive.  This is not a coincidence.  This is probably because the company cherry picks the best reviews to put on their website or just completely makes them up in the first place.  The companies have absolutely no incentive to put up bad reviews of their mattress because they know that will really hurt their business.  So, I would just about completely ignore a company’s website when looking for reviews.

Next, let’s consider a site like amazon.com.  You don’t actually have to prove that you purchased the product in order to write a review.  So, there’s nothing to really stop a company from having a bunch of people associated with the company writing lots of good reviews on Amazon.  There’s a ton of other sites like this where you don’t need to show proof of purchase before you are allowed to write a review.  Because of that, you really need to consider the source when assessing whether a review is unbiased.

The other thing you need to think about is that the people writing these reviews probably have no idea what they are talking about.  A lot of them will also review the mattress before it has even arrived or after just a week of having the mattress.  You have to look at the time frame and be very discerning to make sure you can really trust what the person is saying.  Half the time, the person will probably give inaccurate information as well.  You have no idea if what they person is saying will apply to you, so make sure you keep this in mind when reading reviews.

Overall, I would just be very careful when looking at reviews of different mattress brands.  I like the site whatsthebest-mattress.com because it has a good forum that is pretty well monitored.  It seems like the community is generally interested in helping everyone out and it is all from an unbiased perspective.  I also like slumbersage.com.  That’s just one person’s expert perspective on a bunch of different brands and topics.  Either way you look at it, be careful out there and read enough reviews so that you can get a good thesis on a company and a particular mattress.  The ultimate goal is to get a great deal on a great mattress (which I talk more about here).  In order to do that, you have to be willing to put in some time and do some good research.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=168hdlW4R0E

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Mattresses Good For Sexual Activity

An often overlooked issue when thinking about mattresses is whether the bed will be good and fit for sexual activity.  If you sleep with a partner, then this should certainly be a consideration when looking at a mattress.  A lot of people overlook this and don’t have the sexual experience that they would hope for. Here are a few considerations that you should keep in mind when looking at this issue.  Here’s an article describing how your mattress can affect your sex life http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/clients-weigh-pros-cons-popular-foam-mattresses-article-1.1079007.

You want to find a mattress that gives in a bit.  If your mattress is too firm and it doesn’t give in, you won’t have any stability and you won’t be able to find consistent traction, which can make for a bad experience.  Normally some sort of foam mattress, or at least a hybrid mattress with a foam component is good for this sort of thing.  Potentially trying the mattress out first or reading lots of reviews online is the way to go to see if the mattress will be good for this.

You don’t want the mattress to get too hot.  That’s a general rule for sleep.  Lots of people get really uncomfortable when sleeping on a mattress that can get hot.  The same is true for this area.  If it gets too hot, then it might create an uncomfortable experience.  Some people make this complaint about memory foam mattresses, so if you are going to get one, you should make sure that it is known for not sleeping hot.

mattress for sex

You don’t want the mattress to be too loud, especially if there are other people in your household.  Innerspring mattresses can get pretty loud, so you will want to find one that is known for staying quiet.  Foam mattresses are quite good at this, and they are pretty quiet as the foam adapts to the pressure points of your body without making too much or any noise.

You lastly want the mattress to be a little springy.  This will help you maintain a good rhythm and flow.  If you can somehow combine all four of these considerations together, then you will be in a good situation mattress-wise.

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