Sustainability and the Mattress Buying Experience

New Better Sleep Council research delves into consumers’ and retailers’ perspectives on this environmental topic.

The latest BSC research delves into consumers' and retailers' perspectives on sustainability and the mattress buying experience.

Many mattress manufacturers want to know how sustainability is perceived in the marketplace. Are consumers looking for sustainable bedding products? Are retailers selling them? 

The most recent Better Sleep Council survey asked those questions and more. 

Conducted during July and August, the online survey asked 1,006 adult U.S. consumers and 139 U.S. retailers about their understanding and attitudes toward sustainability in relation to mattresses and other product categories.

Over the next few months, BedTimes will break down those results in detail. Here’s an overview of key findings:

Sustainability awareness is widespread …

… but familiarity and actions based on sustainability are more common among Gen Z and millennials. Mattress retailers expect demand for sustainability to increase in the next five years.

Half of consumers said …

… having mattresses made from sustainable materials would be a highly important factor in influencing their decision to buy from a particular retailer.

Consumers cited durability …

… as the most important sustainability characteristic they were looking for when shopping for a mattress. It’s also the type of sustainability information retailers are most likely to provide.

Retailers offer sustainably produced …

… mattresses, but nearly half of retailers involved in buying decisions believe that sustainability has very little to no influence on their company’s decision to sell a particular mattress. For those who say sustainability is an influence on selection, they are looking for mattresses made from natural or renewable materials and those free from harmful chemicals or that have minimal chemical usage.

Sample snapshot of retailer and consumer data from survey.

Most retailers said their …

… company actively promotes sustainability as a feature of their mattress products or services at least a little, although only 12% said they do to a large extent.

Consumers emphasize …

… the importance of informative in-store materials, as well as knowledgeable retail sales associates as sources of information about sustainability while mattress shopping. However, recent mattress purchasers reported that more sustainability information was provided on the website of the brand or retailer than through in-store materials or RSAs.

Most retailers don’t …

… feel highly knowledgeable about sustainability or highly prepared to talk to consumers about it. Those surveyed said educational materials provided by the mattress manufacturer would be helpful.

Consumers support …

… mattress recycling, with the majority saying it is highly important when a mattress reaches the end of its useful life. However, fewer than one in 10 knew that more than 75% of a mattress can be recycled.

In future issues, BedTimes will dive into these findings in greater depth. Topics will include: 

  • Sustainability awareness, attitudes and practices
  • Sustainability and purchase decisions for mattresses vs. other products
  • Sustainability and recent mattress purchase experiences: consumer perspectives
  • Sustainability and the retail experience: retailer perspectives
  • Mattress recycling views and knowledge
  • Mattress disposal and recycling experience.

The BSC leads consumer research and education for the International Sleep Products Association. Since 1996, it has conducted research to understand and track changes in consumers’ attitudes toward sleep and health, and their mattress purchase decision-making. The overarching objective of the research is to inform the communication strategy of the industry and to educate consumers about the health benefits of sleeping on a quality mattress.

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