Why Are Mattresses So Expensive?

One of the questions I get often when I sell mattresses is “why are they so expensive?”. That is actually a great question that many people don’t really answer.

They Last

Would you pay $1,000 for a pair of shoes that will last you for 10 years? I would! That is about how long a mattress can last if you take care of it.




Think about it, you’re on your mattress for about 8 hours a day, kind of like your shoes, and it lasting for 10 years is actually a great “per day” value. So the cost to own a mattress per day is not that bad compared to things like shoes or other items you use regularly.

Price Shopping

One of the reasons why a mattress can be so expensive is that it can be very hard to price shop. To be able to price shop you need to compare apples to apples. Many manufacturers will actually slap a few things different on a mattress and call it different model to keep people from price shopping.

Even though the two mattresses are 99% the same, you can’t compare or price shop them if it’s not the same model. It’s a sneaky game that stores and many manufacturers play to confuse customers. This also leads to many brands and models to choose from.

Also very confusing when a store says it will price match or beat anyone’s price when they know that no other store will have the same model as they do as they have a special contract with the manufacturer for custom model.

It’s A Need

99% of customers only buy a new mattress when they NEED one, not when they want one. The thought of mattresses is not on people’s minds very often.

When someone needs a new mattress it’s always way beyond time to get one too. So people are willing to spend money on them right away.

People get overwhelmed from all the different tricks being shoved down their throats that often they just want to be done with mattress salesman and get home with a new mattress. So they will often pay whatever to get free.

Manufacturers and stores that sell mattresses play on this need and desperateness for a mattress.

No Used Market

There is really not a used market for beds.

I’m not complaining.

Since there is no used market that only leaves us with new ones. The used market is what keeps the car industry in check with prices since people could buy used instead.

Since everyone is buying new this leaves out incentives like warranty and rebates. Since your only option is new then you don’t need a long warranty or cash back because you don’t have an option.

High Profits

You ever wonder why there is a mattress store on every corner? Because there is some serious markup in those bad boys. We’re talking markup as high as 200% – That’s crazy!!!

If a mattress cost $300 to make might sale for $3000 in a mattress store.

But don’t worry they’re running a special for 40% off the upcoming holiday. Even at that we still have over 100% markup. So it’s no wonder you see so many bed stores pop up everywhere.

Combine this with unique models for stores and making it difficult to price shop a store can make some serious money of a customer.

The funny part is that since there are so many of these stores around that many will close down because the market is saturated with them. Just not enough customers to go around.

Plus these stores have overhead and have to pay salesmen commissions. Nothing wrong with that, but I’ve gone to buying mattresses online. This is the mattress I bought and it was delivered to my door and I did not have to deal with pushy salesmen.

Useless Features

My favorite reason for mattresses to be so expensive is that the manufacturers come up with stupid features that don’t really make the sleep experience better. It works like a placebo effect where you think something is better because it has gels or is organic.

My favorite is the organic foam mattresses. This is just crazy talk and a way to sell more beds. Using the word organic attracts a new type of customer that will make themselves feel better because they only buy organic things.

Features like “no mattress flipping” is another scam they push when you’re buying. By the time that your mattress should be flipped or rotated the warranty is up or you’re stuck with it. A lot of the features are just snake oil to make you feel better about buying their mattress.

Lack Of People Fighting Back

The honest truth is that people don’t care. Buying a mattress is something you’ll do maybe every 5 to 10 years. So you’ll only experience it a handful of times.

So people just bare with it. Also, people don’t really know the difference. A lot could have changed since you bought your last mattress. They could have cyber-yellow layer on it to keep it clean forever.

A lot of people throw in the towel since it’s not really a big problem. Laying on any mattress for 5 minutes will feel great to you. Since it feels good that’s usually the one you’re going to get. That’s also the mattress the salesman wanted you to buy since he either makes more on it or they’re overstocked in them. But it feels good so you don’t want to fight anymore and you’ll take it.

Bad At Negotiating

I’ll admit I’m not the best at negotiating, before getting into the mattress world I didn’t even know you could negotiate prices on them. Plus no one really enjoys negotiating because if you do then how do you really know you got a great deal?

Since mattresses have such great markups it’s highly advised that you do negotiate with them. I tell people to start by slashing the retail price in half and see what they say.

Quite honestly I stick to buying online now. When buying online you have straight forward pricing and since there tight competition on the internet, you’re pretty much getting the best price possible.

Just look how easy it is to buy and even review a mattress online. What a great time to be alive.

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