Indians love to shop, be it offline or online. This is not just a statement but a fact as well. As per the report of brokerage firm Jefferies, online retail in India is expected to touch $170 billion or 8% of the total retail market of the country by 2030 growing at a CAGR of 21%, higher than the growth that offline retailers will see in the same period. That said, this can only happen when more and more Indians indulge in online or offline shopping of products of basic necessity to luxurious items.

While it is generally seen that Indians often shop for clothes, shoes, bags, cosmetics and other accessories, smartphones and other electronic items among other things offline or online, frequency of shopping for a quintessential product like mattress is very less in the country. This is because Indians often undermine the importance of sleep and mattress in their life. They generally overlook the facts that sleep is a vital ingredient for one’s good health and overall well-being and one spends nearly 1/3rd of their lives in bed. Thus, people often take sleep for granted much like the piece of furnishing (mattress) that is used for this activity. So, while people make it a point to change the decor of the house and paint of the walls after every 5-6 years, they refuse to change the mattress on which they are sleeping for many years. This makes it necessary to make the people realise that if they are spending nearly six to seven hours on bed every night on an average, they need to invest both time and money in buying this product after every few years.

Frequency of mattress shopping

There is no doubt that people want a good night’s sleep but the reality is not everyone is able to get it. People usually blame it on their stress, hectic lifestyles and lack of a proper routine, however, they often tend to overlook some simpler and obvious reasons that include old mattress that could be coming in their way of sound sleep. This brings us to the point that Indians typically use mattress for very long and do not change it often.

For that matter, as per the National Sleep Foundation, any mattress
should not be used for more than eight years in order to prevent it from becoming a farm of dust mites and bed bugs. Further, it states that mattress should be replaced much before eight years if the ones using it are above the age of 40 years as body of such people may need more support when they sleep.

That said, no matter how bizarre it may sound but people in India are willing to spend a bundle of money on the latest top-of-the-line mobile phone but will sleep on the same mattress that belonged to their grandmother’s generation.

Changing the mattress buying scenario

Given that mattress buying in India is not so frequent; educating the customers can be one of the prime ways in which the trend can be changed.
Adding to it, Nipun says, “Customers should also be made aware of the fact that old mattresses may breed dust mites, bacteria and allergens over a period of time and this can cause various allergic reactions and other health problems.”
Hence, customer education can greatly impact the mattress buying scenario in India and lead people to buy mattress more often for reasons as important as good sleep and health.

To sum up…

The task of educating the customers regarding the health benefits of sleeping on a quality mattress and the importance of regular mattress replacement is not achieved completely. Hence, it is needed that the mattress manufacturers as well as the retailers come to the fore and spread awareness about it.
That said, due to increased awareness and growing health issues, people are realising the need to purchase mattresses more than often. They are willing to pay good price for a good mattress that can promote good sleep and health. Hence, mattress retailers definitely have a bright future ahead and they need to gear up well to cater to this growing demand.

ISPF is an industry body which promotes importance of sleep and role of mattress for a Indian consumers. ISPF plays very important role in connecting Indian bedding industry ecosystem. ISPF also acts as bridge between India and international players.