Future segments in the mattress domain What companies can look forward to?

While the utility of the mattress hasn’t changed since the prehistoric ages (it still provides comfort and protects us from dust and pests), there’s no denying that the mattress itself has evolved tremendously over the years to meet the requirements of many consumer and industrial segments.

Indeed, it has gone through several remarkable transformations over the centuries, right from the discovery of the innerspring mattress in 1871 in Germany to the invention of the memory foam by NASA in the year 1966.

The age of commercialisation kicked in, and mattress companies truly began to market their products for all kinds of applications and different target groups. Right from the orthopaedic beds with solid, distributed support systems for hospitals and patients, to memory foam and latex layers for families to have a perfect night’s sleep, and even cooling gel-based mattress to people living in tropical climates, there have been so many market segments for mattress companies to target.

But that’s the past and the present, and if you’re in charge of a mattress business, you must be wondering about the future, including the kind of innovations taking place and the segments they can cater to in the future.

In that case, you’ll be delighted to know that there is good news for you, as the recent developments and innovations in the mattress domain are in-line with the exciting leaps of the past.

Right then, let’s have a look at the future segments that both mattress companies and consumers can look forward to.

constant snoring of their roommates or partners. Moreover, when you consider that one in every four adults is a snorer, the whole idea of a no-snore mattress makes for quite an exciting business proposition for mattress companies.

What is the magical anti-snore technology? They’re the ‘smart-beds’ that have adjustable bases with remotecontrolled motion technology. What these smart-beds essentially do is that they raise the head of the person who is snoring, so as to open up their breathing passages and minimize any blockages that are causing snoring, and it does it in the click of a button (which is obviously activated by the troubled roommate or partner).

In addition, these smart-beds or smart-mattresses can be connected to the latest in IoT technology too and can track your daily sleeping patterns and postures while measuring your heart rate and body temperature as well. Some mattresses even have the capability to introduce flows of cool air within the mattress to keep you feeling fine at all times.

Plus the snore-solution isn’t limited to smart-beds alone, as manufacturers have come up with mattresses that provide even weight distribution of the inner layers, as well as expertly contouring them – so as to provide the
perfect sleeping position to minimize snoring.

Having said that, some players in western countries have already begun selling these smart-beds, but the trend hasn’t gone viral in a global sense yet, due to the high manufacturing and selling costs involved. But with people all across the globe voicing their disapproval against snoring, there certainly seems to be a market for it, and Indian companies would do well to capitalize on this need by looking at reducing manufacturing costs.

• The customised mattress segment The global mattress market has been witnessing an increasing clamour for customized mattresses. With every business player wanting to stand out from the crowd, it has become more of a necessity than anything. Also, this requirement has been coming in from various avenues, such as the retail space, the military, the navy, and civilian transportation majors, all of whom require customizations such as:

• Modern durable materials that are light weight yet offer insular protection and are weatherproof.

• Different shapes and sizes including V-berths, T & L shaped cushions, bunk beds, army sleeping bags, etc.

• Design aspects including camouflage patterns, unique
logos, and symbols, etc

Also, the civilian transport majors, in particular, have a wide variety of requirements for mattresses for modernized rail berths, along with cushions of varying dimensions for cruise liners and aeroplanes. The retail space is another major avenue for business as well, as every retail outlet needs to have their own customized look and will certainly seek unique solutions from the mattress segment.

That being said, mattress players must be ready to take on the responsibilities related to manufacturing customized products, as it would be quite impractical to outsource manufacturing duties to companies with fixed production lines. However, there is immense scope in the customization domain for mattress companies, especially online players, as no-one has really provided holistic solutions for offices, restaurants, homes, theatres, hotels and many other spaces.

• The eco-friendly segment As per reports, the mattress industry is going to rely heavily on the sales and positioning of eco-friendly mattresses. This is because customers are not only becoming more environment-friendly but health-conscious as well, as they look to sleep on surfaces that are free from any allergy-causing materials.

That being said, these mattresses are made up of organic, non-toxic and bio-degradable materials such as wool and natural latex. Most customers do not realize that their old mattresses are still lying around in a landfill and will take hundreds of years to decompose. In addition, they are made up of toxic materials that seep into groundwater levels, thereby causing water pollution roo. Plus, there is also the issue of chemical off-gassing, which is common in memory foam mattresses and other synthetic types. It involves breakdown and release of volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde and benzene, which can cause health issues such as cancer and infertility.

Hence the rise of organic mattresses, as they avoid the use of any harmful synthetic materials during the manufacturing process, and also provide better scope for cooling, as they do not absorb heat like traditional memory foam-based mattresses do so. Certainly, a market segment that mattress players can capitalize on in modern eco-conscious times.

• Multi-functional & minimalist segments Modern living spaces are all about clean, compact, minimalistic designs, and it goes without saying that mattresses in these homes should be of similar features. Moreover, the modern consumer also prefers multi-functional accessories such as sofa-beds or compact movable beds that can be easily shifted around from one room to another, based on the requirement.

In addition, there are also ‘multimedia beds’ that take the multi-purpose feature to a whole new level. While they are not minimalistic in themselves, they can really help create a lot of space in a room. These mattresses come equipped with projection screens to play your movies and entertainment shows, as well as stereo sound-systems and in-built CPUs for your computer applications. They are all-in-one entertainment systems that do away with the need for extra accessories and can function as your home-office unit too.

That is what the mattress has always been about, alleviating the discomfort of a man so that he can enjoy some much needed comfort and luxury at the end of a hectic day.

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.