The future of the mattress industry is as layered as a typical bed – there are some shortterm changes and some long-term directions worth making room for

Today would be the best time to look ahead and outline the shape of a future mattress. Whether we look at what type of material we are leaning towards or what type of business models this product would gravitate to, it would be interesting to accommodate the changes right now – when the industry is on an industry cusp – the pre-COVID and the post-COVID landscape.

While the industry would not be spared from the general economic and supply chain impact that the pandemic has wreaked on global businesses, it would be a unique industry when we look at the mix of negative and positive effects of the crisis.

Spending has been hurt but home replenishment and comfort have taken precedence over other areas. This is also a good time for many innovations – specially on the component and manufacturing side – to take deep roots in the average mattress.

Overall Growth Frame

The industry was galloping at a good pace before the pandemic hit its supply and demand side in mixed ways. Let us look at a report from Research and Markets. It looks like the global mattress market had already touched a value of USD 30.3 Billion in 2019. It is being augured that the market value can reach USD 44.0 Billion by 2025. This means a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.2 percent during 2020- 2025. Another report – this one by Big Market Research underlines some key changes that are expected between 2020-2026. A prognosis by Technavio shows the mattress market is slated to grow by USD 14.36 billion during 2020- 2024. This translates into a CAGR of eight percent during the forecast period.

It is hard to say where would these spikes in demand come from. One easy guess in the times of Dalgona Coffee craze is how people have been nudged towards making their kitchens and homes busier than they ever were. So we can expect that people would spend not just money but time, attention and passion on home improvement projects.

The industry was galloping at a good pace before the pandemic hit its supply and demand side in mixed ways. Let us look at a report from Research and Markets

Zooming on the Asia Pacific home improvement market, we can see that it is projected to grow at a 4.5 percent CAGR from 2019 to 2025. As Global Market Insights explains it, this growth will be due to drivers like – a surge in housing prices in populated cities thanks to rapid urbanization and internal migration. What will also affect this space is the unmistakable shift from house ownership to renting owing to changing job locations. There is also an increased availability of design options now. Interestingly, as Houzz spells out in its third-quarter 2020 renovation barometer (that studies activity among businesses in U.S. construction, architecture and design sectors) the impact of COVID-19 on the home renovation sector from Q2 is hard to miss. With 72 percent experiencing project delays, 66 percent having fewer new business inquiries, and 61 percent facing project cancellations—this has been a period which is still assessed as a significant improvement from previous reports.

This is just one of the many effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been noted that a few industries will face a drop in demand, but there would be many others that stay unscathed and show promising growth opportunities. And mattress industry could be one among them.

The Inside of the Mattress

One strong change that will mark this industry is the choice and design of materials that go into it. So far, an average mattress was all about cotton, foam rubber or an arrangement of coiled springs. Gradually, it started getting adventurous enough for filling of water, air or any variety of natural fiber.

Another big change should not be that hard to smell – yes, the emergence of a lot of antimicrobial, antifungal and ‘easy to clean’ products. We can see liquid-proof mattresses and hygiene friendly mattresses dotting the market in a big way ahead. Also segments like hospitals can lead to a spurt in demand and innovation. The need for more beds, isolation comfort and single mattresses from a patient’s comfort perspective would be dominant.

Gearing up

Get ready next for the rise of more and more environmentally-friendly green production. Sustainable production processes and environmentally-friendly materials will be drawing more and more mattress manufacturers in a serious way. The attention on organic or natural materials is going to be strong. Players cannot afford to have harmful substances. Those who can promise manufacture from natural materials instead of synthetic materials would be leading the pack. A good example is the use of Wool – It has the ability to prevent moisture and that is a big factor that spurs the spread of moisture coronavirus. That explains why Serta Simmons Bedding is already busy developing the first antiviral mattress in the U.S. It has inked a partnership with Swiss textile innovation company HeiQ, which brings the technology that imbues textiles with antimicrobial qualities. It was originally designed for use in medical equipment. But now the material has been tested as 99.99 percent effective against COVID-19. The company is already working on certifications from the FDA and the EPA, and the technology could soon be incorporated into as much as 75 percent of its portfolio.

As people keep struggling with other health issues like back and posture-related problems attributed to uncomfortable sleeping surfaces, we might witness enhanced adoption of airbeds, waterbeds and foam based mattresses. Any offering that brings in superior comfort through even distribution of pressure and body weight and a health benefit will have a pronounced presence in the market. People will also feel a heavy slant towards customised mattresses that can help a specific user in a specific way in relaxing the spine while sleeping. There would be a deeper use of organic mattresses that are manufactured with natural and environment-friendly raw materials, such as wool, natural latex and organic cotton. These would include organic innerspring mattresses, natural latex mattresses and plant-based memory foam mattresses.

Also remarkable enough is the way a mattress would be served. The bed-in the-box concept has already garnered a lot of love from disruptive players and customers alike. It has easily turned into this decade’s prominent revolution in the mattress industry. This format has made both compression and delivery easy and a spill-over effect of that is the huge growth in online mattress sales. This trend would be accelerated more and more in a time period when people are putting special emphasis on contactless delivery and intensive hygiene efforts.

Speaking of new formats, the advent of smart mattress can now turn into a compelling trend. These are products laced with sensor technology that is specifically designed to monitor the sleep patterns and routines of a user – like tracking how long a person sleeps and the duration of their REM cycles, physiological factors like body temperature, heart rate, and breathing. These products are also becoming augmented with features like firmness settings, surface adjustments, alarms, flexi climate control, and internet connectivity. Reports have pointed at a surge in demand for Smart Mattress in the regions of North America and Europe.

One change that will mark this industry is the design of materials that go into it. The materials are getting adventurous like filling of water, air or any variety of natural fiber. There is an emergence of antimicrobial, antifungal and ‘easy to clean’ products

Overall, the global Smart Mattress market stands at 322.6 million USD in 2020. It can hit 6271.6 million USD by the end of 2026. This means a CAGR of 52.2 percent during 2021-2026.

Time for Novel Strains

On one hand, we will see hygiene and technology gaining more and more penetration inside a mattress, but at the same time customers will start asking for more creativity, comfort and customization than they ever did. This is a good time for players to experiment with new categories, ideas, textures, designs and marketing strategies. This is the best time to capture the attention of those users who have started to spend more time on a seat or a bed due to the lockdowns.

As people spend more time at home, new designs and categories would also unfold. One of them is sleepers, specifically seat cushions. So working from home, a customer can enjoy the comfort of a mattress in the balcony, on the patio or at a reading corner in the living room. This will enable these users to convert their bed or chair into an office chair. Sitting and working on a chair for a long period of time will necessitate the intervention of mattress-level comfort in this category.