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When it comes to good health, mattress buyers say a good night’s rest is more critical than healthy eating and exercise, according to a BSC tracking survey

A new national survey of mattress buyers commissioned by the Better Sleep Council reveals that mattress buyers say a good night’s sleep is even more important than diet and exercise when it comes to their health.

The survey, “Inside the Mind of Today’s Mattress Consumer,” found that 75% of consumers said a good night’s sleep is important to their health, the top ranking on a list of eight factors. A healthy diet was cited by 62% of consumers and ranked No. 4, while physical exercise ranked last among the eight factors, cited by 58% of consumers as important to their health. (These findings are similar to the BSC’s 2020 consumer survey.)

The survey also found that 56% of consumers said they feel good or very good about their sleep.

Conducted in late November, the survey gathered insights from 500 consumers, all of whom had purchased a mattress in the past month or planned to do so within 30 days.

The BSC, the consumer education arm of the International Sleep Products Association, is year to give quarterly surveys throughout the industry insight shift into consumer attitudes and behaviors in what has been a time of significant changes in the economy and in the country.

“There’s no argument that 2020 was a crazy year,” says Mary Helen Rogers, ISPA’s vice president of marketing and communications. “Uncertainty, turmoil and change hit virtually everyone and all sectors of the economy, including the bedding products industry. Unlike some other sectors of the economy, mattress sales and revenues were strong in 2020, but how companies did business and how consumers thought about, shopped for and bought bedding products underwent significant transformation.”

The first tracking survey, reflecting consumer sentiment in the fourth quarter of 2020, found consumers are buying online more frequently, but they miss the in-store shopping experience.

Sixty-seven percent of the respondents in the fourth quarter said they prefer purchasing mattresses online, while 59% said they prefer purchasing bedroom products like sleep accessories online.

But many consumers also said they miss the in-store shopping experience; 67% of mattress buyers expressed that view, while 48% of bedroom products buyers had that opinion.

Surveying consumers’ attitudes toward retailers, the tracker study found that many mattress purchasers are shopping and buying at new retailers, are shopping more locally, and are avoiding retailers that they don’t feel are offering safe shopping experiences.

A majority of the mattress purchasers also are shopping and purchasing new brands, are buying brands they trust, and are buying brands that align with their values, the survey found.

“With so much of their lives being affected by change, people are reacting by searching for and shopping new brands and retailers,” Rogers says.

Other findings of interest

Many of the consumers acknowledged that concerns about the economy, the political climate, their personal health, and social and civil issues are affecting their sleep.

“I have a lot of stress due to our current living situation and financial worries, which affects my sleep tremendously,” one consumer said.

Added another: “I am tired due to not much sleep … the Covid-19 problem.”

The survey also examined how consumers feel about their lives. It found that 71% of consumers said they have concerns about their health and well-being, as well as their family’s health and well-being, and 65% said they have concerns about their finances and their family’s finances.

With the home taking on added importance during the pandemic — now being a place where people live, work and attend school — consumers are spending money on all types of products to optimize their homes.

The broad category of bedding products, encompassing sleep accessories, is consumers’ top home purchase, the survey found, and it ranks No. 2 in the plan-to-purchase category. Basic bedding and blackout curtains were the most-purchased bedroom products, with temperature-regulating bedding and weighted blankets ranking next on that list of most-purchased items.

Mattresses ranked fifth among home category top purchases in the fourth quarter, the survey found.

The survey revealed that 60% of mattress purchases were online in the fourth quarter, compared with 39% in-store. That reflects a sea change in mattress purchases, most of which have traditionally been in brick-and-mortar stores.

The survey found that consumer confidence in shopping and purchasing online is high. Consumers are more comfortable shopping and purchasing online than shopping and purchasing in-store.

Consumer confidence in travel and going to public places like restaurants still is quite low, the survey found.

Rogers says the quarterly consumer surveys will help the sleep products industry stay in tune with consumer sentiment throughout the year.

“We want to give bedding marketers the very latest insights into what mattress shoppers are thinking, feeling and doing,” she says. “The public health picture is changing rapidly as more consumers receive Covid-19 vaccinations, and businesses are constantly adapting to this changing climate. We believe these quarterly consumer surveys will provide important insights on how consumers are responding to the changes around them.”

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