A new Mattress/Bedding Industry "Green Initiative" consumer survey sponsored by the Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) asked what claims consumers would want addressed by an industry label, seal or program. "Safety" and "Emissions" were the top two issues raised by consumers. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of consumers surveyed would choose a mattress with an environmentally friendly claim.
The study was an outgrowth of the Green Initiative Board's efforts to identify the top issues that need to be addressed by the industry as it works to clarify environmental claims being made through marketing of bedding products.
According to the survey of 637 adults in the U.S., two-thirds of consumers were "very" or "extremely" concerned about the health and safety of the products they purchase. Safety of materials was the single most important environmental attribute to consumers selecting a new mattress (41%), followed by free of emissions (15%) and responsible manufacturing processes (10%). Additionally, the study showed that 39% of the respondents indicated that they would pay more for an environmentally-friendly mattress.
The SSA conducted a separate survey of retail sales associates (RSAs) at 233 distinct store locations with a total of 61 retailers. This research identified a need for clear environmental terminology. Half of the respondents believed that manufacturers are not supplying enough information about the environmental impact of their mattresses. The vast majority (87%) believe an industry standard, certification or seal would be helpful with almost one in three saying it would be "very helpful."
The group's findings included:
- 76% of the RSAs surveyed have experienced customers asking for "natural," "organic," or "environmentally friendly" mattresses.
- Two-thirds of the RSAs surveyed (69%) have had customers ask for mattresses free of added chemicals.
- More than half of consumer respondents (56%) said a "green" seal or certification on a mattress would make them more likely to consider that mattress.
- Consumers expressed greater concern for the environmental impact of a mattress at the end of the lifecycle versus the beginning of its lifecycle.
"Green Initiative," consumer survey conducted by the Specialty Sleep Association (SSA), February 4, 2010. Website: www.sleepinformation.org.