Younger Mattress Buyers Flip Products More Often

BY Courtney Huckabay
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The Better Sleep Council, the consumer-​education arm of the International Sleep Products Association, released a study that explores key motivations of today’s mattress buyers. The study uncovered changes in bedding-​shopping behavior, including shorter replacement cycles, an expectation of higher ticket prices and the influence of technological trends on research and purchasing habits.

For the first time, mattress buyers’ expectations for how long a mattress should last have dropped below 10 years. This is good news for consumers. A shorter mattress replacement cycle means they can take better advantage of new component technologies and advancements in construction techniques. They can benefit by enjoying mattresses that offer different levels of comfort and support as their bodies change and age.

Mattress and bedroom furniture stores can feature these advancements in ads targeted to Bedroom Furniture Shoppers! According the latest AudienceSCAN data, 14.5% of Americans plan to purchase bedroom furniture — and likely mattresses — in the next 12 months.

Key study findings concerning mattress buyers include:

  • Mattress Replacement Cycle: Consumers no longer presume their mattress will last more than a decade (Consumers now expect to keep a new mattress, on average, for 9.4 years — a drop of about 1½ years from the 10.9 years cited by consumers the last time ISPA conducted such research in 2007).
  • Mattress Preferences/​Replacement Triggers: The best indicator of when to replace a mattress isn’t that it hits an arbitrary major milestone birthday (15 or 20 years), but when consumers find it no longer offers a comfortable, restful night’s sleep.
  • Pricing: Today’s shopper expects to spend more on a new bed set. BSC research reveals that consumers expect a new mattress to cost more, on average they say, $1,110 — a significantly higher price point than the $929 from 2007.
  • Retail Experience: Consumers are spending more time researching their purchase. Seventeen percent of respondents report spending one or two days researching and browsing pre-​purchase, while a full 50% spend from three days to two weeks gathering information before buying.

Study findings include interesting generational, gender-​based and socioeconomic differences when it comes to the mattress-​replacement cycle. Younger mattress buyers (ages 18 to 35) both expect to replace and actually do replace their mattresses in more compressed cycles than their older peers — perhaps because they are experiencing life changes, such as graduations, marriages, the births of children and first-​home purchases — more rapidly than older consumers.

In fact, the latest AudienceSCAN survey revealed 16.5% of Bedroom Furniture Shoppers plan to move into new apartments in the next year, 11% will become first-​time home buyers, 10% plan to get married and 9% will start families.

Also, younger consumers, accustomed to replacing products like smartphones every couple of years, may be more attuned to the need to buy consumer products more often to enjoy the benefits of new technological advancements.

And speaking of smartphones, 27.2% of Bedroom Furniture Shoppers downloaded apps for a product they're considering in the past 6 months, according to the most recent AudienceSCAN research. Make sure mattress apps are up-​to-​date and informative!

When asked, “How many years would you expect to keep a new quality mattress?”, mattress buyers ages 18 to 35 responded 6.6 years, on average. In contrast, respondents 36 to 55 expect to keep a new mattress 9.1 years, while those 56 and older say they hope to get 11.6 years out of a new bed.

Women hold onto their mattresses longer than their male peers. According to the research, women kept their previous mattress 9.6 years, on average, before replacing it, while men slept on their mattress only eight years before buying a new one. Replacement-​cycle expectations also vary by income level, with those earning less generally expecting beds to last longer and, in practice, holding onto theirs longer than their higher earning peers.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.