2014 was a very exciting year for the mattress industry. We saw the explosion of online-only companies and a number of further innovations in the industry. Casper really brought a lot of attention to the industry and made people take a fresh look at how they buy mattresses (see our review here). They weren’t alone though, as Tuft and Needle and Saatva got lots of great press as well. We just reviewed another company, Leesa, and have great things to say about their mattress (see review here). 2014 was really a year of disruption for the industry.
I believe that we have reached a tipping point where most people have come around to the idea of buying a mattress online. The introduction of these new companies is pretty solid proof that this is going to be a trend that will not go away anytime soon. I don’t know anyone’s numbers, but I have to imagine that all these companies are performing fairly well. Initially I thought perhaps new companies entering the online-only space would take away from the incumbents. What I believe has happened instead is that the online-only pie greatly expanded as a result of new entrants. As a result, incumbents may have even benefited from new entrants.
This has all been quite interesting to follow. In 2015, I think this trend is going to accelerate even further. My prediction is that there will be even more new companies that sell directly online to consumers. Tuft and Needle has gone after a certain price point and Casper, Saatva, and Leesa have gone after specific price points as well. There is still room for a new company to go after an even higher price point and directly compete with companies like Tempurpedic. This could be accomplished by an incumbent or a totally new company.
These companies have all exposed the substantial markups and excess costs associated with the traditional mattress business model. There are certainly savings to be had. Traditional companies still make amazing mattresses and will continue to innovate going forward. I was a big fan, for example, of the SleepIQ system that came out from Sleep Number.
I think, however, the big story of 2015 will be the rapid acceleration of the online business model. New companies? Yes. Existing companies coming out with more products? Yes to that as well. It will be fun to watch.