Most of us have been shocked in the past by the high prices we see on mattress showroom floors. With sticker prices ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. So, what makes mattresses so expensive?
As with any industry, mattress prices are determined by a variety of factors. Listed here are nine of the most price-impacting variables:
Weak Second-Hand Market
The price of your mattress is determined by your needs and the requirements of the industry. Because a mattress is an essential, long-term purchase, there is no magic formula to finding an affordable mattress. Still, understanding why prices are high will help you save where you can and spend where it counts.
Retail Markup Percentages Affect Mattress Floor Price
It is no secret that retailers mark up their product prices. Product markup is how retailers make money, not only in the mattress business but across industries. Mattress retailers, before they can net a profit, have to cover the expenses of maintaining a showroom and payroll on top of the usual manufacturing costs and other related expenses.
In order to turn a profit, mattress retailers will often mark up their products as much as 50%. In some cases, when companies rely on cheaply sourced labor, markup can reach as high as a 300% increase and beyond.
There’s no getting around the fact that high-end mattresses are expensive. A top-of-the-line bed, fully decked out with gel or memory foam technology for ultimate comfort, can end up costing as much as $10,000. When you break down the actual pricing, however, the extent of the retailer’s markup can be seen. A fancy mattress with those features only costs roughly $1500 to manufacture.
One of the most important things to remember if you walk onto a showroom floor is that the sticker price is not final. Because markup is so high, mattress retailers expect to haggle.
Just like with cars or houses, the key to leveraging your position when negotiating your mattress price is to let the sales representative know that you’re still shopping around.
Mattress Lifespans Cause Higher Prices
Whenever a product is expected to last a long time before needing replacement, it is reflected in the retail price. Mattresses are generally expected to last 7-10 years, but many consumers keep the same mattress far longer.
Assuming the mattress needs to be replaced after seven years, the retailer still must make seven years’ worth of a profit off the one mattress.
Choosing a mattress that will last you a longer than the projected lifespan will save you money over time. Picking the right materials, taking proper care of the mattress and choosing sizes that will continue to be practical over time will save you from needing to purchase a new mattress too soon. The longer you stretch out your mattress’s life, the cheaper your total mattress spending is overall.
Essential Goods Cost More
It is easy to forget how essential a good mattress is. Because mattresses are a comfort product, the tendency is to label them as a luxury rather than a necessity.
While true that there are alternative bedding options that do not require a mattress (hammocks, futons, etc.), most people agree that a good quality mattress is important or even essential to getting healthy sleep.
Whenever a product is a necessity, when “going without” is not an option, consumers can expect an additional markup in retail prices.
Customized Mattresses Bring Long-Term Savings
The customizable nature of modern mattresses goes hand-in-hand with their necessity. As we continue to learn more about sleep hygiene, the technology follows to provide any individual with a mattress that will deliver the best possible rest.
Customizable products, however, also carry a higher price. Customizing a mattress costs more than simply mass producing a load of identical mattresses, and the price hike gets passed along to the consumer.
Choosing a customized bed that suits your needs specifically, while more expensive, helps to extend the life of your mattress, thus saving you money in the long run.
Mattresses Have a Poor Secondhand Market
Many consumers are not willing to buy a used bed off the second hand market. Buying used is often the path to finding an affordable option when shopping for high price items, but mattress resales offer a slightly more delicate situation.
The major absence of a second-hand market is another factor that allows retailers to charge staggeringly high prices for mattresses.
There are justified health concerns around buying a mattress second-hand, especially if you don’t know the seller or condition of the bed before buying.
Some states have regulations around the sale of used mattresses. Most consumers will never entertain the idea purely because of the safety risks involved. If you do buy a used mattress, make sure it is disinfected and check your local regulations.
Mattresses Cost a Lot to Deliver
Mattresses are large, heavy, and unwieldy. If you don’t have a pickup truck and a friend or two to help out, you’re probably going to need delivery.
On average, shipping prices for beds and mattresses range between $0.75 and $2.50 per mile, depending on the distance and specific company.
There are several ways to mitigate delivery cost and keep your overall spending on the mattress as low as possible. Picking up, moving, and setting up the mattress yourself (if you are able) will save you a lot of money, though it will cost you in time and labor.
Shopping close to home will help keep your delivery fees low, as most mattress shipping services charge by the mile.
Utilizing the premium free shipping service if you are shopping online, though not free due to the subscription fees, is significantly cheaper than paying for mattress delivery.
Want to Save Money? Bu Mattresses Online Instead
The most effective way to save money when buying a new mattress is to shop online.
Because online shopping platforms do not have the same overhead expenses as brick-and-mortar retailers, they can offer sale prices that are far closer to the true manufacturing price.
Any seller, online or on the ground, naturally will have expenses and profit margins that influence the sale price, and the other variables listed in this article will still effect the price of mattresses bought online.
However, you choose to purchase one, now you know exactly why mattresses are so expensive and are properly armed with the knowledge to find a good deal!