Lockdown sees mattress replacement cycle accelerate 

The pandemic has seen consumers replace their mattress at the quickest ever rate.

The National Bed Federation’s latest consumer research found that the average age of mattresses being replaced was 6.6 years: the lowest reported since NBF research began in 2015.

Three-quarters of mattresses are also being replaced in less than 10 years (69% a year ago) with 42% of mattresses being replaced in less than five years (up from 32%). Among the under 35s, 61% said they’d replaced their mattress in less than five years.

The number of people buying a mattress topper rose from 16% to 20%.

Unsurprisingly lockdown saw sales move online – the survey is based on a sample of 500 people who had purchased a bed/mattress between October 2020 and April 2021. Spending in-store halved to 21% while online sales rose from 55%to 73%.

However, 60% said that they would prefer to return to shopping in-store for their next mattress.

‘When we asked whether people ordered online as a result of lockdown or social distancing concerns, 59% of the overall poll said yes. Interestingly 67% of the under 35s chose this method compared to 54% of the over 55s. So clearly, while the pandemic influenced consumer habits initially, longer-term preferences remain for shopping in-store where people can have a more holistic experience of trying before they buy,’ says Simon Williams, NBF marketing and membership manager.

Fewer people had their old mattress taken away by the company delivering their new one, dropping from an average of 19% to 15%. Far more people opted to take their old mattress to the local tip, rising by 10% to 26%, although 83% said if they’d known their old mattress was being recycled that would have influenced their decision.

‘There are signs that people are giving a lot more thought to making sustainable choices when it comes to the disposal route they choose for their old mattress but the pandemic has, at least temporarily, interrupted that process,’ says Williams.

Comfort remained the most important factor in the purchasing decision (70%), followed by price (57%) and reviews from other customers (37%).

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