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Why Are Mattresses So Expensive?

Why Are Mattresses So Expensive?

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Why Are Mattresses So Expensive?

It’s fair to say that just about everything seems pretty expensive these days. If you’ve been to a grocery store lately, you may have suffered from sticker shock over and over just walking through the aisles. 

(Life hack: just close your eyes and throw things in your cart so you won’t have to see the price tags. What could go wrong?)

Inflation aside, there are some items that almost always leave people surprised at their prices. Mattresses are near the top of that list. They are… not cheap, to say the least. According to Business Insider, you can expect to pay at least $2,000 for a mid-priced latex mattress, for example.

Man and woman under sheet with flashlight

That's more frightening than any scary story we've ever heard!

So why are mattresses so expensive? Let’s break it down. 

Factors Affecting Mattress Prices

Material Costs

Say you’re shopping for a beautiful new cashmere sweater and a fast fashion polyester knit (held together partly by thread but mostly by hope). You probably won’t expect those two things to have the same price. 

Yeah, they’re similar items in theory, but there’s an obvious quality difference based on the materials used to make them. 

Higher quality materials justify higher price points. Mattresses are the same way.

You can find cheap mattresses made with just foam or even fiberglass, but is that really the kind of mattress you want to spend a third of your time on? Probably not. 

Mattresses made with higher quality materials like lyocell, Talalay latex, organic cotton, and tempered steel are going to be more expensive than cheap foam mattresses because those materials simply cost more.   

Construction Process

Similarly, the way your mattress is made will have a significant effect on the final price you pay. There are simple, relatively inexpensive ways to make a mattress that result in comparatively cheap mattresses. 

Unfortunately, these also tend to be lower-quality mattresses. 

High-quality mattresses often have more intensive manufacturing processes that can lead to higher prices. That construction process should make them more durable, supportive, and comfortable, too, so you’ll have to decide if that’s an investment you want to make. 

Hand pushing into mattress

Lifespan

No mattress can live forever. Someday the time will come when you have to say goodbye to your old mattress and help it into the afterlife by disposing of it without destroying the planet. That was its dying wish, and it makes for a beautiful send-off. 

When you buy a mattress, you may wonder how far off that sad day is. The short answer is that it depends. 

Mattress lifespans can vary significantly, with the average mattress lasting 7 to 10 years. Mattresses can last much longer, though, and these more durable mattresses tend to be more expensive. 

Latex mattresses, for instance, can potentially last 15 to 25 years. That’s more than twice as long as the average mattress! Sure, you’ll probably pay a little more upfront for a latex mattress, but in terms of the cost per year, the latex mattress can actually be more cost-effective.  

Man jumping onto bed

Don't you want a mattress you can jump on without worrying you'll fall through? Us, too. 

Retail Markup

All items sold to consumers have some markup so the retailer can make a profit. That’s normal. Mattress stores can take it to the next level, though. In 2020, the gross margin on mattresses at Mattress Firm was 61.5 percent. That’s a firm profit! 

If you shop for your mattress at a retail store, expect to pay more for your mattress because of this retail markup. Online direct-to-consumer brands may offer better mattress prices simply because there are fewer middlemen to take a cut. 

Shipping

Mattresses are big and heavy items which means they’re not cheap to ship. You can’t just stick a novelty stamp on the corner of the mattress and bring it down to the local post office. (Been there, done that. Lesson learned!)

That high shipping cost often gets passed directly onto the customer, making your mattress even more expensive than the sticker price. 

Don’t want to worry about shipping costs? Order Sheets & Giggles’ new Eucalyptus Mattress with completely free shipping in the contiguous U.S.

Two women patting a mattress

"So you're saying I can get this mattress on sheetsgiggles.com/mattress?"

Try something cozier than cotton.

Try something cozier than cotton.

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