Almost Half of Consumers Still Not Getting Good Night’s Sleep


The majority of those who say they are sleeping well recently bought a mattress, according to the Better Sleep Council Q1 tracking survey.

Almost half of the respondents in a new consumer survey say they still aren’t getting a good night’s sleep, with insomnia, health problems and stress all taking their toll.

But many of the consumers who are getting a good night’s sleep credit their mattress and their sleep environment for the quality of their sleep.

More than half of the respondents (57%) who say they are sleeping well purchased a mattress in the last 90 days, a Better Sleep Council tracking survey finds.

The survey, “Inside the Mind of Today’s Mattress Consumer,” explores consumers’ attitudes toward sleep, how they are shopping and what they are buying for their homes. It is the second survey released by the Better Sleep Council as part of a new research initiative that tracks consumer attitudes each quarter.

The tracking surveys are designed to keep the bedding industry updated on how consumer attitudes are changing or could change in an economy that continues to be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the latest survey, respondents still say that a good night’s sleep is more important than diet, exercise and even relationships when it comes to their health.

A good night’s sleep was rated No. 1 by 66% of respondents, far ahead of the two other traditional keys to a healthy lifestyle: A healthy diet, cited as important by 53% of consumers, and physical exercise, cited as important by 52% of consumers.

“The primacy of sleep in the better health equation remains an encouraging sign as our nation continues to recover from the pandemic,” says Mary Helen Rogers, vice president of marketing and communications for the International Sleep Products Association. “The Better Sleep Council, as its name suggests, promotes the importance of a good night’s sleep in a healthy lifestyle, something that is critical when a public health issue continues to impact consumers across the country and the world.”

The quarterly tracking surveys will continue throughout the year so that the BSC, ISPA’s consumer education arm, can give bedding professionals up-to-date insights on consumer attitudes on sleep, mattresses and consumer shopping behaviors.

The new survey reveals that in the first quarter, mattresses became a lower priority for consumers’ home purchases, falling from fifth most important to eighth most important, although the larger bedroom products category remained a priority for home products purchases.

Bedroom products and electronics topped consumers’ home plan-to-purchase lists. Electronics were the most-purchased home products in the first quarter, followed by bedroom products in the No. 2 spot.

BSC officials say the drop in mattresses as a priority purchase for the home may reflect the fact that many consumers have already identified a new mattress as a priority and have made that purchase.

“Given the increasing focus on the home that we saw last year, with a corresponding increase in mattress sales, it will be interesting to see how mattresses rank as a priority purchase this year,” Rogers says. “That is one of the metrics we will be closely following as the year progresses.”

She says that developments in the public health field, including steady increases in the number of Americans who have received Covid-19 vaccinations, make the quarterly surveys imperative.

“We are at a unique point in history as our nation makes progress in combating the pandemic,” Rogers says. “That progress can quickly translate into changing consumer behavior, such as increasing travel and shifting consumer purchasing priorities. These BSC surveys will enable our industry to track changes in consumer behavior as they become clear and to quickly adapt to those changes.”

While online mattress shopping remains strong, consumers who are shopping for mattresses are starting to return to in-person shopping as they become more confident about going out to public spaces, the survey reveals.

In-store shopping for bedroom products and sleep accessories was more popular than online shopping for those categories in the first quarter, a significant shift from the trends seen in the fourth quarter. But online mattress shopping, favored by 58% of consumers, still held an edge over in-store mattress shopping, favored by 41% of consumers in the first quarter. That same mattress shopping trend was seen in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The survey found that consumer confidence in travel and going to public places like restaurants was still low, but had gone up since the last quarter.

The survey also found that consumers’ concerns about their health and their family’s health and well-being went down significantly in the first quarter, but public and personal health concerns still ranked as consumers’ most pressing concerns overall, ahead of economic/financial issues, social/civil issues and concerns about politics and the political climate.

In the first quarter, consumers placed significantly less importance on making their homes useful and comfortable than in the previous quarter. Again, that could be a reflection of the major efforts that consumers made in their homes last year, BSC officials say.

On the subject of how consumers are sleeping, the survey found that 45% of consumers say they are not sleeping well, with 65% of consumers saying the current environment is affecting their sleep.

The better sleep culprits included trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, pain, sleep apnea, stress and Covid-19 worries, the respondents said.

“I’ve been taking sleeping pills which help a ton, but I’d be happier if I didn’t have to use them,” one consumer said. Added another: “The best sleep I get is when I reduce screen time and have a bedtime routine. A new mattress is a godsend.”

Looking at the products that consumers were buying, basic bedding and weighted blankets were the two most popular bedroom/sleep accessories purchases in the first quarter, followed by blackout curtains and temperature-regulating bedding.

Purchases of furniture and outdoor power equipment were up significantly in the first quarter.

The survey also looked specifically at how consumers were buying and shopping for mattresses. The number of consumers purchasing mattresses at new retailers fell from 78% in the fourth quarter to 60% in the first quarter, a significant drop.

Slightly fewer consumers purchased new mattress brands in the first quarter than in the fourth quarter.

The survey also found that slightly more consumers were shopping for mattresses locally, while a majority were shopping for new brands, although interest in shopping for new brands was not as high in the first quarter as it was in the fourth quarter.

A majority of consumers surveyed (63%) said they missed in-store mattress shopping experiences. That percentage fell slightly from the fourth quarter.

The first quarter survey consisted of 500 online surveys completed in March with adults 18 years old and older. The screening criteria ensured that respondents had purchased at least one home optimization product in the last month. Those products included mattresses, bed frames, furniture, home appliances, electronics, bedroom products/sleep accessories, exercise equipment, outdoor power equipment and/or garden supplies, storage furniture and/or organizers, hot tubs, and saunas.

This is the third of a six-part series, “The Mind of the Mattress Shopper.” Read part one and part two.