Give Shoppers a Place to Rest Their Heads


Cheerful young woman lying on bed playing with blanket and looking at camera. African girl feeling fresh after nap on white bed with copy space. Laughing woman having fun while embracing pillow and blanket.

An initial pillow fitting helps boost sales and aids customers in picking the right sleep ensemble

Where should you begin the mattress rest-testing process with shoppers? At your pillow display, of course.

The pillow is an essential part of a sleep ensemble, contributing as much as 25% to the overall comfort of a sleep surface, according to pillow manufacturers. Rest-testing without a suitable pillow makes it harder for shoppers to understand how they will sleep on a particular bed set.

So, after your initial greeting and welcome, steer shoppers over to a pillow fitting station and have them choose a pillow to carry with them as they try various mattresses.

There are many benefits to starting the mattress selection process with a pillow fitting, including:

  • It is a good way to introduce shoppers to sleep technologies, such as latex and gel foam.
  • It reinforces the idea that consumers should purchase an entire sleep ensemble — mattress, base, pillows and linens — without the accessories feeling like an add-on at the end of the mattress sale.
  • It can help boost average tickets, whether customers pair pillows with their mattress purchase or new pillows only.
  • It shows customers you are invested in pillows as a category and can encourage them to return to you in two or three years when it’s time to replace their pillows again.

You can introduce the idea of a pillow fitting by asking shoppers, “When was the last time you were fitted with a pillow?” Chances are they will say, “Never,” giving you a great opportunity to explain the importance of a good pillow. Another option is to inquire about when they last replaced their pillow. We hope the answer to this question isn’t “never,” but it’s probably been awhile.

To help shoppers select the right pillow, you can ask about their preferred sleeping position (side, back or stomach) or simply ask their preference, “Do you like a thicker or thinner pillow? Do you prefer a softer or firmer pillow?”

Here are some other ways to successfully incorporate an early pillow fitting into your mattress presentation and sales process:

  • Place your pillow fitting station near the store entrance or adjacent to the mattresses on which you typically begin rest-testing.
  • Offer a good selection without overwhelming shoppers. A selection of three to five models is good for a pillow fitting station. (You can offer other options in a separate display.)
  • Give every shopper a disposable pillowcase to use on the pillow.
  • Halfway through the mattress selection process or after shoppers have narrowed their mattress selection to one or two models, offer them a second pillow choice, perhaps one that matches the key component of their favored mattress or a cooling version, as an alternative. Again, you want shoppers to choose the best sleep ensemble for them.

For more pillow sales tips and a rundown of pillow trends, check