Why Are Mattresses So Expensive?
Investing in a new mattress can be a big deal, even with huge price ranges. But why are mattresses so expensive?
Sure, you need to buy a new mattress every 8–10 years, but some of them cost a lot. Why is that?
Let’s see what makes mattresses so expensive.
Factors That Impact Mattress Price
First, we’ll review some factors that affect how much a mattress will cost, and then we’ll look into them in more detail.
Without further ado, here are some of the main factors:
- Type – as you’ll see, some mattress types cost more than others;
- Materials – high-quality and expensive materials can impact the price a lot;
- Construction – if a mattress is built in a more complicated and time-consuming way, it’ll have a higher manufacturing cost;
- Size – the bigger the bed, the more you’ll have to pay for it;
- Brand – usually, the more popular the mattress company is, the more the mattress will cost;
- Retailers – selling online is cheaper than in physical stores, affecting the price.
Besides these, you might run into additional mattress costs like shipping fees, bed accessories, and so on.
Why are mattresses so expensive? As mentioned before, the mattress type greatly influences the price.
Here are the four most common mattress types. Although the price range for all these varies, some are more expensive.
And here’s why.
Latex mattresses can be made from natural, synthetic latex, or a blend.
While synthetic latex is cheaper and more like foam, natural latex is a high-quality, durable, and more expensive material.
Mattresses made from natural latex are generally more supportive and bouncy, making them a good choice for those looking for a good combination of support and comfort. However, natural latex also makes an expensive mattress.
Natural latex is also the most common material for organic mattresses, so eco-conscious shoppers might look into that.
Hybrid mattresses are made from two different mattress types. It’s usually innerspring coils for the support layer and memory foam or latex foam on top for comfort.
These mattresses are comfortable and supportive, but they also tend to cost more. This is because hybrid mattresses usually have high-quality foams and transition layers, as well as individually wrapped coils.
Foam beds are usually known as the most affordable option, but their prices vary a lot. That’s because there are a lot of different foam types.
You can get an all-foam mattress made from polyfoam, which tends to be less expensive. Or you could get a unique memory foam mattress, whose high-quality material makes it cost more.
Even memory foam mattresses fall into a wide price range. However, the rule of thumb is that if it costs less, it’s less durable.
Innerspring mattresses are the oldest mattress type, but they’re not everyone’s cup of tea today.
An innerspring mattress is a good choice if you want a firmer, more bouncy, and more supportive mattress. Remember that you’ll have to deal with motion transfer and some noise.
The steel coils in an innerspring mattress aren’t cheap per se, but they’re also not that expensive. Unless they’re individually wrapped, which is rare for a typical innerspring, as they’re primarily used in hybrid mattresses.
All in all, innerspring mattresses aren’t the cheapest, but they’re certainly not expensive.
The biggest difference between cheap and expensive mattresses is usually in what they’re made of.
The price of the mattress also depends on the material used to construct it, its source, and its quality.
Here are some of the most common things related to the materials that make mattresses expensive.
Better Quality Materials
Obviously, high-quality materials tend to cost more. Mattresses with premium materials will cost significantly more, most of the time.
Cheap materials can be used in a budget bed, but they often come with problems related to durability and support. And you don’t want that.
People invest in an organic mattress because they want a natural bed that doesn’t off-gas or contain harmful chemicals, or because they’re just eco-conscious.
But these can cost a lot.
As mentioned, most organic mattresses are made from natural latex, a costly and certified-organic material.
Just know that not every mattress with natural materials is organic. They need to have the proper certifications, like GOLS-certified organic latex. But natural materials always cost more.
Natural and organic materials are also one of the things that make mattresses so expensive.
Natural fibers make the mattress more comfortable and healthier, helping with better quality sleep.
Some examples of natural fibers in mattresses include wool, cotton, bamboo, linen, and foam. They will cost even more if they’re certified, like GOTS-certified organic cotton.
Fiberglass is used in most mattresses to make them less flammable, but it can also irritate the throat, eyes, and lungs.
This is why some people try to avoid buying a mattress with fiberglass, but other fiberglass-free mattress options tend to cost more. This is because they’re usually natural materials, like wool, silica, and plant fibers.
Fiberglass in a mattress isn’t all that bad; just don’t remove the mattress protector or the mattress cover.
Individually Wrapped Coils
Traditional connected innerspring coils are awful at isolating motion. This is especially problematic for couples and people who easily get woken up.
But individually wrapped steel coils are here to save the day!
In a mattress with these, each separate coil is wrapped in fabric. This doesn’t completely stop motion transfer, but it minimizes it.
However, individually wrapped steel coils make mattresses more expensive because they require more higher-quality materials and more time to make.
If you want better sleep quality, you should get a new mattress every 8 to 10 years. That’s just how long they typically last.
But the durability of a mattress also depends on the mattress materials and their quality. So, different mattresses have a different lifespan.
For example, many mattresses made from natural latex are durable and long-lasting, and they come with a price to back up the claims.
On the other hand, foam is usually way less durable, and it’s also less expensive.
Ultimately, a high-quality mattress will give you a better return.
Special Features & Technology
There are so many extra mattress features and attributes you need to watch out for when searching through new mattresses.
And some of them can make a mattress cost a lot more.
Impact on Health
If you have any particular health issues, you must look for a mattress that suits them. And these special mattresses can also have a bit of a higher price.
Back pain and other joint pain are the most common issues that mattresses are designed to address. People with back pain need a bed that offers just the proper levels of support and firmness and a lot of pressure relief.
A high-quality mattress is necessary if you want a good night’s sleep.
Some people require an adjustable bed frame for a variety of medical reasons. However, only some mattresses can be used on this bed frame.
Besides the fact that adjustable bed frames can cost an arm and a leg by themselves, you also need a mattress that won’t deteriorate from the awkward positions.
For example, mattresses with springs usually can’t handle being twisted and folded in those ways, but most foam mattresses can.
Every good mattress needs to have the right combination of materials to create a supportive and comfortable mattress. And that means that sometimes you can’t just have every part of the mattress have the same level of support.
Zoned support mattresses are great for people who sleep on their sides, are heavier, or need more support. But this extra addition can affect the price because of the more complicated construction.
Cooling and Heating
Some mattresses, like traditional memory foam, are known for trapping heat and making hot sleepers’ lives a living hell.
Fortunately, mattress companies developed unique cooling materials such as gel memory foam and copper-infused memory foam. The gel pods and gel foam make the mattress firmer, more bouncy, and more expensive.
There are also some high-tech options for cooling and heating, like fans that cool the mattress from the bottom and heating wires to warm the sleeping surface.
Thickness and Size
Larger mattresses cost more because more materials are used to make them.
This applies to both size and thickness. The same mattress from the same materials will cost more if you go for a King mattress than a Queen one.
But you can’t just go for the smallest and thinnest mattress possible. It needs to be comfortable.
Look for the right mattress size to fit your sleeping habits, and never get a mattress thinner than 8 inches. A good quality mattress is around 11 to 12 inches thick, so it can include all the most critical layers. Most people don’t need a thicker mattress.
Mattresses can’t be 100% hypoallergenic, but they can be made from materials that prevent common allergens from building up.
For example, foam mattresses, like those made of memory foam and latex, are denser and less breathable than coil mattresses, so the chances of them attracting dust mites and bed bugs are lower.
Invest in a high-quality mattress cover or a mattress protector if you want an allergen-free mattress.
Also, all of these things can make a mattress more expensive.
Some people need good edge support, which only some mattresses can deliver.
Older people, people who like to sit or sleep at the edge of their bed, and heavier sleepers can all benefit from a good mattress with sturdy edges.
Mattresses with coils are much better at this because they usually have a ring of stronger, sturdier coils around the edge, which gives the mattress excellent edge support. Foam mattresses can have firmer foam on the edges, but that might not be enough for some.
If you want a good mattress with stronger edge support, know that it will affect the mattress price.
Some of the newest mattress technology can help if you’re a combination sleeper or share a bed with a partner. One of those things is adjustable firmness.
This option makes the mattress conform to your body and your needs. And mattress manufacturers also create flippable beds for the same reason.
However, these things can make the mattress cost more.
Another high-tech option for a mattress is sleep sensors. These devices are used to track your sleep quality, which sleep position you prefer, and what your heart rate and breathing are like.
This can make a mattress more expensive, but some people need to track their sleep if they have sleeping issues.
Last but not least, some companies offer to create a custom mattress just for you. Of course, this comes at a steep price.
But if you’re ready to create the best mattress for you and can afford it, why not?
Physical vs. Online Shopping
Why are mattresses so expensive? Well, that also depends on where they’re sold.
The mattress price will also be affected by how the mattresses are sold. Here’s why physical mattress stores tend to cost more than online ones.
Running a Mattress Store
If you want to run a brick-and-mortar store, you need to spend more. Besides the mattresses and other products, all the retailers must pay for location, maintenance, and workers.
In comparison, online stores don’t have the extra fees needed to run a physical store, so their products tend to cost less.
Shipping and Delivery
You’ll likely need to pay for shipping and delivery regardless of where you buy your mattress.
Online mattress stores tend to have free shipping, which means that the shipping is included in the price of the mattress.
On the other hand, brick-and-mortar stores mostly charge shipping and delivery fees based on distance and other parameters, which affect the mattress’s overall price.
Commission on Sale
Sometimes, mattress manufacturers offer a commission to the mattress salesman, and this is one of those things that can make mattresses so expensive. The higher the base price of the bed, the bigger the commission, so the mattress costs a lot in the end.
Luckily, online mattress sellers usually don’t have this.
When you’re paying for a popular product, even when it’s a mattress, you’re also paying for its brand value. This is why most popular mattress companies charge a little more.
But the good news is that you can find high-quality mattresses from both commercially popular and unpopular mattress brands. And just because a mattress brand is popular doesn’t mean that their product will suit you.
If you want to sell a product, you need to market it. Many mattress manufacturers and sellers spend a lot of money on marketing and advertising, and this expense affects the mattress’s price in the end.
Tips to Save Money on a New Mattress
We know an excellent new mattress can set you back a lot, so we have some tips that can help you save money!
A mattress doesn’t have to be a significant investment if you wait for the right time to buy it.
Many mattress sellers, both online and in physical stores, have sales around the holiday season. Try to buy a mattress during Black Friday, Labor Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, and other similar dates to get the most bang for your buck.
Online mattress sellers also offer coupons, so watch for that.
As mentioned above, online mattress sellers tend to sell their products at a lower retail price because they don’t have to pay for running a physical business with all its fees and workers.
That’s why, most of the time, shopping online for a mattress is a better option than shopping for a mattress in store, especially if you want to save money. They also make it easier to compare prices and find a cheaper alternative.
Besides overall cheaper mattresses, they also tend to offer more information on the mattress, free shipping, a better and longer mattress warranty, and so on.
0% APR Finance Deals
If you need financial help to get the mattress you want, you can also look for different financing options.
If you want to avoid having a lot of your money go towards covering the interest rates, try getting a 0% APR finance deal. A lot of stores offer this.
Buying a Secondhand Mattress
There are a lot of possible problems with buying a secondhand mattress, like hygiene issues, dust mites, bed bugs, and body impressions from the previous owner.
But sometimes, getting a used mattress is the best way to get a cheap mattress. If you can, try to avoid it, though. Or you could check out some of the best budget mattresses.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does a Mattress Last?
How long your mattress lasts depends on its type, quality, construction, and how well you care for it.
Getting a new mattress every 8 to 10 years is recommended because that’s their usual lifespan. On the other hand, natural latex mattresses can last much longer, whereas low-quality foam and innerspring mattresses can sag even before they are a decade old.
So if you want a long-lasting mattress, get one made from high-quality and durable materials.
What’s the Average Price of a Queen Mattress?
The cost of a Queen mattress depends on the material it’s made from. For example, an innerspring or memory foam Queen mattress should cost about $1,000, but hybrid and latex models are bound to cost more.
Are Expensive Mattresses Worth It?
Usually, a mattress costs a lot because it’s made from high-quality material that costs more. But does that make it the perfect bed for you? No.
Your perfect mattress needs to suit your needs, not just be expensive.
We hope this article answers the question, “Why are mattresses so expensive?”
In the end, many things impact the mattress price. But just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean that it’s a good mattress for you.
Always remember to choose a mattress based on your personal preferences and needs. You’re the one who’s going to sleep on it, and sleep quality is the most important thing!
Good luck looking for new mattresses!