F/T-HGTV study underscores power of specialty sleep sets
David Perry, Executive editor -- Furniture Today, September 28, 2009
Wow! That was some report on the power of specialty sleep and the challenges faced by innerspring bedding lines.
No, we aren't talking about the recent Consumer Reports study, although it did suggest the same conclusions. Instead, we are referring to our own “Rating Sleep Surfaces” report, which ran in our Sept. 7 issue and was reprinted in one of our daily issues at the Las Vegas Market two weeks ago.
Our report marked the first time that we have rated the sleep that consumers get on various types of sleep surfaces. We asked consumers to tell us about their own sleep surfaces, just as Consumer Reports asked its readers to rate their satisfaction with their beds.
Our ratings gave airbeds the highest marks for consumer satisfaction: 74% of consumers responding to a Furniture/Today-HGTV survey earlier this year said they get excellent or good sleep on their airbed. Memory foam beds were second, with 71% of consumers saying they get an excellent or good night's sleep on their memory foam beds. Latex beds were next, with 67% of consumers saying their sleep on such a bed is excellent or good.
Moving down the list, innerspring core beds with specialty foams provide excellent or good sleep to 56% of consumers sleeping on those types of beds. Bringing up the rear are innerspring beds, with just 36% of consumers sleeping on those beds saying they get excellent or good sleep on them.
This is not good news for the innerspring gang, but the results do need to be put in context. For one thing, we did not correlate the price of the bed with the satisfaction it provided. There is no doubt that many of the innerspring beds that scored poorly in the study were sold at much lower price points than the specialty beds that outperformed them.
Also, our study did find that sleep satisfaction levels often increased as the age of the bed decreased. For example, 28% of the consumers who bought a bed last year described it as providing an excellent night of sleep. That was the highest score for an excellent night of sleep for any of the ages of beds we surveyed.
As we noted earlier, there are some strong parallels in our study and the Consumer Reports study. Consumer Reports rated memory foam producer Tempur-Pedic No. 1 on owner satisfaction and put airbed maker Select Comfort No. 3. Our study gave airbeds a slight edge in sleep quality over memory foam.
And the Consumer Reports study put the conventional innerspring companies on the bottom of the satisfaction list, just as our study rated innerspring bedding at the bottom of the list.
What are your thoughts on the significance of the two studies?
Contact David Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org
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