More and more people are sleeping or living alone according to the National Bed Federation (NBF) which says a third of all mattress sales are now going to people buying a bed just for themselves.
According to the NBF’s latest consumer research*, the number of people who said they were buying a mattress ‘for myself’ rose from 24% to 32% over the past six months, while the number of purchases for couples fell below the 50% mark for the first time to 49%. The number of ‘lone’ mattress sales was highest among the under 35 age group.
Said Simon Williams of the NBF: “Interestingly this would seem to support another survey we have just done (‘Separate Beds’ research conducted by YouGov 20th – 21st January 2020) which showed nearly one in six (15%) British couples who live together now sleep apart. As well as the rising number of people now living on their own, I think for many people, separate beds may be the only way to achieve a good night’s sleep.”
Results of the NBF’s latest twice yearly consumer research also showed:
• While 69% of mattresses are being replaced in less than 10 years, there has been a fall in mattresses being replaced in less than five years, down from 39% to 32% – a sign perhaps that while people appreciate the need to replace their mattresses regularly, people are becoming more aware of sustainability and recycling issues.
• 19% had their old mattress taken away by the company delivering their new one (previously 15%), although this rose to 28% among over 55s. Only 11% of the under 35s choose this option. 16% of people took their old mattress to their local tip (23% among 35-54 year olds), compared to only 10% of the over 55s. 11% said they took it to a recycling centre.
• Pocket spring mattresses were the most popular choice (47% overall) and a clear winner among the over 55s who are almost twice as likely to buy that type of mattress as the under 35s (59% v 32%).
• Double beds remain the most popular size accounting for 45% of sales followed by king size at 30%.
• Online now represents 55% (previously 51%) of all sales while instore accounts for 42% and phone 2% (other 1%). Worryingly, of the 57% of people who bought their mattress online or by phone, a massive 80% had not tested the mattress before making their purchase. This rose to 90% for the over 55s.
• The mean price paid for a bed was £516.80 compared to £538.33 six months ago, a drop of 4%. However, compared to the same period last year this represents a fall of over 11% which shows how people’s wallets have been squeezed.
• Comfort was the most important purchasing decision factor among two thirds of buyers (66%) followed by price (57%) and reviews from other customers (31%). The over 55s were the least likely to use reviews from other customers with less than a quarter (22%) of them doing so compared to 37% of 35-54 year-olds and 36% of the under 35s.
NBF members can download the full report plus useful infographics here
*The latest NBF consumer research study was carried out by ‘DJS Research’, based on a sample of 500 people who had purchased a bed/mattress from September 2019 to February 2020.