Finding the “Herbal Essences” of the Mattress Industry

The following is a guest post from Penny M.D.

Finding people who genuinely get excited about buying a new bed can be akin to finding people at the beach who have never seen the ocean. The reason people aren’t getting pumped up about buying a new bed is because the mattress industry isn’t doing a good job informing them about how wonderful restful sleep really is! It’s up to the mattress manufacturers and mattress retailers to spread the word and educate consumers in order to flip these emotions and get them excited about jumping into bed at night.

When a person decides it’s time to buy a new mattress, there is a good chance he or she may be in the bedroom getting up from the worst night’s sleep ever. NOT happy thoughts. Any major or minor player in the mattress retail game should make it a goal to get people to associate a new mattress and a good night’s sleep with euphoria. A great example of a product making the euphoric association is Herbal Essences. In these ads, both the benefits of the product and an emotional connection upon just seeing the product is demonstrated:

Instead of elation, the first emotion most consumers feel when they decide they need a new mattress is probably other things like anxiety and worry. Can we afford this? Will it really help? Which style should I choose? The previous mattress didn’t last three years; will a new one really last longer?

One thing we need to see more of is effective national advertising and awareness. I noticed that several community members that are part of Sleep Geek have called for more attention on the national TV advertising front. It’s a real demand. Mattress brand commercials that show a sleeper tossing and turning in the night are on par with the ads that cold medicines companies are running. Brands need to come up with a unique way for consumers to view their beds and encourage good feelings about their products.

The industry also needs to throw out the knuckleheads. There should be a standards board to establish integrity of the product, manufacturer, and retailer. It is frustrating to sift through the fluff to find a clear choice. There are a lot of negative reviews and many people have horror stories about adventures in Mattress Land, thus causing a huge distraction from the enjoyment of finding a good night’s sleep.

Finally, it needs to be a priority for retail sales associates to excite their customers, and establish a euphoric feeling about better sleep and a new mattress. Several months ago, I shopped for a mattress and I was blown away by the lack of detailed knowledge from some of the RSAs. I was able to better inform myself of mattress brands by using the web than from a few salespeople who sold the beds. These RSAs need to look at themselves more like sleep consultants instead of just sales people. The majority of mattress shoppers don’t know which type of mattress would best aid the ailments they experience during a night of sleep. These qualified sleep consultants should be educated on mattress brands and the mattress industry as a whole, and use their expertise to educate and simplify the shopping experience for the customer. In doing so, they can easily transform a disgruntled and confused shopper to a well-rested and loyal customer.

Do you have positive feelings toward mattresses and feel confident that your mattress aids you in better sleep and thus improves your quality of life? If not, what do you as a consumer need from the mattress industry to enable this kind of connection? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Penny M.D., the self-christened “Mattress Dork,” began writing her blog after many years of working in the mattress industry. Having seen, and dealt with personally, many issues that affect sleepers, she has put her knowledge and experience to work by providing useful information on sleep, mattresses, and overall health. You can visit her blog at

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