I received my Furniture Today email and was very surprised to see THIS ARTICLE from my good buddy Dave Perry recapping the most recent Consumer Reports (CR) article on the mattress industry. So what did it say? That the top dog, the guys that created the entire memory foam class have dropped to last place based on “several factors.” To make that even more interesting, the #1 and #3 ranked products are Casper and Tuft and Needle at a mere fraction of the price. Serta did well with an iComfort Savant landing at #4 but Sealy Optimum was down at #24 on the list.
If your one of the big brands your probably going to attack the publications testing methods and you would be right to do so. It has been suggested for a long time that there are problems with the way CR looks at our category but, it is what it is. Do consumers believe all of this? From what I have read, the relevance of this publication is shrinking every year because there is an even better way for a consumer to vet their next mattress purchase and it’s called the consumer review.
Today, if you want to learn more about the product you are going to buy you can simply look for opinions on one of these 10 review sites or even better, visit You Tube and watch someone deliver a close-up look on video. This way of shopping has become the great equalizer in the mattress business and has allowed companies that may not have the name brand recognition of Tempur-Pedic or one of the “S” brands to realize great success because the consumer has voted in their favor. So if you discount the Consumer Reports article and then look to the reviews to tell the story, you still end up with Casper and Tuft and Needle leading the pack, so go figure. ( I speak about brand recognition vs. brand preference in a past post titled “Can You Feel The Shift” so check that out if you are compelled.)
I am not a fan of foam beds to begin with but I have to defend Tempur-Pedic and Sealy on this one. I don’t know what Consumer Reports is looking at but I have been in the industry over 25 years, tried most of the beds I am writing about today, and I am having a hard time understanding how Casper and Tuft and Needle have come out on top here.
Is it possible that they are getting these reviews because they are the cool kid and seen as disruptive by the business media? Is it possible that their minimalist approach to making a bed just performs better and the rest of the industry is over building their products? I wish I had the answer but this just doesn’t pencil for me.
What do you think, did Consumer Reports get it right? Dish the scoop if you have the inside!