Overpriced Mattresses – In Need Of Disruptive Innovation


Bed Picture

Mattress shopping, in some ways, is like car shopping. Quite difficult to do an “apples to apples” comparison, you never know if you can trust the sales person and most frustratingly you never know if you are being ripped off or if you are paying “fair price” (whatever that means).

Other spheres of human consumption – like luxury shirts and eyeglasses (or eyeglasses) have been “disrupted” by entrepreneurs that have figured out a way to optimize supply chains, dramatically simply and reduce prices paid by everyday users.

Bedding – a category which includes pillows and comforters – is already starting to undergo a transformation thanks to the likes of Crane & Canopy:

A queen-size white, pintuck duvet cover on Crane & Canopy, for instance, is $99, while a similar one at West Elm is $119 and at Bloomingdale’s is $190.

“From the get-go, flattening the supply chain was part of the process,” said Christopher Sun, who founded the company with Karin Shieh after they met at Harvard Business School. “It took almost a year to get through the supply chain. It’s that convoluted.”

So what about mattresses?

A very interesting blog post at Priceonomics (a website that aims to inform buyers of a “good/fair” price for anything they want to buy) does an excellent job of telling us why and how mattress pricing is broken: a few companies controlling most of the market, opaque naming, inefficient distribution, etc.

Normally I would post excerpts and link to the full article or post, but doing so in this case would dilute the lucid analysis and writing – so enjoy it in its entirety.

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