Here is a copy of a press release we sent out to several Seattle area media outlets.
No-Flip Mattresses are Worth Less
The people at Bedrooms & More proudly announce the reintroduction of two sided mattresses. The NO-FLIP mattress fad has proven to be a success for manufacturers, and an outright failure in the eyes of the consumer. We have seen the life expectancy of a mattress drop from between 12-15 years, down to 5-7 years. The people at Bedrooms & More, have decided that the era of disposable mattresses has to end. In a world that needs to focus more on renewability, and recycling, it is imperative that we eliminate the wasteful practice of manufacturing “can’t flip” mattresses.
The con was on from the very beginning; it was pitched as a you benefit to the consumer, “never flip your bed again.”
The reality of it is, the cost of manufacturing a one sided bed is up to 30% less, and the prices didn’t drop at all. The manufacturer’s margins went through the roof, and an ad campaign carried them to record breaking profits. Great for them, bad for you. Consumers felt like they were getting a great deal, but body impression problems started almost immediately. Sometimes people weren’t even told that the bed couldn’t be flipped though, and when they went to turn the mattress, they thought they had been cheated.
Now you’re thinking, “why not just buy a mattress by another manufacturer?”
If it had been just one company, the next bed you’d get after this disappointing purchase would be a two sided bed by someone else. But eventually they all did it: Sealy, Simmons, Stearns & Foster, Serta, Spring Aire, Tempurpedic, Select Comfort, etc. Not one of those companies makes a bed that can flip. So what is one to do?
This is a tough pill to swallow, consumers are more limited than they used to be, and most don’t even know it. In July of 2007 a new federal fire safety standard went into effect on all mattresses sold in the United States, and it was a costly test to pass. Each bed tested has to pass the fire regulations and it costs thousands of dollars per mattress. This drove many small mattress manufacturing companies out of business (much like small gas stations were driven out of business when tanks needed to be replaced; an unintended consequence). It consolidated the industry into primarily the big players listed above.
Now if you are looking for alternatives, you have to know where to look.
Furthermore, while you’re out there shopping they might even tell you no one makes two sided mattresses anymore (a lie that Bedrooms & More customers report having been told at competitors stores frequently).
In comes Bedrooms & More, though this was presented as a reintroduction of two sided mattresses, they actually never stopped selling them. Bedrooms & More has been in the same location in Seattle for over thirty years, using their knowledge of mattresses, and materials to shape the line of products that they carry. Through the years manufacturers, and mattresses have changed; waterbeds have faded into a novelty, pillow-tops and ultra plush mattresses have arrived, memory foam, and adjustable air mattresses have advertised their way into the forefront, and “no flip mattresses” have taken over. One thing that has never changed is their desire to help customers find solutions that suit their needs, and budget.
What people want is a comfortable supportive mattress that will stay comfortable, and not break the bank (optional). What makes this seemingly simple task complicated is sorting through all the information, and misinformation presented to a consumer. Even once you’re in a store, you have to trust a salesperson that is inherently difficult to trust; furthermore you can’t verify what they are saying by looking inside the mattress, or often times even calling the company that built the bed. So why trust the people at Bedrooms & More? They are not some big box or chain store; they can’t throw huge amounts of money at advertising on television or the radio. More than half of their customers find out about Bedrooms & More through a friend, relative or colleague. If they don’t do a good job, then people don’t refer business, and they wouldn’t have been there for over 36 years.
So, when one sided beds entered the market place they looked on the concept with skepticism (just as one must with any new product). The manufacturers claimed that the beds would last just as long; they asked “How?” The materials were the same; though manufacturers claimed they were better. The polyurethane foam in most mattresses breaks down, compressing roughly 20 % every 5 years with use (the exact amount is dependent upon the density of the foam; more dense is more durable). If one were to believe what they said, then some miracle had to be at work. Unfortunately for consumers, there are no mattress miracles, and saggy mattresses have ensued.
Here is what differentiates a one sided bed from a two sided bed:
When you sleep in a spot on the mattress you compress the foam only in that area; after a few weeks, or months you will be able to see a defined difference between where you sleep and the rest of the bed. If there are two people then you will develop a crest in the middle of the mattress over time. If you rotate your mattress head to foot, you will still be sleeping in mostly the same place, but you will vary it slightly. However, the crest in the middle will remain. After a couple of years it will get more and more defined, to the point that your mattress will look like two hammocks side by side (over 2” sags on each side have been reported on mattresses under 2 years old). It will often be uncomfortable, but not saggy enough to meet the warranty requirements. This could be avoided by flipping the mattress over. When you flip the bed, the weight of both you, and your mattress will be distributed across the entire surface on which you had been sleeping. The majority of the pressure will be on the areas which you had not compressed, resulting in in flattening of the mattress as you wear the other side. The durability of a two sided bed then becomes significantly greater; potentially 2-3 times as long.
The people at Bedrooms & More wish that they could claim that “we’re perfect,” and had never carried any of these “can’t flip” beds, but they were not immune. Though not without serious qualms, they eventually carried some. They researched the products to the best of their ability, and chose what they felt were the most durable options. Though never selling them without being clear to the customer what they were sacrificing by getting a one sided mattress, it sometimes felt as though they were trying to talk someone out of buying a bed (an odd way to stay in business).
“Why carry them at all then?” you might ask. Fear.
They were afraid to give up the name brand mattresses. Those companies have spent a long time, and a lot of money creating value in those names. Name brands create trust, and have value in the mind of consumers. Someone who has a had a Simmons for 15-20 years may want to get another one. Unfortunately for them Simmons today is not the Simmons of 20 years ago. They are making a completely different product, and are owned by completely different people. Even with this knowledge, it has taken the people at Bedrooms & More years to realize, that they are the brand. They are why people refer friends, coworkers, and family members to the store. The trust is in them to provide consumers with accurate information, and a quality product; because the name brands have proven that they can no longer be trusted with your best interest.
Maybe you didn’t know. Maybe you haven’t had to buy a mattress in the last 8 years. If you have, you probably have had to buy more than one.
If you’d like more information about this topic please email ~ firstname.lastname@example.org