“You don’t want to sell mattresses that lasts that long because you won’t have repeat customers” is a quote from a Restonic mattress sales representative when I was bragging to him about how long our latex mattresses will last for our customers. But his sentiment is the attitude of all large mattress companies. They practically force consumers to come back and buy a new mattress every few years. They accomplish this by making cheaper products that have what I call “planned obsolescence.”
Few people know, nor would they imagine, that large mattress companies have a lobby group. It is called the International Sleep Products Association. And they work collectively for the interests of their supporters. That interest is increased profits but not by making better mattresses but by helping them in sometimes nefarious and deceptive ways. The International Sleep Products Association funds the Better Sleep Council which is designed to look like a group wanting to help people with information about getting better sleep. But a little reading of the articles on their website will show that they often advocate buying a new mattress every 5-7 years. This alone shows that what they are really after is increased sales of mattresses. It may look like they are looking out for people trying to get better sleep but they are really after profits.
Indeed, most of the large mattress companies want you have to buy a new mattress frequently so they make more money. Another way they accomplish this is through collusion with government agencies like the Consumer Product Safety Commision. As mentioned in another blog post here, mattress fire retardant regulations by the Consumer Product Safety Commission was designed to make large mattress companies more money by driving small mattress companies out of business. The regulations also help some chemical companies as well and both some chemical companies and large mattress companies are members of the International Sleep Products Association. This in all likelihood means the International Sleep Products Association has lobbied, or paid for the regulations by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Thus, all of this helps us understand why a sales rep would say to a retailer that they don’t want to sell mattresses that last a long time, it’s bad for business. But what it is really bad for is consumer’s wallets.