Just a few years ago, memory foam mattresses were all the rage for those of us desperate to get a better night’s sleep.
Backed by a wealth of creative advertising from savvy companies like Tempur-Pedic, memory foam’s luxury mattress market share shot up from 14% to 20% between 2004 and 2012. And if you weren’t among the droves who rushed out to buy one, you probably, at least, tried one out. Fast forward to 2016 and the luxury mattress world is shifting again. Not unlike the passing fad of water beds in the 1980’s, excitement over memory foam’s promise of a better night’s sleep is starting to fade.
This shift in consumer focus is best shown through the Google search trends illustrated below:
Shifting Luxury Mattress Shopping Trends
The above chart shows Google search history for “memory foam mattress” from 2005-2016. As you can see, interest peaked around 2012 and has since begun to gradually decline. This shift may appears subtle at first, at least until we consider it in conjunction with this next chart:
Our second chart shows the Google search history for “spring mattress” during the exact same time period as the memory foam chart.
Here you’ll notice – almost in perfect inverse relation to the memory foam chart – that the number of people searching “spring mattress” declined from 2005-2011, yet has dramatically bounced back in the years since.
What does this change in shopping trends say about what kind of luxury mattresses people will be buying in the coming years?
According to WebMD, the decreasing interest in memory foam luxury mattresses may have something to do with foam not really addressing the true reason people don’t sleep well. Kathy R. Gromer, MD, states that memory foam can improve sleep in situations where relieving painful pressure points is the main problem.
But she also points out that it does nothing to address sleep apnea or sleep-breathing disorders, which are the primary complaints of people who have trouble sleeping.
Memory Foam vs. Springs/Coils
In addition to the odd chemical odor emitted by memory foam, recent surveys show that up to 14% of memory foam luxury mattress owners report body heat retention as an uncomfortable attribute (while only 4% of spring mattress owners report the same problem).
What’s worse, New York sex therapist Sari Eckler Cooper points to the common problems memory foam owners have with intimacy. “There’s a lack of resistance for the knees and feet,” she states. “And whoever is on the bottom is sinking into the bed.”
Going back to the shopping trend charts we looked at above, it’s clear that memory foam “mayhem” seems to have run its course, and luxury mattress shoppers are again returning to spring mattress designs.
While the exact reasoning for this shift is still speculative, perhaps more shoppers have realized that today’s luxury spring mattresses offer the best balance between a good night’s sleep and critical intimacy with their partners.
Introduction of “Hybrid” Designs
Led by the trend of fuel-efficient automobiles in the mid-2000s, the relatively new concept “hybrid” bed is more evidence surrounding memory foam designs losing ground regarding popularity. Hybrids combine the body-contouring advantages of memory foam comfort layers with a spring foundation underneath to provide that ever-so-important “bounce”. As you can see below, hybrid design popularity has been taking off since the term was coined in 2012.
From the analysis of the three charts above, it’s clear that memory foam “mayhem” seems to have run its course, and luxury mattress shoppers are again returning to spring mattress designs. While the exact reasoning for this shift is still speculative, perhaps customers have realized that today’s more evolved luxury spring mattresses offer the best balance between a good night’s sleep and critical intimacy with their partners.
Some Final Thoughts
Newer spring designs (such as Spink & Edgar’s incorporation of patented micro coils) offer unprecedented levels of sleep comfort while simultaneously enhancing a couple’s spontaneity “between the sheets”. What’s more, many such designs incorporate thick layers of natural fibers that self-regulate body temperature while providing unparalleled softness and comfort.
Regardless of which type of luxury mattress you decide is right for you and your partner, keep in mind that sleep itself is only a portion of the overall equation. Albeit it probably the most important portion of that equation, a bed that’s conducive to (let’s just say it) good sex is a bed that will invariably promote more sex.