Mayo Clinic recommends adults get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, meaning most of us spend at least a third of our entire lives in bed.
To help put that figure in perspective, can we think of any other single location where we spend an amount of time even close to that? Our desk chairs at work may be the closest thing to 2nd place, but even those sit empty on weekends, during meetings, at lunch, etc..
With all the studies in the news these days about the importance of a good night’s sleep, it remains a mystery as to why we so often overlook (and undervalue) the importance of a quality mattress. Many Americans spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars each year on sleep medications, pillow gimmicks, and behavioral therapies, yet most of us still choose to sleep on a mattress every night that literally costs us pennies per day. After all, what single controllable variable has a greater impact on whether we get a good night’s sleep than the very bed we sleep on?
Perhaps taking a more behavioral/sociological approach will help us get to the root of how this whole track of thinking developed in the first place. Just for fun, let’s acknowledge – one by one – some of the most common skepticisms consumers have when it comes to investing in a luxury mattress:
Skepticism #1: All mattresses look pretty much the same, so aren’t they?
One of the biggest challenges in shopping mattresses is that most of them initially look very similar when lined up next to each other at the store. This creates a problem whereby very few of us actually know what’s going on inside each mattress from a construction standpoint, even though we would all seem to agree that the inside of a mattress is the most important factor in its overall comfort and longevity.
Educating ourselves on the pros and cons of different mattress designs (before shopping for one) can make all the difference in preventing an impulse-buy decision that we’re stuck with for years to come.
According to a 2011 study by a leading independent research firm, “When allowed to test mattresses in a typical showroom experience, individuals choose a mattress that does not minimize overnight motion and maximize perceived sleep quality.” This means that consumers usually end up testing a mattress for too short a period of time to accurately simulate a good night’s sleep. In other words, they choose the wrong bed.
Skepticism #2: I never actually see my mattress, which kind of makes me forget it’s there.
Another reason we end up overlooking the importance of a quality mattress could be quite literal: it’s covered up with sheets and bedspreads 99 percent of the time (to the point that we tend to forget it’s even in the room).
Many of us know far more about the thread-count of our Egyptian linens and French duvets than we do the components of the actual bed underneath, yet doesn’t it seem obvious that mattress comfort plays a much bigger role in overall sleep quality than exotic sheets?
Skepticism #3: I can’t show off a luxury mattress like I can a luxury car.
Subconsciously, maybe a big reason we undervalue our mattress is because it’s the only piece of furniture in our house that we can’t show off to our friends. Whereas many of us allocate a considerable portion of our income to owning a luxury car that communicates success, a mattress doesn’t exactly provide the same opportunity for compliments or recognition from our peer group.
As mentioned under Skepticism #2, the fabric on our bedspread is far more likely to steal the show at Thanksgiving than our mattress, which just might make us all the more reluctant to find the extra dough to set aside on a decision that only ourselves (and our partners) will ever respect.[/vc_column_text]
Whether or not you agree with the above factors playing a decisive role in making a quality mattress a priority, it’s hard to deny that the bed itself is a much more important part of the overall sleep equation than all our other sleep remedies, pillows, and gimmicks combined.
According to Sleep Review Magazine, the global market for sleep aids reached a record $58.5 billion in 2014, and is expected to hit $76.7 billion by 2019. Among these totals are millions of Americans who spend hundreds (even thousands) of dollars each year on sleep-related medications, supplements, and therapies, but still choose to go home every night and sleep on a mattress that cost a fraction of that.