Mattresses, Foundations, and Convertible Beds

SIC 2515

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

This category covers establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing innerspring mattresses, box spring mattresses, and non-innerspring mattresses containing felt, foam rubber, urethane, hair, or any other filling material; and assembled wire springs (fabric, coil, or box) for use on beds, couches, and cots. This industry also includes establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing dual-purpose sleep furniture, such as convertible sofas and chair beds, regardless of the material used in the frame. Establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing automobile seats and backs are classified under SIC 2531: Public Building and Related Furniture; those manufacturing individual wire springs are classified under SIC 3495: Wire Springs; and those manufacturing padding and upholstery filling are classified under SIC 2299: Textile Goods, Not Elsewhere Classified.

Industry Snapshot

Producing more than 35 million units each year, U.S. mattress manufacturers made up a $6.43 billion enterprise in 2008, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. According to a report by the research firm Research and Markets, the industry's revenues in 2009 totaled $5.8 billion. Despite the trend downward in sales during the latter 2000s, at the beginning of the 2010s, industry insiders anticipated improved sales as the economy in general and the mattress industry specifically began to bounce back.

The U.S. mattress market is generally considered mature. Barring an economic event such as the global recession of the late 2000s, annual sales growth at the industry level tends to fluctuate modestly. Conventional wisdom holds that nearly everyone has a bed, and they are replaced infrequently--typically once every 8 to 11 years according to industry estimates. The International Sleep Products Association (ISPA), an industry trade group, reported that replacements account for 70 percent of new mattress sales. In addition, 50 percent of old mattresses are reused by others, often transferred between family members or resold in the used furniture market.

As a result, mattress makers' growth prospects lie mainly in their ability to generate interest in new product launches and otherwise compel people to replace their existing bedding. The expansion of the lodging industry (see SIC 7011: Hotels and Motels) and other industries that require bedding products also generate growth. As in many industries, mattress manufacturers also seek greater efficiencies and higher profit margins by acquiring competitors to achieve economies of scale or access new markets.

Background and Development

The U.S. bedding industry consisted of more than 600 mattress companies operating at 700 sites, but the top five companies accounted for the majority of sales. Most mattress manufacturers were private companies. Including convertible beds, which are sometimes counted as upholstered household furniture rather than bedding, industry shipments declined from $4.73 billion to $4.66 billion in 2001.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2000 the industry employed about 26,332 people, of whom 20,570 were production workers. The industry's employee ranks have actually grown moderately from 22,971 in 1997 as the number of separate manufacturing establishments has been declining.

The growing economy of the mid- and late 1990s provided a favorable market for mattresses and related products. Growth areas included premium bedding, especially mattresses touting special health-related benefits, and mattress sets featuring distinctive colors and fashion appeal. Overall industry shipments increased from $3.84 billion in 1997 to $4.73 billion in 2000. Between 1997 and 2000, shipments of innerspring mattresses with polyurethane or rubber tops climbed from $2.13 billion to $2.72 billion, while shipments of foundations rose from $1.12 billion to $1.3 billion. In 2004, the industry was challenged by a significant increase in steel prices, which was expected to increase mattress prices.

By a slim margin, twin-size bedding was the most popular in the United States and was responsible for around 31 percent of unit sales. Queen size was the second most common, accounting for approximately 29 percent of mattress units sold. Larger mattresses, especially king and queen size, have been the fastest growing categories, encouraged by industry marketing efforts to equate larger mattresses with a better night's sleep. With about 90 percent of sales, the vast majority of mattress sales were of traditional innerspring mattresses, with products like waterbeds, air mattresses, and futons accounting for the remaining 10 percent of sales. Not surprisingly, the most frequent buyers of mattresses are couples with children. On the retail side, the largest share of mattresses is sold through general furniture stores, followed by specialty mattress stores and department stores.

The value of mattresses, foundations, and convertible bed shipments increased from $5.24 billion in 2003 to $6.43 billion in 2005 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Nevertheless, between 2003 and 2005, the U.S. mattress industry grew an average of 2.8 percent, shipping 42.8 million mattresses by 2005. That trend continued into 2006 although mattress shipments were on the decline.

According to industry statistics, there were an estimated 964 U.S. mattress manufacturers valued at $13.7 million in 2007, with a workforce of 28,155 people. The mattresses and bedsprings category accounted for 31.8 percent of market share and $1.8 million in shipped products. Manufacturing of innerspring or box spring mattresses held 21.3 percent of market share with sales of $3.7 million. There were 184 manufacturers of mattresses and foundations holding 19.1 percent of market share for $3.1 million in sales. Although the assembled box spring category represented only 3.5 percent of market share, shipments were valued at $4.7 million. Manufacturers of mattresses containing felt, foam, rubber, or urethane held 11.4 percent of market share and posted sales of $384.5 million. California had more than 14 percent of market share.

Mattress shipments continued to decline in 2007 and 2008. In addition to the tough economic conditions, raw material shortages were leading to higher raw material costs, and higher transportation costs further challenged the industry.

In addition to the tough business climate, mattress manufacturers were faced with one of the stiffest regulatory regulations in the industry's history. As of July 1, 2007, mattresses manufactured or imported had to comply with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's (16 CFR Part 1633) open-flame standard to reduce deaths and injuries related to mattress fires. Under the regulation, mattress producers would have the option to choose whether they would use flame retardant fabrics or flame retardant chemicals to meet the new standards. The Environmental Protection Agency was working closely with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure safety standards, but controversy surrounded the safety of flame resistant chemicals commonly referred to as FR chemicals. Initially, mattress producers would be forced to pass the cost onto consumers, but between technological advances and competition, the price increase was expected to level off at roughly $23.00 per mattress set.

Current Conditions

Because the mattress industry is closely tied to the overall economy and consumers' level of disposal income, when the U.S. economy sunk into one of the worst recessions in recent history during the late 2000s, it took the mattress industry with it. Industry revenues declined in both 2008 and 2009. According to 2008 data released by the ISPA, the dollar value of bedding shipments fell by 9.1 percent and bedding units dropped by 11 percent. The ISPA marked the industry's 2008 sales at $6.2 billion with 35.9 million units shipped. Specialty mattresses suffered the worst decline, dropping 17.8 percent in dollar value, compared to a 6.8 percent decline in dollar value of innerspring mattresses. Innerspring unit sales fell by 9.1 percent, and specialty mattresses fell by 17.7 percent.

The average price of innerspring and specialty mattresses in 2008 was $208.86 and $572.08, respectively. Residential sales made up 93.1 percent of all mattress sales, with contract sales making up the other 6.9 percent of sales. Queen-sized mattresses were most popular, accounting for 36 percent of units sold, followed by twin sized (25 percent), full sized (18 percent), and king sized (10 percent).

In 2009, the industry continued to experience declining sales. According to a report by Markets and Research, industry sales fell to $5.8 billion. However, as the U.S. economy began to show signs of recovery, the mattress industry also began to show new life in 2010. Over the first six months of 2010, year-to-date unit shipments and wholesale revenues were up by 11 percent and 10.2 percent over the same period during 2009. The ISPA anticipated a 6.3 percent increase in units and a 10 percent jump in revenues for 2011.

Industry Leaders

A handful of manufacturers garnered the bulk of industry sales as the top five--Sealy, Serta, Simmons, Select Comfort, and Tempur-pedic International--accounted for approximately 60 percent of all U.S. mattress sales. The largest mattress producer in the United States, and by some reports, the world, was Sealy Corporation, headquartered in Trinity, North Carolina. Sealy held nearly 20 percent of the U.S. mattress market and had 4,848 employees in 2009. That year, this publicly traded company posted $1.29 billion in sales.

Serta, Inc. of Itasca, Illinois, was the second largest U.S. mattress company. Serta, which dominated the lodging market, was originally founded in 1931 by a group of 13 mattress manufacturers. In 2004, the company came under the control of National Bedding, which then reorganized itself as Serta International. Serta International was privately owned by Ares Corporation Opportunities Fund. The company had 2,300 employees.

Simmons Company, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, marketed Beautyrest, DeepSleep, BeautySleep, ComforPedic, Natural Care, and Simmons mattresses. The firm reported $1.03 billion in 2009 sales. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009 and, in January 2010 under part of its reorganization plan, was bought by Ares Management and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.

Tempur-pedic International, located in Lexington, Kentucky, posted revenues of $881 million in 2009. Its TEMPUR and Tempur-Pedic mattresses uses visco-elastic foam technology that was first developed by NASA in the 1970s. Select Comfort, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which posted 2009 revenues of $544 million, sold its Sleep Number beds through 440 retail outlets, as well as online and through QVC. Spring Air Corporation, another major player in the industry, underwent significant restructuring in 2009, reorganizing as Spring Air International.

America and the World

In 2009, the value of U.S. mattresses exported totaled $103.83 million. Top export destinations were Canada ($58.48 million), Mexico ($11.13 million), Japan ($6.73 million), Australia ($3.47 million), and Taiwan ($3.36 million). Imports of mattresses into the United States in 2009 totaled $198.79 million. Top import countries were China ($90.28 million, Mexico ($58.93 million), Canada ($21.78 million), Hong Kong ($3.89 million), and Malaysia ($3.52 million).

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