Why Are Mattresses so Expensive?

Let’s face it—how long or well you’ve slept can make or break your day. A good, deep snooze is essential to your wellbeing. Nothing’s better than waking up thoroughly rested and restored, ready to take on the day’s challenges. Can you really put a price on that? Well, mattress companies certainly have, and often it’s a steep one.

If you’re in the market for a new mattress and you’ve been shopping around, you’ve probably already asked yourself, “why are mattresses so expensive, and are they truly worth the price tag? What constitutes a ‘good’ mattress, anyway? Should I go for springs or foam? An airbed or latex? Of all the options available out there, which is the right one for me?”

Fret not—through this guide, we’ll put all these matters to bed. We’ll answer all your burning questions about why mattresses are so pricey, which factors affect their overall cost, and how you can find a good deal on one. Let’s dive in!

How much should I spend on a mattress?

When it comes to quality mattresses, no one price tag fits all. A mattress’s price-point depends on multiple factors, such as the materials used and the mattress type, size or height. Higher-priced beds might last much longer than cheaper ones, too. 

Since there’s such a variety of mattress prices, it’s helpful to break them down by category.

The average mattress prices in the UK by category are as follows:

  • Budget mattress: affordable, usually all-foam or pocket spring construction, made of basic materials, £150-£600 price range
  • Mid-range mattress: typically all-foam, hybrid or pocket spring construction, made of quality materials, £500-£1,000 price range
  • Luxury mattress: mostly hybrid or latex construction, made of high-end materials, £1,000-£2,000+ price range

Perhaps the most essential mattress price factor is the materials that have gone into making it.

Pocket spring mattress

Pocket spring mattresses use coils as their main support. They’re a traditional type of cheap mattress with pocketed springs that uses basic materials, like fibre or foam. There are even pocket spring beds that have two layers of coils instead of one. These beds are best for heavier people, as the coils create a firmer core that won’t sink in. A pocket spring mattress also works for someone who likes to sleep on a firmer bed. Even though these are the most affordable mattresses on the market, many sleepers will find them uncomfortable.

Pocket spring mattresses come with price tags in the range of £200-£800+.

Memory foam mattress

Memory foam mattresses are primarily popular among customers with aches and pains or people who like sleeping on a body-hugging mattress. Why are memory foam mattresses so expensive? Well, a memory foam mattress’s price depends on the density and construction of the materials. Higher-density foam raises a mattress’s price. However, some people find higher-density mattresses to be too firm and uncomfortable to sleep on. Lower-density foam mattresses cost less but require more frequent replacement.

You might find a mid-range product that combines both higher- and lower-density materials for a blend of comfort and durability. The extra features that enhance all-foam mattresses like edge support, temperature-regulating gels and phase-changing technology will raise a bed’s cost. The tradeoff is that consumers are promised a more comfortable and personalized sleep experience. 

Memory foam mattresses come in a price range of £200-£1,000+. According to customer reviews, the best ones on the market are the Dormeo Memory Plus Mattress, Eve Mattress, Emma Mattress and Tempur Mattress.

Latex mattress

Latex mattresses use high-end supporting materials that can relieve pressure. There are two types of latex mattresses: Dunlop and Talalay, and each has its own price. 

Dunlop latex is regarded as firmer and more durable, so we frequently find the material in the foundation layers of mattresses. Talalay is considered a softer kind of latex and usually a good choice for adding pressure relief. Mainly, Talalay mattresses are pricier, though you can find models that combine the two.

Latex mattresses can be made out of natural or synthetic components. Some shoppers who might be allergic to natural latex prefer a synthetic mattress; others are thrilled to be able to use an organic one. Either way, latex mattresses are relatively resistant to mould, dust and mites. 

Latex is considered a luxurious mattress material, and its average price is anywhere from £700-£2,000+ per bed. 

Hybrid mattress

Hybrid mattresses have evolved a lot over the past few years. Companies have started manufacturing mattresses that combine different styles and material types, leading to a broad spectrum of prices. The cost of a hybrid mattress can be determined by a plethora of features, such as cooling technologies, coil construction, high-quality microcoils, pocketed springs, or even enhanced edges.

Certified organic materials also play a role in the setting of the price. The average cost of a hybrid mattress is anywhere between £700 and £2,500. Some of the best hybrid mattresses on the market are the Eve Premium Hybrid Mattress, the Emma Hybrid Mattress, the Simba Hybrid Mattress, the Dormeo Wellsleep Hybrid Mattress and the Tempur Hybrid Mattress.

Airbed mattress

In case you’re wondering, an airbed mattress isn’t the same thing as the air mattress you inflate for camping. Airbeds use pressurised air chambers as support instead of foam, coils, pocket springs or latex. A significant advantage of airbed mattresses is the control of air input they offer, so you can customize the mattress’s firmness, which is excellent for couples with different sleeping habits. Another benefit is that when they sag in the middle, you can just add more air.

The price tag is determined by the number of its comfort layers, number of air chambers, remote controls, and height. The average price of an airbed mattress is anywhere between £1,000 and £2,000.

Why are Tempur mattresses so expensive?

Tempur was the first brand to offer a memory foam mattress in the 1990s. Its recipes for “viscoelastic polyurethane” mattress foam are patented. It developed the foam to help astronauts on NASA space missions absorb the pressure of take-off during space flight. However, Tempur doesn’t refer to its material as memory foam but calls it “Tempurpedic foam” instead.

The beauty of a Tempur mattress is that you can try out pretty much any model in bed stores. It’s the most expensive mattress; it costs about ten times your average budget one. However, the science behind any Tempur mattress and the restful zizz it provides is reflected in the price tag.

In essence, the Tempur brand is the king of mattresses, and even NASA itself testifies to its quality.

What additional factors define the price of a mattress?

Mattresses are one of the most used items in any home. Therefore, it’s crucial that you invest in the right bed for you.

What factors influence the cost of a mattress? First and foremost, the type of material and the amount of it used in the mattress has the most significant impact on its manufacturing cost, and ultimately the selling price. Natural fibres are the most expensive materials, while man-made ones usually cost less. The variety of filler materials and the mattress’s density also impact the price.

A mattress’s border trimmings also increase its price; hand-stitched edges are pricier than machine-stitched ones.  

The initial price of a mattress might be the biggest expense, but it isn’t the only outlay when you buy one. A few things you often have to think about are the cost of shipping and set-up, purchasing a foundation and accessories, the warranty and return policy, getting rid of your old mattress, etc.

Shipping & setup costs

Depending on the brand, you might have to cover the shipping, in-home delivery or setup. If it isn’t included in the initial purchase price, shipping can cost an additional £50-£100. Some companies even offer to remove your old mattress for an additional fee. 

Before deciding, you should shop around. Many online companies offer a wide range of mattress options. Some of them come with shipping deals, or even white glove delivery. This is when they not only ship the mattress, but come to set it up as well. Some of them will even take your old mattress away for free.

Foundations & accessories

Beyond the initial mattress price, you must also consider the cost of any additional accessories you might need. Whilst some mattresses can be placed on the floor, others need a foundation. You might already have one, but it doesn’t mean that it’ll work with the new mattress you’ve picked out. A compatible foundation for it means that it’ll last longer, so you’ll sleep better.

A good base and even small things like bedding can add another £150 to a mattress’s price.

Warranty & return policy

Mattress companies usually offer a 10-year warranty, but some brands have a 20-year to lifetime one. However, mattress warranties might have expenses tied to them and the return policy. Make sure to check the warranty terms when shopping, since some brands cover shipping and any extra costs involved in a warranty claim. Others place limitations on the warranty, requiring that the customer pay for return shipping and additional fees associated with returning a mattress.

What are the benefits of expensive mattresses?

Regardless of a mattress’s structure or design, luxury brands are known to sell theirs for jaw-dropping prices of over £2,000. We’ve all seen the fancy additional features in TV ads for crazy priced beds, promising things that cheap mattresses can’t possibly deliver. Each of these high end beds offer quality of sleep, less tossing and turning, back pain relief, and even snoring prevention.

Quality of sleep

Studies show that a first-rate mattress can substantially enhance your quality of sleep. Hence, if you want to avoid waking up unrested and being unproductive throughout the day, choosing the right mattress is essential. High-quality mattresses are designed to allow you to sleep however you wish while lending you comfort and support.

Therefore, you don’t want to cut corners in this department. It might be worthwhile to splurge on an expensive bed that can reduce body pressure, last longer and offer you the best snooze.

Pain relief

High-quality mattresses also provide health benefits by relieving body aches and pains. Some beds can even help users recover from injuries more quickly. This can be achieved thanks to these mattresses’ ability to displace pressure from pain points.

Less tossing and turning

We spend about a third of our lives in bed. Whether you spend that time tossing and turning or blissfully slumbering depends mainly on the mattress you have under you. Studies show that when you lie on some part of your body for a significant amount of time, your weight reduces the blood flow to that body part’s blood vessels, thus depriving the skin of oxygen. Therefore, your body sends a message to your brain that you need to roll over. Rolling over automatically restores blood flow, but also interrupts your sleep.

Therefore, a high-quality mattress that relieves body pressure might provide you with a good night’s rest.

Snoring

What most people don’t realise is that their mattress could be causing them to “saw wood”. Old mattresses contain dust mites and build up sweat, which can lead to increased snoring. Another reason might be inadequate body support from a cheap mattress causing the muscles of the jaw to relax. A high-quality mattress will support your head, back and neck and hence reduce snoring.

In our opinion, you should buy one of the following mattresses to get one of the best beds in the world:

  • Nectar Memory Foam Mattress
  • Tempur Cloud Mattress
  • Eve Mattress
  • Dormeo Wellsleep Hybrid Mattress
  • Emma Mattress
  • Simba Mattress

Tips on buying a mattress

  1. Go over your budget thoroughly, since good mattresses are expensive.
  2. Learn about the most common types of mattress fabrics.
  3. Talk to your doctor about a personalized recommendation.
  4. Try it before you buy it.
  5. Buying online? Research reviews from real customers and compare the prices and additional charges to brick and mortar costs.
  6. The perfect mattress is different for each person—what’s your preferred level of firmness?
  7. Seek out an online recommendation.
  8. Ask about the trial period and return policy.
  9. Check the warranty period.
  10.  Skimp on the foundation if you have a platform bed.

When is the best time to buy a mattress?

May might be the best month to buy mattresses. Many manufacturers roll out their new product lines in June, so they’re a hot ticket in September. When May rolls around, retailers want to do away with their old collections and clearance sales mostly happen around that time. This is really convenient, since you could score an expensive mattress at a good markdown when high-end beds are substantially discounted.

What are the best mattresses for the price?

Nectar mattresses

The Nectar mattress company began as a bed-in-a-box brand, and now its mattresses are available in stores all over the UK. They’ve won several awards and get good reviews from customers. Despite their high-quality construction, Nectar mattresses are cheaper than equally well-designed models. This makes them the best bed cost option if you’re looking to balance budget-friendliness with quality.

Emma mattresses

Emma is one of the brands that have taken the mattress market by storm in recent years. Rather than selling a massive range of products, the company sells just two types of mattress: the Emma Original and the Emma Hybrid. Both are made of high-end materials like quality foam in the Original and pocket springs in the Hybrid version.

Emma mattresses are very comfortable, affordable, and delivered in a box via fast shipping.

Although Emma is ultimately a German company, its mattresses are manufactured in the UK.

Eve mattresses

Eve Sleep is a company that offers three types of comfortable foam mattresses and three hybrid ones. For all of its mattresses, it provides a 100-night trial period so that you can spend some time with it and make an informed decision.

Based on customer feedback, Eve mattresses get high marks from sleepers of different weights and sleep positions, making them perfect for most people’s day-to-day lives. Eve mattresses might have quite the price sticker on them, but they live up to the hype and deliver excellent quality on all fronts.

Are expensive mattresses worth it?

Two characteristics make an expensive bed worth its going rate: the quality of sleep you get on a high-end mattress and the calibre of the materials used. Still, comfort is subjective—the perfect bed for one person can be too firm or too soft for another, but it’d be fair to describe a comfortable mattress as supportive, breathable, and long-lasting.

You don’t have to buy the most expensive bed there is, but the difference in sleep quality from one price point to the next can be like night and day. Expensive mattresses offer high levels of physical support, stress relief on various parts of the body such as the back, neck and hips, and a more comfortable night’s sleep than cheap mattresses do.

Therefore, the answer to the questionwhy are mattresses so expensive?” lies in the level of craftsmanship that has gone into the manufacturing process. As with all things, you get what you pay for, and given that we spend so much of our lives in bed, a good mattress is something in which you might want to invest.

ABOUT AUTHOR

I'm an interior architect by education with a tendency for content writing and research. Whenever I’m waiting for the engine to finish rendering my model, I love reading and researching on a wide variety of topics. I especially love writing content that is backed up by thorough research and relevant data. Given my engineering background, I'm more for the empirical data, not the "I couldn’t help but wonder..." vibe. When I'm not busy writing or drawing, you can find me hiking with my beagle or binge-watching in my bed. There is no in-between.

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