May Is Better Sleep Month: New Research Reveals COVID-19’s Influence

May Is Better Sleep Month: New Research Reveals COVID-19’s Influence

2020 was a year that most of us wish we could have slept through — and it looks like we gave it a good try, with more of us buying new beds and bedding, according to a new consumer survey commissioned by the Better Sleep Council (BSC).

The BSC has been focusing our attention on the importance of good sleep for decades, establishing Better Sleep Month in May 1985. Since then, it has conducted many consumer surveys, but the BSC’s most recent poll reflected some interesting changes in people’s sleep and mattress preferences stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are a few particularly notable findings in the survey, which focused on recent mattress buyers and consumers planning to purchase a mattress:

  • We value our sleep more than ever. A majority (75%) agree that a good night’s sleep is important to their health, placing it above regular medical checkups (69%), stress management (65%), a healthy diet (62%) and physical exercise (58%) on the priority scale.
  • A few of us are sleeping better, but … One in three respondents say that the stresses and turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic have wreaked havoc on their rest, citing concerns about the economy, political climate, personal health, and social and civil issues. In 2016, 41% complained of poor sleep, compared to 39% in 2020, so things are improving.
  • We are feathering our nests more than ever. Sales of all home products are up, with mattresses and bedding products among the top five purchases. More people are buying king-size beds.
  • Most (60%) mattress buyers purchase online. The survey showed that only 39% of consumers went to stores in 2020 to shop for their mattress, compared to 57% in 2016, reflecting COVID-19 concerns and a higher consumer confidence in online shopping and purchasing. The shift is more prevalent among younger consumers, who also place less importance on trying a mattress before buying.
  • Online reviews are important in the final purchase decision. This is especially true of online shoppers, who visit an average of three to four websites before making their purchase.
  • In-store buyers will drive up to an hour. Among the one-third who prefer in-store mattress shopping, 59% say they will drive 20 to 60 minutes to a store.
  • DIY bed set-up is the new normal. More than half of consumers (53%) set up their new bed, and 69% bought a mattress-in-a-box, which comes folded, rolled or compressed.

While last year was a year to lose sleep over, the BSC survey shows some positive trends, including a growing acknowledgement of sleep’s role in overall health and a heightened focus on improving the sleep environment. We spent more time in the bedroom and invested more money on it.

If you’re among those who will be buying a new bed this Better Sleep Month, be sure to do your homework, whether you’re shopping online or visiting a few stores. Check out our blog on buying a mattress for tips. In addition, don’t buy any mattress without checking to be sure the company or brand is listed in our online directory of companies offering products containing CertiPUR-US® certified foam. That’s your assurance that the foam in your mattress has met our rigorous standards for content, emission and durability and that it has been analyzed by independent, accredited testing laboratories. And that’s something to celebrate this Better Sleep Month.

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