After years of steering clear of the category, Tempur-Pedic is launching its first bed-in-a-box: the Tempur-Cloud. This move may come as a bit of a surprise for the mattress maker. Not long ago, the very idea of Tempur introducing a boxed bed would surely have been seen as sullying the premium nature of the brand. But, more than anything, this new introduction underscores just how much things have changed over the past few years—for both the mattress marketplace and Tempur-Pedic’s positioning within it.
Though the Tempur-Cloud may be roll-packed and shipped in a box, it still touts many of the same benefits that Tempur promotes in its existing line-up, including “pressure relief, motion transfer and temperature control.” With a price point that ranges from $1,499 in twin to $2,199 in king, the line is priced much higher than most other bed-in-a-box options on the market right now.
Only available in Seattle and exclusively sold online at TempurCloud.com, the boxed bed is still being market tested. According to Rick Anderson, Tempur Sealy EVP and president, North America, the plan is to roll out the line in other major cities and high-density locations over time—but the likelihood of selling in stores is slim unless “something changes.” This strategic roll-out will allow the company to fine-tune a marketing and logistics plan before making it available nationwide.
"This largely is a play for convenience," continued Anderson. "We understand the market well, we understand the potential for it, we understand its size.”
While this is the first Tempur-Pedic branded bed-in-a-box, it is not the first for parent company Tempur Sealy. In recent years, the company has introduced roll-packed options under the Sealy and Cocoon brand names—with price points ranging from the low-end to middle market. With Tempur-Cloud, the company is expanding into the growing high-end boxed bed category.
“I still believe that the bed-in-the-box industry is generally a niche market, but there's quite a few units out there,” Scott Thompson, president, chairman and CEO of Tempur Sealy International explained during the company's First Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call. “There are some people who are trying to move upscale, and what we've always said is, we want a product and participate wherever customers want to be, and this TEMPUR-Cloud products gives us that product in what I'll call the high-end bedding industry.”
So what does this new launch say about…
From the beginning, Tempur-Pedic has positioned itself on the “cutting edge” of bedding technology. When the company first broke onto the scene in 1992, its proprietary Tempur material was seen as a truly unique concept. And over the years, the company has played a major role in driving the proliferation of “memory foam” mattresses.
But the timing of the Tempur-Cloud introduction shows a clear reluctance on the part of the brand to fully embrace the bed-in-a-box category. Even more so, the move shows that Tempur is behind on the times. It’s been five whole years since Casper first came on the bedding and mattress scene and with nearly 100 bed-in-a-box brands on the market today, it’s hard not to see the Tempur-Cloud as too little too late.
During the conference call, Thompson explained that Tempur-Cloud is just one of three new products that Tempur Sealy is market testing right now. The company is also launching a sleep tracking solution, as well as a new mattress equipped with active cooling technology.
While Tempur-Pedic still wields major influence over the market in terms of consumer awareness, it’s hard to say whether it is still leading the charge on innovation.
The boxed bed market?
The shift towards higher-end bed-in-a-box options has been percolating for a few years now. Once it became clear that consumers had no problem with their new mattress arriving in a box—and little to no issue with buying said mattress sight unseen—the industry began to stretch the limits of this opportunity. While the majority of boxed beds are still priced at the entry-level, the market has been steadily expanding to include a wider range of more expensive price points as well.
With the higher price points have come advanced technologies and quality materials, making the category more competitive than ever. It’s no longer enough to sell your mattress line on the convenience and ‘wow-factor’ of boxed delivery. As consumers have more and more bed-in-a-box options to pick from, manufacturers and retailers have to look for new and different ways to differentiate their products.
The mattress industry in general?
The very existence of the Tempur-Cloud pushes back on one of the main arguments against the bed-in-a-box concept: the idea that premium mattresses cannot (or should not) be compressed and roll-packed. In fact, companies like Posh + Lavish and Blu Sleep have been debunking that myth for some time now. But, with one of the most well-known high-end mattress brands entering the market, we should expect that more consumers will soon be questioning that logic.
More than anything, it’s clear that the mattress industry finally has to come to terms with the fact that the bed-in-a-box is here to stay. There’s simply no ignoring it anymore. While it may be true that the boxed category is still relatively niche in terms of market share, it has become almost a requisite for all mattress makers and sellers. And the fact that Tempur has finally followed suit only reinforces that reality.
This article originally appeared in Sleep Retailer eNews on May 9, 2019.
Click here to get Sleep Retailer eNews delivered straight to your inbox.