At a recent trade show, Sealy announced that it will be launching a value priced gel mattress option for consumers who are unwilling to shell out the money for higher priced gel mattresses like the Sealy Optimum mattress (which we felt offered great value on its own) and the hugely popular Serta iComfort offering. What does value priced mean in the case of the Sealy Comfort Line Gel Mattress? Try a price at just under $600.
Why a Cheap Gel Mattress
That certainly seems to be a good question, given Sealy’s Optimum gel bed was launched less than a year ago. With such a solid offering, it seems bewildering to offer a discount gel bed and possibly steal sales away from that line. But with Serta recently surpassing Sealy as the number mattress maker, the mounting pressure on Sealy to regain market share and be first to launch new product quite likely contributed to this latest campaign.
The new Comfort Line indeed fills a product gap within the industry, however. With higher end gel mattresses priced in the thousands of dollars, this value offering will allow uncertain consumers to test out the product without making a large investment. Certainly, there are some individuals who will shy away from paying $3,500 for a gel mattress without knowing whether it will be any different than a regular memory foam mattress, or who have never slept on anything else other than a traditional coil mattress. The Comfort Line allows consumers to take baby steps into this market.
The one fear is that their strategy could backfire… a low-cost gel bed is like a low-cost spring mattress that is not properly sold. If the consumer receives a substandard product, they will blame Sealy for it (not necessarily the model) and will turn to the competition – in this case, the Sealy iComfort. And with Dormeo announcing its arrival to the North American market, a cheap gel bed might turn a consumer off the gel market altogether.
Is It Worth A Look?
At a price of just under $600, the Sealy Comfort Line gel mattresses are certainly worth looking at if you are new to the concept of a gel mattress. For consumers looking to replace their 8-year old TempurPedic or a similarly priced alternative (i.e. memory foam) mattress, it’s worth skiping this model and jumping onto Sealy’s Optimum gel bed or looking at other luxury alternative mattresses. Why? Because you will likely be disappointed in everything except the price.
What This Means For The Market
If the Comfort Line attracts enough sales, shoppers should expect prices on the Optimum line to come down. Eventually, the Serta iComfort prices may also start to drop, although the model has been so successful it has been difficult to predict when that might happen. However, TempurPedic, one of the Top 5 mattress makers in North America, was previously dead-set against putting its products on sale, but a combination of a 45% decrease in sales and mounting pressure from alternatives have seen TempurPedic Cloud model prices aggressively slashed. So “never” is not really never.
No question, the arrival of a discount gel mattress will wreak its share of havoc on the industry. Will it be enough to give Sealy its podium as Top Dog back? Will it upset the monstrous sales path enjoyed by the Serta iComfort? Time will tell.