Lots of things are ‘smart’ in 2019 — smartphones, smartwatches, smart home devices, smart water bottles. (No, we didn’t just make up ‘smart water bottles’ — they’re real.)
One formerly unintelligent household object that has recently been smartened is the mattress. Smart mattresses often boast a range of features, from temperature and firmness controls to sleep-tracking and biometrics.
But are Americans interested in having their beds inform them about how well they slept last night? Well, that depends. When CivicScience asked more than 1,700 U.S. adults about their experiences with smart mattresses in September, only 9% of respondents said they own one or intend to own one.
But when asked about interest in any of six specific smart mattress features, respondents changed their tunes. A majority of Americans said that they were interested in at least one of the common features of smart mattresses.
The most popular “smart” features? Temperature control, the ability to change the bed’s firmness, and the ability to make separate adjustments for each side of the bed.
On the flip-side, only about 1-in-10 respondents said they were interested in sleep-tracking and biometrics. Just 1-in-20 said they like the idea of an integrated alarm system, and only a tiny sliver said they were interested in smart home integration.
Interest Increases with Wealth, but Holds Firm Across Generations, Genders
In terms of general interest in smart mattresses, Gen X and Millennials led the way, with Gen Z not far behind. In fact, interest hovered at or above 60% among all respondents under age 55. Baby Boomers were the least interested, though it’s noteworthy that nearly half of respondents age 55 and older said that at least one of the six common smart mattress features had piqued their interest.
As might be expected, interest levels rise steadily alongside household income. Interest is evenly split among men and women, as well.
Light Sleepers Want Temperature, Firmness Adjustments
The amount of sleep that a person gets seems to play a role in what they want out of a mattress. People who get less sleep (less than six hours / night) tend to be more interested in temperature and firmness control, but less interested in being able to adjust each side of the bed.
Surprisingly, people who tend to get less sleep were also slightly less likely to be interested in sleep-tracking tech.
Similar patterns emerge when we look at marital status: single people are more likely than married couples or formerly married people to want firmness and temperature controls, but way less likely to care about separate bedside controls. Given that about half of U.S. adults in CivicScience’s database say they are currently married, that’s still a vast market. And besides, considering unmarried couples and other relationships, one in five ‘single’ people also said they’re interested in side-by-side control systems for their mattresses anyway.
Finally, it seems that those who have bought or intend to buy a mattress online are more than twice as likely as others to be interested in smart mattress features:
The bad news for smart mattress retailers is that, on the surface, only 9% of American adults have a smart mattress or intend to buy one. The bright side for these companies, though, is that people become really interested when they’re told specifically what the tech can do. Perhaps it would be wise for smart mattress manufacturers to focus on playing up their products’ temperature, firmness, and individual bedside controls.