Having Trouble Finding A Mattress During COVID-19? Here’s Why

If you’ve visited a mattress store lately, you may have noticed a shortage of mattresses or a longer-than-normal delay in receiving a mattress that you’ve ordered. You also may have noticed some price increases. Here’s why.


Shortage of Components

The COVID-19 virus outbreak has placed a strain on the global supply of nonwoven roll goods, as this material has been prioritized for the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, surgical gowns, and cleaning wipes.

This shortage of nonwoven roll goods has impacted the mattress industry, as this material is used as a backing for quilt and border panels, pillowtop construction, and also as the wrapping for fabric encased innerspring units.

All of this has led to a shortage of the parts needed to build mattresses, and some nonwoven and innerspring companies have started to ration their products. This means that some mattress manufacturers don’t have enough supplies to meet the demand of the orders that they currently have on file from retailers.


Demand Slam

Most mattress retailers were required to shut down across the country sometime in March, as they were not deemed part of the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the Department of Homeland Security. (Personally I disagree with this – let me know how non-essential good sleep is after going 48 hours without it.)

Most mattress stores were then allowed to conduct business sometime in May, depending upon the reopening plan of their state. The result was a flood of orders to mattress manufacturers from the pent-up demand during the mandated shutdown. Combine this barrage of mattress orders with the shortage of mattress supplies, and this has left many mattress companies woefully behind in production with a three to four week delay being commonplace.


Labor Shortage

Mattress companies and component suppliers were caught off guard by the spike in consumer demand. While many mattress manufacturers and suppliers kept their facilities operating during the shutdown, they did so at decreased capacity.  They’ve now attempted to call back their workforce to accelerate production, but many employees are choosing to stay at home. Some are remaining at home due to their fear of COVID-19, but many former employees related that they were making more money by staying at home and collecting the unemployment benefit under the CARES Act.

This labor shortage (and subsequent training of replacement employees), combined with the staggering of production to meet COVID-19 mandated safety guidelines, has hampered the ability of both component and completed mattress manufacturers to meet product demand.


Force Majeure

The shortage of mattress materials has led some mattress componentry suppliers and finished mattress manufacturers to declare a force majeure.

There has been a cost increase of 15%-20% for some mattress components, along with a rationing of these supplies. This price increase is too large for mattress manufacturers to absorb, so this material cost increase is being passed along by many mattress manufacturers to their retailers, which in turn is reflected by higher prices at sleep shops and furniture stores.

Suppliers are stating that the delay in production and price increases might last two to three months, which in reality probably means it will last at least three to six months.

So if you visit a mattress store and it takes a little longer than normal to receive your mattress, please be patient. There are true industry issues that are causing these delays. Here’s hoping things get back to normal sooner rather than later.