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Today we are going to take the time to discuss some of the reasons that mattresses cost so much money.
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Key mattresses components have relied on polyurethane foam for decades for their comfort and padding. In days past foam was cheap and oil costs were low hovering between $10.00 and $20.00 a barrel. Mattresses prices have gone up as the increased cost of goods composed from crude oil has hit record highs. A barrel of crude oil as of 4/2/08 rose to $118.30 tripling its wholesale cost in just the last few years.
In addition, the industry still has not recovered from the TDI shortage after Hurricane Rita damaged the Lyondell Chemical plant, which permanently closed down production at its Lake Charles, Plant. Toluene diisocyanate (TDI) is an isocyanate used in the manufacturing of polyurethane’s designed for flexible foam purposes. The result of the closed facility was foam allotments and increased foam prices to mattress manufactures.
Shipping the raw materials needed to make a mattress has also become more expensive. Something mattress consumers may have overlooked is that there are several points in time where the mattress will be transported by diesel trucks. Trucks operating on fuel costing at the time of this deadline around $4.00 a gallon when just a couple of years ago fuel was 1/3 that price.
It’s also important to understand that transporting by truck takes place throughout several different points of mattress production. It starts with the raw materials being shipped to the factory for assembly, from the factory to the retailer, and from the retailer to the customer’s bedroom. Some might joke that these mattresses already have a lot of mileage on them.
This new law forced many smaller manufactures to shut their doors when they were unable to comply with the required performance standards. This has resulted in fewer competitors in the mattress manufacturing industry. The government’s new mattress standards were designed to limit the heat discharge during a mattress fire and save approximately 350 lives a year. The additional costs forced many smaller mattress manufacturers out of business. With less competition, giant mattress companies have greater rules over the mattress industry and are able to make more money for their investors.
Another way the new law has affected mattress prices is the forced expense of new research and development along with mandatory prototype mattress testing at the manufacturer’s expense. Our high-priced mattress nightmare continues for the mattress engineers. Mattress manufacturers must be able to trace each mattress through the assembly process from beginning to end via a required one-mile long paper trail.
Most small mattress manufactures were already working on a shoestring budget. Obvious additional work comes from 2 areas; added production complications, administrative paperwork. Both necessitate more attention, time, and more maintenance resulting in higher payroll costs. Where will these costs be covered? The answer is really hard to say because the law itself will do little if anything to generate growth in retail mattress sales volume.
With demand running high and supply running low it is no wonder we keep seeing steel prices rising so fast. Most mattresses and box springs consist of approximately 40 percent makeup from steel coil spring and border rod construction. The wholesale cost in recent days from steel suppliers has seen a jump of nearly 20%.
The cost to build retail-building space has risen and associated rent payments to make the related mortgage payment of ownership. It takes a lot of square footage to display mattresses.
You get a high-priced mattress.
What do you think about current mattress prices?