(Instagram, @simbasleep)
(Instagram, @simbasleep)
  • New online companies are cutting out the usual frustrations with buying a mattress: especially  dealing with commission-hungry salespeople, arranging delivery, and anxiety over making the right decision.
  • They are selling a mattress that arrives in a box. 
  • South Africa is finally catching on.
  • We look at some of your options.
  • For more stories, go toBusiness Insider SA.

South Africa has been slow to catch onto the trend. Until now the market is biased towards the traditional model, and international mattress in a box firms have been slow to arrive. But several local companies have started producing their own iterations, and at least one international company has, in a way, launched in South Africa.

Most people spend about one third of their lives sleeping. This makes purchasing a mattress an important, yet undoubtedly mundane, decision.

Our need for sleep also makes the mattress industry a particularly lucrative one.

But for consumers, the industry is fraught with complexities, deliberate and otherwise, that make purchasing a new mattress at best a necessary evil, at worst, a particularly expensive, frustrating, and difficult experience.

Read: Buying a mattress? Avoid these tricks South African companies use to get you to spend more

It’s also a business that, until recently, relied on an outdated model of large retail floorspace, middlemen, and price-inflating commissions.

But as established markets have grown increasingly concerned about health and wellness, so too have mattress markets seen a revitalisation of sorts, in the form of scrappy mattress startups.

In just half a decade, companies like Casper, Helix, Tuft & Needle, and Saatva have effectively made sleeping surfaces cool again.

These predominantly online companies cut out four of the biggest mattress frustrations - visiting brick and mortar stores, dealing with commission-hungry salespeople, arranging delivery, and anxiety over making the right decision.

They’ve done this by pioneering, and then aggressively marketing, “beds in a box” that arrive in a container in just a few days, with extended money-back “comfort guarantees”.

Social media influencers have helped spread the excitement - many, including Kylie Jenner, have been paid to endorse these products, usually by filming themselves opening their boxed mattresses.

And it’s hard not to revel in the charm of a mattress, that was until recently a hulking sandwich of pocket coils, cooling gels, and bamboo fibres lugged into homes by a crew of sweaty delivery men, unfurling quietly and without aid on a bed frame.

These mattress startups have been cashing in, too. Casper recently raised another $1 billion in funding, which values the company at more than $15 billion.

Several local companies have started producing their own version, and at least one international company has, in a way, launched in South Africa.

Here’s how they stack up.

Sloom

(Instagram, @sloom.co.za)
(Instagram, @sloom.co.za)

Sloom is a South African mattress in a box brand that started operations in 2016. According to their website, their goal was to simplify the mattress buying experience and sell easily shippable mattresses direct to the public.

They also claim to be South Africa’s first “comfort-adjustable mattress-in-a-box”. Their model allows users to adjust the layers of the mattress to select comfort level.

Mattress options

Sloom currently only offers one mattress for sale on their website, called the Original. It’s an all foam mattress with adjustable layers.

According to the website, “If you’re not sure what mattress level works best for you… you can change it at the comfort of your own home.” It arrives in a box measuring 190cm x 30cm x 30cm.

Cost

Single - R5,000

3/4 - R6,000

Double - R7,000

Double Extra Length - R7,700

Queen - R8,000

Queen Extra Length - R8,800

King - R9,000

King Extra Length - R9,900 

Maximum weight

 150kg per person

Comfort Guarantee 

100 night sleep trial, claimable between day 60 and 100. Free pickup and refund.

Delivery

Free delivery in two to five days.


Simba

(Instagram, @simbasleep)
(Instagram, @simbasleep)

Simba is a mattress company based in the United Kingdom, and available locally via online retailers.

The parent company started selling traditional mattresses in 1979, and has since developed a foam pocket spring mattress that is available to order online and ships in a box.

It has a limited presence in South Africa, and is selling their mattresses through Takealot.

Mattress options

Simba sells just one type of mattress, called The Simba Mattress. It has “A unique combination of 1,900 conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam.” It arrives in a box measuring 105cm x 105cm x 50cm.

Cost 

Single - R5499

Double - R7299

Queen - R7999

Maximum weight 

114kg per person.

Comfort Guarantee

 None advertised locally. But according to Simba's international terms and conditions on their local website, if you are not entirely happy with your mattress or change your mind within 100 days of receiving a Simba mattress, “they will collect it at no extra cost and give you a full refund”.

Delivery

Free delivery within two days, via Takealot.


Genie

(Instagram, @geniebeds) v
(Instagram, @geniebeds)

Genie is a South African business that has developed their version of a mattress in a box. The company manufactures a range of complimentary sleep products, including portable bed bases and pillows, that they sell through traditional retailers.

Mattress options

Genie sells just one type of mattress, called The Genie. According to the website, it’s “a natural latex, high density foam mattress with individually pocketed springs”. It arrives in a box measuring 105cm x 47cm x 47cm. 

Cost

Genie follows a more traditional approach to mattress sales that allows for markups on its bed in a box product, thus allowing middlemen to markup the price. According to the Genie website, these are the recommended retail prices:

Single - R5549

Double - R7565

Queen - R8275

Queen Extra Length - R8875

King - R9785

King Extra Length - R10750

Maximum weight 

200kg per person.

Comfort Guarantee

100 night trial “risk free”. According to the website, if you aren’t happy with your Genie within the 100 nights, they will come and pick it up again. 

Delivery

Dependent on individual resellers


Meelu

(Instagram, @meelusleep)
(Instagram, @meelusleep)

Meelu is a South African mattress in a box company founded in 2017. The owners established the business after being inspired by the success of similar products abroad.

They worked to develop a foam mattress that can be packed into a box, sold and delivered, without the need for a middleman.

Mattress options

Meelu only sells the Meelu Mattress. They claim the mattress is “The perfect combination of comfort and support.” It has four foam layers and a zip-and-wash removable cover. The biggest option arrives in a box measuring 190cm x 30cm x 30 cm. 

Cost

 Single - R5499

Single Extra Length - R5999

Double - R6499

Double Extra Length - R6999

Queen - R7299

Queen Extra Length - R7999

King - R8499

King Extra Length - R8999

Comfort Guarantee

100 day comfort guarantee. According to the website, should you not be entirely satisfied with your purchase you may return your mattress to them within 100 days from date of delivery.

Delivery

Free delivery in three to five working days.


My Beddie

My Beddie is a local mattress in a box company founded in 2017. Their focus is on providing a local convenient mattress solution that’s comfortable and affordable.

They operate on a hybrid model in that they sell the mattresses through three specific online retailers, and via their own website.

Mattress options

My Beddie offers a single mattress option called the myBeddie Plush. It has individual pocket springs for weight distribution, and a layer of “massage foam”. The biggest option arrives in a box measuring 184cm x 30cm x 30cm. 

Cost

Single - R1999

Double - R2999

Queen - R3399

King - R3999

Maximum weight

120kg per person

Guarantee 

100 night sleep trial available, at a cost. According to the website, you can try their 100 night sleep trial and return the mattress for a full refund if you aren’t completely happy, provided you paid for this at checkout. The sleep trial add-on costs between R450 for a single mattress, up to R1000 for the king-size mattress.

Delivery 

Minimum delivery fee of R200.

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