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The COVID-19 Mattress Shortage

September 4, 2020  ·  7 min read

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What’s Causing It & How We’re Continuing to Thrive 

If you happen to have been in any other mattress stores lately, you may have noticed that most big retailers are suffering from a major mattress shortage. Wait times for receiving a mattress in these stores have extended from a week or two, to six-eight weeks, to some stores stating that they cannot guarantee certain mattresses will arrive until after December 2020. 

Texas Mattress Makers, however, has been able to maintain our standard delivery times during this crisis. 

Like many other industries, the mattress industry has felt the effects of COVID-19. But while Texas Mattress Makers is certainly not immune to the seismic shifts affecting the world, we have weathered this storm fairly well thus far to keep major delays from impacting our customers. 

Here’s how Texas Mattress Makers has managed to remain stable and meet our customers’ needs during the pandemic, while so many mattress manufacturers and retailers around the country are struggling. (Hint: A lot of it has to do with Houstonians!)   

What’s Creating the COVID-19 Mattress Shortage?

There is no one main cause of the current mattress shortage (outside of the pandemic, of course). Rather, there are several reasons that the mattress industry is experiencing such drastic levels of disruption. 

1. A type of material used in the creation of mattresses is needed for medical supplies 

Nonwoven textiles — fabric-like material made by binding together fibers and filaments — are used in the manufacturing of many different parts of your mattress, including the wrapping for pocketed springs. Nonwoven textiles are also used to make essential personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospitals, including surgical gowns, wipes, and the now omnipresent facemasks. 

The demand for nonwoven textiles has skyrocketed as the coronavirus continues to spread, resulting in shortages for mattress manufacturers. Companies who do not know their suppliers and who did not or could not plan ahead are now struggling to acquire the materials they need to make their mattresses, resulting in multi-month delays. These circumstances are especially true for companies who primarily source their materials outside of the US.  

2. Many factories are facing shutdowns and/or labor shortages

For better or worse, it’s impossible to manufacture mattresses virtually. When “non-essential” business closed down in May 2020, mattress factory workers all over the country were sent home for their own safety. 

Many factories were initially closed (or working on shift hours) but still accepting orders, creating an extensive backlog. Meanwhile, manufacturers or retail suppliers who received their inventory from abroad began to struggle when worldwide trade came to a grinding halt. 

The fallout from this necessary precaution has also had major effects on many mattress factory employees:

  • Some employees who were no longer earning a steady paycheck had to seek work elsewhere. 
  • Others who wished to return to work after businesses re-opened couldn’t because their children’s schools are still closed, and they cannot afford childcare. 
  • Still others have decided not to return to work because they are making more under the CARES Act than they would while employed. 
  • And finally, the stresses of peculiarities of the pandemic have increased cases of simple absenteeism (staying away from work without cause).

Add to all this actual outbreaks of COVID-19 in factories to these already difficult circumstances and it’s easy to see why so many mattress factories are struggling to keep production running smoothly.   

3. With more people staying at home, many families are investing in comfort  

Brick and mortar stores saw a significant drop in in-store sales as the nation self-quarantined. Once people grew more accustomed to staying at home, however, online sales began picking up. In some cases, as with furniture and mattress stores, they didn’t just pick up — they surged.   

Stuck at home, bored, and presumably uncomfortable, more Americans are shopping for mattresses online than ever before. When placed on top of material and labor shortages as well as the additional demand for more hospital beds, this uptick in interest has contributed to an increasing backlog of mattress orders.  

How Has Texas Mattress Makers Stayed Afloat During the Pandemic? 

Just as there are many reasons for the current mattress shortage, there are also many reasons why Texas Mattress Makers has (for the most part) managed to avoid these shortages. 

To begin with, Texas Mattress Makers has close ties to our suppliers. These close relationships with US-based suppliers helped us prepare in advance for the shortage of nonwoven textiles and stay ahead of this issue. While we have experienced some delays (especially with regard to our latex products and adjustable bedframes these have been minimal compared to what they could have been). 

In fact, we have dedicated a portion of our production line and our supplies to make masks for our first responders and we have given over 120,000 masks to first responders in the Houston area alone, in addition to any customers who may need them when they come to our locations.

Additionally, since we hand make all of our mattresses, we know and are grateful for everyone who works in our company — including those involved in the production process. We are a close-knit company that takes care of its own. Our commitment to safety during COVID-19 has helped to prevent outbreaks and keep both our employees and customers healthy. 

Finally, the Houston community has been an incredible source of support for our stores during the pandemic. No matter how diligent Texas Mattress Makers is about staying ahead of the mattress shortage, we would be nowhere without the continued support of our customers. We’ve always been proud to be part of this wonderful city, and these past few months have only made us more grateful that we call Houston, Texas home.  

A Big Thank You from Texas Mattress Makers to You 

We would like to thank the greater Houston community for continuing to go to Texas Mattress Makers for your mattress needs. We’ve been serving you for over four decades now, and your support allows us to keep doing what we do best: helping Houstonians find the mattresses that will give them the best night’s sleep possible.

Whether you have recently visited us in one of our showroom locations or purchased a mattress online — thank you.

If you’re in the market for a new mattress currently, Texas Mattress Makers is here to help you get the rest you need during this stressful time. 

You can browse our selection of mattresses online by either comfort level, mattress type, mattress size, or budget and chat with an expert online if you have questions, or visit us in-person. Every customer who visits our showrooms will be given a complimentary mask and disposable sheet pillow protector for their use while testing mattresses. 

As always, thank you, and we look forward to hearing from you!

More Beducation from Texas Mattress Makers: 

Mattress 101

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