In the Duxiana boutique on the Upper East Side, the Swedish manufacturer of “high performance sleep systems,” since it pertains to its mattresses, provides just three versions to test. On a recent day there, Norwegian electro-pop played at the small, tranquil space, while a salesman took 20 minutes to describe the differences in structure and feel between the beds.
A similar experience can be had in SoHo, at Hästens, another luxury Swedish mattress manufacturer that delivers a curtained-off “sleep spa” for its collection of 10 beds, where shoppers could do this awkward lie-on-the-bed-for-10-seconds-with-your-shoes-on thing in tranquil surroundings.
A new manufacturer wishes to get rid of the issue of choice entirely, by changing the way people shop for mattresses. Earlier this year, Casper, a New York-based startup, introduced one, one-mattress-fits-all merchandise in standard sizes which may be purchased online and ships within a box.
Philip Krim, the corporation’s chief executive, said he was motivated by hotel beds. “When you check into a hotel, they do not ask you, do you require medium, company, plush-firm or plush-soft?” “There’s 1 mattress.”
He added: “You do not need 80 unique choices. You do not have to spend $5,000 on a mattress.”
The Casper mattress is made from latex and memory foams and sells for $850 for a queen. To make customers feel comfortable purchasing a mattress they haven’t examined in individual, the business provides a 100-day trial period and a simple return policy: If you do not like the mattress, then the firm will send a courier to eliminate it for a complete refund. (In the bedding chains, there’s generally a sizable return fee, and luxury retailers such as Duxiana do not allow returns.)
“I think sleep hasn’t been top-of-mind for customers,” Mr. Krim said. “And yet, a mattress is purchased in a confusing and antiquated experience. We did not see anyone talking more basically about the item.”