October 4, 2013 | Comments (4)

The Truth about Body Impressions

In the mattress industry, the question of whether body impressions are a significant issue is a subject of debate.  But amongst consumers, it’s a different story.  For the many people who own a mattress that has body impressions or are looking for one that won’t develop them, there is no debate whatsoever: body impressions are an issue.

In the thousands of mattress reviews that have been posted on GoodBed, durability is by far the #1 category of complaints, and is the focus of over 60% of negative reviews.  Within this category, body impressions lead the way as the top durability-related complaint. When mattress shoppers go on the internet to research (as almost everyone does), this is what they see.

If there is one problem that needs solving in the world of mattress manufacturing today, it’s clear that body impressions are it.  And yet, the industry remains focused on marginal problems like ‘sleeping hot’ (a far less common complaint than body impressions).  Body impressions are the elephant in the room, however it seems that very few people are even willing to acknowledge its presence.

Common Rhetoric About Body Impressions

Instead of addressing the body impression issue, here are some things we frequently hear said by mattress companies about body impressions:

  • “All mattresses get body impressions.”
  • “Body impressions are the way that the mattress learns and conforms to your body.”
  • “Every mattress will get a body impression, so you shouldn’t complain about them.”

These messages just aren’t resonating with consumers.  It’s one thing to tell a person that body impressions are normal.  This implies that they are typical (sad, but true) and to be expected (also true for some beds, although only if you’re “in the know”).  However, to claim that body impressions are in some way unavoidable, let alone desirable, is another matter altogether.

Here’s what we wish mattress companies would do:

1) Stop claiming that body impressions are unavoidable.

Most people have owned a mattress at some point in the past that did NOT get body impressions!  Nearly all adults are old enough to remember well-made two-sided mattresses, especially before the dawn of pillow-tops.  These mattresses typically lasted for 10 or more years without showing any kind of visible body impression.  If mattresses could be made that way in the past, we all know they can certainly be made that way now.

Net, you are only discrediting yourself by saying that “all mattresses” get body impressions.

2) Stop pretending body impressions are desirable.

In thousands of mattress reviews, we have never had a single person praise their mattress for its body impressions. Here are some examples of things that no consumer has ever said on our site:

  • “Thanks to this great body impression in my new mattress, it’s so difficult to move that I hardly ever fall out of bed any more!”
  • “My spouse and I used to argue about which of us was on the other person’s side.  We love that our new mattress has a huge ridge down the middle of it — now we always know where the dividing line is!”
  • “With my old bed, I would constantly forget which side of the bed I prefer to sleep on.  Luckily, with my new bed, I can see my favorite spot from across the room!”

The reality is that no matter what spin you put on it, most people do NOT WANT body impressions in their mattress.  They may want (or think they want) the comfort layers that lead to body impressions, but they most definitely don’t want the body impressions.

3) Start making more mattresses that don’t get body impressions!

Now is the time for good companies to step up and let your flag fly high.  Consumers want to buy quality products from companies that stand behind them.  Thanks to the internet, there is now a massive increase in transparency that makes it much more clear which companies really are making good products and standing behind them, and which ones aren’t.

For good companies, this is exactly the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.  More than ever before, you can compete on quality by selling products that really are great, rather than competing on price by selling products that seem great in the showroom but under-deliver in the home.


We encourage the leaders of this industry to reveal themselves by embracing this challenge and placing an emphasis on quality that puts an end to body impressions, once and for all.

For our part, we promise to provide the independent platform through which this quality can be demonstrated and proven to consumers, so that you will be properly rewarded for your efforts.

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