Ever since Casper’s bed-in-a-box mattress model launched in 2014 with a VC-fueled growth engine, the direct-to-consumer market for something we all use nightly has exploded. 

Today there are about 175 direct-to-consumer mattress brands, accounting for 12% of the $16.5 billion mattress industry. In 2018, a whopping 45% of mattresses were bought online.

Despite such a crowded field, Loom & Leaf and Zenhaven, the anchor offerings from online luxury mattress brand Saatva, have managed to stand out — something unexpected given the slogan emblazoned across their website: “This is not a bed in a box.”

That frankness is indicative of Saatva’s approach, which eschews the digital marketing hyper-focus typical of competitors in favor of simplicity and slow-but-steady growth. 

It’s not just a cheaper alternative to brick-and-mortar, though. It’s a higher quality direct-to-consumer contender. But unlike online leader Casper, the target consumer for Saatva’s Loom & Leaf or Zenhaven models is less likely to be a casual podcast listener. Instead, their growth has been strongest among those previously willing to pony up the minimum $2,000 for a Tempur-Pedic or Sleep Number mattress. 

One aspect that goes into these costs is Saatva’s white-glove delivery service. To preserve the luxury-quality materials of its products, the brand hand-delivers and installs each of its memory foam mattresses — and even disposes of old ones — rather than smushing them into shipping boxes like other direct-to-consumer players. The company currently contracts with 155 delivery companies around the U.S. for this service.

However, the Loom & Leaf model is not for the consumer looking for a fully sustainable mattress. Though Loom & Leaf utilizes 30% eco-friendly materials, such as natural thistle as a flame retardant and organic cotton in its coverings, its mattresses are not 100% organic. The company claims that making their affordable luxury-level mattresses entirely out of sustainable materials would make them cost-prohibitive for consumers.

Saatva does offer a greener mattress, however. Loom & Leaf’s sister brand Zenhaven is made of 100% natural American Talalay latex and 100% organic New Zealand wool. The environmentally-friendly option is a bit more pricey though. A queen model costs around $400 more than Loom & Leaf’s $1,499 price tag, but it’s a price that’s worth it for consumers looking to sleep well knowing that their mattress is good for the planet.

Launched in 2010 as a bootstrap operation by founders Ron Rudzin and Ricky Joshi, Saatva sought to disrupt the luxury mattress industry with an affordable direct-to-consumer alternative to other retail staples like Tempur-Pedic or Sleep Number. It aims to continue to be a conscious alternative that makes good on the direct-to-consumer promise of lower costs by cutting out the brick-and-mortar retailers. 

Saatva took in more than $200 million in revenue in 2017 and is on track to hit $800 million to $1 billion within the next five years. From there, an IPO may not be far off.

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