Americans typically have a budget-conscious approach when shopping for linens, citing price as the biggest purchase influencer. However, recent launches of bed linens that incorporate added features may encourage increased spend in the category.

The bed linens segment experienced gains of nearly 5% from 2013-15, helping to boost category sales despite a struggling decorative linens segment. Since price is the most common purchase influencer, low costs are likely slowing market growth as consumers seek savings whenever possible. One area where consumers are most willing to splurge on linens, however, is in the bedroom, providing opportunities to position higher priced bed linens as a form of luxury and a way for consumers to treat themselves.

Who knows, premium linens could be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for that special someone…

A few brands taking advantage of premium bed linens include:

  • Need/Want officially launched its Smart Bedding sheets in January 2016. Smart Bedding’s model is fairly simple: the bedsheet snaps into a duvet cover to reduce time spent making the bed.
  • Malouf launched a line of memory foam pillows that incorporate scents such as chamomile, lavender, and peppermint.
  • Protect-A-Bed debuted its Therm-A-Sleep line at the winter Las Vegas Market in January 2016, which incorporates thermo-regulating technology. The brand also debuted its Nordic Chill fabric, which provides a cooling effect.
  • REM-Fit’s Smart Pillow incorporates a SnoreAlarm and SmartWake features that use vibrations to decrease snoring and to gently wake up the user in the morning. The pillow’s SnoreScore provides the user with information on how often they snore, and its REM-Fit Audio functions as a built-in sound machine.

What we think

Linens manufacturers have primarily relied on celebrity lines or celebrity endorsements in order to differentiate “premium” products versus “regular” ones. The inclusion of more complex benefits and premium offerings can serve as a new method to distinguish products within the category. New linens purchases are primarily driven by the need/desire to replace existing linens that are worn-out. However, the new stream of product innovation may peak consumer interest, encouraging adults to make more frequent linens purchases in search of the newest and coolest products.

92% of home linens consumers are interested in linens that improve sleep quality.

The incorporation of relaxing scents, cooling capabilities and vibration technology into pillows should appeal to the 92% of home linens consumers who express interest in linens that improve sleep quality. What’s more, Mintel Trend Data Creators explores consumer interest in using devices to track and monitor their own behavior, indicating pillows or linens with advanced monitoring features that provide feedback on snoring and/or sleeping habits should appeal to Americans. We expect continued innovation in home linens as brands capitalize on consumers ever-evolving needs in the home.

Margie Nanninga is a Home & Personal Care Analyst at Mintel and a member of the US Reports team. Her diverse background, which includes qualitative research and data analysis, allows her to spot patterns and trends in the market and create actionable recommendations across home and personal care topics.

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