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Rise of the Sleep industry in India

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Sleep solutions business in India is witnessing growth, thanks to Indians waking up to the importance of good slumber

Mumbai: The pandemic served as a wake-up call compelling people to take their health and wellbeing seriously. Sleep is an important part of one’s fitness and people are paying more attention to it, leading to an increase in demand for sleep products.

“There has been a surge in demand for quality sleep products as people recognize the direct link between a good night’s sleep and overall health,” Dinesh Pratap Singh, co-founder, of Wooden Street said. “This convergence of factors continues to shape and drive growth in this sector.” The growth of the e-commerce sector in India and the emergence of several brands in the space too has significantly contributed to the sleep industry’s ascent.

The Pandemic’s Influence

In the post-pandemic period, there has been a growing awareness of the importance of sleep for overall health, leading to a surge in demand for sleep-related products and technologies to help individuals reclaim better sleep quality.

Sabina Bhanpurawala, chief executive officer and marketing head, Foam Home emphasized that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, sleep products emerged as the bedrock of health, much like immunity boosters to eye masks to white noise machines.

“When the pandemic hit, discussions about health, immunity, balanced lifestyles etc. took prominence. This was an eye opener that a mattress did far more than just fill the empty space over your bed,” she said.

“With lifestyles getting more hectic and stressful, the health and wellness market as a whole has seen an awakening in recent times, and sleep being at the epicentre has received much more attention,” she added.

The sleep solutions segment in India has expanded from merely offering beds and mattresses to include products as diverse as eye masks, ear plugs and white noise machines to sleep tracking and breathing devices, anti-snoring sprays and ergonomic pillows. A search for bestsellers in the sleep products category on reveals eye masks top the list followed by earplugs.

Consulting firm McKinsey’s research categorises sleep products and services into three groups:

Ambience optimization, including bedroom furnishings, mattresses, bedding, and environmental control tools like lighting and sound systems.

Routine modification, which involves sleep consulting, monitoring devices, smart alarms, sleepwear, dietary guidance, and meditation resources.

Therapeutic treatment, covering items like homoeopathic remedies, non-prescription sleep aids, prescription medications, diagnostic devices, and treatments for conditions like sleep apnea.

The report further notes that based on the growing awareness of the mental, physical, and economic costs of sleep insufficiency, consumers are increasingly looking for new solutions. “The benefits to be gained are real, and there’s little doubt that the sleep-health economy will offer robust investment opportunities for private equity firms and growth opportunities for their consumer-focused portfolio companies over the next several years,” the report said.

Dominance of Mattresses

In India, the sleep industry is dominated by mattresses, which constitute a significant portion of the market. According to a report by Mordor Intelligence, India Mattress Market has generated revenue of $223.4 million in 2023.

According to Uttam Malani, executive director of Centuary Mattress, the mattress market has been growing in the recent years.

“The rapidly expanding mattress market is a result of people’s growing understanding of the value of sleep and its positive effects on their health,” he said.

A Research and Markets report titled ‘India Mattress Market Outlook, 2020-2025’ expects the segment to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 17% between 2020-2025, driven by rising awareness about sleep quality and increased consumer incomes.

These figures seem insignificant in the context of a country with a population of 1.4 billion. This is because of a variety of factors such as the fact that 65% of the mattress market was unorganized as per a 2017 Modor Intelligence report, which means a lot of the sales don’t get recorded.

Furthermore, the product has a slow replacement cycle with mattresses being replaced typically around 12 years as per an ISPF survey.

Also, a large part of the country’s population is still rural and struggles to make ends meet according to Bhanpurwala.

“Sleep for this section is a luxury, it’s definitely not on the priority list. As for the Urban population, trends are changing but gradually,” she said.

However, according to her, the change has started and the demand for mattresses in the urban sector has increased supported by increasing online awareness on the importance of sleep along with plenty of options available. “This will definitely push the market upward,” she added.

Bhanpurawala emphasizes that with a boom in residential spaces and people buying new homes, mattress sales are definitely on the rise. “I don’t see the demand reducing anytime soon. In fact, the demand is what is pressurising players to develop more technologically advanced and high-quality bedding products,” she said.

Beds is another major product in this category. According to Statista, revenue in the beds market amounts to $25.59 million in 2023. The market is expected to grow annually at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.50% between 2023-2028.

Impact of Technology

Sleep is an area of intense research and in recent years technology around sleep and its products has evolved, leading to the introduction of tech-enabled sleep products like smart mattresses equipped with sensors that track sleep patterns. Sleep technology has empowered individuals to take control of their sleep health like never before.

“The Indian market has become more receptive to innovative sleep technologies. Earlier, traditional mattresses dominated the market, but now consumers are exploring advanced options,” Harshil Salot co-founder, The Sleep Company said.

There are products being offered with memory foam, ergonomic shapes and even with temperature control capabilities. Centuary Mattress for instance offers mattresses with copper gel technology that keep one cool. The brand also offers other tech-enabled products. “Centuary Ortho Active and Spine Support are among the 2 mattresses which are a hit among customers” shared Malani.

According to Malani, sleep-tracking devices, sleep-monitoring apps, and other digital solutions have gained popularity.

“Consumers want data-driven insights into their sleep patterns, which is driving the development of more sophisticated sleep tech products. The emphasis on ergonomics and tailored sleep experiences is a clear trend,” he added.

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