Other Price Increases in Raw Materials

I am sure some of you have already read the news on the cost of certain raw materials going up in price, latex being one which will affect many higher quality sleep sets (as latex foam is one of the most ideal materials for building a good mattress).

There is a growing middle class in China that is wanting higher quality products for themselves so we are seeing less exportation of certain materials, and the importation of other materials into China…all of which will raise prices for these goods.

Cotton prices have essentially doubled, my family runs a high end retail store and we do a lot of bedding products, prices on high quality cotton sheets have just gone up substantially. Note this does not mean the finished product has doubled in price, the cost of manufacturing long staple egyptian cotton fibres has always been substantially higher than other cotton fabrics and has long been a reason that cotton prices vary so much, the manufacturing cost has not risen.

Down prices have gone up considerably as a lot of the lower quality down produced in China is now staying in the country. Its getting harder and harder for companies here to even procure materials. Down prices have gone up a little bit.

Wool prices have also gone up a LOT this year. It blows my mind that we will pay so much money for New Zealand wool when there is a lot of sheep farmers in Canada and the US that basically throw the wool away because no one wants to buy it, and the wool we farm here is well suited for mattresses, it is springier and heavier than finer merino wools, (will not pack down as much).

With the cost of bedding and some luxury mattresses that use natural materials going up because of these things…makes me wonder why we basically gave up on the textile industry in North America.

Hi Budgy,

I’ve been continuing some of my previous research into Latex sources and in particular Talalay and it’s been quite interesting what I’ve been discovering. So far there are 6 confirmed and quite large sources of Talalay mattress cores that I know of and there are quite likely more that I haven’t confirmed yet. All of them are exporting and some of them I have confirmed have reached North America and are in Talalay latex mattresses. There are also quite a few “variants” of the more traditional Dunlop and Talalay latex methods that are being produced and exported as well. As you mention, Asian demand is also increasing which doesn’t help the prices we pay here.

I am also discovering more manufacturers who are producing mattresses in partnership with Chinese Factories in an effort to reduce costs as material prices are rising. There is a growing “connectedness” on both sides of both oceans in the mattress industry and the threads of alliances and partnerships lead to many many countries and are sometimes rather difficult to follow. I plan to post about this a little more over time as my research continues.

What you are saying about the wool is strange to me as well … and a little sad. I wonder how much of this is due to the difficulties of new supply sources breaking into an industry that seems to have very strong ties with established connections and interests … even at the expense sometimes of better value. I know that the area of natural fibers and fabrics is a specialty for you and there are not many people I know who have as much information “on the tip of their tongue” as you do.

Maybe it’s a good time to go into the wool business lol.


Hey Phoenix,

It is interesting how many different latex producers their really are. Global demand keeps going up and it will probably not slow down with the growth of the natural movement in general. IMO this is overall still worth it over the other costs of synthetic latex production and polyurethane foams, from an environmental and political aspect.

It does make me a little sad about the wool too. I was told recently by a sheep farmer that they are only being offered perhaps 40 cents a pound for raw sheep’s wool…it usually costs 5 dollars (minimum) to have one sheep sheared. The reason New Zealand wool is so inexpensive is because you have so many sheep and the shearers are very talented, the farmers basically do this work themselves, I have seen video of sheep shearing competitions…its not like that here at all. I don’t enough near enough about farming to know what needs to be done about this issue. But it is wasteful basically most sheep raised in North America are raised just for meat.

Just wanted everyone to know poly foam, (foam, HR Foam, Memory Foam) went up 12% on May 2nd and the foam companies are planing a double digit % increase for June.
FYI, in general foam is the most used and highest cost part of a mattress. When prices go up this much you will see higher retail prices very soon. Also watch out for companies cutting the quality of the foam in there beds to avoid a price increase.