The specialty sleep market has been in a sort of slump lately because hybrids are gaining popularity in the market. However, we certainly can't write off the memory foam segment, because some memory foam lines maintain positive traction in the market. They also have strong proponents, according to a secret shopper study that was commissioned earlier in the year in the super-competitive Phoenix market.

We were so interested in that study, but we were particularly interested in a study performed conducted in September 2013. In the study, secret shoppers between 30 and 50 years old asked the retail sales associates at different stores what type of bed was recommended if price was no object for getting the best night's sleep. The majority of the sales associates (85%) recommended a specific mattress, and 88% of the sales associates recommended a memory foam bed. Only 6% of the associates recommended an innerspring bed, and 6% recommended an airbed.

We had no clue that memory foam beds would crush the competition, and we were also astonished that latex beds, the favorite of many bedding veterans, did not receive any votes of support from the retail associates. It is highly significant that the retail associates in a variety of different stores recommend memory foam beds, because sales associate recommendation exerts tremendous influence during the mattress selection process.

We know that price was no object for their shoppers, and that it might be an object for you because many memory foam beds retail for over $1,000. However, the sales associates obviously believe in benefits of a quality memory foam mattress are worth the price. All of the sales associates interrogated by the secret shoppers confirmed that memory foam mattresses conform to your body yet still retain their original shape, and 70% of sales associates said that memory foam beds give consistent support and won't sag. Almost as many associates (65%) said that memory foam beds are durable and outlast other beds by twice as long.

It is apparent that retail sales associates are solidly in favor of memory foam mattresses by an astounding majority. We were overwhelmed by their positive responses!