New Pillows Have Features That Consumers Are Sure to Covet

With the size of the market and consumer interest growing, pillows have become a critical part of the sleep system purchase.

Bedding makers are expanding the segment by blending technological advances to offer feature-filled products.

BY JULIE A. PALM

pillows

You can’t lug a mattress with you when you travel, but we all know people who can’t sleep in a hotel room or relative’s house unless they’ve hauled along their favorite pillow. A good pillow—whether that’s a bun of resilient foam or a more squishable, huggable fiber-filled version—is integral to a good night’s sleep. Ideally—and most certainly when people are sleeping in their own beds—pillows should work in concert with the mattress to provide proper body alignment and create a comfortable, supportive sleep environment, say sleep products manufacturers.

As a matter of geography, pillows cover roughly 20% to 25% of the surface of the mattress, but some pillow makers contend they contribute as much as 50% to the sleep experience. Those people schlepping pillows to their mother-in-law’s house likely agree.

“Consumers are becoming more attuned to thinking of a sleep system that includes both a mattress and a pillow,” says Rob O’Neill, vice president of merchandising for Fashion Bed Group, part of Leggett & Platt Inc. in Carthage, Missouri.

Kimberly Fisher, president and chief operating officer of Talalay Global, headquartered in Shelton, Connecticut, describes the pillow category as “near and dear” to her company.

“We make thousands and thousands of pillows a week and ship them globally,” she says “There are roughly 300 million people in the United States. Not everyone sleeps on their own mattress, but if you think about it, almost everyone has two pillows on their bed, sometimes as many as four. That’s a lot of pillows to supply. The pillow market is huge.”

Given the size of the market and increasing consumer interest in the value of a pillow, makers of both mattresses and sleep accessories are building up their lines—often by borrowing technologies from other products they make—to offer feature-filled pillows. And consumers appreciate the technological innovations, if they are authentic, says Dan Schecter, senior vice president of Richmond, Virginia-based Carpenter Co.

“The consumer today is smarter than ever so when you talk about advancements they need to be true advancements that offer health and wellness or other benefits,” he says. “Consumers don’t appreciate hooey.”

Don’t leave without a pillow

Understanding the importance of the mattress and pillow working in conjunction, many of the pillow producers BedTimes interviewed strive to offer mattress retailers an enticing array of pillows that consumers can purchase right along with their new bed sets. The goal is to prevent shoppers from going home and sullying that fresh bed with old, worn-out pillows, a process Dan Baker likens to “buying a new car and putting old tires on it.”

“Buying new pillows is part of buying a new sleep system. They work together to provide proper support and alignment,” says Baker, executive vice president of sales for North America for St. Louis-based Glideaway.

Pillow makers also want to help stop the loss of sales their mattress dealers experience when consumers spring for new pillows, but buy them later from the discounter down the street. This is a significant issue: A 2016 consumer survey from the Better Sleep Council, the consumer-education arm of the International Sleep Products Association, shows about a third of consumers bought new pillows (but not necessarily from the same retailer) at the time they bought a new bed set. Baker says Glideaway’s research indicates nearly two-thirds of consumers will buy new pillows within two weeks of purchasing a mattress. If they’re buying pillows days or weeks later, chances are they aren’t buying them from a mattress dealer, he says. But the BSC research shows that more than half of consumers are open to buying pillows from the same retailer who sells them a mattress. Retailers just need to give them a reason to do so.

the quest comfort curved glideaway pillow pillows
The Quest, a fiber-filled pillow, is one of the latest introductions from St. Louis-based Glideaway. It features the company’s Comfort Curve design, which is shaped to conform to the neck and shoulders.

“By building in more consumer value, providing great comfort and support, and offering health and wellness features through technical textiles that don’t wear out or stop working over the natural life of the pillow, we’re giving consumers reasons to purchase from a specialty mattress retailer rather than a big box,” says Sean Bergman, chief marketing officer for PureCare in Fairfield, New Jersey.

Getting consumers to think “mattress retailer” when they need a new pillow also helps dealers benefit from the brisk pillow replacement cycle. According to the BSC research, consumers replace their pillows every 2.8 years—the quickest rate for any sleep accessory other than sheets, which means more frequent and repeat business from pillow shoppers.

Let’s look at some of the latest technologies, as well as other notable trends in pillow components and construction.

PureCare is built around Celliant energy-recovery technology pillow box pillows
The newest pillow group from Fairfield, New Jersey-based PureCare is built around Celliant energy-recovery technology.

No, it’s not getting hot in here

We can’t write an article about sleep products these days without talking about cooling and this one will be no exception. Most memory foam pillows today feature cooling gels, pinhole core ventilation, mesh covers and other techniques and materials designed to increase airflow, reduce moisture buildup and keep the pillow feeling cool over the course of the night.

“When you get into bed, you create a microclimate that’s hot and humid. It gets uncomfortable but also creates a fertile ground for moisture, mold and dust mites,” Schecter says. “What do you do when you get hot at night? You throw a leg out or flip the pillow but that creates a microawakening. Anything we can do to improve the microclimate eliminates an unnatural awakening for a better night’s sleep.” Carpenter employs a number of technologies, including Outlast phase-change material, to regulate pillow temperatures.

iso-cool carpenter co. pillow
Iso-Cool pillows from Richmond, Virginia-based Carpenter Co. have memory foam cores containing Outlast.

Logan, Utah-based Malouf unveiled a cool-to-the-touch CarbonCool + Omniphase pillow, part of its Z brand, at the Winter Las Vegas Market in January. The memory foam pillow gets its chill from an infusion in the foam itself of both graphite and Omni-phase, a proprietary phase-change material, plus another application of Omniphase on the surface and a mesh cover made with Tencel. The pillow surface stays between 87 degrees F and 91 degrees F, a range Malouf says is ideal for deep sleep. It retails for about $199 in queen size. “It was a huge hit at market,” says Jake Neeley, marketing director. “We demonstrated the CarbonCool + Omniphase compared to another memory foam pillow and people could feel the difference immediately. It’s a unique product that sells itself.”

PureCare has had success with its SUB-0° pillow series, a name that neatly telegraphs the cooling properties. The pillows feature FRíO “rapid-chill cooling fibers” and Tencel fibers in the covers and retail between $89 and $189.

PureCare’s best-selling pillow, the SUB-0° SoftCell Chill, is part of this group. One side of the pillow features individual pockets filled with a mix of Tencel fibers and Pure-Care’s down alternative Identically Down (i.d); the other side is memory foam topped with a layer of cooling gel. It was introduced about 18 months ago and “is in about 4,000 stores in the United States,” Bergman says. “It’s been a huge success for us.”

blue sleep products display
Blu Sleep Products, with U.S. headquarters in Pompano Beach, Florida, offers retailers a five-pillow display that walks shoppers through the process of selecting the right pillow for them.

Fashion Bed Group’s latest introductions include the Sleep Chill + Advanced Memory, with a pinhole-cored graphite gel memory foam that softens and contours to the body while still regulating temperature to create a cool sleep microclimate. It’s wrapped in a woven damask cover designed to help circulate air. The pillow retails in the $79 to $99 range. The company’s top-selling pillow is the Sleep Chill +, a memory foam bun coated with Aere gel and covered in a 3-D mesh, O’Neill says. Sleep Chill + has been in the line for about a year and retails for $99.

Blu Sleep Products, with U.S. headquarters in Pompano Beach, Florida, uses pinhole coring in its solid memory foam and latex pillow cores to provide ventilation and now wraps its pillows in AirTex covers with a signature blue mesh on one side. On the other side is either a Tencel fabric (available with memory foam pillows) or rayon from bamboo fabric (for latex pillows).

Not every pillow requires the latest technology to stay cool. Savvy Rest, based in Charlottesville, Virginia, offers a wool-filled pillow that benefits from the material’s natural properties as an insulator from heat and cold. Wool also improves airflow and facilitates moisture evaporation, says John Howard-Smith, chief executive officer. It retails for $169 in queen.

What else can you do for me?

As pleasant as a cool-feeling pillow can be, not every consumer is worried about sleeping hot. Some are more concerned about other health and wellness issues, and pillow manufacturers offer plenty to appeal to them, as well.

protect-a-bed zefiro pillow
The Zefiro pillow, made in Italy, features either memory foam or fiber fill wrapped around an innerspring core. It’s available through Wheeling, Illinois-based Protect-A-Bed and retails for about $159.

The act of sleeping helps our bodies physically recover from the day that has passed and ready us for the day to come. With that in mind, PureCare’s
Body + Chemistry series features Celliant, an energy-recovery technology that incorporates thermo-reactive minerals into the cores of fibers. “It’s a truly fascinating technology and I think we’re just at the tip of discovering all that Celliant can do,” Bergman says. Pillows in the group retail between $99 and $189.

And it’s not the most pleasant topic to think about, but over the course of the night, we breathe, cough, sneeze, snore and sometimes even drool into that pillow we love so much. To keep pillows fresh and reduce allergens, manufacturers use a host of treatments and materials. For instance, anti-
microbial silver chloride inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew and limits allergens, while charcoal added to foams helps reduce odors.

Malouf offers Zoned Dough memory foam pillows infused with relaxing scents like chamomile and lavender and the invigorating scent of peppermint, says Mike Douglas, vice president of sales. The pillows retail for about $145.

“The essential oil pillows do really well for us. It’s something you don’t see at a Bed Bath & Beyond or Target, so it’s a unique selling proposition for retailers,” Douglas says. Because people can become accustomed to scents after frequent exposure, each pillow comes with an aromatherapy spray that Malouf suggests consumers use once a month over the life of the pillow.

malouf zoned dough pillow
Aromatherapy is a selling point for Logan, Utah-based Malouf’s Zoned Dough pillows infused with scents like lavender and chamomile.

An end to squishing and smooshing

For some people, scrunching, folding and otherwise manipulating their pillow into their favored shape is a nightly ritual. In the worst of cases, they have to maneuver a couple of not-quite-right pillows to get the proper alignment and support.

Pillow manufacturers want consumers to know they don’t have to do that anymore.

Customization, which comes in many forms, allows consumers to finally have a pillow that suits them without nightly pillow fights.

“Individuality is our key,” says Sam Malouf, founder and CEO of Malouf. “We don’t believe in matching up three or four different pillow options with all the different types of bodies and needs people have. One size doesn’t fit all. We all don’t wear the same pair of pants or live in the same style house.”

Savvy Rest specializes in customizable natural and organic mattresses and extends that customization to its pillows.

savvy rest body pillow
Savvy Rest, with headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia, offers an array of customizable sleeping and body pillows.

The company offers a few shaped and contoured pillows but all of its loose-fill pillows (both bed and body versions of those containing wool, kapok and shredded latex) are customizable. These pillows come intentionally overstuffed, Howard-Smith says. Consumers simply unzip and remove the pillow cover and pull out the fill until the pillow reaches a comfort and support level they like. They can then keep the fill in an air-tight bag in case they want to restuff their pillow later.

Protect-A-Bed, based in Wheeling, Illinois, offers a variety of customizable or “adjustable” pillows, including one microfiber version overstuffed with 65 ounces of loose fiber and another model filled with 25 removable microfiber Support Clusters that look “kind of like Koosh balls,” explains Warrick Bell, vice president of product innovation. The company also has memory foam pillows packed with Support Clusters.

Simplify, simplify

As nice as having all these pillow options is, the variety comes with a potential problem: confusing consumers with too much choice. Recognizing this, manufacturers are making an effort to organize their lines, package their products and display their offerings in ways that shoppers can quickly and easily understand.

Talalay Global has been streamlining its line of finished pillows to drive home the “Talalay inside” message and make things simpler for both retailers and consumers. New versions of its pillows feature premium quilted covers encircled by a black band printed with the pillow type: Talalay Active, a bun-style pillow with a resilient feel and quick recovery that conforms to the body; Talalay Down, a more malleable pillow filled with shredded latex that maintains its loft; and Talalay Copper, with copper added to the latex mixture during production.

Fashion Bed Group uses color-coding to group its pillows and other sleep accessories. Sleep Chill products with temperature-regulating properties are in blue packaging, Sleep Plush products with a luxurious feel are in lavender and Sleep Calm products with added health/wellness and protection features are in gray packages. In addition, the company’s packaging uses icons and easy-to-understand, consumer-friendly language to spell out benefits, for instance, promising that a pillow “repels heat to sleep cool,” “maintains shape,” “relieves pressure,” “circulates air,” “softens with body heat,” etc. A band in the middle of the packaging explains if a pillow is best for side, back or stomach sleepers.

sleep chill pillow fashion bed group
Sleep Chill pillows from Carthage, Missouri-based Fashion Bed Group tout a host of cooling features, including pinhole coring, gels and covers to circulate air.

“Consumers may not be familiar with specific technologies like what a phase-change material is, but they know they want to sleep cool or they know they like a plush pillow,” O’Neill says.

And while many pillow producers offer dozens of fills, styles and shapes, they often recommend that retailers limit their displays from one manufacturer to between, say, three and six options to make it easier on the shopper.

Blu Sleep, for example, offers retailers a five-pillow display rack that uses graphics to explain the constructions and features of pillows and guides shoppers through the pillow selection process based on their body type and sleeping habits. In a similar way, a two-question quiz on the company’s website, BluSleepProducts.com, walks online shoppers through the selection process.

But the more limited in-store displays don’t mean retailers can’t meet the needs of all their shoppers. Many pillow makers offer no-cost or low-cost drop shipping of any of their products within a day or two.

A safe place to rest your head

As part of its commitment to core values of empathy, health, empowerment and sustainability, Savvy Rest, headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, has donated more than 2,000 pillows to emergency shelters for women and children through its Safe Sleep program.

“For women and children who arrive at domestic violence shelters, traumatized, emotionally and physically bruised, often with little more than the clothes on their backs, the first night can be disorienting. They’ve reached safety for now, but what comes next? It’s a very anxious time in their lives, so even small gestures can make a difference,” the company’s website explains.

The program is run through the company’s retail division, Savvy Rest Natural Bedroom, and pillows are donated to shelters in cities where it has stores: Charlottesville and Vienna, Virginia; Rockville, Maryland; and Berkeley, California.

John Howard-Smith, Savvy Rest chief executive officer, says each pillow—a shredded latex fill with an organic cotton cover made just for this purpose—comes with a note explaining the pillow is a gift to be used not only while at the shelter but when recipients move on to a new phase of their lives.

Kick-starting a high-tech pillow launch

Protect-A-Bed’s Warrick Bell has always listened to music while falling asleep. His wife likes a quieter bedroom.

“I got married and I wanted to stay married so I took apart a set of wireless headphones and put it inside my pillow,” says Bell, vice president of product innovation for the Wheeling, Illinois-based company.

That was the start of a tinkering process that would lead to ZEEQ, a “smart” pillow that plays music, monitors and responds to snoring, analyzes sleep patterns and wakes you up. It even works with Amazon’s intelligent personal assistant Alexa.

protect-a-bed zeeq smart pillow
Protect-A-Bed, based in Wheeling, Illinois, last year launched ZEEQ, a ‘smart’ pillow.

Bell created the initial prototype in 2013 and then worked with others, including Miguel Marrero, director of technology development for the company’s REM-Fit division, to develop the pillow and work out construction challenges, like how to keep sleepers from feeling the internal electronics. They ended up being encased in a memory foam egg and surrounded by customizable top and bottom compartments filled with the company’s comfort memory foam.

“We kept the consumer top of mind because comfort is personal. I like a thin pillow; others like a thick pillow,” Bell says. “We couldn’t sell a pillow for $299 and not make it adjustable.”

In what was an unusual step for a sleep products company, Protect-A-Bed launched a Kickstarter campaign in August 2016 as a way to generate interest, get feedback from “early adopters” (those tech savvy consumers who often determine whether a product flies or fails) and raise money for final product development. All told, the company raised about $500,000 through Kickstarter and pre-orders on other websites. The first pillows were delivered to early supporters in December 2016 and the product won a CES 2017 Innovation Award in the Smart Home category at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

“Protect-A-Bed is well-known in the furniture and bedding industry, but one of our goals is to expand our brand’s reach to end consumers and reach a new demographic,” Bell says. “Some millennials are never going to buy a mattress protector but they might buy a music pillow. And ZEEQ isn’t just for the millennials; it has something to appeal to every group. Snoring features might appeal to older consumers. Sleep analysis is for anyone.”



Supplier profiles

Blu Sleep Products

  • Headquarters: Pompano Beach, Florida
  • Contact: Elizabeth Dell’Accio, vice president
  • Phone: 954-421-0101, Ext. 110
  • Email: elizabeth@blusleepproducts.com
  • Website: BluSleepProducts.com

Since introducing its first pillow about a decade ago, Blu Sleep Products, a specialty sleep manufacturer with U.S. headquarters in Pompano Beach, Florida, has built a collection of more than two dozen offerings.

Its pillows are constructed of latex, memory foam, gel memory foam or combinations of those. Foams are made in Italy with covers produced in the United States and Canada; all pillows are Oeko-Tex certified. Each is wrapped in the company’s signature blue-and-white mesh AirTex cover and Silver Clear provides the fabrics added protection against microbes, bacteria and odor. Pillows retail from $99 to $199.

Blu Sleep pillows are designed to be both responsive and breathable, says Elizabeth Dell’Accio, vice president. The company chooses its foams and constructs its pillows to provide what it likes to call “Adaptive Dynamic Support,” which offers support to a sleeper’s head and neck while adapting quickly to relieve pressure points. Ventilation comes from open-cell memory foams and pinhole coring.

“Our pillows are extremely breathable and we designed our new AirTex covers to add to that breathability,” Dell’Accio says. “So aside from being attractive, our pillows work well, too.”

The company also offers mattresses, toppers and adjustable bases.

Carpenter Co.

  • Headquarters: Richmond, Virginia
  • Contact: Dan Schecter, senior vice president
  • Phone: 804-359-0800, Ext. 2681
  • Email: dan.schecter@carpenter.com
  • Website: Carpenter.com and SleepBetter.org

Carpenter Co., a supplier of components to the bedding and other industries, sells finished pillows through its Consumer Products division and isn’t shy about reaching out to end consumers using its consumer-friendly SleepBetter.org website or through social media, says Dan Schecter, senior vice president of the Richmond, Virginia-based company. Facebook followers—the company has more than 411,000—know Schecter better as Happy Dan the Pillow Man, his Facebook moniker.

“They are invaluable tools for us in terms of speaking with the consumer,” Schecter says. One important thing Carpenter has gleaned: The retail price of a pillow is not as important to consumers as some might think.

“They are willing to pay for authentic innovation and the health/wellness benefits of a good night’s sleep,” he says.

Carpenter offers a complete range of fiber and foam bed pillows. Its Beyond Down pillows, made with a high-tech synthetic down, have been lauded by Consumers Digest and Good Housekeeping. Its Iso-Cool pillows have memory foam cores containing Outlast and are wrapped in an Outlast Adaptive Comfort material for temperature regulation.

Fashion Bed Group

  • Headquarters: Carthage, Missouri
  • Contact: Rob O’Neill, vice president of merchandising
  • Phone: 478-993-3966
  • Email: rob.oneill@leggett.com
  • Website: FashionBedGroup.com

Last summer, Fashion Bed Group, part of Carthage, Missouri-based Leggett & Platt Inc., revamped its pillow program and unveiled new packaging at the Las Vegas Market. It offers a broad lineup of 17 SleepSense pillows, incorporating everything from traditional poly and down fills to latex to memory foam augmented with gel or graphite.

“We want to offer a broad range of platforms for both retailers and consumers,” says Rob O’Neill, vice president of merchandising.

One of Fashion Bed Group’s latest introductions is the Sleep Plush Comfort Foam pillow, made with an Energex foam that combines the “conforming support of memory foam with the resilient bounce of latex to deliver healthy, comfortable support and better sleep,” according to the company. It has a gel surface for cooling and a woven damask cover. It retails from $79 to $99 in queen size.

Fashion Bed Group also offers sheets, protectors and encasements, as well as beds (complete beds, headboards and footboards, day beds, platforms and futons) and bedding support products like frames.

Glideaway

  • Headquarters: St. Louis
  • Contact: Dan Baker, executive vice president of sales for North   America
  • Phone: 314-426-3999, Ext. 286
  • Email: dbaker@glideaway.com
  • Website: Glideaway.com

At the Winter Las Vegas Market, Glideaway added three pillows to its lineup, bringing its offerings to nine. All are part of a Revolution Tech branding that the St. Louis-based company unveiled in 2015. The latest additions are filled with a microdenier fiber and round out a line that previously included only memory foam pillows.

“We wanted to give consumers a choice. Not everyone likes memory foam. Many people want more of a down feeling but they are allergic or they don’t like the feathers migrating out of the pillow,” says Dan Baker, vice president of sales for North America. “These give people that ‘huggable’ down feel at a very affordable price.”

The three newest pillows retail from $29 to $79. The Luna features a nonclumping hypoallergenic Slumber Silk fiber; the Reveal has hypoallergenic Air Touch fiber, a 3-D poly-cluster to maintain loft and resiliency. The Quest features Glideaway’s popular Comfort Curve design, which conforms to the contours of a sleeper’s neck and shoulders, as well as Ice Touch, a cool-to-the-touch fabric with phase-change materials.

Glideaway’s best-selling memory foam pillow is Transcend—a combination of shredded latex and charcoal gel memory foam made in the company’s Comfort Curve profile. It retails for about $69.

Malouf

  • Headquarters: Logan, Utah
  • Contact: Mike Douglas, vice president of sales
  • Phone: 800-517-7179
  • Email: mike@maloufsleep.com
  • Website: MaloufSleep.com

“Just like mattress manufacturers make a wide variety of mattresses, we believe people need to be able to find pillows tailored to their individual needs,” says Mike Douglas, vice president of sales for Logan, Utah-based Malouf. “So we do it all, from natural Talalay latex to traditional memory foam to fiber to down. We offer a wide assortment—34 families of pillows in a wide variety of feels and price points.” Available under its Z brand, Malouf’s pillows include filled, shaped and contoured models.

A top seller is the Shoulder Gel Dough + Z Gel. Designed for side sleepers, it has a shoulder recess that offers neck support. It’s made of gel-infused memory foam for conforming support and topped with a layer of the company’s liquid Z Gel to further dissipate heat. It retails for $149 in queen size.

Malouf doesn’t limit itself to traditional sleeping pillows. Its lineup also includes an extensive array of travel pillows, as well as specially shaped lounge and body pillows, such as the Wrap-Around, filled with a down alternative and designed to alleviate discomfort during pregnancy.

In addition to pillows, Malouf offers a full range of linens, protectors and encasements, mattress toppers and bed frames.

Protect-A-Bed

  • Headquarters: Wheeling, Illinois
  • Contact: Warrick Bell, vice president of product innovation
  • Phone: 866-297-8836
  • Email: warrick.bell@protectabed.com
  • Website: ProtectABed.com

Alongtime producer of mattress and pillow protection products, in recent years Protect-A-Bed has aggressively expanded its offerings and embraced technological innovations. It introduced its first pillow about six years ago and for a while it was the only one offered by the Wheeling, Illinois-based company. Its lineup now includes an array, from the Zefiro innerspring pillow to the SNOW cooling pillow to several hybrid adjustable fiber and foam pillows that are part of its REM-Fit brand. Protect-A-Bed’s latest pillow, the ZEEQ, is a “smart pillow.” (See story on page 32.)

The company’s Zefiro pillow is made in Italy and includes a microcoil innerspring core surrounded by either memory foam or fiber fill. It retails for about $159 in queen size.

Its REM-Fit series features technical fabrics and fibers designed to manage moisture and heat and facilitate airflow. Accessible cores allow consumers to adjust the amount of either fiber or foam Support Clusters to customize the height and firmness of the pillow. A best-seller in the REM-Fit group is a customizable gel-topped memory foam pillow, also retailing for $159.

Across its line, retail prices for Protect-A-Bed pillows range from $79 to $299.

PureCare

  • Headquarters: Fairfield, New Jersey
  • Contact: Sean Bergman, chief marketing officer
  • Phone: 800-758-8563
  • Email: sbergman@purecare.com
  • Website: PureCare.com

PureCare is in the midst of a significant makeover of its pillow line with successful rollouts in recent years of both its SUB-0° line (now with nine models featuring FRíO and Tencel temperature-regulating technologies) and its Body + Chemistry series (now with seven pillows featuring Celliant energy-recovery fibers).

“We’re really excited about our pillow program,” says Sean Bergman, chief marketing officer for the Fairfield, New Jersey-based company. “When we created SUB-0°, we knew we were coming out with Body + Chemistry. They complement each other. SUB-0° offers a thermo-regulation story and Body + Chemistry brings the energy recovery story.”

More changes are ahead: PureCare Plush, the company’s original pillow line, is being phased out, with the best-selling constructions worked into new collections. Its PureCare One series of three-piece support pillows is the next in line for a makeover.

“There is no pillow equation. One type of pillow is not right for everyone so we offer a real breadth in terms of price points and technologies—from down and down alternative to latex to memory foam to gel but also gel-infused cooling latex. In our SoftCell models, we have reversible and adjustable pillows,” Bergman says.

Savvy Rest

  • Headquarters: Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Contact: John Howard-Smith, chief executive officer
  • Phone: 434-227-5239
  • Email: jhs@savvyrest.com
  • Website: SavvyRest.com

For retailer and sleep products manufacturer Savvy Rest, its first pillow was a way to put to good use extra pieces of latex left over from the mattress production process. Today, the Char-lottesville, Virginia-based company’s line still includes a shredded latex pillow (now a mix of both Dunlop and Talalay), but has grown to encompass seven bed pillows in a variety of fills and shapes, most customizable.

Savvy Rest’s recent pillow addition, launched two years ago, is a Talalay core covered in an organic cotton stretch knit. It retails for about $199 in a queen size. “It has a nice pressure-relieving quality and a buoyant feel,” says John Howard-Smith, chief executive officer.

Among Savvy Rest’s more unusual offerings is a wool-latex blend that combines wool fiber with shredded latex ($149). Its best-seller is an organic kapok pillow filled with the silky fiber derived from buds of the tropical kapok tree ($119).

Savvy Rest also offers three body pillows, available in different widths for different body sizes and different fills. A 17-inch-wide body pillow filled with shredded latex retails for $189; a 20-inch-wide version filled with wool retails for $418.

Talalay Global

  • Headquarters: Shelton, Connecticut
  • Contact: Kimberly Fisher, president and chief operating officer
  • Phone: 203-751-3840
  • Email: kfisher@talalayglobal.com
  • Website: TalalayGlobal.com

Not surprisingly, Talalay Global’s pillow line centers on Talalay pillows.

“It’s all about Talalay. That’s my catch phrase,” says Kimberly Fisher, president and chief operating officer of the Shelton, Connecticut-based company, which both supplies latex and offers its own finished products, including mattresses, pillows, toppers and other accessories.

Benefits of Talalay latex include, Fisher says, the fact that it’s resilient and durable, is naturally breathable, and is inherently anti-microbial and resistant to dust mites. All of Talalay Global’s products are Oeko-Tex certified (Standard 100, Class 1).

“We’re reaching out to the consumer to make sure everyone is aware of Talalay, so people know what a luxurious product it is. Sleeping on it really is a life-changing experience,” says Jim Huffstetler, vice president of marketing.

Talalay Global can make pillows in four firmness levels and in 25 sizes, using either its classic Talalay latex or other latex formulations. Its best-selling pillow style is a molded Talalay bun that retails for between $79 and $129 in queen size, depending on the type of cover and packaging.

“That bun is a classic for us—the Classic Coke of our brand,” Fisher says. n

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