At Valencia’s fall market, foam keeps going strong

Like elsewhere in Europe and the United States, displays by bedding manufacturers at the recent International Furniture Fair in Valencia, Spain, illustrated the growing importance of visco–elastic and other foams in the marketplace. But mattress producers didn’t limit themselves to foam when it came to innovations. There were mattresses promising healthier sleep, an adjustable made for heavier consumers and more.

The fair, held Sept. 27–Oct. 2, attracted some 88,000 visitors to see the products of more than 1,500 furniture manufacturers, according to organizers. The 1.6 million–square–foot hall included a large bedding center. Here’s a glimpse at new products from sleep–products exhibitors.


Pikolin showed along with the companies of the Recticel group including Swissflex, Bultex and Lattoflex. One featured introduction was the You and Me bed–a pocketed–coil mattress that is firmer on one side than the other to accomodate sleeping partners of different weights and sleeping preferences. The company also introduced a mattress with visco–elastic on one side (for winter sleeping) and air–cooling technology and fabrics on the other side (for sleeping during warmer weather.) Another innovation was a slatted bed base borrowing technology from the aviation industry. The composite material uses glass fibers reinforced with carbon to provide nearly indestructible support, according to company representative Jose Llorca.


Flex unveiled Airvex, a mattress designed to prevent perspiration–a quality especially important in this warm Mediterranean country, says representative Tomas Romero Ruiz. In addition, the maker showed a full line of mattresses combining innerspring and a variety of foam technologies. The company used the show to announce that it has inked a deal to manufacture and distribute Sealy products in Spain. (Flex produces pillows and comforters through Productos Kol, which showed synthetic–filled Mash brand pillows and comforters during the market.)


This manufacturer, generally considered No. 3 in Spain’s bedding industry, was showing a new slatted bed base available in a number of finishes and colors. Its mattress line is about 70% innerspring units made in firm versions for Spanish consumers who tend to prefer firmer mattresses. Pedro Orue Zabalo, marketing manager, says the company was targeting its introductions to bedding specialty stores and is expanding its export business to France and Portugal.


Tapping into what the company believes is an underserved market, Mediterraneo unveiled an adjustable bed designed specifically for larger consumers, says the company’s Alfredo Garcia. The bed has reinforced components to provide stability and latex in the mattress to ensure comfort for individuals who weigh more than 265 pounds.


Borrowing a concept popular in Italy, Garme showcased roll–packed mattresses that are easy to transport. The mattresses are made of polyurethane foam or polyurethane combined with latex or visco–elastic foam, says company representative Alexander Gonzalez. The company is producing some 2,000 mattresses a day for export throughout Europe and to the United States.


While showing a wide range of mattress and foundation technologies, Somilar announced that it was opening a new factory. The company, owned by the Santa Maria family, is planning a new 323,000–square–foot plant that will employ approximately 120 people.

Dunlopillo–Smattex showed a full line of adjustable and slatted bed foundations, all topped by latex mattresses. The company uses no visco–elastic or polyurethane foams, says representative Jean Pierre Victor Menu, explaining that the company believes “latex is the good answer to comfort.”


Pardo, which has been in the bedding business for 40 years, unveiled an adjustable bed base made of aluminum with a mechanism that allows the lower section of the bed to retract horizontally. The company also displayed a line of latex mattresses, bed foundations and sofa beds. José Carrasco, export manager, says the company is exporting products throughout Europe.

The company was touting a REVA spring technology that allows different levels of comfort for sleeping partners. Ecus was proud to be awarded the prize for the best booth at the fair, says representative Juan Bonilla.


Dorlast produces beds under two brand names: Dorwin includes luxury and specialty bedding; Dormillon features mainly innerspring construction beginning at entry–level price points, says representative Javier Ballesteros. New this market was a Dorwin latex mattress wrapped in foam and topped with removable ticking. The company also showed a bed that has an accompanying headboard and lighted nightstand.


The company, which manufactures products only for the domestic market from its plant in Valencia, introduced a new innerspring mattress topped with visco–elastic foam that is designed to appeal to consumers seeking a less firm mattress.


Every so often at a bedding show, a maker will introduce a round bed. This market, it was Eurocolchon, a maker better known for its conventional beds, adjustables and sofa beds, says representative Helena Mendez.

Other Spanish producers showing at the market included Pribanez (under its brand name Laxy), Valencia–based Delanuubbi and Donalit, which is based in Spain’s Zaragoza region.

Portuguese producers

A number of Portuguese bedding manufacturers attended the market, including Comol, which offered a low–slung bed base 4 inches wider than the accompanying mattress, and Molarte, which introduced Uniblock, an innerspring mattress topped with foam.
Molibel highlighted Silvernes, a combination innerspring, visco–elastic and polyurethane foam mattress. A silver thread running through the top panel is designed to stop static elec–tricity. Another Portuguese company, Futurocol, a maker of mostly adjustable beds, touted its beds’ hygienic and orthopedic qualities.


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