BY BARBARA T. NELLES
The Las Vegas Market Jan. 28-Feb. 1 was a particularly strong show. BedTimes editors were greeted by upbeat manufacturers throughout the World Market Center, with some sleep products exhibitors reporting more traffic on the first day of the winter market than in all five days at previous shows.
There were several noteworthy trends in sleep products showrooms. So pronounced and widespread, we’re calling them “bedding truths”:
- Gel foams are de rigueur.
- Foam beds are very, very “cool.”
- Every mattress has a matching pillow.
- On mattress borders, spacer fabrics rule.
- In high-end mattresses, where there is memory foam there’s latex, too.
- A well-dressed bed has a puffy “vanilla” panel but super-fancy borders.
- Foundations are quilted in geometric patterns or covered in nubby, textural upholstery—or both.
- Point-of-sale programs must include a smartphone or tablet app.
- Selling toppers is no longer taboo.
- Show (virtually) every mattress on an adjustable base.
- Phase-change material is a constant—in gel, foams and tickings.
In addition, bed borders were the most striking ever. Mattress makers are investing in ornamental borders and using quilt patterns, ribbon, color and better fabrics on bed borders. Even foundation borders are getting dressed up and quilted.
Mattress producers also are putting a lot of thought into retail display. New point-of-sale items were notable for their creativity, simplicity and versatility. BedTimes saw mobiles at Sealy that also snap together for a floor display, reversible pizza-box signage at Organic Mattresses Inc. and headboards that double as shadowbox displays for mattress components at Sleep Inc.
Tempur-Pedic Lexington, Ky.-based Tempur-Pedic caused a stir with its new Tempur-Choice bed with an air feature. “We look at it as taking personalization to the next level—it’s a Tempur-Pedic first and foremost,” said Dan Setlak, vice president of marketing. Each side of the bed has a three-chambered air bladder and its own remote. The two-bed group has a 13-inch and a 14-inch profile. Retail prices are $3,499 and $3,999*. The bed’s air chambers lie beneath the mattress’ top comfort layer—Tempur-ES material. The company also reupholstered its Ergo adjustable base and made operating the base with iPad or iPhone standard.
Rev Headquartered in Toronto, Rev is the new name of the former Spring Air Sommex. The rebranded company produces four mattress lines—Natura, NexGel, ObusForme and Sommex. Rev Chief Marketing Officer Valerie Stranix discussed key features of the refreshed and streamlined Natura collection, which now totals 18 beds retailing from $1,499 to $2,499. Models in the five-bed Natura Organics collection sport panels with a cable-knit sweater motif. A new point-of-sale Natura pillow cabinet display allows consumers to see and feel pillow components.
Sleep Inc. Corsicana, Texas-based Sleep Inc. stopped traffic with its mattress fabric choices. The Imagination bed (pictured here), part of its hybrid 10-model Body Comfort collection, retails for $1,499. It has gel visco-elastic foam, five-zoned pocket springs and foam encasement. Sleep Inc. also held the official launch of Body Rhythms, a three-bed latex line retailing from $1,399 to $1,599. The 3-D panel fabric is a conforming stretch knit over three types of Dunlop latex and a high-density polyurethane foam core. Also on display, the Wildflower collection—part of Body Comfort. It included three beds adorned with daisy, bluebonnet and sunflower motifs.
Simmons Bedding Co. “This is the end of the beginning—and our new owners are in full support of our transformation,” said Gary Fazio, chief executive officer of the Atlanta-based company, at a news conference announcing the launch of the new Beautyrest Recharge ($699 to $1,299) and Beautyrest Recharge World Class ($1,399 to $1,999), as well as four new high-end Comforpedic beds (priced at $2,999 and up). All models had sleek aesthetics and incorporated rich blues—“the colors of night.” Unique border tailoring and a range of proprietary comfort and support layers were signature features of the new collections. Simmons touted the beds’ comfort, coolness and support provided by proprietary AirCool memory foam, AirCool design, TruTemp gel, Micro GelTouch foams, Beautyrest Pocketed Coil springs and microcoils.
Restonic Ron Passaglia, president of the Restonic licensing group, spotlighted the features of the handsome new ComfortCare Signature line with gel-infused quilting foam, TempaGel, gel-infused latex, Marvelous Middle with Dream Beam support construction, a wrapped-coil core, and SuperEdge Plus foam encasement. The new collection was created to help celebrate the brand’s 75th anniversary. A marketing campaign with the tag line, “Celebrating 75 Years of Good Nights” will have a diamond anniversary theme and offer the chance to win a cushion-cut diamond ring and a grand-prize trip to Diamond Head, Hawaii.
Sealy, with headquarters in Trinity, N.C., unveiled the distinctive-looking Stearns & Foster Monogram collection, a three-bed memory-foam group priced from $2,999 to $3,999. The beds have 5 inches to 7 inches of memory foam and are paired with an upholstered box spring. The ClimaLux gel memory foam layer at the top of the mattress is infused with Outlast material. Another introduction, the Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid series, has a unique half foam/half springs construction. The foam layer contains OptiCool gel memory foam. The beds have a smooth, unquilted panel with a waterfall edge and ribbon border trim. The company also updated the looks of Posturepedic Gel series and Classic series. Two new TV spots in support of Posturepedic Hybrid will run nationally in 2013, the company said.
Englander, headquartered in Olive Branch, Miss., unveiled a new showroom and new national lines, including the hybrid Life Style by Englander collection with gel. Life Style is a three-bed group priced from $1,299 to $1,899. It’s available with a quilted or flat panel and has a high-density foam core topped with 2-inch microcoils, reticulated foam and gel-infused memory foam. Englander also added gel foams to its Tension Ease and Anniversary collections.
Serta The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company gave its Perfect Sleeper a makeover and added four upper price points to iComfort. Perfect Sleeper, priced from $399 to $1,199, has new styling and SmartSurface with MicroSupport gel in latex, which provides pressure relief and temperature balance. Select models have Serta Cool Twist gel memory foam and a Free Flex innerspring with custom support that is compatible with a new Motion Essentials adjustable base ($799 in queen). A matching Sleep To Go pillow retails for $39. The new iComfort Directions models, priced from $1,999 to $2,999, have four new technologies—EverCool Gfx memory foam with “heat-conducting graphene,” a dual-action gel with phase-change material, Pods Gel-Activated Support and ThermoCool fabric with Tencel yarns.
Fabrictech International drew “ahs” for its “mood-lifting” new Aromatherapy program for pillow and mattress protectors. “We’re focused on helping customers offer the most healthy and comfortable top-of-bed program in the industry,” said Sean Bergman, chief marketing officer for the Cedar Grove, N.J.-based company. Pillows and protectors in the Aromatherapy line have pockets that hold replaceable sachets in five floral and woodsy scents. A queen-size total encasement with sachets is $159.99, a queen five-sided protector is $119.99, pillow protectors are $28.99 and replacement sachets (retail display pictured here) are $6.
Comfort Solutions In addition to showing a number of beds on lower divan bases to accommodate taller mattresses, Willowbrook, Ill.-based Comfort Solutions made a splash with Flare, a mattress design option that adds more sleep surface to queen sets. The company introduced new Perfect Contour and Posture Sense Response collections, as well as redesigns of Dr. Breus, Natural Response and Extended Life. Perfect Contour was given a foam core, specialty gel foams and sporty fabrics accented in apple green. Five models retail from $799 to $1,299. Top beds have multiple specialty foam, gel and latex layers. The specialty sleep Dr. Breus collection was re-engineered inside and out. Six models priced from $1,299 to $3,499 have varied amounts and types of latex and support foams to create different comfort levels and recovery characteristics. Beds also are available in dual-comfort models to accommodate couples with different needs. New Posture Sense Response is a King Koil hybrid collection priced from $799 to $1,299.
Spring Air International Boston-based Spring Air International rolled out a $599 price point in its flagship Back Supporter collection. The new special edition bed is backed by a retail sales incentive program tied to Super Bowl 2014 ticket giveaways. Two additional Super Bowl 2014 tickets will be used in a consumer drawing that participating retailers can advertise and promote in their local markets. The company also displayed the Back Supporter Euphoria bed made by Spring Air Indonesia in Jakarta. The elegant bed with a plush box-top pillow-top was named International Back Supporter of the Year.
Kingsdown Company President and Chief Executive Officer Frank Hood (sitting) and Kevin Damewood, executive vice president of sales and marketing at the Mebane, N.C.-based company, posed with the Kingsdown Select Collection Exquisite bed with a retail price of $3,499. The Select collection retails from $1,999 to $3,999 and was one of several lines with all-new looks. The company also rolled out Sleep Smart, a mattress that provides an interactive sleep experience. The high-tech beds are designed to monitor movements, assess pain, ease pressure, track sleep patterns and gently wake a sleeper from deep sleep. Kingsdown Scientific Measurement and Response Technology sensors automatically trigger air cylinders that slowly expand or contract for optimal comfort and support throughout the night, regardless of sleep position. The mattress not only adjusts to sleeping patterns and movements, it also provides reports showing the amount of time slept, how well the sleeper slept and how their sleep patterns have changed over time. Retail pricing is expected to be about $8,999.
Therapedic International Gerry Borreggine, Therapedic president and chief executive officer, showed off the re-engineered hybrid Agility collection. “We have strengthened and tightened the construction to ensure durability,” he said. “Over 200,000 rollator tests yielded less than 1% reduction in firmness and 0% compression.” Four beds retail from $1,299 to $2,999. The company also added new models to its Kathy Ireland line, which retails from $899 to $1,399. The beds have a stretch-knit cover with silver and blue accents and a premium five-zone innerspring with 7-inch coils.
Pure LatexBLISS The Atlanta-based company launched the all-natural Yulex collection of bio-latex mattresses, toppers and pillows. The cores are made from an alternate rubber source derived from the guayule plant, which is indigenous to the U.S. Southwest and Mexico. “We’ve perfected how to use (the rubber) in all of our existing products and we’ve already sold out of the collection for the next six months,” said Chief Executive Officer Kurt Ling. Three mattress profiles retailing from $3,999 to $5,999 are offered with all-natural cores, natural wool FR barriers and organic cotton knit covers.
Leggett & Platt Adjustable Bed Group Carthage, Mo.-based Leggett & Platt showcased upgraded electronics for its adjustable bases. Beneath the hood of the Comfort and Designer series bases, new lpConnect motors and electronics “are quieter, stronger, more durable, more energy efficient and more dependable,” said Jay Thompson, Adjustable Bed Group president, shown here with the Designer series base and remote. In addition, lpSense is a new safety system in the Designer series that halts the bed’s motion to prevent pinching if a person or pet gets in the way. New remotes have a more contemporary aesthetic. Adjustable bases are available in multiple color choices and in streamlined “one-piece” looks. One base in the Designer series has a built-in bed skirt that can be removed for dry cleaning.
Boyd Specialty Sleep Most noteworthy among the multiple new product offerings and upgrades at St. Louis-based Boyd Specialty Sleep was the Natural Flex Supreme, a four-model line extension. Retailing from $699 to $1,499, the beds feature layers of Dunlop latex and Boyd synthetic latex. Each has a patented 4-inch “racetrack edge” of high-density foam for seating support.
Ergomotion The Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company put the spotlight on improved motors and electronics sourced from supplier OKIN, as well as adjustable bases with new wireless Bluetooth-enabled operation. OKIN actuators allow for extremely gentle start-and-stop functionality, said Ergomotion President Kelly Clenet.
Wright Global Graphic Solutions Wright, headquartered in Thomasville, N.C., showcased a sampling of its new easy-to-ship and assemble headboards, freestanding signage and top-of-bed items. Displays featured contemporary colors, fabrics and design and, most important, everything was illuminated. LED lights glowed even from foot streamers.
Organic Mattresses Inc. Walt Bader, founder and president of the Yuba City, Calif.-based company, shows off a new point-of-sale “pizza box” signage that’s reversible and recyclable. It also can be displayed on walls and floors. OMI greeted Las Vegas marketgoers in an enlarged showroom.
Ashley Sleep Arcadia, Wis.-based Ashley Furniture added a new one-piece “positional” adjustable mattress to its Ashley Sleep mattress line. Two adjustable, memory foam models are priced at $2,499 and $2,999 in queen. (Price is for the adjustable mattress alone.) The company also added hybrid beds with wrapped coils to its existing line of all-foam Ashley Sleep NuWave Gel beds. Four new hybrid models retail from $1,099 to $1,799. In a separate space, the company gave retailers—and potential franchisees—tours of a prototype Zzz’s by Ashley retail store. The store has a spa-like setting complete with aromatherapy machines, spa accessories and unusual point-of-sale displays. Zzz’s by Ashley retail stores carry Ashley Sleep, Serta and Tempur-Pedic mattresses.
Sleepharmony by Glideaway St. Louis-based Glideaway rolled out Natural Awakenings, a three-bed latex and gel collection priced from $999 to $1,799. The adjustable base-compatible specialty beds are available in three profiles and have layers of gel-infused latex, latex, pressure-relieving polyurethane foams and high-density support foams.
FXI Media, Pa.-based FXI made a splash with colorful toppers, part of its new Bios Sleep System program of toppers, pillows and bed-in-a-box mattresses. Nine different toppers retail for $399 in queen and are packaged with a cover that holds the topper in place by wrapping around the mattress like a fitted sheet. Foam toppers are available in a variety of formulations, cuts, colors and designs.
Eclipse/Eastman House The North Brunswick, N.J.-based manufacturer and licensing group added a three-bed, inner-tufted group to the high-end Hemingway collection from Eastman House. The new Hemingway mattresses have box-tops and bring the collection total to eight beds. The beds also feature a tack-and-jump border treatment, luxurious damask covers and coil-on-coil construction with latex and memory-foam comfort layers. Retail price points are $1,499, $2,499 and $2,999.
Savvy Rest The 7-year-old manufacturer of natural latex, innerspring and coir bedding based in Charlottesville, Va., brought new accessories to its second Las Vegas Market. A new pillow retailing for $109 in queen is filled with a combination of wool and shredded latex. Sheet sets are 100% organic cotton and retail for $189 in queen.
Innova Sleep Systems The specialty sleep supplier with U.S. headquarters in City of Industry, Calif., opened its first Las Vegas showroom by debuting five branded retail collections with coordinating pillows. Retail prices for mattresses only range from $799 to $2,999. Of particular note was the Breezeables collection with its reticulated foam comfort layer, available in four profiles. In addition to pouring its own foams, the vertically integrated company also fabricates two adjustable bases—a starter wired unit is $599 in twin XL and a deluxe model retails for $799.
Blu Sleep Products Laval, Quebec-based Blu Sleep Products added two new opening price points to its foam pillow collection. The blue Ice Gel is “gel throughout, so you always sleep cool at night—not just for the first half hour,” said Alex Ciccolella, Blu Sleep president. The white Breeze memory foam pillow has cool open-cell technology. Both pillows retail for about $69 in standard sizes; $89 in queen. The company markets six other pillows, with prices up to $199. All are pinhole cored, have mid- to fast-recovery rates and have covers made with bamboo rayon yarns.
E.S. Kluft & Co. Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based E.S. Kluft & Co. added more moderate price points to its new Aspire collection, priced from $1,999 to $3,000. The beds have the look of specialty sleep—smooth tops with a textural knit, waterfall edge and beribboned border. There’s an emphasis on visco-elastic and conventional foams in the beds’ comfort layers and a wrapped-coil core. The three beds are designed for the “aspiring Kluft shopper,” said owner and President Earl Kluft, shown here reclining on an Aspire bed. Opening at $2,999, the new Adapt/React by Aireloom collection has seven models with coil and foam cores and layers of Airegelle foam and other proprietary visco and conventional foams. “I don’t believe in the quick, easy solution,” Kluft said. “Firmer foams are too firm, softer ones are too saggy—so we blended two foam densities in the core and the ratios change based on what’s at the top of the bed.”
Vi-Spring The ultra-luxury Vi-Spring brand with headquarters in Devon, England, introduced the Masterpiece bed in the Ergo Bedroom showroom at the Design Center. Masterpiece is the company’s first triple-coil construction. The handmade bed retails for approximately $27,000, has three layers of pocket springs, as well as horsetail, cashmere, mohair and Shetland Isle wool fill.
Southerland Inc. Nashville, Tenn.-based Southerland Inc. launched the Response Sleep System by Sharper Image, a five-bed collection. The beds have an active sleep system designed to respond to sleepers’ needs. The main components are open-cell Talalay latex in the bed’s top comfort layer, Energy Response foam layers and a zoned, wrapped coil unit. Price points are from $1,699 to $2,999 and include a modular steel-box support system. Upgrading to a wall-hugging adjustable base in queen is an additional $1,700. All beds were shown on adjustable bases. Southerland is the exclusive licensee and producer of the Sharper Image bedding brand.
Hollywood Bed Frame Co. The company rolled out EnVision, its decorative approach to mattress support systems. The tubular steel body has a contemporary look and nine tapered and wheeled legs. The frame is easy to ship and assembles without tools, thanks to patent-pending “wedge-lock assembly.” EnVision retails for about $159 and is a “ ‘best’ option that turns the bed frame into a profit center for retailers,” said Larry Leeb, vice president of sales for the Commerce, Calif.-based company.
Emerald Sleep Systems Tacoma, Wash.-based Emerald Sleep Systems, a division of Emerald Home Furnishings, launched the specialty Cool Jewel line. The imported foam beds feature gel memory foam, open-cell memory foam and mesh spacer-fabric borders for breathability. The collection retails from $499 to $799 and has three coordinating foam pillows with retails of $39, $49 and $89.
* Unless otherwise noted, all prices are suggested retail for queen-size mattress sets.
High Point Market
International Home Furnishings Center & other locations
High Point, N.C.
Las Vegas Market
July 29–Aug. 2
World Market Center