Las Vegas: A laid-back show with its share of hot looks and—of course—cool gels


As expected, the summer Las Vegas Market at the World Market Center July 29-Aug. 2 was lighter than the winter show in terms of both visitors and new product launches, but most mattress industry exhibitors reported at least one or two days of good foot traffic.

“For a summer market, we’ve had a very strong opening day—two of our top 100 accounts were in before noon, and we expect many more,” said Ron Passaglia, president and chief executive officer of mattress licensing group Restonic Mattress Corp.

“This market is on par with most summer markets,” said Kelly Ellis, director of integrated marketing for Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Serta. “And we see them as a great opportunity to get feedback from our retailers on our recently launched products and programs.”

There were bits of intriguing news in mattress showrooms, as manufacturers brought out line extensions at both ends of the price spectrum. This included gel foam mattresses and head-up only adjustable bases at ever-lower price points, countered by deluxe latex and latex hybrid beds that pushed the price envelope. Poured gels and gel foams continue to preoccupy U.S. manufacturers. It seems gel is a trend that is nowhere near to fading.

Another pronounced trend is the use of intricate tailoring and better fabrics. There also is a fascination with upholstery-style fabrics, now more readily available to mattress makers in the widths they need. Indeed, U.S. manufacturers have managed to give even moderately priced traditional mattresses and foundations the look of European divan-style bedding—with choice of leg included.

* Unless otherwise noted, all prices are suggested retail for queen-size sets.

Sealy Posturepedic HybridSealy The Trinity, N.C.-based mattress brand added latex models to its specialty Optimum collection for a total of 10 beds retailing from $1,299 to $2,999 in queen size. Four latex beds have varying amounts of Opticool gel latex with each price step up. Sealy officially introduced new Stearns & Foster Estate innerspring beds with ClimaSense gel memory foam. The group had a soft launch at the High Point Market in April. The company updated its Sealy-branded opening price-point innerspring group with Gel OrthoZone II Comfort Foam and new aesthetics. The beds retail from $499 to $799. A glittering display attracted attention to the half-foam/half-innerspring Posturepedic Hybrid (pictured), which debuted in January. “We wanted to take a leadership role in hybrid bedding, and our retailers are going crazy with this collection. It also will be the focus of a Labor Day buy,” said Jamie Piper, senior director of marketing and communications.

Therapedic Buoyancy mattress in purple and whiteTherapedic International Princeton, N.J.-based mattress licensing group Therapedic International launched Buoyancy, a four-bed, all-foam group that features poured gel over latex in the top comfort layers. The gel is applied to the latex layer in the company’s signature hourglass silhouette. The sewn cover uses fashionable shades of lavender, gray and white in the panel and border, as well as in coordinating throws and sashes. Buoyancy retails from $1,499 to $2,999.

Simmons CURV 1Simmons Bedding Co. The mood at Simmons was upbeat, with the Atlanta-based mattress manufacturer reporting its biggest dollar quarter in company history. Comforpedic played a large part in the sales increase, said Michelle Montgomery, vice president of marketing communications. The new Simmons Curv (pictured), a three-model memory foam collection, is designed to up those sales figures even more. It targets Millennials—“an 80 million-strong generation who have a preference for memory foam but find it cost-prohibitive,” Montgomery said. Curv retails for less than $999 and begins shipping later this year. The beds’ memory foam has wavy contours for better airflow. The two top beds have gel memory foam.

King Koil iMattressKing Koil Licensing group King Koil, which recently reverted from Comfort Solutions back to its original global brand name, rolled out line extensions and a redesigned Laura Ashley collection. The Willowbrook, Ill.-based company added the iMattress2 collection (pictured), retailing from $799 to $2,999. The beds have an “anatomically correct” Perfect Response engineered foam core designed to provide pressure relief and support, the company said. The supportive base foam’s contours are reflected in the bed’s cut-and-sewn border fabric. King Koil added three beds with latex comfort layers to the top of the Perfect Contour collection, which now retails from $799 to $2,399.

L&P Comfort Select adjustable baseLeggett & Platt Inc. The company’s Adjustable Bed Group launched several affordable adjustable bases, including a new opening price point. The Comfort Select base (pictured) retails for about $699 and is head-up only. The Carthage, Mo.-based company also introduced Brio, a group of three adjustable bases—two basic head-up and foot-up models with wired remote and one with wireless remote. Brio retails for less than $1,200 and offers fewer customizations than L&P’s higher-end adjustables. The Consumer Products Group introduced the Clean Shield mattress protector made with Crypton Super Fabric and retailing for about $139. L&P Fashion Bed rolled out a host of decorative beds with a new emphasis on “master bedroom” looks and full-bed construction, said Herman Tam, vice president of sales and marketing of the Consumer Products Group.

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