By Barbara Nelles and Jane Kitchen
At the Las Vegas Market Jan. 26-30, mattress manufacturers touted a couple of different technologies — sometimes all in one bed — designed to create a cool, comfortable sleep surface.
There was gel, of course, and more often than not, poured gel over gel foam or over latex. But the debate about the cooling powers of poured gel and gel foams continues and quite a few new products switched the discussion to microencapsulated, phase-change material in fabrics, fibers and foams.
Mechanical methods, as well, are being employed to solve a common consumer complaint that foam beds sleep hotter than innerspring beds. At Sealy, some Stearns & Foster models got good old-fashioned air vents in their borders. In all-foam and hybrid beds, cored, contoured and channeled foams were the rule.
Tempur-Pedic debuted a brand new look and “better insides” in its Tempur-Cloud and Tempur-Contour collections. The beds have a “cool-to-the-touch SmartClimate System,” which uses phase-change material. The restyled beds also boast zip-off EasyRefresh panels that are machine washable.
Spring Air International reintroduced an updated version of the Four Seasons bed, part of its Back Supporter lineup. First introduced in 1998, the Four Seasons has a reversible topper that offers sleepers a choice of sleep surfaces. The new version has Joma wool for warmth on one side and “cooling” gel foam on the other.
Sandwiched inside the topper is a choice of ultra-premium comfort layers: high-density poly foam, gel foam, gel-infused latex and encased microcoils in the top bed.
Fabricated polyurethane foam in a cushion-cut pattern lifts the surface of Worldbed Studio’s updated product line. The contoured foam layer is topped with gel-infused memory foam with phase change material, providing a new feel and improved airflow.
All beds also contain layers of Talalay and Dunlop latex. The line is priced from $599 to $3,399.
Sealy redesigned the specialty Optimum line telling a cooler tale with OptiCool gel memory foam that has Outlast “fused to the surface,” as well as more gel foams throughout and an on-trend orchid border ribbon with coordinating orchid-colored foams in accompanying POP demo units.
A six-bed Posturepedic group, which retails for $1,299 to $1,999, had a knit design in the panel that draws attention to the bed’s center-third with supportive, “cooling” pressure-relieving gel.
Second-generation TempaGel beds at Restonic had a number of climate-related features. TG2 has Tempadvantage gel-infused memory foam with phase-change material closer to the bed’s sleep surface. The beds also have Outlast phase-change technology in the panel fabric and an Airflow Edge with mesh spacer fabric.
Bob Quinn, president of licensee Restonic-New Albany, who worked on the design of the beds, said they offer “an increasingly efficient, adaptive microclimate environment.”
Mattress manufacturer and licensing group Paramount Sleep held the official launch of the latest additions to its hybrid Back Performance lineup. Back Performance PS Gel includes the Thermo Gel fabric finish, which uses “a natural nanotechnology process that consumes heat, giving the bed’s surface a fresh, cooling effect.”
The beds also have layers of super-soft convoluted foams and gel memory foam in the quilting layers over a pocket spring core.
Therapedic displayed the second generation of its EcoGel collection with poured gel in its signature HourGlass Back Support configuration over gel memory foam in the bed’s top comfort layer.
EcoGel² is described by the company as providing “Cooling sleep to the power of 2.” The charcoal, cream and white beds also have “DynaFlow Cooling Fabric for enhanced breathability and cooling benefits.” The suggested retail price for the collection ranges from $999 to $2,999.
Emerald Sleep Systems added a three-bed hybrid group to its Cool Jewel line of specialty beds introduced in January 2013.
The new beds have been “extremely well-received by retailers,” said Joe Carman V, marketing manager. “We’ve added gel-infused latex to the beds and pocketed coils.” The beds also have mesh borders for improved airflow and gel-infused memory foam.
Dormeo Octaspring rebranded as Dormeo N.A. to better reflect a migration toward a made in America platform, the company said, and unveiled a new tagline, “Mattresses and Pillows Reinvented,” which was reflected in new point-of-purchase materials shown at market.
The company also introduced its first hybrid line in Las Vegas, Dormeo Serenite, which pairs the its patented Octaspring technology with Talalay latex. The three-SKU collection features a two-inch top of Talalay late in each model, along with an ultra-soft cover that incorporates bamboo in its ticking for a plush feel. Style-wise, the whole line features a sleek black-and-white color scheme with a textured fabric design and a wave pattern on the border. The air-mesh sides allow the honeycombed Octaspring coils to breathe for further temperature regulation.
Glideaway Sleep Products added three beds to its popular CG Series from Sleepharmony, adding charcoal to the Cool Gel mix for the first time. The collection, which retails from $599-$999, also featured an updated, contemporary design, as well as Glideaway’s first-ever hybrid mattress.
The three models, 8-inch Discovery, 10-inch Atlantis, and 13-inch Endeavor, all feature an active charcoal and gel-infused memory foam core, for both cooling and conforming comfort, and are all treated with Regulate, an additive to the fabric designed to keep the sleeper at an optimum sleeping temperature with moisture management and wicking properties.
The company said the active charcoal has natural properties that aid in both antibacterial and allergen control, and also absorb body perspiration and neutralizes humidity.
“Charcoal is big for us this market,” said Marketing Director Angie Chism.
The Endeavor stands out as Glideaway’s first-ever hybrid mattress construction, which consists of heat-tempered, pocketed 7-inch coils combined with CG Pure Support foam. The Endeavor can be compressed, rolled and packed for easy shipping.
Celebrating a whopping 120 years in business, Englander marked its anniversary by adding E gel to its three best collections: Nature’s Finest, a latex sleep system; Posture Support, designed to provide optimum comfort and support for everyone, including larger sleepers; and Tension Ease, featuring fabric-encased coils.
Classic Brands introduced the Revo collection, which uses reticulated memory foam to for better airflow through the bed’s surface. The collection includes 9- 10- and 12-inch models, and the 10- and 12-inch SKUs feature a wave design in the foam layers. Each model has a knit cover with a spacer fabric.
“Temperature regulation has come to the forefront of the industry with the popularity of gel and other cooling materials,” said CEO Mike Zippelli. “We decided it wasn’t enough to just add these components to our products, but to take a step further and use a reticulation process to open up the cell structure in the foam completely.”
Foam producer FXI launched a new app to highlight all its specialty foams for bedding, where users can view an overview of each product, and then filter by usage, function, application and features and benefits. The company also introduced a new method of quantifying the temperature-regulation factor in its foam through a rating system called TRF, which scores each foam on a 2.0, 3.0 or 4.0 scale.
‘Cool’ accessories, too
Accessories introductions were “cool” for a number of reasons.
At Malouf, among many new sleep accessories introductions, was the Wool Tite waterproof mattress pad, part of its Sleep Tite mattress protection program.
The “temperature-regulating pad” has high-loft, natural wool adhered to Malouf’s H2Pro protector membrane. The wool layer provides increased comfort, protection from stains and absorption capacity, the company said. Retail pricing is expected to range from $215 to $400.
At PureCare (formerly Fabrictech International) the PureCare One pillow was “cool,” in more ways than one.
The pillow’s three-part core is more breathable than an ordinary foam or fiber pillow as it allows air to circulate more easily through the pillow. It comes in three styles — Cradle, Caress and Cool. The third uses “gel-wrapped memory foam” cylinders. Each reversible pillow has two cylinders — a low profile and a high profile — as well as a plush Identically Down center. By reversing the pillow, sleepers can change the head, neck and spine support.
PureCare One retails for about $179 and offers the company’s signature health protection attributes.
Leggett & Platt Consumer Products Group introduced a couple of “cool” pillows, too.
“The Clean Shield Pillow with Crypton is antimicrobial, disinfectable — and breathable,” said Herman Tam, group vice president of sales and marketing. “We are riding on a ‘wave of Clean Shield’ in our mattress protection and sleep accessories!”
The Brisa PhaseChange Gel pillow uses ThermaPhase Gel technology to provide temperature regulation and pressure-relieving comfort.
The phase-change material will keep skin temperature of the head and neck at an optimal range of 87 degrees to 90 degrees, the company says. The pillows retail for about $79.
Chili Technology launched a sheet program, Kül Sheets, with the tag line, “High performance temperature control.” The sheet sets retail for $199 and are woven with two functional, performance yarns — CoolMax on the body-facing side and Tencel on the opposite surface.