BY BARBARA T. NELLES AND BETH ENGLISH
Slower summer Las Vegas show meant more time to talk, rest-test hybrids, and check out adjustables and tech tools
To the editors of BedTimes, the Las Vegas Market July 29-Aug. 2 appeared to have the least foot traffic in sleep products showrooms of the past 10 summer markets. It was telling that beginning on opening day and throughout the market, we were able to walk right in and have long chats with exhibitors, no appointment necessary. Everyone had time to talk.
Although vendors concurred that attendance was off considerably, many were quite happy with the quality of meetings they had with retailers during the show. More than once we heard some version of “all the majors are here — the big players in mass merchandising, furniture retailing and e-commerce.”
Much of the mattress news involved line extensions that added hybrids, as manufacturers replaced some of the foam in their beds with springs. But at Marshall Mattress, they removed the foam and put in its place a fluffy, resilient blended polyester fiber.
As usual, there was news at adjustable base suppliers, whether it was pairing an easy-ship base and mattress for an all-in-one sale, or as at Mantua Manufacturing Co., combining back-stretching motion with the styling of upholstered furniture. Shifman Mattress Co., Kingsdown and several other mattress makers either added more motion bases to their lines or tweaked existing mattress collections to work with power foundations.
Several exhibitors focused on color, injecting drama into mattress panels. For example, there was the midnight blue double knit on Classic Brands’ new Savile Row bed, and it was hard to miss the vivid tie-dye print on Boyd Sleep’s extended Groove collection. Meanwhile, a wider range of fashion-forward colors were on display in the Sheex showroom and in Homtex’s DreamFit collection.
And there were plenty of new pillows to squeeze. We hugged the new Serta iComfort pillows and a new adjustable Tempur-Pedic model, as well as Malouf’s extra-lofty down offering.
Now for the details. In the following pages, you’ll find a selection of some of our discoveries at the Las Vegas show. And take note, many exhibitors have switched to providing suggested retail pricing that includes the mattress, only: Foundations are increasingly becoming a separate purchase.
Fresh and Clean
The big news at Blu Sleep Products was its pillows — not only the offerings infused with essential oils seen on the right, but also the way the pillows are compressed and vacuum packed in recyclable aluminum-lined bags. With no plastic smell, the pillows are ready to be used right away. “As we went along, we found that it actually helped our product. It didn’t change the smell of it. When you open up a lavender pillow, you really smell the lavender,” said Elizabeth Dell’Accio, vice president of the Laval, Quebec-based company. “It smells like a spa.”
For the Young at Heart
At Boyd Sleep everything was groovy. For the first time, the St. Louis-based manufacturer and retailer carried a design theme through multiple categories. A psychedelic swirl of bright colors, aptly named Groove and previously introduced in January, bedecked the panels of 5-inch and 7-inch youth memory foam mattresses ($199 and $249 in twin), cluster memory foam pillows ($40), upholstered headboard and platform base ($229), inflatable bed ($39 in twin), roll-up bed ($99) and fold-away bed ($149).
Bedroom in a Box
Soft-Tex International introduced a new line of shippable adjustable bases, which can be teamed with a 10-inch gel memory foam mattress for an affordable $999. The Waterford, New York-based company also debuted a line of ready-to-assemble bedroom furniture, including platform bed frames, headboards, nightstands and dressers.
Hotel Comfort at Home
Eclipse International, part of North Brunswick, New Jersey-based Bedding Industries of America, is testing the idea of a hotel bed on retail floors. The Hospitality collection, a set of three hybrid mattresses featuring encased coils and foams constructed for durability and longevity, can be manufactured with a variety of border options to coordinate with décor. “The Hospitality collection is designed with hotels in mind, but it also will resonate with bedding retailers and consumers looking for comfortable, luxurious, built-to-last beds,” said Stuart Carlitz, chief executive officer of Eclipse International. Suggested retails are from $599 to $1,199.
The Display’s the Difference
Protect-A-Bed has had a great response to its new display cases since their launch in January, said Jeff Faye, marketing communications manager for the Chicago-based company. More than 400 units have shipped to customers and many are reporting an uptick in accessories sales as a result, he said. Not sure how new shelving will fit on your floor? Protect-A-Bed offers a mobile app to help you decide. It’s based on Thyng, an augmented-reality app for mobile devices that Protect-A-Bed has customized to allow its retailers to virtually position display units within their stores to determine placement.
Independent producer Diamond Mattress expanded its emphasis on boxed beds with Reflections. The two models are available in an edge-to-edge wrapped coil version (pictured) or an all-foam mattress, each retailing for $1,199 (mattress only). According to the Rancho Dominguez-based company, the beds tell a multifaceted cooling story and can drop-ship directly to consumers at no additional cost.
Classic Brands focused on helping retailers raise the bar on boxed products with Savile Row, a new three-bed line in two colorways — midnight blue (pictured) or sophisticated gray. The American-made beds, with a hybrid construction and contemporary quilt pattern, are named for the renowned London street home to the finest men’s tailors. The collection is priced between $799 and $1,499 (mattress only). For shipping, Savile Row is “rolled the long way, with no folds, to fit in a ‘cigar box,’ ” said Mark Owen, executive vice president of sales and business development for the Jessup, Maryland-based company. A coordinating platform base with four drawers retails from $399 to $499.
HomTex Inc. expanded the color palette of its DreamFit bed linens with green, gray and blue. DreamFit is a six-collection lineup each with its own yarn composition, price point and, previously, with a separate, limited choice of colors. “(Now, within each group,) we’re presenting a broader array of fashionable color choices so that consumers aren’t having to make a color decision at the expense of a fabric decision,” said Cindy Williams, vice president of marketing for the Vinemont, Alabama-based company.
The Kingsdown showroom was packed with new looks from the recently merged company, which formerly operated separately as Kingsdown Inc., based in Mebane, North Carolina, and Owen & Co./Kingsdown Canada in Toronto. Pictured here is an extension of the luxury Vintage collection. Six new models priced, from $2,249 to $5,600, feature an ivory damask panel adorned with a gray paisley motif framed by a super-thick tape-edge. The eye-catching bed border has a textural, block-stitch quilt design. Kingsdown is owned by Montreal-based private equity firm Novacap.
Down to Earth
Logan, Utah-based Malouf debuted its answer to down pillows that lose their loft with its TripleLayer down pillow. The outer layers feature a blend of 90% down and 10% feathers. The inner support layer is the opposite — 90% feathers and 10% down. “It’s a pillow within a pillow,” said communications director Jake Neeley (left), pictured with brand manager Scott Carr. The 100% cotton cover is unbleached and undyed. In keeping with the natural theme, the pillow comes in a reusable tote made with the same fabric as the pillow cover and closes with wooden buttons. The pillow retails for $99, and $5 from every purchase goes to support the Malouf Foundation’s efforts to rescue and care for survivors of child sex trafficking.
On Top of the World
King Koil broadened its luxury offerings with five new mattresses in its World Luxury Intimate collection. The line opens at a lower $1,400 but tops out at $3,000, said David Binke, chief executive officer of the Willowbrook, Illinois-based company. The beds are dressed in soft white ticking with gentle curves and waves and incorporate the Perfect Contour Reaction coil system, plus copper-infused latex and memory foam layers.
All in One
Customatic put it all together when it comes to the boxed-bed category. Its Complete Sleep system offers a mattress and an adjustable base shipped together. The memory foam bed and head-and-foot lift system retail from $749 to $799, and the base can be assembled easily without tools. “We’ve had tremendous response,” said Roger Magowitz, executive vice president of the company, which has headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts. “It’s a well-constructed piece. It’s what the doctor ordered.”
Feel the Stretch
Mantua Manufacturing Co.’s Rize Aviada adjustable base ($1,999) has all the bells and whistles of an upscale adjustable base — with voice-controlled articulation, multiple massage motors, a nifty design with neatly hidden electronics, and illuminated chrome feet, said David Jaffee, president of the Walton Hills, Ohio-based company. But, best of all, Aviada has an inversion feature that provides a thorough spinal stretch. When users lie flat on their backs, they can slowly lower their legs and torso at the same time.
This graphic panel at Englander drew a lot of eyes to the E-Gel hybrid line extension ($1,099). The bed pairs proprietary foam-and-gel CoolBlue Sleep Technology in the cushion with a pocketed coil core. “When it comes to the benefits of the hybrid mattress and a cool sleep experience, the consumer has spoken and told us they want both,” said Kevin Toman, president of the Chicago-based company.
Rancho Cucamonga, California-based E.S. Kluft & Co. raised its luxury offerings with three new Rip Van Winkle beds in the Aireloom Karpen Sidestitch collection. Like other beds in the group, these mattresses have old-school design, such as 560 side stitches, tufting and hand-tied foundations, but with added benefits like microcoils. The result is an adjustable-friendly luxury line that retails from $7,000 to $11,000.
Reverie’s new top-of-the-line R600 adjustable base is ready to be shipped to retailers. The base, which fits within bedroom furniture, provides full adjustability plus tilt so sleepers can experience the pressure relief of inversion, the Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based sleep products maker said. The $1,999 base also includes deep pressure massage with four wave modes and 10 intensity levels, adjustable legs and a host of other features. Also new is the three-model promotionally priced OSO line of shippable bases.
Adjustable base specialist Ergomotion, with U.S. headquarters in Santa Barbara, California, made its bases even sleeker at this market. The Contour Pure Slim whittles the deck down to 4 inches. Retailing for $999, it includes extension deck technology, which prevents the “taco effect” by separating and extending as the head rises, said Gui Peres, director of global sales. Motion Pure, which can slip into existing bedroom furniture, also has a trim 4-inch deck ($899).
The Warner family, owners of Marshall Mattress, take a break on Repose ($2,295), a new model in the Sleepmaker Harmony collection. It’s an adjustable-friendly, foam-free bed that gets its cushioning comfort from proprietary Resilifiber, a durable polyester blend that mimics the feel of comfort foams. Repose also incorporates the Toronto-based company’s signature cotton-wrapped pocket spring system in a taller 8-inch version. Pictured clockwise from the left are Eric, Sharan, Brad and Halle Warner.
Sheex founders and co-chief executive officers, Susan Walvius (left) and Michelle Brooke-Marciniak, pose on the just-launched Studio Tech bedding collection in their new Las Vegas showroom. Priced at about $250, a queen set has a fitted sheet, two pillow cases, two pillow shams and a duvet cover. The polyester and Spandex linens from the Marlton, New Jersey-based company are inspired by athletic wear and have a patented construction. Also new from Sheex is a box-spring wrap that slips on, allowing the foundation to match the sheets ($100 in queen).
iSense Sleep, based in Springfield, Missouri, takes the guesswork out of buying a bed, said Paul Longman, an industrial engineer and the company’s founder and chief executive officer. Three beds — iSense Air, iSense Foam and iSense Spring (pictured, with Longman and, behind him, Marketing Director Tim Hershberger) — have Comfort Control technology that uses differently configured air chambers to change the bed’s comfort. In the pocketed coil bed, “finger chambers” sandwiched between the springs inflate or deflate to firm up the bed’s center third. In the foam model, larger air bladders are positioned between foam blocks at the center of the bed. The airbed has head-to-toe air chambers. Prices for the three beds range from $2,899 to $4,299 (mattress only).
Red, White and Blue
Mattress licensing group Therapedic International, headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, reveals its American Glory collection promoted with a “Make America Sleep Great Again” tagline. The beds have a patriotic aesthetic that includes vertical red handles festooned with stars. Priced from $799 to $1,199 (mattress only), the beds use Leggett & Platt Inc.’s Quantum Edge pocketed coils, as well as a number of foam and fiber layers in the cushion.
This reimagining of Kingsdown’s innerspring Passions collection ($1,099 to $1,899) features polka dots dancing along the horizontally quilted border. The border also is punctuated with small quilted circles. The bed’s design theme is carried onto the satin foot streamer and coordinating pillowcase. Kingsdown is owned by Montreal-based Novacap and the mattress maker has headquarters in Toronto and Mebane, North Carolina.
Providing POP Pronto
Thomasville, North Carolina-based Wright Global Graphics developed Wright Tailored to speed up the process of getting beds dressed and ready to sell. The program allows customers to select from a set of curated fabrics for top-of-bed items, such as foot protectors and pillow shams, and then have those items created with the customer’s branding within five days. The price is $65 for a set.
If a retailer is looking to get into the boxed-bed category with its own label and own brand, Nashville, Tennessee-based Southerland Inc. has a solution with its new six-bed iBnB program. The beds — three foam mattresses and three innerspring mattresses — come in boxes (pictured at the head of the bed) that can be customized for retailers, allowing them to have their own boxed programs. Retailers can choose to floor the mattresses or have them shipped directly to the consumer by Southerland. The collection retails from $799 to $1,499.
Spring Air International, headquartered in Chelsea, Massachusetts, brought a touch of velvet to its three-model Special Edition line, which retails from $599 to $899 and contains edge-to-edge coils, lumbar support and gel in the quilt. Lining the border, the soft blue velvet with black-and-gold tape accents creates an eye-catching counterpart to the textured white knit panel. Additionally, Spring Air introduced an opening Four Seasons model for $1,699. Also in the Spring Air showroom, framed lifestyle ads — “real images about what happens at home,” said President Nick Bates — showcased the company’s new marketing.
Click and Buy
South Bay International’s new mattress, adjustable base and upholstered foundation/headboard retails for about $1,699 for all four pieces, and drop-ships in compact boxes, said Dani Serven, chief operating officer of the Pomona, California-based company. Floor it in-store or simply add it to your store’s Catalog Kiosk, an endless aisle platform produced by cloud software company Wondersign and available from South Bay, she said.
Becoming More Flexible
Shifman Mattress Co. responded to dealer demand by making its American Heritage collection adjustable-base friendly. The use of Leggett & Platt Inc.’s Quantum Edge pocketed coils in place of the bed’s original Bonnell innerspring unit creates the desired flexibility, said Bill Hammer, president of the Newark, New Jersey-based company. Nine beds range in price from $1,500 to $10,000 and feature a host of Shifman’s premium components. The collection is targeted to large retailers looking to spice up their luxury offerings, Hammer said.
Bedgear, headquartered in Farmingdale, New York, has upholstered the new customizable M3 Launchpad mattress ($1,999, mattress only) with yards and yards of spacer fabric, both inside and out, and zippers that take users into the belly of their beds. Everything inside is moveable, so sleepers can rearrange their bed’s inner workings to create just the right comfort.
Major mattress brand Serta, part of Atlanta-based Serta Simmons Bedding LLC, punched up its pillows this summer. Following a good-better-best model, the iComfort TempActiv pillow line — made from the same cooling TempActiv material found in its iComfort mattresses and covered in the same soft gray knit — is expected to retail from $80 to $130, said Kelly Ellis, senior director of integrated marketing. Additionally, Serta rolled out a TempActiv mattress protector, which retails for $140.
Luxury Line Extension
Tempur-Pedic, part of Tempur Sealy International Inc., headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, extended the Adapt line launched in January with the LuxeAdapt series. At $3,999 (mattress only), two all-foam beds — in soft or firm — represent a new top price point for Adapt. Beds have the brand’s heritage conforming feel thanks to Tempur-APR+ Technology, the latest version of Tempur material. Also new this summer: an adjustable pillow that has a down-filled outer cover that unzips to reveal two fabric-wrapped and removable Tempur material foam layers ($149 in queen).
Stella Genge, marketing manager for Logicdata, showed off the company’s step-up SILVERstandard+ adjustable base. With all of the mechanical and electronic components contained in a single case under the frame, the base allows for underbed storage and easy assembly. Features include massage, underbed lighting, Bluetooth connectivity and USB ports. As a direct-to-consumer drop-ship option, the base comes in two easy-to-handle boxes and can be assembled in about 15 minutes. Suggested retail is $1,400. It also comes as a split king with wireless sync. The motion furniture maker is based in Deutschlandsberg, Austria.
The Auria Climate Controlled Sleep System from Sleep Research Technologies, headquartered in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, can save on home energy bills, the company claims, because it has a heating and cooling unit in its foundation — one that produces the desired warmed or cooled air that then flows over the sleeper from the bed’s headboard. Priced at $6,100, it also aids sleep by playing soothing sounds and works with a shopper’s current mattress.
Phoenix-based Brooklyn Bedding filled its showroom with five collections that, like the rest of its lineup, ship nationwide compressed and boxed. Each new bed targets specific consumer preferences. For example, Plank is a firm, two-sided mattress; Freya has temperature-regulation features; and Bloom (pictured) uses components derived from nature, such as Joma wool, organic cotton and latex.