Attendance lagged pre-Covid January markets, but the vibe was good in bedding showrooms
Smart. Cool. Bold. Sustainable. Premium.
That’s my quick answer to the question I was asked repeatedly at the Las Vegas Market: What do you like at market?
I was referring to several bedding trends that will be important this year as the industry hopes to shake off the lingering effects of the pandemic and get back to, we hope, a more typical bedding marketplace.
We saw signs of that step toward normal with a Las Vegas Market that was the strongest in two years. The vibe was good, with energy in showrooms and excitement about new products that can add a spark to retail floors.
In several bedding showrooms I heard that traffic lagged pre-Covid January market levels. But the exhibitors said they stayed busy, and they were pleased with the high-quality traffic they saw in their spaces.
Here’s a quick look at five key trends for 2022.
Smart: Smart beds, packed with technology and functions, stood out across the market. Ergomotion’s new Dawn House was one of the highlights in this category, offering a suite of wellness features. Kingsdown revamped its Sleep Smart mattress, with adjustable air chambers, while Intellibed re-engineered its Sleep Genius Smart Base, which incorporates technology developed from research that helps NASA astronauts sleep in space.
Look for more exciting developments in this category.
Cool: Yes, there has been a cool race in recent years, but things have gotten even hotter — er, make that cooler — in this competition. Ashley stepped up to the plate with its new Millennium mattress line. Its tagline: “There’s cool. Then there’s really cool.” Therapedic International added new Tommy Bahama mattresses with Glacier Touch for cooler sleep throughout the night, while Casper debuted its Snow technology, with HeatDelete Bands, to a foam pillow. Malouf’s new high-end Peak mattresses feature HyperChill covers. Magniflex showed its new MagniCool model in a room that looked like an igloo, with icicles dripping from the walls.
Cool-sleeping mattresses have been around for years, of course, but there is a new emphasis on super-cool features.
Bold: Several dramatic displays in bedding showrooms impressed me. Therapedic highlighted a stunning beach scene to launch its Immunity line, while Intellibed’s revamped Sleep Genius Smart Base was nestled in a futuristic sleep pod. Pleasant Mattress’ McRoskey brand scored with an art gallery-inspired showroom, in which the walls remained bare while the mattresses became the works of art.
Those are some great retail display ideas. I hope retailers pay attention.
Sustainable: Exhibit A in this category is the Sealy Naturals line, which uses no polyurethane foam, opting instead for 100% natural latex, ethically harvested wool, soft hemp and organic cotton. This introduction adds strength to the sustainability category, which is generating a growing buzz in the industry.
Premium: Higher-priced mattresses turned up everywhere at this market. The Sealy Naturals line retails at $3,499 for a queen mattress; Spring Air’s new Chattam & Wells line, nicely presented in its own showroom, retails from $2,499 to $6,999; and the McRoskey line retails from $6,500 to $18,000, to cite just three examples.
Analysts say that higher-end beds, those retailing at $2,000 and above, will show more growth this year than any other segment. Given the proliferation of those models in Las Vegas, I think the analysts might be right. •