With new legislation possibly on the horizon, CBD may become more mainstream, potentially increasing sales of CBD-infused bedding products
In 2020, at the height of the anxiety-provoking pandemic, cannabidiol, or CBD, reached a new, ahem, high as a bona fide consumer product used to relax and get a better night’s sleep. Some bedding producers stood poised to take advantage of its growing popularity.
Following the trend of CBD use in everything from lip balms to lotions, several manufacturers introduced CBD-infused mattresses, toppers and pillows at the Winter Las Vegas Market in 2020 — the year when CBD sales in the United States reached $4.6 billion. (See article on page 27 for a primer on CBD.)
“When we launched b-calm, our CBD line of mattresses, in January 2020, CBD was a hot topic and of growing interest to the consumer with its calming, relaxing and natural properties,” says Susan Mathes, vice president of brand relations for Princeton, New Jersey-based Therapedic International. “So, it seemed ‘natural’ (no pun intended) to incorporate it into a line of mattresses.”
At that time, Gerry Borreggine, president and chief executive officer of the licensing group, called it the brand’s best-received product launch in a decade. The line included CBD in the mattress foams and in the panel ticking, as well as complementary products such as b-tranquil bed linen spray.
And Therapedic was not alone: Paramount Sleep, Mlily USA and ZBD Bed rolled out CBD-infused mattresses. Malouf and NCFI also introduced CBD-infused pillows.
So, two years after BedTimes first published “The CBD Infusion” in May 2020, how have these products been received?
Turns out, it’s a mixed bag. The bedding industry may have been a little ahead of its time, especially with the supply chain issues. Not to mention, there’s a lack of consumer education about CBD — and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration still has not blessed its use, although there is legislation in the works to approve CBD as a dietary supplement.
“Our launch was quite successful in terms of interest expressed by those who saw the line and tried the models in Las Vegas (in 2020),” Mathes says. “While we have had a few placements, as you can imagine, the timing of the launch and next steps for full rollout were thwarted by the pandemic.”
Knoxville, Tennessee-based Mlily USA echoed Therapedic’s sentiments. “Our Mprove 3.0 hybrid and Mprove 2.0 all-foam mattresses were introduced at a time that consumer interest in CBD products was high,” says Glenn Kobylarczyk, Mlily executive vice president. “The line had a mostly positive reception, though mixed overall given the concept was still new in terms of CBD applied to a mattress and how it translates to a strong consumer story.”
Success with the smalls
While consumers may be shy about investing in bigger ticket CBD sleep items like mattresses, they appear to be stoked to try accessories, such as sleep aids, pillows and mattress toppers.
Since launching Mprove, Mlily has introduced a new pillow to its CBD lineup. “We added the BioRelax pillow that has CBD oil-infused directly into the memory foam pillow core, as well as the plush fabric cover,” Kobylarczyk says.
Meanwhile, Malouf is still going strong with its CBD-infused products, including pillows, aromatherapy spray and even body lotion.
“We launched our CBD line two years ago, right at the onset of Covid and the increased demand for products like this in the home,” says Ashlee Willes, brand manager for the Logan, Utah-based company. “Our retail partners continue to see success with this line, and we anticipate that demand will stay consistent in the future.”
According to Malouf’s research, 14% of Americans report using CBD — 40% use CBD for pain, 20% for anxiety, and 11% for sleep. “We offer our line of CBD infusions to better support the existing demand and provide options for consumers seeking more natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals,” Willes says, noting they have their best sales in areas where consumers are focused on sustainability and the environment.
Sleep products maker Rize does not target any one specific type of consumer with its CBD products. “There is no single demographic that CBD is more appropriate for, as evidenced by the fact that the CBD market has already exceeded $2 billion per year despite it being a fairly new category of products,” says David Jaffe, CEO of the Cleveland-based company. “Consumer product experts have projected this category to grow 21% year over year for the next 10 years.”
So, it’s no surprise the company is rising to the occasion, with new CBD products becoming available this month. The Rize CBD line consists of three core products: CBD gummies, soft gels and soft gels with melatonin, all part of its Sleep Essentials line.
“Our focus is on retailers that are already selling comfort and/or sleep. CBD, along with our other Sleep Essentials, are an obvious add-on to someone that comes into a store looking for a new mattress,” Jaffe says. “These retailers are currently missing out on selling these products to customers looking to solve their sleep or comfort problems.”
Bedding manufacturer Magniflex has found favor for its CBD products with consumers who are brand aware, lead active lives and seek to improve their sleep. The Prato, Italy-based company has placed products in specialty mattress stores, full-line furniture stores, and health and wellness retailers since introducing a CBD-infused pillow and a mattress topper at the 2021 Summer Las Vegas Market.
“We are always looking to add more health and wellness products to our assortment,” says Billy Curtwright, national sales manager. “And CBD has really become mainstream in the last couple of years for its calming and pain-relieving qualities.”
While the products have been well-received, Curtwright says the company has not determined whether CBD will become a permanent part of its lineup and does not plan to add any more CBD products at this time. “We will assess the CBD success over the course of this year,” he says.
Future CBD legislation
Meanwhile, notable forecasts predict the CBD market in the United States could grow to $15 billion-$20 billion by 2025, potentially bolstered by the Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act of 2021, and the 2021 Hemp Access and Consumer Safety Act. This proposed legislation, which hasn’t come up for a vote, could allow the FDA to authorize the marketing of CBD as a dietary supplement, potentially leading to greater sales and consumer awareness. (Currently, the FDA’s position is that CBD products may not be sold as dietary supplements.)
The Hemp Access and Consumer Safety Act could give hemp-derived CBD products an opportunity to lawfully be used in dietary supplements, foods and beverages under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. It also would prioritize consumer safety, requiring manufacturers to comply with all existing federal regulations for products that contain CBD. Finally, it would ensure that these products are properly labeled.
“We still believe CBD is a growing industry, of interest to the end consumer and will make its way into mattresses in the future,” Therapedic’s Mathes says. “It has already done so successfully in pillows and other topical products.
“Our continued development of CBD in mattresses may be paused until we feel the timing is right,” she adds. “At that time, we will have the strong selections and full assortment we introduced back in January 2020.”
Mathes notes that consumers are increasingly aware of the the correlation between good overall health and good sleep.
“At the heart of good sleep is the mattress,” she says. “We feel strongly about that as evidenced by our recent release of our Immunity copper-based lineup.”
Will Mlily keep CBD mattresses as part of its permanent lineup — or are they just a passing fad? “While the onset of the pandemic may have affected the introduction of CBD sleep products introduced in January 2020, we think it appears to be a trend that appeals to consumers right now,” Kobylarczyk says.
As for Rize, it is doubling down and designing new products that may include different strengths, flavors and forms — and may even focus on comfort for pets.
“Per the latest consumer research, the CBD market is on target to be a $50 billion industry in the next 10 years,” Jaffe says. “I believe CBD is a product that is here to stay.” •