Independent producer Gold Bond Mattresses is experiencing a strong uptick in its university and prep school business throughout the Northeast as virtually all these institutions have re-opened dormitories for the fall semester.
Based in Hartford, Connecticut, Gold Bond has historically had a strong business in this sector, but when schools went virtual during the pandemic, that business slowed. Two years later, many schools have discovered their older mattresses needed to be replaced.
“We are seeing larger orders that represent the vast majority of bedding, unlike in past years where they might have focused on a particular building or campus,” said Robert Naboicheck, president of Gold Bond.
Like many of its products for the residential market, Gold Bond relies on cotton as the principal cushioning material and flame-retardant barrier for its dormitory mattresses. Naboicheck said most producers use foam, but Gold Bond’s focus on cotton keeps costs down, since the company uses around 3 million pounds each year. Plus, the manufacturer operates its own cotton garneting equipment (a process that removes impurities from raw cotton), which allows for further cost savings.
“Cotton is an all-natural material and lasts much longer than the low-quality foams used by many manufacturers in the contract arena. Since we are one of only two garneters in the Northeast, that makes it much less expensive than if we bought it from an outside source,” Naboicheck said. “Nowadays, schools are more concerned with all-natural, organic, healthy options for their students, and since cotton is a natural product, it benefits everybody. Schools are gaining a better understanding of the health benefits of a good night’s sleep, and they’re increasingly turning to reliable, domestic producers like us who can deliver a quality product on time and within their budget.”