ISPA Expo Trends: Sustainability & Innovation Take Center Stage

The slogan for Columbus, Ohio, could just as easily be said for ISPA EXPO 2024, which attracted thousands to experience all the bedding industry has to offer.

Where everyone started at ISPA EXPO 2024.

Sunny weather and above-average temperatures welcomed thousands of mattress producers, suppliers and industry leaders from around the globe to downtown Columbus, Ohio, March 12-14  for ISPA EXPO 2024, the world’s largest bedding components show.

“For us, the fair was extremely positive and super exciting, always busy and full of visits and important meetings,” said Andrea Lazzaroni, executive vice president and chief operating officer of CT Nassau, based in Alamance, North Carolina. “We are thrilled to have attracted all the players in our industry to our company.”

Silvia Enriquez, co-owner of Enriquez Materials & Quilting Inc., based in Commerce, California, echoed his sentiments: “This show is helpful to us so we can see all our international customers. We can show them everything we have in one spot.”

The 2024 exhibition boasts the superlative of being the largest ISPA EXPO in terms of square footage (164,300 square feet), and it attracted 249 exhibitors to the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Of the attendees, 30% were from outside the United States. Kayseri, Turkey-based Boyteks reported that in one day, the company had visitors from more than 50 different countries.

Trends in the industry were easy to spot. Exhibitors focused on cost savings, while at the same time making more eco-friendly choices.

A number of springs makers introduced 10-inch coils or coil-on-coil constructions, with an eye toward reducing the amount of foam required to create a mattress. Some introduced cotton-encased coils for a more natural composition while others wrapped springs in recycled nonwoven fabric.

Adhesives makers, listening to industry demands for more sustainable adhesives, touted new bio-based formulations, which several producers said were cost effective, too. Many suppliers also brought polypropylene adhesives to make recycling pocketed coils easier. This type of glue, when applied to polypropylene fabric, does not need to be removed in order to recycle the nonwoven. One company even offered an adhesive whose ingredients included material made from recycled polypropylene fiber from mattresses.

In the world of foams, manufacturers were interested in making foams taller — and softer. Plus, infusions of copper and graphite were still going strong. One exhibitor showcased lighter foam formulations to reduce the amount of fuel needed to ship the material.

ISPA EXPO show floor.

Ticking suppliers also tapped into the sustainability zeitgeist. Many highlighted the use of sustainable yarns in their fabrics. And attendees saw a new twist in ticking — the use of artificial intelligence to help generate design ideas. In terms of look and feel, fabric colors trended toward calming pastels and a feeling of peace and serenity. 

In addition to showing the latest innovations, the event provided a taste of a hopeful future for the bedding industry.

“It was great to see so many people for what seemed like a very busy show all three days,” said Chad Antinori, general manager of Future Coil, headquartered in Tampa, Florida. “Customers we talked to seemed to be excited about new innovations and much more ready to buy than ISPA 2022.” In fact, all the LianRou machines sold by the end of the show, he said.

Rick Seely, executive vice president of Edge-Sweets Co., based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, had a good show, as well.

We didn’t have tire kickers; we had people who are decision-makers,” Seely said. “People were truly interested in furthering or advancing their technologies. We’re able to get a feel for the direction of how things are moving forward after a couple hard years with the decline in the mattress industry.”

Watch our recaps of the show! Read the full report on products, companies and innovations at the 2024 ISPA EXPO. Read coverage on the panels at ISPA EXPO: ISPA EXPO Panel Discussions.

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