Regional mattress manufacturers, accessories producers expand offerings at spring High Point Market
BY BARBARA T. NELLES AND BETSI ROBINSON
Retailers attending the High Point Market April 18-23 in High Point, North Carolina, enjoyed a sunny but cool furniture market with an abundance of line extensions and sleep accessories, but with fewer mattress exhibitors. Recently, there have been fewer significant introductions in sleep-products showrooms in High Point, and this probably was the quietest in terms of big news. One reason is that Serta, Symbol Mattress and Boyd Specialty Sleep all closed their showrooms, and none of the major brands held press briefings. That said, there were some showroom openings and expansions, and regional manufacturers and accessories suppliers unveiled a range of targeted products.
Paramount Sleep launched the luxury Hypnos collection, while Five Star and Spring Air licensee Spring Air Mattress Corp. filled in upper price points in existing collections. Shifman Mattress Co. solved a problem many of its furniture retailers face by building a mattress designed specifically for platform beds, and Savvy Rest expanded its platform base offerings.
Sleep accessories were a highlight, and the “cool” pillows at Technogel Sleeping and Malouf were showstoppers. The following photo album is a sample of the bedding news from market.
* Unless otherwise noted, all prices are suggested retail for queen-size sets.
MARKET PHOTO ALBUM
LUXURY MEETS FUNCTION⇒ Paramount Sleep, with headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, introduced the luxury Hypnos collection, a joint venture with the century-old U.K. bedding maker. The beds are designed for “comfort selling to the ‘functional luxury’ consumer, who is interested in products that improve their lives,” said Richard Fleck, Paramount president. Eight Hypnos models are clothed in cream damask with an “H”-monogram border motif. Inside is Hypnos’s Q Spring pocketed coil system with nested center coils in the bed’s middle third for extra support. Fill materials in the different models include natural latex, camel hair, horsehair, Joma wool and Joma alpaca wool. The beds contain no polyurethane foam. Retailing from $3,000 to $11,000 in queen, a “zipper link” option snugly joins two twin XLs for city dwellers interested in a king bed.
The redesigned Paramount Sleep HD Super Duty collection from Norfolk, Virginia-based Paramount Sleep featured a stunning knit panel whose center design highlights the beds’ new zoned gel-foam comfort layer. Eight beds in the sturdy collection retail from $1,000 to $3,000.
⇒ Mattress protection and top-of-bed supplier PureCare opened the doors to a spacious, new showroom—its first solo space in High Point. The Fairfield, New Jersey-based company’s new “corner lot” in the International Home Furnishings Center beckoned passersby with an attractive window display featuring the Elements sheet collection, introduced at the winter Las Vegas Market. “We’re having a busy show, and our Elements cotton sateen sheets are off to an unbelievable start,” said Sean Bergman, PureCare chief marketing officer. “We are continuing our ’30 for 30’ promotion on Elements—30% off for 30 days on your opening order.”
⇒ Value-priced manufacturer Five Star Mattress, based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, showcased the next generation of its GelActive specialty collection. First introduced in 2012, GelActive has shed its zippered cover and features a taller, more cushioned profile as well as new gray and white fabrics and a striking channel-quilted panel. The five-bed group shares a new foundation that coordinates with the company’s TLC program. The beds retail from $599 to $999. Five Star also responded to retailer demand for price points above $1,000 in its popular TLC group, said Five Star President Jim Nation. The collection now tops out at $1,299 and includes new models that use GelActive memory foam comfort layers.
⇒ Ultra-premium mattress brand Vispring, based in Plymouth, England, introduced a refreshed choice of fabrics for its handmade headboards and divans. The Timeless collection is “made up of calming colors peppered with more dramatic statement shades, which are still in neutral tones,” a news release said. Eighty-one fabric choices include British wool, Scottish leather, Italian velvet and Belgian linen. The Vispring Timeless collection was curated with the assistance of French designer Terence Mesguich Jacquemin.
⇒ Salem Sleep Products added a new version of its all-wood Euro Slat Port-A-Foundation. The easy to ship and assemble, patented bed base is now available upholstered in a neutral fabric, retailing for $199 in queen. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based company also has a new group of vacuum-packed fiberfill “Corn” and “Bamboo” pillows, their fills are polylactide (PLA) polyester fiber derived from cornstarch and bamboo viscose fiber, respectively. The new pillows retail for $19.99.
⇒ Hartford, Connecticut-based manufacturer Gold Bond introduced the three-bed latex collection Brilliance. Gold Bond President Bob Naboicheck touted the popularity of latex among mattress-industry insiders and the collection’s use of durable, new Vytex latex from Vystar Corp.: “Their latex contains no filler, is significantly denser and tests show that after 40 years of use, this latex retains 96% of its resiliency.” Brilliance is wrapped in moisture-wicking wool and upholstered in a lofty wraparound stretch knit with a colorful, wavy design motif. The starter 9-inch Ruby bed ($1,799) is one-sided and has 3 inches of Vytex latex over a polyurethane foam core. The 10-inch Emerald mattress ($2,999) and 11-inch Sapphire model ($3,199) are two-sided and have a solid Vytex latex core. Gold Bond entered the topper category with a 2-inch, 2-sided Vytex latex topper that retails for $500. In other news, Gold Bond created an adjustable base-friendly version of its innerspring Buckingham mattress, retailing for $799, by adding a strong but flexible Leggett & Platt Quantum Edge Steel Perimeter wrapped-coil core.
⇒ Luxury mattress maker Shifman Mattress Co., which has long promoted the importance of “traditional, working box springs” and continues to manufacture eight-way, hand-tied box springs at its Newark, New Jersey headquarters, introduced an innerspring mattress designed to provide long-lasting comfort when paired with a platform base. “Many of our furniture-store customers are becoming more transitional and need mattresses to sell with contemporary platform beds,” said President Bill Hammer. The two-sided, three-bed (tight-, pillow- and box-top) platform group uses “mostly natural materials such as cotton,” that are tightly locked together and covered in an elegant taupe damask. Retailers don’t need to make room on their floors for extra models, as the platform collection can be merchandised right on the store’s platform beds, Hammer said. Retail prices range from $2,199 to $4,299 for the mattress only.
⇒ Mattress maker Spring Air Mattress Corp., the Greensboro, North Carolina-based Spring Air licensee for North and South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, unveiled a new interpretation of the three-part Spring Air Four Seasons bed. The manufacturer displayed Four Seasons HybridFlex at its Greensboro showroom, a six-model group with a reversible spring/summer-fall/winter topper, layered over a mattress with the zoned Back Supporter coil system, layered atop a foundation. The collection uses a range of high-end comfort materials including gel-infused foam and latex. “Our research has shown that consumers continue to want two-sided mattresses,” said John Grove Jr., Spring Air Mattress Corp. president. “And (the Four Seasons collection) is a unique way of offering that. The topper has wool fiber underneath a Teddy bear fabric for fall/winter and, on the other side, silk fiber topped with a soft knit.” The new beds retail from $1,199 to $2,999.
⇒ In a premarket news release, Simmons Bedding Co. announced the official launch of the beta-tested SleepSells.com website, described as “a one-stop information hub for the retail sales community.” The site gets regular updates and allows users to register and interact. The company also refined and released SIMulator, a virtual-reality app for mobile devices; it’s designed to be a sales tool for RSAs, allowing them to show consumers what’s inside all Simmons and Beautyrest products.
⇒ Technogel Sleeping, a premium Italian specialty-sleep maker with U.S. headquarters in Pittsburgh, rolled out an enhanced pillow design with top-to-bottom perforations that provide improved airflow through the patented gel layer and foam core of its molded pillows. Technogel also updated its pillow covers with a softer, washable stretch knit and contrasting piping. Five pillow sizes and shapes retail for about $179 each.
⇒ Leggett & Platt Fashion Bed Group welcomed market-goers at its new, brightly lit showroom featuring elegant tones of gray and teal that really showed off its new products. The bold, retro-inspired Prelude bed, which retails for $899 in a new orange fabric, took center stage, featuring a low profile, sleek silhouette and dramatic upholstered headboard. The Carthage, Missouri-based company also debuted its all-metal Sheridan bed sporting contemporary square and rectangular tubing. Finished in black with a golden rub-through, it retails for $599. A trio of new headboards, upholstered in polyester fabric and priced at about $399 each, offered consumers adjustable heights. New bedding support products included a line of “tool-less” universal bed frames starting at $79 and a new $250 platform frame that supports today’s thicker mattresses without the need for a box spring and offers valuable storage underneath. FBG also rolled out new bedding accessories with cooling technology—the Aere Gel Memory Foam Pillow and the Aere Crystal Gel Mattress Protector.
⇒ Sleep accessories supplier Malouf expanded its Z pillow lineup with a trio of new body pillows designed to be particularly useful for pregnant women, who are advised to sleep on their sides. The new designs seemed fitting, said Chief Executive Officer Sam Malouf, as employees at his headquarters in Logan, Utah, are birthing babies at a remarkable rate. (Nine wee ones among 10 employees this year!) The pillows, with washable bamboo viscose velour covers, feature ergonomic designs that provide additional support to help relieve sleeping pains. The Wrap-around, shaped like the letter C and filled with a hypoallergenic down-alternative fill, retails for $79-$99. It envelops the whole body, aligning the hips and creating support under the head, neck, back and belly. Retailing for $50-$60, the Horseshoe pillow’s U shape can be used either under the head to support the neck and back or under the legs to align the hips and cradle the belly. And the L-shaped Boomerang memory foam pillow, which retails for $80-$100, provides support for the head, neck and shoulders for multiple-position sleepers.
⇒ Natural and organic producer Savvy Rest launched its Ivy Platform Bed, the first product developed at a new production-development facility near the company’s headquarters in Charlottesville, Va. Crafted from maple wood with poplar slats and finished with linseed oil, the Ivy retails for $999 and eliminates the need for a box spring or foundation. “A lot of our customers are looking for a product with no off-gassing, no chemical finishes,” said Director of Business Development John Howard-Smith. “This is the first product in a line we plan to development in this new facility. We have several new products planned for Vegas.” The Ivy can be shipped via FedEx and requires no tools for assembly, he said.
⇒ At its first High Point market appearance, Asheville, North Carolina-based Skytex Inc. introduced its broadened line of ViscoSoft branded microfiber sheets. The Hexagon and Grace collections, retailing for $29.99 each, feature a cotton-like softness and breathability and come in a range of colors. True to its name, the Hexagon collection sports a stylish hexagon embroidered design on the flat sheet and pillowcases, and a colored fitted sheet to match. The Grace collection boasts a delicate, rectangular perforated woven stitching along its borders for a more luxurious look. The company also introduced a new line of mattress protectors—Impermesoft, Microquilt and Quadlux. Account Manager Vincent Dungan said the protectors, which retail for $29.99, $39.99 and $49.99 respectively, offer anti-dust mite and hypoallergenic properties as well as varying comfort features.
⇒ Adjustable bed manufacturer Reverie, based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, expanded its pillow collection with the new SweetZone Latex Pillow, made in the U.S.A. with a Talalay core for greater support, air flow and comfort. Retailing for $129, the pillow features a zoned construction that provides firm neck support and a soft head cradle. The pillow is wrapped in a washable cover made with CoolPlus fiber, which “weaves cooling properties into the actual yarn so they do not wash or wear out,” according to Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Tan. The new 3E Tech adjustable foundation has upholstered side rails and “3-in-1 legs” that allow the height of the bed to be adjusted to three levels, the 3E is targeted to budget-conscious consumers. The foundation, which retails for $999, offers head and foot adjustability as well as a backlit wireless remote with pre-sets for zero gravity, anti-snore and two programmable memory positions. “We see the 3E Tech as being akin to BMW or Mercedes 3 series cars,” said Martin Rawls-Meehan, Reverie president and chief executive officer. “They are designed with all the high-quality, service and safety features you would expect from the brand, but at entry-level price points that attract a first-time customer.”
⇒ Rush Mattress, a division of ready-to-assemble furniture distributor Vrush Industries, based in High Point, North Carolina, rolled out its new collection of four “whisper quiet” Rush Adjustable Power Bases ranging from basic to loaded with features. Retailing for $999, the basic RushElevation comes with a hard-wired remote, “gravity-release” safety feature and head-and-foot adjustability. The top model retails for $2,299 and also features wireless remote, USB and Bluetooth ports and wireless speakers, under-bed LED safety lighting, lumbar support and two-zone therapeutic body massage. “It’s found money, an easy add-on,” said Rush Mattress President Harry Goodman. “Once the sales force learns how to sell it, it’s a 30% attachment rate for an articulated bed. This is a lifestyle solution today. People like to watch TV, work on their computers and read in bed.”