At this exuberant show, vendors offered modern looks and new technologies from top to bottom
BY BARBARA T. NELLES AND BETSI ROBINSON
Heading to Winter Las Vegas Market Jan. 18-22 at the World Market Center, the editors of Sleep Savvy had a sense this could be one of the biggest bedding shows in recent history, and it was.
The national brands opened 2015 with a bang. Serta revamped and updated Perfect Sleeper and, most notably, added a specialty-sleep version to the flagship brand. Tempur-Pedic shook us up with microcoil-containing Tempur-Flex—and a whole new feel. A thoroughly modern Posturepedic took center stage at Sealy, as did an elegant Stearns & Foster Estate Limited Edition collection, on display in its own wood-paneled showroom. And Simmons made an enormous splash with the launch of the “One Beautyrest” brand strategy, unifying 70% of its product portfolio under the Beautyrest Recharge brand umbrella.
Based on our travels through the show, these are some major and minor trends in mattresses and sleep accessories that are hot for 2015:
O Color story—bold blues to earth tones. Subtle-to-vivid blues on the borders and in point-of-sale materials, as well as more muted or earthy shades complemented the clean white panels on most mattress models. For instance, the signature upholstered borders of Beautyrest Recharge were “sable,” a shade that evoked Pantone’s 2015 color of the year, Marsala.
O Foam wave. Foam features continue as a major underpinning of new product introductions. Now manufacturers are offering even more feels through new formulations and the addition of different types of gels. Poured gels over foam were widespread and said to provide temperature regulation. Cuts, contours, channeling and additives—such as phase-change material—continue to be talking points for the point of sale.
O Luxury innersprings. High-end innerspring offerings had an important place at this show. Many included fabric-wrapped coils topped with premium foams and latex, horsehair and luxury fibers—with lush damask ticking.
O Will it adjust? Helping retailers increase tickets with ever-simpler—or more complex and high-end—adjustable bases was a top priority at this show. There were more base models to choose from and many more mattresses were touted as adjustable-friendly—even the thickest and weightiest of beds.
O All the pretty boxes. A number of vendors offered foam beds that ship vacuum-packed in attractive boxes—no more unsightly corrugated cardboard. Even brick-and-mortar retailers should find a place on their floors for well-packaged boxed beds to target Millennials eyeing trendy Internet retailers, they said.
O Latex strengthens. The list of latex offerings continues to expand. From “organic” brands selling 100% natural latex beds made from sap collected at certified rubber plantations in Sri Lanka to mainstream brands selling beds with latex components in a broad range of qualities (including “all-synthetic”), there was a lot of latex talk at this show. Dunlop-process latex is gaining in popularity in American beds, both in cores and comfort layers.
O Sleep accessories proliferate. Introductions in pillows, protectors and bed linens deserve a report all their own. But for now, suffice to say that retailers had an enormous selection to choose from. Many vendors touted “performance fabrics” with attributes that included temperature regulation, antibacterial, anti-allergen, organic or “natural.” There were more polyester and viscose yarns in use. Pillow introductions were driven by customization claims; many were enveloped in filled, multizippered covers holding fiber that wrapped around a crumbled core, allowing consumers to add or subtract fill for adjustability. Molded foam and latex pillows are not out of fashion but often have a “green” or a “cool” story, too.
Click over to the BedTimes magazine site for a photo album of new mattresses and sleep accessories unleashed at this show. We hope it inspires you to jazz up your bedding floor this spring.