BY BARBARA T. NELLES AND BETH ENGLISH
The latest crop of new beds unveiled at the Winter Las Vegas Market Jan. 28-Feb. 1 in Las Vegas were so inviting-looking, the editors of Sleep Savvy couldn’t resist pausing to rest-test a slew of them. Ahhh! We weren’t disappointed. But we didn’t nod off. Instead, we looked at hundreds of hybrid mattresses—and plenty of pillows, adjustable bases, headboards and more. These products are meant to help retailers grow tickets while adding pizzazz to their sales floors. Check out our alphabet-inspired trend notes and then, in the following pages, find loads of new products.
A is for ADJUSTABILITY
There were slick new looks for power bases and fascinating new technology that reacts to brain waves (at Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based Reverie) or is voice activated (at Santa Barbara, California-based Ergomotion), as well as easy-ship options that promise fast product assembly for consumers.
B is for BIGGER showrooms, “BEST-EVER” traffic, BOXES and more BOXES, and the color BLUE
Many sleep products companies expanded their spaces, focused on collections that ship with ease, and echoed a comment confirmed by Las Vegas Market officials—that this show was the busiest ever. In addition to crowds, Sleep Savvy editors saw undulating waves of blue and gray on so many beds, it felt like a meme.
C is for COLLECTIONS filled with new combinations of COMPONENTS (at Beautyrest, part of Atlanta-based Serta Simmons Bedding LLC, they mingled pocketed coils with pocketed memory foam!) and in general there were many more COILS in new beds
We tried out many of the beds at the Las Vegas Market and found them extra COMFORTABLE, too. Hybrid beds that mix layers of premium foams with pocket coils dominated introductions.
MORE TREND THOUGHTS
- Mattress makers were especially fond of heathered gray fabrics. Many mattress panels wore soft double knits, reminiscent of comfy, cozy sweatshirts.
- The beds were inviting and approachable—maybe that’s why we tested so many.
- Vendors sought to increase retailers’ tickets by offering more peripherals, such as headboards and pillows.
- A number of companies made shopping easier for retailers by streamlining and paring down existing collections.
The Beautyrest brand, part of Atlanta-based Serta Simmons Bedding LLC, gave marketgoers a preview of its new advertising campaign, “Be More Awake,” and zeroed in on new Beautyrest Platinum models ($1,299 to $2,999). The 16-bed collection features innerspring and hybrid mattresses with multiple, proprietary cooling components. Hybrid beds use the brand’s PressureSense hybrid support system. In a checkerboard pattern, it alternates the company’s pocket coil springs with unusual Pocketed Memory Foam.
Light and colorful
Sexy, lightweight and inspired by outdoor furniture, Customatic Adjustable Bedz’s new Featherlite adjustable base is the first in a long line of new products, said Phil Sherman, president of the Natick, Massachusetts-based company. Available in a choice of colors, Featherlite retails from $799 to $999, is easily shippable and has the millennial consumer in its sights.
Mattress major Tempur-Pedic, part of Tempur Sealy International Inc. based in Lexington, Kentucky, added Tempur-Adapt pillows ($149) with traditional silhouettes, different heights and looks that coordinate with new Tempur-Adapt and Tempur-ProAdapt beds.
One size fits all
These universal headboards from Fashion Bed Group, a division of Carthage, Missouri-based supplier Leggett & Platt Inc., mean consumers no longer need to replace the headboard when upgrading their mattress to a larger size. Three styles, each with a suggested retail of $299, expand to work with any bed frame, from twin to California king.
Shaun Pennington, president of Rancho Dominguez, California-based Diamond Mattress was thrilled with his company’s new showroom featuring a customer experience center. It helps brick-and-mortar retailers set themselves apart from e-commerce players with hands-on component demonstrations.
At mattress major Serta, part of Atlanta-based Serta Simmons Bedding LLC, a pared-down Serta iComfort collection—and particularly the redesigned Serta iComfort Hybrid group ($1,299 to $2,999)—dominated the showroom. The front-and-center bed has softly quilted panels using a heathered gray knit adorned with waves of indigo blue stripes. The look is supported by a new Serta tagline, “Not Just Sorta Comfortable. Serta Comfortable,” said Kelly Ellis (left), senior director of integrated marketing (pictured with Matt Moon, iComfort brand director).
Corsicana Mattress Co.’s executive sales team—Eric Jent (left), Clint Walling and Doug Guffey—welcomed marketgoers to the mattress maker’s spacious new showroom. A giant entryway mural, using words like “quality,” “service,” “value,” “delivery” and “logistics,” reminded visitors of the Corsicana, Texas-based company’s core principles. On the showroom floor, the new pocket coil Dynasty collection had pricey looks but the company’s signature promotional price points ($399 to $599).
Designed specifically for furniture stores, the new Naturepedic Serenade is a certified-organic hybrid priced at $2,499. Made with wrapped coils and organic latex, Serenade is designed more simply than other models from the mattress maker, which has headquarters in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. The Serenade ships compressed and boxed.
E.S. Kluft & Co. elevated the luxury category with a redesigned Aireloom Karpen mattress collection ($4,999 to $9,999) that pairs with coordinating headboards, divans, storage benches and more. All accessories are produced in partnership with Hudson, North Carolina-based Kincaid Furniture. “We’re offering a luxury lifestyle with beautiful matching pieces of furniture for a complete (bedroom) system,” said David Long, marketing director for E.S. Kluft, which has headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga, California.
At the Talalay Global/Pure Talalay Bliss showroom, Jim Huffstetler (left), vice president of marketing, and Kim Fisher, president and chief operating officer, expressed excitement about growing interest in the company’s natural Talalay components (which they’re holding high). They also touted new marketing videos all about Talalay, including one that illustrates the Shelton, Connecticut-based company’s tagline, “Earth’s Most Perfect Sleep Material.”
St. Louis-based Boyd Sleep added the strong but lightweight slatted Adjusta-Flex 750 to its lineup. Retailing for $699, the Euro-style base has four motors that lift as much as 1,000 pounds. The easy-ship power base can sit on an existing bed base or can be used alone—it has detachable legs in three heights.
Southerland Inc. filled its expansive new showroom with new products, including the luxury Evolution group ($1,799 to $2,999). The hybrid beds pair zoned, pocketed coils with premium foams, gel and phase-change material. “(In addition to) the comfort of a quilt top on a hybrid bed, Evolution features nearly every type of technology available in the bedding category today,” said Bryan Smith, president and chief executive officer of the Nashville-based mattress maker.
Among the news at Eclipse International was the Velika Great Bed. The three-part mattress, topper and divan with herringbone and houndstooth fabrics is “filled with the finest components and has all of the bells and whistles of an ultra-premium European brand, but retails for just $3,500,” said David Tenuta, director of brands and marketing for the company, which is part of North Brunswick, New Jersey-based Bedding Industries of America.
Talk to me
Adjustable base specialist Ergomotion, with headquarters in Santa Barbara, California, has made bases lighter and easier for consumers to use. On the lighter side, the Leaf (pictured) weighs 130 pounds and is a cash-and-carry option that fits in most vehicles. On the easier side, what could be simpler than controlling a motion base with your voice? The new Active motion base is controlled with Amazon’s Alexa.
King Koil began its 120th anniversary celebration by launching the Limited Edition 120th Gold collection ($999 to $1,199). The innerspring beds use the Perfect Contour Reaction Coil and are meant to help drive traffic from Memorial Day through Labor Day. “The beds deliver an extraordinary value (and) look and feel as though they would sell for much more,” said David Binke, chief executive officer for the Willowbrook, Illinois-based mattress producer.
Expanding its horizons, High Point, North Carolina-based textile supplier Culp Home Fashions used its weaving, knitting and sewing capabilities to create Comfort Supply Co. by Culp, a line of finished sleep accessories. Kyle Borreggine, the newly hired director of sales, is leading the effort.
From his perch on the new Brooklyn Signature hybrid mattress with pocket coils, John Merwin, owner and chief executive officer of Brooklyn Bedding, said: “Get ready because in five to 10 years, every bed will come in a box.” His Phoenix-based company is a manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer and e-commerce player. Beds retail from $600 to $1,600 and the company has the machinery to roll pack them all.
Strong and beautiful
Built for any body type, Therapedic International’s new TheraLuxeHD beds have the heaviest coils, densest foams and strongest foundations—and are so comfortable, said Susan Mathes, vice president of brand relations for the Princeton, New Jersey-based licensing group. TheraLuxeHD is a more luxurious sister collection to Medicoil HD and retails from $1,299 to $1,999.
The biggest news at mattress major Tempur-Pedic, part of Lexington, Kentucky-based Tempur Sealy International Inc., was a new foam called Tempur-APR. It’s used in new Tempur-ProAdapt beds ($2,799) that also introduce a new design aesthetic, cooling features and other technologies. “(Tempur-APR) provides great pressure relief and is a longer ‘ride’ or ‘melt,’ which Tempur is known for, so it’s a little bit back to our roots,” said Jill Johnson, director of marketing. Also new, Tempur-Adapt ($1,999) has the same looks and features but incorporates traditional Tempur material.
Motion furniture maker Logicdata, with world headquarters in Deutschlandsberg, Austria, opened its first Las Vegas showroom with a distinctive company tradition—the sounding of a gong. Inside the space, the company introduced the Silver series adjustable base. It ships in a compact box, assembles in minutes and is priced at $1,299.
“It takes about three years to grow our mattress,” quipped Mark Quinn, principal of the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Spink & Edgar USA mattress brand, when describing the ultra-premium beds filled with natural materials and components. Priced from $3,000 to $7,000, the beds got a stylish makeover complete with a channel-quilted foundation, a medallion-emblazoned damask and an eye-catching border inset.
Pretty in pink
The eye-catching J’Adore upholstered bed in ballet pink drew plenty of attention at Fashion Bed Group, a division of Carthage, Missouri-based supplier Leggett & Platt Inc. With a button-tufted wingback headboard and brushed bronze legs, it retails for $1,099. FBG also added the metal Russett bed with a liquid bronze finish ($249), the upholstered velvet Hayworth that folds for shipping ($349) and the Elsinore headboard, displayed in the showroom in soft gray with contrasting piping ($349).
Orthex Canada has a new take on pillows. The pillow specialist, based in Boisbriand, Quebec, offers uniquely shaped cushions ($35 to $120) to improve the body’s sleep posture. Annemarie Bagshaw, national field manager, showed how the Somnia pillow supports and aligns the head, neck and shoulder.
Symbol Mattress, a manufacturer based in Richmond, Virginia, freshened the looks of Sleep Fresh, its climate-controlled mattress collection ($2,500 to $4,500). Introduced in 2016, the beds use Gentherm Climate Zone technology to move warm or cool air through the mattress all night long.
Bold and cold
At mattress major Sealy, part of Lexington, Kentucky-based Tempur Sealy International Inc., Alice Little described the components that make up the new, dramatically dressed six-bed Sealy Hybrid line ($1,099 to $2,499). Graphic gray waves on the panel contrast with a black border to provide a premium, sophisticated look, said Little, senior brand manager for Sealy. Inside the mattresses, there are additional coils in the center third and Duraflex Coil Edge technology for a durable seat edge.
Mattress maker Kingsdown, with headquarters in Mebane, North Carolina, has taken the confusion out of the mattress hunt by refining its BedMatch diagnostic system, now using 3-D imaging technology. After a consumer answers questions about sleep preferences and lies on a test bed, she receives a list of mattresses that meet her comfort needs.
The big news for PureCare was a much bigger space. The sleep accessories supplier, based in Phoenix, added 3,000 square feet to its showroom. The expansion allowed the company to include a retail design center and highlight bedding collections with an emphasis on technical textiles, said Sarah Bergman, vice president of marketing.
Marshall Mattress presented visitors with a tome of archival images and documents dating to its founding in 1900 by James Marshall, who is credited with inventing the pocket spring. Eric Warner, vice president of sales and business development for the Toronto-based company, leafed through the book alongside a vintage TV playing manufacturing plant footage from the 1930s.
Pillow with a cause
Sometimes two are better than one. At this market, sleep accessories specialist Malouf introduced ActiveDough pillows, which combine two components—latex and memory foam. The fluffy, responsive pillows retail for $200 and are available in several scents. Malouf, with headquarters in Logan, Utah, is donating $5 from every pillow sale to the Malouf Foundation to help fight human trafficking and support child victims.
Bed for all seasons
Some like it hot—especially during the cold winter months. Boston-based mattress licensing group Spring Air International has taken care of that with the revamped Four Seasons collection ($1,299 to $1,499). The beds have a reversible zippered panel with a phase-change material on one side and a flocked “teddy bear” fabric on the other, said Rion Morgenstern, president and chief executive officer of Spring Air licensee Pleasant Mattress, which is based in Fresno, California.
While some companies opted to streamline their product offerings, Protect-A-Bed moved in the opposite direction. The Chicago-based accessories supplier added 43 pillows, bringing its pillow offerings to 50 ($50 to $200). Getting fitted for the right one is easy using Sleep Tailor, an interactive sales tool that takes consumers’ measurements. A display of pillows emblazoned with headshots of Protect-A-Bed salespeople added a fun touch to the showroom display.
In the window of its remodeled showroom, Chicago-based licensing group Englander displayed Tension Ease Platinum+, a line extension and new top price point for its Tension Ease collection. The bed features pocketed microcoil-on-coil construction and graphite-infused foam beneath a textural, light gray quilted panel. It is priced at $1,499.
An ultra-premium manufacturer with a long heritage, Newark, New Jersey-based Shifman Mattress opened its first Las Vegas showroom. On display were the American Heritage and Modern Comfort collections, both with price points designed to appeal to larger retailers, said President Bill Hammer.
Classic Brands used arched lift arms to strengthen a new adjustable base offering ($1,499 to $1,699). The design puts less stress on the base’s head- and foot-tilt mechanisms. The Jessup, Maryland-based mattress maker also promoted new pillows and upholstered headboards.
Engineer and inventor Mario Piraino, chief executive officer of Ergonomic Life International in Melbourne, Australia, brought the company’s unique Ergolife i-Bed to Las Vegas. Sleepers use a remote control to raise or lower the shoulder, lumbar and hip zones. A base containing the adjusting mechanisms and a pocketed coil mattress retail for $3,000.
Mattress licensing group Restonic Mattress Corp. partnered with popular HGTV stars and emerging global brand the Scott Brothers (pictured from left: Drew Scott; Cindy Hodnett, director of communications for International Market Centers; and Jonathan Scott) on a new collection. Restonic, with headquarters in Buffalo, New York, packed its new showroom with fans of the duo and lots of co-branded beds ($999 to $2,000). The collection aesthetic is a crisp white with a windowpane check motif on the border and contrasting tape-edges in light gray.
Clean and crisp
As part of a complete rebranding, Blu Sleep redesigned its showroom, simplified its lineup and launched a new website. In pure white and light blue, the company’s new look has a refreshing, spalike feel, said Elizabeth Dell’Accio, vice president of the Laval, Quebec-based sleep products manufacturer. Blu Sleep also narrowed its pillow offerings to eight and added Nature, a roll-packed mattress collection ($1,499 to $2,199).
Fashion Bed Group, a division of Carthage, Missouri-based supplier Leggett & Platt Inc., spotlighted a revamped adjustable base program. The upgraded Prodigy 2.0+ (pictured) has improved adjustable lumbar support and pillow-tilt function. It retails for $1,699. FBG also added the single king option to many existing models. Retailers can take advantage of just-in-time delivery with a quick-ship program; order individual, customized products for their customers; or purchase by the container load.
In addition to offering more products that ship in compact boxes, Reverie was all about harnessing power—the power of the mind. The sleep products maker, headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, showcased a voice-controlled concept bed that also tracks sleep quality by detecting brain waves. Some rest-testers were amazed when the head of the bed rose in response to the alpha and beta waves that occur when you’re wakeful, relaxed and thinking focused thoughts.
Noteworthy events, seminars and parties
There were many special events at the Winter Las Vegas Market. Some just for fun, but others with a more serious purpose. BedTimes editors wish we had the time to attend them all, but we did our best to get out and mingle everywhere we could.
We enjoyed cocktail parties like the one at the showroom of Shelton, Connecticut-based Talalay Global/Pure Talalay Bliss that featured a musical performance by talented Las Vegas-based artist Christina Amato and a tailgate party at the showroom of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based Reverie, with wings and all, during the NFL Pro Bowl Jan. 28.
There also were two book signings by HGTV sibling celebrities Drew Scott and Jonathan Scott at the showroom of Buffalo, New York-based Restonic Mattress Corp. And, in addition to many other showroom invitations to munch hors d’oeuvres and sip wine at day’s end, there was, of course, the traditional annual bedding industry gathering for cocktails and mingling Jan. 29 at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino.
At the Golden Nugget hotel and casino Jan. 27, the 10th annual Ante4Autism poker tournament and fundraiser broke its previous fundraising record, bringing in more than $130,000 for autism-related charities. At 237 participants, there also were more players than ever before, plus more than 40 event sponsors, including presenting sponsor Carthage, Missouri-based Leggett & Platt Inc.
Special guests included event founder Doug Krinsky’s family, including his wife Kelly and twin sons Michael and Eric. Michael, who has autism, helped inspire Krinsky to start the tournament a decade ago. The Krinskys were joined by more than 20 celebrities and poker pros.
A total of five autism-related charities each received a portion of the event proceeds. In addition to Autism Speaks, recipient organizations included Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Touro University’s Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Youngstown State University’s Paula and Anthony Rich Center for Autism, and the Southeast Ohio Chapter of the National Autism Association.
On Jan. 28, Malouf drew a large crowd to its Forging Freedom showroom event. The Logan, Utah-based sleep products supplier has partnered with the nonprofit Operation Underground Railroad, whose mission is to rescue children and help stop child sex trafficking around the world. Sam Malouf, founder and chief executive officer, opened the program, introducing Timothy Ballard, former special agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and founder and chief executive officer of OUR. His organization works to save children, removing them from sexual slavery and finding them safe havens and permanent homes. OUR has saved more than 1,000 children in four years.
The event raised awareness, as well as $120,000 in donations from Malouf’s industry partners.
“We’re so grateful for all the people that came out to the event,” Malouf said. “I think people came away with a better understanding of how big the problem is—and how much hope exists among the children we are helping.”
Desperately seeking customer reviews
The Specialty Sleep Association, with headquarters in Friant, California, hosted a well-attended seminar on a hot topic—soliciting online reviews and ratings from customers.
Speakers and panel discussion members included James Winn, vice president of sales and operations at Feefo, a platform that allows companies to encourage reviews and connect with customers; Brian Rea, director of retail partnerships with Podium, a customer-interaction platform that enables businesses to collect reviews in-store; and Michael Magnuson, founder of bedding review site GoodBed.com.
Attendees gained insights into how to grow their businesses by accumulating all-important online customer feedback more quickly.
Rea and Winn advised companies to make full use of their Google My Business listing to place well in local searches.
Podium enables retailers to capture happy reviews while the customer is right there, in the store, Rea said. He also urged business owners to activate the Click to Message function in Google My Business so that customers can text a business.
Panelists offered these general tips for encouraging shoppers to contribute product and store reviews:
- Ask for the review either in-store or in a follow-up conversation
- Offer to put reviewers in a drawing for a prize
- Tie a customer experience survey to a review site
- Use QR codes on products to deliver customers to a review site.