Manufacturers continue to reinvent, transform and design new covers for their mattresses to showcase their products and gain added attention on the retail floor. With a variety of color, fabric and thread choices available, the choice of covers allows for companies to distinguish brands and collections. To find out more on how covers are developed and selected we asked a number of manufacturers a series of questions to learn the steps behind selecting a mattress cover.
Once the mattress is completed, how do you relay the story of the mattress to the retailer and consumer?
You need to be able to point out the performance features of what the mattress can provide for that consumer, addressing core support, comfort, design intent, etc. The story needs to be relative, simple and consistent in messaging and have a cohesive inviting look in the aesthetics that resonate with the consumer. —WESLEY
At Bekaert Textiles we don’t build the whole mattress we only design and manufacture the top layer of fabric that goes on the bed. Our story goes from our design concept to the mattress producers. Often times our customers are looking for a certain feel, or design. We then create collections of different designs that fit their criteria. Our customers then make a decision on what they like and what they think will be successful and then make the beds. —SEXTON
How important is the cover to the mattress sale?
The cover is critical at any price point. We all know that 80 percent of mattress purchasers are female and that today’s shoppers seek both style and function. Our feeling at Jamison is that the industry’s sea of cream and brown has become homogenous and boring. Tickings not only tell a story about the bed based on its exterior aesthetic and branding, but also can be used communicate what’s inside a mattress that the consumer can’t see, such as zoned support or certain components. Because we know that covers can be both stylish and demonstrative, we spend a lot of time at Jamison designing our collections.—HINMAN
Obviously comfort is the most important feature of the mattress, but I believe that it would be very difficult to sell a mattress without a visually appealing cover. At Shifman, we use only the finest woven fabrics because of their strength and durability. However, the fabric is only a cover for the finest materials including premium grade cotton, pashmina cashmere, New Zealand wool and natural talalay latex foam. —HAMMER
What drives the choices in color and design? Are retailers requesting specifics?
Because of the longstanding heritage of Shifman, we generally select more sophisticated fabrics in neutral colors with traditional damask designs. Overall, our dealers have overwhelmingly accepted our fabrics. —HAMMER
Retailers and mattress manufacturers are definitely requesting color specifics. Home and fashion trends often times drive color and design choice. Many retailers want to be the first with the “next big color” or have a very innovative design. —SEXTON
How do you make each mattress within a collection unique?
Jamison uses a common theme throughout a line that supports and expresses the product brand. We then create an icon to represent the collection and ‘explode’ it through the line, interpreting it in different ways to develop individual looks for each bed. —HINMAN
There needs to be a visual step-up between the different price bands. This can be done with scale of the design motif, introduction of color accents, pattern and texture to differentiate beds in a single group. Sealy Brand is our promotional brand and the intent was to make these mattresses have more of a luxurious look to be more competitive on the retail floor. We just introduced more vibrant color in these lower price bands. —WESLEY
When developing a private label collection, what aesthetic changes do you make?
Private labels collections seem to have a more ornate multihued couture look. We have the capability to introduce more fabric options that push the envelope creating a well defined designer look. —WESLEY
For specialty lines and private label the designs are usually designed specifically for the customer. Therefore they are the only ones with their specific design. We are very loyal to our customers and make sure that it is a fair playing ground for all bed manufacturers and make sure there is no overlap and each design is unique to private label collections. —SEXTON
What inspires you to create innovative covers?
At the end of the day, my inspiration comes from everyday living—from music to art to food. You have to open yourself to the world and to allow the outside to permeate the inside. —HINMAN
We work closely with our fabric suppliers to create innovative covers that will fit the specific needs of the collection. Whether the cover is a Belgian damask or French tapestry, it’s important for Shifman to maintain its unwavering commitment to quality by setting the highest standards for thread count, weight and strength. —HAMMER