ReST is reimagining the future of mattresses. The company’s ReST Bed is a new kind of sleep system: a “smart” bed that has the ability to respond automatically and in real time. Combining advanced pressure sensing technology with multi-zone adjustable air chambers, the ReST Bed delivers a personalized experience that helps consumers achieve more restorative sleep. In doing so, ReST has upped the ante on both adjustable air functionality and sleep tracking by making data collection actionable and taking the guesswork out of personalized comfort. With comprehensive RSA training and forward-thinking in-store POP, ReST is bringing the smart sleep concept to the masses, while giving retailers a new opportunity to increase their incremental business—throughout the entirety of their showroom.
At its core, the ReST Bed was designed to solve two key issues that can prevent people from getting quality sleep. First, every person has a unique set of comfort and support needs and those needs vary across different parts of the body. Secondly, the body does not stay in one single position throughout the night; it moves and changes. Despite this, mattresses have always been designed as a static product. “As we launched the ReST Bed, we said there’s a real opportunity here to solve that riddle, by using artificial intelligence to create a smart bed—one that automatically responds to the sleeper,” says Lloyd Sommers, the general manager of ReST.
The ReST Bed is built around a patented pressure-sensing technology that is seamlessly integrated into the fabric of the mattress. By measuring the unique shape of the user’s body, and the pressure it exerts upon the mattress, this sensor is able to more reliably capture data on their movement. This information powers the surface of the mattress to automatically adjust in any combination of firmness or plushness. With five adjustable air zones on each side of the bed, every part of the body gets the exact amount of support it needs. From there, ReST takes customizability to the next level by allowing the bed to continuously adjust these levels throughout the night. So as the sleeper moves, the mattress moves with them—ensuring ideal comfort no matter their sleep position. In addition, ReST has developed a one-of-a-kind sleep quality monitor that requires no wearables or charging of devices. The patented technology enables the bed to measure several unique items such as body position and bed exit and entry. It also reports sleep duration, efficiency, stages and cycles, along with restlessness and respiration rate.
For some consumers, the technological element of the ReST Bed is a major draw. These consumers tend to be younger and more tech-savvy; they are the “early adopters” and Silicon Valley engineers who have already integrated smart tech throughout their homes and lives—and are looking to do the same with their sleep environment.
“Everything in their life has been customized,” Sommers says about this demographic group. “They have their furniture and decor configured the way they like, now they configure their mattress to their specifics too! These people are not buying the bed because of the technology, per se. They’re buying it because it just makes their life better—and they’re willing to spend to have that.”
But that’s not the only reason people are drawn to the ReST Bed. In fact, one of the other key demographic groups the company has connected well with is, in some ways, the exact opposite of that first group. These buyers are older people in their 60s or 70s, with active lifestyles. They are less concerned with the tech-focus of the smart mattress and more intrigued by the personalized solutions it affords. For them, the big selling point is the bed’s the ability to alleviate daily aches and pains, to help them fall asleep more comfortably. It also appeals to couples who are excited to no longer have to compromise, as they can customize each side of the bed to their unique needs.
Understanding how personalization can impact comfort and recovery is also why many performance-driven people, of all ages, have become ReST acolytes. In particular, the company has focused on multi-sport and endurance athletes because these people are working out different parts of their body from day to day—which means they uniquely benefit from ReST’s dynamic customization. “We offer exactly what an athlete needs,” Sommers continues. “They need a smart bed because, more than anyone, they have a need to recover, to make sure that their spine is aligned and blood is circulating through their muscles. Sleep in general is a huge part of recovery, but I would argue that the right type of sleep is key.”
No matter the specific demographic group, the primary selling point of the ReST Bed remains the same.
"The benefit is not ‘it’s a smart bed.’ The true benefit is ‘it helps you sleep better.’”
—Rick Feingold, ReST Executive Vice President
The company is able to communicate that message with confidence, in part because the sleep system is made with proven technologies. While the ReST brand has only been on the market since 2015, the sensor it uses has been a feature of the medical space for over 20 years—and the genus of the concept began long before then. ReST was founded by Rob Golden, who developed the first pressure sensor of its kind: a unique product that was specifically designed to help dentists measure their patients’ bite strength. Years later, after selling that original company and embarking on a number of other engineering innovations, Golden came across a new, more stretchable, breathable, durable and mass-producible kind of pressure technology. While this sensor was initially developed to help doctors and caretakers provide the necessary support for people who had lost their ability to feel pressure in their body, Golden recognized the potential it had to serve the consumer market by helping people sleep better. Thus, the first AI-enabled smart bed was born: the ReST Bed.
When it comes to introducing this new concept to the marketplace, the question, of course, becomes: how do you sell someone on a product they’ve never encountered before? The answer is simple; you give them a chance to experience it for themselves. For that reason, ReST has primarily focused on the in-store retail channel. When a consumer lays down on the bed, they can immediately feel the difference—and having that first experience in a store allows them to ask questions and gain a clearer understanding of what ReST can do for them. Understanding the importance of this initial in-store introduction, the company has invested heavily in developing an RSA training program that is dynamic enough to meet the demands of selling a smart bed.
“How do we give sales associates who have never sold a smart bed before the tools to be able to demonstrate the bed? Part of that is just good old fashioned sales and training materials, product information, and in-person face-to-face role playing,” Bryant Looper, senior vice president explains. “Beyond the tried and true industry best practices, we leverage our unique technology. We have an advantage in that we have an app and a sensor, making the ReST Bed the most demonstrable bed in the industry.”
Armed with a fully differentiated product and a comprehensive training infrastructure, ReST equips its retail partners with all of the resources they need to really maximize their incremental business. This approach is what sets the company apart from a myriad mattress manufacturers that have attempted to break into the adjustable air category over the years. “We’ve seen what has tripped people up in the past: lack of attention to the training, lack of attention to the quality,” Feingold says. “You need to be willing to not view those as secondary. It has to perform, because there’s a lot more moving parts—literally.”
“From day one, this is what we do,” Sommers adds. “We are not a conventional mattress player who has decided to have an initiative around air or around technology. That’s a hard thing to pull off if you’ve spent decades building your company around a certain material or approach or philosophy, to now tack on something that has different skill sets, different types of people, different manufacturing, different components, different sales process. You’re starting a new company. Well, that’s we we’ve done. Except we have no fall back. We’ve been all in from day one, so we have to get it right.”
This approach has had a direct influence on raising retailers’ incremental sales. Rather than trading on convenience or affordability like many of the younger online bed-in-a-box brands, ReST has created a new kind of mattress that offers both a compelling story and a clear value proposition. At the same time, it also gives retailers the chance to connect with the growing number of consumers who are exclusively interested in adjustable air—a category that has been dominated by the direct-to-consumer channel for quite some time. And because of its advanced functionality and high-quality comfort components, the ReST Bed is able to operate at a higher price point than most traditional mattresses—with the queen size selling for $4,999. This helps raise retailers’ average tickets, while the customizability element helps maintain lower rates of return and greater post-sale satisfaction. To ensure even more success on the retail floor, ReST has bolstered the mattress with specific in-store POP that help customers recognize its value, including two iPads with all floor models.The pressure map display feature on the ReST app allows them to visualize their specific comfort and support needs—and reinforces how a smart bed can address them directly.
Of course, not everyone is ready for a product that is totally new and different. But even when a customer doesn’t end up purchasing the ReST Bed, it can still have a positive impact on retail sales. According to Looper, many of their dealers actually start every customer that walks through the door on the ReST Bed because it gives them a visual aid to support their normal comfort fit process. In those instances, the pressure map functions as a sales tool, guiding consumers to other mattress models that align with their support needs. It can also help increase attachment rates by giving the RSA a way to showcase the benefits of an adjustable base or of a particular pillow—how they can help alleviate pressure points and maximize comfort. This kind of evidence-based sales strategy has been shown to boost consumer confidence, especially when it comes to higher priced items.
“There are many ways The ReST Bed adds value to a retailers floor,” Looper explains. “One is you have a product that people buy. That’s, of course, primary. Second is you can showcase our unique and differentiated technology to drive traffic. And then the third way you can add value is unique to us: use our bed as a tool to help improve your entire product line-up and sales presentation for your customers. We have a ‘rising tide lifts all boats’ philosophy when it comes to our retail partnerships.”
That benefit-driven perspective permeates throughout every aspect of the brand. The company has carefully considered each step of the sales process to ensure a seamless experience.
“With the ReST Bed being a smart bed, everything we do is dynamic, experiential. And that applies to the delivery and that applies to the customer service as well. Everything is in line with that theme.”
—Lloyd Sommers, ReST General Manager
For instance the entire ReST Bed set up process—from taking the bed out of the box, setting it up in the bedroom, plugging in the sensor and air pumps and then letting the bed inflate—takes about 20 minutes, Sommers estimates.
Looking towards the future, ReST has its sights set on expanding its approach to smart sleep tech by leveraging the sensor’s capabilities to “help a consumer craft a perfect sleep environment for them,” Sommers explains. “The mattress is certainly central to that, but there’s many other things that affect sleep. There’s the adjustable base, temperature, light, sound, air quality.”
As more retailers seek new ways to engage with consumers and increase sales, ReST has developed an innovative solution that delivers sustainable growth opportunities. The company understands that it’s not enough to just push the envelope on technology; you have to create and prioritize the proper infrastructure to effectively introduce it to consumers. From its patented technologies to proven in-store resources and dedicated post-sale services, ReST is not simply at the forefront of the smart bed revolution—it is leading the charge.