Now in its fifth edition, our annual "Companies to Watch" list celebrates the continued longevity, ingenuity, innovation and success of the bedding industry. This year we've spotlighted a number of exciting new players and industry veterans that we think you should know about in the year ahead. Whether unveiling a total rebranding effort, debuting an innovative new product line or introducing a creative new sales initiative, these 35 mattress and bedding manufacturers are helping retailers succeed in today's changing marketplace.
Learn more about our 2016 "Companies To Watch":
Airweave / Originally founded in Japan in 2007, airweave is a trusted producer of premium sleep accessories. Today, the company supports a wide range of advanced athletes as an official sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Committee and the USA Swimming and Track & Field teams with a wide range of ergonomically designed products. Most recently, airweave upgraded its popular mattress topper design with new advanced temperature-regulating benefits. The company’s popular performance features are designed into the company’s first mattress line as well. Backed by years of sleep research, the newly unveiled mattress prototype incorporates the high-performance sleep surface and conforming comfort for which airweave is known.
Bedgear / Redefining sleep as an essential recovery tool that affects all aspects of life, bedgear continues to broaden its performance product assortment with even more tools for enhanced sleep. With the recent hire of Justin Gannon as Director of Sales, the company just launched its new “personalized sleep surfaces” division. Aimed at the growing Millennial demographic, this innovative take on mattresses leverages bedgear’s proven fitting process based on sleep position and body type, allowing consumers to select the Independent Suspension for each side of the bed.
Blu Sleep / Offering high performance, European-engineered sleep products for more than a decade, Blu Sleep has created a robust and comprehensive line-up of lifestyle and fashion pillows. In an effort to assist both retailers and consumers in understanding its expansive assortment, the company released the intuitive “Choose the Perfect Pillow System.” Relying on a simple combination of body type and preferred sleeping position, the system quickly and easily guides consumers to the right pillow that will best meet their needs, removing guesswork and wasted time from the selection process.
Boyd Specialty Sleep / For nearly 40 years, Boyd Specialty Sleep has been dedicated to crafting creative sleep products and today boasts more than 30 patents. In 2013, the company embarked on a partnership with Heritage Home Group LLC to license a number of its mattress collections and sleep accessories under some of the most consumer-recognized furniture brand names. Most recently, the company unveiled new Broyhill mattresses and toppers, including an updated memory foam mattress line and an engineered latex bed series. Additionally, Boyd has redesigned its My Mattress Now program, which aims to empower brick-and-mortar stores to compete with online-only brands. This unique shipping service allows traditional retailers to offer a simplified product line-up either in-store or online—with both options available for immediate shipping from Boyd’s two U.S. warehouses.
Customatic / With years of experience within the adjustable base market, Customatic is set to launch its first full sleep system. The new myContour mattress brand is comprised of three advanced models that are specially designed to work with the company’s extensive portfolio of adjustable beds. One highlight of the collection is the impressive Butterfly King, which specifically targets sleep partners who are looking to personalize their adjustable bed frame experience. This king sized mattress is split at the head and foot, while the center third remains adjoined, creating a single sleep surface without limiting independent adjustability, flexibility or comfort. With three unique mattresses in the collection, Customatic is further enhancing the adjustable market through advanced customization opportunities.
Diamond Mattress / Returning to our list, Diamond Mattress is tapping into e-commerce’s growing popularity with the introduction of new bed-in-a-box options. Aimed at Millennial consumers, this unique program includes drop-ship and in-store options—expanding the capabilities of both brick-and-mortar and online retail stores. Comprised of three models, this mattress line-up features a variety of different memory foam options including copper-infused fast recovery memory foam and ventilated gel-infused memory foam, in addition to a number of latex options. Each bed is available with a number of patented cover options and modern styling. Diamond works closely with its retail partners to customize its products and programs in order to meet their specific needs.
Eastman House /After a landmark year that saw the addition of six factories, Eastman House is embarking on a major milestone in 2016 with the celebration of its 150th anniversary. With a century and a half of manufacturing experience, the company helps retailers succeed by offering advanced features, true benefits and gainful margins. At the fall High Point Market, Eastman House unveiled its English Hand Tufted Collection to rave reviews. Combining old world luxury with modern technology, the five-bed line-up features high quality materials and patented innovation. Layers of Belgian cotton, wool and silk combinations not only offer a high-end look but also serve as natural insulators, while individually encased coil innersprings and the proprietary Life Edge foam encasement provide contouring comfort and enhanced support across the entire sleep surface. But it’s the Hand Crafted Lace Tack Tufted signature construction that truly makes this collection stand out—ensuring unsurpassed durability and a sumptuous feel. As the industry has become more price-oriented over the years, Eastman House’s tradition of quality makes a real impact.
Eclipse International / Eclipse International has been dedicated to innovative sleep technology and relentless customer service for over 110 years. With 37 factories serving six continents, the company equips retailers worldwide with unique products, patented features and proven benefits. Its exclusive Spinal Zone Sleep technology is clinically proven to reduce back pain and enhance support by reinforcing the center-third section of the mattress. The patented Zone Quilt Support System pre-compresses the cushioning materials to minimize body impressions, which not only extends the life of the mattress but reduces the pain, stiffness and discomfort that often result from material breakdown. Substantiated by ongoing sleep studies, Eclipse’s unparalleled technology helps retailers connect with consumers looking for verifiable health benefits.
Fashion Bed Group / Focusing on value-oriented sleep solutions for retailers, Fashion Bed Group has recently expanded its bed support portfolio with several original products. Offered in six distinct, on-trend designs, the company’s SN@P Beds boast one-box delivery and an easy, quick assembly that requires no additional tools. Also developed as an inventory-friendly, cash-and-carry option is the Solutions bed frame. Weighing just 35 pounds, the universal frame provides the same support of a conventional bed frame, but in a much lighter design, adjusting to fit mattresses ranging from twin to king.
Forever Foundations / Eliminating the need for both a box spring and separate bed frame, Forever Foundation’s line-up of sturdy, all-steel foundations are engineered to give long-lasting, durable support. Adding to its expansive assortment, Forever Foundations has introduced several add-on accessories to enhance their performance. A new motion-activated, under-the-bed light system and snap-on power strip with USB ports increase versatility, as does the new under-bed storage system, which offers up to six heavy-duty drawers that easily and quickly attach to the foundation.
Glideaway / A truly full-service bedding supplier, Glideaway has developed a broad portfolio of sleep solutions over the last 50 years. From specialty mattress collections to innovative pillow lines, diverse adjustable bed base options to advanced mattress protection products, Glideaway gives retailers the chance to boost their sales across multiple market segments and price points. The newest addition to its product line-up is the Revolution Tech Sleep Collection. Backed by the company’s exclusive “5 Good Sleep Components Guide,” this exciting mattress line-up provides key health benefits, like: personal comfort, proper support, balanced pressure relief, temperature regulation and antibacterial and allergen control. With the price ranging from $699 to $1,299, Glideaway has once again created a fully integrated and competitively priced line-up that is sure to stand out on retail floors.
Home Treasures / The largest American manufacturer of bespoke luxury Italian linens, Home Treasures has offered a wide range of unique sheeting for over 20 years. The company boasts longstanding relationships with the finest Italian textile mills, where all of the materials that go into its offerings are sourced. With both traditional and contemporary styling options, the Home Treasures collection features a variety of high-quality materials including 100% Egyptian cotton, Italian sateen, linen cuff and percale body. The company’s popular Villa solid sateen sheeting provides lightweight comfort without added weight or heat, providing retailers with a value-oriented sheet option that offers a 1,000 thread count feel at an entry-level price point. Each Home Treasures product is sewn, stitched, embroidered and inspected by accomplished artisans to ensure the highest level of quality.
HomTex / A global leader in textile innovation, HomTex manufactures, distributes and licenses a wide range of products across multiple industries. The most recent addition to HomTex’s family of brands is the DreamLiving—a carefully curated line-up of bedding essentials. With this collection, HomTex provides retailers with a variety of smart and practical sheet, duvet and pillow options. The company maximizes the versatility, functionality and durability of its products with advanced proprietary features. For example, the FitRite panel on its sheeting allows a secure fit on mattresses of any height, while the Easy Fill Zipper runs vertically along duvet options for easy dressing. Furthermore, the company’s Suprelle material offers a lightweight down-alternative that ensures superior comfort while eliminating common clumping issues. Armed with a host of key innovations, HomTex plans to further expand its manufacturing in 2016 as construction on a new factory in Cullman, Alabama is currently underway.
Kingsdown / As the market for sleep tracking technology grows, Kingsdown continues to stand securely at the forefront. For over 14 years, the company has been a leader in diagnostic and science-based product innovation. Kingsdown’s patented bedMATCH system helps retailers better connect with their customers, using 18 statistical measurements and thousands of calculations to match consumers with the ideal mattress for their body. Engineered using more than a decade’s worth of research from Kingsdown’s Sleep to Live Institute, the company’s Sleep Smart high-tech mattress utilizes advanced diagnostic technology to identify, and adjust in real time, the sleeper’s unique support needs. Recently unveiled updates add adjustable support zones and a redefined lumbar region for extra pressure relief and optimal postural support.
Malouf / Founded on the premise that sleep is the basis for wellness, Malouf has curated a comprehensive portfolio of personalized sleep accessories that run the gamut from pillows to protectors to frames – all designed to augment and improve the sleeping space. The company’s newest effort is marketing the scent of sleep with its recently released aromatherapy pillows. Infused with either natural lavender, peppermint or chamomile essential oils, the uniquely soft, yet supportive, Zoned Dough pillows ease tension, clear the mind and induce more restful sleep, all through the sense of smell.
Naturepedic / In keeping with its promise to promote healthy bedding, Naturepedic has increased its mattress collection to include certified organic top-of-bed products. Accessory collections such as the Sculpted Organic Latex Pillow and the Chablis Organic Luxury Sheet Set are sure to succeed. As is the company’s newest more affordable eco-friendly Chorus mattress collection, developed with an entry-level price point.
Organic Mattress, Inc. / A visit to its showroom leaves one with no doubt that Organic Mattress, Inc (OMI) is committed to making comfortable, healthy sleep. A staunch supporter of truth-in-advertising, the company has lauded the FTC’s recent crackdown on empty “green” labeling. Manufactured in a certified 100% organic factory, OMI proudly advertises its numerous third-party certifications. The company recently entered the high-end, luxury market with its most opulent, expensive mattress yet: the Pinnacle, the newest addition to its OrganicPedic Earth Collection. Combining 100% natural, certified organic latex core with certified organic wool and cotton, the Pinnacle provides a uniquely opulent level of plushness.
Protect-A-Bed / Continuing to serve the needs of its customers, Protect-A-Bed has reorganized its product portfolio, grouping them based on technologies and consumer benefits. The company currently offers three collections: Originals, which includes core Protect-A-Bed products for basic protection; Naturals – featuring products with all-natural Tencel fibers combined with its innovative Miracle Membrane technology; and Therm-A-Sleep – a collection of products providing thermo-regulating properties. New, strategically rebranded packaging further streamlines the buying process, affording consumers a clearer choice among products.
Pure Talalay Bliss / Re-imagined and recreated with dramatic new marketing materials and a renewed focus on the beneficial qualities of Talalay latex, Pure LatexBLISS is now Pure Talalay Bliss. The company’s name change highlights its conviction that an all-Talalay bed provides superior sleep, while the new wave-like logo design suggests that Pure Talalay Bliss beds offer continuous support and comfort. A contemporary color scheme of alabaster, graphite, dove gray and rouge go back to parent company Talalay Global’s palette and can be seen repeated throughout the Pure Talalay Bliss gallery space. New marketing tools like the “Bliss Bench” – an all-wood spa-like bench that holds three pillows made of poly foam, memory foam or Talalay and invites customers to experience the difference between the three – as well as the launch of the company’s ActiveFusion collection, which features phase-change, temperature-regulating materials blended into the company’s proprietary latex formula, all strive to further reinforce the brand’s new ultra-upscale image.
PureCare / For over a decade, PureCare has been fusing innovative products with enhanced technical textiles, developing a comprehensive suite of superior top-of-bed solutions. The company’s exclusive FRíO technology – a mineral-based technical textile that provides a refreshingly cooler sleep surface– has enjoyed tremendous success resulting in numerous applications. In addition to the popular Elements Glacies sheeting collection, FRíO rapid cooling fibers can also be found in the company’s FRíO mattress and pillow protectors, as well as blended with premium fills to create the recently launched SUB-0º Hybrid Pillows. By offering a vast range of technical textiles throughout the top-of-bed category, PureCare is able to allow retailers the opportunity to provide infinite sleep solutions to their customers.
REM-Fit / REM-Fit continues to bring health and wellness to its customers with two exciting new partnerships. The company recently teamed up with the Chicago Wolves professional hockey team as the club’s Official Sleep Recovery Sponsor, equipping the players and coaching staff with various products that provide maximum recovery properties as well as temperature regulation and antimicrobial benefits. REM-Fit has also partnered up with Sleepace, a leading innovator in smart sleep solutions. The two companies have collaborated to create SleepSmart, a non-wearable sleep device that utilizes high-tech sensors to monitor heart rate, breathing and body motion. The accompanying mobile app collects and analyzes data, providing sleep metrics, while the companion SmartPillow alerts the sleeper of snoring and can gently wake the sleeper during the most optimal phase of the sleep cycle.
Responsive Surface Technologies / Launched this past fall, the ReST Bed by Responsive Surface Technologies (ReST) was created to be the ultimate smart bed. Designed to not only capture and analyze sleep data, the ReST Bed also continuously and automatically adjusts to meet the sleeper’s support needs. Patented pressure-sensing fabric utilizes highly responsive sensors to monitor nearly 2,000 pressure points, allowing the five specifically zoned, whisper-quiet air chambers to inflate or deflate, maximizing comfort and equalizing pressure across the body. Via the ReST Dash app, consumers can examine detailed sleep data and receive valuable insight about body position and movement that may aid sleep specialists in diagnosing certain sleep disorders.
Reverie / From adjustable-friendly pillows and linens to fully customizable sleep systems, Reverie has founded its business on personalized sleep. The company’s patented DreamCell technology offers natural latex foam springs in four different support levels: extra soft, soft, medium and firm. By configuring these foam springs in various patterns, users can create a sleep surface that conforms to their individual needs. All of Reverie’s products are centered on enhancing the adjustable sleep experience, with pillows specially designed to stay in place and linens available in popular adjustable sizes, such as split king. The company’s newest offering is the innovative ProGrip retainer system that keeps mattresses in place without the use of bars or brackets, keeping the aesthetics of the adjustable bed unmarred by the industrial or hospital look of traditional adjustable bases.
Serta / After many years of success with its iComfort line-up, Serta has revamped the collection to fit the changing needs of its retail partners. First launched in 2011, the popular all-foam collection has been updated with the latest technologies and expanded to include hybrid mattresses as well. Every iComfort bed now features the proprietary EverFeel Triple Effect Gel Memory Foam, an advanced gel-infused foam material that regulates the temperature in addition to enhancing the contouring comfort and support. The new hybrid models also feature Serta’s new SmartSupport Memory Coil System. This innovative innerspring system mimics the unique feel and responsiveness of memory foam—creating a valuable solution for consumers who are interested in gel memory foam technology, but prefer the support of traditional innerspring. By unifying the all-foam and hybrid models under the iComfort name, Serta is not only providing its retailers with the latest in intelligent technology but simplifying the shopping process. To further increase the consumer brand awareness, the collection revamp will coincide with a fully integrated TV and digital marketing program and the launch of a new tagline: “Always Comfortable.”
Shifman Mattress Co. / Shifman Mattress Co. is proof that true craftsmanship never goes out of style. A trusted high-end mattress producer, the company has been handcrafting luxury sleep systems since 1893. With a longstanding commitment to local manufacturing, quality components and superior service, the company continues to help retailers thrive in a changing marketplace. While some manufacturers have turned to shortcuts in order to lower costs, Shifman is dedicated to meticulous manufacturing processes that use only the finest materials and upholstery-grade coils. Employing the exclusive Sanotuft hand-tufting technique, each mattress set takes more than 23 skilled craftspeople and up to 12 1/2 hours to make. By offering a luxury product with a unique “locally-made” selling story, Shifman makes a strong impact with the top 20% of the market: discerning consumers with a higher disposable income who are looking for true quality. With a brand new High Point Market showroom and exciting marketing initiatives underway, Shifman is poised to expand its distribution in 2016 through exclusive partnerships with the finest furniture and department stores across the country.
Simmons / After a record-setting 2015, Simmons is once again poised for another banner year following major product introductions at the winter Las Vegas Market. The twelve new innerspring models in the premium Beautyrest Black line pair the company’s proprietary Pocket Coil technology with its signature Micro-Diamond Infused Memory Foam, providing the ultimate in luxury temperature regulation. In addition to its dedicated focus on unique product development, Simmons is committed to supporting its retail partners through its largest ever nation-wide advertising programs—with a groundbreaking new marketing campaign supporting the revamped Beautyrest Black launch this spring.
Sleepace / Sleepace’s cutting-edge smart system enhances sleep performance through three unique elements: RestOn, a non-wearable monitor; Nox, a smart sleep light and the Sleepace mobile app, all of which work together to provide a comprehensive and detailed look at the user’s night. Virtually undetectable under the fitted sheet, the RestOn monitor captures information such as body movement, heart rate and respiratory rate. Focusing more on environmental conditions, the Nox module records temperature, humidity and C02 levels, as well as senses ambient noise and light. Both devices sync to the downloadable Sleepace app, which then synthesizes all of the data to give the user a thorough overview of sleep quality.
Stearns & Foster / As demand for handcrafted beds continues to grow, Stearns & Foster is unveiling a new chapter in the brand’s history with the debut of its new Reserve Collection. Developed in response to both retail partners and consumers, the three-bed collection offers top-of-the-line features unavailable anywhere else, such as the exclusive Hybrid Pillow Top and Nano Comfort Quilt Layer. The company feels so strongly that its superior craftsmanship and quality will offer longstanding value and consumer interest that it has changed its launch schedule, increasing the length of time between introductions from 24 months to 36--and investing in increased advertising to drive traffic to dealers instead.
South Bay / An industry-leading mattress maker with impressive expertise in private labeling and e-commerce, South Bay has the tools to help retailers reach new customers through online channels. With state-of-the-art technologies, modern aesthetics and a variety of price points, the company’s bedding portfolio includes a wide range of specialty mattresses, pillows and adjustable bases that all work together to increase retailers’ average ticket prices. The company works closely with its partners to develop customized private label programs that are uniquely their own, then ensures ongoing success with expert drop-ship and white-glove delivery options and exceptional post-sale customer support. In addition to continued product innovation, South Bay offers its services as a marketing and R&D consultant for any retailer looking to grow and expand their business through e-commerce.
Symbol / Symbol kicks off 2016 with a new brand identity, retail-focused business objectives and several new product lines including the new gen-u-ine collection. Designed around the concept that Symbol is a genuine producer making genuine products, the inventory-friendly gen-u-ine line-up is available as roll-pack mattresses, affording retailers cash-and-carry transactions or easy-ship direct to the consumer. The company’s new tagline, “Your Life, Your Mattress” speaks to the relationship between a consumer’s choice of mattress and quality of life and is reflected by the new, modern logo that further emphasizes the company’s self-reliant, vertically integrated set up and focus on both quality and competitive retail profits.
Spring Air / Positioning it as “the best of the best,” Spring Air has reintroduced the high-end Chattam and Wells brand with its most luxurious collection to date. The new five-model line-up combines natural materials like latex, Joma wool and cotton with a sophisticated, contemporary color pallet. Every detail is held to the highest standard. Going above and beyond this already sumptuous assortment, Spring Air has unveiled the very dramatic and opulent Chattam and Wells Throne for select retailers. The Throne boasts more than 10,000 encased coils divided into 14 zones as well as multiple comfort layers comprised of Belgian latex, gel-infused memory foam, cashmere, wool, silk and horse hair. Detailed accents like leather and suede trim and a 24-carat gold-coated emblem embedded with Swarovski crystals epitomize the height of royalty. Expected to retail for $17,000 or $29,900 with the optional, elaborate Baroque-style headboard, the Throne is a definite statement piece.
Tempur-Pedic / As one of the world’s most recognizable names in bedding, Tempur-Pedic is making strides to ensure that its reign continues throughout 2016. The company recently announced that it will significantly increase its advertising commitment in the upcoming year. With the idea that demand-driven consumer marketing has a positive effect on retail traffic and sales, Tempur-Pedic has developed an “always on” advertising push that aims to further enhance awareness. This program is part of a full 360-degree integrated marketing and advertising plan that is designed to surround the consumer. This marketing support comes alongside the launch of the new TEMPUR-Breeze mattress line-up, which was designed to combat the common issue of “sleeping hot.” This unique collection enhances the popular TEMPUR material with an integrated system of proprietary technologies that works to regulate body temperature throughout the night.
The Pillow Bar / Resonating with sleepers across North America, The Pillow Bar has had tremendous success with its menu of unique, physician-designed pillows. Originally only offered in a European white down fill, the company’s distinctive line-up is now available in a quality down alternative. Taking two years to perfect, The Breakfast in Bed Collection reflects the same attention to detail as the company’s core down-filled products, coming with the same luxurious 300-thread count, washable protector featuring The Pillow Bar’s exclusive, customizable embroidery. Starting at $16 wholesale, the new collection provides an affordable option for every retailer.
Thomashilfen N.A. / A German-based company with more than 60 years of expertise in the medical market segment of the sleep industry, Thomashilfen currently holds 180 worldwide patents and distribution in over 42 countries. This experienced bedding producer made its first official introduction in the U.S. in 2015, unveiling the scientifically proven ThevoRelief mattress. This advanced bed features a host of exclusive design elements, including a removable washable cover, ventilated undercarriage, layers of open-cell foam—but it’s the patented wing-spring support system that sets it apart. These innovative pressure-adjusting paddles adapt and contour to the body, ensuring that the system provides the appropriate level of support to alleviate any pain. After the initial introduction, Thomashilfen listened to key insights from U.S. retail buyers—and recently debuted a new softer model within the line-up in order to better fit the needs of American consumers.
Therapedic International / Therapedic International has had an exciting start to 2016 with the release of four new product collections at the winter Las Vegas Market. Each collection was developed with the retail space in mind in order to provide practical selling points and specific solutions for a wide range of consumers. The company generated major buzz last year by partnering with a major furniture and lifestyle company—unveiling the first-ever Tommy Bahama Home branded mattress collection. Following rave reviews, Therapedic has expanded the collection to include new “super hybrid” beds that feature Visco Floating Foam for advanced comfort and Leggett & Platt’s new Quantum edge pocketed coil for superior support. The company also unveiled the new Medicoil HD line, a unique four-model collection that is designed to offer premium durability that is nearly completely resistant to body impressions. Additionally, Therapedic has reimagined the popular “bed-in-a-box” concept with its new EcoGel Flex Collection. With an associated adjustable bed base and a white glove delivery option, this unique program eliminates common warehousing and delivery difficulties and helps retailers set themselves apart from their competition.
Online Brands & Resources / The mattress industry has experienced a major revitalization as of late, thanks to a number of online brands and resources that are changing the ways bedding is marketed and sold. Following the wildly successful launches of Casper, Tuft & Needle and Keetsa, the number of online-only mattress brands only continues to grow—with brands like Helix, Lilybed and Bear Mattress also touting singular product designs, direct-to-consumer distribution and extended at-home trial periods. This digital sales approach has extended to accessories as well, with companies like Brooklinen and Parachute eschewing retail spaces in order to peddle their unique sheet options to consumers directly. But e-commerce is not the only way the Internet has disrupted the bedding market. Websites such as GoodBed and Sleepopolis have made in-depth product reviews more easily accessible, while Bedfax.org provides key information and education about mattress contents. The effects of these new online brands and platforms can be felt industry-wide—as manufacturers, retailers and consumers are all starting to rethink the traditional sales processes.
Learn more in the winter issue of Sleep Retailer!