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New products excite us and leave many of us wondering how we managed before these revolutionary new items were developed. As spring sprouts anew, we’re devoting this issue to exploring innovation. We start by highlighting a few of our finds from the International Sleep Products Association’s (ISPA) EXPO and close by discussing the innovation process with a few manufacturers.

At ISPA’s EXPO in Indianapolis, manufacturers were treated to a glimpse of the latest in machinery, components, services and technology. The exhibit hall showcased a myriad of products, machinery and capabilities. It’s how manufacturers use the latest innovations in their final products that sets the most successful companies apart.

Both Hickory Springs and Leggett & Platt, for example, unveiled new springs claimed to provide better support and value than others on the market. Hickory Springs’ ProACT is designed for use in promotional mattresses that retail for $1,000 or less. The springs feature patented InChex™ technology to provide increased stability, eliminate roll-together and enhance body conformability.

Leggett & Platt unveiled new coils that are ideal for use in hybrid mattresses. Their new Combi-Zone and Hi-Low coils offer better zoning options while Laeggett’s new narrow-diameter Quantum can increase coil-count by nearly 200%.

Latexco proved that sleeping greener, while sleeping cooler, is getting easier with the debut of a new soy-based polyol memory foam from Cargill BiOH®. Cargill’s research revealed that the new foam cools 25 percent faster than memory foams that use conventional infused-gel technology.

On the other side of the exhibit hall, Latex International unveiled its new propriety TalalayGL latex. Suitable for all-latex mattresses, the new formulation is available in both “Fast” and “Slow” recovery options, which the new latex to feel like traditional Talalay, while mimicking the response of higher quality memory foam.

It’s safe to say that ISPA’s EXPO left many mattress and bedding manufacturers feeling inspired to create to something new. This issue’s Q & A reveals the processes manufacturers develop to come up with their fresh ideas.