From The Publisher | Fall 2021

Coming off a slower than expected summer market, it is yet to be seen how the coming months will impact the industry status quo. As the pandemic continues and evolves, what can we expect from both consumers and manufacturers? What role will in-person markets serve in the year ahead? Which pandemic pivots will fade as people start to feel safer in public and which will stick and become mainstays? 

Based on our conversations this summer, several key considerations are top of mind among manufacturers as we head into autumn: addressing consumer demand for sustainable and science-backed products, streamlining logistics to help offset the ongoing supply chain challenges and continually developing innovative products that drive traffic for brick-and-mortar retailers. In this issue, you’ll see updated collections, new accessory opportunities and affordable luxuries that can help retailers capitalize on continued consumer demand. 

Leading the charge is Blu Sleep, our cover story company. Cultivating an attainable but indulgent portfolio of everything from robes and sheets to pillows and mattresses, Blu Sleep offers all the pieces shoppers need to treat themselves to a healthy and comfortable sleep experience. With thoughtful packaging and meticulously curated features and benefits, Blu Sleep products are perfect for refreshing any bedroom and also make fantastic gifts. 

We opened up our inquiry about the future of market in our Q&A, asking a number of industry leaders to weigh in on how they see the role of market evolving in years to come. While most respondents felt that in-person meetings will continue to be necessary to fully explore products as tactile as mattresses, many also emphasized the importance of balancing both in-person meetings with more accessible, online options as well. Technology will no doubt be an important aspect of how the bedding and mattress industry operates moving forward. 

That carries through to products. Not only do consumers want the ability to use technology to research and shop, they also want technology to help them improve their sleep. Smart Beds, the topic of our Product Focus feature, help fulfill this demand. In the feature, we explore a variety of mattresses that incorporate sensors to detect how users are sleeping, automatically adjust during the night to support better sleep and provide actionable insights about how to sleep better—all based on real data. 

As the leaves change and a chill creeps into the air, it is clear that the consumer emphasis on health, the desire for comfort and interest in sustainable products is not likely to wane anytime soon. We hope the pages of this issue will help our readers connect with partners and products that deliver on these core customer needs and values.

—Chris Schriever, Publisher