The hallways of this year’s winter Las Vegas Market were buzzing as a record number of buyers made their way around the World Market Center to get a first look at the latest in innovative home products and technologies. As always, this market is an exciting one for the bedding industry, as manufacturers unveil major collection updates and debuts—but this year also gave us a chance to really take the pulse on how the industry is evolving. From our vantage point, it looks like 2016 will certainly be an interesting turning point for the mattress world. We’re anticipating more than 30 new brands to enter the market this year—many of which are being introduced by companies outside of the bedding industry. With a tech-savvy mindset and a bit of unconventional thinking, these non-industry bed-makers and start-ups are surely shaking things up—and we can’t help but wonder: could one of them be the next Tempur-Pedic? Regardless, this market showcased the ways in which traditional manufacturers are rethinking their existing approaches to R&D, marketing and customer service as they find creative new ways to compete in a changing marketplace.
Here are the top trends we saw at market:
Technology abounds in nearly every aspect of our lives and the bedroom is no exception. Tech-savvy consumers are increasingly turning to “smart” products to measure and improve sleep – and manufacturers are aiming to deliver. From wearable devices that record both fitness and sleep, to nearly undetectable gadgets that slip under the sheet measuring breathing and heart rate, to entire mattress systems that capture detailed feedback and provide real-time customization, manufacturers are advancing sleep quality to new levels and equipping retailers with the innovative products that meet the high-tech needs of their customers.
Kingsdown has always put enormous emphasis on its data- and-science-driven approach to research and development. Engineered using more than a decade’s worth of data from the Sleep to Live Institute, the company’s cutting-edge and newly updated Sleep Smart system offers numerous health benefits to consumers, particularly those for whom back pain is a significant issue. Specially designed adjustable zones provide postural support and pressure relief, while the Intellimax mobile app allows users to independently adjust each side of the mattress to personal preferences as well as control the optional Bluetooth-enabled adjustable base.
Simmons expanded its popular Beautyrest collection at the Winter Las Vegas Market to include the new SmartMotion base, powered by Sleeptracker technology. Employing nearly invisible sensors integrated into the base, SmartMotion monitors heart rate, body movement and respiration in real time, intuitively sensing when users get into bed and when they fall asleep, and can be set to gently wake users at the optimal point in their sleep cycles. The base communicates with the Sleeptracker app, synthesizing sleep data to generate custom sleep coaching tips base on each user’s sleep history. You can learn more about the benefits and features of the SmartMotion base in this informative video.
Responsive Surface Technologies debuted its ReST Bed this past fall, positioning it as the ultimate smart bed. Patented pressure-sensing fabric continuously monitors nearly 2,000 pressure points, assessing the sleeper’s needs and responding in real-time by quietly inflating or deflating the five specifically zoned air chambers that make up the core of the bed. With the ReST Dash app, consumers can analyze detailed sleep data and receive valuable insight about body position and movement that may aid sleep specialists in diagnosing certain sleep disorders.
Serta plans to roll out its own smart base later this year. Available in select authorized Serta retailers starting in February and nationally available in May, the Serta SleepGPS with Sleeptracker technology will be exclusively available in the company’s new Motion Custom II adjustable base. Through the use of highly advanced sensor technology, this smart bed system aims to help consumers both track and improve their sleep.
REM-Fit and Sleepace team up, creating a system to help consumers sleep smarter. The aptly named SleepSmart is designed to unobtrusively sit between the mattress and fitted sheet and, with the accompanying mobile app, provides analysis regarding body movement during the night. Augmenting the SleepSmart, the SmartPillow assesses ambient noise, plays pre-loaded soundscapes via its internal speakers, and gently vibrates to encourage snorers to change position or to wake sleepers during the optimal point in their sleep cycle. Rem-Fit Active users can also pair their sleep and activity tracker with the pillow to receive deeper analysis.
In a rapidly fluctuating market, mattress makers are doing what they can to set themselves apart from the masses – and catering to those for whom price is a secondary consideration has, for many, proven to be a successful direction. By offering top-of-the-line luxury price points, manufacturers are not only making a statement of their commitment to quality but providing retailers with top-tier options for their most discerning customers.
Organic Mattress Inc (OMI) introduced its most expensive and luxurious mattress to date at market. Part of the OrganicPedic Earth Collection, the new Pinnacle model showcases an 100 percent natural, certified organic rubber latex core with comfort layers made of certified organic wool and cotton. The 13-inch Pinnacle is complete with ultra-plush topper and medium-firm base mattress and will retail for $5,495, while the nine-inch base mattress known as the Pelara will retail for $3,995.
Vispring’s newly released Europa Bed will have a limited run, available in select North American stores until the end of 2016. Constructed with two layers of hand-nested, calico pocket springs encased in generous layers of Platinum Certified real Shetland wool, hand-teased South American horsetail, cotton and bamboo viscose, the Europa is naturally breathable and temperature regulating. The understated, low divan base and complimentary headboard may be covered in select fabrics and, for an elite level of personalization, the mattress can even be embroidered with its owner’s name.
Stearns & Foster raises the bar on luxury mattress offerings with its new Reserve Collection. The three-mattress collection boasts top-of-the-line features such as the exclusive Hybrid Pillow Top with the Nano Comfort Quilt Layer. The innovative mattress top delivers precise support, superior adaptability and light-as-air comfort. Comprised of thousands of super-small coils between layers of memory foam, the specially engineered Nano Comfort Layer provides durable support that helps prevent mattress sag associated with traditional pillowtops.
Kingsdown demonstrates that combining superior, classic materials with expert craftsmanship results in an elegant masterpiece. The recently launched Diamond Royale Collection is handcrafted in the company’s Mebane, North Carolina facility and includes three different models ranging in price from $10,000 to $20,000. Dedicating years to the development of this collection, the company sought out the very best in local, sustainable materials and components, constructing each two-sided mattress to withstand years of use with little to no loss of performance.
Spring Air’s introduction of the re-imagined Chattam and Wells brand was highlighted by the launch of the brand’s uber-opulent Throne bed. Inspired by the extravagant luxury of golden-era European kingdoms, the Throne features more than 10,000 encased coils, comfort layers of Belgian latex and gel-infused memory foam in addition to natural materials like cashmere, silk, wool 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 statement piece for the ages.
As the race to the bottom continues to drive mattress price points lower and lower, manufacturers are finding new ways to help their retail partners increase their sales tickets. One clear-cut way to do so is by enhancing the mattress purchase with unique bedding accessories—but many companies are taking this idea a step further with fully integrated collections that offer products across multiple segments. With these well-planned collections, each product and accessory works together to fulfill a different need or offer a unique benefit, which ultimately allows the consumer to create a total sleep system that is personalized to their needs. By offering comprehensive product line-ups under one overarching brand identity, consumers can more easily identify the products that are available to them and retailers can ensure higher attachments rates.
PureCare has long been known for its commitment to wellness, with its innovative performance bedding accessories designed for both health-conscious consumers and allergy sufferers alike. Today, the company boasts a comprehensive product portfolio that includes a full range of premium accessories, from premium sheets to pillows to mattress and pillow protectors. PureCare has strategically developed its line-up to offer top-of-bed solutions across multiple categories, each of which provides specific elements that, when combined with the other coordinating products, contribute to a larger health and wellness benefit. This unique approach creates clear selling stories for the retail, making it easier for them to attach more products to each sale. Additionally, consumers get the chance to mix and match different technologies, technical textiles and health benefits in order to create a truly personalized sleep environment.
Designed to highlight the inimitable benefits of latex, Pure Talalay Bliss’ new ActiveFusion mattress collection is made with 100 percent Talalay latex—without the addition of any fiber or foam components. Each bed is dressed in a textured, alabaster knit fabric that features gradient wave stitching across the bed’s surface, designed to evoke the materials’ unique comfort flow and resemble the company’s new logo. In addition to the six mattress models, Pure Talalay Bliss also unveiled the new Pure Comfort Choice topper program, Talalay Classic pillow series and the Talalay Down pillow model. All of the new accessories feature the same alabaster fabric covers, creating a comprehensive Talalay latex selling story that is both visually striking and high-performing.
Glideaway first introduced its Revolution Tech Sleep series in the form of six performance pillows, unveiled at the summer market. Made with high-quality materials like charcoal memory foam and shredded latex and boasting a range of distinct feels and features, this unique collection offers advanced comfort and support based on specific sleep preference and needs. Building on the success of the accessories line-up, Glideaway introduced the correlating Revolution Tech Sleep mattress collection at the winter market. Comprised of three allergen resistant beds, this new collection offers the same attributes, materials and benefits as the original pillow options—with each model emphasizing support, cooling or comfort characteristics. Both line-ups include bold, adventure-focused branding materials, creating an eye-catching in-store experience that highlights the combined benefits.
In addition to introducing exciting new sheet and pillow offerings, Protect-A-Bed came to Las Vegas with a strategic new marketing plan. As part of an overall repackaging initiative, every Protect-A-Bed product is now categorized within a larger collection. Designated as “Originals,” “Naturals” and “Therm-A-Sleep,” the three new collections are based on consumer need, technologies and benefits. The Originals collection is made up of core Protect-A-Bed products that feature the innovative Miracle Membrane technology, including a variety of mattress and pillow protectors. The Naturals Collection is an expanded line-up of mattress and pillow protectors, pillows and sheets that enhance the Miracle Membrane with all-natural Tencel fibers. Finally, the Therm-A-Sleep line-up features hypoallergenic protectors, pillows and sheets made with thermo-regulating technologies. By grouping all of the company’s products within these three collections, Protect-A-Bed simplifies the buying process for consumers and increases attachment rates for retailers.
As the number of direct-to-consumer bedding brands continues to skyrocket, more and more traditional retailers are turning to e-commerce to supplement their brick-and-mortar sales. And many manufacturers are stepping up to the challenge by developing innovative new packaging, delivery and customer service options. Touting high-end materials and years of experience, these brands are not only competing with the myriad of “bed-in-a-box” newcomers—they’re surpassing them in quality, value and assurance.
South Bay’s Blissful Nights collection is designed specifically for retailers looking to expand their online strategies—combining state-of-the-art technologies and quality aesthetics with tried-and-true digital tools and delivery services. With a longstanding focus on e-commerce solutions, South Bay helps brick-and-mortar stores and e-retailers reach a wider audience online. With expert white-glove delivery capabilities, South Bay allows e-commerce retailers to provide superior customer service. Additionally, South Bay offers marketing and R&D consulting to brick-and-mortar stores that are looking to expand into online sales—helping them grow an e-commerce segment that is distinctly their own.
In addition to unveiling striking new branding, Symbol introduced an exciting new roll-pack mattress line-up at market. The new gen-u-ine collection was designed to help brick-and-mortar retailers compete with the growing number of online mattress brands. The name was inspired by the company’s positioning as a “genuine producer making genuine products.” In addition to cutting and sewing all of its own covers and preparing its component foams, Symbol recently installed a roll-pack machine in its Wisconsin facility. This allows the company to offer a high-quality mattress and a superior bed-in-a-box solution in which consumers can either take the bed home from the store or Symbol can warehouse and ship purchases direct to their homes within two to three days.
Rather than simply jump on the “bed-in-a-box” bandwagon, Therapedic is taking the concept a step further by combining it with another popular trend: adjustables. The company’s new EcoGel Flex collection not only includes an advanced mattress option, but comes with an adjustable bed base that is delivered via white glove delivery. By eliminating the handling difficulty that is often associated with adjustable bed base sales, this new program simplifies the storing and shipping process—making the adjustable category more approachable to a wider range of customers.
Boyd Specialty Sleep has long been a leader in advanced delivery capabilities, with all of its products available with UPS-shipping for many years. The company is building upon this convenience by debuting new bed-in-a-box models under the iconic Broyhill brand. With a choice of a 10-inch memory foam mattress at $399 or a 12-inch Gel Lux version priced at $699, this line-up includes high-quality specialty options at approachable price points. And Boyd is enhancing the bed-in-a-box concept by offering both models in a four-color box with wheels and a handle on top—making check-out and take-home even easier for consumers.
Forever Foundations is helping retailers connect with a younger consumer audience with its new e-commerce focused inventory purchase program. This all-in-one line-up includes a sturdy bedframe, foundation, platform bed and storage system—all of which is available in one easy-to-ship, easy-to-assemble package. In addition to facilitating more flexibility in retail price, Forever Foundation’s unique drop-ship program allows retailers to offer their customers a total sleep system with a full array of personalized options, features and accessories without overwhelming their warehouse inventories.
Sporting a host of both health and comfort benefits, adjustable bases have long outgrown their “hospital bed” reputation! Once considered an expensive option suited to the elderly, these days adjustable beds run the gamut from value-packed entry-level to sleek, hi-tech high-end. As the quest for personalized sleep intensifies, manufacturers are making sure that there’s an adjustable base for every body and every budget.
Mantua rolls out its most advanced adjustable bases yet with the introduction of three new Rize models: the popular, updated Rize Elevation; the premium deck-on-deck Rize Avante with lounge feature; and a deluxe version of the company’s best-selling Rize Contemporary II. Between the three bases, consumers have a wide variety of features to choose from such as wireless remotes, therapeutic body massage, ambient lighting, lounge features with wall-glide functionality and modular deck support.
Customatic Adjustable Bedz has long been known for its service, integrity and quality sleep products. The company’s newest adjustable base, the Fairmont, makes that well-known reputation available to value-seeking customers. Featuring classic good looks and a wireless remote, the entry-level Fairmont sports the same “deck-on-deck” design as Customatic’s premium models. The company also unveiled its new myContour mattress division, which features innovative Custom Support Technology–and a unique king mattress design that is split at the head and the foot to allow sleep partners to personalize their comfort while the center third remains conjoined.
Reverie goes bar free with the innovative, patent-pending ProGrip retainer system. Unlike most adjustable bases, which use a retainer bar – or bracket – bolted to the foot of the bed to keep the mattress from slipping around, Reverie’s proprietary material “grips” the mattress, keeping things in place without the hospital look of traditional adjustable bases. ProGrip is slated to become a standard feature in the company’s adjustable foundation line up, starting with the Reverie 5D model and up.
Sealy’s newest addition, the Ease by Sealy, is designed to drive more business within the adjustable bed category by offering compelling features at a competitive price. Boasting an attractive aesthetic and wireless remote, the Ease also sports 9-inch legs that can be easily removed for use on a platform bed. This entry-level base offers the perfect opportunity for consumers to trade up from a flat foundation to a feature-packed entry-level adjustable.
Glideaway keeps up with customer demand with the launch of two new models in its Comfort Base Lifestyle collection. With its simplified, split-deck design and compact, lighter packaging, the Freestyle Comfort Base affords retailers a better e-commerce option. Retailing for under $1,000 and designed to sit atop an existing foundation, the Freestyle includes the most popular adjustable functions. Improving health concerns like severe lumbar pain and acid reflux and retailing between $1,599 - $1,699, the Ascend Comfort Base employs Glideaway’s patented Elevate Lift feature that raises the entire base to an incline of 12-degrees. The Ascend also includes a wireless remote with programmable memory settings.
Dormeo is putting more under the mattress with the Elite Platform Storage Base, a new space-saving solution that features two interchangeable 15-gallon drawers.
Malouf has enhanced its popular Z Pillow family with a unique aromatherapy twist—offering three advanced zoned memory foam pillows that are infused with either lavender, peppermint or chamomile.
The Pillow Bar’s new Breakfast in Bed Collection offers the same comfort, support and styles for which the company is known, but features a luxurious new down-alternative fill.
Fashion Bed Group’s new Atlas Support and Storage Systems delivers the support of a strong, solid foundation and the convenience of ample storage space a just $160 retail pricing.
Blu Sleep is helping retailers maximize their sales with the new “How To Choose Your Pillow”—a simple guide that matches customers with the perfect pillow from their expansive portfolio.