Serta Simmons Bedding (SSB) announced that it is partnering with Switzerland-based HeiQ Group, a leader in textile innovation, to create a new antiviral mattress.
The agreement gives SSB exclusive access within the U.S. bedding category to HeiQ Viroblock technology, which has previously been approved by the European Medical Device Directive for antiviral use in medical personal protective equipment such as N95 equivalent masks, and registered as an antiviral active by the German EPA. HeiQ Viroblock was recently independently tested as 99.99% effective in 30 minutes against SARS-CoV-2 by a leading Australian infection and immunity research institute. SSB plans to pursue any necessary approvals for its line of Serta and Beautyrest HeiQ Viroblock mattresses with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency.
"We know that our partners in the hospitality and healthcare industries are doing everything they can to help provide the cleanest environment and reassure their guests," said David Swift, chairman and CEO of Serta Simmons Bedding. "Antiviral and antibacterial mattresses will be an enormous asset in that effort."
SSB, a significant source of mattresses to the hospitality industry, has already received early interest to acquire HeiQ Viroblock-treated mattresses from several of the world's largest hotel brands to bolster cleanliness and safety initiatives. Elie Khoury, EVP operations resources at Aimbridge Hospitality, the global leader in hotel management services said, "As the largest third-party manager we are proactively searching for the best opportunities to add value for our owners and enhance the experience for our guests. We are currently testing the new antiviral bedding and accessories from Serta Simmons and eager to understand the impact in helping our properties deliver the highest level of safety and cleanliness for guests."
Here's why HeiQ Viroblock represents such a breakthrough for the mattress industry: Virus particles and bacteria are invisible to the human eye (SARS-CoV-2 is only 90 nanometers large) and they easily pass through sheets. They can persist and stay infectious for days on textiles, such as traditional mattresses. HeiQ's Viroblock technology solves that problem by using microsilver technology that attracts virus particles, combined with vesicle technology that breaks down the viral membrane within seconds. Tests conducted at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity showed that COVID-19-causing virus samples concentrated on fabric treated with HeiQ Viroblock were 99.99% reduced.
In accelerated aging tests, textiles infused with HeiQ Viroblock demonstrated the ability to retain their antiviral qualities for three years, and antibacterial qualities for 20 years.
Serta Simmons Bedding has been active in the fight against COVID-19 in other ways as well. In March, it announced it was donating 10,000 mattresses to hospitals in areas hard hit by the pandemic. A few weeks later it launched a platform in conjunction with Relief Bed International to facilitate further donations.
About Serta Simmons Bedding LLC: Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC is one of the largest manufacturers, marketers and suppliers of mattresses in North America. Based in Atlanta, SSB owns and manages two of the best-selling bedding brands in the mattress industry: Serta®, which has five other independent licensees, and Beautyrest®. The brands are distributed through national, hospitality, and regional and independent retail channels throughout North America. SSB also owns Simmons® and Tuft & Needle® direct-to-consumer mattress brands. SSB operates 27 plants in the U.S. and Canada.
About HeiQ: Founded in 2005 as a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH), HeiQ is a leader in textile innovation creating some of the most effective, durable and high-performance textile technologies on the market today. HeiQ's purpose is to improve the lives of billions of people by perfecting an everyday product: Textiles. Combining three areas of expertise – scientific research, specialty materials manufacturing and consumer ingredient branding – HeiQ is the ideal innovation partner to create differentiating and sustainable textile products and capture the added value at the point of sale. With a total capacity of 35,000 tons per year HeiQ manufactures in the USA, Switzerland and Australia serving its chemical specialties in over 60 countries worldwide.