By Christopher Schriever and Gretchen Kast
With a mission to brand latex, Pure LatexBLISS introduced a collection of naturally breathable Talalay Latex mattresses to the bedding industry in 2009. Five years later, every one of the company’s mattress collections is made from a naturally breathable, eco-friendly Talalay Latex. By focusing exclusively on one specific material, the Pure LatexBLISS brand has bred a culture of creativity as they continually think of new ways to offer the benefits of Talalay latex to the consumer.
As part of the company mission, Pure LatexBLISS has worked to differentiate Talalay latex from other premium materials, relaying the unique benefits that are exclusive to the material. Though latex and memory foam are both marketed as “premium” mattress materials, they offer very different sleep experiences. While memory foam provides a denser, enveloping feel, Talalay latex provides an uplifting feel. The suspended support offered by Talalay latex allows for a pressure-free feel to help relax muscles and relieve tension. And because latex is derived from natural rubber, it is also inherently greener than many other materials: non-toxic and non-petroleum-based.
As more manufacturers begin to adopt latex components within their mattresses, Pure LatexBLISS distinguishes itself in the industry by using the material exclusively. As such, they are able to relay a clear and direct message to the retailers and consumers: the benefits remain the same across all of the collections.
“Latex sleep products continue to gain popularity with retailers and consumers. One of the things that we have come to understand about consumers who buy latex mattresses is that they come from different points of entry,” Kurt Ling, company founder and president, explains. After extensive consumer research, the company found that some bedding consumers discover Pure LatexBLISS beds even if they’re not exclusively searching for a green or latex product—they simply like the feel and the story—while others are specifically seeking natural bedding. More recently, they’ve discovered an emerging consumer market deemed “casually organic”, which includes those who do not staunchly adhere to an organic lifestyle, but see the green story as an added bonus. Armed with this research, Pure LatexBLISS has diversified its brand portfolio, offering different stories to meet a diverse set of consumer needs.
“We’re no longer a ‘one-size fits all’ company,” Ling explains. “We now offer different products for different interests and benefits.” Pure LatexBLISS has evolved without straying from its original mission: all of their beds are still all-Talalay-latex, never petroleum-based, and all of the options are non-toxic. Their new collections work to “strengthen their core and extend their ends,” reaching out to a wider consumer base.
The company’s most recent mattress collections exemplify the creativity and innovation that’s kept the company on our annual Companies to Watch list since the beginning.
Pure LatexBLISS will debut its newest collection at the upcoming High Point Furniture Market. The all-latex Man Made Talalay Collection is designed with a special all-synthetic Talalay Latex . To create its first synthetic latex mattress collection, the company started with left over virgin high-grade synthetic latex used to make 100 percent latex medical gloves. This process is as innovative as it is environmentally friendly, keeping the unused latex out of landfills.
By repurposing the left over high-grade synthetic latex, Pure LatexBLISS developed a special all-synthetic Talalay latex. An industry first, this collection offers three beds offering pressure relief layers synthetic Talalay Latex on top of supportive synthetic Talalay Latex cores—and retail at a lower price point than any other Pure LatexBLISS collection.
The collection has been designed to bring Talalay Process all-latex mattresses to consumers that are looking for the feel and muscle relaxing benefits of latex but are indifferent to the “natural characteristics.” By shifting the focus away from the green story, consumers do not have to pay for more than what they want or need from their mattress. “Some latex mattress buyers are green and natural oriented and we have a collection specifically for them,” Ling explained. “Others do not have the same lifestyle or environmental concerns and the Man Made Talalay Collection perfectly addresses their desires and price point.”
“We are very excited about our new Man Made Talalay Collection and the benefits it offers the consumer. It is an industry first combining the Talalay Process of Latex with the Synthetic Formulation of Latex,” said Ling. “Not only were we able to develop a new Talalay Latex option at a lower price point, but we were able to meet the needs of another customer segment.”
The Man Made collection comes at the heels of the introduction of Pure LatexBLISS’ All Natural Mattress Collection. The All Natural collection was designed to capture the growing number of “casual organic” consumers. “Our goals were clear when we introduced the All Natural collection—to offer a natural mattress while indulging them with signature Pure LatexBLISS feels.”
Comprised of three mattresses, the line-up features an “all-natural” Oeko-Tex certified Talalay Latex pressure relief layers on six-inch “all natural” Talalay Latex support cores. The All Natural collection boasts GOTS certified organic cotton stretch fabric covers designed to supplement the uplifting buoyant feel of the Talalay and an organic wool fire retardant layer.
Pure LatexBLISS’ retailer response has been so positive that the company has expanded the mattress collection to include two pillows and two CustomFIT mattress toppers. Like the rest of the All Natural collection, these new products will be made with only the highest quality Talalay Latex and all natural components. “Expanding this collection offers the casually organic consumer even more options for bringing natural products into the home,” added Ling.
At the time Pure LatexBLISS set out to brand latex, most bedding showrooms were only showing one or two latex mattress on their retail floor. Today, retailers and consumers alike have embraced the unique supportive feel of all-latex mattresses and many retailers have multiple latex beds on the floor. This increased interest in latex is an important shift in the specialty sleep segment. And, for many sleep shops, the sale of latex mattresses drives up ticket prices. For retailers who are looking to expand their offerings with higher price points, latex beds offer an appealing solution.
Pure LatexBLISS has emerged at the forefront of latex innovation by thinking differently. “Retailers ask us: ‘How do you make beds that all use the same material feel so different?’” And that’s exactly the type of question Ling and the rest of the Pure LatexBLISS research and development team ask themselves: how can we find the interesting story, the unique component, the new angle? As a company, they’re devoted to creative problem solving. The best compliment they’ve received so far? “You don’t think like anyone else.”
This commitment to ingenuity is what drives Pure LatexBLISS, generating a sense of excitement that is reflected with their retail partners.
In the fall of 2011, Latex International acquired full ownership of Pure LatexBLISS and, since our interview, Ling has resigned from the company citing creative differences. Latex International President and CEO, David Fisher and Pure LatexBLISS V.P. of Sales, E.B. Walthall will continue the day-to-day leadership.