Take a look back at the major mattress news of 2013.
As the year draws to a close, recapping the biggest news in the mattress industry over the past 12 months can offer some perspective on how far we’ve come and what 2014 will hold. This year has primarily been one of improvements and adjustments, with several brands updating current lines, consolidating, and making minor changes. In this article, we will review the top headlines in the mattress world for 2013, including this years new technologies and biggest changes.
The Year of Memory Foam: A Look Back at Top Mattress News of 2013
Last year we offered an overview of 2012’s best mattress trends, but this year we decided to recap the top headlines of the year to see what changed and what to expect in the next 12 months. Big news from this year included a persistent focus on memory foam, greener directions, recalls and lawsuits, a few new lines, and a major acquisition. Keep reading to see what made waves this year.
Cooler Memory Foam Mattresses
In recent years, a focus on building mattresses that sleep cooler has propelled innovation in memory foam. Brands have produced different types of foam like ones incorporating gel or without temperature sensitivity in an effort to combat the fears of some consumers. The perception that memory foam can sleep hotter than spring beds is not entirely unfounded, as according to reviews collected by SleepLikeTheDead.com, nearly 18% of Tempurpedic owners have reported heat as a significant issue with their bed.
Foams infused with gel (either liquid gel or gel beads) have been making a splash for a few years now and continued growing in 2013. However, the dispute about whether or not gel actually does yield cooler sleep raged on. After complaints from Tempurpedic, in early 2013 the National Advertising Division asked Serta to stop making claims that their gel mattresses sleep cooler than Tempurpedic until they have solid research showing a difference.
Plant-based memory foam also claims to sleep cooler, and manufacturer Cargill conducted a two year study which found that these foams slept 25% cooler than gel foams. Plant-based memory foam brands like Amerisleep continued to surge in 2013, and an industry report from UK-based Research and Markets touts plant-based foams as the segment likely to experience the biggest growth from 2013 to 2016 due to their cool and green advantages. In our previous article comparing memory foam mattress reviews, the plant-based contender did indeed appear to have considerably fewer complaints of heat retention issues.
Other companies including Simmons and Serta also released lines this year with specific claims of cooler sleep.
Greener Mattresses & Recycling
Trends toward greener products and production have been leading to change in several industries, including mattresses. The adoption of mattress recycling initiatives in Connecticut, Rhode Island and California is big news within the mattress industry. In addition to reducing waste in landfills and cleaning up cities, this may have some impact on companies that manufacture and retail mattresses within these state and on consumers, too, who will have more options for mattress disposal but may have to pay a little more. 2014 is likely to bring more recycling legislation in other states as well, as they follow the blueprints set forth by the pioneers.
2013 also saw continued focus on greener products like plant-based foams, Certi-Pur certified products, natural latex mattresses, and on natural fibers like cotton, bamboo and wool. Consumers are expressing increasing concern about chemicals in household products, and many also remain committed to sustainable products so this sector is likely to continue developing 2014.
Many mattress recalls were issued during 2013, all the way through December. These have affected primarily imported mattresses and rebuilt mattresses, though almost all of this year’s recalls are due to not meeting federal flammability guidelines.
- Mattress Cloud recalled all mattresses made from August 2011-January 2012.
- Easy-Rest recalled about 3800 mattresses sold from 2011-2012.
- American Mattress Mfg. recalled 1500 rebuilt mattresses sold from 2010-2011.
- Mattress World recalled 750 renovated mattresses.
- SlumberWorld recalled 810 mattresses manufactured between 2011-2012.
- L&F International recalled 1000 renovated mattresses sold from 2011-2012.
The mattress industry is a pretty competitive one, so it is no surprise that legal battles pop up from time to time. Here are a few of the more notable ones that made headlines this year.
- The FTC sued several companies for making inflated or unfounded claims about their products being green or natural. Relief Mart, aka TempFlow.com, was sued for claiming their products were VOC-free without proof. Essentia was sued for claims about their mattresses being VOC, formaldehyde and chemical free and all natural. The other lawsuit was against Ecobaby Organics, aka PureRest.com, for claiming their latex beds were all-natural and safer than competitors and for creating their own misleading certification company.
- A class action lawsuit was filed in December against Tempurpedic, by a consumer alleging that the beds and chemical off-gassing have caused health problems for some, and that Tempurpedic falsely claimed their beds were free of formaldehyde and toxic VOCs and brushed off complaints.
- The EEOC filed lawsuits against Mattress Firm for alleged age discrimination claiming they disproportionately forced out older workers, and also against Carolina Mattress Guild for racial discrimination.
Every year always brings new product launches in bedding, and this year saw a few new lines from leading companies. However, the bulk of 2013 seemed to focus more on improving existing products rather than launching new innovations.
- Tempur-Choice – The Tempur brand debuted their first memory foam hybrid mattresses, aiming to take a bite out of the leading national specialty brand. The mattresses have adjustable chambers instead of foam cores and are topped with Tempur memory foam, retailing from $3499 to $3799 in queen.
- Simmons Curv – Simmons debuted a new line of memory foam designed to appeal primarily to millennials, as well as budget buyers. The surface of the beds have a ripple texture, with 2-4 inches of lower density memory foam and gel foam and queen prices under $999.
- Chili Technology introduced a temperature control mattress, the ChiliBed. The brand is also the maker of the ChiliPad, a mattress pad which allows users to adjust mattress surface temperature.
- Hybrid mattresses also proved to be a strong focus of spring mattress makers, with many companies like Leggett & Platt debuting and marketing lines combining memory foam and springs.
- Tempurpedic completed its acquisition of Sealy, forming a joint but separately managed entity, Tempur Sealy International that now encompasses the Tempurpedic brand as well as Sealy Posturepedic & Optimum and Stearns and Foster.
This year brought some interesting news as well as continuations of ongoing mattress trends. We saw manufacturers strive to deliver cooler and more competitive beds while consumers strived for greater transparency and healthier options. Discounts and sales also remained prominent throughout the year, with even premium luxury brands participating in holiday deals. In 2013, both consumers and agencies also began focusing on both chemical claims and product safety, so these topics are likely to continue making headlines for the next year. As movements like cooler sleeping and greener materials continue progressing, there may also be more innovations and legislation built around these ideas seen in 2014. If trends and industry reports prove correct, memory foam will continue booming, particularly plant-based, and industry insiders also expect more growth in the low and mid-price sectors. We hope you’ve enjoyed this look back at the top mattress news of 2013, and feel free to share your favorite bed and sleep stories of the year below!