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Simmons beds include new phase-change gel at High Point

David Perry, Staff Staff -- Furniture Today, October 12, 2012

HIGH POINT - Simmons is introducing phase-change technology in a new line of gel memory foam beds that is designed to help sleepers find their ideal sleeping temperature.
The four new beds, retailing from $1,299 to $2,499, are in the company's flagship specialty sleep line, ComforPedic.
Simmons is introducing the beds at the market here to make a leadership statement in the growing specialty sleep segment and to give the company's dealers plenty of time to incorporate the models into merchandising programs early next year, officials said.
"We have been aggressive in developing new technology," said Tony Smith, president of Simmons. "The window of leadership stays open for a short period of time. We think we have better technology and we have the opportunity to get to market quickly."
The new ComforPedic models, which replace the more promotionally priced ComforPedic Loft line, will begin shipping in mid-November.
Smith said the new technology in the beds enables sleepers to find their ideal "micro-climate" and get a more restful night of sleep.
The company's TruTemp phase-change technology is encapsulated in proprietary GelTouch beads, which are embedded throughout the memory foam. The technology cools when it senses excessive warmth and warms when it senses excessive coolness to balance sleeping temperature throughout the night, Simmons said. This is important, the company said, because body temperatures can fluctuate throughout the night, causing restlessness.
The new ComforPedic beds use the company's AirCool Memory Foam, which promotes air flow through the foam.
Smith said that the phase-change materials are "locked into" the AirCool Memory Foam layer, which he said provides a higher level of performance and comfort than spray-on applications applied to fabrics or foams by other bedding producers.
Mark Owen, senior vice president, brand, said the embedded phase-change materials provide a "robust" temperature-regulation system that offers longer lasting and more effective temperature control than competitors' beds.
While the new ComforPedic beds incorporate gel memory foam, as do a number of other Simmons beds, Simmons does not tout those products as "gel beds." "We have stayed away from branding gel product lines," Smith said. "We see that gel has turned into a commodity."
He said gel does have consumer benefits as a cushioning agent "and has earned a reputation for cooling properties," but said Simmons prefers to position gel as adding value as part of a total sleep system. Simmons includes gel in its Recharge Sleep System, various bedding components that are marketed under the company's Recharge banner.
The new ComforPedic beds are offered at $1,299, $1,699, $1,999 and $2,499 retail. They come with the same 25-year warranty already in effect with other ComforPedic beds.

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