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Top 15 producers innovate

Las Vegas - New high-end lines and hybrid mattresses are on tap in the showrooms of Top 15 bedding producers.
     Serta is revamping its populariComfort line of gel memoryfoam mattresses, introducing newiComfort and iComfort Directionsproduct lines, both featuringnew Cool Action Dual Effects gelmemory foam, designed to providesupport and comfort. Serta isalso introducing new iSeries andiSeries Profiles lines, both featuringhybrid sleep systems.
     Andrew Gross, senior vicepresident of Serta, said the linesare designed to present an "easymerchandising story," and saideach of the four lines offers fiveunique feels. There are commoncomponents and step ups in thelines.
     "Our strategy is to unify thebrands with common features,benefits, step-ups and aesthetics,"Gross said.
     Sealy is introducing a newStearns & Foster line, featuringhigher density and gel-infusedfoams, more hand-crafted details,enhanced aesthetics and solidbrass air vents.
     Dan Calderwood, who headsup marketing for the S&F line,said the air vents on the line helpthe beds breathe and help differentiatethem on retail floors.
     The S&F offerings include theLux Estate Hybrid line and comewith two adjustable base options.
     Sealy is introducing a new Optimumline that has a number ofnew features, including gel layersfrom the top to the bottom of themattress. The line is designed withclear step-up stories, said BrentPfister, vice president of marketingfor the Optimum line. Two powerbases are also available with thenew line, which builds on the successof the original Optimum line,Pfister said.
    Simmons is introducing anew ComforPedic iQ line, whichfeatures 16 Smart Response foamchambers that automaticallyrespond to each sleeper's bodyweight and sleep position. Theline, retailing from $2,599 to$3,699, is endorsed by Dr. AndrewWeil, a leader in the field ofintegrative medicine.
     Simmons is also introducing12 new Beauty rest Blackmodels, retailing from $1,999 to$4,999. New technologies includea temperature-managing SleepClimate Surface Technology andnew Dynamic Response MemoryFoam. The three top models inthe line feature diamond particlesinfused in the memory foam tomove heat away from the bodyand help provide cooler sleep, thecompany said.
      King Koil is once again makingbroad product introductions.Dave Roberts, president, said hiscompany aims to grow this yearby giving retailers profitable alternativesto the "S" brands.
     King Koil's introductionsinclude a Z Tech line aimed atMillennials, a mid-priced WorldLuxury line, and a high-end Sleep
     Couture line that is intended to be a highly profitable standout on retail floors, Roberts said.
     Therapedic has a gel-on-geldesign in its new EcoGel 2 line,which aims to solve the issue ofsleeping hot on foam mattresses,according to Gerry Borreggine,president. "As a point of differentiation,"he said, "this seriesmarks the first time a mattresswill feature a gel-on-gel foamlayer."
     Therapedic is also featuringthree new Memory Touch Collectionbeds that are designed tocompete with Chinese imports,and is showing the Oceanic, anew top-of-the-line model in itsBuoyancy Collection of latex andgel beds.
     Englander is showing newmodels in its TensionEase, PostureSupport Plus and Nature's Finestbrands to salute its 120th anniversary.The beds are designed togive retailers attractive values topromote, according to Kevin Toman,president.
     Restonic's introductions includethe second-generation ofits TempaGel line of gel bedding,which features phase changegel-infused memory foam. Thatproducer is also expanding its Comfort Care Signature line.
      Kingsdown is going afterthe ultra-high end market withits Haute Couture Collection,designed to present a   "ParisianChic" look and retailing from$10,000 to $26,000 in queen.That line features "a fresher andmore modern" aesthetic thanmany of the other luxury brandson the market, company officialssay.
      Kingsdown is also offeringproduct enhancements in a numberof its other lines.
     E.S. Kluft also touts a Paristheme with its new high-endsleep system, Nuit a Paris (Nightin Paris). The ensemble, whichincludes a customizable tuftedupholstered headboard and divanand a hand-stitched mattress,will retail for $60,000 in king -when upholstered with 100% silkFrench velvet fabric.
     Earl Kluft, president, promisesthat the ensemble will be "ashowcase piece on the retail flooras well as the master bedroomsuite."
     Spring Air is relaunching itsFour Seasons Collection, whichgives sleepers a range of choices inindividual sleeping comfort, andis also introducing a new line ofBack Supporter Sleep Sense hybridbeds. And that producer hasupgraded the offerings in its BackSupporter 700 Series with theaddition of enhanced gel componentsand other new features.

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