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David Perry

Natural bedding products offer change of pace on retail floors

May 15, 2012

This week we go natural.
Exhibitors at the recent High Point Market with natural bedding stories included Sleep & Beyond, Palmpring, de Courcy & Co., and Naturepedic. Here's what they are doing.
Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based Sleep & Beyond features merino wool - "Nature's Miracle Fiber" - from the Kyrgyz Republic, where there are twice as many sheep as people, according to Sardor Azimovich, cofounder of the company with his brother, Sarvar.
The Azimovich brothers were showing a nice line of certified organic wool pillows, sheets and toppers, with some nifty packaging. And they were singing the praises of merino wool, which is naturally dust mite, mold and mildew resistant, is a great natural insulator, and is highly resilient, thus relieving pressure points, they said.
Another natural bedding exhibitor was Palmpring, based in Los Angeles, which features layers of organic coconut fibers and natural latex in its sleep sets. Camilla Kim, CEO of Palmpring USA, says her mattress line is highly respected by medical professionals who counsel patients on back problems, sleep issues and allergies.
The coconut fibers used in the Palmpring mattresses are coated with pure natural latex so they retain a resilient quality and don't get crushed or torn over time. The latex and coconut fibers are from India. The beds also feature organic cotton and New Zealand wool.
Marc de Courcy, CEO of de Courcy & Co., a natural latex bed producer, welcomed me to his new High Point showroom. I took a picture of him standing next to a display of latex mini samples, a display that he said is important.
"We think that presentation with the mini samples provides an easy way for sales associates to quickly explain to customers our collections before the customer tries them," de Courcy told me. "Mattress shopping can be complicated and overwhelming and we are trying to make it easier for the sales associate and the customer."
Also in the natural bedding spotlight in High Point was Naturepedic, whose new Lullaby Earth mattress line is designed to be easily and fully recyclable, according to Barry Cik, technical director. The company intends that the bedding materials can be turned back into raw materials when the mattresses have reached the end of their useful lives.
Cik says "recyclable" is the key word here, as opposed to "recycled." "Our own research suggests that consumers are fine if the mattress is made from materials that are recyclable and can be recycled later into the raw materials for other products, but they are not as comfortable at this time buying a mattress made from recycled materials," he said.
Natural products and marketing messages do have their fans, and those programs can offer a refreshing change of pace on showroom floors.