Bedding exhibitors brought out innovative new product and shiny new technology at the Las Vegas Market that offered a glimpse into what bedding trends will be popular in 2024.
However, these trends affect the industry on a macro level, as they point back to the overall consolidation happening in the industry.
With the number of manufacturers exhibiting at market, it may not feel like consolidation is affecting the industry in a big way yet. However, many have told me that this year will be the one that sets those who thrive apart from those who “survive.”
Manufacturers are stepping up their game with products the industry could have only dreamed of 10 years ago.
So, in no particular order, here are some of the trends I saw throughout showrooms and how they may affect the industry on a macro level.
Technology in the bedding industry has come a long way in a short time, and brands like Diamond Mattress were making the most of how it can be integrated into mattresses with the official launch of its smart mattress, Auto Pilot.
While the company has been selling the model through select retailers for some time, it was ready this market to release the final product — which is now ready to be shipped to retailers across the nation.
Most smart mattresses are actually smart bases, but Auto Pilot essentially has a built-in computer, allowing its unique gel cells to continuously adjust and contour to a sleeper’s body throughout the night as they move around. The cells can get firmer or softer depending on preference, as there are 80 cells and eight zones throughout the mattress. Patrick Wolf, vice president of sales and education, says the line has been extremely well received.
Sleep Nerdzzz also brought a smart mattress; however, this one serves a slightly different purpose — health care.
While the brand soft-launched the bed at previous markets, it made many improvements before this market, including doing away with some arbitrary things like sleep scores and focusing on features that can help people of all ages — like offering a sleep report after tracking a person’s movements through the night, or an SOS button that screams “help” if a person falls out of bed. (The command can also be changed to specific words based on the user’s preference.)
These days it seems like everything is “smart,” so why not mattresses? To me, these releases are a small part of a technological revolution happening across the industry. Most importantly, they’re not just flashy gimmick products — they can help a wide variety of people get better sleep.
BedGear is also making the most of technology in a few different ways. First, its creative POP displays are eye-catching and can help retailers offer their shoppers a distinct experience. As its showroom exemplified during the Vegas market, BedGear knows that experience is the key to bringing in and selling consumers.
The company provides retailers with these POP displays free of charge, and retailers can choose from a variety of models, from aesthetically pleasing sheet displays to podiums with pillows and pinwheels that show how airflow works with Bedgear products.
There’s also the Get Fit room, a giant capsulelike structure that lets people find their mattresses and pillow types in a fun and interesting way. The options included in the Get Fit room are not exclusive to Bedgear, meaning it will direct consumers to the best bed for them regardless of brand.
In terms of product, the company released its Ambient bed, a temperature-regulating mattress that can get warm or cool independently on each side. These models will be on retail floors in the early summer, and this is yet another example of manufacturers upping their game with innovative products that catch consumer’s attention.
Other exhibitors, like Bedding Industries of America and Kingsdown, released new versions of popular sellers. This evolution of product is a sign of a healthy industry that can recognize a successful product and set out to make it even better.
BIA’s Eclipse Curve mattress has been updated to a hybrid model, which the company’s co-owner Jared Carlitz says is a natural next step for the line.
The 5-inch patented CurveCore sits on top of 4-inch foam-encased pocketed coils. In addition to helping minimize motion transfer, the mattress features a 5-pound Eclipse Relief Foam that’s designed to alleviate pressure points. It’s also topped with e-cool ventilated gel foam infused with phase-change material for an extra comfort layer.
The company released an all-latex line, Embrace, which includes three split-head models in king and queen sizes in 8-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch profiles.
“Many people today want latex in their mattress because it doesn’t sink and it’s more supportive,” he says. “We use all organic (GOLS)-certified Dunlop latex with no fiberglass.”
Rounding out its trio of introductions, the company displayed an update to its Eastman House, a move that “modernizes a traditional design,” according to Carlitz. It features an extra support layer and has an open coil below.
Last market, Kingsdown released K2, what it dubs as “The Koolest Mattress in the World,” which marked the company’s expansion into the all-foam category when it launched last summer.
This market the company expanded the line to include hybrid models and models with a patterned honeycomb gel that’s exclusive to Kingsdown. With a combination of foam and gel layers, the line offers something new and different for retailers to sell.
Kingsdown’s Vintage Couture and Insignia collections also received a refresh this winter, as a change of foams and coil gauges give the higher-end beds a more luxurious look without changing price points.
Direct to consumer — through brick-and-mortar stores
The integration of DTC brands into brick-and-mortar stores has not stopped, however; it has matured into a partnership that makes sense for both parties. Brands like Casper, Resident and Purple are all working closely with many retailers, and this market Molecule, a DTC brand making its entrance into the wholesale market, is aiming to make a mark as well.
“Molecule’s Reflex collection is sold exclusively to brick-and-mortar retailers,” says Travis Thigpen, vice president of sales. “We have been creating regional partnerships in specific markets to help drive success. The three things we look for are: 1) How can we help service retailers better? 2) How can we drive new customers to our retail partners? and 3) How can we all differentiate ourselves?”
Molecule sets itself apart by using LiftCor technology, which allows for enhanced spinal alignment — the gel-like material works by being placed in strips along certain parts of the mattress at the head, middle and foot. All Reflex models also include CoolVent technology, which Thigpen says feels similar to active-response memory foam but is four times more breathable.
Together, these three trends offer insight into the future of the industry. Those who continue to innovate will be the ones who win, and it will be interesting to see how these trends coincide with the consolidation of the industry in the year to come.