Article: The Palm Beach Post – July 2010

Making your own mattress – how restful can that be?

Friday, July 9, 2010

You can build your own teddy bear, your own burger, even your own cocktail these days.

Why not your own mattress?

That’s Earl Kluft’s thinking as his company, E.S. Kluft & Co., prepares to unveil his version of the “make-your-own” mattress at the Las Vegas Market show in August.

Kluft said customers who buy an Aireloom Comfort Zone mattress will be able to choose between individually wrapped coils or a hybrid latex in the center mattress.

Then, customers will be invited to “create their own” four-zoned topper pad. Like a puzzle, customers can rearrange four pads on the mattress to find their optimal comfort.

For instance, customers can choose a soft pad for their upper body and a firm pad for their lower body, while their sleeping partner can choose extra firm and medium. Or medium and medium. Or. … you get the idea.

“This allows people to get exactly what they want,” Kluft said, adding that the customized mattresses will probably run from $2,000 to $3,000. Although it’s not available yet, Kluft is hoping retailers like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s – which already carry some of his other mattresses – will go for the Comfort Zone.

Kluft’s mattress appears to be but one of a number of make-it-yourself mattress and pillow concepts entering the market.

Verlo Mattress Factory Stores, based in Wisconsin, is promoting a made-to-order mattress in its factory stores that’s “like a Build-A-Bear Workshop, but for your bed,” spokesman Joe Garavente said.

Meanwhile, durable products co., the producer of Everloft pillows, will be showcasing its Dream Machine – a made-to-order pillow kiosk – at the Las Vegas show.

Organic Mattresses Inc. is planning to unveil a customizable mattress with “81 personal sleep zones” at the Las Vegas Show, according to a news release.

Since the customer is, of course, not literally making the product, it’s unclear exactly how different these “make your own” concepts are from local customized mattress shops like the E.J. Schrader Mattress Co. in West Palm Beach.

Still, the idea of customized products is popular among consumers.

“More people are looking for, wanting, customized mattresses as they learn more about how important a good mattress is,” said Diane Schrader of E.J. Schrader. “And custom does not mean it’s not affordable.”

“Buying a mattress can be intimidating,” said Karin Mahoney, director of communications for the International Sleep Products Association. “There are so many technologies out there. You don’t know where to start. It’s good to have a process to help you find a mattress that’s your dream.”

Mahoney noted that customers looking to buy a mattress and confused about what they want can visit to get answers to many of their questions.

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