Article: Wellington at Home – Fall 2007



For some companies, “quiet publicity” seems to work. For E.J. Schrader Mattress Company, located in West Palm Beach, the fact that little noise has been made about them has worked for 51 years, and for the looks of things, they’ll be around for at least another 51.

Very few people know that a custom mattress manufacturer is right in our midst. Unless you’re a member of the decorating and design set, that is. And if you are, then Schrader is the only place you head when a mattress for a discriminating client needs to be ordered.

Blair and Diane Schrader are as unassuming and quiet as their company. Blair’s father, Enoch, started the business and Blair has been around mattresses all of his life. Not a mass producer of their product, each mattress is custom styled to the preferences of an individual customer. If that customer cannot come into the factory personally, words will do. Blair is very adept at translating. His wife, Diane, just completed an order that was taken on the phone from a customer in Holland – all the information was conveyed in words. Listening to a customer certainly takes on a new definition when you hear these stories.

Blair also has a trained sense of touch. He’ll walk into a customer’s home and just by feeling their mattress can interpret their needs. He will pick a customer’s brain for the firmness factor, and then the client’s “trust factor” has to kick in!

Why would anyone want to order a custom mattress when you can just walk into the mega stores and test drive until you’re satisfied, and have it delivered that afternoon? “Custom does not mean it’s not affordable,” explained Blair. And certainly the word custom will turn some people away. Yet prices for a Schrader mattress are the equivalent of a high-end, store-bought variety, and will last much longer. “We keep templates in hard copy in our files for 25 years, so that when a customer needs to reorder, we’ll have the specs on hand.” And 25 years is about the time frame for re-ordering a custom mattress.

Check out your mattress at home. Can you flip it? Is it as quilted and cushion-y on the bottom as it is on top? If not, then it’s not a two-sided mattress. Several years ago, the big manufacturers decided to save money and only pad and quilt one side of a mattress. To the consumer that means the life of the mattress is cut in half. All Schrader mattresses are two sided. The rare exception will be when design dictates a one-sided mattress. Other that that, all product is two-sided, therefore longer lived.

The mattress business took a big hit in the 1970’s when the US Government stepped in and established severe guidelines in manufacturing. The beautiful fabrics that used to cover out mattress tops became too expensive and didn’t pass the rigorous tests each prototype must surrender to. “It breaks my heart when one of our custom mattresses gets burned up in government testing, but those are the rules, and we have to abide by them,” said Blair.

Those rules now require that outside stitching be done by thread made of Kevlar. Remember when we were afraid to remove the tags on our mattress in fear of federal prosecution? Today, you CAN’T remove the tags because of the strength of the thread attaching the tag to the mattress! That change in cost amounted to a 10x increase in the cost of thread required to make a mattress – and resulted in a new take on the word “body armor”.

Now let’s get to the plushy part of a mattress factory. Do you want a round mattress? One was being delivered to a home the afternoon of our visit. How about a mattress for an antique bed? Blair Schrader will take the measurements himself and construct it. Allergies? Schrader is the only company that manufacturers a chemical free bed. Expecting a new baby? Schrader makes a chemical free organic rib mattress using certified organic cotton from Texas. Did you ever think of the vinyl used in today’s crib mattresses and the amount of formaldehyde used in that vinyl? Neither did we. Schrader Mattress Company donates their crib mattresses to the American Lung Association to be raffled off yearly.

Memory Foam, Cool Max, double topped and comfortable sofa bed mattresses (no longer an oxymoron) comprise some of the orders pouring into Schrader Mattress. Important requirements from their clientele are people who have back problems, or other physical ailments. Schrader can make a mattress that will ensure a good night’s sleep for just about anyone. Clients stream into the factory daily to road test a mattress or just watch as their bit of a dream comes to life. With only 7 employees on the floor of the giant warehouse, there’s always room for sightseers, as well as customers.

Aside from the typical bedroom mattress orders also come in the yachts, airplanes, big-wheel trucks and even the back seat of a Bentley. Anything that requires a custom configuration or size will probably come from Schrader. Brad Penny, the 6’4″ starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers sleeps on a 9′ x 10′ Schrader mattress. Visitors to the Marco Island Inn sleep on a Schrader Mattress. Gianni Versace slept on a Schrader Mattress. And pampered pooches around the world sleep on Schrader Mattresses.

It is the customer service segment of this mattress company that has kept them in business for over half a century. Try to cash in on your store-bought mattress warranty. You won’t get too far. Yet at Schrader, an unhappy customer doesn’t exist because they will retool a mattress over an over again, until the customer is happily in dreamland – regardless of how long that customer has owned his mattress.

With at least 1/3 of your time spent in bed, it stands to reason that a good mattress is a logical investment. And nowhere does that logic smack you in the face with such strength, and comfort, as a visit to Schrader Mattress Company! Good night. Sleep tight.

Call or Email

Call or Emailphone: 561-585-2139
fax: 561-585-2327
toll-free: 888-280-BEDS(2337)

Mail or Visit

Mail or VisitE J Schrader Co Inc
6601 Norton Avenue
West Palm Beach FL 33405


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7:30 AM – 4:00 PM Eastern
Weekends & after hours
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