As Americans' awareness of the importance of getting a good night's sleep grows night-by-night, mattress manufacturers are doing their part to make their products more comfortable.
To meet the various sleep needs of consumers, the manufacturers offer mattresses featuring a variety of technological advances. Mattresses are made of viscoelastic material, natural latex, soy-based foam, pocketed coils, inner springs and a variety of combinations.
During the most recent home-furnishings trade show at the World Market Center, Sealy launched its new Posturepedic line that was orthopedically designed to eliminate tossing and turning by relieving pressure points.
"Studies show that tossing and turning is one of the biggest obstacles to a good night's sleep. However, consumers frequently misattribute the cause, not understanding that the problem is often with pressure points created by their mattress," said Mark Delahanty, vice president of marketing for the North Carolina-based manufacturer.
Phillip Dobbs, a marketing official for the firm, said that on average a person turns or shifts positions 80 times a night. To reduce that number and alleviate pressure points, the entire Posturepedic line was redesigned and special posture channels were implemented to improve spinal alignment.
The changes were the result of studies by the company's Orthopedic Advisory Board, which is comprised of top orthopedic surgeons, researchers and clinicians from leading medical centers and universities.
"We put support where you need it most," Dobbs said.
The elements provide support for the shoulders, lumbar region and back of the legs. Featuring an advanced PostureTech innerspring design, the new mattresses distribute weight away from the heavier parts of the body.
Additionally, the mattresses feature extra edge support that flexes with the bed and prevents sagging.
The mattresses come in three series: Preferred, Reserve and Signature. They are priced from $599 to about $2,000 for a queen-size set and were expected to hit retailers' showrooms this month.
But comfort is only part of the story.
Comfort Solutions has teamed with designer Laura Ashley to create mattresses that are as beautiful to look at as they are comfortable to sleep on.
Mattresses in the Laura Ashley Collection feature floral ticking in pastel colors.
"They are more inviting," said Mark Wozniak, executive vice president of marketing for Comfort Solutions. "They make it feel like a bedroom and female consumers are attracted to the product. They want to try them because they are soft and pretty, and they are more comfortable buying them."
"The Laura Ashley brand is very powerful. We know it resonates with women. In fact, we believe it is the most relevant mattress brand for women on the market today," said Dave Roberts, president and chief operating officer of Comfort Solutions.
According to Wozniak, women are the primary decision makers when it comes time to buy a mattress. "They will narrow it down to two or three beds and then drag their husbands to the store."
Mattresses in the collection retail from $699 to $1,999 for a queen-size set.