The medical virtues of a good night’s sleep have been well documented in recent years, putting an onus on comfort like never before.
At Tempur Sealy International, Inc., the world’s largest bedding provider, comfort and innovation go hand in hand.
The Lexington, Kentucky based company develops, manufactures and markets mattresses, adjustable bases, pillows and other sleep and relaxation products. Today the business operates with 6 leading market brands: Tempur-Pedic®, Tempur®, Sealy®, Sealy Posturepedic®, Optimum™ by Sealy Posturepedic and Stearns & Foster®.
Whilst the Tempur-Pedic®name is a relative newcomer to this industry, its roots are immersed in a long, proud history of innovation within the bedding industry, with the Stearsn & Foster name at the forefront since 1846, when George S. Stearns and Seth Foster started making cotton batting for mattresses in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Sealy name came to fruition when, in 1881, a cotton gin owner called Daniel Haynes, invented a mattress filled with cotton in Sealy, Texas. The pioneering spirit continued and in 1900, Stearns & Foster introduced the Laced Opening, allowing consumers to see what’s inside the mattress for the first time.
Further innovation saw the introduction of the first “tuftless” mattress and the first insulo spring cushion mattress in the 1930s, while an awareness of health issues was evident with Sealy’s introduction of the first Posturepedic, the “Firm-O-Rest”, with additional back support in 1950.
By 1980 technology had of course sent man into space and this year saw Swedish scientists working on the creation of viscoelastic foam for NASA, which in time would create the first TEMPUR® material that would revolutionize the bedding industry.
Two significant moments followed in the ensuing years as firstly, in 1983, Sealy purchased Stearns & Foster, creating a multi-brand mattress company. A decade later, in 1992, Robert Trussell was introduced to the now-developed TEMPUR® material and founded Tempur-Pedic, which duly launched its first products in the US, a 3″ mattress overlay and the iconic “Swedish Neck Pillow”. The first “Swedish Mattress” followed just a couple of years later.
As the 20th Century came to a close, the US and European offices of Tempur-Pedic merged, creating a truly global company, headquartered in Lexington, which would take the business into the new Millennium.
2001 saw the arrival of Tempur-Pedic’s first manufacturing facility in the States, located in Duffield, Virginia, where mattresses and pillows were produced. As the company continued to enjoy success, it opened a second manufacturing facility in the US – and the largest of its kind anywhere in the world, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Whilst the company was thriving, it did not rest on its laurels and continued to innovate – and reap the rewards. In 2009 Tempur-Pedic launched the TEMPUR-Cloud® Collection, softer-formulation mattresses, which quickly became the best-selling group of mattresses in the company’s history.
The next innovation for Tempur-Pedic came in 2012 with the introduction of the Sealy Optimum™, a new line of gel memory foam mattresses. Just a year later came the merger of Tempur-Pedic and Sealy, a move which created the world’s largest bedding company.
The company was very quick to set out its ambitions, which the corporate website outlines: “With the merger of Tempur-Pedic® and Sealy®, we’re combining 2 strong companies and building an innovation powerhouse for the future. To ensure our progress, we’re making commitments to 3 groups that are critical to our growth.
“Consumers: The best bed and the best sleep of your life. We will create the most desired products at every price point, further growing the strong consumer loyalty to our brands. We will continue to be recognized as innovators in our industry;
“Retailers: We are dedicated to your success. We will develop a full and balanced portfolio across brands, products and prices, and deliver consumer advertising that will drive sales. We will create a world-class supply chain that is “easiest to do business with”;
“Our associates: You can expect maximum personal growth. We will empower you to do meaningful work and build a fast paced working environment that rewards performance. We will nurture a supportive, team culture where you can do your best work.”
The Tempur Sealy success story continues and has led to some exciting opportunities. In December 2014, the company announced a partnership with the US Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) through to 2016.
The most elite skiers, snowboarders and freeskiers in the United States will soon be able to experience the impact a great night’s sleep has on athletic performance as the company continues to innovate.
“To compete at a world-class level in skiing, freeskiing and snowboarding requires incredible athleticism and endless hours of training as well as quality rest and recovery,” said Patrice Varni, Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing for Tempur-Pedic
“Quality sleep is a critical element to achieving peak performance for any USSA athlete,” said Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn. “As a Tempur-Pedic® owner, I am pleased that they have joined our team and look forward to their continued support.”