BEDDING BECOMES SMART, COOL AND ADJUSTABLE

AT THE MARKET — Smart, cool and adjustable sleep sets are winning in bedding showrooms here.

Leggett & Platt’s Bobby Keen demonstrates the company’s new MicroHook technology, which enables adjustable beds to drop the retainer bar.

The bedding industry’s major introductory market kicked off here with another impressive assortment of mattresses, adjustable bases and sleep accessories.

Buyers who successfully navigated the travel challenges thrown at them by the big East Coast snowstorm and made it to Las Vegas were greeted by new flagship lines, revamped showrooms, a number of new Las Vegas exhibitors, and plenty of products that should help them boost sales this year, beddingobservers said.

Protect-A-Bed is getting a strong response to its expansive new showroom, located next to the elevators on the ninth floor of World Market Center’s Building B, where rebranded sleep accessory lines, a line of mattresses, and a new smart pillow offering are catching buyers’ eyes.

The REM-Fit Smart Pillow, targeting the $199-$249 price range, is equipped with high-tech features, including a gyroscope, eight speakers, a decibel meter and two vibration motors. It plays music, tracks a sleeper’s movements, detects snoring, and vibrates to encourage the snorer to change positions, said Protect-A-Bedexecutive Warrick Bell.

Bedgear is drawing crowds with a showing of its new line of “performance mattresses,” retailing from $1,499 to $2,499. The encased coil beds, which are 100% recyclable, can be personalized to the sleeper’s preferences, feature ventilation throughout the unit, and are created to move with the sleeper, said Eugene Alletto, CEO. He described reaction to the new line as “huge.”

Tempur-Pedic is unveiling a line of cooler-sleeping beds, including a hybrid model, while new high-end Stearns & Foster beds feature more breathable designs, with more sleeping surfaces, improved durability, and better adaptability to the sleeper, officials said.

Simmons is launching a SmartMotion base with Sleeptracker technology, is adding a number of hybrids, rolling out new high-end Beautyrest Black models, and touting cooler-sleeping technology throughout its offerings.

Jeff Willard, executive vice president of marketing at Simmons, said reaction to the new lines has been strong. The SmartMotion base is shaping up as “a big hit,” he said, and the new Beautyrest Black line is generating considerable excitement.

Serta’s new iComfort line, which includes the first hybrid models in that line, has received “a fantastic reception,” said Andrew Gross, executive vice president of marketing at Serta.

A new smart motion base is also doing well, as are new hybrid pillows, Gross said.

King Koil is enjoying an “excellent” market, said Owen Shoemaker, recently named president of the company. King Koil has a broad introduction of bed-in-a-box offerings, a new full-tilt adjustable base, and new World Luxury Beds.

Leggett & Platt has enjoyed “remarkable” attendance, said Ron Ainsworth, senior vice president of procurement for the company’s Fashion Bed Group, which is showing several new lines here. And L&P’s Adjustable Bed Group is creating a stir with its new Prodigy adjustable base, which eliminates the retainer bar with new MicroHooktechnology.

In addition, Symbol is doing well with its new “Gen-u-ine’ line of bed-in-a-box offerings, designed to offer additional features to consumers seeking those types of products. Retails range from $799 to $1,299, said Mike McQuiston, executive vice president.