The Urethane Blog

Foamers Making Beds

A good article:

An excerpt:

From foamers to bed builders

Perhaps the biggest foam trend has less to do with foam bedding components themselves and more to do with the changing role of foam suppliers, who, along with their sewn cover supplier counterparts, have become bedding manufacturers in their own right.

For some foam suppliers, the vast majority of their business now is producing finished foam beds, typically boxed — and often handling fulfilment, too — mostly for direct-to-consumer e-commerce companies but also for more traditional bedding makers and retailers. Even foamers that still concentrate on pouring say they now offer finished mattresses.

NCFI The Cure mattress uses copper
At the Summer Las Vegas Market, NCFI showcased a hybrid mattress with copper throughout — in the foam comfort layer, in the springs and in the ticking.

NCFI, which produces both components and finished beds, has opened a wholesale showroom at the Las Vegas Market’s World Market Center to showcase its finished mattresses, including hybrid models, and introduce its foam advances. At the summer show, the company unveiled a new look and lineup for its BedInABox brand, which it bought in 2018. For the BedInABox line, NCFI produces the foam, manufactures the beds, packs and ships them — full service and in-house.

“How we go to market is like most foam companies right now: We make foam for bedding producers and we make finished mattresses,” says Chris Bradley, NCFI executive vice president for consumer products. The company, based in Mount Airy, North Carolina, has a flexible polyurethane foam production center at its headquarters, plus another plant in Hickory, North Carolina, and two others in Dalton, Georgia, and Salt Lake City.

Bradley says producing finished mattresses is helping foam suppliers better understand the needs of mattress manufacturers, retailers and, ultimately, consumers, and is helping to drive foam innovations.

The main part of Latexco’s bedding business continues to be components but the finished mattress segment — in the company’s case aimed at business-to-business customers rather than the direct-to-consumer channel — “is growing every day,” says Brent Limer, chief sales officer for Latexco U.S. Holdings LLC, which has headquarters in Lavonia, Georgia, and another U.S. manufacturing facility in Phoenix. The company offers a variety of polyurethane, visco and high-resilience foams, as well as latex.

foam buns on shelves at a Latexco warehouse
Latexco offers a variety of polyurethane, viscoelastic and high-resilience foams, as well as latex.

Similarly, Future Foam remains first and foremost a foamer, but also builds finished beds to meet customers’ design specifications and offers a private-label, good-better-best boxed program through its plants in California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin, says Brett Almquist, regional sales manager for the Council Bluffs, Iowa-based company. Future Foam has 25 U.S. facilities, including six pouring plants; a pouring and fabrication plant in China; and a foam recycling facility in Germany.

Future Foam also is developing a proprietary Allay foam line for a top-of-bed program out of its plant in Fullerton, California, pairing mattress toppers and pillows, Almquist says. “It allows customers to customize their entire product line,” he says. “There’s a lot we can do to customize comfort layers and molded pillows — coat them with PCMs (phase-change materials), aerate them with pinholes, infuse them with thermal conductors, and add fragrances like lavender and even coconut.”


Read more here:

The New Fundamentals of Foams