Purple Aims to Stand Out With Patented Bed-in-a-Box Polymer

The online company recently expanded distribution through Mattress Firm stores
July 13, 2017Joanne Friedrick

Purple MattressALPINE, Utah—Purple, one of the newest entries to the bed-in-a-box mattress category, is carving a niche for itself with its patented hyper-elastic polymer technology developed for its line of mattresses, pillows and seat cushions.

In May, Purple signed on for a pilot partnership with Houston-based Mattress Firm to sell its products in retail stores. The mattresses are also available through Purple’s online portal and are listed on Amazon.com.

"Purple has experienced tremendous success reacing customers online, however, there is an even greater opportunity when you intersect online with offline tactile store experience,” said Sam Bernards, CEO of Purple in a press release. "A partnership between Purple and Mattress Firm allows each company to do what they do best while reaching new and wider markets."

Purple’s creators Tony and Terry Pearce didn’t begin in the mattress business, but rather were making wheelchairs and from that endeavor developed cushion technology to deal with compression sores. That technology, called Floam, lead the brothers to eventually create the patented hyper-elastic polymer used in Purple mattresses, which is durable, stretchy and doesn’t take on a body’s impression. The temperature-neutral polymer was used for medical beds and in mattresses in Europe, Australia and Japan.

To make affordable mattresses for the U.S. market, however, the Pearces invented a patent-pending machine, which they call Mattress Max, to make the polymer large enough to cover a king-sized mattress and at production rates that made it affordable to sell mattresses online. Purple sells its mattresses in twin XL, queen, king and California king sizes.

Since launching Purple mattresses in 2016, the Pearces have added a pillow to the line up and also sell seat cushions, sheets, mattress protectors and both platform and power bases through its website.

Purple’s founders raised more than $171,000 in 2015 on Kickstarter for the mattress and followed that up in 2016 with a Kickstarter campaign of more than $2.6 million for the Purple pillow.

Joanne FriedrickJoanne Friedrick | Contributing Editor

Joanne Friedrick is a contributing editor for HFN with more than 20 years of retail and housewares business reporting, writing and editing. For the past 15 years she has been operating her own business with clients that include Convenience Distribution, Seafood Source and Zest, a Maine-focused consumer food and lifestyle magazine.

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