How Mattress Technology Transforms from Corn Husks to Sleep Science

It wasn't too long ago when material for mattresses were from the earth itself.

An American-made mattress company, Kingsdown, Inc. has for crafted quality mattresses for over a century from their headquarters in Mebane, NC.

Though, Kingsdown wasn’t always named that. From its start in 1904 until 1970, it was known as The Mebane Bedding Company. Founded by W.W. Corbett and A.N. Scott, they set out to create a premium mattress using high-quality craftsmanship. The result was the Kingsdown mattress, which was their entry into the premium mattress market. The first mattresses made for the company were handmade by skilled crafters, using cotton and corn husks and coils and springs.

Further, Mebane Bedding changes over the years in subtle ways. They grow by merging with various manufacturing companies and buy other mattress factories. One being Cooper Mattress in 1964. The company also expands into Canada by licensing to Owen & Co. in 1995.

Many mattress companies are bought out in spectacular takeovers and mergers during the 80’s and 90’s. Kingsdown, however, remain at their Mebane, NC. headquarters, run by its board of directors and a pillar to the Mebane community.

Home is Where the Heart Is

Their home state of North Carolina and Mebane even honor the company for their efforts over the century, including having their own ‘Kingsdown Day’ in Mebane.

‘Kingsdown Day’ was created on Sept. 12, 2014. From the words of the Mebane Mayor Glendel Stephensen in an article from Bed Times Magazine, “’Kingsdown remains the only home-grown, home-bred industry we have left.’”

Additionally, the company always puts emphasis on research and development. Having started out with wire springs, cotton and corn husks, it was up to Kingsdown to improve their product and adapt to changing times. Therefore, research was always central to their business model and a way to adapt to changing times, tastes and styles.

The war called for steel, so many mattress companies help.

In the 1940’s, a bed spring is made out of unconventional materials by the company. This was to save steel for the American war effort. Instead of only steel, they used wood and steel. Many mattress companies contributed in different ways to the war efforts also. In the 90’s, Kingsdown made a coil-on-coil construction and hand-tufted bedding for their mattresses.

As research has always been an important part of the company, they established the Sleep to Live Institute, an independent sleep lab who conducts sleep research. Their Sleep to Live Institute changed the way Kingsdown approached mattresses and has spurred such innovations as the bedMATCH sleep diagnostic system and the Scientific Measurement and Response Technolog, (SMART) in 2011. Essentially making SMART mattresses that can adjust to a sleeper’s weight, movement, and size.

Today Kingsdown has grown to an over 2-billion-dollar company, with licensees in Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East. The company has also established factories in England, Australia, and in the United States. Now they look to expand throughout the world.

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