23 May 2024, 03:14
By Furniture News Jul 15, 2016

Kaymed’s responsive bedding solution

With over a century of mattress manufacturing expertise, Kaymed is a leading innovator in gel and visco-elastic technologies, and its Therma~Phase material, which contains patented phase-change gel crystal technology, has become one of market’s most popular temperature control solutions – UK sales manager Terry Bridger explains …

Why is temperature control the mattress world’s hot topic?
Thermally-regulating mattresses have taken the US market by storm, and have clearly captured the imagination of UK consumers – and some manufacturers alike – since we advertised Therma~Phase in our 2015 winter sale TV consumer campaign.

However, there are actually several different types of materials in the market that either have no actual thermal properties or are designed to cool rather than being thermally regulating.

We have noticed a massive increase in manufacturers claiming that they are using foams that have “highly breathable” open cell constructions. The fact is that no actual claims of temperature regulation are being made. In short, they will simply claim that their existing, long-established Foam A is cooler than a certain generic Foam B, and are therefore attempting to align their product to the bigger – and frankly infinitely more remarkable – story by association.

Foams with actual cooling properties can be latex, polyurethane or memory foam based, and will generally fall into the following categories: foams infused with good conductors of heat; those washed through with a gel solution; foams with a gel layer attached to the surface; and Kaymed’s iKool and Response Gel, which are infused with our proprietary gel crystals.

Irrespective of how well these materials may work, this is in essence a one-way cooling process, in that the additives to the foam are there to conduct heat away from the mattress surface. Therefore, the reality is that these all have a ‘cooling technology’ story, rather than a temperature regulating one.

Therma~Phase contains phase change gel crystals that are designed to store and release heat at predetermined levels, and is thus able to regulate the mattress surface temperature. Temperature is maintained via the infinitely reversible phase change abilities of the material, as it absorbs or releases heat when it is in contact with a body and the surface temperature is higher or lower than the target temperature range.

Kaymed are the exclusive partner in the UK of the US inventor of these technologies, and, without these phase change materials, true temperature regulation is, quite simply, unachievable. Consequently, we are comfortable in claiming that only Kaymed can offer truly temperature-regulating foam materials.

We have recently been informed by some of our stockists that certain “budget manufacturers” are inferring that we supply them with either gel-infused or phase change gel-infused materials. Clearly, these manufacturers have realised how far ahead we are of the market and are attempting to gain credibility by claiming such an association to our business.

My advice to all retailers would be to give any mattress manufacturer claiming that we supply them with gel foams a very wide berth, on the basis that if it sounds too good to be true, then it clearly is. 

How has the demand for temperature regulating products affected your business?
It’s having a very positive impact. In the last 12 months alone our workforce has grown by 50%, and we have added almost 100,000 sqft of extra space, as well as new machinery, so that we have sufficient capacity in place to meet our current growth rates and be able to guarantee lead times of three to four weeks.

How is Kaymed helping its stockists deliver such a technical concept?
In addition to a suite of PoS material and an interactive website, our in-store touch tray allows the consumer to actually see how Therma~Phase works to remove surface heat almost immediately. It’s incredibly impressive to witness, and makes Therma~Phase the only technology used in beds that you can physically demonstrate in store.

We also train our retail partners to explain our – reasonably technical – story in the simplest way possible.

How is Kaymed approaching this issue differently to its competitors?
By working with the original US inventor, who not only conceived of this technology but continually brings us new ideas to tap into. Being vertically integrated and owning one of only four foam-manufacturing facilities in the British Isles is obviously a massive advantage, as we could move from concept to market in a matter of weeks if we ever desired.

We are not dependent on third party suppliers to bring ideas to us and, as a consequence, we will always be several steps ahead of any competitor as this technology continues to grow and dominate the market.

We firmly believe that within five years all premium foams will incorporate both cooling and temperature-regulating technologies. We sincerely believe this will be the biggest revolution in our industry since the introduction of memory foams in the late 1990s, and we are honoured to be pioneering these new technologies here in the UK.

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