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The History of Stearns & Foster

The History of Stearns & Foster

One of the Oldest Names in Mattresses

This incredible company celebrates 175 years of exceptional design and you’ll see it reflected in every Stearns & Foster mattress. What has always been at the heart of everything they do is still there. Craftsmanship, quality, and comfort, you’ll find it all in Stearns & Foster.

Stearns & Foster Mattress Company is the oldest American-owned and operated bedding manufacturer in the country. Its history is widespread and impressive with a standard of devotion to creating luxurious high-end mattresses. Through the years, customers have always been able to count on them for quality and workmanship.

Stearns & Foster Mattress Company History

Stearns & Foster originated as a company to create high-end upholstery for horse carriages, founded by Seth Foster and G.S. Stearns. This venture began in 1854 but quickly found a new opportunity. The quality that went into creating the upholstery also proved to be a good basis for mattresses. The first ones produced were sold mainly to hotels and this has remained a large part of their business.

The company was originally founded in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1846 and named after their original owners. In 1880, the company relocated to a facility in Lockland, Ohio. The Stearns & Foster name has been seen for years and later in their history they became a part of Sealy as their high-end mattress line.

The Stearns & Foster mattress factory in Lockland produced mattresses for over 100 years and was a large employer in the community. Over time the factory grew to an enormous size, reaching over a million square feet in size on fifteen acres of land.

But what happened during all those years? Let’s take a look.

Meanwhile, in St-Narcisse, Quebec

In 1944, a company called Matelas Suprême developed a mattress factory in St-Narcisse, a small municipality about 30 kilometers from Trois-Rivières. The facility was considered very large for its day, which supplied all of Quebec and the Maritime provinces. In 1979, the company was bought by four employees, with more than 50 years of combined experience in mattress manufacturing. Those four employees would start what we know now as Stearns & Foster.

In 1983, Sealy, once called the Ohio Mattress Company, acquired Stearns & Foster, and in 1985, the non-woven textile business was sold to Morley P. Thompson Sr., which became the Stearns Technical Textile Company. Stearns Technical Textile produced fabric used in products ranging from fabric softener sheets, insulation for automobiles, and disposable diaper liners.

In 1987, the company had grown to the point where it manufactured roughly 400 mattresses per day. That’s when Sealy executives decided to purchase the facility, and Sealy became the owner of the now renowned Sealy St-Narcisse factory.

Stearns & Foster Sets Up in St-Narcisse

Sealy along with it’s higher-end division Stearns & Foster, bought the St-Narcisse mattress factory in 1987. They were extremely impressed by the daily production capacity of 400 mattresses per day and were excited at the prospect of further growth. But most importantly they were inspired by the dedication of its employees. 

The Sealy St-Narcisse mattress factory was and is even today an important economic engine in the area and its reputation is a great one. A number of Sealy’s employees at the St-Narcisse factory have worked there for decades, and they’ve built up a wealth of experience in their craft. Stearns & Foster can therefore count on a highly qualified workforce that can meet the expanding demands of their customers. That’s a craftsmanship capability that you won’t find anywhere else.

A New Direction

In 1994, the company decided to streamline its production and started focusing solely on high-end luxury mattresses. Until then, they were still producing mattresses at lower price levels and working to create other products. They were one of the first big-name brands to specialize in this way, centering on high-end, and were there at the beginning of the rise in popularity of the "luxury mattress" category, which continues to be one of the most highly desired styles.

Why are these types of mattresses still so sought after? A Stearns & Foster mattress is designed and constructed by experienced craftsmen. Their skills are required to create these high-quality sets. Each mattress is hand-made, which means that it could take up to two times as long to complete however it will be that much more detailed and quality-controlled.

Careful crafting, with a hand-tufted finish, styled handles, and special embroidery patterns all come together to give these mattresses the rich look they are so famous for. Inside, the mattresses are made using Mongolian horsehair, high-grade wools, and luxurious cashmere and silks. All signed by their creator as a symbol of their unique quality and design.

This attention to detail goes all the way back to the early 1900s when the company started its new design department. They hired reknowned artists to develop upholstery designs that gave their mattresses their high-end look and set them apart from others brands on the market. They were one of the first companies to focus on the exterior appeal of the mattress and incorporate artistic influences.

The Company Today

Stearns & Foster not only works hard to offer high-quality mattresses but also seeks to work together with deserving charitable organizations. The most recent in their charitable acts has been a donation of one million dollars worth of mattresses to the Salvation Army. The mattresses donated went to help the people staying in residential shelters and give them a comfortable place to sleep.

This "Gift of Sleep" event was generated by a challenge to Sealy as well as Stearns & Foster retailers to sell mattresses between November 2010 and January 2011. Retailers also urged to provide a gift matching opportunity to their local shelters. They announced that they have reached their maximum goal on their donation campaign.

Operating under Sealy, S&F continues to be a top worldwide manufacturer of mattresses. In 2009, Sealy's sales reached $1.3 billion, with over 7,000 retail outlets available for consumers. It operates with the highest consumer awareness and as their high-end line, Stearns & Foster has been treating customers to the best in mattresses for over 175 years now.

Put to the Test

To ensure to this day that the Stearns & Foster mattresses coming out of the factory are up to snuff, they are rigorously tested. Mattresses are massaged more than 100,000 times by a 240 pound Rollator, pressed down on right at the core over again with a 230 pound weight, and sat on over and over by a robot named NOBI, which is short for “no body impressions” that even has a large, wooden rearend meant to simulate somebody getting in and out of bed for ten years. That’s about 5,000 times done over the course of four days, and S&F is the only company that utilizes that kind of technology.

The research and development team also uses revolutionary machinery to bend and twist steel wire into the necessary shapes. This machine is used to create the new coil technology found in the Intellicoils within the mattress, and the Stearns & Foster team has even won awards for their engineering proficiency. The factory also has a lab that subjects fibers and fabrics to specific tests to ensure their durability in addition to their temperature and humidity resistance.

Buying a Stearns & Foster Mattress

When purchasing a Stearns & Foster mattress, it will actually be like designing your own mattress. Similar to shopping for a car and choosing which features to invest in, when you order a S&F mattress you choose the features you want to go with based on the available options in each collection. Choose your comfort level, a pillowtop, eurotop, and which collection’s internal structure you like the best.

They come in a range of prices and models from Estate to Reserve. Their mattresses offer many features, such as a foam comfort levels at the top, the Intellicoil or Intellicoil HD system, and a upholstery-grade velvet exterior. Their products aspire to luxury at every level.

To learn what people have been saying about their top-of-the-line products check out the Stearns & Foster Reserve Collection Reviews here.

Stearns & Foster mattresses include a ten-year warranty. Each bed can be registered with a mail-in card or online, ensuring that the quality will be honored should the mattress not perform as expected or any issues arise.

Today, Stearns & Foster mattresses are renowned for their unmatched quality and luxury and are used in high-end hotel chains around the world. They are made by certified master craftspeople who adhere to the highest industry standards. Only the most competent master craftsmen qualify to manufacture Stearns & Foster mattresses and their work is constantly scrutinized, to ensure the perfection of the products. 

That’s why Stearns & Foster invests twice as much time in the manufacturing of their mattresses compared to other mattress brands. When you buy a Stearns & Foster mattress, you’re buying innovation, dedication, and years of excellence in the mattress industry. You can trust a Stearns & Foster mattress to provide an incredibly comfortable sleeping experience while delivering the support you need for your back and joints.

The Latest Innovation

The top-of-the-line mattress being sold today is the Stearns & Foster® Reserve Collection, the brand's highest expression of craftsmanship. With this line, the company created an entirely new mattress-making process to manufacture this one-of-a-kind design, quality, and feel. With the exceptional comfort of Indulge HD Memory Foam, the exquisitely supportive IntelliCoil® Micro HD Layer, and an upholstery-grade velvet exterior that adds a striking, stylish look, nothing can match the spirit of a Reserve mattress by Stearns & Foster.

Check out all the specs of the newest mattress lineup below.

QUILT LAYER

A stretch-knit covering featuring Tencel wicks away moisture, and our exquisitely supportive IntelliCoil Micro HD layer delivers exceptional comfort and support. The top covering also stays cool and is hand-tufted for a luxurious look and feel.

COMFORT LAYER

A plush layer that features our Indulge Memory Foam to deliver long-lasting support and comfort. Plus, another layer of Indulge HD Memory Foam. Two layers of supreme comfort.

INTELLICOIL HD

A nested coil design provides even more adaptive support for every type of sleeper. Plus, it has the IntelliCoil® Micro and Micro HD layer. That’s three layers of wonderful support.

PRECISION EDGE

A high-density coil border provides durable edge support to ensure your mattress holds its shape.

AIR VENT SYSTEM

Ventilated coil system works with external air vents to increase breathability and promote cool, comfortable, deep slumber throughout the night. It offers eight air vents.

This Collection is available in three different options- firm, plush, and plush pillowtop.

If you have any questions we’d be glad to help. You can reach out over the phone or through email at info@bedplanet.com. We know that sleep is important to you, and it's crucial to us. Allow us to help you find the perfect mattress for your needs so that each and every night is the best night of sleep.

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