The Shovlin Mattress Story

Shovlin Mattress StorySo to some people this “mattress biz” is really exciting!  I married in, so I didn’t always get it.  I remember about 15 or so years ago, Ron and I went to an industry trade show out in California.  Of course the reason I wanted to tag along was because it was in wine country!  So one day we attended a factory tour of a small, family mattress manufacturing company out there, not unlike us.  I’ll never forget when we walked in. I looked around at the other participants as they happily inhaled the smells of the factory and looked like kids on Christmas morning.  I turned to Ron and said, “Look they’re all like you!” He leaned over and whispered “mattress people”.


I happen to be married to a mattress guy.  I started dating my husband in the 80s when we were in the 10th grade and when we met I knew his family owned this mattress factory right down the road in Garwood, but I didn’t know much about it.  By the time we met, he had already been working there, in the factory and on the delivery truck for a couple of years.  I eventually discovered that all the beds in my house were from there, which made me think it must be a decent place, because my father was a discerning consumer who did his research and liked to buy the best.


Fast forward a few years down the road.  We are out of college now, engaged and Ron is working full time running the family business with his brother.  So by now, I’ve gotten to know the business a little bit, but I’m about to marry into it so I want to be sure that it is a great business that I can stand behind.  I mean, I know my husband is a man of integrity and so is his brother, so I just wanted to confirm that they ran their business that way.  So I started to hang out in the showroom from time to time and listen as they spoke to customers and handled the day-to-day duties.  What I learned was that they built a great product that they passionately believed in, they had a steady stream of satisfied and loyal customers and those customers told their friends about us.  So I found myself asking my husband, “Why do people come HERE?”; “what makes you different?”


Back then it was simple.  We were less expensive.  We were building the same high quality product that the name brands were building then, with the same materials.  All of our beds were built to last 10-20 years.  But because we were factory direct, we charged less.  It was as simple as that.


Fast-forward to today and we’ve gone through quite a few changes.  Ron is now the sole owner.  We moved the business to another location.  I started working with him.  We changed the name of our business to include our last name in order to create a brand. What we haven’t changed however, is the quality of our product.  Except, in some cases, to make it better.


But I noticed that the customer has changed quite a bit.  It seems we are doing a lot of educating today.  Or if we have a customer who has done a ton of research, we are helping them to make sense of what they’ve learned.


Have you have been shopping for a mattress in the last few years?  Have you found it confusing?  Most people find buying a mattress to be the most stressful shopping experience, even more so than buying a car.


The quality that the name brands are making has changed so much over the last decade that people are frustrated by the poor quality and confusing jargon.  It’s a blind item, so it’s difficult to shop for because you can’t see what’s inside.  And to make it even worse the name brands have created a system where you can’t find the same mattress at any two different retailers.


So for example, they will make a line of 5 mattresses for a big department store, then make the same line of 5 with different names for Snoozy’s, and the same line of 5 for Mattress Mavens, etc.  Did you ever hear the commercial that says, “If you find it cheaper somewhere else we will give it to you for free plus a check for $500!”  Guess how many times they had to cut a check?  Right, zero.  What happened?  Why the change?


Here’s the story.


Because of the high profit margins and money making potential of the industry, investors began to buy in. So over the last decade most of the major manufacturers have been acquired by two companies.  Business people, not mattress people are now in charge and the focus of those corporations is profit. One of the best ways to quickly increase profit is to cut costs and so it began.


One way they did that with their innerspring mattresses was with changing the spring unit itself.  They replaced the high quality innerspring system with a softer, cheaper, less supportive spring, which is an inferior alternative to the traditional spring unit.  They further cut costs by building only one side of the mattresses so you can’t flip them.  So now you will probably not find a two sided, flippable mattress at any retail store.  Except ours!


This has resulted in the average life span of a name brand mattresses dropping from 10-12 years down to 5-7 years.  As a result, customers who are back in the market after 15 or so years have an expectation that is currently unrealistic from the major manufacturers.  Though our prices are still better than the name brands, we can no longer compare the quality because they are two completely different products.


People sometimes ask us “Why are you different?” Why haven’t we done the same thing?  The answer is that it’s not worth it for us.  First of all, we live in the community to which we sell.  Word of mouth is our greatest advertisement and our reputation is everything…because we’re mattress people.  Breaking it down, let’s just say that one of the major brands makes 1000 mattresses a day and we make 10.  If they can save just $10 on each one that’s 10K a day.  I get it.  But for us to risk the trust and loyalty of our customers over $100.  No way.


So when people ask us “what makes you different?” Well, today the answer is much more complicated, but the bottom line is that we’re mattress people.

What’s In Your Innerspring Mattress?

InnerspringWhat’s in your innerspring mattress?  Well, in a Shovlin Mattress Factory mattress – it’s the best innerspring system in the industry.  Those in the industry refer to it, the 368 Double Offset Coil, as “the workhorse of the industry”.

What makes this innerspring coil a workhorse?


**It’s a 12 1/2 gauge steel coil (a lower number means a heavier the gauge). Most current manufacturers use a 15 or 16 gauge.

**It has 6 “turns” in the coil (the more turns the stronger the coil) while others have 5.

**The coil is tapered (an hourglass shape prevents shifting and flexes to contour to the body) whereas most others are round.

**Plus, we add a Double M Edge Guard (which supports the sides for sitting), others simply do not.


An “old school mattress guy” is someone who has been in the industry for a long time, and who has been in the business of building mattresses himself.  You know, someone like me. From time to time one of those guys will stop into our factory and when they see the racks of 368 coils, the normal response is “OOOOH!” Then, they’ll comment on how much they love them but that no one uses them anymore.  Kind of like when your parents lament about cars, or houses, or anything built before 1970.  It’s true.  Pretty much no one uses them anymore.

Thirty years ago, the big S mattress manufacturers all used the 368 coil in their best beds. Not today.  But we do.  We use it in 8 of our 9 mattresses, only our very starting quality bed uses a different spring (which still uses a better quality coil than big S’s best beds).  Why do we still use it when everyone else has cut costs and gone to a cheaper spring?  For the same reason we do everything better. We simply don’t mess around with anything less than the best components.  For us, it’s not worth the savings.  We love mattresses.  Really we do.  That’s why we do this for a living. We aim to create the ultimate 8 hour experience for our clients.

Oh and P.S.  There is only ONE major supplier of innerspring units in this country.  All mattress manufactures, big and small, buy our preferred qualities from them.  The metal used in these springs is the same across the board.  Which means our spring units also have a negligible amount of Titanium in them.  We’re just not comfortable calling it a Titanium Alloy.  Food for thought.

All Latex Mattresses Are Not Created Equal

All Latex Is Not Created EqualLatex foam is a rubber product used to create a high end mattress with no pressure points.  There are several different kinds of latex available and it is important to know what you are getting when you buy a “latex mattress”.


First, a brief word about “synthetic” or “blended” latex:   Both of these are man-made products created by blending latex with other materials to create an inexpensive, inferior alternative.


We don’t use those at Shovlin Mattress.  At all.  Ever.


Now, there are two types of NATURAL latex that are used in the bedding industry:  Talalay and Dunlop. Those words are terms used to describe the process used to create the latex product.


In the Dunlop process, the latex is poured into a mold and allowed to settle before baking, creating a more dense feel and is indeed more dense on the bottom.  This allows a film to form on the top, trapping small amounts of air which can create a hot sleeping surface.  It has fewer steps and is less costly.


We don’t use this either.  Ever.


In the Talalay process, the latex is introduced into a mold that has been vacuumed of air so that it evenly fills the mold, then it is flash frozen to stabilize the cell structure. CO2 is introduced and then the mold is heated to cure the rubber, in order to create ideal consistency.


This is the only one we use.  Why?


Talalay is a superior product.  It is consistent and available in a complete range of firmnesses.  We make our beds by hand and we want our clients to receive exactly what they are feeling in the showroom.  With Dunlop, there is too much inconsistency in the product to guarantee that.


To illustrate this, let me share a little about ILD or Indentation Load Deflection which refers to the firmness of the latex.  Talalay ILD is consistent throughout the mattress and has a wide range of ILDs available, so you are able to choose your firmness.  Dunlop doesn’t really have an ILD because it is not a consistent foam.  Basically you get what you get.


Here’s something interesting.  In reviewing bedding store websites that have a page explaining the difference between the two, most either said that neither one was superior, or actually claimed that Dunlop was the preferred choice for one reason or another (because most manufacturers, if they’re not using Blended or Synthetic, use either all Dunlop or a Dunlop core with a Talalay top).  However, you’ll also notice that in an advertisement you will never see the word Dunlop (or synthetic or blended), but will often see the word Talalay if there is even a drop of Talalay in the mattress.


To learn more about the range of latex mattresses here at Shovlin Mattress, you can chat with us using that little chat box in the bottom right of your screen, give us a call at (908) 322-4178 or click here to read more!

Fire Department Mattresses

Fire Department MattressesToday, we wanted to share a great story we’ve been fortunate to be part of. It has to do with New Jersey’s Bravest – our local firemen, specifically fire department mattresses. If you didn’t know, most firehouses have a need for mattresses. Knowing that, you can imagine the requirements for a firehouse mattress are somewhat different than that of a retail customer. So, why do we work with so many local fire departments on this front?


Because we sell them affordable and comfortable, high quality, two-sided mattresses that last. This is a departure from the one-sided, low end mattresses that fail after two or three years, which is what many departments have purchased in the past.  Also, local fire departments like to support local business, which we are here at Shovlin Mattress Factory.


We build our mattresses right here in Fanwood, with all American made materials.  Plus, we’re easy to work with. We just want our firefighters to be happy and well-rested so they can do what they do best, which is protecting our communities.

50 Shades of Shovlin – A Private Affair

dominateThe movie 50 Shades of Grey comes on on Valentine’s Day. Coincidence? We think not.  And also, we’re about to reveal one of the best-kept bedroom secrets of all time! To celebrate the release of 50 Shades of Shovlin, Shovlin Mattress Factory is hosting a private, invitation-only event this Friday, February 13th in anticipation of our short film release on Saturday, February 14, 2015. As you know, Shovlin Mattress Factory supports anything you do in bed – and by that, we, of course mean lumbar support, for the perfect night’s sleep.

Friday’s event will include a Custom Photo Station with 6 different photo backdrops for attendees to choose from, plus an array of fun toys and props for the Photo Booth Experience! We’ll also be introducing an exclusive line of scented candles, and giving away some really fun prizes!

If you haven’t seen the trailer, you can view it here:

We can’t wait to see you there. Our next event (date TBA) will be public and we would LOVE to see you there. Join our email list to sign up for announcements and get in on the fun! You can also receive announcements via text message. Simply text “50shades” (without quotes) to 97000.

Whatever you’re doing for Valentine’s Day, do it on a Shovlin.

Benefits of an Adjustable Bed

Benefits of Adjustable BedsYou may have seen commercials touting the benefits of an adjustable bed but what’s the real story? Do they actually provide an improved night of sleep? The general idea is to provide a mattress that offers more comfort and functionality than a standard bed by allowing for more positions to sleep in. So, let’s take a look at the potential benefit to sleeping on an adjustable bed.

Health Benefits

Waking up at night with body pain – lower back, neck, muscle aches – is not uncommon and can be attributed to an unsupportive mattress. Pressure points are common on flat surfaces, like an innerspring mattress, and can do a number on your shoulders, hips and other parts of the body that are in contact with your bed. This can lead to reduced circulation resulting in the thrashing around and sleepless sleep we’ve all experienced.

An adjustable bed allows you to customize the position of the bed to alleviate your specific areas of discomfort. For instance, a neutral position with the feet and head slightly elevated will redistribute your weight and eliminate pressure points. Sleeping in this position also removes strain from the lower back to ease underlying tension and pain.

You can also alleviate everything from heart burn and sleep apnea to swollen legs and snoring. Slightly elevating the head of the bed has been proven to reduce both snoring and apnea. With an adjustable bed, simply pushing a button can help give you and your significant other a good night of sleep. As for heart burn, instead of contorting yourself into a recliner with pillows and other props, think of how an adjustable bed would accomplish the same without leaving you sore and cramped the next morning.

Lifestyle Benefits

Now let’s say your mattress needs lean more towards an improved lifestyle. There are so many here to discuss that we’ll go with a bulleted list.

– Watching television, reading, and eating in bed is easier
– You can enjoy a massage while falling asleep
– Ability to work comfortably in bed
– Makes getting out of bed easy, which is particularly useful for those with limited mobility    who don’t want that institutional appearance
– A deeper night’s sleep allows you to wake up feeling energized
– The convenience of precise control over sleep positions means no more pillows or  wedges for support
– With split bases, couples can adjust based on their preferences without disturbing one  another

So, when you’re ready to buy a mattress, we highly recommend considering an adjustable bed. Sleep is one of the most important aspects of a healthy life. Make sure you’re giving yourself the opportunity of the best night’s sleep you can.

Sleep Positions

What’s Your Favorite Position?

Sleep Positions

While sleeping, of course, we tend to have a favorite position. Which one are you and what does it say about your personality? According to the Better Sleep Council, there are six basic sleeping positions. In order of most common to least common, they are the Fetus, Log, Yearner, Soldier, Freefall and Starfish. Basically each position is some variation of side, back or stomach sleeping. Which on is the best?

Well according to sleep specialists, side sleeping is the best position for the most restful sleep, ideally with the knees slightly bent. You can even put a pillow between your knees for support if you have a bad back.

If you are a back sleeper you can be at risk for things like, low back pain, snoring, or sleep apnea. But if this is your favorite, using a pillow under the knees can help align the spine and slightly elevating the head can alleviate the snoring.

Stomach sleeping is not recommended as it can cause strain on the lower back and neck pain. However it can aid in digestion. If this is the way you like it, try a soft pillow, or none at all.

So, what’s your favorite position?

Use Protection…On Your Mattress

Use Protection On Your MattressWhy is everyone so hesitant to talk about this?  I know it’s awkward, but listen, all kinds of things will happen on your new mattress, so it just makes sense to use a mattress protector.  You know, the cover that goes directly on the mattress, under the sheets.  What else would we be talking about?

A bed bug proof mattress encasement or at least a waterproof cover should be the standard undergarment for you new mattress.  Odds are, you’ve invested a decent sum of money, after all it’s the most important piece of furniture in your house, you know, where you spend a third of your life.  It just makes sense to protect your investment.

These protectors have come a long way in recent years.  Today’s protector is soft and smooth and you won’t even notice it is there… until you need it, then you’ll be quite relieved that that “glass of wine” for example, went no further than the waterproof cover, leaving your expensive new mattress as pristine as the day you bought it!

Photo Credit: craig1black via photopin cc

Never Get Burned Again

Ron-ShovlinLiveChatHave you ever spent good money on a new mattress only to regret it later? Ever felt burned after buying from a brand name mattress company? Does disappointment ruin your excitement about a new bed to sleep on? We’re sorry to hear that. But know that we’re here to help.


Now of course you’re guessing we’re going to list all the reasons why this won’t happen here at Shovlin Mattress Factory. And you’re right. But it won’t be the usual empty sounding guarantees you’ve heard from our competitors at the big box stores. Why? Because we’re your neighbor. Our kids play baseball with your kids. We go out to dinner where you go out to dinner.


So if our promises of a killer mattress that you’ll have for ten years sound like nonsense, you’ll be able to come tell us. And by us, I mean me – Ron Shovlin – the owner, the guy with his name on the sign out front. I stand behind our products because I’m the one making them. Notice the word Factory in our name? It’s there because we produce the mattresses right behind the showroom.

We’ve been doing this, as a family, for 40 years. We’ve been living in your community for longer than that. So you can rest assured, pun intended, that our guarantees are not empty. Our statements are true. When you buy a mattress from Shovlin Mattress Factory, you’ll wake up every morning with the same smile you went to sleep with.

Flippable Mattress vs. Non-Flippable

One of the most frequent questions we receive here at Shovlin Mattress Factory is “Do you still make a 2 sided flippable mattress?” Apparently, the big name brands have done away with this mattress style.  Which is a shame because it means you can’t flip theirs.

Turns our there are quite a few other reasons their 1 sided mattress fails. Rather than just write out all the differences between our Flippable 2 sided mattress and the name brand Non-Flippable 1 sided mattress, we decided on a more visual approach.  Hope you like it!

Shovlin Mattress Comparison