CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif.- It is "business as usual" in Sit'n Sleep retail bedding stores around Southern California, since they inventory their flooring with the latest in flame-retardant mattresses. At least it is business as usual before customers get on to the cost rises, along with the sales team must sell this much tougher.

The Condition of California's Technical Bulletin 603 mandates that all the mattresses, box springs and futons manufactured on following Jan. 1 and also marketed in California must satisfy with up with the nation's new open-flame defense law. Mattresses made before Jan. 1 which do not meet TB603 may nevertheless be marketed by California retailers before that stock is used up.

Larry Miller, president of Sit'n Sleep, said he anticipates a 500 mattress to cost approximately $80 to $100 more. "The people are paying the cost for the government law," he explained.

Miller hopes to utilize some hangtags and point-of-purchase substances accessible from sellers describing the flame-retardant possessions, but provided that the newest security feature could possibly just weave its way to a new list of ordinary capabilities. "Most customers do not understand anything about it, so that they have not requested," he explained.

Fedde'sa Pasadena furniture merchant, had a similar storyline. "At this moment, the customer base isn't conscious of anything, and we have just been influenced by how our costs are increased," explained Mark Fedde, vice president of operations. "It'll be approximately a 5% growth."

Most mattress makers announce that because nation have spent over a year assessing fire-retardant substances and test-burning beds to produce their own products which can fulfill California's TB603 passion benchmark for mattresses and futons.

Bedding sellers and retailers beyond California are observing carefully, since they're next. The U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission voted Dec. 21 to issue a planned nationwide benchmark that's modeled closely by TB603. Industry observers expect the national standard to be executed in 2006. Some bedding makers have intentionally stayed from the California marketplace due to the nation's tighter regulations, preferring to concentrate on a federal program once the moment comes.


However, not every single bedding maker is on this program. Serta International has been the first nationally dispersed bedding maker to give you a TB603-compliant mattress nationally, with its FireBlocker obstacle system. Plus it did in the spring of 2004, a few months ahead of the California mandate dropped.

Comfor-Pedic, a Seattle-based manufacturer of visco-elastic beds, did not await the January mandate. All its beds which have been marketed nationwide since August are TB603-compliant. Jack Squires, president of Comfor-Pedic, considers his organization and Serta would be the only two firms which have been supplying a nationwide program up for this season.

"We totally reject the idea that just because someone does not reside in California we ought to be supplying them with a mattress that's not quite as secure as possible be," Squires said. "It is fantastic for retailers out California, also, since they can market themselves as using a secure product that's surpassing standards in their specific state. We think it's outrageous for folks to be constructing a mattress that's not quite as secure as it might be simply because they do not need to." Check more futon mattress information at

Comfor-Pedic's flame-resistant cloth material, Flame Shield, is employed as a sewn-on sleeve which goes on right under the velour cover.

King Koil, later analyzing flammability selections for a couple of decades, unveiled its own Safeguard Technology flame-retardant supplying for many beds moving into the California marketplace in time to satisfy the newest TB 603 normal. The FR attribute will probably include $100 retail into your mattress which was sold for about $499.

"We aren't using any POP substances at this moment," explained Jim Janik, vice president of production, King Koil. "We probably will not acquire actual heavy into that before the national benchmark comes out and we still all simply just accept it nationwide."

Janik expressed a concern regarding merchant education, particularly as the anticipated federal regular looms over the business.

"I believe we, as a business, are likely to need to instruct our merchants a bit more detailed," Janik said. "There is a great deal of questions flying on the market."

Janik anticipates the International Sleep Products Association along with the CPSC to unite forces for this instructional program for merchants.

Sealy Inc. was sending its own FlameGuard versions to California retailers because October.

In preparation for a nationwide benchmark, Sealy constructed a research-and-development laboratory last fall during its corporate headquarters in which it could currently test-burn and fine-tune all its prototype versions.

Restonic Mattress Corp. began shipping mattresses using its Flame Fighter security in December. Kevin Toman, president noted that his flammability testing has been completed by Underwriters Laboratories and his mattress will be the only one that's UL-approved.

"UL will encounter our factories four times annually and pull items off the line and be certain that they're compliant," Toman said.

Mark Strobel, president of Strobel Technologies, includes his California models fulfilling the TB603 standard using a zip-off cover. However he's also become a vocal critic of some of those flame-retardant substances being applied to a few of the bedding materials that fulfill the TB603 normal, presuming they pose possible health dangers.

"My issue is they hope to conserve 300 people nationally annually after all of the mattresses are substituted, but they're exposing individuals to these substances, once we do not know whether they'll be damaging or not," Strobel said.

Tony Hochschild, president of Sterling Sleep Systems, a foam mattress producer in Garden Grove, Calif., has begun sending his three-bed line utilizing TB603-compliant substance that doesn't include ellagic acid, among the compounds Strobel is alerted about.

"Our design criteria contained no alteration in product functionality or look and no suspicious substances," Hochschild said. "The advantages are apparent. This is a great shift. Like seat belts, the price of the change will end up being a small percent of the economies."

Hochschild noticed that by encouraging the TB603 safety attribute, the bedding business will accidentally "throw a shadow on beds made until Jan. 1"

Which might be the reason a lot of producers aren't supplying any POP merchandising stuff. Spring Air, for you, will provide no POP or perhaps have a title because of the fire-retardant program.

"It is ridiculous for a single maker to state that one mattress is more powerful than any other," explained Jim Nation, president and chief executive officer of Spring Air. "This is going to be a standard California mattress and a year from now it's going be a standard U.S. mattress. I am hoping my opponents spend countless millions of dollars advertising their beds"

Nation anticipates the cost increase "to become equal to a cost point."

Simmons Mattress Co. began sending its TB603-compliant mattresses -- constructed with its Simmons Defense Fibers -- to California retailers continue fall.

"We're allowing the traders to ascertain if they were prepared to substitute," explained Allen Podratsky, senior vice president of distribution chain, Simmons. "That is essentially a part of their 2005 product lineup, thus we're rolling them in the plan of this brand new item."

Podratsky estimated his firm's California versions would charge $100 more to get a queen.

Therapedic Sleep Systems will cost $20 to $40 a mattress for the SafeTouch FR substance. The business has been sending to California retailers because November.

"We aren't harnessing the FR angle by a revenue perspective," stated. Gerry Borreggine, president of Therapedic, said "We would like to allow our traders know that we've got them covered under the conditions of the law,'' however, we don't see the FR problem for a selling approach to be used in the industry."


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