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A Brief History of Sleep Number

Nov 01 2011 0
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Sleep Number is a name that is synonymous with air-controlled mattresses. It is one choice when it comes to buying an air bed and millions of people across America and beyond have realized the benefits of an adjustable airbed like Sleep Number or Select Airbeds.  The company is based in the United States and has a NASDAQ code of SCSS. It started off manufacturing the Sleep Number mattresses, but since then has diversified its product portfolio to include lots of other bed accessories as well. The air mattress continues to be its flagship products though. The company has been around for close to 25 years.

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Sleep Number was founded in the late 1980s. In the beginning of the decade, a South Carolina company by the name of Comfortaire Corporation developed air mattress systems where the level of cushioning could be adjusted using air. It was a revolutionary technology for its time and held a lot of promise. One of the executives of the company decided to realize the full potential of this technology.  Bob Walker, with help from his wife Jo Ann Walker, decided to start his own company and founded Select Comfort, also known as Sleep Number, 7 years later in 1987. It has humble beginnings, but this company would go on to become the biggest manufacturer of air controlled mattresses.

Sleep Number mattress were very popular and the company grew in size and popularity. Soon, it expanded way beyond its Plymouth, Minnesota headquarters. More manufacturing units were needed to cater to the demand and plants were set up in Utah an South Carolina. More than 2000 people are employed directly by Sleep Number. And the product portfolio expanded beyond the select comfort air bed to include a lot of accessories as well like pillows, slippers, bedding, cushioning, etc. Soon, the company was listed on NASDAQ. The company is constantly involved in research and development aimed at improved product quality resulting in more comfortable mattresses.

One of the best innovations of Sleep Number was the double control sleep number beds, where the cushioning level of each side could be controlled independently. As of 2011, the company holds more than 35 patents for various in-house innovations. There are more than 400 exclusive company owned stores across the country. Apart from this, the mattresses are also sold online and through direct marketing. Bill Mc McLaughlin is the current CEO of the company today.

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