Invention of the Gribetz XT9 Shakes Up the Mattress Industry

Read how a new sewing machine has the potential to revolutionize the mattress industry.

By Andrea Pisani Babich

If you sleep on a mattress constructed of more than one layer of foam or coils, you are sleeping on a mattress that has been bonded together using glue. The messy, time-consuming, resource-intensive, glue-based bonding process was the only game in town. Until now.

This month, the world’s leading manufacturer of mattress machinery announced the invention of the Gribetz XT9, a machine that can stitch together multiple layers of mattress foam in a single 35-second pass. Made by Leggett & Platt’s Global Systems Group (GSG), the XT9 streamlines the process of bonding mattress layers together, a process called lamination, and that’s good news for mattress makers.

You don’t have to be a manufacturing wonk to appreciate this news. The new mattress sewing machine could make buying a mattress more affordable, enabling consumers to replace their mattresses every seven to ten years as recommended. That’s good news for people who are losing sleep on worn, torn, and broken-down mattresses but can’t afford to replace them.

Gribetz XT9 mattress sewing machine

How It Works

So how does the XT9 work its magic? A conveyor belt feeds the stacked mattress foam layers into the machine. There, nine-inch needles stitch the layers together in one pass. All that happens in just 35 seconds: no need to wait for glue to set; no heat necessary to cure the glue. Thirty-five seconds of precision stitching, and your mattress layers are bonded together.

This major breakthrough improves on the glue-based laminating process in many ways according to GSG, the machine’s creator:

  • It’s eco-friendly: Thread-based lamination is an eco-friendly process that eliminates the need for chemically-derived glue. Consumers will no longer have to contend with off-gassing from glue. Mattresses that are sewn together are also easier to disassemble and recycle when need be.
  • There are fewer government regulations: Eliminating chemicals from the process also exempts manufacturers from many government regulations that slow production.
  • The comfort layers are truly comfortable: Thread-based lamination allows each foam layer to perform as it was intended without the stiffness that results from being glued to another layer.
  • It increases airflow: Eliminating glue from the laminating process allows air to circulate through and around foam layers for cooler sleeping surfaces.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of the invention of the XT9 is that mattress manufacturers can streamline their process to eliminate several messy steps saving time, resources, and money. In fact, manufacturers can reduce lamination costs by a staggering 98%. According to the president of GSG’s machinery group, Michael Miller, the XT9 machine will pay for itself in less than a year.

Why Should You Care?

The XT9 machine could be the biggest disruptor in the mattress business since the development of a roll pack machine capable of compressing and rolling a king size mattress into a box about the size of your coffee table. That innovation lifted one of the main barriers to a totally online mattress buying experience: affordably shipping mattresses all over the world.

The XT9 has the potential to disrupt the industry again by significantly reducing manufacturing costs. Those savings equal a huge opportunity for start-ups trying to enter the field of direct-to-consumer mattress companies as well as for well-established brands. Companies who replace their costly, messy, and heavily regulated gluing process with the XT9’s super-fast, clean, and eco-friendly sewing can offer mattresses at prices that undercut the current competition’s prices. Start-ups can brand themselves as innovators in the mattress industry by becoming early adopters and offering comparable mattresses at more affordable prices.

And that’s good news for consumers.

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