When we walked up to the Kingsdown mattress production facility in Mebane, NC, Kevin Damewood, EVP of Sales and Marketing at Kingsdown, told us that two of his factory employees had won the lottery. We said, “That’s crazy! What are the chances?”
But the crazier part was that they were still working there. After we stepped inside, it was easier to understand their decisions.
The Kingsdown facility was white, bright and clean. If we dropped a sandwich on the floor, it would probably be safe to eat.
We expected to see an assembly line of workers cranking through mattresses as quickly as they could. Instead, we saw a group of dedicated professionals, focused on their craft and meticulously assembling mattress layers, one by one.
Compared to many mattress production facilities, Kingsdown factory workers are compensated by their time, not the number of mattresses they produce. So the focus is on quality, not quantity.
And speaking of quality, every single Kingsdown mattress goes through vigorous testing before it’s packaged and shipped. If any product doesn’t meet the qualifications, it’s rejected and fixed until it does.
What’s unique about every single mattress being tested? Well, for starters – that’s not always the case. It’s common for some mattress manufacturers to test every certain number (every 5, every 10, etc.) to make sure that generally, the production is consistent.
At Kingsdown, every single mattress goes through the same process. Pictured below is a Kingsdown mattress going through the Inline Comfort Support Analysis, developed by Sleep to Live. This machine checks to make sure that every mattress is built to perform consistently. “This type of testing helps to guarantee that the mattress you get in your home will feel the same as the one you tried in the store,” Dr. Robert Oexman, Director of Sleep to Live, told us.
It measures things like ILD (indention load deflection), resistance and recovery of a force in the comfort layers, and reactions of the bed’s support layers to a variety of body types.
Inline Comfort Support Analysis machine testing a Kingsdown mattress
When we were in the factory, we noticed a handful of mattresses from different brands. At first, we thought it was our mind playing tricks on us, but no it was true. Kingsdown invites any mattress company to test their products on this system, supporting their commitment to placing quality mattresses in the hands of consumers.
As we walked through the next station, we came across this machine below. This hefty wooden roller simulated about 10 years of use on the mattress. It’s used to verify that each mattress passes the durability test and will hold up over time.
Wooden roller simulates 10 years of use on the mattress to test durability over time
Moving along, we stopped at this machine which aligned the wooden blocks into different configurations. These configurations represented a variety of different body types – wide hips, broad shoulders, petite build, etc. The purpose of this test is to make sure that each mattress can support different body types.
Testing to ensure that the mattress can support different body types
And that is just a sprinkling of the attention every mattress receives in the Kingsdown facility. We were truly impressed by the time and detail that goes into a single product. From the quality materials, to the artful assembly, to the performance testing, and finally, the intricate details.
Even the Kingsdown logo is embroidered on every mattress, as you can see from the photo below.
Kingsdown logo is embroidered on the side of the mattress
Needless to say, this is far from what we were expecting after stepping foot into a mattress production facility. Not only was it a clean, bright environment, but it was a place filled with positivity – workers enjoying their craft and taking pride in their work.
Kevin left us with this story:
“One time when the workers were on break, we had a crew loading mattresses into the truck to be delivered to our retail stores. Two of our workers stopped them and said, ‘Hey can we take a look at that mattress?’ They noticed that the stitching was off just the slightest bit. So they ended their break and took the mattress back into the factory to fix the stitching before it was shipped out. That’s how much pride they have in the work they do here.”
Seems like an appropriate story to summarize the Kingsdown factory.