Foamcraft Inc., an Indianapolis-based foam-products manufacturer than began selling mattresses less than two years ago under its own Comfort Option brand, is entering the national bed-in-a-box arena, where it will compete directly with online mattress behemoths such as Casper, Leesa and Purple.
The company said it has begun offering a new mattress model called the Alpha by Comfort Option that it will deliver nationwide. The national push could be a game-changer for the 67-year-old company.
Foamcraft for years has supplied mattresses for some of the biggest national brands, but rolled out Comfort Option in 2017 and began a marketing push last summer. Due to the custom nature of their service, Comfort Option beds were primarily sold in central Indiana. The company promised to bring a showroom-in-a-truck to its customers’ doorsteps.
As part of its local service, Foamcraft officials built the mattress using interchangeable foam layers at each customer's house to suit the customer. The client could test the bed after it was built, and Foamcraft would make adjustments on-site immediately or for up 120 days after the sale.
Foamcraft officials won't be able to personally drive to homes across the country to service the new Alpha model, but they do plan to maintain the 120-day warranty program.
Customers will have "the chance to customize, fine-tune, and rebuild their mattress after the purchase if they’re initially unsatisfied, instead of simply offering a basic, like-it-or-not trial period,” Foamcraft Chief Marketing Officer Nathan Elliott said in written remarks about the new model. "We box them and ship [the mattresses] just like the other online brands. The difference in what we’re doing is that we’ll also ship alternative layers after the purchase in the event that the customer isn’t initially pleased.”
Nationally, mattress sales grew at an annual rate of 5.6 percent from 2012 to 2017, with the U.S. market projected to eclipse $15 billion in sales by 2020, according to IBISWorld market research. But online mattress sales are growing even faster. The segment grew 60 percent from 2016 to 2017, to nearly $1.8 billion.
Foamcraft said the Alpha model will use better and more durable materials than most bed-in-the-box brands, but still sell for less. Prices start at $675 for twin-sized mattresses.
Foamcraft was founded by the late Robert Taylor Elliott in 1952 as a distributor of Firestone’s foam products. It has grown steadily by crafting custom-fabricated foam items ranging from mattresses and boat furniture to medical products and acoustical wall coverings—all sold under other brand names.
The company—headquartered near East 56th Street and Post Road—has about 375 full-time employees who carve and create products out of blocks of foam the size of small cars that come into its factories in Indianapolis, Greenfield, Mitchell, Elkhart and Goshen.