There are numerous mentions throughout this website to "major" mattress manufacturers and suggestions to avoid many of them for many reasons including their lack of transparency about the quality of the materials they use in their mattresses, the use of lower quality materials, or because they are poor value compared to many other smaller independent manufacturers who make similar mattresses with the same or better quality, are transparent about their materials and designs, and sell for better prices.
This article will give you a better idea of which manufacturers are in the top 15 ranked by size, which of these to avoid, and which may be "possibilities" in terms of their transparency, quality, and relative value. compared to other larger manufacturers.
Between them, these top 15 manufacturers control 92.1% of the market (2015 figures) and the top 5 of these (which are all in the AVOID group) control 76.4% of the market. This leaves several hundred smaller manufacturers that often make better quality and value mattress that don't have the budget to spend on massive advertising and that are often only available locally or regionally to share the remaining 10%. One of the goals of this website is to help consumers identify and find the manufacturers who are open and transparent about the materials in their mattresses and are focused on making and selling higher quality and value mattresses.
These top 15 (+2 additional that I've added because they were in or close to the top 15 in previous years) are also "ranked" according to the likelihood that you will be able to find out accurate information about the quality of the materials in their mattresses.
AVOID: Your chances of finding out accurate or up to date details of the materials in their mattresses are not high enough to consider them or they are not good value compared to other similar mattresses.
SMALL POSSIBILITY: In most cases the information about the materials in their mattresses are not available but there may be a few exceptions for some mattresses.
SOME POSSIBILITY: The information about the materials in their mattresses are sometimes available and sometimes not depending on the type of mattress and/or on the licensee that makes their mattress.
GOOD POSSIBILITY: in most cases information about the quality of the materials in their mattresses are available but it will also depend on the type of mattress and/or on the licensee who makes them.
THE TOP 15 MATTRESS MANUFACTURERS:
1. SERTA: Owned by private equity group (which also owns Simmons). Tends not to be Transparent. AVOID
2. SEALY: (including Bassett Bedding and Stearns & Foster). Public corporation (which also owns Tempurpedic). Tends not to be transparent. AVOID
3. SIMMONS: Owned by private equity group (which also owns Serta). Tends not to be transparent AVOID
4. TEMPURPEDIC: Public corporation (which also owns Sealy). Sometimes transparent but poor value. Transparency is being reduced or eliminated and material quality/density is concurrently being reduced. AVOID
5. SELECT COMFORT: (Airbeds). Public corporation. Tends not to be transparent. AVOID
6. CORSICANA: Private corporation. Tends not to be transparent with rare exceptions. SMALL POSSIBILITY
7. THERAPEDIC: Licensee group. Most licensee factories are transparent about the materials in their mattresses and may have better quality/value than others in the "major manufacturer" group. GOOD POSSIBILITY
8. COMFORT SOLUTIONS: (including King Koil). Licensee group. None of the licensees tend to be transparent with rare exceptions. SMALL POSSIBILITY
9. ENGLANDER: Licensee group. Some licensee factories are transparent about the materials in their mattresses and may have better quality/value than others in the "major manufacturer" group. SOME POSSIBILITY
10. RESTONIC: Licensee group. Most licensee factories are transparent about the materials in their mattresses and may have better quality/value than others in the "major manufacturer" group. GOOD POSSIBILITY
11. ASHLEY FURNITURE: Private ownership. Transparent about some of their materials but tends to use lower quality materials. AVOID
12. SYMBOL: Private corporation. Tends to be transparent about some of their mattresses and not others and may have better quality/value than the major manufacturers in this group. SOME POSSIBILITY
13. KINGSDOWN: Private corporation. Tends not to be transparent. AVOID
14. E.S. KLUFT (and AIRELOOM): Private ownership. Tends not to be transparent. AVOID
15. SPRING AIR: Licensee group. Most licensee factories are not transparent with rare exceptions in some areas of the country. SMALL POSSIBILITY
SOUTHERLAND: Private corporation. Was #15 on the previous years list. Sometimes transparent and may have better quality/value than some of the major manufacturers in this group. SOME POSSIBILITY
ECLIPSE / EASTMAN HOUSE: Privately owned but made by a licensee group. Probably should have been ranked as #15 on the previous years list on their audited numbers. They have told me that they are transparent about all their materials and components as long as the retailer that sells them calls the factory. GOOD POSSIBILITY
Beyond these top 15 (+2) manufacturers there are hundreds of smaller manufacturers that are either local or regional or in some cases national which are well worth considering if they are fully transparent about the materials they use in their mattresses. Some of these sell factory direct and some are sold wholesale through stores around the country. Many of these smaller independent manufacturers provide better quality and value for consumers but in all cases knowing the specific details of the materials and components in a mattress and making "mattress to mattress" comparisons is the only way to make meaningful comparisons. Blind purchases should always be avoided regardless of which manufacturer makes the mattress.
Spending your time and efforts with more transparent manufacturers or with retailers who will provide you with the information you need to make informed choices will save you a great deal of time and the frustration of trying (often unsuccessfully) to track down mattress specifications so you can make informed buying decisions and meaningful quality and value comparisons with other mattresses.
A manufacturer or retailer that provides the details of the materials in their mattresses is making a statement that "we want you to know what you are buying" and is always much more deserving of your time and efforts than those which don't.