March 25, 2023

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Bedding: mattress startups play made in France

Made in France and sustainable development want to boost an already wide-awake bedding market. Purchases between January and June increased by nearly 20% in value, according to the Institute for Foresight and Furniture Studies. This makes nearly 6 million mattresses and box springs sold per year. A catching-up effect, of course, after the store closings linked to the pandemic, but also a lasting trend in well-being and the desire for better sleep.

Several start-ups, after having revolutionized sales methods with mattresses bought in a few clicks on the Web, are changing their minds. After practicality and good value for money, these young shoots highlight French know-how and ecology.

Mello, based in Strasbourg, launched in the Paris metro in August a poster campaign “The dream mattress made in France”. Green Mattress, for its part, claims ecological bedding, based in particular on hemp and natural latex, with soybean oil in the foam to combat humidity and a cover impregnated with aloe vera “for a breathable mattress” , says the brand.

After practicality, ecology

For his part, Tediber, one of the heavyweights in France with the German Emma of this new generation, boasts his first “responsible and sustainable” mattress. An eco-designed innovation with wool from Charente sheep, linen grown in Normandy for the cover and manufacture in Auvergne. “Ecology has become an essential subject. In 2020, we decided to highlight it, whereas already, since our creation in 2015, we were committed, with the fact of never doing sales ”, notes the founder of Tediber, Julien Sylvain.

The young growth wants to be the spearhead of the sector in environmental matters. She worked a half and a half ago on an “ecological redirection”. In other words, “realizing that doing better or doing well is no longer enough. It’s about thinking differently ”, underlines the young leader. Becoming a company with a mission in July, Tediber has thus included in its statutes its desire to “make essential products for sleep accessible, in line with the necessary ecological transition”.

Company with mission

First initiative, the launch this summer of the Pelote mattress, with its recycled materials in short circuits. This makes it possible “to divide CO emissions by 62 linked to production, ”says Julien Sylvain. This patented product is offered at 950 euros, or 200 euros more than its flagship mattress.

Tediber, which is betting on doubling its turnover this year, to 50 million euros, hopes that Pelote will quickly represent between 10% to 20% of sales. The production of its range of mattresses is today shared 50% between France and Belgium.

The Mello brand has bet on made in France since its launch four years ago. “This was a starting point to differentiate us from Emma and Tediber, underlines its founder, Matthieu Witkowski. And since the pandemic, the French have been more receptive to this notion of local production. In search of funds, Mello, smaller than its competitors, has a notoriety deficit. Hence its poster campaign in the metro and a strong presence on social networks. “Our customer satisfaction surveys show that made in France and quality have often triggered their purchases,” continues the boss of the start-up.

70% French production

A study by French Furniture, carried out in February 2021, seems to confirm this. Indeed, it emerges that “for 80% of French people, made in France is an important theme. And nearly 30% of them are ready to pay between 15% to 20% more for these products ”, rejoices the president of the bedding group, Luis Flaquer, also managing director of Cofel, the market leader with its brands. Bultex, Merinos and Epeda.

These, like other historic brands such as Dunlopillo and Treca, hope to profit from this interest. Especially since they have always been made in France. In this mattress market, French productions in fact account for around 70%, compared to imports, especially from Poland for Ikea or from Portugal. ” There’s nothing new under the sun. Start-ups talk about made in France, we have been working on it for years, ”remarks Luis Flaquer. He nevertheless admits that this dynamic “ultimately benefits everyone”. The proof, Cofel saw its turnover jump by 50% between January and June and aims for a growth of 14% next year, to reach 240 million euros.