I wholeheartedly admit it. I am one of those people who instantly feels warm and fuzzy inside when purchasing something with a “Made in Hawaii” sticker on it. Born and raised here, I love to support local businesses knowing the items I am buying were made with Aloha. This is exactly why I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that Simmons mattresses are also made in Hawaii, with love.
When I found out I was given the opportunity to personally visit the factory and see firsthand how the mattresses are put together, I was thrilled! On numerous occasions, I have recited the names of the AirCool and Gel foams that are in the Simmons mattresses, rolled over the surface of each one of the beds repetitively, and proudly boasted the benefits of the individually pocketed coils. But to actually see how the mattresses are assembled and feel the foams in person is a whole other story!
Before we enter the factory, we are given cool safety goggles to make sure we stay safe through the maze of heavy machinery. Upon walking into the factory, you see stacks of mattresses ready to be shipped out to retailers to fulfill orders. It was exciting to know that some of them were being packed up and sent to our store for our customers!
I immediately hear the whirring and rumbling of machinery, and quickly turn my attention to the right where I am face to face with a huge rectangular machine spitting layers of quilted fabric from the top. Interesting! As I move closer, I notice that directly below the fabric is a gigantic sewing machine with a huge window in the front. Peering through it, I see a row full of spools of thread along the bottom being pulled up like spider web strings and attached to thick layers of foam that are entering from the back. What comes out is the finished top of the mattress; this is the surface we sleep on! It is incredible to think of the amount of accuracy and skill these large machines have. So many little individual pieces working together as a whole to produce a mattress with fine stitching and details!
There were large containers full of various types of foam. I always have high expectations when it comes to foam. It’s what makes a mattress so exciting to come home to at night after a long, tiring day! The foams felt wonderful, and amazingly cool to the touch! Being a hands on learner, I could tell by squeezing them that quality and comfort is there. There is even a special memory foam called AirCool Max that uses microscopic diamond technology to help move heat away from your body and maintain a comfortable body temperature throughout the night!
Probably the most exciting part of the tour was seeing how the individually pocketed coils are constructed. These make up the support system of the mattress; conforming to your body and reducing the amount movement you feel when your partner gets in and out of bed. The steel that makes up these coils starts off in this massive spool about 4-5 feet high. The steel gets pulled out and stretched through tubing all the way to a machine that appears to operate like a giant stamp, transforming the coils into a proper spring shape. From there, it goes on its way to another device that adds the magical fabric pocketing around the coils. The coils are then heat bonded about 3/4th of the way down so they form the shape and design of an actual mattress. I even got to lay down on the coils directly, which I thought would feel hard and uncomfortable, but actually felt pretty supportive!
After the coil systems are constructed, they get sent off to the construction area where everything comes together. A job that only humans can do! They first piece together the foams that line all four sides of the mattress that make sitting on the edges sturdy. Small diamond shaped divots are cut into the sides of the foam to allow airflow to circulate through. Then the coils and comfy foams are added, layer by layer, ending up with a beautiful mattress!
The final touches a mattresses goes through is the tedious job of sealing everything together with the thick edging ribbon that gives the finished product the appearance of true royalty. We observed an elite individual who specializes in performing this skill. He actually pushes a machine around the edges of the mattress, little by little, bonding this ribbon along the sides. It is no easy task, and takes a great deal of physical exertion and balance. Once he is finished, the mattress is complete.
By taking a first class seat in the Simmons factory, I now feel even more confident in the product that we show every day in the store. Not only is it made in Hawaii with love, but also with knowledge, skill and precision as well!
Jenna Kagawa is a Bedding Specialist at SlumberWorld in Kailua Kona. She is the happy mother of twins, Hali’a and Makoa. When not busy finding clients the perfect mattress or chasing her little ones – Jenna enjoys making jewelry, reading, shell collecting, and eating really good food! She is a total social media addict and loves photographing life.