I recently reported on two mattress makers and their inclusion of certain additives to make their mattresses anti-bacterial and anti-microbial—certainly positive attributes for mattresses to have given their use in hotels over the years by so many people. Of course, the elephant in the room given COVID-19 was whether either of the companies’ mattresses were also anti-viral.
One of the companies mentioned in my article was Serta Simmons Bedding (SSB). At the time I wrote my article I was unable to reach the folks at SSB. Well, I did finally get a chance to chat with them yesterday.
In a press release last July, SSB announced that it had partnered with Switzerland-based HeiQ Group, a leader in textile innovation, to create the U.S. market’s first antiviral mattress. The agreement gives SSB exclusive access within the U.S. bedding category to HeiQ Viroblock technology.
Tests conducted at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity showed that COVID-19-causing virus samples concentrated on fabric treated with HeiQ Viroblock were 99.99 percent reduced. Yet, HeiQ Group made a point of saying on its site that its product does not protect users against viruses. What gives? As it turns out, Carlo Centonze, co-founder, and CEO of HeiQ, told me HeiQ Group is just being ultra-cautious until the EPA says they can make claims about HeiQ Viroblock’s effectiveness against COVID-19.
EPA Approval May Come This Summer
Similarly, Melanie Huet, Chief Marketing Officer of SSB, told me that in the United States SSB is making anti-microbial and anti-bacterial claims but “working with the EPA to be able to make anti-viral claims.” She says SSB is confident the company will get EPA’s permission and approval this summer. While SSB is certainly unique in its pursuit of EPA anti-viral approval in the market segment, I suspect EPA has been overwhelmed by cleaning chemical and equipment companies attempting to get the same approval.
Carlo explained to me how HeiQ Viroblock kills the virus. A good part of that went over my head but in a nutshell the additives punch holes in the virus and oxidize it.
Melanie says that while other companies have been approaching the anti-viral component through sprays, HeiQ Viroblock is added to the fabric during the final stage of the textile manufacturing process. “Our process is a permanent process,” she says. “It is embedded.”
Steve Tipton, VP Hospitality Group of SSB, says all the major hotel brands have embraced the new mattresses. “It is appealing to all our customers,” he says. “The anti-microbial properties are attractive in and of themselves.”
You may be wondering about a price premium for an “anti” mattress. Melanie told me: “We are committed to do the right thing without a price increase.”