By Srianthi Perera
If you happen to fall fast asleep and snore inside Amerisleep’s nap pod, you should forgive yourself. After all, the pod is a testing room for the company’s mattresses and pillows, and the products’ basic intention is to help you sleep.
Co-owners Joey Holt and brothers Firaz Kittaneh and Ed Zitron, all of Kansas, incorporated patented technology to create a comfortable, environmentally friendly memory foam product range to suit each human sleep position. To complement the line, they also developed adjustable beds and pillows.
Going a step further, in these days of declining brick-and-mortar shopper visits, they designed a sophisticated showroom to match their wares.
The Scottsdale-based company’s first display center opened in SanTan Village, Gilbert. Plans are afoot to open two others, in Arrowhead and Tucson, and 15 more around the country.
“Mattresses, for most people, are the least exciting thing to purchase,” Joey Holt, chief operating officer, said. “We wanted to create that excitement and portray the product differently than anybody has ever done before.”
The mattress displayed upright near the store window does catch the eye. Step inside, and the sleek cobalt blue, black and white lines of the showroom, reminiscent of an Apple Store, bedazzles.
The techie-feel is partly developed with the multi-sectioned television screen on the wall, which sometimes plays mood scenes.
Education is thought to be key during a mattress purchase decision and everything is at your fingertips here.
Touch table computer screens demonstrate everything from healthy sleep behavior to picking apart the dual-sided pillows (one side soft and the other firmer), said to last up to five years.
People are increasingly becoming attuned to the need to develop good habits in diet, nutrition and exercise, Holt said.
“What people lack the most is education on healthy sleep behavior,” he said. “We have a mission to bring about sleep to the public, to not only educate them on the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep, but the benefit of getting the right mattress for the sleeping position.”
By operating the touch table computer screens, you receive an online experience in-store: learn about VPF, the method used to pour foam without emissions and chemicals; Bio-Pur, the open cell structure of the material that helps circulate air to keep body temperature balanced; and the Celliant yarn cover, which recycles body energy to retain coolness.
The nap pod was created to eliminate the awkwardness of testing a mattress inside a store. The goal, Holt said, is to re-create a comfortable, homelike environment, with bedroom furniture. The ceiling has a built-in TV wall, which also runs a program on the product.
Holt, from Kansas, and Kittaneh and Zitron, from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, met during college at Wichita State University. Holt studied psychology, Kittaneh bio medical science and Mo finance; they decided to combine their skills in a business.
The friends’ first foray into the bedding world began when they opened a retail store in Fiesta Mall and sold a line of mattresses imported from China.
They soon tired of its flaws and began their own line in 2010, fashioned and improved after a leading brand of foam mattress.
Over the years, their brand has been improved constantly. Their prices range from $999 to $1,899.
Although Gilbert’s is a brick and mortar store, you can’t go home with a mattress.
You must order from the store or online and it’s shipped from a manufacturing plant in Indiana.
Holt said that the response so far has been “amazing.”
“That’s why we’ve been able to put a store like this up,” he said. “People want a good night’s sleep but people don’t want to have to spend a fortune, or the price of a used car, to get a mattress.”