airmid healthgroup helps Spring Air develop the first asthma & allergy friendly mattress
airmid's worldclass healthcare specialists have helped bedding giant Spring Air develop the first asthma & allergy friendly mattress in the United States.
"Since 1926, Spring Air has provided innovative mattresses and sleep sets to the US consumer. Our investment in ground-breaking research with our partner airmid healthgroup, will provide new and superior, third-party-validated, healthy sleep products.”
Rick Robinson, President at Spring Air.
Established in 1926, Spring Air has been widely recognized for its innovative mattresses and sleep sets. Since founder Francis Karr created the free-end offset coil design, which adjusts to each sleeper's weight, the company has continued to innovate the bedding industry. Today, Spring Air has 13 domestic factories and 22 international licensees that operate in 32 countries worldwide. With $4 billion worth of Spring Air sleep sets sold at retail over the past 10 years, the brand has stayed true to quality, innovative design and value.
THE BUSINESS NEED
Despite being the fourth largest US brand of mattresses, Spring Air wanted to continue their company tradition of innovation by positioning their products as the best in the industry. With this goal in mind, Spring Air initiated a corporate strategy aimed at achieving third party validations and certifications to enhance their mattress line. The main objective of this strategy was to achieve certification from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).
Spring Air partnered with airmid healthgroup, the world’s first ISO 17025:2005 accredited testing laboratory for house dust mite allergen (Der p 1), to undertake aresearch and development project to make a better and healthier product that would achieve the certification Spring Air required for their new line of bedding products.
Spring Air wanted their new line of bedding products to provide a complete solution for healthy and comfortable sleeping. Thus the main challenge for the airmid healthcare specialists was to ensure the end product would achieve third-party validation and be of use to customers in search of an allergen avoidance plan.
airmid healthgroup incorporates a multidisciplinary team of clinicians and laboratory scientists, specialising in testing products relating to optimising health through the indoor environment. This project was to focus on asthma and allergies.
Using controlled environmental chambers and state of the art analytical technology, airmid specialists applied a three-stage testing process:
- Stage 1 – Barrier Function of Encasing Materials
- Stage 2 – Component Emission Testing
- Stage 3 – Real Time Allergen Testing on Constructed Product
Stage 1– Barrier Function of Encasing Materials
It was necessary for airmid scientists to test many fabrics before selecting one that was suitable for use in mattresses and that would serve as a barrier impermeable to common household allergens, yet remain “breathable” retaining physiological comfort for the user. airmid specialists employed published techniques that challenge the fabric with allergens, such as house dust mite and cat allergen. This is introduced to the fabric in the form of allergen test dust (ATD) using the Modified Dust Trap and Simulated Use Test.
Stage 2 – Component Emission Testing
Chemical testing on each of the proposed foam filling materials was conducted to assess what chemicals they contained and at what levels. In addition, the materials were also tested under controlled conditions in a sealed chamber confirming that chemicals known to trigger allergenic or irritant responses were not present in the mattress components.Having tested the individual components of the mattress, the team began working on the mattress construction. After investigation, it was decided the mattress would incorporate the allergen barrier as a dedicated layer below the ticking fabric.
Stage 3 – Real Time Allergen Testing on Constructed Product
The final step of the process was to carry out real time allergen testing on complete mattresses by placing production grade mattresses in a specially constructed Environmental Chamber under controlled conditions and then infesting the mattresses for a number of weeks with dust mites. After this infestation, the team was able to establish maintenance instructions for the end-user. Dust mite allergen content will be calculated by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
After completing the 18 month research and development partnership with airmid, the Spring Air Back Supporter Breathe™ collectionachieved certification from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), making it the first mattress in the United States that meets standards to be Certified asthma & allergy friendly.™
The Breathe™ mattress joins more than 130 other consumer products that have earned the respected asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Mark, including products from Disney, LG, Valspar and Dyson, among many other world-class brands.
The mattress will be showcased at the Las Vegas Market on Jan 30 to Feb 30 2012 one of the largest home wares trade fairs in the world.