What do you get when you combine a rocket scientist, a tech guru, and twenty-plus years of research and experimentation? The world’s best mattress. The Purple mattress, made out of Hyper-Elastic Polymer, is only the latest of breakthrough cushioning product invented by brothers Tony and Terry Pearce.
In 1989, the brothers decided to combine Tony’s 13 years of experience in aerospace engineering and Terry’s two decades in manufacturing, design, and project management into a partnership creating high-tech carbon fiber wheelchairs. By 1993, wheelchair users vocalized their need for better cushioning, which led the brothers to create Floam, the world’s lightest cushioning fluid. Soon Floam was not only being used in wheelchairs, but also in medical beds, footwear, knee pads, golf bag straps, and more. Seeking to lower the cost of Floam, the brothers invented breakthrough Hyper-Elastic Polymer in 1996. This soft yet durable material could stretch 15 times its resting size and never took a body impression. This pressure-releasing, back-supporting material came to be used in cushioning products all over the world. With over 30 patents, the Pearces became known as the premiere source of superior cushioning technology. In a way they had achieved Pro-C status, according to Kaufman and Beghetto’s Four C Model of Creativity. That is, the Pearce brothers obtained professional-level expertise in their field. With at least 20 years of experience under their belts, they are no doubt experts in their domain, but have not quite reached the revolutionizing status of Big-C creatives.
Four years ago, the brothers set out to design a completely Hyper-Elastic Polymer mattress that wouldn’t break the bank. Two years and several million dollars produced the Mattress Max, a Pearce-brother invention that can make Hyper-Elastic Polymer large enough to fit a king-size bed, and most importantly, at a cost low enough to make it affordable to the general population.
I first learned about the Purple mattress from my boyfriend, who showed me a (hilarious) commercial advertising the item:
Playing off the Goldilocks fairy tale, they advertise the bed as supportive like a firm mattress, and cradling the hips and shoulders like a soft mattress, but without any of the compromise of a “medium-firmness” mattress. Unlike memory foam, Purple is temperature-neutral, won’t develop a body indent, and is non-toxic.
How does it work? The Hyper-Elastic Polymer walls fold and pass weight to conjoining walls, then instantly release when weight is removed. This means minimal pressure at sensitive spots, maximum support at alignment spots, and balanced weight distribution, promoting longer, healthier rest. Ultimately, the Purple mattress will improve both physical and mental health by redefining the way we sleep.
The company sells hundreds of mattresses every day. In fact, according to a KeyBanc report, Purple rivaled other leading ecommerce mattress companies in a matter of months. But the Pearces aren’t stopping there. Purple now also sells Hyper-Elastic Polymer pillows, bamboo-based sheets, and seat cushions that are “a threat to the industry” according to Dan Bischoff, Purple’s Director of Communications. “The future is beyond a mattress company,” Bischoff explains. “Ultimately, the goal is to become a comfort company.”
Is the Purple mattress the holy grail of all mattresses? I don’t know for sure, but they have me convinced. I hope to be able to try it out for myself soon. If this truly is the best mattress in the world, then perhaps the Pearce brothers have the potential to be Big-C creatives after all.
Kaufman, James C., and Ronald A. Beghetto. "Beyond Big and Little: The Four C Model of Creativity." Review of General Psychology 13.1 (2009): 1-12. Web.