Until recently, the New England Patriots quarterback and five-time Super Bowl champion, Tom Brady, was vociferously promoting the luxury Simmons Beautyrest Black mattresses. But with the ending of that high-visibility endorsement contract, it appears that he now enjoys ‘cooler’ sleeping conditions with the bed in a box startup Molecule.
“They sent it to the house and I just loved it,” said Brady, a veteran athlete who is quite the health and wellness influencer, to Bloomberg.
With Brady officially replacing the high-end Simmons mattress with the Chicago-based bed in a box variety, in July 2018. The deal also includes an equity stake in the startup for Brady. In the same month, Molecule also formalized a separate partnership with New York Mets.
Raymond Lyle, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer for Molecule, considers Brady and his lifestyle to be ‘an organic and authentic fit’ with the Molecule brand. “Together, we are confident that we will communicate the differentiators of Molecule that help athletes and non-athletes alike sleep cooler, more efficiently and ultimately maximize their recovery and well-being,” he added.
But Brady isn’t the only one touting the benefits of Molecule. NFL quarterback Russell Wilson, gymnast Nastia Liukin, rower Susan Francia and runners Ryan and Sara Hall are also part of Molecule’s roster of celebrity athlete endorsers.
Although Molecule was rather late in joining this crowded mattress e-commerce race, it has carved out a niche for itself as the bed for performance-minded consumers who lead demanding lifestyles. It is also the first-of-its-kind mattress, with patented foam technology, designed to regulate core body temperature.
This brand primarily focuses on athletes, but also includes entrepreneurs and even parents who could benefit from restorative sleep.
Have an Active Lifestyle? Sleep better.
We live in times where professional athletes are increasingly focused on sleep and recovery and even the everyday American is worried about not getting enough sleep. In this growing need, serial entrepreneur Albert Oh saw an opportunity.
Oh has dabbled in varied businesses, ranging from a Pinterest influencer network (AKA Social) to business consulting (Mimo Monitors), online licensing marketplace (IQ license) and even semiconductors (Hana Microns).
Backed by One Rock Capital Partners, which also owns a leading foam manufacturer, Oh entered the online mattress market with Molecule in April 2018. His vision was to manufacture and sell mattresses, made up of specialized foam that helps keep the body cool and thus promote better sleep.
Ever since Tribeca, the sports-oriented consumer electronics brand and 18birdies golfing app, Molecule appears to be Oh’s latest tryst with a B2C product.
The mattress is designed with the help of world-renowned athletes and sleep scientists. This could explain why Molecule is priced twice or thrice – upwards of $1499 – that of a regular memory-foam mattress.
“Working in tandem with our medical advisory team, Molecule was precisely engineered to maximize airflow and provide efficient heat transfer, helping to regulate core body temperature without sacrificing comfort and support,” Lyle added.
Additionally, Molecule also found a way to upsell. The mattress brand launched its signature blanket, heat regulating sheets and pillows that are compatible with the bed’s technology. The motivation to buy these products is that using regular bedsheets on the Molecule mattress would reduce the cooling effect, nullifying the USP of the mattress. Made of breathable TENCEL™️ Lyocell fibres and cotton blend, the accessory combo (starts at $199) complements the brand’s mattress.
In terms of delivery, the promise is to transport Molecule products to the customer’s homes within one week of order placement. They also offer a 30-night free trial for the accessories and 100-night free trial for the mattress. This means you can break-in the mattress for about 100 days and if you don’t like it, enjoy a hassle free return during this period.
Bed, Slow Wave Sleep and Beyond
You must have heard the tale of the princess and the pea. With the average American spending over one-third of their total lives sleeping, you can imagine how essential it is to do away with the proverbial ‘pea’ to achieve a good night’s rest. Molecule claims to solve exactly this problem.
Its leading-edge sleep system has a focus on rest and recovery by regulating core body temperature. It helps users achieve more slow-wave sleep, instead of disturbed REM sleep. The former is the deepest stage of sleep, which allows the muscles, joints and bones to recuperate.
Molecule’s proprietary air-engineered™ technology is the secret ingredient. The startup claims that the foam delivers almost 3 times the airflow as compared to the competition. This results in better heat dissipation and ultimately better quality sleep.
Climbing into Bed with the Online Mattress Market
People are replacing their mattresses faster than ever before. But this wasn’t the case, little over a decade ago.
Thanks to money-back guarantee (plenty of time to test product), free home delivery, compressible foam mattresses into cardboard boxes (for easy shipping), and very relatable marketing campaigns; bed in a box startups have captured the interest of customers. Even the traditional mattress companies, such as Serta Simmons and Mattress Firm, have been forced to follow suit and adopt the e-commerce model. Similar flat packed online business models are also sprouting for sofas and other furniture items. Case in point, New York-built couch-in-a-box brand Burrow.
Today, the USA has a $15B mattress industry. In 2016, online mattress sales made up 5% of all mattress sale as noted by Forbes. And according to reports by Curbed, the nation’s mattress e-commerce could potentially capture 20 to 30% of the total industry sales.
According to the Tuft & Needle website, there were 100+ digitally-native mattress companies in the US. Casper, Tuft & Needle , Purple, Leesa and Helix Sleep are already battling it out, putting their own spin to the business. Molecule, as a fledgeling bed in a box brand, hopes to harnesses the power celebrity endorsers to run high octave campaigns to draw in more customers.
Currently, the element of differentiation between these e-mattress brands is quite minute and mostly led by their individual marketing spin. But brands are already developing futuristic mattress technologies such as Sleep Number and Hi-Can’’s IoT-enabled beds – that are sure to set them apart from the cluttered marketplace.
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