Beginner's Mattress Buying Guide

Shifman Mattress Company

America's Top Luxury Mattress Manufacturer

Shifman Mattress Company was born in 1893 when two brothers started a company that was committed to producing high-quality bedding.

Company History

Their names were Abraham and Samuel Shifman and the name of their business was A. Shifman and Bros. Mattress Company. It was founded in Newark, New Jersey and for generations it has continued its proud tradition.

The Shifman brothers worked tirelessly together for twenty-three years before Samuel bought out his brother and brought in his three grown sons to help him run the fledgling company. A few years later, the company relocated, but remained in Newark, where it continues to operate today.

Though they were a small family-run business, with a superior product and a lot of hard work the little Shifman Mattress Company grew to become the second largest producer of bedding in New Jersey. And when World War Two ended, they continued the family tradition by bringing in Samuel's grandson to help learn and eventually run the business.

Though they remained successful, as the years passed the company struggled to grow because they failed to pay attention to the trends in the industry. With the US population in the midst of a baby boom and families needing more bedding than ever before, the market demanded cheaper mattresses and more of them. They also wanted more styles and varieties of mattresses. Things like firmness and more fashionable covers became a concern.

It's also important to note that this was during the rise of advertising, a time when more consumers started paying attention to brand names. As a small family-owned business, the Shifmans simply couldn't compete. But still, they continued creating and selling some of the highest quality, handcrafted bedding in the country.

The business was run entirely by the Shifmans until Michael Hammer, a businessman with over 22 years experience in the industry, expressed an interest in buying the company. Being an experienced and astute businessman, Mr. Hammer recognized the superior quality of Shifman bedding and felt confident that he could make the company a huge success.

After spending many years working for Simmons, Stearns and Foster, and Sealy he knew the industry inside and out. A short time later, he purchased the company and promised the Shifman family that he would continue their legacy and maintain the high production standards they had adhered to for generations.

The Shifman Mattress Company Today

Since that time, Mr. Hammer has implemented a number of improvements in manufacturing operations while remaining true to the Shifman tradition. Though the company is not yet a household name, they have exhibited steady and consistent growth wherever their products are sold.

They recently finished a major project nearly doubling the size of their facility. During these tough economic times (2008-2009) when many companies are down-sizing and laying off workers, Shifman Mattress Company is actually expanding and creating new jobs for the Newark, NJ area. This alone should tell you something about the quality of their products.

Bloomindale's is their biggest customer and they produce an exclusive line of mattresses for the department store. While most of them are very expensive, anywhere from $5,000 - $20,000, they do offer a few more affordable models which are priced to compete with the big companies like Sealy. Bloomingdale's also has regular sales if you're looking for discount mattress sets.

Masters Collection

For over a century, the Shifman name has been synonymous with quality, handcrafted bedding. The tradition continues today with their introduction of the Masters Collection.

This new line of luxury mattresses offers double offset innersprings, natural latex foam, European imported borders, the most intricate and elegant covers, as well as heavy gauge supports for both the mattress and the box spring. These premium hand-made mattresses exceed most others in comfort and durability. They are quite simply some of the most comfortable and exclusive handmade beds in the world today.

For a detailed look at the Van Gogh, one of the models in the Masters collection, read this report on Shifman Beds.

Shifman Mattress Manufacturing Quality

One of the things that makes their products superior is the hand tufting. This is the process that creates the dimples you see in the surface of most mattresses. A 24 inch steel needle is driven through the mattress in order to pull through nylon twine. This is the main thing that holds it together and also keeps the material inside from shifting around.

When done properly it can significantly extend the life of the mattress. Most manufacturers do this by machine and don't even pull the twine all the way through. It only goes two inches deep into the foam. This is why the average mattress only lasts 7 years while a Shifman can last 20 to 30 if properly cared for.

Another aspect is the general quality of materials used in manufacturing. The big name companies usually opt for the cheapest they can find in order to save money. Shifman uses only the best quality materials available every step of the way without regard for cost.

For example, they use only the finest cotton in the comfort layers which they process in-house while the industry norm is to use cheap polyurethane foam. Cotton is much more comfortable and durable. Polyfoam breaks down quickly, developing body impressions and will allow the springs to be felt after just a few short years.

Of course all this adds quite a bit to their cost but when you consider that they can last three times as long - it really makes you wonder if the cheaper ones are such a deal after all.

For a close up view of the opinions of actual owners see our article on Shifman mattress reviews.

Made In America

Similar to the English company Hypnos supplying mattresses for the Queen, Shifman Mattress Co. has provided bedding for several Presidential administrations including Teddy Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton. Other famous customers include Antonio Banderas and Eddie Murphy.

All of the best mattresses in the world are still made by hand but there aren't very many companies left that do this. Cheap factory production has become the norm as manufacturers continually attempt to cut costs. Shifman resides among a select few like Hypnos, Duxiana, Hastens and VI Spring. It's notable that they're the only American company listed among the best of the best.

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