10.17.2017

How we used real sleep data to craft a better mattress

Inside our years-long quest to deliver a better night's sleep for our customers


 

e started WRIGHT to build better products for your bed.  

Your bed is the most important space in your life - where you rest and recover, and where each day begins and ends - and you deserve a mattress company that you can trust to build really really great products.  After working in the mattress industry for years, we couldn't find anything that was worthy of our beds, and so we decided to build something better.  We set out to build the world's best mattress.  

Fig. 1 - Early mattress prototyping - Atlanta, GA, Summer 2013



What does 'best mattress' even mean?

We quickly ran into one problem. Nobody could agree on what ‘world’s best mattress’ even means.  Is it the most comfortable? The most supportive? The highest rated? The best selling? The most expensive?  We realized that we needed an objective measure of quality - a way to honestly compare different products.  We decided that the purpose of a mattress is sleep, and so the measure of a mattress’s worth is how well you sleep on it.  Armed with this realization, we embarked on a years-long quest to craft a mattress that delivers a better night’s sleep.

Fig. 2 - A Jawbone Up Band used in WRIGHT product testing


 

An army of testers.  A lot of activity trackers.  A huge pile of data.  

First, we needed testers. Lots of them. We recruited an army of sleepers, starting with friends and family, and soon expanding to volunteers on craigslist and through local schools. We gave them Jawbone Up Bands and started tracking their sleep quality data, night after night, over months and years, collecting real information about how they were sleeping.

We learned how long our testers slept on average (6 hours and 48 minutes), how long it took them to fall asleep (24 minutes), and how often they woke up throughout the night (3.7 times).  


Fig. 3 - Actual tester sleep quality data, Spring 2014



Four ways to guarantee a bad night's sleep

Slowly and steadily, patterns started to emerge. It turns out that there’s no simple way to guarantee a good night’s sleep, but there are plenty of ways to guarantee a bad night’s sleep. There's four big things, in fact, that a mattress can do to mess with your sleep:

  • If a mattress isn’t pressure-relieving, then it won’t feel comfortable and you’ll toss and turn without falling deeply asleep
  • If a mattress isn’t supportive, then your hips will sink down further than your shoulders, causing pain in the lower back
  • If a mattress isn’t responsive, then you won’t be able to move around on it, which will wake you up throughout the night
  • If a mattress isn’t cool enough, then your body can’t drop the 1-2 degrees necessary to enter deep rem sleep

Using these insights, we were able to build mattresses that address each of the four pitfalls, continually testing each prototype to capture real tester data about that mattress's impact on sleep quality.  


Fig. 4 - WRIGHT's proprietary ZeroG polymer-reinforced foam, 24,000:1 scale



Striking a balance between four things that all cancel each other out

Now we'd identified what a perfect mattress would look like (a perfect balance of comfort, support, responsiveness, and temperature control) but still didn't know how to build one. 

Each of the four factors worked against at least one of the others.  You could make a really soft mattress that would be comfortable (but not supportive), or a really firm mattress that's supportive (but not comfortable).  You could balance both comfort and support by using really dense foam, but that had terrible responsiveness.  You could add responsiveness back in by adding latex, but that trapped heat. 

Everything was a balancing act, and it ultimately took 27 rounds of prototyping to strike the perfect balance between everything.  By pairing a plush soft upper layer with increasingly stiffer and firmer base layers, we could deliver fantastic comfort with full support.  This gives the pressure-relief of a soft luxury mattress, with the full body support of a firm surface.  To bring the temperature down, we developed a breathable cooling foam with conductive gel particles embedded throughout.  To improve responsiveness we developed a polymer-reinforced foam that delivered additional strength to the walls of each individual foam air cell.  

Fig. 5 - The WRIGHT W1.27 mattress, crafted through 27 rounds of prototyping over more than 2 years



Try a W1.27 mattress today, risk-free

In the end, we crafted a mattress unlike anything else available today.  A mattress that's beloved by thousands of customers, and used in luxury hotels across the world. 

If you’re interested in trying the W1.27 yourself, use code WRIGHTFALL200 for $200 off your first purchase. As always, we offer free delivery, free in-home installation, and a risk-free 120 night trial. That means you've got four months to try the mattress in your home. If you decide it's not for you, we'll come pick it up at our expense, and refund 100% of your money

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