Take note: A mattress is not a mattress is not a mattress

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wendell Martens, managing member of Clarkston, Mich.-based Sleep & Wellness Centers, likes to call the hospital beds that most HME providers supply "green monsters." "They're one solution for all," he said. Here's what Martens had to say about the advantages of also supplying more customized mattresses.

Get a brand identity

"The different mattress designs give the HME provider alternatives that are symptom specific and, more importantly, their patients can't go down the street to a retailer and find something comparable or buy the same bed for less. So they're competing on price and they're getting a brand identity."

Make sure its quality

"We contract with national-named manufacturers to build the mattresses and we're able to rely on their warranties. For example, we use Restonic and they've had five best buy recommendations from Consumer Reports over the years. They've been around for three generations. We'll use other manufacturers like Comfortaire for our air beds. Each has an advantage over the competition."

Don't underestimate the importance of ergonomics

"We spend 85% of our time sitting or laying down and one of the biggest problems we have is contortion. A person with chronic back pain can't lay on a normal, inner-spring mattress because their spine becomes contorted. They need a specialty mattress that will complement their recovery and minimize their pain and also minimize their chances of a reoccurring injury."