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Cover Story

The Shifman Tradition Craftsmanship, Quality and Support

By Gretchen Kast

When you walk in to the Shifman Mattress Co. factory, you will immediately be struck by the company’s history within the brick walls of its impressive factory along the Passaic River in historic Newark, NJ. Next you will notice a number of highly skilled craftspeople working meticulously, sewing and quilting covers, creating mattresses and box springs by hand.


oday, it takes more than 23 skilled craftspeople and up to 12 ½ hours to make each Shifman mattress set.

Using the exclusive Sanotuft hand-tufting technique, they secure layers of only the finest components—including Belgian dam- ask, matelasse fabrics, and high-end natural cotton, wool, latex, cashmere and pashmina. Each box spring is hand-tied with uphol- stery-grade coils and imported Italian twine. Shifman has been committed to this uncom- promising approach to manufacturing since 1893, upholding the tried and true tradition of quality craftsmanship and luxury bedding. When Mike Hammer, CEO, took over the reigns of the company in 1985, he introduced a number of updates and improvements to the outdated mattress design—but this com- mitment to excellence has never wavered. In 2008, Shifman’s Newark, NJ facility under- went an impressive renovation that added 40,000 square feet to the historic building. This major addition increased the company’s manufacturing capabilities by 40%, allowing its team to create more of its luxury mat- tresses without sacrificing any of the values, techniques or attention-to-detail that have defined the brand from the very beginning. “The product comes first, always,” explains Shifman President, Bill Hammer. “We make

our mattresses to ensure the best quality, lon- gevity and comfort to satisfy the consumer.” This scrupulous attention to detail is what sets the brand apart in an industry that of- ten turns to shortcuts to lower costs. The difference is in the feel—Shifman mattress- es respond to the body, offering maximum comfort, conformance and support. With this mentality, Shifman has carefully developed a truly unique product in the market: a luxury bed that is sumptuous, supportive and sub- stantial. Shifman mattresses are made to last; each has a lifespan of 10 to 20 years, much longer than many mattresses in the industry. “This is not a disposable product,” Hammer continues. “We approach every mattress we make as a custom mattress.”

As the bedding industry continues to evolve, the company is thoughtful about re- search and development. While many com- panies are quick to jump on the latest trend, Shifman only invests in new products and materials when there is concrete proof of its added benefit.

Rather than innovation just for the sake of innovation—Shifman aims to make sleep the main priority by educating consumers about the benefits of quality, high-end ma- terials. Shifman makes its mattresses with more cotton than any other bedding manu- 9

facturer. A highly breathable material, cotton is a naturally durable way to offer advanced temperature regulation. “We focus on substance,” says Hammer, “with real quality and benefits—not just mar- keting speak.”

Shifman’s main philosophy is to “offer val- ue at every price.” The company’s next-gener- ation Masters Collection is the apex of high- end bedding. With nine different mattress styles, the line-up appeals to a wide-range of

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