SSB partnering with Swiss company to create antiviral mattress

Melisa D. Galvin

SSB plans to use HeiQ’s Viroblock in Serta mattresses and other brands in its portfolio.

ATLANTA – Serta Simmons Bedding is partnering with Switzerland-based HeiQ Group, a  textile technology company, to create what it is touting as “the U.S. market’s first antiviral mattress.”

The agreement gives SSB exclusive access within the U.S. bedding category to HeiQ Viroblock technology, which has previously been approved by the European Medical Device Directive for antiviral use in medical personal protective equipment such as N95 equivalent masks and registered as an antiviral active by the German EPA, officials said.

HeiQ Viroblock was recently independently tested as 99.99% effective in 30 minutes against SARS-CoV-2 by a leading Australian infection and immunity research institute. SSB plans to pursue any necessary approvals for its line of Serta and Beautyrest HeiQ Viroblock mattresses with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency, the company said.

If approved, SSB plans to utilize HeiQ Viroblock across much of its portfolio of brands, which includes Serta, Beautyrest and Tuft & Needle.

“We know that our partners in the hospitality and healthcare industries are doing everything they can to help provide the cleanest environment and reassure their guests,” said David Swift, SSB’s chairman and CEO. “Antiviral and antibacterial mattresses will be an enormous asset in that effort.”

SSB, a leading provider of mattresses to the hospitality industry, has already received early interest to acquire HeiQ Viroblock-treated mattresses from several of the world’s largest hotel brands to bolster cleanliness and safety initiatives, the company said.

SSB said that HeiQ Viroblock represents “a breakthrough for the mattress industry.”

It said that virus particles and bacteria are invisible to the human eye, and they easily pass through sheets. They can persist and stay infectious for days on textiles, such as traditional mattresses. HeiQ’s Viroblock technology solves that problem by using microsilver technology that attracts virus particles, combined with vesicle technology that breaks down the viral membrane within seconds.

Tests conducted at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity showed that COVID-19-causing virus samples concentrated on fabric treated with HeiQ Viroblock were 99.99% reduced, SSB said.

In accelerated aging tests, textiles infused with HeiQ Viroblock demonstrated the ability to retain their antiviral qualities for three years and antibacterial qualities for 20 years.

In March, SSB announced it was donating 10,000 mattresses to hospitals in areas hard hit by the pandemic. A few weeks later it launched a platform in conjunction with Relief Bed International to facilitate further donations.

Founded in 2005 as a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, HeiQ is a leader in textile innovation, creating  effective, durable and high-performance textile technologies. HeiQ manufactures in the United States, Switzerland and Australia.

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