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In today’s Sustainable Founder Series we catch up with Ron Rudzin, founder and CEO of the sustainable mattress brand Saatva. We discuss what makes Saatva unique and Ron’s secret to getting a great night’s sleep.
Hey Ron, Can you tell us a little bit more about your brand?
After a career investing in and managing businesses in the home furnishings industry, I founded Saatva in 2010.
Saatva was the first company to sell luxury mattresses online at scale. My mission was to make the most luxurious and comfortable mattress possible and sell it directly to the customer with no retail markups. Today we are the premier DTC luxury mattress company in the United States. In the twelve years since we launched, the online mattress category has exploded, but most of those companies are selling compressed foam mattresses rolled up in a box for easy shipping. Saatva is different.
We have developed a collection of best-in-class mattresses in five different categories, starting with the Saatva Classic, our award-winning luxury hybrid. We handcraft them with premium eco-friendly materials in one of 21 factories across the United States, hand-deliver and set them up in the customer’s home. We even dispose of their old mattress.
What inspired you to start a mattress brand?
I saw how much time my wife and daughter were spending online. I was fascinated by the internet, and I believed that it represented a huge opportunity to provide a new customer experience in an industry that was known for delivering terrible customer service.
By adopting a then-new online business model, I could replace the confusing, exhausting environment of the traditional mattress store with 24/7 customer service and a no-pressure home trial. I could offer a luxury product with white-glove delivery at a dramatically lower price than traditional by selling directly to the consumer. Customers agreed, and that’s why today we are the largest online luxury mattress company in the United States.
What sets Saatva apart from other mattress brands on the market?
At Saatva, we believe that everyone deserves a good night’s sleep on a quality bed. Our name, which is Sanskrit for truth and purity, guides us in all that we do.
Saatva offers best-in-class mattresses in six different categories—innerspring, ultra-premium memory foam, memory foam hybrid, all-natural latex, latex hybrid, adjustable air, and specialty designs for babies, youth, and bigger bodies—plus designer bed frames and a full collection of luxury bedding products. We use eco-friendly materials to make a collection of mattresses that provide an ideal option for virtually every type of sleeper and every comfort preference. All of our mattresses are hand-crafted to order and hand-delivered, never stuffed in a box for doorstep shipping.
“At Saatva, we believe that everyone deserves a good night’s sleep on a quality bed. Our name, which is Sanskrit for truth and purity, guides us in all that we do.”
Can you tell us more about the materials Saatva uses, and why it’s important to you that the brand offers ranges using natural materials?
Our entire collection of mattresses is designed to last. There are many low-cost options on the market that use unhealthy and substandard materials and will need to be replaced after a few years.
Made with recycled steel springs, 100% natural latex, organically grown cotton, and CertiPUR-US® foams using a percentage of sustainable/renewable materials, Saatva’s mattresses reflect the company’s commitment to green principles and practices.
What do you think are the main challenges around sustainability in your industry today? How does Saatva approach these on a day-to-day basis?
Through product construction and manufacturing. All mattresses are made-to-order, meaning no mass production of items that could potentially end up in a landfill. No additional energy is spent on warehousing our mattresses before they are sold.
Through our logistics infrastructure, which is my favorite as it is very unique to Saatva. Our DTC model allows for our very unique logistics operation. We have 21 factory partners and over 150 white glove delivery partners nationwide. Our network puts us within 60 miles of 85% of households in the continental U.S. for efficient white-glove delivery. Our mattresses are produced locally through this network, meaning that when you order a mattress from Saatva, it is produced in a factory nearest to where it is going to be delivered. Mattresses are large, heavy products that are difficult to efficiently transport. This model for manufacture/delivery substantially lowers the eco-impacts.
In addition to working with eco-friendly factory partners, like the one that serves the NYC-Metro area, Saatva is a member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, the Mattress Recycling Council and recently started a new mattress category-exclusive partnership with Evertreen, which has helped us plant over 4,000 trees, offset more than 675,000 kgs of CO2, and create over 550 hours of working time for farmers in need. We are increasingly proud of our social impact this year and look forward to accomplishing more in 2023.
The partnership with Evertreen, has helped us plant over 4,000 trees, offset more than 675,000 kgs of CO2!
What elements of your brand are important to you which illustrate your brand values and culture?
We are passionate about customer service and delivering the best quality experience. Every company says they put customers first, but Saatva commits to it.
Our customer service center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. It is important to us that we have live, well-trained Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) available at any hour of the day or night to communicate with our customers, in the medium in which they want to be communicated with. We strive to align our employee experience with our brand. An essential tenet of our brand is the consistency of experience, whether on our website, over the phone with a customer service representative, or in one of our beautiful Viewing Rooms nationwide.
What’s the key to getting a good night’s sleep?
I believe sleep is an activity you have to prepare for, the same way you prepare for any physical activity. You need to create the right environment. Every night before bed, I take a warm shower, wear the right pajamas, and set my bedroom to the right temperature. I personally need a pillow under my leg to help with spinal alignment. I prepare and motivate myself for sleep and encourage others to discover their own unique sleep routine to make the most of their rest.
Do you have a Saatva product you can’t live without?
Have you tried a product from another sustainable & ethical brand that you think our audience should know about?
The window treatments in my home are from The Shade Store. Like Saatva, they make their products to-order in the US, using quality materials. I use their Roman shades and drapery, outfitted with a cotton flannel interlining to improve insulation and make my home more energy-efficient.
Do you have any new innovations on the horizon?
This year, we added new sleep products to our blanket and quilt categories and sleep masks that are great for use in the bedroom and while travelling. We have recently launched chairs, bedroom benches and ottomans and are developing new collections that help us expand further into the bedroom/living space.
What does the future look like for Saatva?
The thing I’m most excited about right now is our brick & mortar retail expansion. We opened our first Viewing Room in New York at the end of 2019, and it has been wildly successful, even during the pandemic. We have opened in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, and Dallas. By the end of this year, we expect to have 15 locations in major cities around the country, with many more on the horizon. These are immersive, tech-forward environments that are physical representations of our brand. There’s nothing else like them in the mattress space.
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We hope you’ve enjoyed a look behind the scenes at Saatva. We want to say a huge thank you to Ron for chatting with us!
If you want to check out the amazing selection of Saatva mattresses, you can check them out on their website, here.