How SleePare is changing the mattress showroom industry: an interview with the founder

By promoting an environmentally-friendly, cost-saving business strategy that benefits both the customers and the planet.

  (photo credit: Shanir Kol)
(photo credit: Shanir Kol)

“Finding the perfect mattress has always been the second worst experience of my life after visiting the dentist,’ said a customer who had driven a hundred miles to visit our showroom. He was nearly on the verge of hugging me before we even began searching for his match.” 

Shanir Kol is the owner and founder of multi-million dollar company SleePare, an American mattress showroom company. As we met for the interview, he personally welcomed each customer into the store. Kol believes that communicating with clients and listening to their needs has always been an essential part of his work—and one of SleePare’s key values. 

SleePare’s origins began in 2017, when Kol, originally from Jerusalem, Israel,  launched a US s-based website for mattress and bedding reviews. From his decades-long experience in the furniture industry, Kol knew that sampling products and reading reviews are important steps before making a purchase. 

“We spend up to a third of our lives asleep. It’s an important part of being healthy–it affects our moods, immune system, hormones, and even our ability to cope with pain,” Kol said. “We know how impossible it can be to find the perfect mattress online–it’s like shopping for clothes with your eyes blindfolded. You have a chance at getting it right, but the odds are stacked against you.” 

“Our mission is to help people save money without compromising the ability to match the right mattress to their unique body type. Even the newest technologies used to virtually describe these mattresses can’t replace the in-person test at a showroom. Everyone knows that the best businesses help solve problems, but nowadays, I think you must also present an environmentally friendly aspect in a new business model. SleePare has helped reduce the percentage of returned (and then discarded) mattresses by nearly 80%, in comparison to the same mattresses when purchased online, without trying..”

After successfully launching a website, Kol’s team opened its first brick-and-mortar location: a SleePare showroom in Manhattan, where customers can select samples online and try them in person at the showroom.

SleePare uses data science to analyze market statistics and customer reviews. This process allows them to offer clients an unbiased rating of mattresses from hundreds of top brands. The site’s comparison tool surveys customer preferences in terms of price, durability, and comfort level–so that each customer can quickly and effectively find a sample that fits their particular needs. There are dozens of selections available, including a budget, firmness level, type of filler, zone of support, and active cooling systems.

Once chosen online, the customer meets a specialist at the showroom to make their final decision. “Our customers constantly vote for their favorite mattresses, so we always rotate products in our showrooms. We must have gone through 300-400 different models already,” Kol explained. “As a result, we always have the very best selection of online mattresses ready on the floor, by customers' votes.” 

SleePare’s business model is similar to that of a social networking platform. “People can share opinions with each other through commenting and relaying experiences online. Samples that people find interesting and valuable become on-trend.”

Affordable mattress pricing is another benefit of SleePare’s unique strategy. “Cost-saving is a key value at SleePare. We strive for better quality at lesser costs. Many traditional mattress stores pay extreme amounts in rent, warehouses, advertising, and associate salaries. And statistically,  these stores host no more than 10-15 customers per week. SleePare works with nearly 1,000 clients weekly on the website and in our showrooms. This factor directly impacts the lowered cost of each mattress–a huge benefit to our customers. We have certain advantages over online-only stores, as well. We provide customers with a full delivery service, from the factory to their bedroom.  In addition, our staff carries and unpacks the boxes for you. This is a service that our customers especially love,” said Kol.

Today, the company is represented in five major cities across the United States, including New York City, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Boston, and Miami. SleePare registered approximately $10 million in sales in 2021, and the number of showrooms is continuously growing. 

“We plan to expand to 30 in-store locations in every major metro in the United States. We hope to plan to offer our services in Canada by 2023,” Kol said. “Over time, even manufacturers encourage us to rate and review their new models. They listen to candid comments and opinions of our customers, which motivates them to improve quality, broaden the range of samples, and produce mattresses that will be in demand. This means a lot to our customers. We love helping them gain more opportunities to upgrade their sleep quality, and thus their life comfort in general.”

This article was written in cooperation with SleePare