Meet Mary Helen Uusimaki from – Interview

Time for another great interview. Following the series, I bring you now a mattress industry expert to give us a little insight into the market specifics and the innovations that will make our sleep better.

After this interview you will have a better understanding of the mattress and sleep industry and what are it’s highlights. You will be happy to learn that there currently are mattress recycling initiatives too…

If you have a business in the mattress industry then you should consider the ISPA membership…read more about it’s benefits below.

So, here we go…  

1. Please introduce us to yourself and your company.

Mary Helen Uusimaki, VP Membership and Communications.
International Sleep Products Association and The Better Sleep Council.

Mary Helen Uusimaki

2. Tell us a little about ISPA membership and what benefits it brings.

ISPA has nearly a 100-year commitment to the mattress industry and has developed programs and initiatives designed to support members and help their business and the entire industry thrive.
Our main “pillars” of support include:

  • Advocacy – ISPA is active at the federal, state, local and international levels advocating for the mattress industry
  • Consumer Outreach and Education – ISPA’s Better Sleep Council encourages increased mattress sales by educating consumers and the media about the important role a new mattress plays in quality sleep
  • Industry-Focused Events and Publications – targeted events provide venues to learn, gather intelligence and make connections (ISPA EXPO and ISPA Industry Conference); BedTimes and Sleep Savvy magazines and websites keep the industry current on the latest products, news and developments
  • Exclusive Market Intelligence – industry-specific market data including forecasts, surveys and statistics help members make informed business decisions
  • Recycling Initiatives – ISPA works to protect the industry from costly recycling laws by advocating for efficient, cost-effective consumer and industry-friendly mattress recycling legislation.

3. What events does ISPA organise and what are the unique opportunities offered to the attendees.

ISPA EXPO ( is the world’s largest trade show exclusively for the mattress industry!

Mattress producers come to ISPA EXPO for efficient “one-stop” shopping to fill their equipment, component, and service needs. EXPO is the perfect opportunity to see the latest and greatest products and services for the mattress industry but EXPO also offers hours of focused educational programs to help you stay on top of the latest industry trends and developments.

The EXPO is held every other year and 2016 will be in Orlando, FL. Our 2014 show was a record breaker.

Industry Conference: The Industry Conference offers value to all sectors of the mattress industry including manufacturer, retailer, and supplier executives and management. It is a conference designed to facilitate education and networking among the industry leaders. It is held every other years (the years we don’t host EXPO).

sleep conference

4. One initiative that I appreciate the most is the “Mattress Recycling Initiative”; Can you give us a little insight into that?

SPA is committed to responding to these efforts and protecting the mattress industry’s needs. Working with legislators and having an active presence at the state level reduces the risk of unfavorable legislation that can burden the industry with excessive costs.
In 2013, ISPA successfully worked with legislators in California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island to develop mattress recycling laws that benefit consumers, governments and the industry. Due to extensive negotiations and efforts by ISPA with state legislators and officials, these bills establish an industry-led nonprofit to develop and administer a mattress recycling system in these states.

The industry will continue to respond to efforts in the states to address mattress recycling. Connecticut’s mattress recycling law serves as a model program that creates a system to increase recycling without harming the industry or consumers.
ISPA supports a sensible recycling program that will:

  • Create jobs
  • Conserve scarce resources
  • Save landfill space
  • Increase the recycling of materials like steel and mattress foam in a way that is good for the environment

ISPA has helped form the Mattress Recycling Council that will run the program that will implement the new state laws.


5. What are the current mattress industry highlights and what are the new technologies that we should be looking forward to?

better sleep monthThe mattress industry is extremely innovative and consumers can expect new technology in their mattress.

This includes construction, materials and the benefits they can expect. At the end of the day a mattress is a personal preference but there are plenty of options out there that are offering consumers what they will need to meet their needs.

From foam to gel to springs and adjustable bases. The industry is innovating every year.

There is a lot of science that goes into today’s mattresses.


6. What is in your opinion the top/best air mattress and what features make it the most desirable?

We don’t give any advice on what is the best or preferred brand or type of mattress.

The Better Sleep Council suggests that shoppers use the SLEEP method when shopping.


Once you are familiar with the menu of mattress options available, start the shopping process at a store that you know and trust. Once in the store, be sure to “test drive” your new mattress following the S.L.E.E.P. test.

Remove your shoes (if you’re a woman, it’s best to go mattress-shopping in jeans or pants) and lie down on several different models in various positions, especially the one you usually sleep in.

And remember, those few extra minutes of focusing on the “feel” of different mattress choices can save a lot of time later.


See more here.

7. How do you see the mattress industry in 5-10 years’ time?

I can’t comment on this other than to say that we have seen a real energy and synergy in the industry and if our EXPO is an example of what is to come, the future looks bright.

8. A message to your readers and fans.

Better Sleep CouncilA mattress is an essential part of every persons’ life and serves as the “foundation” for a good night’s rest.

We advocate that consumers evaluate their mattress every 7 years for support and comfort and take the time to shop for a quality mattress.

We believe that you + a quality mattress = a good night’s sleep.

Research proves that health and well-being is directly linked to a good night’s rest.


sleep matters


Thank you so much Mary Helen Uusimaki for this amazing interview.

We all appreciate your effort to bring us this valuable information.


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James Menta

Camping Gear Reviewer at
Three things you need to know about James - he holds a degree in Materials Technology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, he is a zealot for the great outdoors and he can never find his glasses.       In brief intermissions between looking for his glasses, he is the Editor-in-chief of

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