Creative comforts

Purpose-designed inflight bedding can now come with recycling credentials through a new collaboration between WESSCO and Vanema. Julie Baxter learns more

Inflight supplier WESSCO International has forged a new partnership with mattress specialist Vanema to pioneer new opportunities for onboard comfort using Octaspring Aerospace technology.

Inspired by the experiences of Vanema’s ceo as a frequent flyer, the Octaspring team has drawn on its 15 years experience of mattress innovation to create new premium products for Business and First class cabins inflight.

The Octaspring brand focuses on comfort by combining the comfort of foam with the support and structure of spring technology. Its patented foam springs are embedded in the mattresses to ensure a breathable pad, that adjusts to support each individual’s pressure points. The company worked with Airbus to fully understand the challenges of inflight seating and sleeping, and in 2017 won the Crystal Cabin Award for Innovation.

Inflight sleep design
Boris Ribicic, Vanema’s R&D director, says: “WESSCO International specialises in supporting the luxury bedding experience and amenities inflight and understands the specific product requirements of airlines and their logistics. Working with them we have seen the limitations of space and weight and the crew practicalities so we created a line of seat toppers and pillows with the spring technology we specialise in that would work inflight. We then went one step further and reimagined the Octaspring technology evolving it into an Octacell comfort layer which has 10,000 diamond shaped cells that bring more comfort – encased into the mattress toppers.”

The result is said to be eight times more breathable and three degrees cooler, which in turn is said to help users fall asleep faster and to sleep for longer. “Temperature is key to good sleep so we hope the collection will bring wellbeing benefits to passengers but it is also lighter and neater to stow and fully recyclable. We have our own production facilities worldwide and are able to use these to take back the bedding at the end of its airline life and put it into another stream creating, for example, products such as flooring underlay.”