It Began with Cotton
Sealy started in 1881, when Daniel Haynes made a cotton-filled mattress for a neighbor in Sealy, Texas. Other neighbors and family members asked for mattresses, and this owner of a cotton gin became a mattress manufacturer. In 1889, Haynes received a patent for a machine to compress cotton to use in mattresses. He had other patents, too.
Growth and Development
World War I spurred the growth of several mattress manufacturers, including Sealy, with contracts for supplying mattresses for servicemen. Another spurt in growth came from supplying the military during World War II. Growth continued in the post-war era. A few of the benchmarks are:
Introduced Posturepedic mattresses, 1950
New programmed response coil, 1956
Torsion bars replacing springs in box springs (now called foundations)
Purchased Stearns & Foster, 1983
Posturetech coil, 1980s
International Division, 1994
Merged with Tempur-Pedic to form Tempur-Sealy, 2012
Before the merger with Tempur-Pedic, Sealy had been using foam comfort layers on many of its mattresses. After the merger, they added all-foam mattresses to their product line. This included the Sealy Optimum collection, which featured gel in every layer. This was replaced in 2017 by the Sealy Conform line, although Optimum mattresses are still available through some retailers.
In 2015, Sealy entered the mattress-in-a-box market with the Cocoon by Sealy, as established manufacturers challenged the start-ups.