At the time of this writing, Shifman Mattress Company of Newark, New Jersey, has been in business for 110 years. It has always been a family owned and operated business. Here is their story from the Shifman website:
Shifman was created in 1893, when two brothers, Abraham and Samuel Shifman, established a company built on the simple notion that not all sleep was created equal. Together they created a company committed to manufacturing superior bedding and providing the ultimate in comfort and quality to their customers. Founded in Newark, New Jersey, A. Shifman & Bro. Mattress Company revolutionized the mattress industry by creating a tradition of excellence in bedding.
Twenty-three years later, Samuel bought the company and, with the inclusion of his three sons, Milton, Simon and Arthur, changed the company name to Shifman Bros., Inc. In 1918, the company moved to its current location at One Mott Street in Newark, NJ.
As the years passed, Shifman grew to become the second largest bedding producer in New Jersey. After World War II, Samuel’s grandsons, Burton and Robert joined the company. Burton was placed in charge of production, ensuring that each Shifman mattress was made to the highest standards of quality. Robert was entrusted with the responsibility of growing sales.
The company continued to produce the finest quality handcrafted bedding, but was slow to adjust to changes in the industry. Consumers wanted firmer bedding, more fashionable covers and brand name recognition created by advertising.
In 1985 Mike Hammer, a bedding professional with more than 22 years of experience in sales and manufacturing, entered the picture. Mike was looking to join a company that would not sacrifice quality or attention-to-detail in order to cut costs.
After touring the factory and witnessing first-hand the tremendous quality built into every Shifman mattress set, Mike was intrigued. Shortly thereafter, he accepted an offer to purchase the company and renamed it Shifman Mattress Company. From that day forward, Mike pledged to continue the legacy of Abraham and Samuel Shifman by maintaining the superior standards of quality, excellence and integrity.
Mike Hammer instituted major improvements to the design of the mattresses while also maintaining Shifman’s tradition and commitment to excellence. As a result, the company experienced tremendous success and has significantly increased its retail presence in fine furniture and department stores throughout the country.
In 1994, Mike’s youngest son, Bill, joined the team and is currently the company’s president, responsible for running day-to-day operations. In 2008, the company expanded its facility by 40 percent in order to enhance its manufacturing capabilities to meet the growing demand for its mattresses.
The future of the company is clear. Bill intends to continue to honor the company’s heritage and commitment to quality while embracing new technologies and processes so the company can evolve with the times. His goal is to expand by sharing Shifman’s fine bedding products with customers across the country while remaining true to Shifman’s roots.
"Integrity, true craftsmanship, and dedication to perfection" are the values Shifman Mattress Company claims as their own. According to Shifman, these values are applied to the mattress business to make a top quality product with "The Shifman Difference": Handmade bedding products, two-sided mattresses, luxurious materials, and made in America.
Handmade - Each mattress and boxspring set depends on 50 skilled craftspeople to manufacture it by hand.. Shifman has a technique called "Sanotuft" for making buttonless tufts to hold all the layers in place. And the boxspring's 8-way coils are tied in place by hand.
Two-Sided - Shifman says it is dedicated to making two-sided matresses. Though this may add some to the cost of the mattress, it can last about twice as long for less than twice the price.
Luxurious Materials - Shifman claims to use "the most luxurious materials available to make each of its elegant mattress sets." These include Belgian damask and matelesse and several natural materials, such as Joma wool.
Made in America - For over a century, Shifman has continued to make its mattresses in America. This not only keeps jobs and profits here, it also ensures more consistent quality than found in product manufactured in countries known for cheap labor.
Collections - There are five collections listed on the Shiffman site. These are the Masters Collection, Ultra Premium Collection, Quilted Collection, Pure Comfort Collection, and Bloomingdale's Collection. The last collection is exclusive to Bloomingdale's, but the others are available at various retailers, some of them online, most local or regional.
The lineup of collections on the shifman site has changed: Masters Collection, Vintage Collection, Quilted Collection and Pure Comfort Collection, then the Bloomingdale's Collection, which includes the Handcrafted Collection and the Anniversary Collection.
Besides these, Shifman is introducing two-sided luxury mattresses especially designed for use with platform beds.