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SUMMER IS HERE!!! Beat the heat with a temperature adjustable waterbed or a new cooling pillowtop!
SUMMER IS HERE!!! Beat the heat with a temperature adjustable waterbed or a new cooling pillowtop!


Factory photo of a ZUND cutting table setup to cut patterns for waterbed

What is "Made in America" These Days

What exactly qualifies as "Made in America these days?

I recently found myself in a weird situation this week. I was contacted by one of our competitors and asked about heaters, amongst other things. The discussion eventually turned to: who in our industry is still manufacturing in America? Its a valid question. 

When I think of things that are "Made in the in America", I think of things that  are built start to finish. But I think that label is being put on a lot more things these days. It got me thinking about the waterbed business over the years. Growing up in this business, I remember going to industry trade shows and golf tournaments, and nearly every company attending was actually manufactured in the United States. These days most of those companies have moved on to innerspring, air, latex and memory foam and other technologies, or just vanished completely. (Remember Water Cloud?). 

A few years ago, during the COVID lockdown, we were contacted by a different competitor, asking us to build products for them, because they were not able to receive products from their supplier. In otherwards, they were importing their products. So of course we helped.


Recently again, we were contacted by a different competitor with a similar request, but in this case, they were just interested in buying the plastic waterbed bladder, unfinished, which means they add the wave control and do the final seal. That can still be a lot of work.

*According to the Federal Trade Commission, “Made in USA” means that “all or virtually all” the product has been made in America. So in this instance, THAT could be considered made in America since we started it, and they finished it. "virtually all" is sort of a slippery slope.

 We take a completely different approach though. We build 100% of the product right here in Southern California as we have always done since 1987. Some of the processes have changed, but the overall bed you get from us was made right here in the USA. As an aside, I will say that is it not always possible to get some of our materials in the USA, but all of our cover systems, as well as the fiber and foam wave control systems are sourced and delivered to us by local vendors. The plastic materials come from a variety of sources, and is not always US content, but we do try to use US materials as often as possible. 

So we are not importing beds, and we are not importing part of beds... yes, you guessed it, we build our beds from scratch. We pull the material off of the rolls, and cut it, move it through the factory, add water valves, wave control options, close it inspect it and ship it all from our factory. Yes, that means it is much more expensive than our competition, but at the end of the end of the day, we can say we witnessed every step of the process, inspected every seam, and Quality Control Checked every bladder that we make. We vacuum pack each bladder, and hand pack every cover system ourselves. we are building our products the way they were meant to be, and we are proud of it. You can always expect the best quality US Made Waterbed mattress from us. 

That said, some of our accessories are imported, but the main components have always been built here. 

Another point I think we need to mention: We are big supporters of the Buy America Act. 

*The BAA states that a product must be manufactured in the US and contain more than 50% US parts to be considered "Made in the USA" for government procurement. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) also has a two-part test for determining if a product is a domestic end product:
  1. The product must be manufactured in the US.
  2. More than 60% of the cost of all the component parts must be manufactured in the US. 

All of the quilting, sewing, cutting, sealing, assembly of wave control systems, and printing materials, and all of the labor that goes into making a waterbed is all performed right here in our factory, and no where else. 

If you are ever in the Southern California area, and want to see how we do things for your self, give us a call, and we can show you around. 

If you still have doubts of where your Sterling Mattress was built: Those photos in this post, were shot here in our factory, 10 min before I started writing this post. About the only other way I could prove it would be a live video feed... actually that isn't a bad idea, I might have to look into that one. 

*many thanks to Google's Generative AI for providing direct quotes from both sources

Next article The Benefits of Sleeping on a Waterbed vs Foam Mattress, Air beds, and Innerspring Mattresses

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