Simmons Bedding Company
The Simmons Bedding Company is a major manufacturer of mattresses and related bedding products. The company was founded in 1870. Simmons' flagship brand is Beautyrest, and it is one of the oldest companies of this type in the USA. According to a Simmons press release, net sales for 2005 were $855 million.
- In 1870 Simmons was founded by Zalmon G. Simmons with its first factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Simmons started off by producing wooden insulators and cheese boxes. It is one of the oldest companies in the country.
- In 1876 Simmons started producing wire-woven mattresses.
- In 1916 Simmons began advertising nationally.
- By 1919 growth was fast. In response, Simmons acquired manufacturing plants in San Francisco, California; Los Angeles, California; Montreal, Quebec; Toronto, Ontario; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Vancouver, British Columbia; Elizabeth, New Jersey; Seattle, Washington; and Atlanta, Georgia.
- In 1925 Simmons' engineer, John Franklin Gail, invented a machine that could mass-produce the coils and insert them into fabric "encasements". This made mass-production of the previously luxury-only product possible.
- During World War II Simmons produced parachutes, bazooka rockets and 2700 other products for the US military.
- In 1975 Simmons moved to its present day headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
- In 1979, Simmons was purchased by Gulf+Western.
- In 1985, Gulf+Western sold Simmons to Wickes Corporation.
- In 1991, Merrill Lynch Capital Partners, Inc. acquired a majority interest in the company.
- In 1995, Simmons launched a commercial for the Simmons Beautyrest using the "bowling ball" demonstration. The demonstration remains a registered trademark.
- In August 2006 Simmons sold its chain of retail stores to The Sleep Train of Citrus Heights, CA.
- In 2006, Simmons introduced the Beautyrest Black line of mattresses. 
- In 2006, Simmons introduced the NaturalCare latex line of mattresses.
- In 2007 Simmons launched the first mattresses with GEL Technology.
- In 2007 Simmons releases the ComforPedic by Simmons line.
- In 2009, Simmons introduced the ComforPedic Loft line. 
- In 2011, Simmons introduced Smart Respons Pocketed Coil technology. 
On September 25, 2009, Simmons announced a Chapter 11 restructuring plan and signed a purchase agreement with an investor group led by Ares Management and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (TPC).  If approved by the bankruptcy court, the deal will reduce the total debt from about $1 billion to $450 million. The bankruptcy will not include subsidiaries in Canada and Puerto Rico, but those units will be included in the deal with Ares Management and TPC. 
Ares and TPC are also the owners of the Serta brand name under National Bedding Company LLC. They plan to operate Serta and Simmons Bedding as independent entities that will continue to compete with one another.
"The purchase agreement we have executed and the support we have secured from our noteholders for this restructuring plan underscore the strength of the Simmons brand, our strong performance in the marketplace, and the value of the strategic and operational investments we have made in our business, people and processes over the past several years,” said Stephen G. Fendrich. “Simmons Bedding is firmly positioned as an industry leader and under this plan will retain its own identity and operational structure, have a newly strengthened balance sheet, and will remain committed to bringing innovative bedding products to our customers."
- Simmons Company - Reports Forth Quarty and Full Year 2005 Results, Official release
- Simmons selling Sleep Country for $55M, Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle), July 26, 2006
- "Simmons buys Comfor-Pedic line." BedTimes Magazine. August 2007. Retrieved 2012-5-9.
- "Simmons plans to file for bankruptcy protection", Physorg.com (Via AP), September 25th, 2009, retrieved September 27th, 2009
- "Simmons to file Chapter 11, be sold", Sacramento Business Journal, September 25, 2009, retrieved September 27, 2009
- Simmons' web site
- Simmons Company Records, 1892-2000
- Julie Creswell, Buyout Firms Profited as a Company’s Debt Soared, The New York Times, October 4, 2009