You might not have heard of Wilmington, NC-based sleep product maker Marpac, but their products have revolutionized how many people sleep. Marpac introduced the first white noise generator in the early 1960s after founder Jim Buckwalter found that his wife had trouble sleeping when the pair travelled, but could sleep easy with an air conditioner or fan running. Since air conditioning wasn’t available everywhere the two travelled, Buckwalter invented a rather simple device which placed a fan motor inside a metal dog bowl in order to produce soothing white noise which helped his wife fall and stay asleep. Since those days, Marpac has sold millions of white noise generators and today is credited with creating the white noise machine market. Now, in yet another sign of the changing sleep product and mattress market, Marpac has purchased Yogabed, a direct-to-consumer mattress maker.

In a press release announcing the acquisition of Yogabed, Marpac co-owner Jimmy Sloan says the merger will allow both companies to continue with their shared vision of a better night’s sleep and positive shopping experiences:

Marpac and Yogabed enjoy tremendous product and company ratings because of shared values in quality, customer service and people-first cultures. Adding Yogabed mattresses and accessories to our sleep product portfolio will help us achieve our exponential growth plans.

Yogabed’s mission is to “delight customers with superior sleep products and a better buying experience.” The company sells memory foam mattresses with a patented “Yoga Comfort System” designed to help users stay cool while they sleep. Yogabed is committed not only to providing a comfortable sleeping experience, but also to giving back: the company donates one mattress to charities for every ten sold. Like many new bed-in-a-box mattress makers, Yogabed sells almost exclusively through their online store and ships mattresses directly to consumers, eliminating the ‘middleman’ mattress store and saving customers money. Marpac has stated that all of Yogabed’s return policies, warranties, deals, and 101-night trial periods will stay the same after the merger. No word yet if Marpac plans to incorporate its white noise products into mattresses. 

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician from the mountains of Western North Carolina. Contact him at [email protected]

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