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Talk of the Town Radio Interview

  sleep science sleep benefits health
Wednesday, March 20, 2013

RADIO_INTERVIEW: Talk of the Town, Grand Rapids, MI on News Radio 1300 and 106.9FM with Steve Kelley and Ron Zagel of Jonathan Stevens Mattress Co.

STEVE: This is news radio with 1300 and 106.9 FM. You are listening to talk of the town, and I am Steve Kelley. This morning when you got up were you happy with your bed? is the website. There are eight convenient locations right here in West Michigan and from Jonathan Stevens, Ron Zagel joins us right now. Welcome to Talk of the Town.

RON: Thanks very much for having me Steve.

STEVE: Wouldn’t miss it for the world. You know, it’s important to have the right bed. It’s good for your health amongst other things.

RON: Absolutely, a lot of people don’t realize it, but there is really a health triumvirate. Not only do you have to exercise. Not only do you have to eat right, but if you don’t get your good night’s sleep, you just aren’t going to be very productive in the day.

STEVE: And we’ve certainly all been on bad mattresses, and you can get a backache from that as well, so now productivity is in play too.

RON: Absolutely, do you realize that there are more accidents with cars from people who didn’t get a good night’s sleep than from drinking and driving?

STEVE: No kidding?

RON: Absolutely.

STEVE: And that’s Jonathan Stevens is so successful. First of all tell us who Jonathan Stevens Mattress is.

RON: Well, Steve we started out back in 1945 with the idea that if we could just build a good mattress and sell it direct to the public, that we can give them a good value and save them money, and here we are 68 years later. We still have a 20,000 square foot manufacturing facility. We build all of our own mattresses and sell them direct to the public.

STEVE: And you mentioned convenient location, eight of them here in West Michigan. It’s a local product.

RON: Absolutely. We are 100% local. Everything we do stays local. Everything that we buy and for our products is either local or made in the United States, and we have five stores circling Grand Rapids, one in Kalamazoo, one Muskegon, and one in Holland.

STEVE: You know, if you’ve been in business since 1945, you’re doing something right. Let’s get to the basic. What really makes a good mattress?

RON: Well, Steve, I am glad you asked that question because it’s more than a pretty cover that people will go in and see on the mattress, and it’s more than just that initial feel. There’s really two parts to a mattress. One is the fact that you’ve got to have good support so that your body is supported properly and you have good posture when you wake up, and the second part is the cushiony materials that give you that comfortable night’s sleep. It’s very easy to make a mattress look good but not last a long time, and Jonathan Stevens is known for putting good quality components inside, so you are going to get that good night’s sleep just year after year.

STEVE: We’re talking to Ron Zagel of Jonathan Stevens and the website is, eight convenient locations here in West Michigan. Now, how do I know that I am getting a good value in a mattress?

RON: Well, one of the things you really have to look for is how much am I spending on that mattress. There are so many gimmicks out there today. You can go in and buy a mattress and get a free TV.

STEVE: Umm hmmm

RON: Well, you know, I called John Borgman over at Borgman Ford, and I said, “Hey, John, I want to give a free vehicle away,” and he says, “Ron I’ll set you up with a vehicle here, a real nice one, for $22,000,” and I said, “Well, great! I am going to sell my mattress for $27,999, and I am going to give a free Ford away,” and you know, that carries to a little bit of an extreme, but you see out there today people are giving a free TV away with a mattress. Well, basically you’re paying for your mattress, and you’re paying for the TV.

STEVE: [laughs] That’s right.

RON: And you’re not getting the type of mattress you thought you would get.

STEVE: People just don’t realize that they do those things for a living, and they do it on purpose.

RON: That’s for sure, so basically how much money are you going to take out of your pocket to invest in a good night’s sleep. We actually worked it out at one time, and if you bought a good quality mattress from Jonathan Stevens, and you went and bought your own TV, you’d actually be spending less money than the people who are throwing a free TV in. You’ve got to lie down on that mattress, find out what’s in it, make sure you’ve got good quality components, and what are you going to take out of your pocket to pay for that mattress. That’s how you determine the value.

STEVE: You know, they always say you get what you pay for. Well, we’re on with Ron Zagel on Talk of the Town from Jonathan Stevens, again, How long on average does a Jonathan Stevens mattress last?

RON: I am actually glad you asked question because the last time we did a survey the national statistics say a mattress will last about 10.2 years. Well, we surveyed our customer almost 15.4.


RON: Now that’s not to say that every mattress is going to last that long because they do wear out, and you will even start noticing some wear in that five to seven year range, so we basically ask you to ask yourself a couple of questions. When you wake up in the morning are you more sore and stiff than when you went to bed. If so, you probably need to start looking for a new mattress.

STEVE: And if you buy a cheap mattress and you have to buy another cheap mattress in five years, what have you really helped out? You’re not comfortable and you’re spending more money in the long run.

RON: You’ve got it. What we usually do is people come in and say, “I want a cheap mattress.” Basically what we like to ask is, “You want that mattress cheap to buy or cheap to own?”

STEVE: Right.

RON: You know, if you buy a chap mattress, you’re going to buy it again in the near future. If you buy a good quality mattress, it’s going to last you two or three times longer, and you’re going to wind up spending less money over all.

STEVE: Tell me Ron the importance of you being a factory-direct store?

RON: One of the big advantages we have that will give people a better value is the fact that first we control everything we put in the mattress. We use only the highest quality components because we have our name on it, and we’re right here in the neighborhood, so we’ve got to make sure it lasts or we won’t stay in business, so basically you’re buying right from the factory. You don’t have all those extra national distribution costs, national advertising costs, so I can actually put more money into the mattress and sell if for less.

STEVE: And that makes a whole lot of sense. Visit to find their array of mattresses and sleep accessories, but I would imagine it would behoove you to stop by one of the eight convenient locations in West Michigan, and like you said, “You better lay down on that thing before you buy it, right?”

RON: Absolutely. You know, you go into a store, and the mat may be up against the wall, and you push against it, and it looks pretty, and you say, “Oh, that’s a good deal.” Well, that’s not the way to buy a mattress. What you need to do is come into our stores. Wear comfortable clothing. I know in the winter you probably got a heavy jacket on.Take that jacket off. Lie on that mattress and relax for a few minutes. Make sure you got a proper pillow because that adds to the comfort and just relax on that mattress, so if a salesman is trying to get you off that mattress too quick, you may want to try a different store.

STEVE: There you go, factory-direct, eight convenient locations in West Michigan. in West Michigan since 1945. Ron Zagel. Thank you for coming on Talk of the Town.

RON: Hey, it’s my pleasure Steve. Thanks very much for inviting me.