SNOHOMISH — Making your bed and lying in it just got a lot easier.
Snohomish inventor Jeff Shea has dreamed up a handy tool to end the back breaking chore. Magic Mattress Lift fits underneath each corner of a mattress and pops up the edge with a simple tug to allow sheets to be changed easily.
He’s already sold 8,000 units, with more than half being sold online through his website and through Amazon and the other half sold to hotels.
The hotel industry is where he’s hoping to make his big push. That’s where injuries have been on the increase for housekeepers as mattress and linens at hotels have become thicker and heavier.
“We’ll be able to sell it to every hotel chain,” Shea said. “You can’t tell me they don’t want to take a ton of weight off the back of their workers.”
Shea is the president of Three60, a company that’s calling card at the moment is the Magic Mattress Lifts. Kristi Dailey, of Mill Creek, is the executive vice president.
“We are constantly getting emails and feedback, saying, ‘Thank you so much, this is such an ingenious idea, My mom can now change the bed on her own. This makes her feel so independent,’” Dailey said.
The lifts are made of black plastic with metal pins and springs. One goes under each of the corners of a mattress. The weight of the mattress keeps the lifts flat, but a tug on the edge pops the mattress up.
Shea originally came up with the idea to help an older family friend who complained about back pain after changing her sheets. His first couple of prototypes went nowhere.
He eventually found inspiration — and spare parts — from the folding steps on his camper. That led him to create a design and work with an engineer to create the current version of Magic Mattress Lifts.
At first, he saw potential of selling this to an aging U.S. population. And he and Dailey still see a market in that. But a year ago, a hotel company tested out the product and started giving them feedback. Shea realized how beneficial this could be for the hospitality industry.
Housekeepers suffer from an inordinate number of injuries. In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 5.1 out of 100 hotel workers suffer a work-related injury that forces time away from work or work restrictions.
That’s compared with 3.3 incidences for all other industries.
The numbers go up when looking at just housekeepers. One study in California found that hotel housekeepers rank in the top 10 of 800 professions for injuries that involve days away from work.
Industry experts blame a grueling workload under tight deadlines with repetitive motions. And hotel mattresses, pillows and linens are getting puffier and heavier. Shea and Dailey believe their product will help hotels cut down on repetitive stress injuries.
“Our motto is to load it, leave it and love it,” Dailey said. “The hotel industry is going to love it, because it’s going to save them money.”
Shea said he’s sold one large order to AKA hotels in New York and has spent the summer traveling to hotel chains demonstrating the product. Many hotels have purchased a small number of units to test the product.
“As far as the hotel side of things, yeah, we’re on the verge of exploding,” Shea said.
The product sells for about $20 a unit or $80 for a full bed. The company offers discounts for bulk orders. More information can be found at the company’s websites at www.magicmattresslift.com.