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Shop Smarter, Sleep Deeper: Ru9’s Mission to Perfect the Place We Rest

If you’re a Vietnamese of a certain age, you might attribute your previous night’s poor sleep to some atmospheric disturbance.

“The number one explanation: it’s because of the weather,” Ru9 mattress company cofounder Trang Dang explained. It’s a common explanation Vietnamese might offer explain to a sleepless night.

It might be easier to change the facts on the ground than fault what’s under the stars, but could there be a way to actually improve one’s rest by changing the surface one sleeps on?

Since Trang and her co-founder Vinh Nguyen started their operation in fall 2017, she said the company has put considerable time and thought into figuring out to convince Vietnamese customers how important a mattress is to their sleep.

One key tenet of their work is helping their would-be clients rethink how to shop for their mattress. For example, mattresses are typically stored like books, resting on their short side next to one another. Many shopping for a mattress in Vietnam make purchasing decisions based on brand recognition, not an evaluation of the product itself.

The medical professionals Trang worked with in the course of perfecting the Ru9 mattress often remark on the abundance of back pain, herniation and dislocated discs in the country’s population. The spine has a natural curve as notice by the natural “S” shape observed in a standing posture. It’s not completely straight, so sleeping on a completely flat surface forces the back into an unnaturally straight position, and as a consequence back problems are among the most common health issues in Vietnam.

In contrast, the Ru9 mattress supports the natural curve of a spine with a multi-layered sleep surface that contours to the shape of the body, allowing a sleeper to fully relax in any position comfortably throughout the night. It is also consistently cooler than a conventional mattress while delivering an overall more restful sleep.

Ru9 not only delivers comfort but also strives for greater material safety. Its foam layers are certified by the CertiPUR-US®program. This U.S-based nonprofit seeks to identify mattresses made with environmentally sensitive, non-toxic materials. Among the guidelines mattress makers must satisfy to win the certification are a laboratory analysis of their foam materials to detect the presence of toxic chemicals as well as randomized production inspections.

The science of the mattress is best experienced via this surface, which has a pleasant sink and nice firmness. Saigoneer spoke with Trang while sitting atop one of the mattresses and neither party needed the usual posture shifting one experiences during a long conversation in a coffee shop or living room couch conversation.

Real-world testing gave way to the mattresses’ final design. After they’d created a number of prototypes, Ru9 sent the early products to seven different households and each week, the households would rotate mattresses. After three months, a favorite emerged. Refinements were made to the winner before production began.

Trang first became interested in the mattress due to a back injury from running. The pain caused difficulties sleeping which impacted her daily life. She couldn’t get a new body, but what about a new sleep surface? She immediately wondered where she she could get a foam mattress. “I just needed that,” she said. “I wanted to find it, but I couldn’t. It came as a surprise that it didn’t exist.”

Ru9 is the first to offer not only this kind of foam mattress but also a 100-day money back guarantee. She said the Vietnam’s mattress industry doesn’t look like an obvious place to innovate, but the presence of slow-moving incumbent firms and largely undifferentiated sleep products makes it ripe for disruption. It’s “one that’s not been touched,” Trang said.

“Vietnam businesses and (the) economy has been going up so rapidly—food and beverage, services—but mattresses and the sleep industry, it’s a sleeping giant.”

Mattresses perhaps appear similar because the end goal across each of them is the same: sleep. But you don’t need any special training to know the difference between good and bad sleep.

Ru9’s objective is to remind everyone that this is an important, critical part of their health. Trang said her work leading the company has centered around two core objectives: first, “raise the awareness on the importance of sleep, the second is to bring a truly good night sleep to everyone in Vietnam.”


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