The B-word was used in the Brookstone Catalog!

by parakeets on March 27, 2007 · 22 comments

in bed bugs, consumers, furnishing bedbug-free homes, mattresses, tipping point

by Parakeets

Here’s a powerful tipping point: Bedbugs are mentioned in the newsest Brookstone Catalog! We have finally arrived.

Their featured “NEW” product is a mite-proof mattress cover and in big letters on the top of the print catalog page, the headline reads:

“Mites and Mold and Bedbugs, Oh My!”
“Protect Your Sleep with CleanRest”

If you read the small print in the online catalog (link below), you’ll see the word “bedbug,” too. NOTHING in the Brookstone catalog is accidental. The fact that this “new” product being carried, and what it is advertized as providing protection for, is a tipping point for sure.

They used the B-word, and it wasn’t Brookstone!

1 Anonymous March 27, 2007 at 2:11 pm

PS: Maybe this will make Brookstone be one of the advertizers here? I’d prefer them as an advertizer to “bed bug treatment systems” advertizers on this site–which makes this blog look like it’s somehow sponsored by pest control companies.

Even if a bed bug product ad says (even as an ad on this site) that you can “easily kill bed bugs” and “kill bed bugs instantly, guaranteed” …. we on this blog know differently. To get rid of bedbugs involves a whole program, hopefully with involvement of professionals, neighbors (if you’re in a multi-unit building), and lots more steps you have to take that have nothing to do with buying and applying a product.

2 Gary April 24, 2007 at 12:59 pm

The product that Brookstone is selling is called CleanRest which is something that I invented about two years ago. While as your above comment clearly and accurately shows, no product that is applied to the bed can kill or eliminate bed bugs, our product can help protect your sleep and keep the mattress and pillow investment you have made safe and healthy for years to come. Bed bugs typically burrow in the mattress ticking tape, which is used to sew together the individual sides and top of the mattress. When a home is infested and then fumigated, the mattress and bedding is the first to be thrown away. Since no individual pore on our product is larger than 1 micron, our fabric, aptly named MicronOne, completely blocks bed bugs from gaining access to your actual mattress, so post fumigation, the CleanRest encasement can be removed, laundered and reinstalled without any affect to the mattress itself, which as you know can be quite expensive. Bed bug infestation is a serious problem that is not going way, being proactive about Protecting Your Sleep and using CleanRest is an excellent way to take the necessary steps before you have an unwelcomed visitor.

3 hopelessnomo April 24, 2007 at 1:32 pm

How are your mattress encasings stitched, Gary? What about the zipper? Are they plastic inside and cloth outside, bonded? Have you field tested, or just mean pore size tests?

Also, just so you know, no one who has bedbugs is going to remove the encasing for laundering. It’s just not done.

4 wantmyskinback April 24, 2007 at 1:38 pm

Gary, can you provide a photograph of it? I might remove the encasing for laundering, if I’ve put it over a layer of vinyl first! 😉

5 S April 24, 2007 at 2:00 pm

Hey Gary, I’m not going to remove my encasings for at least 18 months. In fact, I’ll probably never remove them, even 5 or 10 years from now when I someday get a new bed.

Your product is double the price of the one I bought from National Allergy. The part of me that lives in a capitalist society thinks, “More expensive equals better.” The part of me that’s been burned by bedbugs thinks, “More expensive equals scam.”

I would still like to know more, as I will someday most likely buy a larger bed, and therefore need new encasings.

You have focused on telling us about the size of the gaps in the fabric (ie, that they are very small). That’s great. But can you please answer the previous questions about the zipper, seams, and materials? These are specific areas of concern for our particular situation.

Finally, if you are real person and a real inventor, and know anything about bedbugs, you would realize that the last line of your comment is very high on our BS radar. WE KNOW that bedbug infestation is a serious problem that is not going away. WE KNOW that being proactive about Protecting Your Sleep is important. You don’t have to give us marketing messages.

But we do appreciate information.

6 wantmyskinback April 24, 2007 at 2:18 pm

My concern is that the holes are tiny, yes, and bugs can’t get in or out, BUT— can they still reside “on” the encasing, as we’ve seen in Lou’s photos and David’s photo galleries….?

7 Gary April 24, 2007 at 2:18 pm

Yes we have field tested our products, it was a fascinating test which we performed in a laboratory that specializes in this kind of testing located about an hour outside of London, in the UK. What the lab did was place our product over a mattress and pillow and then place ground bone marrow from an OX inside our encasements and then they placed live insects on the outside of our product and left the samples in a sealed off airspace for 8 continuous weeks. The bone marrow is a food which the insects are attratced to and they try and burrow their way through our product to reach the food source. After the 8 week period there was no sign, “0” level of infestation. This kind of test not only validates our fabric but also our seams, zippers and other construction techniques. One other important point of differentiation is that we never discuss mean pore size, becuase with mean measurements you almost always have outlying pores that fall way outside of the mean, for example, I have tested many competitive products that boast a mean pore size of 2-3 microns and they all had maximum pore sizes of 15 to 20 microns. We only talk about our MAXIMUM pore size which is always less than 1, our mean which we do not publicize is typically .125 microns or 1/8th.

8 Gary April 24, 2007 at 2:21 pm

yes they certainly can still reside on the outside of our product, but they can not get thru it.

9 nobugsonme April 24, 2007 at 3:17 pm

Gary, how large were those insects?

Bed bug nymphs are 1 mm and are known to get through zippers. And they don’t feed on bone marrow, so are you telling us your product was not tested with bed bugs?

Most manufactrers recommend zippers be sealed in tape (an imperfect solution). PLease tell us about the impermeable zippers you are using. If you wish to senc copies of your field test research to me I am nobugsonme at yahoo dot com (the owner of the site).


10 S April 24, 2007 at 3:19 pm

Hey Gary, thank you so much for this information. The mean micron size is very interesting.

Did you test the encasings with bedbugs? Do bedbugs eat bone marrow? I was fairly certain that bedbugs only ate blood.

If you tested with other insects, that’s okay too – but will you explain this a little better?

11 nobugsonme April 24, 2007 at 3:22 pm

Looks like S and I are thinking alike.

12 Gary April 24, 2007 at 3:28 pm

We tested with dust mites which burrow and harvest and are extremely aggressive, they are not visible to the naked eye they are about 14 microns wide so they are about 50 times smaller than a bed bug nymph. The main difference between our product and vinyl is that our product as a moiture vapor transmission rate of 7500 g/m2/24hr which means it is very breathable, it will allow your body moisture to pass thru our technology but will not allow water or solids larger than 1 micron to pass thru, its a very cool technology that took me several years to develop, I did it becuase my oldest child has nighttime induced allergies and this was a way for me to help him breathe at night. Then the whole bed bug problem started surfacing and I realized that this is a great solution for that too, so we did the live mite testing. I have also spoken with a few city councilmen in NYC and have traveled there and spoken in a public forum about the horrible problems that they are having there with bed bugs.

13 wantmyskinback April 24, 2007 at 3:32 pm

Personally, I like two layers of vinyl, taped. Then a soft mattress pad laying on top that does not surround the sides of the mattress (that can be washed daily with the sheets).

14 S April 24, 2007 at 4:28 pm

Gary, you have won me over.

I cannot afford your product today, nor do I need it today. But down the road, when we decide to live large(r), I will most definitely remember your product.


15 wantmyskinback April 24, 2007 at 7:34 pm

Gary, I for one would LOVE to know more about your visits with NYC council people. Please give us more information. Thank you.

16 nobugsonme April 24, 2007 at 9:02 pm

I do think that mattress covers which are advertised for bed bugs should be tested on bed bugs. This might be something CleanRest can do.

17 Gary April 25, 2007 at 5:10 pm

Hey crew sorry for the late reply, the council woman I met with is names Gale Brewer, her title is New York City Council Member, 6th District Manhattan. We have spoken a few times and she is very committed to helping with the bed bug infestation issue, she has pushed hard to make reselling used mattresses illegal as well as other legislative issues. Nice woman, very willing to meet and talk, if any of you are in the greater NY city area I recommend reaching out to her.

18 Gary April 25, 2007 at 5:11 pm

Nobugs, I would love to research live bed bug testing for our product, even though dust mites are sooo much smaller it would be interesting to examine this, do you have any standard test methods or know of any companies that use labs that test with live bed bugs, if you can dig up anything let me know and I will attack the project aggressively.

19 nobugsonme April 25, 2007 at 5:19 pm

HI Gary, if you email me at nobugsonme at yahoo dot com, I have some recommendations.

20 nobugsonme April 25, 2007 at 5:23 pm

Gary, Many people here have contacted Gale Brewer. We were very glad she took on the issue, but since she first started addressing this issue last August, as I understand, no real progress has been made. (I’m not blaming Gale Brewer, as I am sure there are lots of ways these things get clogged up in the political wheels.)

There is apparently a city Bed Bug Task Force but we haven’t heard anything from them lately (though I’m aware that some of our bed bug professional readers are members of the task force).

Another issue is bed bugs in the schools, about which I’ve blogged a number of times. The city needs to really get its act together.

21 Gary April 30, 2007 at 10:10 pm

I have now contacted a a very robust lab here in the US which does live bed bug testing on products like our CleanRest mattress and pillow encasements. I explained that I want to test our product using live bed bugs and have asked them to send me their test protocol which will “prove” or demonstrate that CleanRest and most importantly MicronOne can in fact block bed bugs from infestating mattresses. I am waiting on their proposal and will let the blog know when we have entered testing and what the protocol looks like when I receive it. I will be interested to see what the group thinks about the testing procedure. Thanks again for your feedback and great ideas.

22 S May 1, 2007 at 11:08 am

Thanks so much, Gary!

Even though dust mites may indeed be smaller, I think all bedbug sufferers have a certain inflated sense of mistrust for bedbugs (and bedbugs only). Many people are repeatedly shocked by how resilient they are. They throw out all their stuff, or move, and still have them. They spray and inspect every crevice in their house, and yet the bugs persist. So I know that I, for one, have become very skeptical of anything that is “guaranteed.”

So even though dust mites are smaller, I know it sounds irrational but I need to know that the product worked ON BEDBUGS. I just feel like bedbugs would find a way to beat all odds, somehow.

So, thanks for conducting a test. I look forward to hearing more about the protocol.

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