EP9: Jan Maes, Revor Bedding, Circularity in the Mattress Industry

Conventional mattresses are the cause of a huge waste stream. Approximately 1.1 million mattresses end up in landfills every year in Belgium alone. To encourage producers to think about the sustainable and circular design of their mattresses, an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for mattresses has been in place in Belgium since January 2021.

This is a question that Revor was already working on well before the introduction of the EPR, and to which they came up with the answer in 2019 with the Circular Mattress.

The Circular Mattress is an innovative mattress that can be completely dismantled and recycled after its lifetime where all raw materials can be reused to make a new mattress. Being one of the first to introduce a circular mattress, the journey did not come without challenges.

Where did the idea come from? How does circularity affect your current processes? Where to start and how do you see the future? How did the customers react to it?

Triggered by these questions? 

Then, this Ellie.Talk with Jan Maes, full of interesting insights, is just for you! 

Rewatch the recording here or read the copy of the talk below. 

Would you like to continue the conversation with industry peers? Sign up for an INFORM Light membership and join the Ellie.Circle community group on circularity in the mattress industry.


1. Partnerships are crucial to create something circular, we can’t do it alone.
2. Don’t see the market as competition, but as an opportunity for partnerships.
3. Both pioneers and new laws push the market to innovation.
4. Convincing people is one of the biggest challenges when implementing circularity.
5. The summit of the Mont Blanc is an inspiring place.

Prefer to read? Scroll down for the recap.


When Jan Maes was on the summit of the Mont Blanc and he saw glaciers melting, he knew he had to look for more sustainable solutions for the waste created by mattresses. That’s when he decided to create a circular mattress. With the release of their first Circular Mattress in 2019, Revor Group positioned themselves as pioneers in the bedding industry.

Circular mattress
Revor’s mattresses have already been recycled for years, but now, they have made a jump to a circular mattress. But what’s the difference between recyclable and circular?
With a circular mattress, the materials are recycled and are 100% put back in the chain, the loop is closed. Without any loss of quality and without the use of virgin materials, a new mattress can be created.

At Revor Bedding, they realized this by making a mattress that is made up only of steel and polyester, 2 materials that are easily recyclable. The challenge was to find an adhesive that can be recycled. For that, they partnered with Niaga to develop a polyester glue. This made it possible to dismantle the mattress completely and make a new mattress from the raw materials.

The next challenge was to create an easy take-back system that makes it possible for them to collect the used mattresses. Again, they partnered with Niaga to create a tag with a QR code. By scanning this QR code, the dismantlers can see that the mattress is circular and can set them aside to recycle them the correct way. 

Circularity in your business
If taking the team with you in the story of circularity is a challenge, this was also the case for Jan Maes when he wanted to create this mattress. Convincing sales, dealers, and customers is a question of branding, marketing, and pushing the market in the direction of circularity. Luckily, the market in Belgium is being pushed by both the EPR that’s in place and the inspiring pioneers like Revor Group, that are pushing innovation and thinking sustainable. 

When implementing circularity in business, a collaborative mindset is essential for success. As a company, you are not able to do it all. That’s why working together and starting partnerships is important to be able to create a fully circular product. Revor Group has positioned itself very early on as an open and collaborative company, by being one of the first users of Ellie.Connect. Jan Maes also states they don’t see the circular market as competition, but rather as a change to start partnerships and create value. 

Biggest challenges and lessons
Creating a circular mattress does not come without any challenges. Jan Maes shares with us his biggest challenges and the important lessons he’s learned from them. The most difficult thing to do was to convince people, to get people to change their mindset and change their usual daily business for something new. 

Secondly, it was difficult to find partners. Finding partners is something where you have to invest a lot of time, and it’s not going to happen when you’re sitting at home. To find partners, you have to constantly be moving, looking, going to fairs, getting to know new initiatives, be active on EllieConnect.com,… And partnerships are crucial for the success of your circularity project.

Interested in more circular projects? Looking for partners to start your journey to circularity? Register on Ellie.Connect, join the growing community of pioneers and start doing great things together!