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A Lincoln-based company is trying to cash in on the "bed-in-a-box" craze.

Lusso Mattress, the brainchild of two Lincoln brothers, started selling its mattress product online earlier this year.

Lance Petrie, one of the owners, said results so far have been promising. The company has sold to customers in Nebraska, Florida, California and as far away as Alaska.

So far, "99 percent of customers are pleased with the product," Petrie said.

"We've had really good success with the product in the hands of people who bought it."

That's good, because Lusso Mattress offers a 100-day tryout period, after which customers can return the mattress for a full refund.

Unlike some other online mattress sellers that put a new cover on returned mattresses and resell them, Petrie said Lusso donates its returned mattresses to a local charity.

Petrie and his brother Shane come from a business background. Their family owned Midwest Refuse for many years, and the brothers have their own commercial flooring company.

But Petrie said the mattress business "has always been in the back of my mind."

A few years ago, trying to sell mattresses online was "out of the question," Petrie said, because it was too expensive.

But with the boom over the past few years in online mattress sales thanks to companies such as Casper, which launched in 2014, "it just made sense for us to try it," he said.

He and his brother did more than a year of research and development before coming up with a product that Petrie said he believes, "improves on what's out there."

The Lusso Mattress is a four-layer foam mattress that consists of a cover made out of eucalyptus tree fibers, a 2-inch top layer of foam, a 2-inch middle layer of "cooling" memory foam and a 6-inch base layer of support foam.

One of the things Petrie is proudest of is that the mattress is totally made in America. Lusso gets materials from suppliers in California and North Carolina, and the mattresses are assembled by a company in Chicago.

In addition to selling mattresses and pillows on its website, Lusso also offers its mattresses for sale in store at the Lincoln Comfort Center at 48th Street and Nebraska 2.

Petrie said he wants his company to be the "bed-in-a-box company for Lincoln" and is working on being able to offer same-day delivery for local customers who order off the website.

Lusso Mattress has entered a very competitive business, as it's estimated there are about 150-200 companies selling mattresses online, not counting brick-and-mortar companies that also sell mattresses through their websites.

Mattress Firm, the company's largest mattress retailer, earlier this year announced a bankruptcy plan that involved closing up to 700 of its stores, including one in Lincoln.

The total mattress market is about $15 billion a year and isn't projected to grow much over the next few years. However, the percentage of mattresses bought online is forecast to grow from around 15 percent in 2017 to more than 25 percent by 2021.

Petrie said there will always be a demand for the product, and the key is selling a mattress that people want.

"A mattress is a product everybody needs to have," he said.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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