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To justify a price as high as $88,000 (about € 80,000), a bed should offer only the finest materials.
The secret of the Hästens brand, supplier of the Royal House of Sweden, is to use curly strands of horsehair, which give their beds an excellent ventilation system and natural drying. Each mattress contains a combination of natural materials that meet specific functions: cotton to absorb moisture, linen to reduce static electricity, and wool to maintain the right temperature. Meanwhile, the down filling offers a dry environment; it provides insulation and keeps the heat produced by the body while letting out moisture from perspiration. The result is a perfect equation for countless hours of sleep and rest in an ideal state of mind.
“We have been developing our product for more than 160 years, and we manufacture such good beds that you fall asleep sooner and get the best rest possible,” saysJan Ryde, Hästens’ current owner. He explains that his great-great grandfather, Adolf Pehr Janson, is responsible for the brand´s continued growth because, “he had already sought the highest quality and the best materials when he founded the company in 1852”.
The label is still manufacturing their precious beds in the same way it has done for decades: by hand. Each bed that leaves the Köping municipality— where the factory is located—is unique and carries a serial number.
The warranty certificate —valid for 25 years—is signed by the master craftsman who developed each individual piece. And all beds bear the unmistakable stamp of the brand: a design featuring blue and white squares.
It is clear that the bed is one of the most important elements in home furnishing. Our rest (and our backs) depend on their quality for optimum health, not to mention that it is the place where we spend a third of our existence. Experts recommend changing our mattress every ten years. However, if the bed materials are natural and durable, you don’t need to do it so frequently.
Hästens is not the only brand that operates in the luxury bedding market. ViSpring is another renowned firm—headquartered in London—whose mattresses were used in the first-class cabins of the Titanic ocean liner. Its name refers to the Roman numeral VI: the optimal number of turns of the springs of their beds. And it could not be otherwise, as it is the supplier of the British royal family.
Albeit less famous, other firms also manufacture custom-made beds, and in some cases only the mattresses. One of them is Schramm, which has been making hand-made beds in Germany since 1923. The beds made by Kluft, the leading US Company, are sold exclusively at the Bloomingdales department store.
For its part, the Spanish company Auriga makes canapé style mattresses, which have four vent valves on the sides to ensure the aeration of the inner core and to prevent the proliferation of fungi. It also produces toppers, a kind of mat that is placed on top of the mattress.
Other brands, such as Hypnos, Treca, Sealy, The Bedding Company, and Stearns & Foster also avoid mass production and customize their products so that mere mortals can sleep like kings. ■