“Sleep is the best meditation.” — Dalai Lama
“There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.” — Homer
“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” — Irish proverb
“Happiness consists of getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.” — Robert A. Heinlein
The inspirational quotes about sleep are many, but are nonetheless outweighed by the jokes, anecdotes, and musings about poor sleep. Perhaps that has something to do with the quality—or lack thereof—of the mattress upon which said sleep is (or is not) occurring. That makes the Vividus bed, called “the world’s most luxurious bed” by its Swedish manufacturer, Hästens, well, priceless. OK, not priceless. But close enough, at $150,000.
When you think about the fact that the average person spends about 26 years sleeping (and seven years just trying to get to sleep), compared to an average of 13 years or so working, perhaps $150k doesn’t seem so steep. Then again, that amount of money could buy you a Mercedes AMG GT R Coupe, a rare Hermès crocodile Kelly bag, or even a starter home in a city like Fayetteville, NC, Syracuse, NY, or Peoria, IL.
But for some who prize plush comfort and deep, restorative sleep, with the ideal foundation for their Frette and Pratesi sheets—despite how hard it may be to cover up that legendary Hästens blue-and-white check pattern—the financial ceiling on the quality of their slumber is high. Vividus is both a cult favorite and a status symbol, having been said to cradle the dozing physiques of Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie. It was recently unveiled as the centerpiece of Lotte New York Palace’s $10,000-per-night Ultimate Sleep Suite on the 43rd floor of the luxe Tower section—one of eight suites in the Midtown Manhattan hotel that each feature a different Hästens bed. Vividus beds will also be part of the luxury offering when the new Regent Seven Seas Splendor cruise ship sets sail early in 2020, with voyages including Barcelona to Miami and New York to Venice.
Why Does it Cost So Much?
Guaranteed for 25 years but passed down four times as long and treated as family heirlooms, each Vividus bed takes as many as 350 hours to make, for starters—more than double the time it took to fabricate the first such bed in 2006. Since then, the company has integrated new findings into sleep comfort, anatomical support, and temperature regulation. The process is so highly specialized and so painstakingly detailed that only a handful of artisans are even qualified to work on it.
We’re talking about a slow-growth Swedish pine frame that is connected by dovetailed joints, not nails or screws. The box spring’s steel springs are hand-placed and separated by layers of flax, which is both durable and flexible, able to deflect static electricity, and also adds soundproofing qualities.
And then there’s the mattress.
The Importance of Horsehair
Horsehair is a key ingredient in the mattresses of hyper-luxury beds, time-tested over centuries and found in the sleeping quarters of nobility around the world for generations. All the materials that go into the Vividus bed are “sustainably produced and ethically sourced,” per the company, and the horsehair is also organic and allergen-free. It is also meticulously treated to bring out its best qualities.
To achieve maximum bounce of the horsehair, which is said to mimic that of a spring, providing support and pliability, the hair must be hand-braided. And then hand-unbraided. The horsehair also helps to wick away moisture and regulate temperature, two factors involved in helping people fall asleep faster and achieve a longer-lasting, more regenerative sleep.
Layered along with the horsehair is long-fiber cotton and wool batting, crowned by a cushioning topper of more of that wool, cotton, and horsehair. Hand-stitching and tufting put the finishing touch on the bed, creating a supportive, comforting platform for a night of peaceful rest.
It makes sense that the Swedes would concern themselves with the ultimate in sleep luxury. After all, when you live in the Land of the Midnight Sun, where parts of the country experience no darkness for two months out of the year, you need all the help you can get for a little shut-eye. But you don’t have to have 24 hours of sunlight or live north of the Arctic Circle to enjoy the advantages of a Vividus bed. You just need a big budget.