Humans typically sleep for a third of their lives; that adds up to 25 years in an average lifespan. Naturally, it makes sense that those years should not be spent in vain, tossing and turning on an uncomfortable bed, unable to find the sweet spot. It was with this aim in mind, noble when you think of it, that the Jansen family in Sweden set out making Hästens beds as impeccably as possible in 1852. From then, till now, five generations later, they’ve continued to master their craft, added decades of research, bettered their production methods to such an extent that they can now claim to be the world’s most superior beds. Ever.
That their beds come with a complete replacement warranty of 25 years should assure one of the durability of these things. That they use only natural materials will satisfy any eco-friendly consumer. That they are customised and handmade to the last detail will thrill the luxury connoisseur. After all, your bed is a hidden indulgence, something you cannot wear or flaunt in public, yet something that offers inherent value of an intimate sort, a private treat. “Among our customers is a Swedish couple who bought a Hästens bed 70 years ago; we offered to display their bed at our museum but they refused to part with it. It’s still going strong for them,” laughs Neelam Dewani, director at the Hastens Sleep Experience Centre, at South Court Mall, Saket, Delhi, one of their two showrooms in India, the other being at Janata Industrial Estate, Lower Parel, Mumbai. A third is planned to come up in Bangalore soon.
Hästens beds beckon with a deep, deep comfort and an understanding of your body that you’d blush to know. Each bed from their three ranges is made of layers upon layers of natural materials – from horsehair, to cotton wool, to flax, to down. Each of these are selected carefully and put together with immaculate, experienced hands in their picture-book factory in Koping, Sweden, which employs 300 persons to make about 25,000 beds a year for shipping to 40 countries worldwide. Their stores literally sell sleep: the lights are dimmed, the curtains drawn, and you have the whole space to yourself for a couple of hours to flail about in bed so that you can select the right level of softness or hardness for your partner and yourself. If you both can’t agree on one fit, no problem. Hästens will customise it so that you both have your side exactly as you like it.
These beds come with well-researched USPs. One of the main ones is that the springs are all individually wrapped and are independent of the ones next to them. So if your partner moves on one side of the bed, you would hardly notice. Second, the all-natural fibres keep the body cool and ventilated, so as you fall asleep and your body temperature lowers, the bed does not interfere with the process and gets you nodding off faster, longer. It is no wonder that this is the brand favoured by the royalty of Europe such as the King of Sweden, and the corporate royalty of the 21st century – the patrons of the world’s most luxurious hotels. They all value their sleep.
Naturally, ‘power’ naps such as these come at a price: From INR 3.5 lakh for a double bed to over INR 21 lakh, depending on the range and the personalisation involved. There are plenty of choices of add-ons as well – headboards, footboards, mattress protectors, skirting – along with accessories such as down pillows, duvets, sheets, towels and many more. From the basic model, to the adjustable one with a massager, to the top range Vividus, there’s a bed for every mood and need.
Sanjay Verma, regional manager (Africa, India, Middle East and Russia), who lives in Sweden and US, agrees that the Indian and Orient cultures have always placed some kind of premium on ‘hard’ beds. “Something to do with the religious, Spartan way of life, perhaps,” he muses, or maybe it was a rationalisation for compulsion and poverty. But with globalised lifestyles, there’s really no more excuse for suffering discomfort in chase of an elusive nirvana. “The first 50 beds are the hardest to sell for any new Hästens store in a new market,” he shares. “After that, the beds sell themselves, as those owners come back to buy more for their parents, their kids, and recommend them to the rest of their families and friends.”
For bedding luxury that is focused on utility over flamboyance, the company goes to extreme lengths to ensure that their beds last a lifetime, using the best materials money can buy, including the most superior quality cotton for the famous checkered covering, which now comes in 21 hues. “If you have a machine, you might not see if something goes wrong – but by hand, you are in touch in every way and you can see the perfection,” says Jan-Erik Leander, master craftsman at Hästens. “It’s a work of art.” For sleep this sweet and sound, that’s an undeniable truth.