“I don’t think I’ve ever slept before,” my colleague said with a mix of horror and awe. “No really, I’ve been asleep before… but I’ve never really slept.” These kinds of radical statements aren’t all that uncommon at a Hästens store, where one of the renowned Swedish brand’s experts will help you discover your dream mattress through a “Bed Test.” You’ll know you’ve found it when your body feels weightless — the result of ideal spine alignment coupled with heaps of all-natural cotton, wool, flax, and Hästens’ signature horsetail hair (ethically and sustainably sourced during the grooming process).
If you resist instantaneously falling asleep, you’ll be presented with the price tag for your perfect bed, which can range from about $16,000 to $700,000 for the Ferris Rafauli co-designed Grand Vividus. Those in Europe, where the 172-year-old family-owned company has earned a trusted renown, would likely be unphased. But for those of us in the U.S., where Hästens has only just begun building a presence thanks to a new partnership with North American luxury distributor MadaLuxe Group, those price points feel a bit more staggering.
Hästen’s 2023 partnership with MadaLuxe will result in 20 brick-and-mortar stores nationwide over the next five or so years, but Texas, in particular, was a major part of the strategy — the first Hästens store opened in Dallas’ Knox-Henderson neighborhood area last May, with a second slated for Houston’s River Oaks district this spring.
Dallas has some familiarity with the ultra high-end mattress space thanks to stores like Duxiana (also located in Knox-Henderson) and The Luxury Bed Collection (which carries a selection of Hästens products), but I still felt like I lacked the education to thoroughly comprehend such stunning price points. Thankfully, the Hästens team is more than happy to teach potential clients and curious journalists.
Experiencing The Dream Factory in Sweden
A breezy train ride from Stockholm, home to Hästens’ flagship store, takes you to Köping, Sweden (pronounced like shopping). From there, a Mercedes SUV wrapped in the company’s signature blue check design will take you to the Hästens factory and headquarters, stunningly designed by architect Thomas Erikson.
For a classic American reference, the heart of Hästens’ operations is reminiscent of Steve Martin’s sneaker factory in the 1991 version of Father of the Bride, the kind of airy, elevated ideal that only seems possible when specially constructed for a Nancy Meyers film — except in Hästens’ case, it’s real.
Each exquisitely organized station is devoted to one element of the mattresses’ elaborate foundation: horsehair, cotton, wool, flax, slow-grown Swedish pine, and a combination of soft and flexible springs placed in individual, breathable pockets.
“Every detail is there to keep your sleep as steady and as deep as possible,” Sanja Tegeltija, a Hästens brand representative, shares on our tour.
Hästens craftsmen do their work diligently and almost serenely, the latter of which is crucial according to CEO Jan Ryde, whose first book When Business is Love, was released by Simon and Schuster this January.
“The culture comes first [at Hästens], and we hire only people who fit our culture. We feel it,” Ryde writes. “When you invest in a Hästens bed, you will get quality, and you will also get many invisible things. Every millimeter of that bed is made out of love, passion, and care.”
Standing in the sublime Swedish factory, you could certainly feel it too.
The Hidden Magic of Hästens
“Quiet luxury” has emerged as a post-pandemic trend thanks to shows like Succession, whose affluent characters are dripping in stealth, label-less wealth. And though the movement is largely associated with fashion, Hästens has always embodied the ethos.
There are several elements of the Hästens factory that guests are asked not to photograph. Two of note: a wall of A-list clients and a lofted area where the two most expensive models — the Vividus and Grand Vividus — are assembled by master craftsmen within the company. (Though you won’t see it written in Ryde’s book or on the Hästens website, a bit of research reveals that Drake was the first person to purchase a $400,000 Grand Vividus.)
Even the mattress itself contains covert wonders.
“Every Hästens bed has features the bed’s owners will probably never notice,” Ryde writes in When Business is Love. “We have our logotypes on the inside of the bolsters, so if you ever open the bed on the inside, you will be delighted to discover this elegant, hidden signature, tucked away out of sight like an Easter Egg. (We take every bit as much delight in making these Easter eggs as our customers do in finding them—if they ever do.)”
Understanding the Hästens Mattress Difference
Today, I find myself back in busy, often indifferent Dallas — a far cry from the love-imbued world Jan Ryde has created in Köping. But at the shiny new Hästens store off Knox Street, I’m reminded of the craftmanship and joy that goes into each individually wrapped spring, thoughtfully placed so that a bed partner’s movement is hardly detected. Equestrian imagery evokes the factory’s horsehair room, where hair is hand-braided and then unwound to create bouncier curls. I think of the brand’s almost absurdly serene culture — the antithesis of what one might expect from a company that just crossed one billion Swedish kronor (equivalent to $100 million) in annual revenue.
Suddenly, a $50,000 Hästens mattress, made to last forever, seems like a steal. As Ryde writes, “What could be more valuable than your health and happiness?”
Hästens has officially begun to spread their blue-check spirit in Texas (boutiques aside, Hästens’ popular Dremer mattress is currently found in the Thompson Dallas penthouse), but I expect Ryde’s message of love and the healing power of truly good sleep will soon sweep North America (with a bit of help from MadaLuxe). We may all be better for it.