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Over 171 years, Hästens has established itself as a benchmark in bedding, cultivating a unique expertise that has been passed down from generation to generation.


Over 171 years, Hästens has established itself as a benchmark in bedding, cultivating a unique expertise that has been passed down from generation to generation.

Category: Europe - Sweden - Suppliers - Providers - Interviews
Interview made by Christopher Buet on 2023-10-05

Luxury can take many forms, be ostentatious or more discreet. In a luxury hotel or palace, the promise is to enjoy an experience like no other, from the service provided by attentive staff to a calm, voluptuous night in a cosy bed. The bed is not just a piece of furniture in a room on which you lie down to sleep; it is the guarantee of a good night's sleep and the rest that is due in these establishments, and therefore the passive extension of the guest's experience. A bed that is too hard or too soft can ruin all the hotel's efforts.

To avoid such mishaps, hoteliers are turning to partners who have dedicated their expertise to designing the best possible bedding. In Northern Europe, Hästens has made it its duty to offer its customers the utmost comfort.

Originally a saddler, the Swedish company also produced mattresses, which were filled with horsehair. A secondary activity that gradually grew in importance until it became exclusive at the turn of the twentieth century and the advent of the car.

Buoyed by the artisan spirit of its founder, and driven by the quest for excellence, Hästens expanded and enhanced its expertise, not hesitating to revolutionise its business by creating its own river-fed processing plant, or breaking with established codes, as when it imposed its "Blue Check" check pattern, which was decried when it was first introduced in 1978 but has since become its hallmark.

Supplier to the Crown of Sweden since 1952, a trust renewed in 1995, the small Scandinavian company has established itself as an essential partner for the world's finest hotels and has extended its activities to 45 countries worldwide.

During a siesta, Jan Ryde made himself comfortable to tell Journal des Palaces about the philosophy and commitments of this family business, of which he represents the 5th generation.

Journal des Palaces: How did Hästens come into being?

Jan Ryde: Hästens has a rich history running back through six generations and was founded by my grandfather’s grandfather Pehr Adolf Janson in 1852. He started the company because he noticed that people who were the best at serving others and people who can produce and make the best products were the most successful. We use the same values today and focus on creating the best possible products and experiences for our customers. We are building our work from 170 years' history, and we use the knowledge we have accumulated - including the best materials and the best handcraft - to serve our customers with the best sleep. When you sleep better you wake up full of love, peace, joy and health and your life changes to the better. We are here to make people’s lives better.

What is your vision of luxury?

We don’t mark ourselves as a Luxury Brand. We have a commitment of creating the very best bed you can make. The finest materials, the best handcraft and the highest frequencies of energy going into every bed. We have a passion for excellence, and our beds are made with no compromise in terms of materials or how long it takes to handcraft them.

Which prestigious hotels in France and abroad do you work with?

For example, we made mattress for our own hotel: Hästens Sleep Spa – CBR Boutique Hotel in Coimbra in Portugal. We also equip hotels like Huus Gstaad, Britannia in Trondheim (Norway), Head over Hills in Knysa (South Africa), Cervo in Zermatt or The Chedi in Andermatt (Switzerland).

What are the requirements of the luxury hotels you work with?

We wanted to partner with a hotel that holds the same values as our brand in offering the best to our customers. We view our hotel partners as vital to our overall marketing efforts. There’s no replacement for trying out one of our beds for yourself, and what better way to do that than by staying at a hotel. We’ve seen many direct bed sales come from hotel stays, which is always exciting for us.

What are the strengths of Hästens bed and products?

We at Hästens follow our own path. We totally disregard whatever standards are set by others, and fully focus on how people sleep, how we can serve people and give them a better life. Our number one focus is giving the consumers the best there is. We honor the timeless design of the Blue Check and our other beautiful colors and focus on the performance. How much of the bed to you really see when you are sleeping? Following trends can sometimes be a disadvantage for the consumer, when it affects the sleep performance. For us at Hästens, functional design is number one. Everything we do has a goal of you sleeping better.

Why is it important for you to make your beds and mattresses by hand? What is the added value of such craftsmanship?

All our beds are made by hand, and our craftsmen draw on a knowledge and skills that can be traced back through generations. Behind every bed are hundreds of mana hours of iterations, research, development and design considerations. A true case of design thinking in every aspect of its construction; with every element performing numerous individual tasks that add up to the whole Hästens experience of perfect sleep. All our beds go through a lot of quality checks before making it to the end-customer, and all our beds are made in our Dream Factory in Köping, Sweden.

Hästens insists on its ecological approach and the sustainable dimension of its products. What does this mean in practical terms for your manufacturing and production process?

We create the best beds in the world; therefore, we also need to work with the best material in the world. They are all sustainably produced and ethically sourced.

What materials do you use for your products? How do you select them?

We provide a bed that is free of chemicals, free of electricity, free of any substances that can harm your sleep. All our models provide excellent sleep, with layers of natural materials such as flax, horsetail hair, and cotton.

All the natural materials work together to absorb the warmth and humidity generated by your body. We’ve made our horsetail hair so fluffy that air can easily circulate around your body and transport the moisture away – and your body can more easily regulate the temperature around it. That increases the possibility of you having a deep, uninterrupted sleep.

We transform the horsetail hair into tiny spirals. Every little hair works like a spring, that cooperates with all the other springy layers in your bed. The result is the unbelievably comfortable sleep you’d expect to find in a Hästens bed.

Hästens has more than a century of know-how. How do you ensure that it is passed on from one generation to the next?

Two of my sons, Lukas and David, are working at Hästens. They are learning and evolving within the company and will continue to work alongside me and the rest of the Hästens team.

Hästens has teamed up with Apple to develop its customer experience and is relying more and more on technology. How do you explain this move and why this choice?

We have our very own Hästens Restore App on the Apple App Store, created in partnership with Dr. Jussi Eerikäinen, a world-famous cardiologist turned mathematician. The app is based on Dr. Eerikäinen’s mindset methods, combining frequency tones and music to provide users with tailored soundscapes to listen to at different points throughout the day. The digital App aims to improve listeners' concentrations, focus gratitude and productivity to name a few – allowing us to make the world a better place by helping users sleep better.

About the author

A journalist with many skills and an ever curious traveller, Christopher has a great attraction for carefully refined hotels, where characterful gastronomy, impeccable service and sincere elegance go hand in hand. A discreet and gourmet pen at the service of a certain idea of luxury.

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