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How comfy is your hotel bed?

by Andrea on February 15, 2011

A bed at the Grosvenor House Hotel manufactured by the Queen's bed manufacturer, Hypnos - which also supplies many other London hotels

I don’t think all that often about my bed.  I only really become aware of what I’m sleeping on if it’s wrong – uncomfortable, bumpy, too hard or too soft.  I recently slept in one that kept trying to roll itself around me like a tube.  It was horrible – I kept waking up thinking I was drowning!

But anyone involved in the hotel trade knows that quality beds are important, whether a customer notices it or not.  They have to withstand hard use, they have to look good and they have to feel good.  Buying beds is one of those crucial decisions that can make or break a hotel.  A good night’s sleep for the guest is a competitive advantage for the hotel.

One of the leading hotel bed manufacturers is Hypnos, which not only makes beds by Royal Appointment but also supplies a good chunk of the hotel industry.  Their client list is like a who’s who of luxury London hotels – including names like The Lanesborough, Brown’s, One Aldwych, the Montcalm, Rafayel on the Left Bank and others.

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The last-named is also one of the leading eco-friendly London hotels: so it’s not surprising that Hypnos also provides a recycling service to assist with the entire life cycle of the bed from beginning to end.

But what’s really interesting is that Hypnos also supplies the budget hotel chains like Premier Inn and Travelodge – so you’ll essentially get the same sleeping experience in a cheap hotel as a luxury one (though the latter will argue that they offer soundproofed rooms, lovely duvets, premium materials and other benefits to further enhance your sleep experience).

Brown's in Mayfair uses Hypnos beds - but you may not have to pay its premium Mayfair room rate to experience sleeping in one!

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Even the cheap as chips budget chain Tune Hotels (whose CEO spoke to London Hotels Insight) uses Hypnos beds – which are behind its proud slogan of “5 star beds at 1 star prices” – so this can clearly no longer be claimed as a differentiator by the most expensive London hotels.

What then separates a really good bed from a cheapie?

First of all, the number of coils.  A typical mattress might contain 250 to 1,000 coils; a top-quality Hypnos mattress will contain between 1200 and 4,900.  The Hypnos mattress also uses pocketed coils – each coil is contained in its own fabric envelope, so it can move independently, instead of being tugged up and down by its neighbour.  That means if your partner tosses and turns, it’s not going to keep you awake.

Raw materials are important too.  Since all Hypnos hotel mattresses are bespoke, the commissioning hotel can choose – cashmere, angora and wool are popular.  Every mattress is then covered with Belgian damask.

Hypnos has been in business for over 100 years and turns out around 50,000 beds a year – each hotel bed lasting an average eight years before the mattress needs to be replaced.  Each is hand-sewn and assembled.

Good beds are expensive.  Some hotels and groups like Sheraton actually let guests buy the beds – but you’ll have to shell out $999 for a king-size Four Seasons bed,  £1,250 for a Sheraton and as much as £5,000 for one from von Essen Hotels.  But I’m told that Hypnos sells consumer mattresses at $10-15,000 – a huge investment but some would consider it worthwhile given the huge proportion of our lives we spend sleeping!

And where does the name Hypnos come from?  Rather appropriately, it’s the Greek word for ‘sleep’.

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Photo credits: Brown’s Hotel, Grosvenor House Hotel.

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