Thanks to Hästens, I had the worst night of sleep in ages. I tossed and I turned, woke up at least once an hour wondering if it was time to get up yet and dreamt at least twice I slept through the alarm clock. I don’t know about you, but after a very, very short night, the last thing you want to do is hop on your bike at 4:30 in the morning and drive through the abandoned streets of Rotterdam. But that is exactly what I did before arrived at Central Station, zigzagged my way through dozens of drunk partygoers and boarded a Schiphol-bound train. And to think I was putting myself through all this just so could fly to Sweden for two days!

Shupping for a good night’s sleep

I met my fellow travelers at the airport at 6 o’clock sharp. We bonded over a cup of coffee. It was just what we all needed to kick start a press trip to the one of the most prestigious bed manufacturers in the world. Yup, we were all going a press trip to Hästens in the town of Köping – which, believe it or not, it pronounced something like ‘Shupping’. Now press trips are usually a lot of fun. You get to meet new people who usually write for publications similar to yours, and you learn more than you ever wanted to know about the brand you’re traveling for. Our trip to Hästens proved to be no exception.

This Hästens company film is oddly comforting, don’t you think?

Did you know that every new employee at Hästens starts in production? It’s a management philosophy you don’t hear every day, but it totally makes sense. Everyone who works at Hästens knows the product inside and out. Now the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Hästens is the blue-check pattern. But did you know that at the basis of every Hästens bed is horsehair? It is distributed by hand in multiple layers across every bed they make. I got to try it myself during a tour of the factory and so I’m proud to say that somewhere in the world someone is sleeping on a bed I helped create.

The entire production process was a sight to behold, especially on the day we were there. All the workers were wearing their official Hästens uniform for the camera crew that was filming a new commercial for the top of the line Vividus bed. I’ve been to some pretty impressive furniture factories but I have to say Hästens was by far the best-organized, quietest and cleanest factory I have ever been to.

Hastens Amsterdam Canal Hotel

I slept like a baby, just like I did when I spent a night in a Hästens bed at the Canal Hotel in Amsterdam a few years ago.

After the tour, we were greeted Anne-Lie Ryde, who is a boadmember at Hästens and the ex-wife of Hästens’ owner Jan Ryde. Together with her son and the CEO of Hästens, she told us that it is the company’s mission to let everyone in the world sleep better. A lofty goal, but I can safely tell you that it was ‘mission accomplished’ for this particular citizen of the world. After a wonderful Swedish dinner, I am happy to report that I slept like a baby on a very comfortable Hästens bed in the hotel they had arranged for us. Just what I needed!

The best night, the best morning

Hastens Simon Cederquist  

Simon Cederquist talking about his collaboration with Hästens

The next morning, we all drove to Stockholm for a surprise meet and greet with artist  Simon Cederquist. Advertising gives answers, art asks questions – and that is exactly why Hästens asked him to give his own artistic interpretation of sleep. Everybody was all ears as Simon told our group the ideas he had come up with.

Artists like Simon Cederquist love to talk about their work – and I love to listen!

First, Simon waxed poetically about how everyone in life has the best and the worst experiences. You can have, for instance, the best night’s sleep on your mother’s chest right after you were born and the worst night’s sleep when you have to get up at 4AM to catch an early-morning flight (much like I did).  All the nights in between, basically, are your life. And if you sleep well during all those nights, chances are you’ll have a great day when you wake up.

Simon Cederquist

The Best Night by Simon Cederquist

The Best Morning by Simon Cederquist

The mother of all beds

Everyone wholeheartedly agreed, especially after we took turn spending in few minutes in the Hästens Vividus. Now, if you do a search for “Hästens Vividus”, the very first auto-complete Google suggests is “Hästens Vividus price” so I suppose a lot of people want to know how much the mother of all beds will set them back.

Sander Schimmelpenninck is een lul

Some very serious journalists getting seriously cuddly in a Hästens bed.

I may or may not be able to afford the sticker price in my lifetime. In the end, however, it doesn’t matter, because I will probably buy a more affordable model at one point. I’ll have sleep on it!