By Larry Olmsted, Forbes.com Contributor
Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson, the only person ever to receive Academy Awards for both acting and writing, claims just such a bed cured her insomnia, according to Savoir, the manufacturer of the pricey mattresses. Savoir counts among its other celebrity clients Liza Minnelli, King Hassan of Morocco, and Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, who owns eight of the decadent beds.
Savoir Beds began in 1905 when a factory in the United Kingdom, already known for its opulent custom tailoring of clothes, began hand-crafting and stitching the box springs, mattresses, and frames out of the finest materials available, most famously tufts of hand-laid loose horse tail, believed to provide a better sleep. 30 years later the company was acquired by London’s Savoy Hotel, then one of a handful of truly top tier luxury hotels on earth (and still pretty darn nice), for exclusivity purposes, so they could make the claim that only Savoy guests could sleep on the opulent mattresses. The Savoy Group spun the company off in 1997, and Savior began opening independent showrooms, but did not really pick up steam until the past few years when it opened shops in Berlin, Shanghai, New Delhi, Paris, and New York. Additional showrooms are in Moscow, Stockholm, L.A., Scottsdale, Miami, and London, which has four including one at Harrods. To be fair, you can get into one of Savoir’s bespoke mattress sets for as little as $8,000 – making the entry level bed the same price as an entry level car. Their slogan, which I have to admit is pretty cool, is “Spend a third of your life in First Class.” If you look at it that way, and consider that some people routinely spend more than $8,000 on a single first class ticket that is used up and worthless 24 hours later, maybe the beds, which routinely enjoy a 30-year lifespan, aren’t such a bad buy.
Why are they so expensive and what exactly do you get for you money?
Besides being truly handmade in every sense of the word, unlike many “handmade” items that mean made by someone operating a machine, these beds are more accurately “craft made,” like fine watches. If you go to the company’s website and watch the videos of the craftsmen at work (separate videos for the mattress and box spring, which they so Britishly call the “sprung base”) you will see the meticulous work, but you might also suddenly be tempted to buy one. Each mattress is made by single artisan, using wool and horsehair, and if the video is to be believed, wearing a Seville Row suit and tie while making your bed.
Besides the meticulous handwork and materials, the big differentiator is that they are totally custom, and each mattress set is tailor-made to suit the customer’s particular height, weight, and sleeping style. Each takes several weeks to make, and their bespoke guarantee is simple: if you don’t like the result they will make you another. Additionally they can be made to any size and shape, so if you live in a medieval castle or Tuscan villa with non-standard period furniture or need something oddly shaped for your mega-yacht or jet, this is the place to come.
The price ultimately depends on the size, on your specific requirements and whether you get just the mattress, the mattress and box spring or one of the company’s custom frames or headboards, but the general price range is $8,000 – $55,000. Sleep on that.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.