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The money’s in the mattress

MALMO, SWEDEN—Eight hours of sound, undisturbed sleep has become the ultimate luxury in this always-connected digital age. Sleep, much like diet and exercise, plays a vital role in a person’s health and well-being.

As health and wellness trends abound, hotel brands are paying attention to sleep as a way to positively impact the guest experience. Think about it: Traveling can be tiresome and stressful. The daily routines are broken, flights are delayed and then there’s the different time zones. It’s enough to make travelers weary upon check-in. Hoteliers have a golden opportunity to impress and satisfy the needs of travelers through a distinctive sleep offering.

Duxiana, founded by Efraim Ljung in 1926 and headquartered here, has made inroads in the hospitality industry by attracting hoteliers to its comfort-first bedding touted to last a lifetime thanks to replaceable parts, making its luxury mattress a potentially cost-effective option.

Ed Curry, president, Duxiana, said, “[Our] founder was involved in many different businesses in Sweden. While on a trip to Chicago in the 1920s, he had the best night’s sleep he ever had and, being curious, opened the mattress to see what was inside. It was then he started developing his own innerspring mattress.”

Today, Dux mattresses can be found in prestigious hotels around the world such as Burj Al Arab Jumeirah in Dubai; The Langham New York, Fifth Avenue and The Surrey in New York City; and The Chedi Muscat Hotel in Muscat, Oman, to name a few. The company’s own unique hotel concept—Hotel Duxiana Malmö—offers travelers the ability to experience the Dux bed in a setting exclusively designed for a good night’s sleep.

“What makes the Dux mattress stand out is that we were the first to have a removable topper on the bed. Some other European brands do something similar [now], but it’s something that was unique to us,” said Curry. “Not only do we make our own springs, we make our own spring-making machines. Others will buy components to make the bed. For us, the springs are the heart and soul. We use a high-quality steel wire so the diameter is much thinner than ordinary springs. It starts with Swedish steel, which has a reputation for being the best, and we have a proprietary spring design.”

The company’s foray into hospitality began 15 years ago, according to Curry, when hotel owners, operators and developers experienced the Dux bed at home and soon wanted to have hotels outfitted with the mattresses.

“About 10 years ago, we witnessed a bigger emphasis put on sleep in the hotel, and we’ve rode that wave,” he said. “We refer to all of them as Dux beds, but there’s a variety across our different hotel partners. If you come into one of our stores, there will be five models on the showroom floor. They retail in king size for between $6,000-$15,000.”

Duxiana also has a retail side of the business, with the Dux Element as the brand’s newest residential option. “It’s for a direct-to-consumer project we’re set to launch in 2020 with Amazon and its virtual assistant, Alexa,” he said.

Instead of relying on exotic materials, Duxiana is focused on the mattress’ performance and how it affects sleep. The mattresses are thoroughly vetted and tested by the scientific community.

“It starts with our handmade springs and our own steel wire and the different functions used to customize sizes of the beds,” he said. “The beds are made with a hardwood internal frame that is similar to a piece of furniture. It’s Swedish Northern Pine. We have a natural latex for the top layer of the mattress and a removable topper. Our ticking is of a higher-quality compared to an ordinary mattress.”

When it comes to bedding, Curry believes Dux is suited to meet the needs of guests and discerning hoteliers.

“They’re looking for comfort, number one. Then, it’s about the quality construction of the mattress, ensuring it will last longer than your typical mattress,” he said. “Lastly, our brand reputation is the added value they gain by carrying our brand in their hotel. We are a recognizable luxury brand.”

Another facet of the Dux mattress is its environmentally responsible and cost-effective design. Duxiana has received the Oeko-Tex 100 stamp of approval, signifying the Dux bed has met the strict human-ecological requirements of being completely free of any unhealthy or harmful substances.

The top pad is not fastened to the bed, allowing for it to be unzipped or replaced. A key benefit? Not only can part of the bed be restored as wear and tear begins, it can also be enhanced as new accessories and innovations become available.

“A hotel can replace the top pad only for a smaller cost. We have hotels that have had this bed for 15 years and are just starting to replace the top pad,” he said.

He added, “From a housekeeping perspective, the top pad can be sheeted separately. Only one person is needed to change it. The industry has moved toward a thicker mattress, which implies a plush mattress, but the downside is that they’re getting heavier and more difficult to change.”

Comfort is Duxiana’s calling card.

“I find that even though our bed will last longer, most hoteliers are worried about the comfort and guest experience,” he said. “It’s the most comfortable bed in the world. In the U.S., we’ve sold 100,000 Dux beds and have a large following of owners who stay at hotels with Dux beds, which can be a selling point for hotels.” HB


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