$33,000 mattress: a price you might have to sleep on

$33,000 mattress: a price you might have to sleep onIn their book, You Staying Young,Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen write, "there are four things in life you should overpay for," and that one of those things is a good mattress.

Would $33,000 be over paying?

Earl Kluft, chief executive of California-based luxury mattress manufacturer E.S. Kluft may not think so. In fact, the hand-tufted king-sized "Palais Royale" mattress and box spring set sport an eye-popping $33,000 price tag and are not even the top of the line. Next year, the company will roll out the "Sublime" model marked at $44,000 complete with a layer of horsehair.

On the Kluft website, the company proclaims that its mattresses are "entirely hand-made ... and include all the amenities of the best English and Scandinavian beds, yet surpass them in sophistication of design and materials. Because each one is painstakingly handcrafted by our bedding artisans to the most exacting standards required by the 20 year warranty."

Kluft also notes that theirs isn't just any old bed, it's a sleep solution. According to St. Joseph Hospital Sleep Center in Bethpage, NY more than 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders -- many with serious consequences that include hypertension, diabetes, stroke, and cardiac related death in cases of sleep apnea.

In addition, the Center notes that "obesity and depression are also closely associated with sleep disorders. Finally, insufficient sleep in children has been shown to negatively affect both mental and physical development."

On another front, a recent iVillage study (May 2010) of 2,000 American wives between the ages of 18 and 49, revealed that 63% would rather sleep than have sex. Getting some -- sleep, of course -- is clearly on everyone's mind.

Maybe Dr. Oz is right. Maybe it's time to grab the cash stashed inside the lumpy old mattress and spring for a new one.

Let's do the math. Since the $33,000 Palais Royale has a life expectancy of seven to 10 years (like most mattresses), and if you slept on the mattress every day for 10 years, the cost would be $9.04 per day, or $1.13 per hour (assuming a heavenly eight hours sleep per night). Since it's a king, there's room to share, so slash those rates by 50% for double occupancy. A steal!

What are we paying for exactly? Ten craftsmen working approximately three days to produce a hand-crafted Palais Royale comprised of more than 2,000 coils, 10 pounds of cashmere, mohair, silk, and New Zealand wool, latex foam and certified organic cotton. But wait, there is more: patent-pending "fill box design," reinforced handles, self welting, sustainable forest lumber (box spring) and "eight-way hand-tied (with Italian twine) box springs which respond individually for balanced alignment, correct edge support, and maximum durability."

Palais Royale is not alone in the rarefied stratosphere of luxury sleep. There are plenty of other companies that believe in sparing no expense for an ticket to dream land. Tempur-Pedic's top of the line is upwards of $8,000 for a "split" California King. Sweden's Hastens mattresses can cost upwards of $20,000 with the most expensive design (the Vividus) priced more than $59,000. Jodi Allen, chief marketing officer of Sealy Corp in Trinity, N.C. told Anjali Athavaley for the Wall Street Journal Online (June 16, 2010) that "the luxury end of the market is expanding."

The question is, should we lose sleep over the fact that our box springs are not hand-tied, our handles not reinforced?

Dr. Wayne McAllister, a chiropractor said: "A good mattress is one that allows the the body to be well-supported so the spine can stay in alignment. Any more than that you don't really need ... It's kind of like the guy driving down the street in a Porsche -- that's fine, but you can still get around in another car that's not as expensive."

We can dream.
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