As most of you know, I've just come off of a ten year career planning corporate events around the world. This means I've slept in some pretty nice beds, and some pretty crappy ones, as well. If you are also one who travels for work, you'll remember about eight years ago or so when Westin started the bed revolution with the Heavenly Bed. Their theory: If you're traveling on an expense account you don't care as much about cost as you do about getting a decent night's sleep when you're away from home. So they invested in a branded package of high-quality, all white bedding on a perfectly firmsoft mattress with big, sumptuous pillows to suck you in and make you weep with joy. Their reps started hyping the Bed months in advance of the roll out, and they promised us it would be revolutionary. It was.
The first time I stayed in a Westin with a HB, I was in Seattle on a high floor in a suite with views of the Sound. I remember sinking into the fluffy comforter after a night out with my friends, falling asleep as I watched the lights of the ferries coming and going from Bremerton in the middle of the night. It was perfect. And though pretty much every chain has followed suit with their own version of sleep-wonderland, I am still partial to Westin. They got it right first, and somehow that makes them better in my book.
When I moved back to the US, the one big bit of furniture missing from my collection was a mattress. I'd sold mine to my brother before I moved, and so I had to come up with something quick. I googled Heavenly Bed. Turns out Westin sells the whole darn package as a turnkey route to perfect slumber. Of course, the whole thing was close to $3000 for a queen sized bed with 300 thread count linens, and what since I am trying to economize that wasn't the best idea. But the Google is mighty clever, and some of the other sites pulled up sent me to chat rooms and other sites pointing me in the direction of the individual elements - and I decided to build myself one from scratch.
Step One: The Mattress - if you build the right foundation, then the rest just follows. So I looked at the details of the HB, and it turns out it's a 13" Simmons mattress with a pillow top and 850 small pocket coils. When you start looking for this, it's not so hard to find. Everyone's got one, and it's just a matter of picking your vendor. I chose Sleep Squad, and I'd highly recommend them to anyone. You pick your mattresses to try, they drive them to your house in a mobile showroom. They set them up, pull the curtains, then leave you in privacy to try them out while they stand on the sidewalk. If you find the one you want, they'll process the sale and carry it into the house for you, setting it up and taking the packaging with them when they go. The Cairo is pretty much exactly this...it's a little thicker, and it's 800 coils instead of 850, but it feels divine and it's a bit cheaper than ones I found at other vendors that would have been a little closer in spec.
Step Two: The Pillows - Heavenly Beds come with four, so I added four good quality ones to my bed. I had two already, so I just bought one down alternative and one down to supplement (actually, they were a gift from my mom), and presto! I have the pillows, too.
Step Three: The Bedding - HB's are all white, and as mentioned above the go with a good quality 300 thread count. Now THAT'S an easy find. I already had two duvet covers that are exactly that...I believe in pristine white bedding...and I found 350 thread count sheets and a hotel-quality mattress pad on sale at TJ Maxx.
Step Four: Assemble
While the name "Heavenly Bed" is trademarked and therefore I am not allowed to call my bed that, I will tell you that what I have created is a thing of wonder. I sleep through the night and I wake well-rested. I have no aches and pains. It is toasty warm on the coldest night. The sheets are luxuriously decadent with the right combo of silky luxury and crisp-rough cottony goodness. Sometimes, when I'm walking past my bedroom in the middle of the day, I just go lay down for a second. It's a comforting, delicious moment to capture my thoughts and regroup for more networking and emailing for jobs. I love, love LOVE my bed.
And the best part? The whole thing came in well under $1300. That's still a lot of money, but I'm old now. I can't skimp on a quality bed anymore. And I could buy another one for less than the cost of one from the Westin store. I feel so smug.