If you’re a millennial, shopping for a new mattress can feel like an exercise in conformity.
While so many other products have at least some veneer of individuality wrapped around them, the mattresses marketed to the under-40 set are mostly large blocks of memory foam that get rolled up into a tube and left on your doorstep. And while I don’t doubt that they give their owners a good night’s sleep (many of them have tens of thousands of enthusiastic five-star reviews), it’d be hard to call these out-of-a-box beds, or the experience of bringing them into your home, even remotely luxurious.
There’s also the dubious question of how long they’ll actually last. Most of the companies in this category were founded within the last seven years—not quite long enough to test the full length of the customary decade-long warranty period.
In response to this, last year the high-end Swedish bedmaker Duxiana launched a new product called the Dux One, designed to offer shoppers longevity, comfort and even some customization. It’s also the first mattress the company has made available to buy online. I was invited to review one of these beds, and I’ve been intensely grateful for it every night since. Here’s why.
That gratitude is thanks in no small part to the timing. Last summer, at the height of the pandemic, I genuinely was in the market for a new mattress. My old one, a full-size from a reputable brand, was perfectly fine, but it pre-dated my relationship with my partner Brian, and it wasn’t really sized for cohabitation. We’re both spring mattress devotees, so the idea of sleeping on foam wasn’t exactly enticing. And even if we’d found the prospect of going into a store and briefly test-driving beds that hundreds of other people had laid down on before us appealing, stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines would have made doing that impossible.
Instead, we were able to customize our Dux One online with a few clicks. There’s a two-part base, which is filled with springs and fitted with legs. These legs are available in wood (in a variety of heights, shapes and stains) or aluminum, and you also have the choice to add an upholstered headboard and a matching bed skirt. We chose a queen mattress with mahogany stained legs and a gray headboard and bed skirt in a shade called meteorite.
About a week later, a pair of professional delivery associates from Duxiana brought the whole kit and caboodle into our home and set it all up for us. (White glove delivery is an add-on, but I highly recommend it.) After they left, we waited for about thirty seconds before jumping up and down on our new bed like toddlers to test its spring. That night, we both slept like babies. The next morning, I didn’t have to crack my neck as soon as I woke up—it was the first time in a long time I was able to say that.
The frame is made from slow-growth pine, which made our bedroom smell like a holiday candle had exploded in it for weeks after we first got the bed. And while the smell has ebbed, one thing that hasn’t changed is how comfortable the mattress is. It’s well-designed and thoroughly supportive, neither too firm nor too soft. I’m a side sleeper, and I find it keeps my spine aligned so well that morning back pain hasn’t been an issue. Miraculously, we haven’t heard one creak out of the springs so far.
My one very superficial complaint is that a year later, there’s a slight indentation that you can only see if you look closely at my side of the bed. It’s barely noticeable, especially when the bed is made, and it hasn’t affected my ability to sleep one bit. I weigh more than Brian does, so it’s not entirely surprising. Still, it’s a discrepancy I’m forced to confront every week when we change the sheets.
How It’s Made
For the uninitiated: Duxiana has been in operation since 1926, and part of what sets it apart is that its well-made innerspring mattresses are modular. Over the last 95 years, the company has perhaps become most famous for supplying beds to the world’s best-known boutique hotels. (If you’ve ever spent a night at the Langham in New York, the Setai in Miami or Dubai’s Burj al Arab, you’ve slept in a Dux bed.) Hotels like them because they’re incredibly comfortable, but also because they can swap out components that need to be replaced instead of buying an entirely new bed when something goes awry.
At the risk of invoking Robert Southey, the Dux One is designed to feel just right (and keep your spine aligned), and it achieves this feel through a number of layers.
On top is a two-inch natural latex mattress topper. It’s not attached to the bed, so you can flip it—or replace it—whenever the need strikes. You can also remove it and unzip the top of the mattress, where you’ll find a layer of short springs encased in two separate envelopes. These are the first layer of what Duxiana calls its dynamic support system, and they’re also replaceable. Inside the mattress and the base is about a mile of steel wire twisted into springs. The middle layer is what actually supports you, rising up to contour to your legs, hips and shoulders as you sleep. The springs in the base of the bed absorb and distribute movement, so you’re less likely to disturb whoever’s sleeping next to you if you toss and turn in the middle of the night.
Pros and Cons
The Dux One isn’t the most expensive bed on the market—that honor is perhaps reserved for Hastens, another Swedish heritage bedmaker that last year unveiled a nearly $400,000 mattress that weighs a literal ton.
Still, as far as beds go, it’s not a small investment. The configuration Brian and I chose will set you back by $6,155, and it’s a definite step up from most things you can find at Mattress Firm. Unlike most other furniture purveyors, though, Duxiana will only let you return the mattress itself—which represents about 70 percent of the overall cost. The return policy explains that because they don’t have an impact on the mattress’s comfort, “the upholstered platform bases, legs, headboard, and bed skirt (if purchased) cannot be returned.”
And while many of Duxiana’s beds come with a 20-year warranty, the Dux One’s warranty is limited to just 10 years. (Then again, a queen-sized version of the Dux 6006, for example, costs over $13,000, so perhaps twice the price for twice the guarantee isn’t that surprising.)
But in our case, a return isn’t likely. We’ve been enormously pleased with the timeless look of the bed (whenever the mattress does need replacing, it’ll be easy to re-use the base and headboard), its overall comfort and its sleep-enhancing qualities. Duxiana has claimed that its beds have gotten passed down from one generation to the next, and I’m not convinced just yet that this won’t end up in one of our wills.
Ultimately, that might be the biggest shift: The Dux One has made me think of a mattress as the kind of thing that can last for decades, not just years. And if it stays this comfortable for the long haul, that wouldn’t be a bad thing.