Home & Lifestyle

Why do we spend on everything, but not sleep?

3 February 2022
My Vispring epiphany happened in the summer of 2007. Aged 33, I made the decision to spend a hard-earned work bonus on a mattress that cost four times my monthly salary. Since then, I’ve never looked back. I could’ve splashed out on a fancy holiday or a designer watch, but instead, I ploughed that money into a life-changing piece of furniture.

A renter since university, I’d tolerated the lumpy beds provided by various landlords and figured that my hectic London lifestyle was probably to blame for the daily aches, pains, and general malaise that I experienced rolling over to switch off the alarm each morning. All that changed after a week of house-sitting for a colleague who owned a Vispring.

This brief dalliance with a more sophisticated lifestyle had a lasting effect on me. Sure, the scented candles, top-notch kitchen equipment, and impeccable interior décor were all memorable, but it was the bed that left a lasting impression. Compelled to peel back the sheets and find the label, I followed up with a quick internet search, to find out how much it would cost to become part of this exclusive community of mattress aficionados. Prior to this, I’d never really thought about whether my mattress was impacting my wellbeing; I cycled to work, ate healthily, and wore SPF in the sun. Buying a new bed was what happened when you stepped on the property ladder for the first time, got married, or moved countries — but it certainly wasn’t something that you actually ever talked about.

How odd, when you consider how we communicate so freely about our other hefty life purchases. We’ll happily wax lyrical with family or friends about the smart new car on the driveway, the aspirational coffee machine, or the iconic accent chair for the lounge — but when it comes to bedroom stuff, we maintain a vow of silence. You won’t hear Vispring customers shouting from the rooftops about their latest king size for the guest suite either; theirs is an invisible luxury, a discreet indulgence that speaks volumes about how much they value a good night’s sleep. So why isn’t everyone following suit?
The majority of bed-hunters are compelled to take the route of least resistance and opt for the cheap, readily available, but ultimately less comfortable high street option. Mindless modern consumption stops long-term thinking in its tracks. The reasons why we’d rather put our money where the neighbours can see it — as opposed to the most private room in the house are complex, but perhaps it’s time to change the way we think.

It seems reasonable to assume that how often you use a piece of furniture should be reflected in the amount of money you spend on it. Daily usage demands investment.
What’s stopping you from replacing that cranky old squeaking excuse of a mattress? Why wake up miserable, when the perfect antidote exists? You might assume that the marketing blurb about how humans spend 30% of their lives in bed would hit the message home, but no, we switch off, because that kind of narrative just isn’t sexy in a world where we prefer to turn the page and satisfy our insatiable desires with the quick-fix status symbols instead.
By taking an alternative approach, you’re guaranteed to reap the rewards. There’s an abundance of evidence quantifying the relationship between good sleep hygiene and a healthier mind and body. Retiring to a sumptuous bed each night should be something you look forward to and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the mattress you’re sleeping on is probably the most crucial variable.

The ones made by Vispring have followed the same formula since 1901, which tells you something valuable about the kind of company they are. It takes real guts and business acumen to maintain momentum by producing the same product for over a century and never buckling under the weight of transient trends. From the very beginning, their pocket spring design was pioneering and their dedication to manufacturing a human-centred product without ever cutting costs is remarkable.

If sustainability is a concern, you’re in the right place. Not only is a Vispring better for the environment due to its natural fillings and recyclable springs, they are built to last a lifetime which means zero waste. No planned obsolescence. No smoke and mirrors. No secrets about the first-class components, the process, or the people. Think of it as a non-negotiable living expense instead of a ‘designer’ purchase. Form and function are combined to create something with integrity engineered to support our hardworking bodies and make us feel better. You could say that good sleep isn’t cheap, but for me, it was worth every penny.


Leanne Cloudsdale is a design journalist and communications consultant. She works with a range of prestigious international brands — including Vitsoe, RIMOWA, Farfetch, Studio Nicholson, Drake’s, and LVMH to help them convey the benefits of buying less, but better.