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The Aireloom handmade mattress.
The handmade Aireloom mattress is back on the market
Lying down on the job was an assignment I could really get into, especially because it called for testing the comfort of a luxury bed fit for Hollywood stars and the rich and famous.
The Aireloom handmade mattress is among a new line of luxury mattresses being carried at SlumberWorld. Third-generation bed maker Earl Kluft, head of E.S. Kluft & Co., resurrected the mattress with the idea that, considering the stressful state of life in the 21st century, many people are in need of a good night's sleep.
While growing up, Kluft was fascinated by the Aireloom, which he deemed "the undisputed king of luxury bedding, a role model and benchmark in quality."
The Aireloom mattress was introduced by King Karpen in California in the 1940s and quickly won over stars accustomed to luxury. Among them were Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth, John Wayne, John and Yoko Lennon, and Ronald and Nancy Reagan, who made sure each bed in the White House during the Reagan presidency was an Aireloom.
Where a typical queen-size foundation and mattress set costs an average of $1,200, a queen-size Aireloom set starts at about $4,799, with king size running up to about $7,899 for styles carried in Hawaii. The line tops out at $31,000.
But the Aireloom fell into a deep sleep of its own after Karpen's death in 1990, and its owners were ready to sell. Kluft, who had been looking for another venture after retiring in 2003, stepped in.
Earl Kluft brought back the Aireloom handmade mattress, which was introduced in California in the '40s.
Buying a luxury mattress might be compared to buying a car, and calls for meticulous attention to detail because of the domino effect of defects.
"Mattresses are a blind item in that you really don't know what's inside, so you rely on a salesperson to help fit you with your needs," Kluft said. "If they don't believe in a product, it won't get shown. They're our toughest critics."
Kluft brings many of the details in his Kluft tailored mattresses to the Aireloom, including plush layers of New Zealand Joma wool, Latex foam and natural cotton that adapt to an individual's weight and body temperature.
The Aireloom is fully handmade, from hand-tied box springs to hand-stitching. When it came to fabric, he chose Bekaert, known for supplying the ticking for Queen Elizabeth's mattress, and Belgian damask with multi-ply yarns to create a rich feel.
"It's a culmination of everything I learned in the business," said Kluft, whose no-nonsense appearance doesn't hint at any particular affinity to fluffy cottons or fine fabric. But like most people, he does appreciate a good night's sleep.
"It's one of the most important things in life," he said. "How you sleep affects how you feel in the morning and it's a very important component of good health."
You can study the technical details, but the proof is in snuggling into the cushiony surface. I didn't want to leave.