I Found the Best Sleep of My Life in a Small Swedish Hotel
A few tips to take away.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 7:11 AM
When I arrived in Malmö, a city in southern Sweden, I wasn’t totally sure what to expect. Just a 30-minute train ride away from Copenhagen, the coastal city is highly regarded as a Scandinavian design destination, one with plenty of innovative culinary options (even a few Michelin-starred restaurants) and a wide range of highly curated shops. I couldn’t have imagined that the thing I’d walk away with (in addition to a few cheeky thrift store purchases) was something that didn’t even require me to leave my hotel room: a great night of sleep.
Hotel Duxiana, a small boutique hotel chain with its flagship location in Malmö, was founded with the ambition to not just provide a place where travelers can rest up but to create a bonafide sleep haven. Inside, each room is outfitted with a bed, mattress, and linens from DUX, a family-run company backed by four generations of product-testing and research.
I stayed at the Hotel Duxiana for just two nights, first, in a premium single, and then, in a premium double. Each night passed with restful slumber, and each morning came with a reluctance to leave my bed—although, admittedly I felt perfectly rejuvenated by the time the sun peeked through the curtains I had strategically left ajar.
I’m not always the best sleeper. Frequently, I stay up on my phone, caught in a rabbit hole of scrolling, and other times, I wake up at 3 am, pulling myself out of a stressful dream. I toss and turn and more often than not, wake up to find my blankets disheveled and cast to the floor. That’s why I was especially skeptical upon realizing that my first night would be spent in a twin bed.
The ease at which I fell asleep surprised me, and the neatness of my bed come morning was another shock. When I shifted rooms the second night, the experience only got better, thanks to a queen-size bed that made my five hours of sleep feel like a full eight.
As I checked out of the Duxiana, I took note of some lessons I could bring back to my Brooklyn apartment. Better sleep habits, after all, might just be the best souvenir ever. Here are pieces that can help you get a great night of rest wherever you are.
An Extra-Plush Bed
A real DUX bed will set you back a couple of thousand dollars, but if you have consistent sleep troubles, the investment could be worth every penny. If not, though, an upholstered bedframe can also add an extra dose of comfort when paired with a cheaper, comfy mattress.
DUX’s most luxurious offering has four times as many springs as the average bed and 90 years of research backing it.
Buffy’s ultra-comfy comforter is eco-friendly, budget-friendly, and positively cloud-like.
All the Right Toppings
If you want to feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud, high-quality linens and extra-puffy duvets work hard. Hotel Duxiana forgoes the top sheet for a more European-style bed that results in a lighter-than-air sensation, granted with the help of soft cotton sheets. The queen-size bed also comes complete with not just one, but two duvets—helpful if you share a bed with someone who hogs the covers or if you just want even more blankets to yourself.
This percale bedding set by Parachute includes two of everything so you can have more nights with a fresh, hotel-like bed with fewer laundry days needed.
Milled and finished in Italy, Snowe’s percale sheets offer a smooth, soft place to rest.
It can be hard to fall asleep at night when you switch quickly from overhead lighting to complete darkness. Studies have shown that blue light disrupts the body’s natural production of melatonin, making it more difficult to get shut-eye. That’s why these hotel rooms come equipped with red-toned overhead lights and smaller table lamps that give just the right amount of brightness needed to finish some late-night work. We recommend opting for dimmable fixtures for even more sleep-encouraging habits.
Go full Scandi-chic with this cool concrete lamp by Menu.
Pair this globe lamp with a red lightbulb, and it will give off the perfect glow to pair with your nightly reading.
This versatile design can be used either on a desk or a nightstand for an ambient effect.
If you’re a napper or you want to let yourself sleep in, it’s advisable to block out as much as light as possible—a task easily achieved with the help of blackout curtains. You don’t have to sacrifice style for function, though. Opt for long drapes in neutral tones like cream and gray for a calming effect.
Low-pile velvet curtains can work year-round in the right space.
Blackout curtains don’t have to make your room look dark and dreary—this light gray pair is great for smaller spaces.
Linen makes a perfect middle ground between heavy, light-blocking curtains and totally transparent options.
A Soft Neutral Palette
“We wanted to create a feeling of ‘coming home’— an environment that slows down your pulse and at the same time looks attractive,” explains Nicklas Jansson, founder and CEO of Rumrum, the interior design firm that oversaw the design of Hotel Duxiana. “Warm and sophisticated colors feel like the right ‘medicine.’ If you’re not big into the look of all-white walls, consider expanding your palette to taupes, grays, and creams.
Beige doesn’t have to be boring, as this creamy color proves.
This taupe gray is well suited to pair with both warm and cool color palettes.
Benjamin Moore’s 2019 color of the year might just be the perfect neutral.
See more ways to get your best sleep ever: Can Chinese Herbs Make You Fall Asleep Faster? This Lamp Wants to Help You Sleep Better This Is What Happened When I Tried 5 Different Natural Sleep Aids