People don’t think about sleep as much as they ought to. It is such a part of the everyday and so necessary as to be largely invisible. But sleep and the beds on which we sleep are complex and important products for people’s wellbeing, argues the Dutch mattress and bed-maker Royal Auping. In light of a changing market the company has had to adapt itself from being a historical expert in beds and mattresses to become an innovative, emotionally articulate expert on sleep.

Though the company goes by Auping, the company received the Royal (Koninklijke) predicate in 1988, a hundred years after its founding by the blacksmith, Johannes Auping. In 1888, Johannes received an order to supply the bedframes for the Sint Geertruiden Hospital in Deventer, his hometown. It remains the company’s headquarters. His brief was to build – for a decent price – a hospital’s worth of beds that were hygienic for patients at a time when mattresses were still stuffed with straw. The innovation that made Auping’s name was the development of a springy mesh frame for the mattress, allowing both added comfort for the user and increased ventilation. Auping beds continue to use a mesh structure.