What is up with the beds in Sweden?
February 15, 2015 4:47 PM   Subscribe

Can someone please explain to me what I am seeing on top of the beds in Swedish hotel pictures?

I am trying to figure out why the beds in hotel pictures seem to have this fluffy sleeping-bag type thing on top of every mattress. Or is that the mattress? Is it removable? If so, are the mattresses typically firm or are they the foam/sink-into-it-when-you-lie-down type. I am asking because I have a disability and it's difficult for me to move around on squishy beds. Any insight from locals or visitors would be appreciated.
posted by thorny to Travel & Transportation around Sweden (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It's a comforter!
posted by mynameisluka at 4:49 PM on February 15, 2015 [2 favorites]

Can you give an example link? I think though that what you're seeing is just the comforter folded up on top of the bed (probably 2 separate ones on queen/king beds).
posted by brainmouse at 4:50 PM on February 15, 2015

Most Swedish beds come with a mattress topper (bäddmadrass), and the comforter is usually thicker than the typical American blanket. No sleeping bags. Picture would be helpful.
posted by yonglin at 4:55 PM on February 15, 2015

This would be an example.
posted by thorny at 5:01 PM on February 15, 2015

It's common in Sweden and Norway two have two narrow individual comforters/duvets on a queen- or king-size bed, rather than one wide shared one. Previously.
posted by mbrubeck at 5:01 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Germany, Austria and Switzerland do it too.
posted by brujita at 5:10 PM on February 15, 2015

On your pic from top to bottom: comforter (white), mattress topper (white), mattress (gray).

I don't think the average Swedish bed is significantly different from the average American bed in terms of softness/firmness.
posted by yonglin at 5:12 PM on February 15, 2015

Thanks for the answers everybody. I think I get it now!
posted by thorny at 5:17 PM on February 15, 2015

In Germany, I was taught to fold the side of the doona/quilt/duvet/bigsackofdownfeathers under, so that it didn't hang down the side of the bed. So my vote would be that it's a doona/quilt/duvet/bigsackofdownfeathers, though it's hard to tell from the picture.
posted by kjs4 at 5:18 PM on February 15, 2015

I prefer a firmer mattress an I found the ones in my Stockholm hotel to be unremarkable. You should be able to call hotels in advance and ask if they use memory foam on their beds - the front desk clerks in Sweden likely speak English (especially in the larger cities).
posted by muddgirl at 5:19 PM on February 15, 2015

I found this blog post on how to make a bed Swedish-style super interesting. Apparently it's a mattress topper. Though the author mentions a box spring in the post, I think that's the author misunderstanding what a box spring is - what she shows is mattress, mattress-topper (with it's own set of linens), and duvet.
posted by amelioration at 5:33 PM on February 15, 2015

Based on the photo, I would actually call that a featherbed.
posted by The Deej at 7:24 PM on February 15, 2015 [2 favorites]

Interestingly, the Swedish IKEA site specifically mentions the rather bulky, memory-foam-looking bäddmadrass, whereas the US / American site only has "pillow tops."

The Swedish one looks much thicker though I've seen them in the US -- usually when they are super-thick they contain at least a layer of foam or two, possibly all "memory foam" or layers of different types. Typically straightforward to push off the bad and not use at all, depending on your level of disability of course.
posted by aydeejones at 7:53 PM on February 15, 2015

(Looks like the American site has the other varieties too, just categorized as "Pillow Tops" at the top level. This is interesting because of the tendency for IKEA to "Swedify" everything in the stores for Americans to marvel at, but they don't use the lengthy word "bäddmadrass" on the US site.)
posted by aydeejones at 7:56 PM on February 15, 2015

I am sure it is a duvet/comforter. My Swedish relatives all use single duvets on double beds, and they fold them in half and put them on top side-by-side when they make the bed. They would look exactly like the white thing in your picture. Then a decorative cover like the one in your picture on top of everything would not be unusual in a nice hotel too.
posted by lollusc at 8:45 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

The thing on top of the bed is a down comforter - a duntäcka.
From my limited experience of Swedish hotel beds, they are not at all softer than American beds. And as mentioned above, you can probably call in advance and ask for a firmer mattress.
posted by mumimor at 11:22 PM on February 15, 2015

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