Luxury mattress makers E.S. Kluft sell a $33,000 mattress called the Palais Royale. It will probably not make you sleep that much better than an $800 mattress from Sleepy's. So how do they justify charging that much?

The Wall Street Journal, having already written about every other piece of crap that rich people spend too much money on, investigates the insanely expensive mattress market. Its findings: People are fucking nuts.

How much would you spend for a good night's sleep?

Some people might say $33,000. That's the price of E.S. Kluft & Co.'s hand-tufted, king-size Palais Royale mattress and box spring, currently the most expensive American-made mattress set on the market. The company says it has sold about 100 since introducing it in 2008....

European shoppers will pay even more. At $69,500-roughly the price of a Porsche Cayenne S hybrid SUV-there's the Vividus king-size mattress set from Hästens Sängar AB, of Sweden. Hästens says it takes 160 hours to assemble this mattress entirely by hand, which has a Swedish-pine frame with thick layers of horsehair, cotton, flax and wool inside.

Yes, you could own a Porsche, or send a poor child to college for two semesters, or fill a dump truck with 6,950,000 pennies, and then dump them on someone, or, you could buy a $70,000 mattress, from Sweden, and sleep on it, secure in the knowledge that you are an asshole.

And what's in these ungodly things? The downy skin of Christian infants? A dozen kilos of uncut Colombian cocaine? Pure gold, but, like, soft, so it's nice to sleep on? No: It's just the same shit in every mattress, but more expensive. Here are the layers in the Palais Royale:

  • "The top layer is Belgian pima cotton jacquard, a woven fabric most often found in upholstery and vintage wedding gowns."
  • "More than 10 pounds of cashmere, mohair, silk, and New Zealand wool—much more than a regular mattress"
  • Biofoam for circulation—"it looks like a high-class egg carton"
  • Natural latex to "balance and support weight"
  • Organic cotton felt "help the whole thing breathe"
  • "More than 2,000 hand-laced steel springs"

So, you get better sleep on these mattresses, right? Well, "for the vast majority of people who are generally healthy, bed surface won't make much of a difference in terms of their sleep," says Dr. Clete Kushida, medical director of the Stanford University Sleep Medicine Center. There is some evidence that a new mattress can make a difference—but, you know, you can get one of those from Sleepy's for a fraction of the price of these monstrosities.

That being said, who knows? Maybe you will find it easier to sleep, with a smaller wallet. But couldn't you have just built a $70,000 light-up sign that says "I DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT POOR PEOPLE"?