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James Johnson, George Home Bed Buyer

• George Homes’ Chief Sleeper James Johnson, spends 300 hours in bed for a living

Imagine getting paid to sleep? Well that’s the case for 31 year old James Johnson from Lincoln. As Asda’s Chief Sleeper James is in charge of testing beds for bounce, support, comfort as well as quality, and as such sleeps for an astonishing 300 hours a year whilst being paid.

The average human spends a third of their life asleep* and 22.37pm has been revealed as the best time to go to sleep for the optimal night’s rest**. However for James there’s no right or wrong time for a snooze.

Research also suggests that once winter sets in, 55% of people struggle to sleep due to cold and discomfort in the bedroom. That’s why Asda’s Chief Sleeper samples over 100 beds a year and constantly monitors trends to make sure they get a decent night’s sleep on a George bed.

In fact James has even come up with a formula to the perfect sleep. Putting his years of sleeping experience to the test he has uncovered a foolproof recipe for slumber which includes a comfortable mattress, a 13.5 tog duvet, a hot water bottle and two goose feather pillows.

For nine years, James has individually selected George Home’s bed collection, sampling over 100 beds every year in order to ensure there is something to cater for every preference.

James says: “A lot goes in to selecting a bed – more than people might think! Normally we test around 10 beds a week, and testing is definitely the most relaxing part of my day. When it comes to selecting a bed, I always try and look more broadly around what a bed means for different people as well as considering safety features and ultimately the best quality at the right price. Trends also influence the ranges we stock.

“The average human spends a total of 227,468 hours asleep, so selecting the right mattress and bed is essential. It is quite a personal thing and definitely depends on the space you’re trying to fill. When it comes to the perfect bed, I always think it is a case of comfort being the sum of the parts.

“The three things to consider are the frame, the mattress and the bedding. When it comes to the mattress, the decision no longer needs to be between soft and firm as technology means you can curate the perfect combination for you. Offset a firm mattress with a feather mattress topper for the perfect balance of comfort and support.

“While a mattress should be replaced every eight years, there are no hard and fast rules for the frame and this definitely stands up to whether it has worn well over the years and personal preference – there comes a time when you just fancy updating your bedroom.

“In terms of the frame, a metal frame works well for smaller spaces, as the non-solid headboards give a feeling of space. If you like to read or watch TV shows before sleep, then an upholstered bed is the best fit as the soft, padded headboards will provide a comfortable back rest.

“Beds are always a focal piece in any room – we tend to stock neutral colours as a good bed can make a statement without having to try. This is when you can add in the elements that make the bed your own and incorporate the formula for the dream night’s sleep.”

When it comes to identifying trends for the season ahead, James relies on upcoming technology and looks closely at the current ranges to see what has gone down well with bed buyers. This is all considered when looking to the next season, and James works closely with George Home designers to create beds that incorporate the best bits from the previous season. At the moment the trend for beds is bringing full on glamour to the boudoir, with hidden practicality as sales of Ottoman beds surge (57%).

It would also seem that when it comes to beds, bigger is better as King Sized beds have enjoyed an increase of (21%), with the growing popularity meaning George Home will be expanding a number of bed ranges into Super King to meet customer demand.

He adds “Sales of beds are steady throughout the year, and as nights are drawing in and people are getting cosy at home we always see an increase of sales and interest from November leading up to Christmas. In fact, I think buying yourself a bed for Christmas is the perfect self-given gift.

“My personal favourite bed is the Suzette range – the classical styling with scroll detail on the headboard and footboard give a perfect finish. The button detailing is completed by hand – I love the champagne and pewter velvet fabrics, which will add a touch of luxury to any setting. “

For further information about the George Home range visit www.george.com


*The Sleep Institute, 2014** One Poll research of 1,000 adults