With all of the focus put on sleep over the last few years, many of us have transformed our sleeping habits, discovering new ways of getting our circadian rhythm rocking and rolling so we’re in synch and feeling amazing — awake, asleep and in our dreams. Where we do that has started to take on new meaning and expanded its horizons — outdoors, in sleep gyms, at a spa, etc. We don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but the “on what” of where we doze is also moving into the 21st century and in some rather unique — and in some cases, familiar — ways.
A “bed” is no longer just that mattress, box springs and linen you grab at the department store (what’s a department store?). It’s all grown up and offered in a variety of forms. We’re always on the hunt for ultimate slumber options and thought we’d share some of the unique — and actually available, not just prototype/design challenge — items we’ve discovered. We decided to take a look at two types of “beds” in each of three categories for quick, easy reading and viewing pleasure: MOVING, HOVERING, and RETRO.
As mentioned, these are real beds you can buy now. Some of them cost as much as a car or even a house, but these do exist outside of a museum or gallery and people do sleep on them.
Swinging Slumbers — The Floating Bed®
Okay, we know what you’re thinking. We have a HOVERING category and you would think this would go in that. Nope. The Floating Bed does more than float. It looks like a hammock and a mattress got together and had a round, cushioned, scientifically enhanced baby. It gently swings and can be placed either in or out of doors. It is hung by a variety of stabilizing ropes from your ceiling or in a metal structure, and you can have it draped or not. There’s a real feeling of safari/Arabian Nights to this, an openness that’s intriguing. Add to that its purported health benefits of supporting smooth post-op recovery as well as soothing and positively stimulating kids with special needs, and The Floating Bed transports you in a unique way. Makes you wonder what kind of dreams you’ll have sleeping under the stars in something like this.
Rock-A-Bye Bedtime — Private Cloud
We’re thinking the Dutch have tapped into some sort of sleeping secret because this is the first of their two entries on our list. Rocking a baby relaxes them so they can easily travel along the crystal sea with Winkin’, Blinkin’ and Nod, right? Therefore, the theory with this completely encircled bed is to, yep, rock adult humans not only to sleep with one touch but keep your head lifted at an angle — elevating your noggin helps with your slumber. Private Cloud comes in two models — the Model 1 that is completely encircled and the Model 1.2 that’s more like an adult-sized cradle. Whichever you choose, you’ll be on your way to joining Winkin’, Blinkin’ and Nod.
Look, Ma, No Frames! — Fluttua
When you look at the Fluttua head on, it really does appear to be hovering off the ground. No bulky frame, no box spring, just a mattress and a killer headboard. Kneel down and you see the magician’s trick — one thick, sturdy leg. What you don’t see is an additional invisible base support. The goal of this is to allow for better hygiene and air flow. Available through Italian company, Lago, and designed by Daniele Lago in 2004, apparently fans of this say it’s like “sleeping on a cloud.” Kinda puts a whole new spin on the term “heavenly,” doesn’t it?
Refreshing Polarity — Falling Up
Before we get too far into the particulars, we’ll just tell you the Falling Up — so dubbed by its Dutch (yep, here’s our second entry) designer, Janjaap Ruijssenaars — comes in two sizes: the 1:1 that measures 1.3m x 3m x 0.25m and requires 12m x 6m of space for installation and the 1:5 measuring 60cm x 26cm x 4cm. We’re not going to convert these into non-metric speak, however, suffice it to say that the Falling Up 1:1 requires a lot of space, the 1:5 not so much and here’s why — these are magnetic hover beds/art pieces that require room for not only the magnets but the almost invisible cables that hold them in place. These literally float above ground, offering an actual sensation of weightlessness. The 1:1 can lift up to 900kg and that we will translate — 1,984 pounds or about eleven people. Awarded one of Time Magazine’s Best Inventions in 2006, Falling Up (which actually goes by Floating Bed these days, but let’s not confuse things) 1:1 costs about $1.6 million. The 1:5 is more of an art piece, can lift up to 80 kg (176 pounds) and costs a modest $120K. Lottery, here we come.
Hide ‘n Go Sleep — The Murphy Bed
Talk about a product that grew up and became legit cool big time. Whoa. There was a time when the Murphy Bed — once little more than a mattress you fold up into your wall to make room for whatever space you were lucky to have — was the symbol of single, living on a serious budget, getting my life off the ground-hood. Today? These are retro hipster on a scale that has made a few of our parents (and grandparents) scratch their heads and say, “Huh?” The styles range from the pure retro simplicity of yesteryear to hardcore luxury and have become so desirable as a sleep option that — dare we say it? — they’re almost mainstream. The original hide-a-bed featured in so many 50s movies and television shows is now a coveted and rather gorgeous item. Who knew?
Get Hip to Some Zzzzz’s — The Waterbed
When’s the last time you even thought about a waterbed? Or maybe all you know is they’re the brunt of a lot of 70s jokes. Well, just like Murphy, these quintessential disco era icons have evolved. You no longer feel like you’re on a raft in the middle of a rolling ocean all night long — I slept my entire senior year of high school on a waterbed, so I know of whence I speak. These liquid filled marvels have really come into their own, offering 21st century contour mattresses that use different levels of water to enhance your sleeping experience in addition to the original soft, flowy — or ‘free form’ — styles. While the once billion dollar industry certainly has fallen by the wayside, it is not gone and is working towards a come back. Innovation is really groovy.
Close your eyes…
We know getting a good night’s sleep is important but we also think mixing it up and finding new ways to do it makes it even easier. Stay tuned for more ideas on unusual “bed” options as well as more great sleep places — as in, unique locations — to explore. Feeling good about where you lay your head adds to the joy of resting, no matter where and how.
Sleep well, friends.