Considering we spend a third of our lives occupying them, it is surprising bed designs have remained so stable throughout history – until now. Here are 18 groundbreaking beds that are straining to free themselves from convention, predictability and even gravity.
Its origins lost in antiquity, the hammock has been a popular and practical alternative loft bed desitn to terra firma sleeping arrangements for thousands of years. Le Beanock‘s contribution to this tradition is scale: slung between walls on a series of heavy-duty chains, their double-sized (but presumably only one-person) hammock is an eye-catcher, a room centerpiece and a sheer joy when it is time to sweep the floor.
But other modern beds also aren’t keen on being grounded either. Take the Bed Float - not only can it be fully dismantled in a jiffy (with part of the bed frame forming a carrying case), it is also designed to look as if it’s touching the ground as little as possible.
Similarly overcome with the urge to levitate are these two beds. Joel Hesselgren‘s vision is of bed legs that also double as side tables, in a modular design that can be divided into singles or doubled up and expanded as need be – “a bed that grows with you”. Lago’s Fluttua bed aims for a David Blaine trick: from the right angle, there is nothing but air under this bed.
Children like their beds to look like anything but beds (for example, pirate ships are popular) but this habit is not just confined to the kids. The Okooko bed looks almost seaworthy, albeit in a Columbus rather than Blackbeard style. The Tree Bed – part four-poster, part Lothlorien – can’t make up its mind whether it is a bed or a bird’s nest. And the Casket Bed seems perhaps a little too perfect for those with an angsty, gothic-revival obsession with creatures of the night.
Another design trend happily carried over from our childhoods is the cradle. Private Cloud have taken the concept and thoroughly updated it with more than a splash of style and pupil-dilating beauty. Rollers can be fixed under the leg-arches to allow safe rocking to and fro, or to lock the whole bed in place – and the whole piece can double as a comfortable (and stable) lounge-chair.
If you thought Private Cloud looked modern, the Lomme will be a revelation. This egglike bed comes equipped with a “light therapy” alarm clock, a massaging viscoelastic memory foam mattress and a control unit that is a specially modified iPhone. (At this point, you will be correct in assuming the Lomme isn’t cheap). With muting acoustics and a distinctly calming aesthetic, the Lomme seems guaranteed to give you a trouble-free night’s sleep, wherever you are.
Some beds have something to hide. All that’s lacking from this wicked-looking mousetrap-style bed (created for an exhibition, not for sale) is a box of chocolates as a lure, and possibly some kind of first-aid kit. The Pump It bed, on the other hand, could not look less innocuous…since until it is inflated, it’s just a corner of your carpet. An ideal solution to the problem of friends inviting themselves over for the weekend.
As much as minimalist is a pure and beautiful thing, maybe there’s such a thing as too minimalist. The classic-lined but somewhat severe Lectus Stripe Bed is a masterpiece of pared-down design, but just how comfortable is it? The Foetal Position Bed is even more demanding: you either lie in exactly the correct way, or you fall off – there is no middle ground. Taking constraint one step further, the Hold Me Bed is arguably the safest in the world, as you’d have to work extraordinarily hard to roll off it.
Yet it is not just the design of beds that is changing – their function is similarly in flux. As evidence builds that power napping has a profound positive influence on concentration and energy levels throughout the day, business of the future will have to find suitable furniture for corporate napping programmes. Here are some beds that are ahead of the curve. The two Cocon Napping Pods (the first reminiscent of Ridley Scott’s Alien) and the stunningly hi-tec pod from Metronaps seek to tackle sleepiness with the sturdiest of modern technology…