Humans have come a long way from having to sleep on piles of leaves or animal skins on the floor, and with NASA technology coming to the bedroom in the form of memory foam, you could be forgiven for thinking that the humble bed can’t get much more advanced.
However, bed technology is far more than hitting the snooze button, and beds of the future could be substantially different to what we know today.
1. Floating beds
This might sound like taking the phrase ‘drifting off to sleep’ a little too literally, but floating beds could well be found in many bedrooms in the future, and there is method behind the madness.
Beds could be made that could float up to the ceiling in order to be stored away, making more space in the room below. They could even lift up to reveal a gym bench underneath, meaning that bed space can double as a workout venue.
2. Self-cleaning mattresses
In all honesty, how many of us can say that we clean our mattress regularly? We’re not judging, and soon you might not have to worry anyway, because mattresses of the future may well clean themselves.
On average, a mattress weighs about 30% more after 10 years than it did when you first bought it. Slightly disturbingly, that weight is mostly dead skin, dust mites and other debris.
Mattresses of the future may well be able to sterilise themselves by using technology similar to that seen in a modern vacuum cleaner, meaning you are no longer sleeping on top of dust and dirt every night.
3. Sleep monitoring
Do you ever get frustrated when trying to balance your body temperature in bed, with one leg sticking out of the duvet and the other one under it?
Beds of the future may be able to monitor the temperature in the room and control the air conditioning, to try and create the perfect temperature for you. It could also be possible to change the temperature of the duvet or pillow, meaning you can always have the cold side if you want.
Furthermore, beds could even feature sleep tracking, monitoring your heart rate and other vital signs, so that if anything goes awry during the night, you or your sleeping partner will know about it straight away.
4. Cardboard beds
This might not sound very glamorous or futuristic, but cardboard beds could well be a common sight in the future.
Eco-friendly, easily transportable and cheap, flat-pack kits of recycled cardboard have already been used to make beds that can support the weight of up to 20 people.
Ideal for those who are on a budget or move house a lot, a cardboard box might just be the surprising way of getting a great night’s sleep.
5. Augmented reality screens
Everyone dreams about sleeping under the stars, but often the romance of the idea doesn’t convert to a good night’s sleep.
This means you can gaze at the changing constellations above whilst also enjoying the comfort of your own bed. It’s ideal for the intrepid explorer who likes a bit of pampering too.
6. Light-up pillows
Again, this might sound unnecessary, but light-up pillows really could improve how you feel after a night’s sleep.
These pillows can be made to gradually illuminate at a set time, and this steady increase in light will help to wake you up gradually by interacting with your body’s sleep-wake cycle, which responds to changing light.
Then, even when it’s dark and cold outside in the winter, your body can still be convinced that the sun has risen and it’s time to start the day.