By Evan Ackerman

I’m a huge fan of napping. It’s important to understand that napping is not the same as sleeping, in that actually getting into bed defeats the purpose of a nap, which is to just curl up on a piece of furniture and drop off (especially when you have other important things that you really should be doing). So without further ado, here’s our ode to napping: The Top 5 list of Nap Tech:

#5: MetroNap Nap-Pod

MetronapMetronaps is offering these little pods for rental in a few cities around the world, including New York. The pod reclines, a privacy shield descends, and then you powernap for 20 minutes, whereupon the pod will wake you up with a combination of an acoustic alarm and a gentle vibration. According to Metronaps (and others), a 20 minute powernap substantially increases productivity. Buying your own will cost about $8,000.

It’s not #1 because: it’s public, it’s designed for power naps (only 20 minutes), and it’s basically just a glorified recliner that costs $14 per nap.

Check out the top four after the jump.

#4: Pillow Book

Pillow BookOne of the main attractions of a nap, as I’ve mentioned above, is sleeping when you’ve got other stuff you should be paying attention to. Like, when you’re in class. People have been using textbooks as pillows since the invention of the two hour geology lecture, so it’s a little bit surprising that it’s taken this long for someone to come up with a textbook that actually has a comfy a pillow inside it. No word on whether the book is drool resistant. You can get a pillow book for about $100, imported from Japan.

It’s not #1 because: while it can definitely make illicit naps at work or in class more comfortable, it can’t possibly be that comfortable, which is one of the primary criteria for a good nap.

#3: Napgrass

NapgrassOkay, so it’s actually called “schlafgras” (sleep grass), but don’t mind that. Napgrass is a meadow of styrofoam tubey things, covered in unnatural colors, that you can grow in your living room (through holes in the floor, apparently). You can vary the height of each piece of napgrass to create your own “personalized nap-landscape.” Unfortunately it looks like this napping concept never really grew out of the design stage and into a production model.

It’s not #1 because: although I love the idea of a personalized nap-landscape, it’s pretty bizarre, and looks like it has the potential to be either eminently comfortable or lumpy mess.

#2: Napmosphere


Remember back in the day when you were small enough to be allowed to romp around those awesome ball pits? Here’s one for grownups, albeit for the slightly (okay, majorly) more sedate purpose of napping. The Napmosphere is designed to let you burrow around until you find the most comfortable position, with the spherical balls preserving enough air space to keep you from suffocating. You can change the external fabric and/or the color of the translucent balls, which alters the lighting inside. Although not currently being produced, it’s effectively a single person tent filled with balls. DIY, anyone?

It’s not #1 because: it looks a little claustrophobic and you run the risk of having someone zip you up and roll you around, balls and all.

#1: Transport


Ready for a nap yet? If not, this baby should motivate you: the Transport, designed by Alberto Frias, is a “perceptual pod.” It’s made out of fiberglass, with an integrated sound system, full spectrum LED lighting (that can pulse with the music), and a cushioned water bed that measures a full 6 foot 6 inch circle. It is available for purchase for between $10,000 and $12,000 depending on what options you decide to toss in. Okay, so it’s a tad spendy, but can you really put a price on the perfect nap?

It’s #1 because: as if the waterbed, sound system, and lights weren’t enough, the transport is large enough that you can take a nap (or, um, not) with someone else. And no matter how high tech your nap gets, snuggling with someone else just can’t be beat.

Honorable mentions: Napshell, Quantum Sleeper