New-Fangled Answers to an Age-Old Question

Since the beginning of time, people have struggled with the discomfort of climbing into a cold bed. Though blankets and body warmth do the trick eventually, we live in a society that is looking for a more immediate, high-tech answer, and Mark Aramli has come up with an answer that fits the bill. Aramli is a former NASA engineer whose mother lives in Rhode Island and spent a recent cold winter struggling to stay warm. “I kept astronauts warm in space, and this was just a bed,” he said. “Everything was too hot or too cold.” He set to work to create a device that can either heat up or cool off a bed and came up with the BedJet. It blows temperature-controlled air between the sheets, and can be purchased with an air-filled comforter that can also be temperature controlled. The products, which run at $499 for the BedJet itself and another $149 for the comforter, come with a dual-zone temperature control that allows couples to each sleep in their own individualized comfort. Aramli says, “You can buy heated and cooled seats for your Mercedes-Benz and Ford and GM cars, which are wonderfully comfortable for a thirty-minute ride to work. But there has really been nothing that can give you that same level of heating and climate control in bed, and that’s where we spend thirty percent of our lives.” Aramli’s mother is not the only one who has been seeking extra help keeping warm in bed, and he is not the only one who has devised innovative answers. According to Mary Helen Uusimaki, spokewoman for the International Sleep Products Association, there are many products that have been released in recent years that specifically target people who are having a hard time finding a comfortable temperature while they sleep. “Many of today’s beds use a combination of materials to encourage comfort and support and temperature control. Certain materials are known to ‘sleep hotter’ than others, but a lot of that can be very subjective,” she says. “The top-of-bed segment is huge, and boasts every type of offering from cooling to toppers for aches and pains, athletes and top performance to allergy control.” Others turn to old-world solutions that they believe have worked just fine for hundreds of years. Glenn Bowman is owner of Vermont Soapstone, a company that assembles stone slabs that are heated in an oven and then slipped between the sheets in order to warm a bed. The same product can be placed on a windowsill to cool, and ahs been being made by the company since the middle of the nineteenth century. Bowman says, “There are no moving parts. It’s just a piece of stone and a handle.” Yet he sells about 200 every year, and he claims they work perfectly well, and come with a price tag of just $42.50. Perhaps the easiest and least expensive solution to the problem, according to Uusimaki, is to just go with the old standards. “In my opinion, if you want to be able to easily control your temperature, blankets, pajamas and socks are the easiest solution.”

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