The Goods: For people who don't get the recommended eight hours each night, here's a pricey temptation: the jelly bean-shaped Napshell, a sleep "pod" starting at $13,500. Dreamed up by seven university students in Stuttgart, Germany, the pod features a leather-covered "intelligent foam" mattress, which, according to the inventors, makes a 20-minute snooze feel closer to three hours by taking pressure off the sleeper's back. To tune out any distractions, there's also interior LED mood lighting, noise-canceling headphones and the option to drift off to soothing nature sounds played over the pod's speakers. U.S. nap lovers can check it out on retailer Hammacher Schlemmer's website, which advertises a deluxe version priced at $25,000.
Would you pay $13,500 for the best nap ever? SmartMoney's Alyssa Abkowitz on Lunch Break shows us a jelly bean-shaped sleep "pod" that starts at that hefty price and features a leather-covered "intelligent foam" mattress.
A Wake-Up Call: There's plenty of research showing power naps can rejuvenate the mind, and companies like Google have already warmed to the idea of letting workers catnap on the clock. But experts aren't convinced that a futuristic pod is better than an old-fashioned couch. A curved mattress with back relief, for example, isn't necessary for a 30-minute snooze, says Russell Rosenberg, CEO of The Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine & Technology, who calls the pod "a bit gimmicky." And with its open sides, it's hard to imagine the Napshell blocking out sound and light -- the most important factors for an effective nap, say sleep pros. Nicolas Reber, one of the Napshell designers, says the pod's aesthetic is vital to the design (the idea was hatched during an architecture course, after all) and maintains that its cocoon shape makes it feel like a room within a room. Now, if you can only persuade your boss to sanction nap time.