A bedtime story

The origin of The Floating Bed is a long story, full of history, discoveries, research, many stops and starts, adventures at rock concerts and peaceful resorts, scientific research, secret rendezvous with famous customers (who are mostly shy to mention us – but not all), and, after all, the manifestation of an original vision that has created 20 million hours of deep and delightful sleep for owners world-wide.

Our origin story

In the beginning there was night

From John Huff: I have been an inventor (mostly health products but also other products) for 50 years. My dad was a physician and my mom was a nutritionist, so I grew up interested in alternate ways to become healthier and live better, while requiring it to be scientifically proven. I typically begin my process by looking at actual scientific sites (not the pop media) for interesting studies. When I find something that could be turned into a product that would help people, I develop it.

I developed several nutritional and herbal products this way. My first company (Nazar) made the first healthy, no sugar energy bar, in the early 70’s. We made the first non-tea food product that contained ginseng.  We made a plant-based burger mix (Loveburger), and pioneered other uses of superfoods before they became popular.

While doing that, I read thousands of medical studies on the topic of better health. I kept seeing studies on the benefits of motion. For example, it increases lymphatic circulation, produces more desirable EEG readings, et al.  I then realized that no one had made a product to “deliver” those benefits. It turns out that in our modern society, we are literally deficient in motion, and we should be doing what we can to get more of it.

But then scientific rigor, logic, or cynicism, kicked in. If motion is so beneficial, why didn’t the beds that hang from 4 rope attachment points, or for that matter, the waterbed, remain popular? If the motion is so great, why weren’t such motional products more successful?

Then one day I understood the answer. The inner ear has 3 canals (the Vestibular canals) which evolved to keep us safe. When the liquid in these 3 canals “sloshes around,” it sends a message to our sympathetic nervous system that we are moving in a dangerous way. Lateral (side-to-side) motion could cause us to slide off of whatever we are on, and such motion could injure or kill us. It doesn’t matter whether the danger is real; your system is always working (even during sleep) to keep you safe. With those motions, we get an instant increase in anxiety, and an undesirable spike in our EEG readings. (This is also one of several reasons for motion sickness.)

And then I remembered, as a youngster, when someone showed me the magical “bucket trick.” If you swing a bucket of water over your head, in a pendulum motion, the water will not spill out. It will stay level in the bucket – it will not slosh from side to side. Then I understood the small, powerful detail that prior bed inventors had missed. Any hanging bed, or motional device of any kind, should only have pure pendulum motion, if we want to relax, feel better, or sleep. Any other motion makes us anxious. Waterbed owners grew subconsciously tired of fighting that message all night during sleep, and gave up on it (for that and other reasons).

When the US Patent Office did their survey, they found that no one had ever designed a bed that had this motion – even though it is obvious in hindsight. So I was awarded a patent, on the Floating Bed. We called it that because when you are on one, it feels like you are almost weightless, floating, because it is that same motion. That is what your body tells you.

After arriving at this conclusion via science, I realized that EVERY MOTHER IN HISTORY has also come to the same conclusion, by trial and error, and talking with other parents. The most reliable way to help a baby sleep is to rock them, and mothers’ arms also use the same pendulum motion. (In fact, this motion is found elsewhere in nature, for example in the womb, and in many natural processes.)

So in a way, the joke was on me, and on all of us, for not realizing this sooner. We all could be sleeping better, with the benefit of gentle pendulum motion, because modern scientific studies have shown that this motion is just as beneficial for adults as it is for infants. There are plenty of practical verifications of the principle too. People who sleep on small boats anchored in a quiet harbor, or on trains, have always known this.

This is not just a theory. The first minute you are on a Floating Bed, you will experience this deeper relaxation yourself. After 20 years of sleeping this way, I can easily report this, but our clients will tell you the same thing.

I realized that we all deserve, and could have, a bed that will provide us with this most healthy, relaxing, gentle motion, a bed that is better than any other bed that exists (including the bed you are now sleeping on). I also though it would be great to deliver these benefits when we are resting or sleeping, so we don’t have to insert yet another thing into our busy schedules. With that, I discovered my life mission.

But there’s more…

Designing such a product from the ground up was an enormous job. Yet after 4-5 years of focus, I had worked thru the design and manufacturing process to create a practical bed, some inventory, the patent, manuals, a team, etc. But that took $350,000, all the money I had. There was nothing left for marketing, or anything else. So I started doing live events, any kind I could get into. Over the next 10 years I hosted the Floating Bed at over 300 of them, basically every other weekend. We did street fairs and festivals if they had large crowds.  We were backstage at VIP events and concerts.  I hosted it at charity auctions and other events, art festivals, and even made a Floating Bed float for parades. Before long we were invited to put them backstage on TV shows too (Daytime Grammys, Teen Choice Awards, Academy Award parties, etc).

It was a lot of work, but it built the business. During that time, I met over 40,000 people, talked with them for a few minutes, and put them in a Floating Bed. In addition to getting sales, it was a very thorough market study. I found out how people responded to it, what they liked, expected, and wanted of it. We found that after spending two minutes relaxing on one, the number of people who buy one goes up 10 times, compared to just seeing photos on our website. So it is obvious that we need to be in brick and mortar stores, where people can get that all-important demo experience. It is especially clear that basically every person loves gentle rocking – in a Floating Bed.

During all that, I met a lot of celebrities and visionaries, assistants, set designers, and of course all kinds of other people. Thanks to that, I was on the Jay Leno show, on PBS, and more. The Bed was featured (without me) on Extreme Makeover Home Edition (the Emmy-winning episode, with Senator Dianne Feinstein), HGTV, MTV, The Price Is Right, Weeds, a Sears commercial, and others. We were on the covers of The New York Times, Natural Living Mag, in the LA Times, in a Vogue Magazine article as a “must-have” item, and more.

Conde Nast Traveler picked us as one of the “10 Most Romantic Hotel Beds.”

We received dozens of reviews on TripAdvisor, from guests at hotels that now feature them, every review being 5 stars. The Topia Inn was featured in “Top 10 Boutique Hotels in the US,” with the Floating Bed as the lead photo.  We have Beds in two dozen spas and hotels, including a Hard Rock, Six Senses (destination resort in the Seychelles), The Maui Andaz Hyatt, The Dorchester in Miami Beach (on Collins Ave), and Hotel Ohta Park (St Petersburg, with 4 Beds). Our Beds are in hotels, health spas and retreats, airbnbs, and homes in the US, France, England, Australia (around 20 there), Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong, and more.

Disney Epcot featured it in The House of the Future as “The Bed of the Future.” There are over a dozen celebrity owners, and many of them have become friends and advocates of the Bed and it’s motion (which also increases creativity, thanks to the improved EEG you experience).

The various health benefits have brought people to it who want to live better. Now some people in the western medical establishment are recognizing some of the benefits. There are three in an autism retreat in Colorado. People are getting them for sleep, stress, circulatory issues, post-operative recovery, and other reasons.

There are now beautiful Floating Beds all over the world, and over a thousand happy owners who love them. We have proven that every body loves gentle rocking. And we know that you will too – more that you might even expect, just from just looking at the photos of real-world beds. We hope to see a nice photo of a Floating Bed in your home soon. If you wait, you are just delaying those benefits, and we don’t want you to regret putting off something that is so good for you.

Oh, and one last thing – it really feels good too, for infants (but you already knew that), for children, and for adults too. Every body wants to feel better.

Call us today for a consultation, and I will personally help you get the right Floating Bed for your home, and for your life.


John Huff, scientist and inventor.