This Week in Pods

What makes a bed tent different from a bed box?

Photo credit: Falashad, CC BY 2.0.

This week I got tipped off about a new(?) product called the Bed Tent:

The Bed Tent Black

For as little as $199.99 plus tax and shipping, you can turn your bed into a room of its own!

The Privacy Pop Bed Tent provides a snug fit around the mattress of the bed for exclusive privacy and seclusion in uncomfortable sleeping quarters. Create a sleep space anywhere or split large rooms like dorms and barracks into private suites.

Whether this product is a true pod is debatable—especially because the company is calling it a “tent”—but it appears to fulfill the same function as previous pods we’ve studied:

Is This San Francisco Man Living In a Box, or Sleeping In a Custom-Designed Pod?

As you might remember, there was this guy who wanted to disrupt the San Francisco rental experience by creating bed-sized pods complete with interior lighting, electrical outlets, and storage space. He wanted a way to shove more “rooms” into a one- or two-bedroom apartment. However, he got shut down:

San Francisco Man Vacates Custom-Designed Pod Bedroom After City Tells Him It’s Illegal

Turns out those bed pods were huge fire hazards.

But why is it okay to have a bed tent and not a bed pod? Are bed tents safer? Let’s see what Privacy Pop’s website has to say about that:


Okay. Not particularly reassuring. CPAI-84 is “a specification for flame-resistant materials used in camping tentage” and ASTM F963 is the “standard consumer safety specification for toy safety,” so that’s at least… something. The Bed Tent is flame resistant, and it’s as safe as a toy.

But it really gets interesting once you start reading Privacy Pop’s reviews. A lot of people love the Bed Tent—or, more specifically, they’re writing in to say that their children love it. The Bed Tent helps young kids stay in their own bed at night. It helps siblings who share a bedroom sleep peacefully. Autistic children are able to relax in a sensory-controlled environment. When families become temporarily displaced after divorce or during financial crises, Bed Tents provide stability and privacy for children as they move from one living situation to another.

Which… we’ve seen a “pods for children” story recently, but for a different income bracket:

Why I Care About Pod News

It’s like the pod trend goes in two directions: either you’re asking for too much if you want a living space where your bed doesn’t double as your desk, or you’re arguing that children’s bunkbeds should really be enclosed pods with their own lighting systems.

Here’s where I should reveal that I had a Bed-Tent-esque product as a child. My sister and I rarely got to use it, because it was a pain to put together and it very easily fell apart, but it was this Sesame Street-themed tent that had a fitted sheet on the bottom so it could be attached to a mattress. (The Bed Tent, which puts the mattress inside the tent, is better designed.)

I remember loving this tent, primarily because of its uses during imaginative play. That tent very quickly became Laura Ingalls’ covered wagon, or the Beavers’ dam from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I also remember just hanging out in that tent and staring at the Sesame Street characters like they were my friends or something, having in-my-head conversations with Bert and Big Bird and Grover, remaining as un-interruptable as possible before a little sister or a parent figured out where I was. (I’m sure my parents, at least, knew where I was the entire time.)

So yeah, the Bed Tent might not be that bad. As far as pods go, it’s one of the better ones.

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