Wanted: Bed tester, must love sleeping. Apply within.
Is testing beds, while sleeping, something you would love to get paid to do? We took a look at the opportunities in this king-sized sector and so, if you’re interested in getting paid to sleep, here is what you need to know.
When luxury bed specialists Simon Horn, makers of the Savior Beds for the Savoy Hotel, asked for participants for their month-long “sleep survey” in 2009, they received 600 applications within 48 hours.
And, when Drew Iwanicki answered NASA’s 2013 advertisement looking for participants to lie in bed for an uninterrupted 70 days, he was one of 25,000 applicants.
What to do:
First, understand the application process. Simon Horn was looking for someone who could help their sales team as well as their customers – the winner Roslin Madigan’s application stood out because of the quality of her writing. And that was what half the job was about – besides sleeping on top of designer mattresses, the winner needed to be articulate and interested in writing about their experience. The strength of Roslin’s cover letter clearly got her noticed.
Being able to write well is something that helps the ‘paid to sleep’ application process (and, frankly, any application process.)
If you need a refresher, check out these two articles:
How much can I make as a bed tester?
Roslin took home £1,000 to sleep in luxury beds every day for a month. No wonder there was so much competition for the position. Keep reading for advice on how to land these king-sized gigs.
Other ways you can make money sleeping
Lying down to advance rocket science
Drew’s application was more of a box-ticking exercise and, as expected, the engineers at NASA were more interested in his physical characteristics than his digital presentation skills. After submitting the initial response, Drew got a follow-up from NASA asking for between 20 and 30 pages of his own, and his family’s, medical history. In short, they basically wanted to know everything about the health of the people whose genes he inherited. NASA then flew him out to Texas for a physical examination.
The health of respondents was clearly something that NASA was serious about. So serious that Drew got $18,000 big ones for his 70 days hard, er… lying down.
Lying down to advance ordinary science
If you’re able to commit to 3 – 4 overnight studies during a month period then check out the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. They’re looking for subjects to take part in their sleep research study. The study will take place at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and each study has different requirements, but you can make up to $1,050 if selected. They seem to advertise fairly regularly, so see more details, and keep a track on this page.
Because everyone can (and must) sleep, a bed tester position is not a vacancy that will need a large advertising budget to fill. So, don’t expect it to be advertised. We did some pretty detailed searches on job sites, including Indeed and Gumtree and came up trumps. Google was not much help either – and it is not often that a person gets to say that!
So it is up to you to go out and tell those in the industry, those who would be looking for bed testers – think manufacturers, mattress buyers and review companies – that you are the best person for the job.
And why are you the best sleeper in the business? Because not only can you sleep, but you know your mattresses.
It would be a rookie error to term the type of mattress that you were lying on incorrectly. And as there are more than a few types, here is a roundup of the categories:
Hybrid: This type of mattress is made up of more than one specific quality and blends construction methods. Most often they combine a type of foam (memory foam, poly foam, latex foam) and an innerspring system. The foam gives the soft comfort while the springs give the bounce and cooling.
Latex: This mattress is essentially made up of layers of latex foam, which gives a more general hug than memory foam does as it’s more responsive and has better bounce than memory foam on its own. Think of it like a cooler, more bouncy memory foam mattress.
Memory Foam: Think viscoelastic properties. These amazing foam mattresses’ elastic properties mean that the more pressure you place on it, the more it pushes back. So the heavier parts of your body get more support than the lighter parts – but your whole body sinks luxuriously, and consistently, into the mattress and this is what brings the full night’s sleep. If you’re looking for support and comfort you will not go wrong with a good memory foam mattress.
Coils: If you have to have a cool mattress, like a traditional feel, or on a budget – then this mattress type is for you. This style of innerspring mattress has been around for a long, long time and is created by a layer of interconnected springs. They are normally well made and offer a reasonable level of support.
Pillow-Top: The soft upper layer of this style of mattress is supported by an innerspring mattress below. The soft upper layer can be secured or quilted onto the cover of the mattress and gives a softer, more comfortable experience than a traditional coil mattress. It gives a cloud-like feel, that’s cool – so different from the snug warmth that a memory foam mattress provides.
The key thing here is to know that firmness is different from support. You know when you lie on a mattress? That feeling of how much pushback you get from a mattress is described as firmness. Support is how good a mattress design is at keeping your body in the right alignment while you are dreaming. If you have too little support then you can often feel it in aches when you wake up. Another tell of too little support is having a restless night – tossing and turning trying to get comfortable.
Firmness is decided on by the sleeper, so it is a little more difficult to get right. If you are someone who weighs 150lbs then you may think a mattress is medium-firm, but if you’re 100lbs heavier you could well think the mattress is soft.
The catch-all approach by mattress manufacturers is to design for Universal Comfort, which basically meets the needs of almost 80% of people. The neutral-to-medium-firm feeling gives a normally agreeable firmness level with very good support – and is often a mattress that most people will enjoy.
Why spend the time every day looking for ‘bed tester’ jobs when you can set up a Google alert to ping you when a competition is started, a vacancy is created or a social media post is sent out?
Step 1: Set up a Google alert
Fortunately, this is not a tricky process and once it is set up you can leave it alone to work its magic:
- Go to Google Alerts
- In the box at the top, enter a topic you want to follow.
- To change your settings, click ‘Show Options’. You can change:
- How often you get notifications
- The types of sites you’ll see
- Your language
- The part of the world you want info from
- How many results you want to see
- What accounts get the alert
- Click Create Alert. You’ll get emails whenever Google find matching search results.
Step 2: Contact mattress companies and pitch yourself
Yes, there are firms in the sector and Google is your friend. Create a list of firms, find out who their marketing manager is, and then give them a phone call, introducing yourself and asking for advice on how to go about reviewing their product. Note that this may be unpaid, so try to make sure you are recompensed for your efforts in some shape or form.
Step 3: Consider writing online reviews
This is a round-about way to get paid to sleep. Think of it as getting your sleep sponsored by having your mattress provided by brands who want you to write about them. You will need to create a blog, and get writing – if you need help with this check out our helpful guide: How to make money from a blog that will walk you through the steps of creating a blog, deciding what to write about and making sure that people read what you have written.
Now in the story of Roslin and Drew, Roslin had regular working hours and got to go home each evening. Drew had to lie down for 70 days straight! Now, if you’d rather be Drew (sure, there is a larger paycheque to consider) then perhaps also look at these articles: How to make money with your body and Make money taking part in paid clinical trials.
Whatever you decide, good luck and sweet dreams!