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Now Boarding: A Sleeping Pod For Naps At The Airport

The SleepBox offers aggravated travelers a secure, comfortable place to rest while they wait.

Being trapped in an airport waiting on a delayed flight can feel like an eternity. After exhausting the overpriced food options and duty-free shops, what else is there to do but fidget in a stiff seat and bemoan air travel’s tragic decline? If only there were a comfortable spot to stretch out and take a nap without worrying about someone swiping your luggage. Meet SleepBox 01, a shoebox-size room designed by Arch Group to give weary travelers a place to rest for anywhere between a half hour to several hours. The first full-scale model has been installed in the Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.

The Moscow-based firm has made some radical aesthetic changes to its 2009 proposal, abandoning the white iPod exterior for the warmer look of ash veneer. The inside resembles a boat cabin, with every inch maximized to provide a short-term guest with everything she might need short of a shower: a twin-size bunk bed, a fold-down desk, a nightstand, an LED lamp, a gadget charging station, and electric-drive blinds for privacy.

The first SleepBox is for demonstration purposes, but Arch Group says that commercial ones are in the works. "We installed the simplest modification, because the largest clients’ interest is in budget solutions," says Mikhail Krymov, one of the firm’s principals. More elaborate versions could include mood lighting using color-shifting LEDs, Wi-Fi, a TV, a safe-deposit box, and an automated bed-changing system (though an attendant would still tidy up after each guest).

If Arch Group rolls out operational SleepBoxes, it’ll join the legions of businesses that have swooped into airports to offer the services airlines have cut. But as with checked luggage, meals, and in some cases, even pillows, it probably won’t come cheap.

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  • Mandisa Nzuza

    My Husband and I are thinking of starting the same project in our country, Its a brilliant idea. Just to answer that question asked here.... we decided that the pods would be in a area where a person would  have to have been through security already. so this would also monitor that the person using the pod would be waiting for a flight not just anhyone.

  • nyunkk

    My question is how does one know when to wake up from their nap to go catch their flight? If you nap too well, it'll be harder to wake up.

  • Jetpackjello

    it will be used for naughty things. They should make it out of glass with no curtains to prevent that. Otherwise it'll be littered with used condoms and needles. Also, from a naming standpoint, they should probably 'namespace' the names, like LAX.01 or SFO.01 so that you can pinpoint boxes by their names. Having just 1-2 of these in an airport will lead to a huge supply/demand mismatch, so you need at least a few hundred, which gets us to that pod hotel someone commented about earlier.

  • Corey Leamon

    Major win to Stef down there... "MOOL-TEE-PASS". It made me laugh.

    My question on this is a matter of security. Sure, this may prevent people from grabbing your luggage on the run, but wouldn't the sleep box naturally become a target for thieves? All they'd have to do is wait until the person is asleep, and step in to swipe the possessions. And if it's capable of being locked, how do you prevent people from camping out? Karyl makes a valid point. This seems like a lot of space and materials for one or two people. I think it could be further reduced.

  • Karyl Gilbertson

    While everyone can agree that airports need some sort of comfortable sleeping solution, I think this one is a waste of space and materials. Why not emulate something like the Japanese pod hotels, everyone gets a pod with a little locker for their luggage. Less space means more pods, more pods means more efficient and less expensive.

  • Stef Marcinkowski

    This idea would really "take off" if they'd simply put these ON THE PLANES, like in the film, The Fifth Element. MOOL-TEE-PASS.