Would you pay $25 to take a nap? What if you really needed it? What if your house was a 40-minute drive or train ride away? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to take a nap in the middle of the workday? A nap pod is a place for you to grab a little cat nap when you’re out and about – a home away from home where you can snooze in peace.
While some offices provide their employees with nap pods, the vast majority of workplaces do not. Busy New Yorkers in search of a snooze must then look to outside businesses offering places to nap, like Nap York (currently under renovation), YeloSpa and even JFK International Airport. To see what all the nap pod buzz was about, I took a trip to the Casper Dreamery, located just a short walk away from Washington Square Park.
The Dreamery is owned by Casper, a mattress company, and it exists in the gray area between a service and an advertisement. Casper is a primarily internet-based business, which means that customers are often ordering their mattresses without ever having touched one (let alone laid down on one). At the Dreamery, you can order a private, 45-minute nap on a full-sized Casper mattress for just $25. That’s around 55 cents a minute.
I made a reservation on the Dreamery’s website a few days before my nap, and was advised to arrive 15 minutes early to my “class” so that I could have time to settle in.
As soon as I walked into the Casper Dreamery, I was met with their specific brand of sleepy whimsy. The entrance to the Dreamery is an arched, blue hallway dotted with pinpricks of light representing stars. After you make your way through the tiny galaxy, you find yourself in the lobby, which includes a lounge filled with comfy chairs, refreshments and “boring” reading material (think medical textbooks and the history of Maltese dogs).
In contrast to the busy city streets outside, the lobby was shockingly quiet. I felt for a moment like I was in a library (or a funeral home). It looked like there were no other customers there, but I wasn’t sure. I tiptoed up to the man at the front desk and whispered, “I have an appointment.”
I was greeted in a whisper-voice as well, and I was given a handful of tiny, complementary Sunday Riley bath products. The man then offered me a pair of Sleepy Jones pajamas to borrow. Everything in the Dreamery is a brand deal. Of course, I took the pajamas.
I was directed to a series of booths in which to get ready – they’re like dressing rooms, but with sinks. I was a little nervous, because my nap was only 45 minutes and I thought I was on the clock. In record time, I changed into my pajamas and rubbed what I think was face lotion all over my hands. I stored my street clothes and my purse in a nearby locker.
Finally, I was ready to enter my nap pod. A second employee appeared (did I mention they all wear stylish dressing gowns?) and led me to a room filled with giant, blonde wood hoops. I was led to my hoop, which had a mattress, pillow and duvet suspended in the middle.
“Is this your first time napping?” She asked, like it was a normal thing to say.
“Uh… yes?” I replied.
“Turn the light off when you’re ready to sleep, that will start the timer,” the employee told me, “Then when your time is up, the light will gradually come back on to wake you up.”
I stepped inside the hoop, and she closed the thick, beige curtains. It was the moment of truth. I settled down into the bed and pulled the duvet over myself (Casper assures its guests that the Dreamery’s sheets are laundered after every visit). I had to admit, it was comfortable – warm and cool at the same time, with a mattress that wasn’t too soft or too hard. I had reached peak Goldilocks, and I turned off the light.
I didn’t fall asleep, but I hadn’t really expected to. I have a strict sleep schedule, and it’s difficult for me to fall asleep outside of it. But I hadn’t expected to feel so relaxed either. I slipped into a sort of meditation as I was cradled in my sleep-hoop. I felt for once like I had my own little private pocket of Manhattan, where I could let my guard down and just rest. I was comfortable and snug, my thoughts turning away from worry and toward the kind of milkshake I was going to buy in Penn Station. Before I knew it, the light was coming back on.
I don’t know if nap pods are the sleep wave of the future, or if they’re just a fad. But when I stepped out of the Dreamery and back onto the loud, busy streets of NYC, I totally understood their appeal.
Would you like to try napping in a nap pod? Have you done it already? Let us know in the comments below!