“To sleep, perchance to dream”—William Shakespeare
We humans spend about one-third of our lives sleeping . . . or we’re supposed to, anyway. The reality is that for many adults, getting the recommended eight hours is easier said than done. According to the CDC, 35% of U.S. adults suffer from some sort of sleep disorder, and getting less than the recommended amount of rest can leave you tired, irritable, and not at your best the next day. For most people, the search for a solution to the sleep dilemma is focused on finding just the right bed. Well, we believe we’ve created it.
A couple years ago, Orvis Dog Ambassador Melinda Benbow was lying awake—her mind spinning as she tried to guess the next twist in the plot of “Tiger King”—when she gazed jealously on her English setter, Suge. Slumbering deeply on a cozy Memory Foam Couch Dog Bed, the dog snored contentedly, oblivious to the big-cat drama causing her mom to toss and turn. “Boy,” Melinda thought, “I wish I could enjoy sleep like that.”
As a professional dog trainer, Melinda knew that the average pup sleeps up to 14 hours a day—dreaming of treats and endless tennis ball throws while nestled in a bed that supports them from nose to tail. Watching Suge made her wonder: Is that level of comfort attainable for humans? She shared this question with Orvis dog-product developer Jon Comeau, who was intrigued and recognized a potential new market for Orvis.
“When I first pitched the idea, my manager said I was working too hard and that I should probably sleep on it,” Comeau says. “So, I did.”
The challenge was to take the features that make our dog beds the best in the world and adapt them to a much larger version. As Comeau and the team began the research, it became clear that those benefits that make our beds so perfect for dogs are also are vitally important for humans:
• Support for joints
• A sense of security
• Versatility (removable cushions, snap off pads, machine-washable covers)
To build a prototype, they used an extra-large Bolster Dog Bed as a starting point. Kids in our retail stores have always enjoyed lying on these big beds, so product developers threw a couple on the floor of the office and had a few of our smaller associates and their children test them out. The results were eye-opening, and the team members knew they were onto something.
Our product developers took the original specs for the bolster and scaled-up the overall dimensions to match a standard queen-size bed. These new designs were then digitally transferred to a CAD fabric die-cutting table, where the pattern was cut from the same furniture-grade fabric we use in our dog beds. We initially chose a popular jacquard pattern, as it is visually pleasing, hides stains, and complements most décor. The bolster features Orvis ComfortFill-Eco™, our proprietary plush and resilient material made from 100% recycled water bottles. The main bed presented a unique challenge, as our standard memory foam was engineered specifically for dogs. However, through a connection at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Jon was able to source a NASA-approved memory foam for the prototype.
Next, we put the bed through the same rigorous testing process we use for all our dog and fly-fishing products. We sent prototypes to Orvis associates of all sizes and sleeping styles. We also set up a bed in the Orvis Flagship Store in Manchester, Vermont. Starting last summer, customers were invited to lie on the bed and provide feedback via a tablet kiosk, which was linked directly to our product-development team. After collecting data for approximately 90 days, we knew we had a winner. The prototype bed was immensely well received and, with a few small tweaks to the bolster size and an improvement to the overall firmness of the memory foam, we had arrived at a bed that could almost guarantee a perfect night’s sleep.
Introducing the Orvis HUMA-Rest, a breakthrough in sleep technology. Designed with humans in mind, it delivers all the attributes our legendary dog beds are known for—comfort, support, and a cozy sense of security—and does it in a shape and style that looks great in any home. Fully customizable, it’s available in nine gorgeous colors and patterns, features a ComfortFill-Eco™ bolster, a memory foam sleep surface, and can be personalized with embroidery at no extra charge for up to two names. And it’s versatile: its unique construction allows the sleep surface to be easily separated from the bolster section, so it can be placed in a standard pickup-truck bed for weekend adventures.
The days of dreaming of a sleep experience as blissful as that of your dog’s would ever be possible. With the new Orvis HUMA-Rest, you can rest-assured, it is. Click the link below to learn more!