Mehdi Mojtabavi just wants to cuddle. But his arm would start to fall asleep, and he'd have to roll over. So Mojtabavi came up with the Cuddle Mattress, which allows you to slip your arm down into the mattress and around your partner. (Watch the demo video.)
Essentially the Cuddle Mattress divides the upper and lower portions of the bed into a series of slats. Side sleepers can wedge their arm — or stomach sleepers can wedge their feet — in between these slats. Each slat has a firm and a soft side, which you can flip depending on your sleeping preference. The slats come in three different materials: latex, polyurethane or polyurethane memory foam. The mattress also comes with its own stretchable, fitted sheets.
Even though the design won a 2007 Red Dot award and was a 2008 Industrial Designers Society of America finalist, production has not yet begun. Mojtabavi moved from Tehran to Portland, Ore., in 2007 for a job and says he quickly found himself working 10-hour days.
"I got thousands of emails for a few months," Mojtabavi said. "It was like a fever around it. You can still see people talking about it and waiting for it to come out, but when you're involved in other things in your life you can't always promote a specific product."
Then, two years ago, someone who had undergone multiple shoulder surgeries sent him an email: He was eager to purchase the Cuddle Mattress. Mojtabavi was inspired to bring the mattress to production not just for couples but for individuals with health problems.
His next step was launching his first crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo. He didn't meet his goal of $75,000, but Mojtabavi says he got a lot of new feedback. The most common comment: People wanted to try it before they bought it.
"You want to come to the use market and bring something totally new," Mojtabavi said. "That's scary for someone coming here after living somewhere else. It's still a big deal for me."
Now, the Cuddle Mattress founder is back on the hunt for investors — or a possible partnership — to get manufacturing going.
Gerald Rich is a programmer journalist interning on our News Applications team.