Innovation That Matters

After the Olympics, 8,000 of the 18,000 beds will be repurposed for athletes at the Paralympics | Photo source Airweave

Beds for Tokyo Games are made from recycled cardboard

Architecture & Design

The cardboard frames feature a customisable mattress with four different firmness levels to accommodate each athlete's body type

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Spotted: The Japanese bedding company Airweave has created 18,000 beds made from recycled cardboard and customisable mattresses for the athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. 

Tokyo 2020 set the sustainability concept of the Games as “Be better, together – For the planet and the people.” According to the 2020 Olympic Games website, they are taking several initiatives to deliver sustainable Games that showcase solution models to global sustainability challenges. To support this, the Olympics partnered with Airweave to be their official bedding partner. The brand will also provide pillows, duvets and customisable mattresses for the athletes. 

After the Olympics, 8,000 of the 18,000 beds will be repurposed for athletes at the Paralympics and after both Games, the beds will be donated to national organisations instead of going to landfills.  

The frames are made from recycled cardboard was used to made bed frames. As for the mattresses, they are made from polyethylene fibres, which the brand told Dezeen can be recycled an unlimited number of times. 

The cardboard frames have been designed to be extremely light for IKEA-like swift assembly. The frames will accommodate a version of Airweave’s modular mattress. Research a sleep study commissioned by Airweave was published in the Public Library of Science (PLOS), revealing the propriety AirFiber® technology lowered core body temperature and improved sleep quality compared to sleeping on memory foam. According to the company, it is the first of its kind to be published in the journal.  

The modules that make up the mattress can be ordered in four different firmness levels, with an optional pillow top for additional increase the softness. Airweave told Dezeen that “Our signature modular mattress design allows for firmness customizations at the shoulder, waist and legs to achieve proper spine alignment and sleep posture, allowing for the highest level of personalization for each athlete’s unique body type,”. 

Finally, a complimentary app has been developed through which athletes can submit photos and body measurements to receive a recommended mattress configuration. 

Written By: Katrina Lane



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