Read this before buying the Moon Pod - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Read this before buying the Moon Pod

What is the Moon Pod? If you follow viral Internet chit-chat, you might have seen references to the Moon Pod floating around Twitter and such, and possibly concluded it was the latest lofty sub-project of SpaceX from Elon Musk or something. But the Moon Pod is a highly engineered kind of chair. Well, to be frank, most people, when they look at it, will conclude it’s a souped-up beanbag chair.

But it’s not fair at all to call it that. Beanbag chairs as we knew them belonged in the 1970s, in living rooms that existed only in Sears catalogs right between the hi-fi stereo and the macrame owl gallery nailed up for display on the wood-paneled wall. Beanbag chairs were good enough for the Brady Bunch.

The Moon Pod takes the idea of adjustable, form-fitting furniture and doses it with a shot of modern-day high tech engineering. Instead of styrofoam “beans,” it’s stuffed with high-density beads, which give just enough yield while still providing support. Instead of the old polyester exterior, the Moon Pod uses a supportive dual-shell membrane to give just enough stretch while remaining responsive to movement.

The result is an ergonomic and flexible design that can serve as a chair, a recliner, or a futon-style nap nook. It’s made for 21st-century living, ideal to the three activities we need most in furniture: Sitting up working on a laptop, chilling out browsing on the phone and tablet, and laying back for sleep, meditation, or recovering from panic after reading the latest news headline.

Origins

The Moon Pod is actually built to be therapeutic seating for those who suffer from stress, anxiety, PTSD, and other nervous ailments. It’s part 21st-century furniture and part stress reliever. That’s pretty ambitious for a chair, but the designer is John Fiorentino, the same crowd-funded innovator behind the Gravity Blanket a few years back. The Gravity Blanket is aimed at autism-spectrum disorders, providing a weighted sensation that hugs you as you rest. Indeed, sandwiched between a Gravity Blanket and a Moon Pod, you’re floating entirely in an environment designed to raise serotonin and lower cortisol.

Fiorentino crowd-funded the Moon Pod the same way. It’s realized now as a shipping product, selling currently for a few hundred dollars at major retailers. Even without the claims of it helping to treat symptoms of various disorders, plain old recliner chairs sell for that much all the time without saying they alleviate so much as a hangnail. Thus, the Moon Pod can just say it’s an extra-comfy adjustable furniture unit and sell itself right there.

How It Sits

The Moon Pod sits like a cloud that’s smart enough to support your lower back and neck. It moves with you just enough to adapt to your desired position, while still providing the support that molds to your body.  Instead of sinking in, you float. The shape adjusts to any body size, comfortable for every member of the family and also occasionally commandeered by the cat. The high-friction bead filling feels about like sitting on cushioned sand.

How It Goes With Everything Else

The aspect of the Moon Pod that doesn’t get enough hype is that it’s lightweight. It only weighs 12 pounds and when not occupied, only takes up about the space of a sheet of newspaper. This makes it perfect for apartment living, fitting into snug floor plans. It’s also great for house living because more mature folk can move it around without herniating a disk. It’s not even out of the question to stuff the Moon Pod in the back of your truck to take with you, so you have guaranteed comfortable seating at your next Air B’n’B or hotel room.

And for the ultimate innovation in furniture, the Moon Pod is machine-washable. Wash in cold water, tumble dry on low heat. How many other chairs can be cleaned along with the bath towels?

The neutral gray color is a decent enough choice to go with everything. The gray blob character might not be that exciting to look at, but there’s also nothing in the rules to say you can’t drape it with a bedspread. It goes with everything, without calling too much attention to itself.

On the whole, the Moon Pod is modern seating for modern times. Like the best kind of comfort reclining, you forget all about it five minutes after you sit in it, while it feels like sitting on supportive air.


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