10 Korean products I would export to the U.S. (if I had an export business.) #6 Heated Beds

Just like ondol, only in bed form!

On the same theme as ondol, there is another winter weather product that I would like to export. It’s the heated stone bed!

In this article, you can find out why this product might actually be better than ondol itself!

Remember, ondol is where the whole room of the floor is heated. This is great if you sleep on the floor at night, but for those of us who sleep in beds, the heat of the floor doesn’t magically rise to our mattress. Sure the heat of the room may increase, but then the floor would be too hot by the time the warm air rises to you in your bed.

So, as Korea is a modern country, fewer people are sleeping on the floor these days and opting for beds, but the houses don’t automatically update to include heaters. (In fact, I don’t think I’ve yet seen a Korean abode with non-ondol style heating, even in modern apartments.) So people still want the sleeping on the heated floor feeling in their bed. So, they created the ondol bed!

How does it work?
Well, there’s no cooking fire or waterpipes running through the bed, but you plug the bed in, and the heating unit in the bed warms the stone base of the bed. There are even mattresses which are compatible with this bed, so that the heat will convect through the mattress and find its way to your chilly self.

Why is this better than ondol

Well, I don’t know if it is better than ondol for heating the whole house, in the daytime, but it makes a lot of sense at night. You don’t need to run up the heating bill on your whole house when you could just heat the bed you sleep on. Sure, it might be freezing when you get up in the middle of the night to go use the bathroom, but your heated bed will only be loved more, when your re-chilled self makes a mad dash from the bathroom to get back in bed… SWEET!!!

Also, since this is a series on exporting, it’s better than ondol because: a) it’s hard to export ondol itself to existing houses. You would need to build an entirely new house, and most people buy houses, not land on which to build new houses. b) beds are much easier to export. c) most Americans sleep in beds anyway, so even if they imported ondol anyway it would have no effect at night when they are in their beds.

The ondol bed is made by several companies in Korea, but I found a somewhat hilariously translated page from one of them here. The rest of the companies only had information in Korean.

In Korea, there seems to be a market for both healthy and green products, and this ondol bed is both!  Some are even suggesting that it will become an international standard.

22 Responses to “10 Korean products I would export to the U.S. (if I had an export business.) #6 Heated Beds”

  1. Ondol bed will definitely be recognized in international market. Combining it with heating mat, it ‘ll be a big hit in northern Europe and other cold countries. But isn’t it too pricey?

  2. this would be amazing right about now. every night i’m tempted to break out a third blanket. that would be three of those heavy, “fuzzy” Korean blankets, too.

    i feel warmer just thinking about it.

    but i would still prefer the heated bed over the smothering weight of blankets.

    so close…

  3. hahah it looks so comfortable😛 I don’t think I can ever wake up to do anything :S probably end up being late…….😦

  4. Slept on one of those once. Was great at first, then it got too warm. Does it have a thermostat? I think the electric blanket would be cheaper and more practical.

  5. Good idea, but as wchung8 said.. I wouldn’t want to get up from my bed ^_^

  6. Oh, you should also mention how it works well in summer🙂 I love this bed, because not only it makes me warm in winter, but also it keeps cool in summer!
    I have a friend who has that bed.. Whenever I visit there with some other friends, we have to play a game to lie on the bed. Only winner can do that😀 haha

  7. That is not the bed such as normal bed. It just bed type ondol. I think lots of asian people like the bed but I m not sure that western people like it or not…
    Anyway, I wanna buy it for my house.

  8. I found this mattress, rows of stones or tlies . they can be heated to very specific temps. Handheld control device plug into matt.
    What is it? Please!

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