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Airweave creates cardboard beds for athletes at Tokyo 2020 Olympics


Athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will sleep on beds made from recycled cardboard and customisable mattresses by Japanese bedding company Airweave.

Airweave has created 18,000 beds and mattresses for athletes at this summer’s Olympics, 8,000 of which will be repurposed for use by athletes at the Paralympics.

The bed frames are made from recycled cardboard, while the modular mattresses are made from polyethylene fibres that the brand says can be recycled an unlimited number of times.

A white cardboard bed and mattress by Airweave
Top: Japanese bedding company Airweave has created a cardboard bed for athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Above: The bed supports a modular mattress that athletes can customise.

The sleeping equipment had to align with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games’ sustainability plan, which aims to deliver a more sustainable event and showcase innovative concepts and solutions that will have a legacy after the Games.

“The concept was to make a lightweight, easy-to-assemble mattress and meet the Games’ Sustainability Plan,” Airweave told Dezeen.

An Airweave bed and mattress
Airweave has created 18,000 beds and mattresses for athletes at this summer’s Olympics

The bed frames, which are made out of recycled cardboard, will first be supplied to Olympic athletes. Following the Olympics, 8,000 of the bed frames will be reused by Paralympic athletes. After both Games, the beds will avoid landfill by being donated to national organisations.

The beds have been designed to be extremely light and easy to assemble in order to ensure transferring the beds between locations is quick and efficient.

A blue and white Tokyo 2020 Olympic mattress
Airweave will also provide duvets for the athletes

The cardboard bedframes will support a version of Airweave’s modular mattress, which the brand designed to accommodate the wide variety of body types of different athletes.

The mattress is composed of three separate blocks made from springy polyethylene fibres – one to support the head and shoulders, one to support the waist and one to support the legs – which are zipped together in a case.

The modules can be ordered in four different firmness levels and can provide a different level of firmness on each side. This allows athletes to customise their mattresses by changing the order of the three blocks and flipping them over one way or the other.

“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,” Airweave said.

Three parts of the Airweave mattress
Athletes can customise the mattresses to suit their body type

The mattresses can be further customised with additional layers, such as a pillow top to increase the softness.

In the Olympic Village, athletes will be able to go to a mattress fitting centre where they can get help with mattress configuration.

The brand also developed an app to help athletes find the best mattress for their bodies. Users can submit photos and input their body measurements into the app to get a recommended mattress configuration.

Airweave's white mattress
The mattresses comprise three polyethelene blocks that are arranged inside a zip-up case

As the Olympic’s official bedding partner, Airweave will also provide pillows and duvets to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic athlete villages.

Cardboard beds are not the only new addition to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The Games will see robots by Toyota deployed across the site to assist workers and attendees. Toyota has also adapted a fleet of its autonomous and electric e-Palette vehicles to serve athletes.


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