Professional Sleeper: How to Become a Bed Tester (Dream Job)


Professional Sleeper: How to Become a Bed Tester (Dream Job)

Learn how to make a living from sleeping! Follow these steps to land your dream job as a professional sleeper.

Do you often have trouble waking up in the morning? Are you constantly hitting the snooze button on your alarm? Do you wish that sleeping could be a job? Well, it can! 

This article will show you ways to become a bed tester. That’s right; you can get paid to sleep!

What is a professional sleeper?

A professional sleeper tests mattresses and sleeping aids or participates in scientific research on sleep for a living. A professional sleeper gets paid to give their opinion on sleeping products or participate in sleep studies for money. If this sounds like something you would like to do, read on to learn how to become a professional sleeper. 

How do I become a professional bed tester?

There are a few things you will need to do before becoming a professional sleeper. You will need to learn about the profession and get the right qualifications before working as a mattress tester. Following these few steps can help you land your dream job as a professional sleeper and get paid to sleep!


1. Learn about the profession

To succeed as a professional sleeper, you should first learn about the profession and what a mattress tester entails. Knowing about the industry will help you be able to find work as a professional sleeper better. 

How to Become a Bed Tester

What do professional sleepers actually do?

The day-to-day responsibilities of a professional sleeper can vary. Still, usually, you are required to analyze the comfort and design of sleep-related products such as mattresses, designer beds, and blankets, or pillows. Researchers may also hire people to participate in a research study on sleep or related things such as brain activity, muscle movement, heart rhythm, brain waves, and sleeping patterns.

Professional bed testers may be asked to test the following:

  • mattresses
  • quilts 
  • pillows
  • sleep aids, such as room lighting and noise machines
  • hotel rooms
  • to be a luxury bed tester
  • sleeping pills for medical trials
  • participate in experiments and projects

Needed skills for a professional sleeper

To be successful as a professional sleeper, there are a few skills you will need to have. 

You will need to have:

  • The ability to fall asleep in different surroundings, usually away from home.
  • The ability to sleep knowing people are watching you
  • No problem with sleeping with wires or machines attached to you for detailed reports
  • The ability to detail your sleep quality in a report
  • The ability to write interesting reports about your sleep
  • Good sleep habits
  • The ability to make quality observations
  • Good organizational skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Good health and fitness levels 

Working hours of a professional sleeper

It is essential to understand that you may need to spend a long time away from home as a professional sleeper. Sleep studies can range anywhere from 24 hours to 2 months, making it an unusual profession for working hours. 

Most professional sleepers are freelancers, so you will not have a normal 9-5 job. Most are paid per hour or per study for their time. If you are up to the challenge, you could soon be getting paid to sleep!

Where do professional sleepers work?

Professional sleepers might work from home to test some products. However, it is more often the case that you will be working from a lab that is a controlled environment. This is so your sleep environment can be monitored, and quality data can be collected by scientists, doctors, and students using research equipment in a lab.

Hotels also hire people as hotel sleep testers. In this role, you will test hotel rooms for comfort, ambiance, and mattress quality, among other things.

How much do bed testers make a year?

The salary prospects vary. Since the position is typically freelance, earnings differ based on the sleep study and product you are testing.

An article on careerlancer.net reports that according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the salary of professional sleepers is around $15,000 annually. However, this can differ based on numerous factors such as experience, location, company, and time needed. 

Most sleepers are paid per hour for their work, although sometimes they are paid to work on projects related to sleep for a specific fee.

Professional sleeper is usually a freelance position

As a paid sleeper, you will likely be hired as a contractor or freelancer, so your earnings will vary based on your assignment. Some scientific research studies can be quite lucrative. 

This article on WiseStep, reports that the Sleep Medicine division of Harvard Medical School sometimes pays around $10,125 for 32-37 day research studies. That’s some good money for just sleeping for a month!

Some brands and companies will allow you to work from home and report back. These jobs typically pay less than those scientific research studies; however, you can still make a living as a professional sleeper if you only wish to test products. 

Pros and Cons of being a professional sleeper

Just like with any profession, there are pros and cons of becoming a professional sleeper.

Pros

  • You’ll get paid to sleep!
  • You can receive medical treatment for any sleep-related products. 
  • You will still get paid for the days of any study completed, even if you don’t complete the entire study.
  • You will learn more about your own sleep habits.
  • You can often get sleep products free of charge.

Cons

  • You may have to adjust to your lifestyle (Ie: no caffeine, no alcohol) for certain studies.
  • You will have to spend a good amount of time away from home.
  • You will not have a regular income; instead, you will be paid per project.
  • Work is not guaranteed, and you will need to find studies or projects to work on by yourself.
  • You may have to wait to participate in another study in some cases (i.e., some studies may require you to wait a month or more before working on another sleep trial or study).

2. Get the right qualifications

While there are no specific requirements as each study is different, you will need to be 18 years old and in good health to participate in most studies. For certain studies, such as ones on insomnia, you may need to have specific problems with the trial to qualify. 

Experience is key

The more experience you have as a bed and mattress tester, the more likely you will get hired for other jobs in the field. Sometimes, the job can become a regular position for hotels or mattress companies to continually test new products or features. 

Find studies that you qualify for

Some scientific research requires participants to have specific medical conditions, such as insomnia. If you suffer from a specific condition being studied, you may have a good chance of getting hired to participate in scientific research.

Be in good health

For a research study, you will usually need to be in good health to participate. Since some research on sleeping requires scientists to observe the human body, brain activity, and sleeping patterns, being healthy is often a requirement to collect reliable data.

Professional Sleeper: How to Become a Bed Tester (Dream Job)

3. Find jobs as a professional sleeper

Landing your first job as a professional sleeper can be somewhat tricky. There is no specific protocol for getting hired as a professional sleeper. Instead, you will need to meet the criteria of each study independently.

Search online for testing mattresses job listings

Good places to look for professional sleeper job listings are Craigslist and other freelance sites such freelancer.com and Upwork.

Another site, worldsleepsociety.org, lists jobs for professional sleepers, typically in the sleep study industry. Here, trials are posted that need participants for a sleep study from universities like Harvard Medical School.

Keeping an eye out for advertisements and job listings, and companies that hire sleepers is your best bet when it comes to getting hired. You may have to search through numerous job listings, but if you have the patience and drive to do so, you can start earning money while you sleep… literally!

Reach out to companies directly

Another way to find work that pays you to sleep is to reach out to companies directly to become a bed and mattress tester. You could make a proposal that lists your skills related to being a professional sleeper and send that alongside your resume that lists any sleep-related work experience. The worst they can say is no, so it is always worth a try!

Mattress makers often need consumer feedback on their products, so contacting a company can sometimes get you a free product even if the company is not hiring sleepers!

Start a blog about beds & sleeping

Setting up your own blog is another way you can market yourself as a professional sleeper. You can use your blog to prove your expertise in the industry by talking about sleep-related topics.

Do you want to start your own blog? Check out my step-by-step guide on how to set up a blog in less than 15 minutes. Click here to get started.

Starting a blog is easy with websites like WordPress and Wix. You can even monetize your blog to make money writing about sleep. I wrote a post that explains how to use a blog to make money


4. Continue working on your career

As discussed above, the more experience you have as a professional sleeper, the more likely you will get more work as a professional sleeper. You can start to enhance your career as a professional sleeper in several ways.

Continue learning about sleep

Knowledge is key, and continuing your education in the industry will help advance your career as a professional sleeper. Try looking for sleep-related blogs, books, and other media to help make you more experienced in the science of sleep.

Build your resume

By taking even small, odd jobs related to the sleep industry, you can improve your resume and better your chances of getting hired for more in-depth and high-paying sleep studies. You can never have too much experience, after all!


The bottom line

Getting paid to sleep is a dream job for many. With a little knowledge about the industry, the right qualifications, and a little work to search for jobs, you can become a professional sleeper and get paid to sleep!


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Liz Holmes

Hi, I'm Liz Holmes. A full-time blogger and entrepreneur.

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