The Next Big Thing in Smart Homes? Wellness, Of Course.

Wellness has seeped its way into home decor with companies putting healthy twists on tech products.

Bearaby Weighted Blankets
Weighted blanket maker Bearaby, which recently launched a collaboration with West Elm, considers itself an extension of the smart home gadget trend—with added health and wellness benefits. Bearaby

It’s 2020 and the “wellness” movement has seeped its way into almost all aspects of consumer goods, with the latest being home decor. This is no surprise, as it was only a matter of time before the two buzzwords collided to launch the latest subcategory of health-focused home goods.

The trend, which encompasses tech-related products with a healthy twist, has spawned a growing collection for all your decorating needs in recent years. These include Casper’s Glow Lamp, smart white machine maker Snooz and nursery device startup Hatch Baby, with more to come. This doesn’t even begin to cover the ultra wellness symbol, candles, with countless direct-to-consumer options being offered by newcomers, which have attracted investors’ attention.

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When it comes to joining the growing ranks of mindful homeware producers, new companies are confident that their offerings will stand the test of time, well beyond consumers’ fleeting health resolutions.

“Most people aren’t aware that the light they surround themselves with in the mornings and evenings plays a critical role in their well-being, including sleep-wake cycles and the regulation of key hormones,” explained John Goscha, founder and chairman of Brilli, a newly-launched lighting company focused on providing “circadian” bulbs to illuminate your home.

Goscha told Observer that installing lighting with wellness in the home “is one of the easiest healthy lifestyle changes people can make,” which is why he spent years developing Brilli. “Until now, the companies playing in this space have compromised light quality or energy efficiency. We knew that we had to figure out a way to provide people with a beautiful, energy efficient product that was also healthy if we were going to get people to make the switch.”

Brilli, a newly-launched lighting company, focuses on providing “circadian” bulbs to illuminate your home. Brilli

The Boston-based startup’s focus is on building lighting that’s deemed as an extension of the already-mature smart light industry, which includes the likes of Philips Hue’s popular kits. However, Goscha points to the potential market for health-focused home lighting that goes beyond mood-setting colors and Wi-Fi enabled dimming. “We pay close attention to metrics related to circadian entrainment (like melanopic/photopic ratio and circadian stimulus), as well as impact on mood, visual comfort and aesthetics,” he explained. “We also give you the ability to customize light by time of day. So, if you’re somebody who travels or works late nights, you can get your natural rhythms back in sync.”

And it’s not just electric lighting that’s getting the wellness treatment. Take for example the explosive popularity of weighted blankets within the last couple of years, in which direct-to-consumer startups have seen immense success by marketing to health-conscious millennials.

“In the coming years, the blend between health-consciousness and design will be more prominent than ever due to the D2C model and online purchasing behavior,” said Kathrin Hamm, founder of ultra hip weighted blanket maker Bearaby, which recently launched a collaboration with West Elm. “We think of Bearaby as an extension of the growing trend of smart home gadgets, as our products fit seamlessly into anyone’s lifestyle with the added benefit of sustainability and mental health.”

With the rise in consumers shopping via Instagram, among other social platforms, shoppers are more aware than ever how certain household products can affect both their physical and mental health. “They are making quick purchases that meet their standards of being not just visually appealing, but also environmentally friendly and health-conscious,” Hamm said.

Bearaby West Elm Collaboration
Bearaby’s successful partnership with West Elm has distinguished the brand within the contemporary interior design scene. Bearaby

Hamm also points to some of the current wellness trend’s biggest culprits, such as the rising levels of issues with anxiety and insomnia, as a driver behind this trend. “Now, more than ever, people are looking for ways to naturally decompress in the comfort of their own home,” she told Observer, giving examples of the mainstream’s acceptance of ideas like “JOMO” (joy of missing out) and people embracing the idea of carving out a sanctuary to cozy up and stay in rather than going out to party. “There is a lot of momentum and positivity around this idea of creating your own calm, comforting, safe space outside of the bedroom, and we’re excited to be a part of it.”

This momentum has helped catapult Bearaby’s partnership with national homeware retailer West Elm into a success (the blankets are constantly selling out). Hamm says the reach has allowed it to to showcase how Bearaby “fits within a modern home lifestyle,” while distinguishing the brand within the contemporary interior design scene.

“Consumers are looking for natural ways to seamlessly integrate wellness-centric products into their lifestyles that will have lasting and visible impacts,” Hamm concluded, predicting that we can expect more companies launching in the space to help harness this market’s zen. The Next Big Thing in Smart Homes? Wellness, Of Course.