Studies show that Americans do not get enough sleep, and it’s a problem the nation has struggled with for decades. A company founded and based in Los Altos is trying to help fix that.
Bryte builds beds using modern technology and the latest scientific understanding of sleep.
Co-founders Ely Tsern and John Tompane said sleep is the foundation of health and wellness. It impacts immunity and strength, along with physical, emotional, mental and psychological well-being.
Research in sleep science aligns with their beliefs. In studies conducted in 2009 and 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that approximately one-third of Americans get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep per night, which leads to higher risk of multiple health problems. The CDC declared sleep deprivation a public health epidemic in 2014.
Tsern and Tompane’s goal is simple: deliver truly restorative sleep. To them, it is not enough to help people sleep longer, they also want to ensure high-quality sleep. The sleep industry is huge, and according to Tsern, Bryte’s CEO, people spend nearly a half-trillion dollars annually to improve their sleep.
Building a better bed
Many of the products that promise better sleep are gadgets that change how a person sleeps. Tompane, Bryte’s president, stressed that they wanted to make a product that would not cause a jarring shift in lifestyle.
“This made designing the bed a much more technologically difficult problem,” he said, “but ultimately a much more satisfying solution.”
Bryte’s flagship product is the Bryte Restorative Bed. All components are made in the U.S., with the technology coming from Bryte's office in Pittsburgh, Penn., and furnishings from the New England region.
Controlled by advanced technology that learns the patterns of a person’s sleep, the Restorative Bed adjusts multiple systems automatically. It does so with sensors for heart rate, breathing, movement, and more. Using the information, the smart bed changes multiple aspects of the person’s environment.
According to Bryte’s website, the bed can change the temperature for each sleeper’s part of the bed, has 100 pneumatic coils that sense pressure points, adjusts support for each part of the body accordingly and even controls lighting to help a person fall asleep and wake up easier. A person sleeping in the Bryte Restorative Bed does not need to change his or her sleeping habits – just go to bed as usual and the product will do the rest, Tsern and Tompane said.
Just don’t call the Restorative Bed a “mattress” – Tompane is adamant that word not be used to describe it.
“A mattress, if you look up the definition, it’s literally just a pad you sleep on,” he said. “It’s why we refer to it as the ‘bed.’ Because the bed is where you go to sleep. We also want to really distinguish the difference between a static inanimate thing that does nothing for you and is literally 19th-century technology versus a bed where you want to go and actually get maximum sleep.”
Tompane added that once someone sleeps on a Bryte Restorative Bed, he or she will never want to sleep another way, and that beds like these will be the new norm in the future.
It takes a village
Located on State Street, Bryte was founded in 2016. Tsern and Tompane have lived in Los Altos for decades and, according to Tsern, it “has been an incredible place to live and raise a family, and it’s been an amazing place to really start and grow a company. It doesn’t surprise me at all why this is near a hub where many great companies are developed and grown.”
When they decided to launch Bryte some five years ago, Tsern and Tompane said the environment and community in Los Altos were amazing in providing support and resources to start a company. They were able to quickly network with investors, experts and advisers in all the relevant fields. For instance, one of their key investors is Adobe Systems co-founder John Warnock, who happens to live down the street from Tsern. The
Bryte co-founders went to Warnock’s home and pitched their idea to him. They said he was eager to invest.
“A lot of our success stems from being in Los Altos,” Tsern said. “We loved living in Los Altos before; the ease of starting a company is an extra reason to stay.”
Tompane added: “We appreciate the ability to be here to make a difference, and we really appreciate the support we’ve gotten from everybody. The first investor to write a check literally lives halfway between Ely and I. We have more investors and people who provided help, assistance and connections from Los Altos than anywhere else.”
The price of better sleep
Bryte and the people behind it have bold ambitions. Tsern and Tompane said they did not start the company just to make a widget that would sell well – they earnestly have a passion to improve everyone’s sleep. Bryte’s stated goal is to reach as many people in the country as possible.
One obstacle, though, may be the price of the Bryte Restorative Bed: queen-size beds go for $7,600, while king and California king beds run $8,600. However, Tsern said the company does not plan to build beds for just the wealthy. His and Tompane’s original vision was for everyone to be able to afford a Bryte Restorative Bed. Tsern said Bryte plans to license its product with big mattress manufacturers because it is the quickest and most effective way to reach the most people. Starting next year, not only will the Bryte Restorative Bed be sold in more stores, but the price of one will drop and continue to drop as time passes, he added.
In the meantime, Bryte has already expanded and plans to continue expanding into hotels and high-end luxury properties around the U.S. Local residents interested in a Bryte bed can try one out by staying at the Courtyard by Marriott in Los Altos.
Due to the pandemic, Bryte’s showroom and corporate office in downtown Los Altos are currently closed as the company has shifted to remote work.
For more information, visit bryte.com.