Tech Workers in San Francisco Are Living in Tiny Bed ‘Pods’


This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Tech workers are paying up to $900 a month to stay in tiny bed “pods,” small boxes made of wood and steel just four feet high.

The pods, which are made by Brownstone, can only fit one twin bed, and those staying will have to make do without a full kitchen or laundry machines while also sharing five bathrooms.

The bed pods are arranged in are stacked two-high in dorms, and they run on monthly contracts and don’t require a security deposit.

One resident, tech startup founder Christian Lewis, who created the AI firm Spellcraft, said the tiny spaces got a “little toastie,” but he had enjoyed a restful eight-hour sleep. He and others trying to launch AI careers in San Francisco praised the accommodation in an interview with ABC 7 News, particularly for the networking opportunities they offered with other pod-dwellers.

Brownstone had its first customers this summer, its CEO James Stallworth told SFGATE, adding that it currently rents out the spaces for $500 in Bakersfield, $700 in San Francisco, and $900 in Palo Alto.

“Our private beds have 40% more room than typical bunk beds, and come with individual lights, privacy curtains, temperature-controlled fans, and other essentials,” the company’s website says.

“In addition to your own private bed, you get keyless entry to the house in an amazing location, access to a full kitchen, and fully furnished common spaces such as a living room and shared office room,” it adds.

Stallworth said that the company has had a lot of inquiries from people who are interested in AI.

“Going into the house, we just knew there were a lot of reasons to be in San Francisco,” Stallworth said. “It turns out AI is currently what a lot of people are doing,” he said, per SFGATE.

San Francisco.

San Francisco skyline. Alexander Spatari/Getty Images via BI

Despite the high cost for a box with a bed, he said that they will be at full capacity in October, with all 28 of the pods taken.

Rent costs in the tech hub city of San Francisco are sky high, with the median price of a studio apartment at $2,200 a month, per real estate marketplace Zillow.

Lewis, shared photos of his experience in one of the pods on X, formerly known as Twitter, earlier this month.

“People are getting bitchy but I’m not sure what for. I’m just trying to stay within the city of San Francisco without paying $4,000 a month or getting stabbed, and I think this is a great solution so far,” he wrote. “There’s a lot of cool people here too.”


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