The Pacific Northwest is a dream come true for the outdoor lover. Mt. Rainer and Mt. Hood stand as monuments, representing the wild places we love and call home. Unfortunately, our homes are characterized by more than an incredible outdoor setting.

This year, both Seattle and Portland have proclaimed states of emergency due to homelessness. The city and private companies have worked to create solutions and meet the greatest needs of our less fortunate citizens: food, water, and a warm place to sleep. However, these needs are not unique to the Northwest. Cities throughout the U.S., emerging countries, and areas impacted by disaster share these basic human needs.

In 2015, Scott Smalling felt the desire to help meet the needs of the less fortunate. As a 30-year veteran of the bedding and specialty foam market, Scott set to work to provide a good night’s sleep for those in need.

Scott said he “began thinking about all the people around the world that don’t even have a mattress to sleep on to begin with.” (Haffly, 2015)

“I came to find out that mattresses are the number one requested need from the field; and there’s virtually no supply,” he said.

Smalling knew that the bed needed to be comfortable and keep the user warm. It also needed to be durable and easy to clean for repeated use. Finally, the mattress needed to be light and portable to reduce shipping costs and for user convenience.

In order to design a product that had all these qualities, Scott came to our team of engineers at Therm-a-Rest to help bring his vision to life. Our experience creating equipment for the outdoors allowed us to create a mattress that met all of Scott’s requirements.

The final result was the Relief Bed®.

The Relief Bed is a durable, self-inflating, and portable pad with a dual adjustable pad and pillow. The entire bed costs less than a hundred dollars which has allowed the company to distribute 2027 beds to date.

In the future, Relief Bed hopes to have 20,000 mattresses on hand to help respond to disasters worldwide. They also plan to introduce the Relief Pad, a smaller mattress for indoor use and for children. (Haffly, 2015)

Therm-a-Rest knows that if you rest better than you play better. We want to better people’s quality of life by providing a better night’s sleep. This is at the heart of what we do. We are so proud to partner with Relief Bed and help create positive change in the world, one bed at a time.

If you are interested in learning more or donating a bed, please visit


Haffly, A. (2015, December 10). Retrieved from The News Tribune: