Sophomore creates business to enlarge beds
September 20, 2019
From top-ranked dining services to state-of-the-art dorm rooms, Bowdoin is known for leading in student comfort. However, after sleeping on a twin XL bed in a first-year brick, Jake Maus ’22 became inspired by restless nights. Maus’ solution? Give students access to larger mattresses without swapping out bed frames.
Maus’ company, Polar Rentals, teamed up with Roomie Rentals, a company that makes mattress extensions, to make student life—and sleep—better at Bowdoin.
“The one [way] Bowdoin has been lacking is that they provide a mediocre twin-sized mattress for everyone,” Maus said. “And I think, since they are so big on quality of student life, it has the potential to be successful.”
In June, Maus worked to bring this concept to Bowdoin. He reached out to Roomie Rentals’ founder Brett Harrison on LinkedIn to bring the infrastructure to campus. By July, Polar Rentals was open for business.
“We rent out full XL mattress toppers to students, and they can convert their original size mattress that Bowdoin provides into a full size bed. And pretty much the mattress topper just goes right on top of the original mattress,” said Maus.
“We’ve sold between eight and 12,” Maus said. “Our target this year was just around there—eight to 12.”
Roomie Rentals has worked with students across the nation to create companies at schools including Bates, Wesleyan and Yale. Taking into account the history of Roomie programs at other schools, Maus believes that Polar Rentals will flourish.
“During Bates’ first year I think they [rented] eight to 12. And [the] second year they were at 30 to 50. I think they had 100 this year,” Maus said. “Typically, if it follows the same sort of trend, we’ll be doing well in the next few years. But it’s just a matter of getting the word out.”
Maus reports positive reviews of the service as well as personal satisfaction with his own full XL.
“It’s really nice, really comfortable,” he said.
As explained on Roomie’s website, it is cheaper and more sustainable to rent a mattress than to purchase a new one in addition to a bed frame. In the foreseeable future, Maus thinks Polar Rentals will continue to grow at Bowdoin—allowing students to benefit from a good night’s sleep without a high price.
Mattresses and frames cost $250 per semester, or $349 for a full year, and are available to rent online at www.polarrentals.com.
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