Over the past decade, products designed to help dogs live more like humans have popped up everywhere (with virtually no budget attached). It all started with chew toys designed to resemble designer brands, like Chewy Vuitton and Dog Perignonn. Then came strollers made to cart your pup around, matching outfits for owners and their furry best friends, and even $837 dog beds that look straight out of the Bauhaus era.
But what if you want to live like your dog without compromising your aesthetic? (After all, 2024 is the year of Snoopy girls!) Plufl, the now viral human dog bed, is cofounders Noah Silverman and Yuki Kinoshita’s answer to this seemingly odd question. But who am I, a dogless girl, to judge? Launched in March 2022, the brand was inspired by Noah’s past experience of working in a coffee shop as a student at the University of British Columbia. An unexpected part of the job was caring for the shop dog, an elderly Great Dane that was so large it required a custom-built bed. During one particularly exhausting shift, Noah started daydreaming about what it would be like to curl up and take a nap in his canine coworker’s bed, and that’s when the big idea hit him: giant dog beds for humans.
Plufl popped up on my TikTok For You page sometime last year when the #HumanDogBed was going viral among millennial and Gen Z creators and consumers, whose videos flexing their new beds were garnering hundreds of thousands of views. One unboxing video shows Dani Klarić, a Miami-based interior designer and influencer, struggling to piece together her Plufl, with the caption: “The reality of assembling a TikTok viral item.”
Several months after peak virality, I found myself locked into a rerun episode of Shark Tank where Lori Greinger and Mark Cuban struck up a deal for 20% of Plufl’s business in exchange for $200,000. Lori and Mark going in on the human dog bed, which retailed at $399 at the time, legitimized the business for me, but I still couldn’t imagine its function in my day-to-day life, one that is driven by design aesthetics and a lack of floor space.
Shelly Himmelrich first heard about the human dog bed last spring the way most people find out about internet brands, by way of a targeted ad on Instagram. As an owner to five dogs, five dog crates, a slew of toys her canines share, and a miscellaneous selection of dog beds, she purchased Plufl as soon as she saw it. “I got it because I love to snuggle with my dogs on the sofa, and I never think that it’s as comfortable as it should be, even though it’s as beautiful as it could be,” Shelly explains. (That sofa in question is her 16-piece Mah Jong sectional sofa.)