In the past, whenever people thought about air mattresses, they spoke of inflatable beds that were typically kept in storage until they were needed. Whether it was to make the bed for an out of town guests or to inflate for the kids, to use it in the pool, the inflatable air bed was a useful item to have around the house. When deflated, it was compact enough to be stored just about anywhere and could be of great use in a variety of situations. Today, when we think of air mattresses, we imagine a bedding item that’s permanently used in our bedroom, which consist of air chambers that can inflated or deflated to adjust the firmness of a mattress. But are there air mattresses any good? Let’s find out as we explore this Sleep Number Mattress review.
Table of Contents
- 1 Air Mattresses 101
- 2 Things to Consider Before Purchase
- 3 Advantages of Sleep Number Mattress
- 4 Disadvantages of Sleep Number Mattress
- 5 Sleep Number Mattress Line
- 6 Features & Benefits
- 7 The Classic Series
- 8 The Performance Series
- 9 The Innovation Series
- 10 Bottom Line
- 11 Sleep Number Mattress Pros & Cons
Air Mattresses 101
Before we get to the Sleep Number reviews, let’s look more closely at air mattresses themselves. There is a very different and special feel that characterizes air mattresses. You can tell the difference between lying on a memory foam or innerspring mattress and an air mattress. That’s because these beds have internal air chambers which are adjustable through inflation and deflation. The result is a mattress with customizable support and firmness. Some of them can be adjusted with manual controls, but some of the latest models have either remote controls or smart apps that allow you to control your mattress with the help of your smartphone.
However, finding a good air mattress is more difficult than finding a memory foam mattress, for instance. Which is why Sleep Number reviews are important to help consumers make an informed decision. There is limited availability for these beds. In fact, there are few major brands that actually make decent aid mattresses. Another important thing to mention is that beds with air chamber have a significantly higher price compared to beds made from other materials. That’s because the more modern options integrate all sorts of smart technologies that up the price because they provide more comfort and more adjustability options to the end user. In fact, it is because of this high level of adjustability that air beds are suitable for all kinds of sleeping habits.
Also, if you ever decide to research more about the different types of mattresses available, make sure you never confuse air beds with temporary air mattresses. Most decent Sleep Number reviews will discuss this. The former is a permanent mattress that’s used as a standalone bed in a regular bedroom, while the latter is the compact option we spoke about in the introduction of this article.
Depending on the size of the mattress chosen, an air bed can have either one or two air chambers, depending on the number of sleepers it was designed to support. Beds that feature dual air chambers typically have a symmetrical construction that’s duplicated on each side of the mattress. That makes complete sense, considering the fact that the manufacturer wants each of the two sleepers to benefit from the same quality construction, support, feel and technology that’s integrated into the mattress. Note that there are also air beds that feature four air chambers, two on each side of the bed. Sleep Number reviews will tell you which of their models have this.
Another main characteristic of air beds is that these air chambers have comfort layers that are placed on top of them. Intuitively, these layers will add more comfort to the user, so he doesn’t have to sleep directly above the air chambers. This also helps protect the chamber’s walls against heavy wear and tear. The choice of these layers is typically left at the manufacturer’s decision, but are normally made from responsive and comfortable materials, such as latex or memory foam. The thickness and density will depend on how firm or soft the manufacturer intends to create the mattress.
Describing how it feels to lie on an air bed is pretty difficult if you’ve never tried one in your life. Keep in mind that the feel will often be determined by the materials that are used in the comfort layer. If there is a thick upper layer made from memory foam, the bed will feel like a memory foam mattress. It’s only when you start customizing the firmness of the air chambers that you begin to see the difference. Another thing that contributes to the feel of this type of bed is the number of air chambers it hosts. There are models with six or more air chambers that area meant to provide different levels of support for different parts of your body.
Things to Consider Before Purchase
A lot of people mistakenly assume that because and air bed allows them to customize firmness, it doesn’t matter what the overall firmness of the bed actually is. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you deflate your air chambers to make them as soft as possible: if the upper side of the mattress (the comfort layers) are with firm high-density memory foam, you won’t be able to enjoy a very plush feeling.
Also keep in mind that trenches are a common characteristic of air beds. These are gaps between the different air chambers inside a mattress and are sports where the mattress sags and doesn’t provide the same level of support as it does when you are lying on the actual air chamber. In fact, you will come across a lot of complaints related to sleeping in the center of the mattress and waking up with pain because of this type of construction.
Thickness is another important factor to keep in mind. Air beds are typically higher in profile compared to other types of mattresses. Which is why Sleep Number mattress prices tend to be higher than others. While the air chambers are typically consistent in height from one mattress to another, it is the choice of comfort layers that adds thickness to the mattress.
Remember that air mattresses can be noisier compared to a memory foam mattress, for instance. That’s because there are electrical motors that produce a slight buzzing, especially when you activate the inflate/deflate function. There are some models that also make a squeaking sound when they’re under pressure.
Advantages of Sleep Number Mattress
Just like with every other type of mattress, the air bed also has its pros and cons. Some of the benefits brought to you by air mattresses include:
- Because the firmness of the bed is somewhat customizable, these beds can adjust different types of sleepers, being suitable for people who often like to switch positions frequently during the night.
- Since every side of the bed has its very own set of air chambers, motion transfer is kept to a minimum.
- When they are properly care for, air mattresses can have a very long lifespan.
- Some air beds are equipped with the latest mattress technology that tracks your sleeping habits and helps you understand more about the way you rest (continue reading to see how the Sleep Number line of mattresses combines technology with its air beds).
Disadvantages of Sleep Number Mattress
Since you can’t have rainbow without a little rain, here are the main disadvantages to buying an air bed:
- With their fancier-than-normal constructions, air mattresses have a higher price range compared to other types of beds.
- Because they integrate motors and smart technologies, they are more prone to malfunctions and may require costly repairs.
- Some air beds can make a lot of noise that feels disturbing if you are used to falling asleep in complete silence.
Sleep Number Mattress Line
Now we get to the details of this Sleep Number Mattress review. Sleep Number is a brand that’s made quite a reputation for itself because of its dual chamber adjustable air mattresses. With the touch of a button, the sleeper can adjust the firmness on his side of the bed, allowing couples to finally stop arguing on whether their next mattress should be firmer or softer. If you’ve ever wanted to sleep on a mattress of one firmness level one day and a completely different firmness level the next day, then you and Sleep Number mattresses will make a fine pair. Because the manufacturer sells eight different mattress models, how can you tell the differences between them and determine which is the right one for you? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered in this Sleep Number Mattress review.
Features & Benefits
Series & Models
In this Sleep Number Mattress review we’ll go over the most common types. The first thing that you need to know is that the Sleep Number mattresses are divided into three main series: Classic, Performance and Innovation.
While the construction of each Sleep Number mattress is different, at the core of each model lies the dual air chamber technology that allows sleepers to customize the firmness levels of their bed. For all models, if you have a mattress sized over a twin, you have dual air chambers so that each side of the bed can be dialed into the desired firmness. However, note that the various series and models have their own basic firmness levels, which needs to be understood prior to making a decision as to which model to purchase. It will make a difference as to just how much you can dial in that firmness, and different makes and models will satisfy different types of sleepers.
The remote control is a great part of controlling your Sleep Number mattress. It can also be replaced with the SleepIQ app, if need be. It’s important to know that there are five different remote controls sold by Sleep Number and each one of them serves a different purpose. Aside from the standard remote that control the air chambers of all the mattresses, you also have the smart 5 button remote, the adjustable base remotes, the DualTemp™ Layer remote or the FlexFit™ or FlexFit™ + remotes that are compatible with bases sold between 2012 and 2014.
When adding a particular mattress into your shopping cart, you can also select between the 5, the 10 and the 12 button remote. The basic 5-button remote will allow you to switch between different sleep number settings, while also allowing you to view your SleepIQ score. You can control the DualTemp layer and the timers and, the best part of it all, is that you don’t need a Wi-Fi connection to make it work.
However, it’s important to take into account the fact that each mattress model does have a basic firmness level which needs to be taken into account when making a purchase. For instance, let’s assume you’re a side sleeper who needs a softer mattress. It would be a mistake to go for the more inexpensive Sleep Number mattresses, like the c2 and the c4, because these are also the firmest ones in the entire line. Even if you are able to adjust the firmness thanks to the air chambers, the mattress will still be too firm for you. In this case, the models from the innovation series will be a much better choice.
The c2 mattress is the only model that doesn’t have with a comfort layer. All of the other models include at least one layer of comfort foam that separates the air champers from the top of the bed. Depending on the model chosen, the comfort layer of the Sleep Number mattresses varies between 1.5 to 4 inches. As we move up on the ladder in terms of luxury and features, each model has more cushioning than the previous one. Intuitively, the i10 model, which is the most expensive model, also has the most cushioning, with a 4 inch layer of comfort foam.
The Classic Series
The Classic series features Sleep Number’s most basic mattresses: the c2 and the c4. There are the firmest mattresses of the entire line and also the least feature-packed. There are a couple of differences between the two models. The c2 mattress has a total thickness of eight inches and does not include a comfort layer of foam, while the c4 is 10 inches thick, with 1.5 inches of that height coming from a layer of comfort foam. That foam includes 3 zones of support for contouring. Both models include an additional fiberfill layer that is sewn into the top of the mattress. While you can zip off the top of the mattress, the manufacturer doesn’t recommend washing any part of the construction in either of these models. Of course, you can still customize the firmness thanks to the air chambers inside the mattress that are inflated or deflated with the help of the designated remote control.
Among the various makes and models of Sleep Number mattresses, the Classic series is the firmest. These models don’t have all the bells and whistles of some of the more luxurious (and higher cost) mattresses from this manufacturer, and that leaves them without the comfort layer you’ll find in higher end models. This leads to a much firmer feel. Here’s how the two models – C2 and C4 – compare.
|Mattress Model||Firmness Rating||Side Sleeper Support||Back Sleeper Support||Stomach Sleeper Support||Available Sizes|
|c2||6 – 7||Fair||Good||Good||Twin, Twin Long, Full, Queen, sleep number mattress king, California King|
|c4||5 – 7||Fair||Good||Good||Twin, Twin Long, Full, sleep number mattress queen, King, California King|
When it comes to motion isolation and edge support, you’ll find that more people are happy with one than the other. Edge support is something that can suffer with any mattress, can especially be a problem for the Sleep Number line of mattresses, as they are air-based. Depending on the base you order to go with your mattress (since all Sleep Number mattresses require you to order a base separately), you may have better luck with the Classic series, simply because the air chambers are not supporting the foam above, which means there is less give of foam. However, motion isolation and reduction of motion transfer are on pointe with the Sleep Number mattresses, especially the Classic Series. With the separate air chambers for each side and no comfort foam to share, the c2 and c4 models have little to no motion transfer, meaning you and your sleep partner will never feel any tossing and turning or other movement from each other.
The Classic series mattresses from Sleep Number are best suited to back sleepers, as well as those who prefer a very firm mattress. If you’re looking to get into the Sleep Number technology without spending a fortune, this could be the right mattress for you. However, if you are heavier, you may not enjoy these mattresses, since they are only rated for 400 pounds, If you’re a side sleeper, you’re going to find these mattresses far too firm. And if you prefer the feel of a foam mattress, you’re not going to appreciate the lack of foam comfort in these models. However, the Classic series Sleep Number mattresses are convenient if you don’t enjoy flipping or rotating your mattress and feel the need to make adjustments on the fly.
The Performance Series
The Performance series, which includes the p5 and the p6 mattresses. The p5 features an 11 inch profile, complete with 2 inches of quilted foam sewn into the top of the mattress as well as 2 inches of PlushFit foam for the comfort layer. The comfort foam incorporates five specific zones tailored for contouring and and pressure relief in the head and neck, shoulders, lower back, hips, and feet. On the other hand, the p6 model comes with 12 inches in height, the extra inch providing greater comfort in the soft foam layer (for 3 total inches of this fantastic comfort foam). The p6 model is the ‘luxury’ model of the Performance series.
|Mattress Model||Firmness Rating||Side Sleeper Support||Back Sleeper Support||Stomach Sleeper Support||Available Sizes|
|p5||4 – 7||Good||Good||Very Good||Twin, Twin Long, Full, Queen, King, California King|
|p6||4 – 6||Good||Good||Very Good||Twin Long, Queen, King, California King|
The Performance series mattress top is made from a rayon-polyester blended material. This gives it greater breathability, which helps reduce heat retention. That’s excellent for creating a good sleep environment for anyone but especially for those with susceptibility to overheating or sleeping hot. This type of material is also excellent at moisture wicking, so if you sweat at night, it will help draw the moisture away so that you don’t have to sleep in the wetness.
With additional comfort foam compared to the Classic series of mattresses, the Performance series is not as firm as the less expensive models. It also incorporates more zoning for a more complete contoured experience and better pressure relief. However, you may experience greater problems with edge support based on the additional foam, and because the foam goes across the entire bed, it does lead to a small amount of motion transfer. However, because most of this is absorbed, motion isolation is still ideal with the Sleep Number mattress line.
If you are a side sleeper, this mattress may not be for you, as many users state there isn’t enough pressure relief and support in the hip and back for those who sleep on their sides. If you are on a tight budget, you may also want to consider the less expensive Classic series, as the price point on the Performance series could be a problem. However, if you sleep hot and need breathability and moisture wicking properties, this might be the right line of mattresses for you. In addition, the Performance series is excellent for those looking to relieve a lot of aches and pains that seem to be chronic or worsening, you might find the Performance series refreshing in helping to relieve these. Older clientele (60+) also have rave reviews for this line of mattresses.
The Innovation Series
The Innovation series is the most generous one of all, as it features no less than four different mattress models: the i7, i8, i10 and iLE (which is short for Limited Edition). The i7 mattress is 11 inches thick and features a five inch comfort layer that combines Energetex™ and VariaCool™ memory foam. It is actually the only Sleep Number mattress that contains 100% memory foam in the comfort layer. However, to maintain a cooler sleep environment (which is commonly a problem with memory foam), the i7 integrates cooling technology directly into the foam.
The i8 and iLE smart beds both measure 12 inches in height and each have a six inch comfort layer, built differently depending on the model. The i8 mattress’ comfort layer is made with gel infusion and extra cushioning, created with two types of foam, while the one on the iLE smart bed combines Resilienx™ foam and Clima-temp™ comfort foam. The i10 mattress is the most expensive model sold by Sleep Number and it sports a 13 inch profile and no less than seven inches in its comfort layer, blending Ergonomex™ and ThermaLux™, to obtain the ultimate combination between cushioning and breathability.
These mattresses all come with the SleepIQ Technology (rather than having it as an add-on) so that the Innovation series is already a ‘Smart Bed’ option. This technology is an addition to any of the other mattresses in the Sleep Number line, meaning that you have to pay extra. The technology is discussed later in the article so you have a better idea what this means.
|Mattress Model||Firmness Rating||Side Sleeper Support||Back Sleeper Support||Stomach Sleeper Support||Available Sizes|
|i7||3 – 6||Very Good||Very Good||Good||Twin Long, Full, Queen, King, California King|
|i8||4 – 6||Very Good||Very Good||Good||Twin Long, Full, Queen, King, California King|
|iLE||4 – 6||Very Good||Very Good||Good||Twin Long, Full, Queen, King, California King|
|i10||3- 6||Very Good||Good||Fair||Queen, King, California King|
With the Innovation series of mattresses, you’ll find that there is less of an issue with edge support, mostly because the incorporated technology is made to automatically adjust to your movement in bed. You’ll find that the overall firmness of the bed changes with your motion, and while you set your sleep number and can expect a ‘base’ level of firmness, because of this technology, you won’t end up with areas of contouring that are too soft or offer too much or too little response and support.
Motion transfer is a thing of the past because the entire point of the automatic adjustment is to assure that any motion that escapes the separation of the two air chambers is going to be captured by the way the bed changes to meet your needs as you sleep. You shouldn’t feel anything if your sleep partner rolls over or gets up for a drink of water.
If you are a side sleeper, you may be happy with the i7 or i8 but wouldn’t love the i10, as this is likely too soft for your needs. However, stomach sleepers may only enjoy the i7. Back sleepers could find comfort in any of the Innovation series Sleep Number models. Also, if you’re on a budget, you may want to consider one of the less expensive models, as this is the highest end of Sleep Number offerings, and prices can reach and exceed $5,000, depending on the size of the mattress you need. Keep in mind you will also need a base to go with your mattress, as none of the Sleep Number beds come complete with a base. Therefore, it’s important to consider the price point prior to ordering.
However, if you aren’t worried about cost, and you’re looking for the ultimate comfort and technology, you should think about the Innovation series mattresses. If you have chronic pain you’re treating with medication and aren’t getting the full effect of relief, these models will assist in reducing your pain further. If you sleep hot (especially due to medication), you’ll also find great relief in heat disbursement and moisture wicking properties of the Innovation series. These are also excellent if you like the feel of memory foam but want something a little more advanced.
Firmness & Feel
To better describe the firmness options that are available across the entire line of Sleep Number mattresses, we’ve added a table with the different specs and ratings, while also trying to specify which sleeping position is better suited for each of the models. What you need to keep in mind is that the weight of a person will determine how firm or soft a mattress feels. In order to better understand the firmness rating of each of the Sleep Number mattress models, here is what you should know:
- 10 is the rating given to the firmest mattresses, particularly ones that have no padding or little to no comfort layers.
- Ratings 7 through 9 describe a firm mattress, but one that doesn’t compromise comfort to provide this high level of firmness.
- 4 to 6 described a medium-firm mattress, with the best balance between support and comfort. Medium-firm mattresses are the most popular ones, because they can support combination sleepers.
- A mattress with a firmness rating of 2 or three is soft and allows the body to sink into the surface.
- 1 describes the softest type of mattress. None of the Sleep Number mattress are this soft, although a couple of models do come close.
Sleep Number also sells a number of three different bases that are compatible with its mattresses. Of course, a Sleep Number mattress can also fit on a regular platform base. So, why would someone who already has a solid and flat foundation to buy a FlexFit base? Let’s examine what each of the three bases brings to the table.
- FlexFit 1 is the most basic bed base sold by Sleep Number. With the remote control, you can elevate the head of the bed into a number of different angles, making it easier for you to sit in bed and perform non-sleep related activities. It also features under the bed lighting, so you can easily find your way into the dark, as well as Partner Snore technology, which gently raises your partner’s head to prevent snoring.
- FlexFit base number 2 features all the benefits brought by FlexFit 1, while also allowing the sleeper to elevate the foot area and experiment with the zero gravity feel (a mattress marketing promise that advertises the “floating on clouds” feelings).
In addition to all the features mentioned above, the FlexFit 3 also features foot warming, which is basically Heaven on Earth on cold winter days. It’s a well-known fact that having cold feet is mostly due to bad blood circulation, so this particular base can help you fall asleep faster.
Finding Your Sleep Number
The reason why Sleep Number became a popular line of mattresses in the first place is because the dual air chambers that are found in the larger sizes allow each of the two sleepers to adjust the firmness on their side of the bed by simply using a remote control that inflates or deflates these chambers. However, finding the ideal sleep number for your preferred sleeping position it a process that takes time and experimentation.
First off, the sleeper has to lie on the bed, in his favorite sleeping position. With either the help of the remote control or the Sleep Number app, he can adjust the firmness level, starting with the highest number, which is 100. Each time these units decrease, the air chambers are being deflated and the mattress becomes softer and softer.
Sleep Number has integrated SleepIQ technology in its beds in order to help sleepers track and measure their sleeping data and habits. It sounds, fancy, but how does it actually work? Well, the manufacturer has integrated sensors inside the mattress that connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network to upload a series of information regarding your sleeping habits. You will have to install the SleepIQ app on your phone and let the sensors do their job.
Based on the information gathered by these sensors, you will be given a SleepIQ score, which is a sum of all the data gathered about your sleeping pattern the night before. There are several bits of information that contribute to your sleeping score: if your sleep was interrupted, how fast or slow your heart was beating, how many times you switched sleeping positions and even how long you’ve slept.
When you spend thousands of dollars on a mattress, you want to make sure that you are able to enjoy it for many years to come. That means that you will have to care for your Sleep Number mattress. There are some simple rules to follow. First of all, never dry clean your mattress cover, as it causes the fabric to shrink, ultimately resulting in permanent damage. By using a mixture of water and mild detergent, you can spot clean the mattress. Make sure you don’t over-soak the mattress, as this too can result in shrinking. When the cover is clean, leave it out to dry in fresh air.
Trial & Warranty
All Sleep Number mattresses come with the same terms for trial and warranty. With every model, you get 100 nights of free trial, where you can test your compatibility with the mattress. It’s plenty of time for you to get acquainted with the different sleep number settings and, hopefully, find the one that’s right for you. The mattresses are also covered by a 25 year limited warranty that states that the first two years, the manufacturer will cover any repairs and replacement costs, while the other 23 years comes with prorated costs for warranty-related repairs.
The fact that all Sleep Number mattress allows the sleepers to customize their side of the bed is probably the most common cause of praise. However, everyone should remember the importance of picking a Sleep Number mattress that’s of an appropriate firmness in the first place.
As you can imagine, motion transfer is nearly nonexistent on Sleep Number mattresses. That’s because each sleeper rests on his very own air chamber, which means that movement is felt only on the side of the moving party.
Because it allows you to adjust the firmness, the Sleep Number mattresses are adjustable to health-related situations. People who’ve suffered injuries and need a firmer or a softer mattress to sleep on don’t need to buy a new mattress: they can simply adjust their sleep number for better comfort. Also, customers have reported that back pains are no longer an issue, not is getting in and out of bed.
One of the most common complaints amongst customers in Sleep Number Mattress reviews are the break in period. It takes a lot of trial and error for people to find their ideal sleep number settings, as this could imply experimenting with firmness settings that aren’t as comfortable.
Was this Sleep Number Mattress review helpful? Are Sleep Number mattresses the right choice for you? If you like an air bed, the answer is surely YES. Remember that these mattresses are adjustable air beds, which means they are mostly dedicated to people who love this kind of product. They are also great for couples who have different sleeping preferences. For instance, if you are a lightweight side sleeper who wants a softer mattress to relieve pressure points, but your partner is a heavy back sleeper who would benefit from a firmer mattress, then the Sleep Number line is perfect for you. It’s also a great line of mattresses for people who have medical conditions and often suffer from muscle and back pains.
Sleep Number Mattress Pros & Cons
- Possibility to adjust the firmness thanks to the air chambers.
- Customizable firmness for each of the two sleeping sides.
- Available in a wide range of base firmness options.
- Several types of cooling technologies integrated in the different mattress models.
- Air chambers can start to lose air in time.
- Dual air chamber construction causes the middle of the mattress to sag.
Sleep Number is a brand that’s made quite a reputation for itself because of its dual chamber adjustable air mattresses.