Sleep Number Beds Explained In 4 Simple Steps

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Top Pick
Sleep Number i10 Smart Bed
9.6/10Our Score
  • Adjustable Comfort And Firmness
  • Find Your Sleep Number For Your Own Side Of Your Bed
  • Advanced Sleep Tracking Technology
  • In-Built Temperature Regulation
  • Regular Discounts Make This Bed Cheaper Than The Performance Series On The Right Sale
  • 15 Year Warranty And 100 Night In Home Sleep Trial

Sleep Number Bed – Sleep Number is undoubtedly the market leader when it comes to smart beds. Powered by proprietary Responsive Air and SleepIQ technologies, they’re the best for a reason.

However, there’s quite a bit to the Sleep Number range, and it’s daunting to look at their website and try to make sense of all your different smart bed options there. Let me help you work through it all and choose the right Sleep Number bed with confidence.

In this Sleep Number Beds Explainer, I’m going to take you through the following 4 crucial points:

  • Sleep Number Beds in a Nutshell + mattress finder quiz
  • Sleep Number Bed Series – Breakdown of each type
  • My Top Sleep Number Bed Recommendation
  • Sleep Number Bed FAQs

Sleep Number Beds in a Nutshell

What makes these beds well worth the slightly scary looking price tag is the unique design and construction of each bed in the series. While the comfort layers of the bed are made of memory foam just like many other brands, it’s the support layer that makes all the difference. Instead of the usual high density foam or pocketed coils, the Sleep Number beds have an adjustable air chamber. The more advanced beds of the series add a support pad for extra refinement of the firmness level.

To give you a practical example: If you and your partner have struggled to find a bed that can be customized to provide two different sleeping experiences for both sides of the mattress, then the Sleep Number 360 bed is a good recommendation. There aren’t many mattresses out there that can cater to two different sleep preferences in the one bed, so this is a real standout way to use the smart tech inside a Sleep Number bed.

With two independent sets of air chambers in each bed, you have more control over each side of the bed. This lets you pump in as much air into the air chamber on your side as you like to achieve the support and firmness you desire. Your partner can do the same with their side of the bed so that you both have a comfortable sleep experience without inconveniencing each other.

As such the beds have varying firmness levels. The least firm is setting 5 while the firmest is 100. You have 20 settings with increments of 5 to find the support that’s just right for your specific needs this night and your favorite sleeping position.

Before we go into a breakdown of the different Sleep Number series, you may just want to go straight to the quiz on the Sleep Number website, to get an individualized recommendation for the best option for you without having to read about the endless options:

Sleep Number Bed Series

Since all the varieties of the Sleep Number series are based on the proprietary and homemade technology the company has developed and refined over the years, you’re guaranteed that each bed is easily adjustable with just one click of a button. The 20 firmness settings allow back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and side sleepers to find the right customization and mattress profile tailored for their specific needs.

Keep in mind that each one of the following series has more than one bed to offer. As we review each series, we’ll cover the common features that all beds have to offer.

Sleep Number Classic Series

Sleep Number Bed - Classic

The Classic Series is the standard option and as such the most affordable bed in the whole Sleep Number litany of products. It has two smart beds: c2 and c4. The “c” is short for Classic. The difference between those two beds is that the c4, just like all other beds in the series, comes with a comfort pad on top of the air chamber layer. The c2 is missing this pad.

Instead, the bed comes with a thin layer made of fiberfill. Since this layer doesn’t offer the same bouncy softness of the comfort pad, the c2 is considered a firm bed more suitable for back and stomach sleepers. Another difference between the two beds is in the profile of the mattress. The c2 is 8 inches high with a 2-inch comfort layer. The c4 is 9 inches high with the comfort layer getting that extra inch of thickness.

Sleep Number Performance Series

The Performance Series builds on the foundation of the Classic Series with all the underlying technologies and adds a few more features of its own. The Responsive Air technology which is prevalent in all the beds of the Sleep Number series has high responsiveness to the pressure of your body and adjusts the firmness of the mattress accordingly. As for the SleepIQ technology, it tracks your sleep patterns and the quality of slumber you get. It gives you insights into your sleep experience with recommendations for getting a night of better quality sleep at night.

The Performance Series has 3 beds in all. These are the p5, pSE, and p6. The first two, p5 and pSE, are each 10 inches high and the comfort layer is 4 inches thick. The pSE however has better cooling quality than the p5. Meanwhile, the p6, the most advanced mattress in this series is 11 inches high with a 5-inch thick comfort layer. They all have excellent pressure relief capabilities making them ideal for side sleepers and people who have back and shoulder pain.

Sleep Number Innovation Series

The Innovation Series takes it where the p6 of the Performance Series left off and ups its pressure relief, support, and cooling game. It also has three beds, the i8, iLE, and i10 (the i10 is my personal favorite, I’ll explain why later). Each one of those beds improves on the one before it with the i10 providing excellent pressure relief, superior support, and enhanced cooling features. All beds come with a smart fabric that is responsible for these temperature regulation and support capabilities.

And while the i8 and iLE have identical profiles with 12-inch mattresses and the comfort layers taking up half of that profile, the i10 goes a step further. It offers a 13-inch mattress and comfort layers 7 inches thick.

Sleep Number Memory Foam

The Memory Foam series only has one smart bed, the m7. Although it doesn’t have the smart fabric that gives the Innovative Series its distinct series, it still provides admirable cooling features that keep the bed’s temperature under control for people who like to sleep hot.

The dynamic pressure relief is probably the most distinguishing feature of the m7. The comfort layer is 5 inches thick and the whole mattress profile is 11 inches high. As a result, you get great contouring and conforming to give your body that luxurious sleep experience one often gets at top-rated hotels.

My Top Sleep Number Bed Recommendation

Of all the smart beds that the Sleep Number series has to offer, my favorite is by far the i10. It takes advantage of the dual adjustability and all the technologies that made the Sleep Number such a popular brand. But it doesn’t stop there. It keeps refining the bed to achieve maximum support, pressure relief, and cooling capabilities.

What made the i10 an even irresistible choice is that it currently has a whopping $700 discount which makes it even cheaper than the iLE. In my book, that’s a deal that’s hard to miss.

Top Pick
Sleep Number i10 Smart Bed
9.6/10Our Score
  • Adjustable Comfort And Firmness
  • Find Your Sleep Number For Your Own Side Of Your Bed
  • Advanced Sleep Tracking Technology
  • In-Built Temperature Regulation
  • Regular Discounts Make This Bed Cheaper Than The Performance Series On The Right Sale
  • 15 Year Warranty And 100 Night In Home Sleep Trial

Sleep Number Bed FAQs

What Are Problems With Sleep Number Beds?

Probably the main problem you might have with the Sleep Number beds is the deflation issue. It’s a common issue for all air mattresses. Leaking and sagging in the middle could also happen, although, with proper maintenance and care, you can keep your mattress in good shape for years on end.

Are Sleep Number Beds Worth The Investment?

Due to the high price tag attached to the Sleep Number Series beds, they might be too expensive of an investment for a single sleeper. But couples with different sleeping needs would get their money’s worth. The smart beds offer a wide variety of customizations that will make sensitive couples enjoy a comfortable sleep.

What Is The Lifespan Of A Sleep Number Bed?

We can confidently measure the lifespan of a bed by the warranty that comes with it. As a rule of thumb, you add a few years to the warranty to get the durability and lifespan of the mattress. Since the Sleep Number Series ships with a 15 years warranty, we know for sure that its life span extends beyond 15 years.

How Much Does A Sleep Number Bed Really Cost?

Using the queen size bed as our standard, we can sum up the cost of each smart bed in the Sleep Number series as follows:

Classic Series:

C2 costs $1,099 and C4 costs $1,499.

Performance Series:

P5 costs $2,299, PSE costs $2,999, and P6 costs $2,799.

Innovation Series:

I8 costs $3,199, ILE costs $5,299, and I10 costs $4,699.

Memory Foam:

M7 costs $3,199.

Do Sleep Number Beds Have To Be Plugged In?

You need to plug the bed in to inflate it. For the bed to adjust the firmness and track your sleep patterns, it also needs to stay plugged in.

What Is The Most Expensive Sleep Number Bed?

At a regular price, the i10 smart bed is the most expensive. But since the company offers it at a $600 discount, that makes the iLE smart bed the most expensive one.


Emily Johnstone

Emily is the creator and owner of Emily's scientific background gives her an analytical, critical, and discerning eye to bring unbiased, thorough, and helpful content to the site. Your good sleep is her top priority. Find out more about Emily and here.