What Is A Smart Mattress? – Your Burning Questions Answered
It seems like we have smart everything these days. There are smart phones in our pockets, smart watches on our wrists, and even smart cars starting to show up on our roads. Smart technology is making our lives easier in so many ways, but what about our beds? There are a range of smart bedding items you can now purchase, including smart mattresses. So exactly what is a smart mattress? How does it work? Do you need one? Let me explain everything.
So What Is It Then?
A smart mattress is a mattress that has technology (often sensors) inside it that gathers data about how you sleep, and then gives you feedback about how to improve your sleep. Some of these mattresses can also adjust themselves to improve your sleep based on the data they collected. The sensors will be a very thin layer inside the mattress that you can’t feel when you lie on it.
Other functions smart mattresses may have include customizable firmness that can be changed at any time, and integration with other systems in your home (think a mattress that tells your coffee machine to start working when it senses you’ve got out of bed in the morning).
Why is information about my sleep important? How much you sleep and and how well you sleep are two factors that are critical for good health. Unfortunately, we also know that only about one third of adults are getting enough sleep. They say that knowledge is power, so the more information you have about a problem (lack of sleep) the easier it will be for you to fix it.
If you feel like you already have a comfortable bed, you sleep well and you don’t feel tired throughout the day, the information a smart mattress can provide probably won’t be much use to you and you can stop reading now. But if you’re interested in what a smart mattress can do, or if you want your bed to start making your coffee, read on.
Smart mattresses can gather sleep information such as:
- How long you slept
- Information on your sleep cycles
- How much you moved while you slept
- Your heart rate
- Your breathing
Depending on the model of smart mattress, it can use the information to:
- Adjust itself to give you a more optimal sleep experience (this might be through adjusting the firmness of the mattress and the pressure relief it’s offering, or it might adjust the way the mattress regulates your body temperature)
- Send a report to your phone or device, so you can see it for yourself and make changes as you see fit
Smart Mattress FAQ – Your Burning Questions Answered
What Does A Smart Mattress Do?
As explained above, a smart mattress can do a variety of things, but the main function is to gather data on your sleep to help you improve it. Depending on the model you buy, the mattress may adjust itself to improve your sleep, or it may give you the information to act upon yourself. Some smart mattresses can integrate with other systems in your house to adjust things like lighting levels in your bedroom, or kick starting your coffee machine.
How Is A Smart Mattress Better Than The Sleep Tracker Inside My Watch?
There are many wearable devices available that can give you data on your sleep. These include smart watches (there are many big brands out there such as Fitbit and Garmin) and heart rate monitors.
I don’t think something you wear on your wrist can give you a very accurate measure of detailed sleep information. I have a Garmin watch myself, it’s great for running. It tracks my sleep, and delivers a nicely packaged report on my phone, but it doesn’t make much sense. It seems to be accurate at knowing when I went to bed and when I got up, but I already know that without needing to be told! Its analysis of my sleep cycles is wildly variable, and based on what we do know about sleep cycles, I’d either be very unwell or dead if I got the sleep my watch reports to me (it says I don’t get much deep sleep).
A smart mattress will do a better job of recording and analyzing your sleep as it has more sensors measuring more variables and therefore be more accurate.
Are Smart Mattresses Worth It?
I don’t think there is a black and white answer here, the answer is that it depends on you.
- If you feel like you want more information about how you sleep, then you will like the data a smart mattress can provide.
- If you want a mattress where you can change the firmness or temperature at will, a smart mattress will do this.
- If you like integrating technology around the house to create a seamless system, a smart mattress can play an important role for you.
However, having lots of information can be overwhelming. What will you do with the information once you have it? And I don’t know if I’m convinced that we really know enough about our sleep, or how accurate the technology really is, to say that I would want one for myself. Do they look promising? Sure. Is it a bit early in our understanding of sleep to buy one? Maybe.
There are many high quality mattresses out there in the same price range that could help you improve your sleep, without you having to overthink it (they won’t make your coffee or dim the lights though).
How Much Does A Smart Mattress Cost?
Most smart mattresses cost between $1000 to $2500.
My all time favorite (non-smart) mattresses cost within the same price range, so again you need to think about if you want a really good quality mattress that just does the job of being a comfortable and quality sleep surface, or something that’s doing other things as well.
Here are detailed articles about my favorite hybrid, foam, and latex mattresses if you want to read more about mattresses that are just plain awesome without any smart technology.
What Is The Best Smart Mattress?
There are a number of companies that make smart mattresses, and the number seems to be growing all the time. I have not reviewed or analyzed any of them to be able to tell you about the quality of them or if they are worth buying, but here is a brief overview of the functions in some of the big brands:
- Eight: Eight make “The Pod”, a mattress that detects your temperature as you sleep, and adjusts the temperature of the mattress to best match your sleep cycles. If you share your bed with a partner, the Pod can tailor the ideal temperature to each person. If you also have an Eight alarm, you can also connect this to other in home systems such as Amazon Alexa or Phillips Hue to control your lighting and your coffee machine.
- Sleep Number: a range of mattresses with adjustable firmness levels (including adjustable firmness on each side and automatic adjustments during the night) and gives you a report on how you sleep
- ReST: seems to have similar functionality as the Sleep Number range, with technology based around customizing and adjusting firmness levels and sleep analysis.
- NordicTrack: the NordicTrack mattress comes in either soft or firm, and records information about your sleep. It delivers it to your device along with tips on how you can improve your sleep but I don’t think there is any other capability within the mattress.
What do you think of smart mattresses- are they a gimmick or a god-send? Let me know in the comments!