There’s no question about it — nothing compares to a good night’s rest. Whether you’re sleeping on a twin or a California King doesn’t matter; it’s about the quality, preferred firmness or softness and overall “it-factor” of the bed.
Because we know how difficult it is to shop for a mattress online, we decided to put one of the most popular models to the test: the Sleep Number c2 Smart Bed.
“The Sleep Number c2 smart bed is part of our Classic Series, our most affordable Series of next-generation Sleep Number smart beds,” Peter Polos, MD, PhD, board-certified sleep specialist and sleep expert for Sleep Number, told the New York Post. “It’s available in a variety of sizes from Twin to California King – and includes a 100-night trial.”
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You’ve likely seen the commercial featuring twin sides of a mattress going up and down — yep, that’s Sleep Number. In fact, the c2 Smart Bed is a pretty genius model if you’re sleeping with a partner (spoiler alert: it automatically rises when it detects snoring, but not too abruptly as to wake you up). But, more on that later.
“Sleep Number smart beds offer adjustable firmness on each side to maintain your ideal level of comfort and support, individualized to each sleeper,” Brad Rau, SVP, general management and development, 360 Smart Beds at Sleep Number, told The Post. “While many know that sleep and health are connected, Sleep Number has proven data to show for it.”
To date, Sleep Number has leveraged and learned from over 22 billion hours of sleep data gathered from over two billion real-world sleep sessions. “These learnings have allowed us to develop and evolve our smart beds in a way that can help sleepers at every stage of their life,” he adds. “Plus, our smart sleepers get 28 minutes more restful sleep per night and 94% of smart bed sleepers reported better sleep quality vs a non-smart bed.”
I’m a self-proclaimed “princess and the pea sleeper,” meaning it’s super difficult for me to find that sweet spot of the mattress. For that reason, I’ve been shuffling through mattresses trying to find the perfect one. Previously, I’ve slept on a Casper mattress (which I thought was one of the comfiest ever, though a bit too low to the bed frame in size). Sine swapping, I’ve been sleeping on the Sleep Number c2 Smart Bed for three months — and, impressively, I can adjust the softness or firmness each night if I see fit.
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How we tested
To ensure I had enough time to acclimate to the new mattress, I’ve slept on the Sleep Number c2 Smart Bed for four months so far to see if (1) I even liked it — another spoiler alert: I did — and (2) to best speak to all of Sleep Number’s cool and modern features. Here’s the rundown of how I tested the mattress over this time period:
- Comfortability: Of course, if a mattress isn’t comfortable it simply isn’t worth it. Though comfort is subjective to the sleeper, I took note of this model’s adjustable features, quality of the topper and other features to keep this criteria in mind.
- Support: I kept different types of sleepers in mind (particularly those with back pain, elderly sleepers and the like) for this criteria. Comfort is one thing, but the durability of a mattress is what makes it an even sharper value for customers. In other words, you don’t want to experience that “sink-in” feeling over time.
- Unique features: Adjustability, in-app experiences and customized sleep reports are what make this mattress an industry standout. I kept in mind how simple each of these features was to access and use.
- Customer service: From the moment the order was placed to the moment the mattress was fully installed, I was beyond impressed with Sleep Number’s customer service (an especially important feature when ordering a mattress online). I included review notes on this aspect below.
Sleep Number c2 Smart Bed review
The mattress of the hour
Sleep Number c2 Smart Bed Mattress
- Firmness levels can be adjusted whenever you’d like with the paired app
- Supportive yet breathable
- Offers a personalized sleep score and analytics when you opt to track your sleep
- May make vibrating noises sporadically throughout the day, though not a dealbreaker (it means the mattress is self-adjusting)
- Finding your preferred sleep settings may take some time
The Sleep Number c2 Smart Bed Mattress is available in sizes ranging from twin to California King — and is 20% off right now. Its ceramic gel layer draws heat away for breathable comfort, it adjusts to your ideal firmness and support and contours to your body to relieve pressure points.
At first, I didn’t know how I would feel about the Sleep Number c2 Smart Bed. It seemed high-tech and a far cry from other sleep options I’ve experienced. However, the experience has been personalized to prioritize my comfort first and foremost — an overarching check-plus in Sleep Number’s favor.
“Sleep quantity and quality are critical to our overall health and wellbeing,” Polos notes, stressing the importance of sleep health. “It’s also directly tied to many of our bodily functions, including our cognitive, metabolic and immunologic systems — if you aren’t getting enough sleep, you might experience grogginess, reduced reflexes, decreased alertness and the ability to concentrate.”
It can also lead to immune consequences and a general decline in physical health. This is because when we don’t follow a consistent sleep routine, we can disrupt our circadian rhythm, which can result in poor sleep health. Enough said — let’s highlight why the Sleep Number c2 Smart Bed is worth it.
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Adjustability for your comfort
If you’re questioning whether or not you need an adjustable mattress or not, the short answer is no. However, if you opt for one, Sleep Number doesn’t make adjusting to your comfort levels something you need to stress about.
“Sleep Number’s beds are also different from other wearables and smart technology on the market,” Rau highlights. “In most cases, these trackers require the sleeper to wear something in bed and take some sort of action. Sleep Number’s smart beds, however, require little to nothing for the sleeper to do. They deliver effortless sleep tracking and personalized insights by automatically sensing and responding to your needs.”
The golden question — what are some of the smart features? Some standout ones are outlined as follows:
- It proactively monitors personal health and wellness data like HRV, breathing rate and sleep trends. You can view personalized insights about your sleep health in the Sleep Number app.
- It boasts temperature-balancing features to help draw heat away and keep you cool throughout the night.
- It automatically adjusts to your shape, sleeping positions and movement, since science shows sleep needs change day-to-day with different activities and over time by life stage.
What’s truly revolutionary about Sleep Number’s adjustability, based on my testing, is the reason the brand decided to capitalize on adjustability. “Our sleep needs change daily and over time as we go through different life stages,” Dr. Polos explains. “Bedding, beds and pillows are often overlooked when one is assessing their sleep quality.”
Therefore, if you’re experiencing back pain on Monday, you can make the mattress softer that evening. And, if you desire firmer support on Tuesday because you’re experiencing abdominal cramps, you can revert your mattress to a more structured setting if you so choose. “The ability to adjust your bed to changes such as pregnancy, injury recovery or aging can dramatically improve your sleep, with no action required by the sleeper,” Polos adds.
The Sleep Number c2 Smart Bed comes with a physical cordless remote that I opt to keep in my nightstand drawer, though I hardly use it. I prefer to adjust my bed to my “favorite” setting each night (more on that later on in the review) directly from my smartphone’s paired app.
Connective in-app experience
Much like other smart home products you may have dispersed throughout your home (think: home security systems and streaming devices), the ability to use an app for personalized controls is pretty neat. Sleep Number recently launched a new update — making it even more user-friendly.
“All of the next-generation Sleep Number smart beds effortlessly monitor vital personal health and wellness data like sleep time, restful and restless sleep, average respiratory rate and in-bed HRV,” Polos lists. “You can view these data each morning on the Sleep Number app, in addition to your daily SleepIQ score (5-100) to tell you how well you slept and compare to your average score to see if your sleep is improving.”
This is calculated by several factors, including time in bed, movement, bed exits, heart rate and breaths. It’s a way for you to monitor your sleep, and over time; the bed will learn your sleep habits and can give you personalized insights including your ideal sleep schedule.
“For example, some of the data and insights you can get from the app include a HealthIQ Wellness Report, which is a monthly snapshot into your sleep trends,” he continues. “My Sleep Health, on the other hand, provides you with a weekly look at your sleep trends with personalized recommendations to help you sleep better.”
The app can also track your Daytime Alertness and Circadian Rhythm. You can download your wellness report to give your physicians unique access to individualized data that could help provide a more holistic picture of your health.
To top it all off, Sleep Number provides daily insights each morning, providing a rundown of how you slept last night. At first, I thought it was a bit TMI for a mattress to tell me if I had a poor night’s rest, but it became something I appreciated over time. The mattress motivates you to prioritize rest, as you’ll soon want to maintain healthy sleep numbers each night.
“When used with a smart bed, an adjustable base truly helps take your sleep to the next level,” Polos advises. “Sleep Number’s FlexFit smart bases are available at three price points, but what makes them unique is that they are all controllable from your smartphone, making it easier for you to customize your sleep experience. A popular option is the FlexFit 3, which features endless head and foot positions including the feeling of zero gravity, the ability to gently raise your partner’s head to help alleviate snoring with Partner Snore technology, under-bed lighting to help you find your way at night and foot warming, which is designed to help you fall asleep faster.”
Once you open the app, you’ll see your “favorite” setting pinned to the top of the Smart Bed screen (something you can preset and adjust if you’d like to make changes), along with the FlexFit Base window. From here, you can adjust the head and foot positions (yes, this bed has a built-in footrest if you’d like to elevate your feet, with some models, like the c2, featuring an integrated foot warmer as part of the base!
You can also orient the FlexFit base to be completely flat, in Zero-G mode (slightly elevated at the head and at the foot) or in Snore Mode (in about a 45-degree angle to help prevent nighttime sounds). Sleep Number doesn’t miss a trick, either, as you can also select from its Watch TV mode (where both the head and foot areas are more generously elevated) and a Read mode (where the foot area is more upturned, compared to other settings).
From the app, you can also adjust the c2 Smart Bed’s under-bed lighting. It’s a sweet feature for enhanced visibility of items you may store underneath your bed. In all honesty, I don’t use this feature all too much, but it does come in handy if you’d like a subtle night light!
The best customer service I’ve experienced
Truthfully, Sleep Number has the best customer service. As soon as the order was placed, a Sleep Number representative called me to schedule a specific delivery date and time, as well as answer any questions I had about preparing for the delivery (moving my current mattress, etc.)
“Once you order your Sleep Number bed, you have the option to choose a delivery date that works with your schedule,” Rau explains. “It can generally take anywhere from two to four weeks to ship your bed, depending on the time of year. Our Home Delivery technicians will then deliver and fully assemble your new bed and/or base for you and will help you set up your account to make sure you are up and running smoothly. They can also remove your old bed (for an additional $49) and recycle it if you don’t want to dispose of it yourself.”
Following that, the two representatives who installed my mattress walked me through every feature of the bed — including the in-app experience. The two Sleep Number team members who installed my mattress called me the following hour to ensure everything was still OK with my mattress setup and if I had any follow-up questions they could answer that may have arisen after they left.
Additionally, the person who was on the phone with me to schedule my delivery also called me one week later to check up on how I liked the mattress. I’ve never felt more prepared and cared for with an online order, so full props to Sleep Number.
Honest thoughts: What I don’t *love* about the Sleep Number c2 Smart Bed
While I consider the Sleep Number c2 Smart Bed to be one of the most well-thought-out mattress models on the market, there are a few aspects I’m not particularly crazy for. These aren’t dealbreakers per se, but something to note within this review:
How long it may take to find your preferred mattress setting
This varies for each sleeper, but I found the mattress settings — from 5 to 100 — to be overwhelming the first few weeks of trying out the mattress. I thought I liked something pretty firm (around level 60) but I then realized something softer (around level 20) was a good place for my good night’s rest.
Pro tip: a Sleep Number expert told me the best way to adjust to your favorite number is to jump from increments of 20. For example, if you’re at level 60, it’s best to hop to level 40 if you’re interested in rendering your mattress into a softer state. The reason? If you go from level 60 to, say, level 50, you may not feel much of a difference. This step takes some time, which may be frustrating, but you’ll appreciate the fact that everything about the c2 Smart Bed is adjustable.
The random noises it may make throughout the day
I know what you’re thinking, A mattress that makes noise?! No way! That’s how I would feel, but it’s not distracting or life-altering. You’ll hear sporadic brief vibrating noises — maybe about once or twice a day — that last for about a minute each. At first, I thought my mattress was somewhat defective, but I emailed a Sleep Number expert who explained why this occurs:
“When the Responsive Air system is turned on in your SleepIQ App, and you’ve gotten out of the bed for the morning, the bed will take around 30 minutes to, at most, 4 hours to realize there is no one in the bed and then re-inflate both sides to a Sleep Number setting of 100. This is designed to give you the hugging feeling when you get back in the bed for the evening to sleep as it will make the adjustment down to the most recently used Sleep Number setting on that side.“
In the Sleep Number app, you can toggle the Responsive Air system off if this annoys you, though the brand recommends keeping this on for the best experience.
The Responsive Air technology takes a bit of time to get used to
Because this mattress features proprietary adjustable technology, it doesn’t run on springs or copy-paste “hybrid” materials, like memory foam. That said, if you prefer your mattress to have a soft, snuggly feeling, you may find that this bed is more akin to an “elevated air mattress.” Sometimes, it feels that way, but with the suite of customizable options Sleep Number has with its c2 Smart Bed, I can always adjust certain settings to find the sweet spot.
What else to buy from Sleep Number
Sleep Number has all different types of sheets and pillows depending on what kind of sleeper you are. If you’re a hot sleeper, for example, cooling sheets like Sleep Number’s True Temp sheets might be a good option (and, one of my favorites, especially because they’re *so* easy to wrap around the mattress base — we all know the struggle). They move heat and humidity away from the body and continuously adapt to help keep you comfortable throughout the night.
“Pillows can also be under-appreciated but they are just as important to a good night’s sleep,” Rau adds. “Sleep Number has adjustable pillows that are great for helping to support your head and neck. You can also take the PillowFit quiz to help see which one might be right for you to try.”
For example, the ComfortFit pillow conforms to your head and neck while the True Temp pillow removes moisture vapor to resist heat and humidity buildup. The best part is you can choose your preferred shape including:
- Classic: Gently supports your head and neck. Best for stomach or back sleepers.
- Curved: Fits your contours for enhanced comfort and support. Best for side or back sleepers
- Ultimate: Three removable inserts let you individualize your support and height as your sleep needs change. Great for all sleeping positions
The bottom line
Overall, the Sleep Number c2 Smart Bed is a fairly priced mattress that’s worth the purchase long haul. It’s quite revolutionary how it appeals to your body’s changing state (how, on some nights, you may want a softer mattress, while on others, you may want a firm base). Its in-app experience is something that’s not only insightful but helpful as well — even allowing you to detect if something about your health is off (i.e. an overly high heart rate, which may signal a call to your doctor).
With its widespread features and wealth of sizes to choose from, it’s the quality investment we can assure you is worth ordering online.
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