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When Mandy and I moved to Florida back in early June we left our old (Purple) mattress behind. Despite the fact we really liked it, our new bedroom had enough space for a king size bed and we really wanted to take advantage of that. In fact, the only thing we were really sure of was that whatever we bought, we wanted it to be king size.

Armed with this knowledge we considered our options: another Purple or something different. Having seen the numerous Sleep Number commercials on TV recently (what else is there to do during a pandemic but watch TV?), we decided to give their mattresses a test.

Unlike modern competitors (e.g. Casper, Purple, etc) to Sleep Number, Sleep Number was actually started in 1987 – so it's been around. The main selling point of Sleep Number beds is the idea that everyone has their very own Sleep Number setting / number (more on that later) which adjusts how firm or soft the bed feels. The closer to 100 your number is, the firmer the bed.

The store buying experience

We had bought the Purple mattress at Mattress Firm a little more than a year earlier and truth be told that purchasing experience wasn't great. I didn't feel like the salesperson was being completely transparent with me, though ultimately, I did walk out the door with mattress in hand (well, we had it delivered a day later but I digress) at a price I felt good about. Nonetheless, when we pulled up to the Sleep Number store I was mentally preparing myself for a similar experience – that wasn't the case at all.

Walking into the Sleep Number store, we were immediately greeted and offered assistance. We explained our situation and what we were looking for and our salesperson, Margie, took us towards the back of the showroom to one of their flagship beds (one of the Innovation series beds), provided us with pillow coverings (it's a pandemic, after all) and asked us to lie down.

This is where the magic happened.

We both lied down, immediately commenting on how comfy the bed was – then, Margie told us she was going to adjust the bed to find our Sleep Number. She began adjusting the bed, first for Mandy, then for me until we told her to stop at a comfort level we were happy with. The bed, which at first felt incredibly comfortable, suddenly became even more comfortable. It was like magic. That's when we knew we had to get a Sleep Number bed.  

In store, my Sleep Number was 40 and Mandy's was 30. We've since continued to test out different Sleep Numbers and I've been using 45-50 and Mandy has been using 35-40.

What to know about Sleep Number beds

Before we go any further, there are a few important things you need to know about Sleep Number beds.

  • If you plan on buying a Sleep Number mattress, you also need to buy the bed frame/base (that's what allows you to position yourself in zero gravity, etc). It really makes absolutely no sense to just buy the mattress. It would be like buying a Ferrari without wheels.
  • If you buy a Sleep Number flextop king mattress (like we did), you will need to buy special sheets. Sleep Number sells flextop sheets, but you can also find them for less money on Amazon.
  • Sleep Number sheets need to be washed a few times before they feel super soft and comfortable. I'd recommend 2-3 washes before use.
  • If you have any pets you should always be aware of where they are before adjusting the bed to the flat position. This is because they can potentially get trapped and crushed if they're under the bed when you are adjusting it. So for everyone's sake, please take a second and do a quick head count.
  • These beds are expensive, Sleep Number offers great no interest financing (in our case for 48 months) through a Synchrony bank credit card. Just make sure you pay off the minimum amount due each month and you'll be golden.

How are we sleeping?

Funny you should ask, we've been sleeping great! It was especially noticeable during the first few nights, I definitely felt like I was sleeping better and waking up feeling completely refreshed, which is such a nice feeling. The same has been true for Mandy. One thing I've noticed about her is that since we got the Sleep Number she's actually spent less time napping (during the day) because she has more energy. She's also been much easier to wake up--something which absolutely was not true prior to this bed. Fast forward a month and I can honestly say all of this remains true.

Key things I've noticed for both Mandy and myself, we both fall asleep much more quickly and we both wake up less in the middle of the night.

The amazing thing about Sleep Number beds is that they provide you your sleep data so you can see this for yourself via the SleepIQ app (available for iOS and Android).

Here's a sampling of each morning's SleepIQ reports for my sleep:

As you can see the bed collects a wealth of data on your sleep including the time it takes you to fall asleep, whether you're getting restful (or restless) sleep, and if you exit the bed during the night (e.g. to go to the bathroom or get a midnight snack). It also tracks your heartbeats and breaths per minute.

What's even better is that you can have the app generate a monthly report that analyzes an entire month's worth of sleep data. This is useful to spot trends and areas where you should look to improve your sleep habits. For example, according to my report (see link below), I need to work on going to bed around the same time more.

SleepIQ - July Report - Jeff.pdf
Shared with Jumpshare

Sleep Number bed features

Each Sleep Number bed comes standard with dual adjustability (to adjust the bed to your and your partners individual Sleep Numbers), responsive air technology (to continuously adjust the air in the bed depending on how you're laying), and SleepIQ technology (to measure and collect all the data outlined above).

If you're looking at a king or California king mattress you'll also have the option for a split-bed or flextop. A split-bed means you'll have two individual mattresses that are pushed together. The benefit here is that each person gets complete control over the bed's settings without having to worry about bothering their partner. So if you want to watch TV up in zero gravity mode, go for it and your partner can remain lying flat. A flextop mattress (which is what we got), allows you and your partner to have different bed settings for your head and upper-body but not down by your feet. I feel like this is a great middle-ground and it's worked really well for us to date.

In terms of which way to go, it's hard for me to make a recommendation on that as it is definitely more of a personal choice. That being said, if you're unsure, I'd say go with the flextop.

On a separate note regarding the flextop, one of my major concerns was sleeping towards the middle of the bed (because I like to sleep close to Mandy) and feeling like I'm falling through into the middle of the bed. I'm happy to report that hasn't been an issue for me. It's very comfortable no matter where I'm lying in the bed. In fact, both Mandy and I actually like sticking our arm in the split – it makes us feel safe from monsters and its great for snuggling due to the fact it allows your arm to continue to get circulation even when crushed under the body weight of your significant other.

Which features really matter?

Yes, our bed is named EVBED. Deal with it.

When it comes to the Sleep Number bed there's really only three super important settings. Your Sleep Number setting, ensuring responsive air is toggled on, and the FlexFit base settings. Everything else is, as they say, gravy.

Sleep Number setting

When it comes to finding your Sleep Number setting, my advice would be to start at the number you picked at the store and work your way out from there. That's how I eventually got to my number of 50 from 40. It may take a few nights to find the right number.

Responsive Air

You definitely want to keep Responsive Air toggled on at all times. This is the feature that will reallocate air throughout the bed based on how you're lying in it. It's super useful and it feels nice when you notice it kicking in.

FlexFit base

The FlexFit base settings let you create a custom favorite position, prop up yourself or your partner (you know, if you can't take their snoring anymore), and everyone's favorite: float in zero gravity (well, at least sorta feel like they are). I found the Zero G setting to be extremely comfortable for watching TV while laying on your back, however, the second you want to roll to your side--it's not as comfy. In fact, I'd venture to say it's uncomfy. To those who say I'm trying too hard to achieve the pinnacle of comfort, I say, can you blame me?

Some other features include underbed lighting and privacy mode. We tried the underbed lighting for a night or two and had to turn it off. It didn't work well on the auto setting--and really, what other setting would you leave it on? We quickly noticed the lights would flick on depending on how we moved in the bed so that little experiment ended rather fast. When it comes to the privacy mode, the only reason I'd recommend enabling it is if you're completely privacy paranoid and don't like hosting any of your data in the cloud. Otherwise, you should keep privacy mode turned off as enabling it will result in none of your sleep data being collected.

The bed also comes with a remote control that you can use to adjust all of the settings. However, in the age of the smartphone it's [mostly] unnecessary. 99% of the time when we adjust the bed's settings we use our iPhones (or iPads) and the SleepIQ app. It has all the same functionality built in as the remote and frankly, it's a nicer UI. That being said, the remote is useful in certain instances, such as if the app can't connect to your bed for some reason (which has only happened to us once and it was actually our fault). In cases like that, the remote will display an error message that you can use to troubleshoot the problem. And if none of that works, there's always the "reset" button on each side of the bed which will bring the bed back to a flat position (but still leave your Sleep Number setting intact). I've personally found the reset button to be a quick and easy way to bring the bed back to a flat position on the fly, especially if I don't have my iPhone or iPad or it's a little far out of reach and I'm very comfortable.

Let's talk money. How much will the Sleep Number mattress and base cost me?

There's no way to sugar coat this: it's expensive. For our king mattress and base, all in, we're paying almost $8,000. However, as I mentioned, Sleep Number offers interest free financing often for up to 48 months which means that we're only paying around $150 per month for the bed. That, I can live with. If you can qualify for the interest free financing I would absolutely recommend taking advantage of it. It's like free money.

Additionally, it's worth discussing how mattresses these days are designed to last for at least 10 years. A good mattress is an investment, and a worthwhile one at that. Plus, when you think about the core feature of a Sleep Number bed (the ability to adjust the firmness) I'd imagine as you age your mattress needs will change too – with a Sleep Number bed you can simply adjust your Sleep Number setting without having to buy an entire new mattress. Something to consider for sure.

To put this in some perspective, when we purchased the Purple (queen size) mattress a little over a year ago, we only bought the mattress (no base) and it cost us around $2,600.

What else you should know about Sleep Number

All U.S.-based operations

Another nice thing about Sleep Number is that the beds are made in the U.S. The company is headquartered in Minneapolis and manufacturers each bed in either its South Carolina or Utah facility before it makes its way to your home. I was told that delivery of your Sleep Number bed usually happens within a week, however, we had to wait 2 weeks – likely due to the ongoing pandemic.

Friendly and professional delivery people

This part is completely anecdotal but our delivery and installation people were fast and friendly. They cleaned up after themselves and walked us through the bed's features to make sure we understood how the bed and its functions worked prior to leaving.  

Should you buy a Sleep Number bed?

The verdict

Well if it wasn't clear already, let me make it quite plain: we really love the Sleep Number P6 bed. It's heckin' comfy and it has really great features and functionality that will bring your sleep game to the next level.

Mandy's favorite feature is the Zero G setting. She loves feeling like she's floating while watching TV or messing around on her phone.

My favorite feature has to be all the data collection that goes on. As someone with an interest in data and analytics having all this sleep data on myself is really neat. I'm especially excited to keep tracking my sleep over the next few months to see if I can improve my restful sleep time as well as limit my bed exits.

So Jeff, should I buy one? Yes, we definitely would recommend a Sleep Number to anyone in the market for a new bed.


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