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Modern technology has changed the way we live. Mobile phones help us stay connected, medical innovations save lives, and vehicles get us where we need to go faster and more safely than ever. One place you may not expect to find technology is in the bedroom.
After all, sleep is pretty simple. Or is it?
There is a science to sleep. Scientists are able to detect and measure wavelengths in the brain as they shift during sleep. They’ve documented changes in respiration, heart rate, and hormone production that happen while our brains are unconscious. While we sleep, our bodies are hard at work consolidating memories, making bodily repairs, and restoring energy levels.
It was only a matter of time until all that data made an impact on the sleep industry.
Enter the smart bed. Smart mattresses use various technology to gather data about your sleep and use it to make improvements. Here’s what you need to know about smartbeds along with an in-depth comparison of three of the best smart mattresses on the market.
What Is a Smart Mattress or Smartbed?
The same way smartphones and smart watches use technology to improve our lives, smart beds use technology to improve our sleep. They utilize sensors and other technologies to gather data on how you sleep to provide insight. Some even self-adjust things like firmness and temperature to improve sleep.
Some of the technologies smart beds have to offer include:
Some smart beds even go so far as to make themselves. Understandably less common (and more expensive) than other features, self-making smart beds utilize metal rails connected to the sheets in order to stretch them over the mattress.
Smart Bed vs Smart Mattress Pad or Cover
The best smart beds do everything listed in the previous section, and sometimes more. As you might imagine, however, they can be pretty pricey. A quality mattress is already expensive, but add in an integrated system of sensors and technologies and the price jumps quite a bit.
If you’re looking to gain insight into your sleeping habits or gain some control over your sleep environment, an alternative to consider is a smart mattress pad or cover.
Smart mattress pads use similar technology to smart beds, but they are a little more limited. They may incorporate sensors to collect and track data on your breathing, heart rate, and motion throughout the night. They may also collect data about temperature, noise, and levels of ambient light from the room. Some smart mattress covers even incorporate a heating element to control temperature.
What to Consider When Shopping for a Smart Bed
By now the idea of a smart bed is probably starting to sound pretty good. We spend roughly one-third of our lives asleep, so it’s important to make sure that sleep is restful. A mattress that collects data on your sleeping habits and automatically adjusts to improve sleep is a great investment. But what should you keep in mind when shopping for a smart bed?
Here are some factors to consider when shopping for a smart mattress:
Features – Special features are the entire reason to buy a smartbed. Different models come with different capabilities, so think about what features you find most valuable. Consider things like temperature and pressure regulation, sleep tracking, and mobile app integration.
Materials – The most important thing to consider with any mattress is the materials from which it is made. Not only do the materials impact the quality and longevity of the mattress, but they play a role in determining its comfort as well. Consider all the layers in the mattress’ construction and determine how they work with temperature and pressure regulation.
Firmness – Many smartbeds offer adjustable firmness but if you’re choosing a simplified model, make sure you’re comfortable with the firmness level. Know that firmer mattresses tend to last longer and doctors recommend a medium-firm mattress for optimal support and comfort.
Support – A quality mattress should be supportive across the entire surface and all the way around the edges. It should have a firm, supportive base layer and the internal layers should work together to support proper spine alignment.
Temperature Regulation – Many mattresses are made with cooling materials like gel- or copper-infused memory foam but smartbeds often incorporate temperature regulating technology.
Foundation – There’s no sense in investing in a high-quality mattress if you’re not going to support it properly. A supportive foundation is essential to maximize the longevity of your mattress and to make sure you gain the most benefit from it. Consider an adjustable base with your smartbed to truly optimize your sleep experience.
App Integration – Most smartbeds collect data on your sleep and adjust themselves accordingly. While some smartbeds have their own devices where you can view this data, most utilize a mobile application for this purpose.
The final factor to consider may be, for some, the most important: price. The fact of the matter is that smartbeds are expensive. If you’re committed to buying a smartbed, you should be prepared to spend upwards of $3,000 for a queen size. Depending on the level of technology, the best smartbed could cost twice that much.
Take advantage of seasonal sales and look into financing options if you’re concerned about the price – don’t be tempted to choose a knock-off brand just to save a couple hundred dollars. Smartbeds are all about the technology and if it isn’t well designed and properly integrated, you could end up spending thousands of dollars on what amounts to be a regular old mattress.
The Best Smart Mattress
There are a number of smartbeds on the market, but not all smart mattresses are created equal. Three names rise to the top when talking about smartbeds and we’re here to discuss what makes them similar, what sets each one apart, and what metrics you should use to choose the best smart mattress for you.
1. Ghost SmartBed – 3D Matrix
Real-time adjustments as you sleep
12-inch height with 7 layers
Patented gel polymer layer and cool-to-the-touch cover
101-night sleep trial and 25-year warranty
Price Range: $5,899 - $11,798
Offering customizable comfort for all sleeping styles, the Ghost SmartBed 3D Matrix incorporates patented cooling technology and an advanced network of sensors to deliver real-time adjustments while you sleep. This smart mattress features biometric sensors that collect pressure data while adjustable air chambers automatically adjust to your position throughout the night. Plus, with cooling technology and an integrated smartphone app, this smartbed has it all.
Materials and Construction
The Ghost SmartBed 3D Matrix features a 7-layer construction and a 12-inch overall height. Built on a 2-inch support layer of high-density foam, this mattress incorporates multiple layers of cooling foam, adjustable air chambers, and biometric smart sensors. Divided into two sides, each with 2,000 sensors and 40 settings for each individual zone, this mattress offers customizable comfort for couples.
Topping off the Ghost SmartBed 3D Matrix is the Ghost Ice cooling cover. Directly underneath sits a layer of patented 3D Matrix gel polymer layer for optimal cooling comfort. Next comes a 2-inch layer of gel memory foam followed by a 2-inch layer of soft transition foam. Between these comfort layers and the base sits a network of smart sensors and adjustable air chambers.
Who Is It Best For?
The Ghost SmartBed 3D Matrix is a great option for couples because it is divided into two sections, one for each side of the bed. This enables you and your partner to select your ideal firmness level and adjust across 5 ergonomically designed body zones. Due to its construction, this mattress gives you the feeling of sleeping “on top of” rather than “in” the mattress which may also be beneficial for sex.
This smartbed is also great for hot sleepers because it features a patented gel polymer layer to keep you cool all night long. Plus, the Ghost Ice cover helps wick away moisture and body heat.
When it comes to customer comments about the Ghost SmartBed 3D Matrix, many seem to be related to the firmness. While the smart technology enables you to adjust the pressure in different sections, the overall firmness of the bed is rated about 6 out of 10. This may not be a problem if you prefer a softer mattress, but it may not be supportive enough for stomach sleepers or heavier individuals over 250lbs.
Some sleepers have also noted that this smartbed could offer better edge support. Again, this is most likely to be an issue for heavy sleepers but could also be a problem if you sleep with a partner who is heavier than you. There are also some comments that the Ghost Ice cover is a little slippery – some users had trouble keeping fitted sheets on the bed, though a mattress cover could resolve this issue.
What Makes It Unique?
One thing that sets GhostBed apart from their competitors is their industry-leading warranty and sleep guarantees. Not only do you get 101 nights to try the mattress in your home, but your purchase is protected by a 25-year warranty.
What really sets the Ghost SmartBed 3D matrix apart from its competitors, however, is its advanced customization. Not only can you change the firmness individually on both sides, but each side has 5 ergonomically designed body zones with 40 points of adjustment. With 2,000 sensors per side, this smartbed adjusts automatically to your sleeping position and movement throughout the night.
2. Sleep Number i10 360 Smart Bed
Adjustable comfort and firmness on each side
15-inch height with 7 layers
Smart 3D fabric and temperature balancing technology
100-night trial and 15-year warranty
Sleep Number’s most luxurious model by far, the i10 360 Smart Bed is designed specifically with couples in mind. This bed features a 15-inch profile with multiple internal layers, including two air chambers. Smart Number’s DualAir adjustability feature enables you to adjust the firmness and support on each side of the bed individually according to your preferred Sleep Number setting.
Materials and Construction
Similar to the i8, the Sleep Number i10 360 Smart Bed adds an extra inch to the supportive base layer and an additional inch of foam, taking from a 13-inch height to a 15-inch height. This mattress is only available in a dual air chamber design and offers 7 zones of contouring support on each side with a reversible memory foam/PlushFit top layer.
Each side of the i10 360 Smart Bed responds to your movements and adjusts automatically. With temperature balancing technology, it absorbs excess heat as needed and released it later as you cool down. It also incorporates Smart 3D fabric for a cool sleeping surface.
Who Is It Best For?
The Sleep Number i10 360 Smart Bed is great for couples – in fact, that’s what it’s designed for. This bed enables you to adjust the firmness and support on each side of the bed individually. It even has a reversible foam layer on top for further customization. Because this smartbed only comes with dual air chambers, it’s really not designed for single sleepers – unless you only sleep on one side of the bed.
It’s also a great choice for hot sleepers because it has integrated temperature regulation technology. Sleep Number’s Outlast technology wicks heat away from the body, redistributing it throughout the night to keep you cool and comfortable.
One thing worth noting with the Sleep Number smartbed is that it doesn’t come in sizes smaller than a queen. That being said, it does come in both split and FlexTop versions of both the king and California king sizes. This makes it an ideal choice for use with adjustable bases. If you and your partner like to cuddle, however, you may find the split design uncomfortable in between the two sides.
Perhaps the most common issue with Sleep Number beds, however, is the firmness. While there is some degree of adjustability with this mattress, it is still primarily a memory foam mattress that runs on the softer side of the firmness scale. It’s also one of the pricier options, the queen size retailing for over $5k.
What Makes It Unique?
Not only is the Sleep Number i10 360 Smart Bed ideal for couples due to its DualAir adjustability feature, but the foam top layer comes in two pieces so each sleeper can flip it to their preferred side. One side is conforming memory foam and the other is PlushFit foam, with 7 layers of zoned pressure relief.
Another thing that makes Sleep Number unique is that their mattresses come in split and FlexTop designs. The split design actually comes in two separate units while the FlexTop models are connected at the base, but the top half of each side can raise and lower independently. This makes the Sleep Number i10 ideal for use with adjustable bases. In fact, Sleep Number offers the FlexFit 3 Smart Adjustable Base which you can control through an app and it even offers foot warming.
3. Eight Sleep Pod Pro Mattress
Dual-Zone heating and cooling
12-inch height with 5 layers
Advanced sleep tracking and free app
100-night trial with 10-year warranty
The most advanced Eight mattress yet, the Eight Sleep Pod Pro mattress offers an impressive array of technologies. In addition to new Room Climate and Weather Response technologies, this smart bed features a Comfort Blend integrated topper and GentleRise Wake Up technology. It also offers double the number of sensors and new Heart Rate Variability monitoring with daily health check reports. This mattress also offers advanced sleep tracking and customization through the free Android/iOS app.
Materials and Construction
The Eight Sleep Pod Pro is a 12-inch mattress that incorporates 5 layers, including a 1-inch ComfortBlend topper. Where the technology comes in is in the Active Grid cover which features narrow tubes that heat or cool both sides of the bed individually. This layer also incorporates that inch of ComfortBlend polyfoam which gives the mattress a plush, pillow-top feel.
Under the Active Grid you’ll find a 2-inch layer or AirFlow polyfoam followed by a 1-inch comfort layer of memory foam. Next is a 4-inch transitional layer of dense polyfoam and another 4 inches of high-density polyfoam for support. The Eight Sleep Pod Pro also features The Hub, an external reservoir that connects to the tubes in the cover. Users can control the Pod Pro’s technology by connecting with The Hub through a free Android or iOS app.
Who Is It Best For?
Because the Eight Sleep Pod Pro mattress is an all-foam mattress, it’s a great option for couples. This mattress performs well in motion isolation thanks to its top polyfoam layer and plush foam padding. It’s also a very quiet mattress – you won’t have to worry about your partner waking you up during the night.
Like most foam mattresses, the Eight Sleep Pod Pro mattress is a great option for side sleepers and back sleepers. Constructed from pressure-relieving memory foam, this mattress conforms to the body, relieving pressure on the hip and shoulder for side sleepers. It helps support proper spine alignment and may help relieve pain and stiffness as well.
The Eight Sleep Pod Pro mattress is also a great option for sleepers who tend to run hot. It’s one of the best adjustable mattresses for temperature thanks to the integrated Active Grid which enables you to control both sides of the mattress between 55 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
Something to keep in mind about the Eight Sleep Pod Pro mattress is that it is an all-foam mattress and it runs on the softer side – it’s rated about 5 out of 10 for firmness. While technically a smartbed for its sleep tracking and temperature regulation features, there’s no option to adjust the firmness. Side and back sleepers generally find this mattress pretty comfortable, but it may be too soft for stomach sleepers and not supportive enough for heavier individuals.
The Eight Sleep Pod Pro mattress is also somewhat lacking in edge support. Again, you may not notice this issue unless you’re a heavier individual, but it’s worth considering if you sleep with a partner.
Another thing to be mindful of with the Eight Sleep Pod Pro smart mattress is that while the price point may be a little lower, the warranty is shorter than either of the other two models reviewed here. You only get a 2-year warranty on the technology and a 10-year warranty on the mattress.
What Makes It Unique?
What really sets the Eight Sleep Pod Pro apart from the competition is its sleep tracking technology. While many smartbeds offer this feature, Eight really does it well. This mattress offers individual sleep tracking on each side, tracking metrics like sleep stages, sleep time, movement during sleep, and more. You can view all of this data and control your smartbed through a free Android/iOS app.
Another feature that makes this smartbed unique is its Dual-Zone heating and cooling technology. Individual sleepers can cool and heat their side of the bed between 55 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Set your side to your temperature preference or schedule automatic on/off times. With the GentleRise Wake Up technology, you can also set the bed to gradually cool or warm to wake you up.
Nothing is better than a good night’s sleep and with smartbed technology, you can enjoy the best sleep of your life. Smart mattresses enable you to control various aspects of your sleep experience including firmness, comfort, and even temperature. Some of them can even wake you up and start your coffee maker automatically.
While smart mattresses offer impressive features, they come at a price and not all smartbeds are created equal. If you’re going to make the investment, take the time to do your research and know what you’re buying. This comparison of three of the top smartbeds on the market is a great place to start.