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Best Sleep Number Alternatives & Competitors (2024)

Sleep Number is one of the most popular brands when it comes to high-quality, high-tech mattresses. These are smart mattresses designed to improve your sleeping experience by allowing you to tailor your bed to your needs. 

Sleep Number mattresses are unique in that they’re extremely customizable, meaning you can, for example, adjust the firmness on each side of the bed or track your sleep throughout the night using their app. Based on these features, it’s no surprise that they’re also known for their high price. It’s this mark-up that often puts people off and leads them to think about alternatives. 

Sleep Number alternatives may not be as high-tech, but they can help you achieve the same quality of sleep at a fraction of the cost. In this article, we’ll discuss some mattresses that can serve as Sleep Number alternatives and why we think they’re a good replacement.

The Best Sleep Number Alternative is…

The Nectar with Adjustable Base is an adaptable memory foam bed that doesn’t skimp on quality, though it comes at a budget-friendly price-point.

Best Sleep Number Alternatives


Our Video Review of the Best Sleep Number Alternatives

Compare Sleep Number Alternatives

Nectar Mattress Saatva Solaire Mattress DreamCloud Original Mattress Nolah Signature 12 Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe Mattress Bear Star Hybrid Mattress
Nectar Mattress Saatva Solaire Mattress DreamCloud Original Mattress Nolah Signature 12″ Mattress Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe Mattress Bear Star Hybrid Mattress
Rating
4.7/5
4.9/5
4.6/5
4.8/5
4.7/5
4.7/5
Firmness Medium-firm: 6.5/10 Multiple firmness options Medium-firm: 6.5/10 Soft: 4/10 Multiple firmness options Medium-firm: 6/10
Material Foam Other Hybrid Foam Hybrid Hybrid
Cooling
Warranty Lifetime warranty Lifetime warranty Lifetime warranty Lifetime warranty 10-year warranty Lifetime warranty
Shipping Free shipping Free white glove delivery Free shipping Free shipping Free shipping Free shipping
Trial Period 365 nights 365 nights 365 nights 120 nights 120 nights 120 nights
Best For Back Sleepers, Side Sleepers, Hip Pain, Joint Pain Couples, Hot Sleepers, Side Sleepers, Back Sleepers, Stomach Sleepers, Hip Pain Back Sleepers, Hot Sleepers, Seniors Side Sleepers, Back Pain Hot Sleepers, Back Pain, Side Sleepers Joint Pain, Side Sleepers, Back Sleepers, Hot Sleepers

The 6 Best Sleep Number Alternatives

Nectar with Adjustable Base – Best Sleep Number p5 Alternative

Product
Firmness
Trial Period
Nectar Mattress
Nectar Mattress
Medium-firm: 6.5/10
365 nights
Sleep Number 360® p5 product
Sleep Number 360 p5 Smart Mattress
Multiple firmness options
100 nights
Nectar Mattress
Product
Nectar Mattress
Firmness
Medium-firm: 6.5/10
Trial Period
365 nights
Sleep Number 360® p5 product
Product
Sleep Number 360 p5 Smart Mattress
Firmness
Multiple firmness options
Trial Period
100 nights

Why the Nectar with Adjustable Base Earned Best Sleep Number p5 Alternative

The Nectar itself isn’t a customizable mattress but works excellently with an adjustable base. Pairing the two gives you a similar feel you’d get from a customizable mattress such as the Sleep Number p5, if a little softer because of its all-foam construction.

With an adjustable base, the Nectar bed can be raised or lowered in various ways to accommodate all kinds of sleepers, though it’s best for back and side sleepers—like the p5.

Julia Forbes of Sleep Advisor testing the Nectar Adjustable Base
Testing the Nectar with an adjustable base in our testing studio.

What’s the Nectar Mattress Made Of?

The Nectar is 12 inches tall with five layers. All of the foams it uses are CertiPUR-US® certified.

Take a Look Inside

  • Layer 1 – Cover. A breathable cover made with temperature-regulating polyethylene fibers.
  • Layer 2 – Gel Memory Foam (2 inches). Gel aids in keeping this layer cooler than traditional memory foam while providing pressure relief.
  • Layer 3 – Dynamic Response Foam (3 inches). This responsive foam keeps you aligned and bounces back to your movements.
  • Layer 4 – Base (7 inches). This dense and sturdy foam base gives the bed its supportive structure.
  • Layer 5 – Lower Cover. A bottom cover seals the layers of the mattress together and prevents it from unwanted shifting.

My Take: The Nectar is one of our top picks if you’re looking for an affordable mattress, but there’s no skimping on quality with this bed. It brings an enviable blend of softness and support that should benefit anyone looking for an alternative to Sleep Number’s high price point.

Pros
Budget-friendly price – Although you still have to add on the cost of an adjustable base, you’ll find that the Nectar is a fantastic budget-friendly option. Plus, if you’re looking to save even more, we recommend shopping around a major holiday since many mattress brands offer bigger discounts.
More generous trial and warranty deal – If you’re looking for a longer trial and warranty deal, Nectar offers a 365-night trial and their Forever warranty. Conversely, you’ll have 100 nights to test out the Sleep Number 360® p5, with a 15-year limited warranty.
Cons
Very little bounce – This Nectar mattress is a memory foam bed made entirely out of foam, so it doesn’t have as much bounce as you can find in the Sleep Number 360® p5. Some people enjoy more bounce in a mattress, though it does offer great motion isolation for couples.
Not for heavy people – Unfortunately, the Nectar mattress likely won’t be as supportive for many heavyweight people above 230 pounds, who could find their spine alignment impacted, particularly if they’re a back or stomach sleeper.

Customer Reviews of the Nectar

With staggering 52,000 reviews on Nectar’s website, the Nectar mattress has an average 4.7 out of 5 stars. One common customer complaint about the Nectar mattress is its longer-than-average break-in period, while many customers praise its excellent value and comfort once fully settled.

To learn more about Nectar, visit our in-depth Nectar mattress review.

Saatva Solaire – Best Sleep Number iLE Alternative

Product
Firmness
Trial Period
Saatva Solaire Mattress
Saatva Solaire Mattress
Multiple firmness options
365 nights
Sleep Number 360® iLE product
Sleep Number 360 iLE Smart Mattress
Multiple firmness options
100 nights
Saatva Solaire Mattress
Product
Saatva Solaire Mattress
Firmness
Multiple firmness options
Trial Period
365 nights
Sleep Number 360® iLE product
Product
Sleep Number 360 iLE Smart Mattress
Firmness
Multiple firmness options
Trial Period
100 nights

Why the Saatva Solaire Earned Best Sleep Number iLE Alternative

The Saatva Solaire is the most luxurious smart bed on this list, thus we offer it as a possible alternative to the Sleep Number iLE, the most luxurious option in their Innovation line.

While the iLE offers 20 unique firmness levels, the Saatva Solaire offers more than twice that at 50. So, in some cases, this bed might be less of an alternative and more of an upgrade—even though it already comes in $1,000 less than the Sleep Number iLE before sales!

What’s the Saatva Solaire Made Of?

The Saatva Solaire is approximately 13 inches tall.

Explore the Solaire’s Layers

  • Euro Top. An organic, quilted pillow top for soft cushioning.
  • Zoned Latex. There are five zones in this hypoallergenic latex layer to balance support and pressure relief.
  • Gel Memory Foam. Cooling gel foam adapts to your body’s curves for gentle contouring.
  • Moisture Barriers. These layers ensure there’s no unwanted moisture buildup that might contribute to bacterial growth.
  • Air Chambers. Vulcanized air chambers inflate and deflate to your desired firmness. Queen-size and larger models feature two air chambers for customized support.
  • Edge Enclosure. This houses the bed’s air inflator.

Our Take: “Here’s the wonderful thing about this bed: Whatever sleeping position or firmness you like, you can adjust the mattress to achieve it … I liked playing around with the remotes to find what works for me.” – Michael, Sleep Advisor Mattress Tester

Pros
Longer trial and warranty deal – The Sleep Number iLE comes with a 100-night trial and a 15-year limited warranty, whereas the Saatva Solaire has a 365-night trial and a lifetime warranty.
The cooling – The Saatva Solaire offers temperature regulation with its breathable organic cotton cover, gel-infused memory foam, latex (known for sleeping cool), and air chamber.
Cons
It’s not immediately ready to use – You will have to wait a little before you can use the Saatva Solaire. The air chambers need up to 48 hours to expand fully and up to a week before you can count on the bed maintaining a consistent comfort layer.
No specialized tracking – The one drawback of the Saatva Solaire in comparison to Sleep Number is the lack of intuitive monitoring of your sleep cycle and preferences. Sleep Number offers a lot of insight into your sleep with their app, including what they call a SleepIQ® score. For the Saatva Solaire, you’ll just have to feel the differences for yourself.

Customer Reviews of the Saatva Solaire

On Saatva’s website, the reviews for the Saatva Solaire are overwhelmingly positive, coming in at 4.7 out of 5 stars. Customers wrote nearly 150 reviews, appreciating the Saatva Solaire mattress for its adjustable firmness settings. However, many people feel Saatva could have done better with edge support on this mattress.

To learn more about the Saatva Solaire, visit our full-length Saatva Solaire mattress review.

DreamCloud with Adjustable Bed Frame – Best Sleep Number c4 Alternative

Product
Firmness
Trial Period
DreamCloud Original Mattress
DreamCloud Original Mattress
Medium-firm: 6.5/10
365 nights
Sleep Number 360 c4 Smart Mattress
Sleep Number 360 c4 Smart Mattress
Multiple firmness options
100 nights
DreamCloud Original Mattress
Product
DreamCloud Original Mattress
Firmness
Medium-firm: 6.5/10
Trial Period
365 nights
Sleep Number 360 c4 Smart Mattress
Product
Sleep Number 360 c4 Smart Mattress
Firmness
Multiple firmness options
Trial Period
100 nights

Why the DreamCloud with Adjustable Bed Frame Earned Best Sleep Number c4 Alternative

The c4 mattress by Sleep Number is one of the brand’s more basic options, meant to attract consumers who want an affordable smart bed. It’s got a firmer feel, thus we’re offering up the DreamCloud mattress as an alternative.

The DreamCloud offers luxury at a reasonable price; it features a luxurious cashmere cover, soft foams, and a robust coil unit. You can add on the brand’s adjustable bed frame to mimic the Sleep Number c4. Coupons and sales often bring the price of a DreamCloud queen and adjustable base down to $1,414, which is about $400 less than a full-priced c4.

Take a closer look at the mattress construction of the original DreamCloud mattress
The layers of the DreamCloud mattress.

What’s the DreamCloud Made Of?

The DreamCloud is 12 inches high and has eight layers if you count its top and bottom covers.

Inside the DreamCloud

  • Layer 1 – Cashmere Blend Cover. Soft and decorated with tiny clouds, this top cover looks and feels welcoming.
  • Layer 2-3 – Quilted Foam. Two layers of foam, one cushiony-soft and the other supportive, make up the mattress surface.
  • Layer 4 – Gel-Infused Memory Foam. A pressure-relieving layer that molds to the shape of your body.
  • Layer 5 – Dynamic Foam. A transitional, firmer layer of foam shields you from feeling the coils beneath.
  • Layer 6 – Spring Unit. With thicker coils along the perimeter for edge support, these individually wrapped springs keep your body elevated.
  • Layer 7 – Base Foam. A dense layer of foam that the entire mattress rests upon.
  • Layer 8 – Bottom Cover. Attractive tufted borders and convenient handles add to the hybrid’s classy appearance.

My Take: The DreamCloud is one of my favorites, and I’m always surprised at how much it delivers at a pretty nice price. If you’re a stomach sleeper like me, you’ll definitely enjoy the lifted feeling that this bed brings.

Pros
Generous policies – The DreamCloud comes with a 365-night trial, much longer than Sleep Number’s 100-day trial. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.
Affordable luxury – The Sleep Number c4 is one of the “budget” options for those looking for a Sleep Number, but it’s by no means affordable; it comes close to $2,000 for a queen. The DreamCloud is priced significantly less, and you’re getting a high-end bed with high-quality materials.
Cons
No adjustable firmness – The biggest downside is that the Sleep Number c4 features the Sleep Number technology that allows you to find your preferred firmness. The DreamCloud is only available in one firmness level, one that we consider to be medium-firm.
Too firm for some – So, going off what I just said, it’s important to note that some people may not find the DreamCloud to be their best bet. If you’re a lightweight side sleeper, for example, you may find the lifted feeling uncomfortable. Back and stomach sleepers, though, should find this bed to be a good match for them.

Customer Reviews of the DreamCloud

The DreamCloud Original scores a solid 4.6 out of 5 stars among 8,000 reviews on its site. While some customers appreciate the value and affordability of the DreamCloud Original mattress, others find it to be on the heavier side, which could make moving or rotating the mattress more challenging.

To find out more, read our full DreamCloud mattress review. Also check out our review for the DreamCloud Adjustable Base.

Nolah Signature 12” with Adjustable Base – Best Sleep Number i8 Alternative

Product
Firmness
Trial Period
nolah signature mattress
Nolah Signature 12″ Mattress
Soft: 4/10
120 nights
Sleep Number 360 i8 product image
Sleep Number 360 i8 Smart Mattress
Multiple firmness options
100 nights
nolah signature mattress
Product
Nolah Signature 12″ Mattress
Firmness
Soft: 4/10
Trial Period
120 nights
Sleep Number 360 i8 product image
Product
Sleep Number 360 i8 Smart Mattress
Firmness
Multiple firmness options
Trial Period
100 nights

Why the Nolah Signature with Adjustable Base Earned Best Sleep Number i8 Alternative

The i8 by Sleep Number is an adjustable bed best-suited to back sleepers. It boasts a breathable cover and thick comfort layer to keep cool while providing cushion. If you’re looking for a traditional mattress with a similar feel, consider the Nolah Signature.

The Nolah Signature is a soft bed, coming in on our firmness scale at 4 out of 10, whereas the i8 has adjustable firmness. Although you can’t adjust the Signature’s firmness, you can adjust its position by placing it on an adjustable base, making it easier to modify how the bed feels. The Nolah Signature also uses proprietary AirFoam™ to keep cool and provide some bounce—both not seen in traditional foam.

Nolah Signature All-Foam Hybrid construction
The inside of the Nolah.

What’s the Nolah Signature Mattress Made Of?

The Nolah Signature is 12 inches thick and has five layers.

The Layers of The Nolah Signature

  • Layer 1 – Organic Cotton Cover. Cotton is naturally breathable and soft for a comfortable sleep surface.
  • Layer 2 – Plush AirFoam™ (2.5 inches). AirFoam™ is both cool and cushioning.
  • Layer 3 – Active Response Foam (1.5 inches). This bouncy foam reacts to your movements and keeps air flowing through the mattress.
  • Layer 4 – Firm AirFoam™ (1 inch). Another layer of AirFoam™, albeit firmer, adds support so there’s less pressure on sensitive joints.
  • Layer 5 – High-Density Foam Foundation (7 inches). A dense, durable foam base layer.

Our Take: “If you’re interested in a hybrid feel but want an all-foam bed, you’ll love the bounce and cool nature of Nolah’s AirFoam™.” Emma Mattei, Sleep Advisor Mattress Tester

Pros
Great pressure relief – While testing the Nolah Signature, Emma pointed out how this softer mattress can be great for those in need of pressure relief, particularly side sleepers. “The Nolah Signature is a softer mattress, so it’s going to excel for side sleepers who want pressure relief in their shoulders and hips.”
No added shipping costs – Sleep Number requires customers to pay an additional 249 dollars for shipping. It’s worth noting that this includes an in-home setup, but if this doesn’t sound like something you’d need, Nolah offers free shipping on their bed. However, Nolah does charge a 99-dollar fee for returns.
Cons
Might be too soft – The Sleep Number i8 has an adjustable firmness, whereas the Nolah Signature is rated 4 out of 10 on our firmness scale. This is one of the softest alternatives on our list, and it’s important to consider your sleeping habits and preferences to ensure this bed isn’t too soft for you.
Not for heavy sleepers – The i8 may work for some heavy sleepers when you adjust its firmness to the highest levels. Unfortunately, Nolah’s Signature model might not be such an easy fit because it’s on the softer side and is unlikely to provide enough support for sleepers over 230 pounds.

Customer Reviews of the Nolah Signature

The Nolah Signature gets a 4.8 out of 5 stars on Nolah’s website. Customers appreciate the Nolah Signature mattress for its exceptional pressure relief, but some have mentioned that it lacks the edge support they desire.

Read our full Nolah Signature review if you want more in-depth information about this mattress. 

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe with Adjustable Base – Best Sleep Number m7 Alternative

Product
Firmness
Trial Period
Aurora Luxe Mattress
Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe Mattress
Multiple firmness options
120 nights
Sleep Number 360® m7 product
Sleep Number 360 m7 Smart Mattress
Multiple firmness options
100 nights
Aurora Luxe Mattress
Product
Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe Mattress
Firmness
Multiple firmness options
Trial Period
120 nights
Sleep Number 360® m7 product
Product
Sleep Number 360 m7 Smart Mattress
Firmness
Multiple firmness options
Trial Period
100 nights

Why the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe with Adjustable Based Earned Best Sleep Number m7 Alternative

The m7 model by Sleep Number is one of the coolest the brand offers. Similarly, the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe excels in regulating temperature. It’s not an adjustable bed on its own, but it provides plenty of lift and bounce. It’s also got a firmer feel that should keep everything properly aligned and prevent the possibility of pressure buildup and pain. 

Tacking on an adjustable base makes this bed an optimal alternative rather than forking over thousands of dollars for the Sleep Number m7.

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe Pressure Testing
Testing the Aurora Luxe in our testing studio.

What’s the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe Made Of?

At 13 inches tall, the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe has six total layers. You can find it in Soft, Medium, or Firm models.

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe Construction

  • Layer 1 – Cover. GlacioTex™ starts off the mattress with a cool-to-the-touch surface.
  • Layer 2 – CopperFlex™ Foam (1.5 inches). The use of copper and phase change material in this layer aids in temperature conduction and regulation.
  • Layer 3 – Supreme Response Comfort Foam (1.5 or 2 inches). This foam layer is plush for cushioning while also bouncing back.
  • Layer 4 – Gel Swirl Memory Foam (1 inch) or VariFlex™ Foam (1.5 inches). In the Soft and Medium models, a layer of gel memory foam promotes pressure relief. In the Firm model, a layer of VariFlex™ foam enhances the bed’s firm support.
  • Layer 5 – Coil Unit (8.5 inches). Ascension® coils keep you lifted and are reinforced along the perimeter for stronger edges.
  • Layer 6 – High-Density Foam Base (0.75 inches). A sturdy foam foundation.

My Take: We use a temperature gun in the studio to measure whether or not a bed traps heat, and I was surprised to see that the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe cooled down significantly after just five minutes. This is a match made in heaven for hot sleepers.

Pros
Keeps up the support – We don’t recommend the m7 for folks who sleep on their stomach since the bed’s firmest setting can still feel too soft. The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe is a different case, the combination of coils and foams able to keep you comfortably aloft.
Coolest cat around – The m7 is cooling for sure, but we’d reckon that the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe is a bed more intentionally designed with cooling in mind–with everything from its cover to its breathable layers.
Cons
Might get chilly – While the Aurora Luxe is pretty cool for hot sleepers, some of our testers felt it might get too cold for some—especially if you live in a colder climate.
Can feel too firm – The m7 is on the softer side compared to the Aurora Luxe, which can be an annoyance for some. But some side sleepers might not get a comfortable sink on the Aurora Luxe, especially if you’re on the lighter side.

Customer Reviews of the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe

On Brooklyn Bedding’s site, the Aurora Luxe has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars and more than 4,000 reviews. Customers praise the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe mattress for its advanced cooling features, but some have mentioned that it is relatively expensive compared to other options.

Interested in learning more? Check out our Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe mattress review.

Bear Star Hybrid with Adjustable Base – Best Sleep Number p6 Alternative

Product
Firmness
Trial Period
Bear Star Hybrid Mattress
Bear Star Hybrid Mattress
Medium-firm: 6/10
120 nights
sleep number p6 smart product image
Sleep Number 360 p6 Smart Mattress
Multiple firmness options
100 nights
Bear Star Hybrid Mattress
Product
Bear Star Hybrid Mattress
Firmness
Medium-firm: 6/10
Trial Period
120 nights
sleep number p6 smart product image
Product
Sleep Number 360 p6 Smart Mattress
Firmness
Multiple firmness options
Trial Period
100 nights

Why the Bear Star Hybrid with Adjustable Base Earned the Best Sleep Number p6 Alternative

Sleep Number’s p6 model feels firmer than other models due to its thinner comfort layer, so if you’re looking for a bed with a similar feel, consider the Bear Star Hybrid.

While not a customizable mattress, the Bear Star Hybrid has all the cooling capability of the p6 and then some—mostly thanks to its cover, which features Celliant® and HydroCool® technology. It also keeps you lifted while still relieving pressure in areas that can cause problems, like the shoulders and hips. Pair it with an adjustable base to mimic the Sleep Number’s maneuverability.

Take a closer look at the Bear Star Hybrid mattress construction
The layers of the Bear Star Hybrid mattress.

What’s the Bear Star Hybrid Made Of?

The Bear Star Hybrid is 13 inches high with five layers.

The Bear Star Hybrid’s Construction

  • Layer 1 – Cover. This super cool and soft cover is made with Celliant® material and HydroCool® technology for a refreshing sleep.
  • Layer 2 – Serene Gel Foam. Another cool layer of foam for pressure relief.
  • Layer 3 – Responsive Comfort Foam. This adaptive foam’s porous structure keeps air flowing through the mattress.
  • Layer 4 – Innersprings. Individually encased coils bolster support. The edges feature stronger coils to prevent sagging along the perimeter.
  • Layer 5 – High-Density Support Foam. A sturdy, durable foam base.

Our Take: “The Bear Star mattress has a unique five-layer design that provides exceptional pressure relief and support for all sleeping positions.” – Stuart Petty, Sleep Advisor Mattress Tester

Pros
Standout textile – One thing Bear has that Sleep Number does not is their innovative inclusion of Celliant® fibers. This material is reported to convert excess heat into infrared energy, which then promotes muscle recovery. It’s a boon for athletes or anyone who’s looking for rejuvenation after a long and active day.
More cooling tech – The p6 has cooling gel in its foam, but so does the Bear Star Hybrid—alongside its other breathable foams and temperature-regulating cover. So, listen up, hot sleepers: when it comes to cooling, we think the Bear Star Hybrid outshines the p6.
Cons
Comparable trial – The Bear Star Hybrid has a 120-day trial, which is, to be fair, 20 days more than the Sleep Number—but it’s a little lackluster when compared to some of the year-long trials on this list.
Too firm for some – The Bear Star Hybrid is a bit on the firmer side, which can be troublesome for lightweight sleepers who need pressure relief. The p6 also seems to have this problem with its firmer settings, but it does offer the ability to go softer if you need it.

Customer Reviews of the Bear Star Hybrid

Coming in at approximately 4.5 out of 5 stars on Bear’s site, the Bear Star Hybrid has a little over 40 reviews, most of which are positive. Customers praise the Bear Star Hybrid mattress for its excellent cooling properties, however some have found it to be on the firmer side, which might not be suitable for those seeking a softer feel.

Check out our full Bear Star Hybrid mattress review to learn more about this bed’s features.

How Much Can You Save Buying a Sleep Number Alternative?

Alternative Mattress & Price (Queen Size w/o discounts)Sleep Number Model & Price (Queen Size)Total Savings
Nectar ($1,099)Sleep Number 360 p5 Smart Mattress ($2,699)$1,600
Saatva Solaire ($4,495)Sleep Number 360 iLE Smart Mattress ($5,499)$1,004
DreamCloud ($1,332)Sleep Number 360 c4 Smart Mattress ($1,899)$567
Nolah Signature 12” ($1,799)Sleep Number 360 i8 Smart Mattress ($3,999)$2,134
Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe ($1,865)Sleep Number 360 m7 Smart Mattress ($3,999)$2,134
Bear Star Hybrid ($1,398)Sleep Number 360 p6 Smart Mattress ($3,199) $1,801

What Is a Smart Bed?

A smart bed uses a variety of technologies such as sensors that collect data about your sleep patterns and foot-warming technology. Typically, a smart bed uses the data gathered to adjust certain features as you sleep. Some of these features may include the firmness, temperature, incline, and level of support, depending on the company.

Smart Bed vs. Adjustable Bases

A smart bed may share similarities with an adjustable bed, but there are several important distinctions. With an adjustable base, you can use any compatible mattress, which is usually noted on the manufacturer’s website. An adjustable base has hinges that you can modify manually to raise or lower the head and foot of the mattress. 

Unlike an adjustable base, smart beds use various technologies, such as sensors that track your sleeping habits throughout the night. Smart beds are typically more expensive than adjustable bases because of the technology used. However, smart beds can be more precisely adjusted to your needs, while an adjustable base can only be adapted to your preferred incline.

What to Look for in a Smart Bed or Sleep Number Alternative

Type of Mattress

Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses usually have only a few layers, including a coil unit and a single comfort layer. For this reason, these beds aren’t as great at pressure relief and motion control compared to hybrid and memory foam models. Innerspring mattresses usually aren’t the best to pick as an alternative to Sleep Number, but this depends on the specific model you’re interested in. 

Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid beds have individually wrapped coils that give these beds some bounce and support. However, they’re different from innerspring beds in that they have multiple comfort layers that make them better at pressure relief, motion isolation, and overall durability. They’re high-quality so they can easily replace Sleep Number mattresses, but make sure to go for reputable brands.

DreamCloud Original Mattress
The DreamCloud is a hybrid mattress that is a great Sleep Number alternative.

Memory Foam Mattresses 

Memory foam mattresses are typically great at motion isolation and pressure relief, but they don’t have much bounce because there aren’t coils. You can choose among various firmness levels, and they typically pair nicely with many adjustable bases, making them a good choice as Sleep Number alternatives. Memory foam beds usually contain poly foam support layers, as well as gel infusions to help prevent overheating. 

Testing the layers and construction of the nectar mattress
The foam layers of the Nectar mattress.

Latex Mattresses 

Latex beds are good if you’re a hot sleeper and a fan of more responsive beds. Unlike memory foam, latex has a quicker response and is unlikely to make you feel stuck in a mattress. Latex is more breathable than memory foam, so the construction is unlikely to overheat. Plus, latex is highly durable, so these often last longer than other mattress types.

Other Considerations When Shopping for a Sleep Number Bed Alternative

Sleeping Position 

Sleep Number mattresses can accommodate many sleeping positions when you lift or lower different parts of the bed. However, not every mattress can do that, at least not without an adjustable base. 

For this reason, consider your preferred sleeping position and how you would like your bed to match it. Some beds are suitable for all sleeping positions, but others may be too soft or firm.

Weight/Body Type of Sleepers 

How much you weigh affects how you experience a bed’s firmness. In other words, if a mattress has a mid-range firmness, but you weigh over 230 pounds, you’re likely to experience it as softer than a person weighing under 130 pounds would. 

Similarly, you want to consider your body frame and whether certain body parts are more prone to pressure buildup. For example, do you have broad shoulders? If so, you may want a softer bed that’s good at pressure relief to prevent pressure from building up in the shoulders when you sleep on the side.

Read More: Best Mattress for Heavy People

Firmness

As mentioned, firmness is subjective, and what you may find to be firm, someone else might find medium or even soft. This mostly depends on your body frame, weight, and preferred sleeping position.

Side sleepers usually prefer softer beds to relieve pressure, whereas back sleepers usually enjoy medium to firm mattresses, depending on their body weight. Stomach sleepers prefer firmer beds because they typically offer more support for the hips. 

Our mattress testers looking into the mattress construction of the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe
Exploring the firmness layers of the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe mattress.

Cooling

Cooling is a major factor to consider if you’re a hot sleeper. If you often sweat and overheat when sleeping, certain cooling features can help you achieve a better night’s sleep. 

Hybrid, latex, and innerspring mattresses run cooler than memory foam. However, manufacturers now add infusions like gel and copper to help cool memory foam and prevent it from overheating. Many brands also have proprietary cooling technologies and cooling covers to provide more comfort for those who sleep hot.

Explore our picks for the Best Cooling Mattresses.

Pressure Relief 

Sleep Number mattresses have an adjustable firmness, and with that, they can provide more or less sinkage and pressure relief. 

Alternative mattresses may also have an adjustable firmness that allows you to achieve the same thing. If not, you may want to focus on a softer bed if pressure relief is your main concern. 

Even a mid-range firmness may work, depending on your body weight, as it should allow a balance of pressure relief in the hips, knees, and shoulders while ensuring proper spine alignment.

Related: Best Mattress for Pressure Relief

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe Pressure Testing
Pressure testing the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe mattress.

Edge Support 

Edge support is another feature in which Sleep Number mattresses excel. However, other brands can achieve this as well. 

Many companies include different reinforcements, such as strong coils or denser foam, around the perimeter to ensure the edges stay consistent, without collapsing under weight. Edge support may not be important for single individuals, but couples and co-sleepers usually appreciate having consistent support along the perimeter when they spread out.

Saatva Solaire edge support
Laying on the edge of the Saatva Solaire to test support.

Budget 

Sleep Number mattresses are expensive, which means they won’t fit within everyone’s budget. That’s where Sleep Number alternatives can help. They may not offer all the bells and whistles of a Sleep Number bed, but they come with plenty of advantages, including a lower price in many cases.

Explore the Best Budget Mattresses

Trial Period

Trial periods are a great way to test out a mattress before fully committing to a sometimes steep price. You can sleep on the mattress for a specific number of nights, and if you’re not satisfied with your purchase within that time frame, you can return the product. 

Trial periods are especially important when purchasing a smart bed. Trial periods from reputable brands typically start at 90 or 100 nights and go up to a full year, which should allow you time to get used to your new mattress and decide if it’s the right fit for you.

Device Compatibility

When shopping for a Sleep Number or smart bed alternative, you’ll want to consider if the mattress is compatible with your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. It’s possible that some brands may only accommodate Apple products, for example, which means if you’re an Android user, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Looking for more smart sleep items? Explore the best smart mattresses.

Best Sleep Number Alternative Mattress FAQs 

What is the lifespan of a Sleep Number bed?

Sleep Number beds are designed to last for a minimum of 15 years, and they come with a 15-year limited warranty.

What is the most affordable Sleep Number bed?

The most affordable Sleep Number is the Sleep Number 360® c2, at $1,099 for a Queen. It’s the most basic model, with an 8-inch base and a 2-inch comfort layer.

What’s the difference between an adjustable base and a smart bed?

An adjustable base can be used with an existing compatible mattress to raise the head and/or foot of the bed. Some adjustable bases come with features like under-bed lights, vibrating alarms, and massage settings.

A smart bed is a mattress with built-in high-tech features. In Sleep Number’s case, this means adjustable firmness and sleep tracking technology, which is measured using pressure sensors in the mattress. Sleep Number also sells a range of adjustable FlexFit™ smart bases that help you get more out of your mattress, with features like Partner Snore, zero gravity, and foot warming.

Julia Forbes

Julia Forbes

Lead Product Tester

About Author

Julia is the Lead Reviewer at Sleep Advisor, specializing in testing out mattresses and sleep accessories – she’s in the right line of work, because she loves to sleep.

Stomach Sleeper

Education & Credentials

  • Certified Sleep Science Coach