Sleep Number's $1,099 It Bed connected queen mattress tracks how well you sleep via built-in sensors and integrations with select products from, and other companies. It is much smarter than your average bed. The comfortable foam mattress even has two inner air chambers so you and a partner can pick your own firmness settings.
While all of that tech has the potential to offer useful sleep tips, the amount of data the mattress collected from me and my husband, Kevin, didn't match up with the amount of information we were getting back from it. Unexpected glitches in the related SleepIQ app also led to inaccurate sleep scores and missing data -- Sleep Number says it's working on these issues.
Yes, this is a cozy mattress, but the smarts need to be more reliable before I'd suggest most people spend the money on Sleep Number's It Bed. If Sleep Number can smooth out the data gathering quirks, the It Bed could be worth it to those interested in dissecting charts and graphs in pursuit of a good night's sleep.
Getting to know It
The It Bed by Sleep Number arrived in a single large box. You can install the mattress over a platform-style slatted bed frame. That means you don't have to buy Sleep Number's frame and base if you already have something that will work -- or if you simply want to buy a frame from another manufacturer.
For reference, the frame and base accessories are sold as a unit for an additional $499, taking the grand total up to $1,598. You can buy headboards and related hardware through Sleep Number, too.
Aesthetics didn't factor in heavily with the It Bed, since it's going to be covered by sheets 99 percent of the time. It's a pretty attractive mattress all the same. The knit fabric covering it looks like a mattress cover, even though it's technically an integrated part of the mattress design.
Note: I reviewed the $1,099 queen mattress, but Sleep Number also offers other sizes. A twin version goes for $799 or you can pay up to $1,499 for either a king or a California king mattress. Find out more on Sleep Number's site.
Setting up the mattress was as simple as taking it out of the box, setting it on the bed frame and giving the mattress some time to regain its natural shape. There's a small green tag on one corner of the mattress -- that side needed to be positioned at the foot of the bed for the tech to work properly.
Now grab the ActiveComfort Technology Module -- this is a smallish black gizmo with two tube connectors sticking from either end. Lift up the end of the mattress slightly, unzip the small pocket in the middle and connect the power cord and the air hoses (they're color-coded for easy install). This is the device that pumps air into either side of the bed. Slide everything back into the zippered pocked and close it. Then, connect the cord at the head of the bed to the included power adapter and plug it into a nearby outlet.
You'll need the Android or iPhone SleepIQ app to access every feature offered by this bed. Unlike other Sleep Number mattresses, the It Bed doesn't come with a separate remote or any other hardware you can use to see your settings and make adjustments. Follow the in-app steps to pair the bed to your Wi-Fi network and create a profile. You can also extend access to your partner so they can create their own login and profile.
The only issue I ran into here was that the air tubes had shifted during shipping, so I had to reach into the zippered pocket to find them. Fortunately, everything else was very simple.
Catching some zzz's
With the bed installed, you can get to the fun part -- sleeping.
Here's what I liked:
- The mattress is comfortable -- the ability to customize your level of firmness helps with this
- The daily SleepIQ charts detail exactly when and for how long you were restless or out of bed (see screenshot)
Here's what I didn't like:
- You can't be in bed while it's inflating/deflating and SleepIQ doesn't help you pick your ideal firmness
- A few different glitches led to inaccurate SleepIQ readings, as well as missing data
- The custom messages and third-party integrations aren't actually very useful
I was disappointed that Sleep Number doesn't tell you what the right level of firmness is for you or auto-adjust it for you over time. As someone who's never bought a mattress, I have absolutely no idea which setting is "best for me."
I personally found every setting I tried comfortable -- and SleepIQ never offered any sort of guidance on that front. So I randomly chose 95 and it seemed to work fine. (100 is the firmest setting.)