If you’re interested in learning about an airbed that focuses on personalization and technology to help you sleep your best, read on. Sleep Number beds tout their ability to integrate technology and design to provide their customers with unique and reliable rest.
Sleep Number is different from other foam, latex, or spring mattresses because they actually don’t have any of that fill. Instead, they are adjustable air beds that include different mattress covers to provide extra soothing support. Each mattress comes with a remote so you can adjust the amount of air in the air chamber and find the perfect “Sleep Number,” and firmness, for you.
In addition to personal firmness, The Innovations Series, including the I8 bed we’ll look at today, hit the market advertising features like a luxury comfort layer for maximum comfort and temperature balancing technology to keep you from sleeping too warm or too cool.
Sleep Number beds come in a handful of models, including their relatively new Smart Bed line, which touts its ability to “Know you. Sense you. Adjust to you.” We’ll dive into all the features included in the smart bed. In this article, we’ll specifically be looking at the Sleep Number 360® I8 model.
Check out our review of the Sleep Number c2 bed.
Sleep Number 360® i8 Smart Bed Mattress Construction
The I8 is one of five mattresses in Sleep Number’s Smart Bed Series, which also includes the P5, P6, I7, and I10 beds. The “I” in “I8” stands for “innovation” pointing to the temperature-balancing technology included in most beds in the series. (The I7 does not include this feature.)
As for how they’re different, the I10 comes with a thicker layer of comfort foam, making it softer than the I7 and I8 models. As for the P series (which stands for performance), those bed do not come with the temperature regulation built in. They are also a bit smaller—making the P5 and P6 models relatively cheaper.
Here’s the exact breakdown of a Sleep Number 360® I8:
The mattress: The 360® I8 mattress has a 12” profile, which is measured from the base of the mattress to its highest loft. (Again, to compare: the P6 has an 11” profile, and the I-10 has a 13” profile.)
The material: The mattress itself is made from a blend of polyester/polypropylene fabrics, which is known for being both soft and breathable.
Above the airbed: The top of the 360® I8 mattress is a 6” foam comfort layer made up of two different types of foam to promote contouring and support, while offering pressure relief. It also has cooling material in the surface that actually grabs heat and transfers it to the foam so the surface of the mattress stays cool to the touch.
Air chambers: Every Sleep Number mattress comes with one or two air chambers (depending on what size you get) that will inflate or deflate to your exact Sleep Number. If your bed has two chambers (starting at a Full size) then you’re experiencing Sleep Number’s DualAir technology. The air chambers are made of 24 gauge vulcanized rubber with a cotton fabric adhered to its exterior. These hook up to a 4” hose and pump so you can adjust the bed’s firmness. (And don’t worry, the hose is hidden inside the mattress, but has easy access thanks to a removable cover.)
The base: Important note: The base is sold separately. Sleep Number recommends their FlexFit™ Adjustable Base, which lets you raise the head and/or foot of the bed so you can read, watch TV, or surf the net without having to deal with propping up pillows and straining your neck. These start at $1,199.99. If you’re feeling particularly fancy, Sleep Number also offers the FlexFit™ 2, which also includes adjustability that gives off the “feeling of zero gravity” — so you apparently feel like you’re “sleeping like an astronaut.” And as we mentioned earlier, The FlexFit™ 3 base actually heats up the base of your mattress so your feet are warmed as you fall asleep.
If you don’t want to go that route, Sleep Number also recommends a Sleep Number Modular Base ($299.99), or a basic platform base if you have one. They recommend not using a bed frame with slats or a traditional box spring base.
The extras: The Sleep Number 360® I8 comes with SleepIQ® technology, which uses sensors inside the bed to track your breathing, heart rate, and general movements. When you wake up, you receive your SleepIQ® score so you know exactly how you slept and can make adjustments if need be. And like we mentioned above, the mattress cover contains a temperature balancing sleep surface that absorbs excess heat and releases it as you cool down.
Sizes: The 360® I8 mattress comes in five sizes, ranging from Twin Long to California King. Continue reading to see all of the sizes and how much they cost!
What Makes the 360® I8 a Smart Bed?
The Sleep Number Smart Bed series comes with a handful of features that we’ll explain here:
Responsive Air technology. The Sleep Number 360® smart beds use Responsive Air™ technology to sense your movements and automatically adjust the bed’s firmness, comfort, and support. How does it exactly work? The air chambers have pressure sensors inside that can detect where your body is and make according adjustments. The air chambers also pick up on vibrations, which indicate both snoring and general movements. There’s also a sensor at the end of the bed that collects all the data and sends it to the Sleep Number app.
Bonus: If you separately purchase the FlexFit™ 3 base, this includes warming the base of your bed; Sleep Number suggests you fall asleep faster if your feet are gently warmed, and the mattress will actually heat up!
Snore-support. If you purchase the FlexFit™ adjustable base, your bed base will actually adjust as you sleep, moving in “endless head positions.” This is a great option if you or your partner starts snoring; the bed will detect it and smoothly raise you up to help stop it. (This is also nice if you read in bed at night and need to sit up.)
Integration with SleepIQ® technology. Every mattress in the 360® series includes the SleepIQ technology, which tracks your sleep and provides personal insights into what happened during the night inside the app. Sensors inside the mattress measure your breathing, heart rate, and general movement. When you wake up, you get a sleep score, which helps you determine if you need to change anything up—like your Sleep Number—or keep doing what you’re doing. The technology also connects to other Smart devices and apps, so you can track you sleep alongside your food intake and exercise regime. Currently, SleepIQ® is able to connect with Apple® Health, Fitbit®, Microsoft® Health, Nest Learning Thermostat™, MapMyRun™, Withings Health Mate™.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to connect them
- Open & log into the SleepIQ app
- Tap Settings in the bottom right hand corner
- Select “Sleeper” under Sleeper Profiles
- Select “Connected Apps”
- Select the app/device you would like to connect and login using those credentials when prompted
- Authorize SleepIQ technology to access their data through the third party app/device
So What’s a Sleep Number?
What makes Sleep Number air beds different from other permanent-use air beds is the fact you can adjust your mattress to the exact firmness you need. They call this, unsurprisingly, your “Sleep Number.” The number ranges from 1-100, but 1 would feel like sleeping on mush, and 100 would feel like sleeping on a ton of really hard bricks. Most people have a Sleep Number between 30-60.
Because of the extra personalization, this also means there’s some assembly and accessories needed to set up your airbed and ensure you find your Sleep Number.
Sleep Number’s Firmness Control™ System is needed to operate the bed. The whole system includes the remote, air hose(s), and pump. If you have a Full-sized bed or larger, then you have a dual chamber bed, meaning there are two separate air chambers so you and your partner (or dog) can have your own personal level of comfort. Whether you have one or two chambers, there will be either one or two hoses you’ll need to pass through the opening of the mattress cover to connect the hose to the air chamber. Each hose will either say L or R (left or right) to indicate which hose is for which side of the bed. (Right is indicated as though you are lying on your back on the bed, looking toward the foot of the bed.)
If you are looking to purchase a Sleep Number at one of their retail stores, you can test out the bed in the showroom and work with an employee to find your Sleep Number. Or, if you’re setting it up at home, follow our lead: Lie on your mattress in your preferred sleeping position, press any button on the remote to activate it, and press the up or down arrow to increase or decrease air pressure, hence adjusting your Number. If you’re in a dual-chamber bed, the screen will say either left side or right side. Follow the screen prompts to change sides if you need, and use the arrows on the remote control to activate the pump from the left or right side of the mattress.
360® i8 Smart Bed Mattress Feel
As for the mattress itself (leaving out the smart technology) the 360® I8 mattress is softer than many Sleep Number beds. This is because of one main factor: the comfort layer. The Comfort layer is 6” of comfort foam, which is right above the air chamber, giving you six extra inches of plush support, making the bed feel pretty soft.
Another way to indicate soft or firmness is to decode Sleep Number’s model names. The higher the number in the series, the more cushion provided. So, the I8 will be softer than the c2, but just a touch more firm than the I10.
Of course, you can always adjust your Sleep Number to make the bed more firm or soft, depending on your preference.
Many reviewers and testers rated the 360® I8 higher than other Sleep Numbers, especially citing the lack of motion transfer, which is when you can feel someone else rolling around on their side of the bed. A lot of couples talked about the fact they had a very different Sleep Number from their partner, and happily and peacefully slept on their side without any disruption in the night. Do be warned though, many other reviews for various Sleep Number beds talked about the “trench effect,” which is when the middle of the bed sags from both sides having very different sleep numbers.
If you sleep on memory foam mattresses, these also are known for transferring little motion, so your experience of this would be pretty similar.
A handful of reviews also pointed out the 360® I8’s ability to provide great back support, which is usually thanks to a medium-firm mattress that has just the right amount of support to cradle the spine, while creating cushion for the shoulder blades and neck. (And kudos if you sleep on your back, which is considered the healthiest sleep position!) Besides its apparent back support, many mattress reviewers said it was impressive at keeping the spine horizontal for side sleepers, meaning the 360® I8 can’t be too soft, or else it wouldn’t do an adequate job at supporting side sleepers, who typically need firm mattresses.
If you purchase any of the FlexFit™ adjustable bases, you’ll also experience foot warming features and “zero-g” sleep positions.
Surprisingly, many reviewers also spoke about the smart auto adjustment, citing it wasn’t too abrupt or woke them up, and instead they “felt loved by my mattress because it cuddles me all night and I sleep like a baby.” Another customer said “can’t beat the adjustable air pressure for the perfect night sleep.”
Sleep Number360® I8 Mattresses Vs. Others
If you’re still interested in the 360® I8, how would we compare it to other types of mattresses?
Well first of all, Sleep Number is not the only smart bed. There’s also Eight Sleep, which includes similar features like bed warming and integration with other smart products. It also includes a ‘smart alarm’ that detects the best time for you to wake up every morning. These are a lot cheaper than Sleep Number, but don’t include the auto-adjustment based on your movements. Another comparable smart bed is ReSt, which is specifically designed to help your body “recover.” Features of this bed include an app-integration, medical grade sensors to monitor 2,000+ pressure points, and a “Whisper air system” where the bed adjusts air quietly to the five different body zones. This was the world’s first smart bed to hit the market, and is a touch more expensive than the Sleep Number model.
As far as the feel of the mattress itself, this is a tricky question, given that airbeds have pretty different feel from all other mattresses. However, the comfort foam and mattress top help make the 360® I8 feel similar to other beds that focus on cushion and pressure relief, specifically hybrid mattresses, or mattresses made with latex foam.
Another prominent characteristic of the 360® I8 is its cooling regulation, making this a great option for people who sleep hot. Luckily, we’ve compiled a handy list of best mattresses for temperature regulation to give you an idea of other beds that compare to 360® I8’s temperature qualities.
In general, air beds, Sleep Number is particular, feel very different from memory foam.
The Sleep Number 18 bed isn’t a “set it and forget it” situation. It comes with some assembly (especially if you decide to set it up yourself), and there’s a chance you’ll run into tech issues or air loss, given this is an air bed. Prepare yourself for some troubleshooting if you decide to get this bed. If you end up getting a 360® I8, you can pay $199.99 for delivery and setup, or pay $89.99 for UPS delivery. Here is the bed assembly guide if you decide to do it yourself, but be warned! It will take a few hours to set up properly.
You need WiFi. To see your SleepIQ® data, the app needs to be connected to the internet via WiFi. Bed controls may be operated via Bluetooth if you don’t have WiFi. Alternatively, you can always turn off the SleepIQ® technology if you feel the need to unplug.
There’s also a 100-night sleep trial, and a 25 Year Limited Warranty. Just make sure to read the fine print; the sleep trial includes only the mattress, so if you purchase a base and then want to return the bed, you can only give back the mattress. And the 25 year limited warranty has, well, limits. During the first two warranty years, any covered repairs or replacement parts will be free, yet after that, coverage depends on the issue. For example, normal wear and tear, like mattress cover compression or foam compression isn’t covered, along with any technical breakdowns if you tamper with the Firmness Control system or remote control.
Sleep Number360® I8 Pros, Cons, and Complaints
After diving into multiple customer reviews across a handful of sites, here were the main, positive reviews of the Sleep Number I8:
Those who loved it said:
- It provides great pressure relief. Don’t forget the 360® I8 mattress comes with a 6” foam comfort layer which is designed to contour to seven areas of your body for great pressure relief for your head, shoulders, lower back, hips, knees, lower legs, and feet.
- It’s a great option if you have back problems. Many people with back issues explained this bed was great for them, providing the right amount of support and cushion so they could lay safely on their back and sleep with ease.
- It sure does impress your friends. Sleep Number 360® I8 comes with a lot of bells and whistles, from temperature-regulating technology to automatic adjustments in the middle of the night. If you’re someone who appreciates technology and loves digging into your data, this could be a good fit. Many people said they geeked out at the numbers.
Those with didn’t love it said:
- It’s pricey. You’re going to paying a pretty penny for this bed. It starts at $2,799.99! So make sure you are definitely the right type of sleeper for this bed (more below) before making the investment.
- It had a lot of defects. Like other Sleep Number models, the 360® I8 is also vulnerable to tech issues. I read a lot comments about things needing to be replaced, from the air pump to the sleep IQ system. In addition to having to troubleshoot these issues, people cited Sleep Number customer service was not attentive, which made resolving their issues even harder.
- “The trench effect does exist.” A prominent complaint of the 360® I8 was in regards to the “trench effect,” which is when the bed sags in the middle and one or both people on the bed slide into it. Because most Sleep Number beds come with two air chambers (so each person can adjust their side to their liking), if one side is significantly more firm or soft than the other, the bed is uneven, and is susceptible to a sag in the middle.
Sizing and Pricing Information
|Size||Dimensions||Number of air chambers||Price|
|Twin XL||38” x 80”||1||$3,099.00|
|Full||54” x 75”||1||$3,374.00|
|Queen||60” x 80”||2||$3,499.00|
|King||76” x 80”||2||$4,199.98|
|Cal King||72” x 84||2||$4,199.98|
Another perk from Sleep Number is they have financing options. For purchases that range from $3,000-$5,999.99, there is a 24-month finance plan you can opt into. The other financing options include 48-month financing on purchases $8,000 or more, or 36-month financing on purchases $6,000–$7,999.99, which would work well if you purchased a base, and/or other Sleep Number bedding.
Is the Sleep Number 360® i8 Smart Bed Right for You?
Now that we’ve discussed all the pros, cons, and in-betweens of the Sleep Number 360® I8, here are the main reasons this model might be a great option for you.
- You sleep hot. Sleep Number 360® I8’s temperature-regulating technology is a great feature, designed to pull heat away from your body and keep you comfortable all night long. If you find yourself getting super hot and retaining heat throughout the night, this could be a great feature for you to stay cool.
- You have money to spend. This bed is definitely an investment. They start at over $3,000, and this does not include a base.
- You love geeking out on data. The 360® I8 smart bed comes with a lot of features, all of which are supposed to help you sleep better. You’re paying for the tech though, so this bed is especially great for folks who appreciate how technology can potentially enhance the sleep experience.
- You’re a back sleeper. If you sleep on your back, the Sleep Number 360® I8 sounds like a viable option, providing the right balance of plushness and support for the spine. A lot of people with back injuries said the bed did a good job at supporting them, partially due to the “7 zones of contouring support” feature.
Sleep Number 360® i8 Summary
The Sleep Number 360® I8 comes with a plush mattress top with cooling technology, soft foam, built-in Sleep IQ tech, and a mattress that automatically adjusts to your movements. If you like softer beds that work well for side or back sleepers, have some money to spend, and really appreciate data, this could be a good option for you. Just get ready for some assembly and be warned you might need to repair or replaces parts of the bed overtime.
Latest posts by Laura Schwecherl (see all)
- Airweaves Mattress Topper Put to the Test in a New PLOS ONE Study - July 20, 2018
- Why Teenagers Need More Sleep (and How Much) - July 12, 2018