Sleep Number Mattresses: Are They Worth The Price Tag?

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Written by Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT


Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

Sustainability Expert

Leigh Matthews is a sustainability expert and long time vegan. Her work on solar policy has been published in Canada's National Observer.


Sleep Number is a popular name in mattresses, but these mattresses are expensive, subpar, and don’t stand the test of time. Here’s why we think Sleep Number mattresses are a waste of money.

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Sleep Number mattresses are super expensive
  2. 2. Your mattress doesn’t need to be that high tech!
  3. 3. Sleep Number mattresses are a saggy, short-lived disappointment
  4. 4. A high maintenance plug-in mattress
  5. 5. They’re just not comfortable
  6. 6. Sleep Number uses cheap, toxic materials
  7. 7. Customer service is… lacking
  8. Other problems with Sleep Number mattresses
  9. Better options for a good night’s sleep
  10. Final thoughts

Sleep Number mattresses don’t make the cut at Leaf Score. Sure, we have high standards, but even if we let a few things slide, Sleep Number still disappoints. Here’s why.

Sleep Number mattresses

sleep number mattress

Highlights: Expensive, overhyped, energy-sucking, high maintenance, uncomfortable, and not at all eco-friendly. All with a side of poor customer service.

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1. Sleep Number mattresses are super expensive

The cost of a Sleep Number mattress depends on the size and model, but whatever you choose, you’ll pay significantly more than the typical ticket price for a conventional mattress.

Sleep Number’s most affordable line is the Classic Series, which averages about $1000 to $2500 for a queen size mattress. 

For the Performance Series that supposedly offers pressure relief, expect to pay in the range of $3,400 or more.

Want a smart bed that tells you about your sleep habits? Expect to pay around $3000 to $5500 for the i8, i10, or 360 mattresses. 

Want to get really fancy? Spend $13,500 for a Sleep Number smart mattress that does pretty much the same thing as an air mattress with an electric blanket and an Oura Ring.

Way to costly for a bed that sinks and is loud and very uncomfortable

Anita, 2024, Sleep Number Website

2. Your mattress doesn’t need to be that high tech!

Sleep Number mattresses boast some fussy technology. Most are basically a glorified air mattress that comes with a hose, pump, and remote. Expect these to fail, leaving you and your mattress rather deflated.

Sleep Number mattresses may also come with sleep tracking and heating and cooling technology, neither of which offer value for money.

For one, it’s unlikely you really need either feature built into your bed, or at all. If you are interested in tracking your sleep, there are better ways to do that. The same goes for staying cool or cozy. 

The right bedding plays a big part in getting good sleep. Natural materials like wool are thermoregulating, helping you maintain the ideal body temperature without needing to be plugged in. And the right sheets can make a big difference too. Oh, and avoiding toxic polyurethane foam that traps heat is also a smart move, so it’s ironic that Sleep Number mattresses are made with polyfoam.

3. Sleep Number mattresses are a saggy, short-lived disappointment

The number one issue customers raise about Sleep Number mattresses (aside from the outrageous prices) is the poor durability

Sleep Number mattresses have a solid reputation for losing firmness fast. Expect your pricey mattress to give you the following gifts within a year or two:

  • Sagginess and lumpy spots
  • Air leaks
  • Malfunctions of the adjustable air chambers.

For a mattress that can easily cost three times the price of a conventional mattress, Sleep Number mattresses certainly don’t last three times as long.

Trench effect

Sleep Number mattresses typically have two air chambers side by side. This results in what customers have taken to calling Trench Effect. Basically, when one side of the mattress is more inflated than the other, the middle sags. This means both sleep partners roll into the middle. Cozy.

I bought this bed thinking that having a split king with individually adjustable sides would be perfect for myself and my partner… This has unequivocally NOT been the case. Unless you sleep like a statue, the bed has a tendency to deflate the inner sides of the 2 mattresses, creating a crater that you and your partner both roll into and get smashed and uncomfortable. The bed never reinflates after you get up, and half the time it doesn’t let the air out when you get in, so you never actually REACH your “ideal sleep number” anyway. All in all, this bed was the biggest WASTE OF MONEY I’ve ever bought, and I regret it more than anything.

Kitti, 2024, Sleep Number website

4. A high maintenance plug-in mattress

Sleep Number mattresses are high maintenance. For a mattress with a high initial purchase price, you’d expect to pay nothing for the next decade or more, right?


Sleep Number mattresses have to be plugged into a power source to operate those adjustable air chambers and temperature controls. That means spending money every day and night to keep your mattress functional. 

You’ll also have to factor in costly repairs and replacements, when those air chambers and other ‘smart’ components inevitably fail.

Maintenance costs

One reviewer noted that they had to pay more than $600 in repairs after just a few years. This included replacing the:

  • Center and side foam
  • Mattress cover (the seams appear to be prone to separating)
  • Air pump (dead controllers are a common issue, requiring replacement of the whole pump system).

5. They’re just not comfortable

Comfort is subjective, but many Sleep Number customers complain about how uncomfortable they find these high-price mattresses. You’d think there would be few complaints for such a wannabe luxury product, but Sleep Number fails to satisfy a significant number of customers, leading to a lot of BBB complaints.

Aside from the Trench Effect problem we already mentioned, other customers of Sleep Number complain about the lack of mattress pad with many models. This means the mattress often feels too firm, regardless of your inflation level.

This bed was the biggest waste of money. Adjusting the sleep number just adjusts the amount of air pressure. It doesn’t hold the pressure consistent either so every couple weeks or so you have to pump it all the way up, lay in it, and adjust down to desired setting. We got the split king thinking it would be good for us to be able to use an adjustable base to have different positions. The adjustable base is the only thing we’ve liked about this bed, and it gets loose and makes a lot of racket. The mattresses fall apart from each other leaving a crack in the middle of the bed, and they pull off the sides of the base making you feel like you’re falling and out has to be adjusted almost daily. We hate this thing. It’s really not even all that comfortable

Meg, 2024, Sleep Number Website

6. Sleep Number uses cheap, toxic materials

Sleep Number mattresses are not made with natural materials. Instead, the company dabbles in some greenwashing with its CertiPur certified memory foam that is, like all memory foam, made with cheap fossil fuels. 

These materials are inherently unsustainable and damaging to the environment. They also off-gas terribly, as does the vulcanized rubber that makes up the air chambers inside a Sleep Number mattress.

All in all, you’ll get better sleep by avoiding synthetic mattress materials that expose you and your family to carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and other toxic chemicals.

The cheap rubber it was made of smelled up our bedroom. 

Anon, 2024, Sleep Number Website

7. Customer service is… lacking

You would think with so many potential (and seemingly common) problems, Sleep Number would have a fantastic customer service team. Nope. 

Many complaints center around how difficult it is to remedy fairly simple problems, such as a small missing or broken piece. Often, it seems that customers are expected to buy new components instead of receiving a free replacement part to fix an otherwise perfectly good pump or hose. Again, this is a really unsustainable, wasteful, and infuriating approach.

And that 15-year warranty is very finicky. Many common issues aren’t covered at all, and any manufacturing defects or issues are only covered in full for the first year. After that, everything is pro-rated, even for the $13,500 mattresses.

Note, too, that the warranty is only for the mattress, not for any frame or accessories you buy with it. Given that some mattresses come with a frame as standard, and Sleep Number doesn’t honor a warranty if the mattress is used on a different frame, this seems rather peculiar and unfair. 

I was told as I left the store that if I was unhappy I could return it no questions asked. It would not be an issue (this was repeated several times). However, when I attempted to return the i8 torture chamber I discovered I have to wait 30 days. I cant even exchange the be to see if a king would work better. CS says “Give it time! You will adjust to sleeping on the bed.” This is not the bed for us. My sleep number setting is the couch, NOT a happy sleeper.

Roseanne, 2024, Sleep Number Website

Other problems with Sleep Number mattresses

Aside from everything above, Sleep Number customers have a whole host of other things to complain about!

Here are a few choice issues, all direct quotes from customer reviews on the Sleep Number website:

  • “The corners of the mattress are rounded and not square so our fitted sheets don’t stay on.”
  • “The cheap fabric covering on the mattress wrinkles up under our sheets.”
  • “They relocated the air hoses for the compressor to the sides of the mattresses so you can’t even tuck your “fitted” sheet, that doesn’t fit, under this piece of junk.”
  • “It’s a glorified air mattress.”
  • “No side support.”
  • “IQ Data not accurate.”
  • “When I returned the bed, sleep number withheld $585.29 (for a twin XL) on the refund due to delivery and disposal charges. Other companies charge much less (if anything) to return a mattress….buyer beware!”
  • “It’s so cheap, they have to velcro it to the “box frame” to keep it from sliding completely off the bed frame.”

Better options for a good night’s sleep

Clearly, we don’t recommend Sleep Number mattresses. So, which mattress companies are comparable in purported benefits and actually deliver on those promises?

Here are our top choices that offer a better alternative to Sleep Number mattresses.

1Staff Tested

Evaya Bliss Mattress

Highlights: MadeSafe and Eco-INSTITUT certified (free of even trace amounts of hazardous chemicals). Comprises organic cotton, wool and cashmere, comfort layer of FSC certified organic latex for pressure relief and support, and 1130 individually wrapped 8-inch recycled steel coils with edge support at its core.

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Coupon alert!

Use code ESSENTIALEVAYA for 15% off the Evaya Bliss in the LeafScore store.

2Staff Tested

PlushBeds Botanical Bliss Mattress

Botanical bliss mattress plushbeds

Highlights: Made to order, eco-friendly mattress with no VOCs or toxic chemicals. Eco-Institut, GOTS, GOLS, and Greenguard Gold certified, with a vegan option too!

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Very comfortable. We have a split Cal-king 13″ with an adjustable base. We both love it and have proclaimed it our most comfortable mattress we’ve ever had.

Christopher p, 2023, Plushbeds website
3Staff Tested

Spindle Natural Latex Mattress

Spindle mattress

Highlights: Fully adjustable, 10-inch mattress comprising organic latex, organic wool, and organic cotton. Free of harmful chemicals. Smart design with three wrapped latex layers you can rearrange for comfort.

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exclusive discount code

Use code LEAFSCORE100 for $100 off Spindle organic latex mattress and hybrid mattress. (Code cannot be combined with an ongoing sale.)

“After 4 months, we love this mattress even more than when we first laid down on it. The fact that you can configure the mattress by rearranging the layers is genius. It is a little bit of work to do the rearranging but you can get it “just so” and the payoff is amazing. We sink into it just the right amount, and then it’s just nice even support. We can’t feel each other turn over, and there’s no weird pressure spots. It’s a joy to lay down on every night.”

Aleksandr M, 2022

Naturepedic EOS Mattress

Naturepedic EOS organic mattress review

Highlights: MadeSafe and GOTS certified, non-toxic, eco-friendly mattress from a sustainable company with options to choose different firmness on both sides and swap layers to adjust as needed.

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This CUSTOMIZABLE bed is the best bed I’ve ever slept on and you and the person you share the bed with can choose the personal firmness that makes most sense. Customer service is tops and when I wanted to swap out the coils, they immediately sent them to us. Wouldn’t hesitate. A bed is one area in your life you need and should invest in.

Adam, 2024, Naturepedic Website

Savvy Rest Serenity Mattress

Highlights: 10-inch all-latex, organic mattress with excellent customization options. Handmade to order in Savvy Rest’s GOTS factory in the U.S. using sustainably sourced latex and organic cotton.

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Coupon alert!

Savvy Rest is offering LeafScore readers 20% off their purchase using coupon code LEAFSCORE at checkout.

I love my serenity latex mattress! It provides similar comfort to a memory foam but surpasses memory foam in that it provides excellent support! No more sinking into the bed and getting backaches! I’m so happy with the purchase and it supports a local Virginia / made in the USA small business!

Flora, 2022

PlushBeds Luxury Bliss

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Very happy with my Plush Bed experience. The quality of the product is fantastic, and the customer service is second to none! Finally sleeping through the night again. The latex is very responsive, sleeps cool and the layer of wool on the top is the icing on the cake. So, so comfortable…

Nicole, 2022, Plushbeds website

Final thoughts

Every sleeper is different. What suits one won’t suit another. That might mean you’re perfectly happy with your Sleep Number mattress and don’t understand all the consternation. 

In general, though, Sleep Number mattresses seem to be more hype than actual value. The company is great at inflating its promises, but not so good at keeping those air chambers inflated.

Reconsidering a Sleep Number mattress? Check out our top choices for the best non-toxic, eco-friendly mattresses for couples, back pain, and seniors.

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