A better night’s sleep begins with a phenomenal mattress and climate control.
A good night’s sleep is hard to beat. Sleep, along with eating well and exercise are the building blocks of a healthy, wholesome person. When one of those things is out of whack, you sort of feel like a house of cards — ready to tumble at any moment. When I was younger, I did a lot of stunts with my skateboard and liked to take risks. Many of those habits resulted in various injuries. So, over time, my aches and pains have been amplified and it has been hard for me to have a really good quality of sleep. Some of that has been due to my own ailments but a big part of it has to do with the bed I am using. Over the past five years, I’ve cycled through several types of mattresses — pillowtop, memory foam, memory foam/gel, etc. — and none of them have been just right. I started thinking that I might never find the right bed for me and then I visited the Sleep Number booth at CES a few months back and was introduced to the i10 Smart Bed with Flexfit 1.
i10 Smart Bed With FLEXFIT 1
How Sleep Number Beds Work
Even though they have several different styles of mattresses, all Sleep Number beds operate in a very similar fashion. So, what makes a Sleep Number bed special? Well, there are three main parts to the mattresses — the air chamber, the comfort foam, and the mattress top. The Air Chamber is the heart of the bed. When you pump it up or let air out, that is what changes the firmness or softness of the mattress (100 is the highest level of firmness). You control the air chamber via a remote or mobile app and if you have dual air chambers, each side is controlled individually. The comfort foam is present in nearly every model of Sleep Number bed except the C-2 Classic Series model. The comfort foam rests above the air chamber, but below the mattress top, which is also available in a variety of styles. The i10 and i8 models have a duvet style mattress top while the Performance Series has a pillowtop style. All three of these components make up a Sleep Number mattress. The model you select will determine what options you have to choose from.
The i10 Smart Bed is part of the 360 Smart Bed line of products from Sleep Number. Their Smart Beds combine the fantastic air chambers of the standard Sleep Number bed with intelligent software to ensure you have the best possible chance at a successful night’s sleep. The i10 is powered by SleepIQ — Sleep Number’s proprietary biometric sleep tracking system — which allows the bed to intuitively sense a user’s comfort level and automatically adjust to keep both users sleeping soundly. You have the option of having a FlexFit adjustable base added into the system to maximize the quantity of restful sleep you receive from the Sleep Number bed. The mattress has a 7″ comfort layer with a 13″ profile. It is designed to maximize pressure relief, support, and cooling.
Some of the main features of the i10 Smart Bed include:
- Individualized Sleep Number settings for each side of the bed ensure that each sleeper has their ideal level of comfort.
- SleepIQ and ResponsiveAir systems work together to automatically adjust the firmness of the mattress based on user needs.
- SleepIQ tracks how well you are sleeping.
- The Sleep Number mattress absorbs excess heat and releases it as you cool for ideal temperature balance while you sleep.
Sleep Number knows that mattresses are a personalized experience and as such, they offer a 100-night trial. If you don’t feel like you’re getting the most out of your bed, you can send the mattress back. There is a 25-year limited warranty on the bed and customized home delivery options. The i10 comes in three sizes — Queen, King, and California King.
My user experience with the i10 actually starts a few months ago in Las Vegas. While I was at CES, I had an appointment with Sleep Number to learn more about their products. When I stopped by their booth, they invited me to try out their smart beds and they gave me a demo. When I laid down on the i10, I fell in love. I did not want to move. I was completely in awe of that bed. My back felt supported and it was literally like what I imagine laying on a cloud would feel like. All of the aches and pains I had from walking so much during the convention were subdued by the amazing smart bed. As I laid on it and listened to the automated voice talk about the bed’s features I thought, “I will own one of these beds.” At that point, I wasn’t sure if I was truly in love with the i10 because it was just that awesome or if it was because I was walking 12,000 steps per day for the past five days and I was simply exhausted.
Once I returned from CES, I began putting the wheels in motion for obtaining an i10 Smart Bed from Sleep Number. In early February, with some snow still on the ground, the magical Sleep Number truck pulled up in front of my house and the installation process began. There were two installers that delivered and assembled the bed in our master bedroom. It took them around two hours to complete the set-up and haul away the old useless mattress we had before. They were able to place the new bed base and mattress inside our current frame, which was very appreciated.
The installers assembled the base first, which included the hydraulic lift for the FlexFit mechanism, air pump, and tubing that feeds the air chambers of the mattress.
Next, they laid out the mattress pieces — the air chamber, the comfort foam, and the mattress top — starting with the foam. I was fascinated by this process because most of the time you see a bed pre-assembled and you literally see the Sleep Number installers put your mattress together piece by piece.
Once the foam was in place, they were able to slide the air chambers in place and inflate them. The air chambers looked very much like air mattresses you might buy for camping or overnight guests. The final steps of the assembly included adding the mattress top and then setting up the ‘brain’ of the bed with our phones so that we could control the bed and take advantage of SleepIQ data.
While the installers were here, I took the opportunity to pick their brains about the i10. As it turns out, one of the installers was brand new to the job — it was only his third day — while the other gentleman had been with Sleep Number for years. He told me about his personal 360 i6 Smart Bed and how before that, he had an older model that was an equivalent to the i7. He was very knowledgeable about the installation and how the Sleep Number bed works in general. He told me how the sensors for the SleepIQ system were located int he air pump and not the mattress at all. He also took the time to explain how the ‘Favorite’ button on the side of the bed worked (you can program it to a favorite setting so that you can easily return to it without the use of your phone). It was very reassuring to me that he had been an employee with Sleep Number for so long. Not only did he seem to know his product but he genuinely seemed to enjoy it, too.
One of the best features of the smart beds is the SleepIQ technology. This really helps you to pinpoint where your body needs help while it’s trying to get rest. If you visit a Sleep Number store, they should have a machine that measures the areas of your body that need the most support and where you put most of the stress when you sleep. The image above shows where my personal Sleep Number should be and where Robyn’s, my fiance, should be. The store manager told us that this is just a place to start and that your number will likely change over time. As it turns out, my number is actually 55 and Robyn’s is 60.
The app is very easy to use. It’s intuitive and once you are connected you are set. I’ve not had any connection issues with it and with a few exceptions, it’s done a marvelous job recording our sleep data. You have the ability to view a single day’s data up close and personal or check out the insights tab for your sleep trends. The nice thing is that it shows you both user profiles so that you can compare or even help each other control your bed settings.
DualTemp Individual Layer
Even though There are some remarkable features of the i10 Smart Bed, Sleep Number has some equally remarkable accessories. One such item is the DualTemp Individual Layer, a climate control system that works in tandem with your Sleep Number system.
DualTemp is a product that makes it possible for you to regulate the temperature of your bed. Even though it’s a Sleep Number product and designed to work with their beds, you can use the DualTemp layer on any bed. The layer gives you the ability to make your bed up to 35% cooler or warmer than it would be without any temperature control. The DualTemp has a 3-year limited warranty and a 100-day trial policy — just like the Sleep Number mattresses.
The DualTemp uses active air technology to deliver enhanced airflow to the user. The heating/cooling system (the unit that delivers the warm or cool air) is controlled by a remote control and you are given multiple temperature settings to choose from. It operates similarly to the Sleep Number beds. You adjust the temperature by pressing the up or down arrows that indicate cooler or warmer temperatures. You also have the ability to circulate room-temperature air with the fan setting and you can set a timer (between 1-9 hours) so that the DualTemp will automatically shut off after a certain period of time. The DualTemp has a universal design and will work with either the left or right side of the bed.
The DualTemp Individual Layer arrives in a very large box. The box has colorful blue and red dots all over it. It’s designed to have a simple installation process so that you can use it the very first night you receive it. In the box, you will find one individual size DualTemp layer, one heating and cooling system, one DualTemp remote control, a power cord, and a user guide. The user guide does a wonderful job of describing the installation process and providing a lot of ‘how to’ tips. One thing you have to be cautious of is the amount of space that is available around the heating/cooling unit. It rests under your bed and needs about 12 inches of clearance all the way around it. As easy as this system is to assemble and operate, there is one thing I’m not a fan of — maintenance of the filter in the heating/cooling unit. There are careful instructions included in the user guide and it’s recommended that the filter is replaced every 6 months. The replacement filter is approximately $20 each time you replace it. I was hoping for something a little more maintenance-free considering the initial investment of the DualTemp ($850 at the time this article was written).
Even though sleeping on the i10 Smart Bed has been a dream (no pun intended), I have still had some issues with temperature control. My body temperature always runs a little warmer than the normal 98.6º and because of that, I find it difficult to sleep without some sort of temperature control. For years, I have used fans, but I discovered that fans that were blowing cool/room temperature air directly on me were causing me to have headaches when I woke up in the morning. So, for a long period of time, I did without and had horribly uncomfortable, sleepless nights.
Almost a year ago, I was introduced to a climate comfort system called BEDJET, which I would consider a cousin of sorts to the DualTemp. I say that because both systems utilize a warming/cooling system to feed a specific air delivery method to the user on the bed. The delivery system is really the big difference between the two systems. The BEDJET connects to a hose, which feeds air through a special sheet that disperses warm or cool air throughout the bed in a downward motion. The DualTemp is a mat that a user lays on so warm or cool air moves upward to your body instead of being covered by it.
Both systems do what they are supposed to do for the user but in very different ways. One thing to remember is that the temperature of the air circulating through the layer is dependant on your room’s temperature. There is a note in the user guide that states for best cooling performance, it’s best to keep your room at 72º or lower. DualTemp is not a replacement for heating or air conditioning but it does make sleeping more comfortable.
I’ve been using the DualTemp now for a little over two weeks and my Sleep IQ scores have been showing a marked improvement when it comes to the amount of restful sleep (green line) I have. You can see from the screenshot below that I moved from a score of 58 to a score of 73 the night that I added the DualTemp to my bed. You will also see that the amount of restlessness I experienced decreased over the next several days after that. I believe it was because my temperature was better regulated and that paired with the advanced technology inside the i10 Smart Bed has truly helped me have better, more restful sleep.
Mattresses are a personal product. It’s hard to find a ‘one size fits all’ solution, but a Sleep Number bed comes very close. My fiance and I have been sleeping better than we have in a long time and even though I don’t have any definitive, scientific data, I can say that I wake up feeling better rested and without pain in my back like I was experiencing with our previous memory foam mattress. My fiance has a chronic back issue, too, and she has had fewer instances of flare-ups when she gets up because she’s able to sleep with her back elevated and better supported than ever before. Both of us have noticed a decreased amount of snoring. Our lives have truly been improved because of the quality of our sleep. Sleep Number beds are not cheap but it’s well worth the investment and you will reap the benefits of having a smarter bed in your home.
Disclosure: I purchased the bed on my own and Sleep Number provided the DualTemp for me to test out. My opinions are my own.
For more information on the DualTemp Individual Layer, visit sleepnumber.com/DualTemp.
For more information on the i10 Smart Bed from Sleep Number, visit sleepnumber.com/i10SmartBed.
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