Sleep Number Bed Reviews: Less Is More

sleep number bed logo

Sleep Number beds are equipped with the latest in mattress technology. But does a newer model mean better quality? Viewpoints reviewers aren’t too sure.

With customizable air chamber and memory foam options to choose from, Sleep Number beds are among the most popular mattress brands available today. Unfortunately, a major downside of the latest high-tech mattresses is the increased price of each year’s new and improved models. According to Sleep Number bed reviews, a heftier price tag doesn’t necessarily mean better quality. Read what Viewpoints reviewers have to say about the quality of their c2, c3, and c4 Classic Series Sleep Number beds, and you may think twice before opting for the newest mattress on the market.

c2 - The original Sleep Number bed

sleep number classic series c2 mattress

Even without extra layers of memory foam, the Sleep Number c2 mattress has the highest viewpoints rating of the three Sleep Number Classic Series models.

With queen sets starting at $999.98, the Sleep Number Classic Series c2 mattress is the most affordable mattress in the Classic Series (c1 mattresses are no longer manufactured). Although its mattress is only 8-inches thick (as opposed to the 9-inch c3 and the 10-inch c4), the c2 mattress is the best reviewed of the Classic Series with a Viewpoints score of 77/100 based on 16 reviews. Several reviewers tried out more recent models and didn’t find the extra features to be worth the extra expense.

“I was skeptical about going into a mattress shop. The salesman put us in the top of the line bed with all the bells and whistles and I actually felt just as comfortable on the C2 (their “base” model) as I did on the other ones. They actually “test” you on the C3 which is about 600 more than the C2 and the only difference is the extra inch of padding you get…. Buy a 4″ memory foam topper from Walmart for a buck and a half and you just saved yourself 3,000 large ones” - koopa1982, Reviewer since 2009

“I bought a separate Memory Foam CoolGel 2 inch mattress topper to zip inside the cover of my new mattress, which instantly upgraded the comfort to that of the higher priced SC mattresses that include a layer of memory foam. I love this mattress and could never go back to sleeping on anything else.” - drallim, Reviewer since 2010

c3 - The next generation

sleep number bed c3 foam layers

The c3′s two additional layers of foam account for its 400-dollar jump in price.

The price goes up with the Sleep Number c3 mattress (queen sets start at $1,399.98) while the Viewpoints rating drops three points below the c2′s Viewpoints score. Overall, reviewers were pleased with the support and comfort levels of the c3 model, but many found the price (nearly 400 dollars more for an extra inch of memory foam) unreasonable.

“This bed is pretty much a glorified air mattress. When I lower the sleep number for a softer bed, I feel like I’m sinking into the bed, or like I’m on a hammock. When making the bed firmer, it just feels like something is sticking you in the back! Take my advice and save your money.” - jampcat9Reviewer since 2009

“Overall this bed is acceptable – but certainly not as wonderful as I expected it to be from all the hype and commercials! I think the price is too high and then there is an additional cost for everything from the box spring to the mattress cover to everything else…so even if there is a “sale” on the mattress, you’ll rack up expenses with other items.” - ltupper, Reviewer since  2011 

c4 - The newest model

sleep number bed c4 mattress

The Sleep Number Classic Series c4′s additional 1.5-inch layer of foam is supposed to add comfort, but fails to impress reviewers as much as the original.

With the lowest Viewpoints score (67/100 based on 14 reviews) and the highest price (queen sets starting at $1,699.98), the Sleep Number Classic Series c4 mattress is proof that more isn’t always better. Its 10-inch mattress includes over 2.5-inches of foam designed to soothe common pressure points, but dissatisfied reviewers frequently mention its poor support. And while not everyone was unhappy with the mattress, many were unhappy with the price tag.

“It is impossible to get comfortable, I have adjusted the mattress every level.  It looks terrible, there is a big low spot right down the middle. It has done nothing for my back.  For the money, I would buy a regular mattress.” - bumblebea, Reviewer since 2010

“This thing is all hype and it just doesn’t deliver. It has its good points – it is adjustable, and it really does relieve pressure points. But my husband and I spend the whole night trying not to roll into the sink hole that is the middle of the bed. The dip in the middle is what you would get if you had a cheap mattress after a couple of months use. It is disappointing and I honestly would never recommend this bed to anyone. Save your money on the Sleep Number and get a real mattress!” – jollyrancher77, Reviewer since 2011

Stick to the original

sleep number mattress remote control

At the core of every Sleep Number bed is the customizable Dual Air technology system controlled by a wireless remote. The feature that customers love the most doesn’t change with updates.

All in all, when it comes to mattress technology, less is more for some customers. While all Sleep Number beds in the Classic Series have a mix of positive and negative reviews on Viewpoints, the Sleep Number c2 mattress is the best in the Classic Series bunch. If you’re considering a Sleep Number Classic Series mattress, save a few hundred dollars, and go for the original Sleep Number bed.

Editor’s note: If you have professional experience with mattresses, Viewpoints is recruiting experts in priority product categories to write for our blog. Check out this overview of the Viewpoints Category Expert Program, including qualifications, compensation and how to apply.

Amber Rambharose Amber Rambharose (50 Posts)

Amber Rambharose is a former writing intern at Viewpoints. She graduated from Hollins University with a B.A. in English Literature and is continuing her studies at the University of Cincinnati.

  • Rick Scott

    Dont waste your money. Ive had my C3 for less than a year. I cant find a comfortable setting and its already developing a TILT on my side. The outside is higher than the inside and a wind up rolling towards the middle. Ive left it on 100 for most of the day but when I get home and adjust it back down BOOM I roll back in. Ive went from 50 to 75 and back again and cant find a setting that works.

    Waste of money IMHO.

  • M

    The above review serves no useful purpose because it doesn’t provide any useful information. Everyone has their own preferences and should buy accordingly. Several years ago I had to stay at a sleep center over night to be tested. I tossed and turned on that bed enough that I managed to disconnect a wire attached to me. They came in and asked if I wanted to walk a bit before they reconnected me. I told them I needed to go sleep on MY bed and that their bed was too hard. They told me other patients always commented on how great their beds were! It was 2 a.m. and they had a guard walk me to my car in the parking lot because I knew I wouldn’t get back to sleep on that bed.

    I have owned a sleep number bed for over 15 years and love it. I have fibromyalgia and scoliosis and it is the only bed I am comfortable sleeping on because I can adjust the firmness as needed on a daily basis. I have slept on several memory foam beds and plush beds in hotels and don’t find them comfortable at all. They are too soft and don’t provide enough support. I have not bought a new sleep number bed because the one I have is fine. My sister bought one last year and likes it. Personally, I would think all the extra foam would minimize the effect of any adjustment you would make, but I have not slept on her bed to test my theory.

    • Amber Rambharose


      It’s great to hear that you found the right bed to support your sleep style. As you said, everyone has an individual experience with mattress purchases. As this article tried to state: Sleep Number beds keep some people awake all night and put others right to sleep.

  • http://veiwpoints Susan McConaghy

    We have had our sleep number bed for about 18 years. That is a guess! That was before they offered all the extras and fancy things to go with it. We don’t even have the gaget that shows the number you are sleeping on. It is a king size mattress. It does have a pillow top on it.
    Every time we come back home from an overnight trip, I crawl into bed and sigh with pleasure at the comfort that welcomes me back. I’m not aware when my husband moves or gets out of bed, or comes back to bed. I can sleep right through any of these disturbances. I have always been pleased with this bed. I would not choose to give it up.

    • Amber Rambharose

      Susan, I’m glad you had such a wonderful experience with your own Sleep Number bed. It does seem that some reviewers feel the older models were more comfortable and that the updates weren’t necessary.

  • Amber Rambharose


    Thank you for the additional information. It’s great to hear that you, like our Viewpoints reviewers, had success with the most affordable Sleep Number bed option.

  • Dave Ladely

    I own three Sleep Number beds. I bought the cheapest models in queen size. SKIP the “foundation”, it has no function other than as a flat platform. “Customize” the foam top layers by adding foam YOU like. You DO NOT need a deep bed as the air chambers are what support you and they ALL have the SAME air chambers and pump. The foam layer(s) are the only real difference. I chose genuine latex foam, which is resilient (does not ooze). You can use various memory foams, latex foam (the REAL natural latex not cheap), or a combination. You can even use felt, feather toppers, etc.
    The dip in the middle is caused by having two mattresses for queens and kings, much as conventional innerspring mattresses in king sizes. To fix this, Sleep Number has added full length zippers to the top and bottom “flaps” to join the mattresses securely, then put the foam piece for the middle back in. What I did was glue YKK zippers (better than sleep number uses) to the “flaps” with very good contact cement (Barge) usually used for leather. You can also use fabric glue. So, you will not only have solved the “dip” problem of two mattresses, you can have your bed the way YOU want it, for a lot less money than Sleep Numbers “upper” grades.

    • Amber Rambharose


      Thank you for the additional information. It’s great to hear that you, like our Viewpoints reviewers, had success with the most affordable Sleep Number bed option.

  • Diana

    This Sleep number bed is a big expensive piece of junk! It is a major rip off!!!!! Buyer beware!!!!

    • Amber Rambharose


      I’m sorry to hear that you had a negative experience with a Sleep Number bed. Hopefully insights from real consumers like you will help shoppers buy the best mattress for themselves and their families.

    • ChrisH

      Would you mind please elaborating?