The Main Difference Between These Sleep Number Mattresses? $2,000

Sure, when you step into a mattress showroom, the sales placards might tell you all of the fancy differences between different beds with widely varying price points. A $3,000 bed can’t possibly be three times more comfortable than a similar bed that only costs $1,000… right? Mattress tests by our foam-cushioned cousins down the hall at Consumer Reports found that there’s very little objective difference, but “comfiness” isn’t really an objective measurement.

For example, they compared two Sleep number beds: the c2, which normally costs $1,000 and was on sale for $700, and the Innovation Series i8 (Pillowtop), which cost $3,000. In objective tests that they run using specialized equipment, they found that the less expensive bed, the c2, was actually more stable than the pricier one, which means that a person sleeping on one side won’t disturb their partner on the other half if they move around a lot while they sleep.

Of course, there are real differences that account for that price discrepancy. Namely, the more expensive mattress has a thicker foam layer on top. You might find that more comfortable for sleeping, or you might prefer a more stable mattress: that’s why it’s important to try them out in person instead of depending on price as a proxy for quality. You already knew that, though, didn’t you?

Sleep Number beds differ in price not performance [Consumer Reports]