Our Sleep Number vs. Tempurpedic Bed Comparison for 2018

comparison of tempurpedic and sleep number

Did you know that only 57% of Americans report that they sleep on a comfortable mattress each night? Are you part of that group, or one of the 43% that don’t sleep comfortably?

Finding the right mattress makes such a difference to the way you sleep. But there are so many choices out there. Which is best for you? How do you make the right choice?

In this article, we’ll be comparing two of the most reputable mattress brands around. Let’s waste no time and let the battle begin: Sleep Number vs. Tempurpedic.

Materials/ Layers/ Construction/ Parts

Tempurpedic Construction

The cover of this one looks pretty good. It has a quality finish that feels nice to the touch, and that helps to wick moisture away from your body. Memory Foam has revolutionized the sleep industry. Most of the mattresses for this brand make use of memory foam. The foam contours to your body shape and creates a soft, enveloping layer.

This relieves sore pressure points and deadens motion transfer. Your partner won’t even know that you are there – unless you want them to. The mattress does not have a lot of failure points, but people do complain that it starts to sag and soften in the front after a while. This, for me, is a big advantage over the Sleep Number because there is a lot less that can go wrong.

You also know that you are not going to have to perform regular maintenance on your bed. From a practical standpoint, these are more convenient in that they are easier to move around.

You have a 90-night sleep trial period to ensure that you really do like the model that you have chosen. As part of their policy, you can return the mattress any time before the trial elapses, at no additional cost to yourself.

The company also provides a 10-year full replacement limited warranty. This warranty covers all workmanship or material defects. This is pretty good considering that the average mattress needs to be replaced every 8 years.

tempur-cloud supreme breeze layers

Sleep Number Construction

The covers on these look elegant and are of high quality. I would have preferred a cotton cover, but you cannot have everything that you want, can you? The covers are gray, and this might be a problem if you are using very light bedding, but it is not so much of a problem that it is off-putting.

In fact, you can choose a base set that goes perfectly with your selection and, to be honest, that looks so good together, and it is a shame you have to cover it with your bedding. These are similar only in that they do have foam layers as well. The big difference is that these beds have an air-filled chamber which can be adjusted to specific comfort levels using a remote.

If you want the bed firmer, adjust the setting. If you want it softer, change the setting again. You choose how many enhancements you want for your bed. Higher end models also have smart technology built-in. Their sensors can measure heart rate, breathing rate, temperature, and movement.

The data is collected by their app and can be analyzed to help you find your ideal sleep setting. Of course, the more gadgets you have, the more issues there might be. These mattresses can have several issues like controller malfunction, broken air pump, air chamber leaks, and failing edge support. And as they age, the probability of getting hit by these issues rises as well.

There is a limited 25-year warranty. The company will repair mechanical issues during the first two years. After that, you are responsible for a portion of the maintenance charges. The older the bed gets, the more maintenance it will need and the more you will need towards these costs. On the upside, if these are properly maintained, they can last a very long time.

You are offered a 100-night trial for most of the products. With a few of the top end models, this is slashed to 30 nights. As part of their policy, the buyer must bear return shipping costs. And it can be a deal breaker for a no strings attached offer.

Construction Layers of Sleep Number


Tempurpedic Comfort

The downside of the first beds of this type was that they didn’t allow for air circulation around the body and so sleeping was hot. To combat this, the modern versions are now infused with gel and SmartClimate materials to help improve breathability and cool hot sleepers. This allows you to sleep more comfortably in terms of heat at night.

But the entry and mid-level variants are not as good as preventing heat retention. With the memory foam mapping your body contour very closely, this can be a problem for hot sleepers. The memory foam adjusts to your body contours every time you lie down to sleep, so it is quite comfortable. Pressure relief is excellent.

Motion transfer is better controlled in these mattresses because of their construction. If you want a bouncier bed, though, this is not going to work for you. Overall, you are able to choose from a range that allows you a lot of customization when it comes to what you are looking for. The disadvantage here is that you cannot adjust any settings when you have it.

Sleep Number Firmness

Inflating or deflating the air chamber helps you to change the overall firmness of your bed. The cushion has dual control meaning that you and your partner can each choose different levels of comfort. Once you get the calibration right, you are provided with the optimal support you want without the disadvantages of heat retention in the bed. But you do have issues of sagging.

The two separate air cushions are a great idea unless you want to sleep in the middle of the bed. If you do, you will sink in between them and not have a great night’s sleep. It should be noted that these beds do require power to function.

Getting to find that perfect setting for you can also be a long journey with a lot of trial and error. These beds can also offer feet warming which is a terrific way to get you to sleep faster.

firmness scale for tempurpedic and sleep number

Tempurpedic Versus Sleep Number Compared Side by Side

 TempurpedicSleep Number
MaterialGel-infused foamFoam layers + air cushion
CoverPremium Fabric designed to wick away moisture.Rayon/polypropylene blend is smooth and long-lasting.
Motion TransferGoodOkay
SupportMedium FirmAdjustable
Warranty10-year warranty25 years limited
Trial Period90 days30 to 100 days depending on model

Should I Buy a Tempurpedic or a Sleep Number?

Buy the Tempurpedic if:

  • You dislike a bouncy bed
  • You want a plain and simple mattress with no frills and fuss
  • You need more pressure relief
  • It is better for side and back sleepers
  • You like being “hugged” by your bed
  • You don’t want maintenance costs cropping up in future
  • You don’t want any motion transfer effects at all
  • You don’t want to risk your bed breaking down. (Doesn’t that just sound so odd?)

Buy the Sleep Number if:

  • You love gadgets
  • You are willing to spend some money on maintenance in future
  • You and your partner need different levels of firmness at night
  • You want to have a high level of customization
  • You want a longer warranty
  • You are interested in the biological readings it can take at night
  • You want to be able to adjust the firmness
  • You have a guest bedroom – this option is better for a guest room because it is so adjustable
  • Did I mention the gadgets, yet? (Yes, I do so love gadgets.)
  • You don’t want to have to flip your mattress over every so often
  • If you want the matching base and headboard as well.


Both companies take their client satisfaction seriously and have looked at innovative ways to meet client needs. The companies have done this in very different ways, though, one opting for high-tech and the other opting for a more traditional approach.

Both have their advantages and disadvantages. You have to decide what is more important to you. If you are a Star Trek fan, the high-tech bed may be more your speed. I remember watching it as a kid, and those beds aboard the Enterprise had a lot of the same features. If you want something simpler and easier to maintain, low-tech may be the way to go instead.

Both lots are comfortable and provide a good level of support, so you cannot go wrong in either case. I guess what it boils down to is how much is adjustable comfort worth to you? I love the idea of having all those gadgets to play with, but I do also have concerns – what happens if the company goes bust in five years? It’s not likely, but I do wonder – who will do the repairs if this does happen?

On the other hand, I really do like the idea of being able to adjust my bed to my exact needs. At this point, it is hard to announce a clear winner.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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