Sleep Number Bed: What Do the Numbers Mean?

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Select Comfort, the makers of Sleep Number, had adjustable and customized comfort in mind when they created Sleep Number beds. One of the main benefits of a Sleep Number bed is that people can sleep on a mattress that fits their precise level or cushion and support. This can still be the case even if that level changes frequently or if people sleep with a partner whose idea of comfort differs from theirs.

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Sleep Number 360 p5
Sleep Number 360 p5
Sleep Number 360 p5

The Sleep Number 360 p5 is part of the company's Performance Series and is comfortable, supportive, and adjustable. Click the button for $500 off!

What Does My Sleep Number Mean?

Sleep Number beds are made with air chambers (sometimes referred to as air bladders) that inflate/deflate based on one’s desired level of support. A number – ranging from 0 to 100 – corresponds to a level of support in the mattress. The support that fits someone the best is their Sleep Number.

In general, the higher the number, the more air/firmer one’s Sleep Number bed will be. And naturally, the lower the Sleep Number, the less air will be in the air chamber and the softer the bed will be.

Most Sleep Number beds (size dependent) come with something called DualAir technology that allows people to adjust their half of the bed to their Sleep Number setting (how much air is in their air chamber) while their partner can adjust his/her side. This way no one has to compromise on comfort.

How Do I Find My Sleep Number?

There are two main ways to find one’s Sleep Number.

  • Go to your nearest Sleep Number store and work with a Sales Representative to identify your setting. They will have you lay on a bed in the store and work with you to find both your ideal setting and what Sleep Number mattress models and options may suit you best.
  • Find your number at home using your own Sleep Number bed and the remote that it comes with. Following the instructions on Sleep Number’s website, you will want to lie in your “waking up” sleep position and allow the mattress to go from soft to firm and back from firm to soft so you can identify which level is best for you.
Sleep Number Remote – source:

One’s Sleep Number setting is really ultimately determined by what feels “right” to them. Those who are more inclined to sleep on firmer beds will more likely have a higher Sleep Number than those who like more cushion.

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A few things to keep in mind while people are searching for their Sleep Number setting.

  • Sleep Number recommends giving the number two to five nights and if people are still uncomfortable, they can adjust the number up or down by five. For example, if the Sleep Number is 35, people can make their mattress firmer by adjusting the Sleep Number to 40 (or softer by bringing it to 30).
  • Each Sleep Number model varies by the amount of foam cushion and layers that are in between the air chamber(s) and your mattress top. For example, the most basic model – the C-2 – has no foam layer between the air chamber and mattress. The I-10 has several foam layers, including a memory foam option. These layers, their thickness, and their density will all have an effect on your sleep comfort and ultimately your Sleep Number.
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Sleep Number 360 i8
Sleep Number 360 i8
Sleep Number 360 i8

The i8 is one of Sleep Number's higher-end mattresses and is both comfortable and breathable. Click the button to save $800 on the i8. 

Most Common Sleep Number

According to Sleep Number representatives, the most common Sleep Number is somewhere in the 35-40 range. With 0 being the softest bed and 100 being the firmest.

The representative said that, while the Sleep Number is really based on personal preference and what is most comfortable for each person, the 35-45 range gives great support and pressure relief for most.

Sleep Number Settings for Back Pain

Because there are numerous personal reasons for back pain, there is no one-size-fits-all setting to fix back pain in Sleep Number beds. That being said, Sleep Number has several ideas available on their website. Most of these adjustments are based on one’s sleeping position.

Here is an image from Sleep Number with recommendations for adjustments based on Upper and Lower back pain:


Sleep IQ Technology

Sleep Number’s Sleep IQ Technology is a proprietary program that works with sensors in the Sleep Number bed to track one’s sleep at night and help people utilize the data to find their ideal Sleep Number setting.

While people don’t need this technology to find their Sleep Number, they can take a look at the data on their sleep over the long term and find insights into how they are sleeping that could affect their ideal number.

Sleep IQ Technology is included in the Memory Foam and Innovation Series models. People can add it on to any Classic or Performance Series model for an additional $199.

Check out our Sleep Number mattress review to see if a Sleep Number is right for you.

RELATED: Best Sleep Number Bed Alternatives

Katie Golde

Katie previously managed the day to day operations of the Mattress Clarity news site and reviews sleep products in addition to writing and editing sleep news. She hails from Austin, where she lives with her growing family. She is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and has a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and has a background in health and science content. Her work can be found in print and online publications like Discover Magazine, USA Today and The Huffington Post.