Sleep Number P-5 VS. C-2 Review: Which Model Is Best For You?

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While the C-2 mattress is Sleep Number’s most affordable bed, the P-5 is the best seller. The decision of which mattress to get may come down to a consumer’s firmness preference.

This article will go over the construction of both mattresses, the key similarities and differences, and the takeaways consumers should know about before making a purchasing decision.

Key Similarities

  • DualAir™ adjustability
  • Available in a variety of sizes – including Split King and FlexTop King
  • Individual or dual air chamber options
  • Both mattresses are made with a rayon/polypropylene fabric blend for smoothness and durability

Both come with these optional features:
SleepIQ® technology
FlexFit™ Adjustable Bases

Key Differences


  • 11” mattress profile
  • European style pillowtop design
  • 2” of proprietary PlushFit foam above the air chambers
  • 5 zones specifically designed to contour to your head/neck, shoulders, lower back, hips, and feet
  • $2,099.99 for a Queen


  • 8” mattress profile
  • Mattress top has a standard knit cover
  • $899.99 for a Queen

What Happened During Several Live Chat Sessions

After speaking with Sleep Number Customer Service representatives, I learned about a few extra details and clarifications that may help you decide between a P-5 or a C-2 mattress.

  • Mattress Top. Customer service representatives told me that the C-2 has a standard knit mattress top, while the P-5 cover is a more luxurious European-style pillowtop.
  • Popularity. The P-5 model is Sleep Number’s most popular bed. The salesperson I spoke to at a Sleep Number store said it had a good amount of balance between cushion and natural firmness from the air chambers.

Which Should You Pick?

P-5 if…

  • You Want Some Cushion. One of the reasons the P-5 is a best-seller is because customers feel that it has a thick enough layer of foam to balance out the firmness of the air chambers. The P-5 has a 2” PlushFit foam layer and the C-2 has no foam layers at all inside the mattress.
  • You Like A Mattress with Pillowtop. The P-5 comes with a nicer European-style pillowtop mattress, and the C-2 will be more of a standard knit mattress top (less fancy).

Read our full Sleep Number P-5 review

C-2 if…

  • You Like A Firm Bed. The C-2 is as standard as you can get with a Sleep Number bed. Aside from some cushioning in the mattress top, there is no other comfort layer between you and the air chamber, making it a fairly firm experience overall. You can adjust firmness with your Sleep Number setting but more likely than not you’re going to be sleeping in a firm bed.
  • You’re On A Budget And You’re Crafty. Customers weren’t shy about sharing their workaround with the lack of foam layer in the C-2 mattress. Many purchased foam mattress toppers or mattress pads to put into their mattress for added cushion.

Read our full Sleep Number C-2 review

My Personal Opinion

There is a pretty significant price difference between the C-2 and the P-5 bed. If you’re purchasing a Queen size mattress, that price difference is $1,200.

I wanted to break down what you’re getting if you spend an additional $1,200 for the P-5:

  • 3” of mattress height
  • 2” of proprietary PlushFit foam with 5 zones specifically designed to contour to your head/neck, shoulders, lower back, hips, and feet
  • European-style luxurious mattress pillowtop

It seems that you are essentially paying for extra cushioning, in the form of a pillowtop mattress top and 2″ of PlushFit foam with pressure-relieving features.

The mattresses are both knit with the same rayon/polypropylene fabric blend and offer the same options to purchase, including the Sleep IQ Technology and FlexFit Adjustable Base.

After reading other reviews, I’m inclined to save the money and go with the C-2 mattress. Personally, I would spend the extra savings on one of the optional add-ons, as well as a 2” or 3” thick mattress topper and nice mattress pad for the bed to add cushion.

Compare all Sleep Number beds here

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Katie Golde

Katie manages 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.