How Selecting a Sleep Number Mattress May Improve Your Sleep

You have likely seen the Select Comfort mattress advertisements, but what is your sleep number? What factors and science go into selecting a sleep number? Learn what this means to your mattress comfort, the costs, and how it might aid sleep problems ranging from insomnia to sleep apnea.

High Angle View Of Woman Sleeping On Bed At Home
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What Is the Select Comfort Sleep Number?

It is reasonable to wonder if the Select Comfort features are simply a marketing ploy. Is it possible for a mattress to be optimally set to improve your sleep? Though no formal studies exist comparing one mattress to another, it is possible that an adjustable mattress may help to improve your sleep, especially if your sleep is compromised by body pain at night from your mattress. If you are able to sleep more comfortably on your sides, this could reduce your risk of snoring and sleep apnea. It may also be helpful to raise the head of the bed.

The sleep number is a setting on Select Comfort mattresses that is meant to maximize your comfort and help you to sleep better. It allows you to personalize the firmness or softness of your side of the mattress, making it easier for couples to sleep together. It is suggested that optimizing the comfort of your sleeping surface may also aid your sleep quality.

How Is Your Sleep Number Determined?

The sleep number is determined based on your sex, height, weight, and other factors. It includes your favorite sleeping position (side, back, stomach, or a combination) and sleep surface preference (soft, medium, firm, or extra firm). The online calculator also assesses the quality of your sleep, including whether you are restless at night or tired during the day. Restlessness may also suggest a problem such as insomnia and sleepiness could represent a sleep disorder. The calculator also questions whether you feel pressure on your shoulder or your hip, suggesting an incompatibility with your mattress.

Smarter mattresses may also try to assess the amount of movement at night. This can be reported with the SleepIQ program to fitness apps. This information may be useful to give you some direction in how to optimize your sleep, but this is still an evolving science.


Selected comfort may not be inexpensive, it seems, with mattress prices advertised on their website ranging from $999.98 to $4,499.98, at the time of this writing. The company suggests that the best way to learn your sleep number may be to visit one of the Select Comfort stores and try one of their beds in person. This might also be useful to decide if these specialized mattresses are truly what you need to sleep better.

If you continue to struggle to fall asleep or find that your sleep is of poor quality, consider speaking with a sleep specialist about ways to improve your sleep if it is due to an underlying sleep disorder. In these circumstances, even the best mattress and optimal settings won't be enough to help you to sleep better.

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By Brandon Peters, MD
Brandon Peters, MD, is a board-certified neurologist and sleep medicine specialist.