Battling CES Fatigue on the Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed


LAS VEGAS—CES 2017 is well underway and what that means for everyone involved is aching backs, sore feet, and absurdly high step counts on our fitness trackers.

And if that weren't bad enough, crowded Vegas hotels are cleverly designed so that the only free seats are at the slot machines. If only the CES floor had a nice, soft place to rest and catch your breath. Someplace where you could cast off your heavy backpack and camera and maybe catch a few sorely needed Zs.

Thankfully this year, eager techies have the Sleep Number 360—a smart bed that can warm your feet, adjust in real time to your biometrics, light up when you leave the bed, and automatically sense when you're snoring. It also records your sleep quality via an app and can help you smarten up your bedtime routine.

It's strategic genius that Sleep Number's booth is nearly front and center at the Tech West Sands Expo Hall, and I all but raced for my demo to finally see whether the 360 could deliver.

But as eager as I was to sneak in a job-sanctioned lie-down, I did have some reservations. First, the Sleep Number 360 is a memory foam mattress—think back to those late-night Tempurpedic commercials or the clever Casper ads you see on the New York City subway. Either you love memory foam, or you don't. I definitely don't, mainly because they tend to be too soft (for me) and they can often get hot during the night as they retain more heat.

So I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable the 360 was right off the bat. When I asked, Sleep Number attributed its comfort to a proprietary memory foam. The adjustability feature was a bit surprising at first. You really do notice how it slowly depresses under your curves when you lie on your side. And it really is more comfortable, with just the right amount of sink. How the mattress changes when you turn back onto your back is less noticeable.

But most importantly, I was curious to see how the 360 would handle snorers. There's a lot of tech at this year's CES devoted to sleeping better, and a good portion of them revolve around how to get your partner to snore less. When chatting about the Sleep Number with a few other PCMag analysts, some brought up concerns that it might move too quickly and accidentally wake them up—which would stop snoring, just not in a way that promoted good sleep.

Sleep Number 360 Adjust

The good news is that the 360 is actually quite stealth when it comes to lifting your head. It moves slowly and quietly, and while I did notice the movement, I'd actually have to be asleep to know whether it's truly disruptive. Along that vein, Sleep Number says to get the full experience, you have to use the bed for at least a month so that it really learns and adjusts to your personal sleeping patterns.

The foot warming feature is subtle. That might have been because I had my shoes on, and there wasn't any blanket, but you could feel the heat very clearly. And if you don't have a sleeping partner and are discouraged by the split-side design, don't be. Sleep Number also has configurations for singles and bed hoggers.

The Sleep Number 360 will be available in the first half of 2017, and while there isn't an exact price just yet, the company says it'll be similar to the current line of beds and products.

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