Smart beds and smart mattresses use the latest technology to track various aspects of your sleep, to regulate your in-bed temperature so you sleep better, and to adjust the bed’s firmness, cooling and heating on each side to suit your individual comfort needs. So if you want the best mattress for helping you to understand what’s going on with your shut-eye and how to boost your sleep comfort, then the best smart beds and smart mattresses are an ideal choice.
For the most part, smart beds and smart mattresses are interchangeable terms, with manufacturers using both to describe what is essentially the same product. That is, a mattress with a wide range of smart functions, such as sleep tracking and dual-sided heating and cooling (so your side can be warmer and your partner's cooler), plus adjustable firmness levels and integrated massage functions. Well, that sums up the best smart beds anyway, but some smart mattresses are simpler in their design.
Most smart beds are controlled by air or water pumped in or out of the bed for custom firmness. Smart mattresses can also be adjusted so that you can sit up comfortably in bed, or have your head raised slightly to help with issues like snoring, acid reflux or back pain. The best smart beds also offer a zero gravity preset (a position where you feel as though you’re weightless), plus massage functions to relax your body.
ReST, Sleep Number and Eight Sleep are arguably the best-known smart mattress manufacturers, and you’ll find each of those brands and a few carefully curated others in our best smart beds guide. They are far more expensive than a mattress in a box, but we expect to see most of them pop up in the forthcoming Labor Day mattress sales.
The best smart beds and smart mattresses in 2022
When you think of smart mattresses, the ReST Bed is one of the first to spring to mind. The brand has become synonymous with cutting-edge sleep technology in beds, and while the ReST Essential is one of its more affordable models, it doesn’t cut any corners in terms of sleep tracking and custom comfort. This boundary-pushing air mattress uses software and hardware with over 20 patents, so you really are getting some of the best smart bed tech around.
The ReST Essential mattress itself is made with three different layers: the top layer is made from 4” of cooling, gel-infused memory foam. And if you are familiar with the best memory foam mattresses, this particular material is excellent at contouring the body and relieving high impact pressure points. Because it’s so cradling, it’s also brilliant at reducing motion transfer from you to your partner and vice versa.
Underneath this layer is where you’ll find the sensors, and these are vital for tracking various aspects of your sleep and how you move in bed. In Automatic Mode, the ReST Essential smart bed delivers a real-time body pressure map to the companion app. The sensors measure pressure points on the mattress as you change position in bed, pumping air in or out to quickly adapt the firmness for your body weight and sleep position. Simply choose a general comfort setting in the app (from soft to firm) and the smart bed will handle the rest. Pressure pain is a big sleep killer, so this technology could be the key to your sleep comfort.
You can also choose Position Mode. Here you program settings for your three body zones across two different sleeping positions (back and side, for example), so that the bed knows how you want it to adjust when you change position. This is great for combination sleepers. Or, if you want to be in the driving seat, choose Manual Mode and customize the pressure relief and firmness to your exact preferences. In manual mode, there are 64,000 firmness combinations per side to explore.
The third layer of this smart mattress has five air chambers on each side of the bed. These sit in specific zones (to target different parts of your body), and are controlled by noiseless mini-pumps. The ReST Essential comes on a 90-night mattress trial, so you’ll have a few months to see if it makes a genuine difference to your sleep.
The Eight Sleep Pod Pro packs in a lot of tech to help both you and your partner sleep well. Temperature is tricky to get right in bed, and if you’re too hot or too cold you will wake up frequently in the night. The Eight Sleep Pod Pro addresses this with dual-zone cooling and heating, where you can set each side of the smart bed to anywhere between 55°F-110°F and create custom heating and cooling schedules.
In addition to that, the smart mattress is designed with Smart Temp Autopilot, where ambient sensors measure the room temperature and humidity, with the Pod Pro automatically cooling or heating your bed to suit. This five-layer premium foam mattress also offers real-time sleep tracking on each side of the bed, with metrics including sleep stages, sleep time, and restlessness. There’s Daily Health Check and HRV Monitoring too, with the Pod Pro tracking your respiratory rate, resting heart rate, and your heart rate variability as you relax and sleep.
Sick of your partner waking you up with a blaring alarm? This smart bed uses GentleRise Smart Alarm technology to silently wake you up with a chest-level vibration and a gradual warming of the mattress. If your budget doesn’t stretch to the likes of a ReST Bed (below), the Eight Sleep Pod Pro is an innovative, tech-packed smart mattress that could really transform your shut-eye.
If you aren’t sleeping well at the moment, then the Sleep Number 360 i8 Smart Bed could change that by making you more comfortable in bed. You can adapt the firmness and comfort on each side of this air mattress – meaning you and your partner can enjoy different levels of firmness – or you can let the i8 automatically adjust its firmness in response to your in-bed movements.
Hot sleepers are in good hands too, as the Sleep Number i8 Smart Bed is covered with a breathable Smart 3D fabric. The mattress absorbs excess heat then releases it as you cool down, keeping your sleep temperature perfectly balanced. Temperature makes a big difference to how well you sleep, so this is an important aspect of the design.
Sleep Number smart beds are well-known for generating a SleepIQ score, made up of metrics that indicate your sleep quality. The sensors also track your breathing and heart rate. Over time, the app will display personalized recommendations to help learn how to sleep better. Upon delivery of your smart mattress, Sleep Number technicians will either connect the bed to your WiFi or you can connect it yourself to the SleepIQ app. Each night the bed will work with the app to generate a unique sleep score, with suggestions for how to create the ideal sleep schedule to improve your quality of shut-eye.
When you pair the i8 Smart Bed with a FlexFit base (from $1,499), you’ll be able to enjoy a variety of adjustable head and foot positions. Raising your legs reduces pressure on them, while raising your head and upper body can improve digestion and, when you sleep on your side too, can reduce snoring. Sleep Number makes more technologically advanced smart beds, but we think the i8 Smart Bed is one of the best for the price.
The Saatva Solaire isn’t a smart mattress in the same way that the others are, but it still offers 50 firmness settings on each side, controlled via a remote (there’s no companion app here). That makes it the best option for people who have no idea what level of firmness is best for them during sleep, and who don’t fancy the idea of using an app.
Like the ReST Essential, the Saatva Solaire Adjustable Mattress is also an excellent choice for maximum pressure relief, as you can customize it to suit your body, sleep style and health needs. Saatva’s mattress range has also earned the Seal of Approval from the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations, so it’s well-suited to people with neck and back pain.
There are six layers to the Saatva Solaire, starting with a 3” pillow top with Lumbar Zone quilting to support your back. It’s also treated with Guardin, a botanical antimicrobial treatment to prevent bacteria, mold and mildew from growing on your mattress. Underneath that lies a 1” layer of five-zone natural latex for pressure relief and lumbar support, followed by a 2” layer of CertiPUR-US certified gel-infused memory foam to dissipate body heat and bolster pressure relief. Vulcanized air chambers handle edge-to-edge support in tandem with a reinforced power edge enclosure. This is where you’ll find the air inflator.
The inflator is designed to be low noise, so it shouldn’t disturb your peace when you’re switching to a new firmness level. The bedside remote control allows you to change the air chamber setting until it reaches your desired firmness, with a memory mode remembering your preferred setting. You can also add a Lineal Adjustable Bed Base (from $1,249), which enables you to raise each side of the mattress individually for various sitting and sleeping positions. For the latest prices, check out our guide to the Saatva mattress sales.
The Tempur-Ergo Power Base is a smart bed base designed to work with your existing mattress, as long as it in turn can be used with an adjustable bed. The ideal partner would be a Tempur mattress, which is why you’ll see Tempur-Pedic mattress deals giving you hundreds of dollars off both when bought together. Back to the Tempur-Ergo Power Smart Bed Base…
Outside of the Eight Sleep Pod Pro System, the Tempur-Pedic smart bed has the most diverse range of smart features and adjustable comfort. It’s geared-up to help you get a clearer picture of how you are sleeping, what might be disturbing your sleep, and then to coach you (via the companion app) on how to snooze better. It even has underbed lighting to help you make your way out of a darkened bedroom more easily at night.
Depending on your biggest sleep challenge (if you know what it is), one of the biggest draws with the Tempur-Ergo Power Smart Bed Base is Snore Reponse. This detects the sound of snoring in the bed, then responds by automatically adjusting the bed to raise your head around 12 degrees, into a position that opens your airways to help reduce or stop snoring. If you or your partner don’t snore, yet you aren’t sleeping well, the bed will work with the Sleeptracker-AI app to track various aspects of your slumber and to pinpoint what could be happening. The AI Sleep Coach will then give you tips and suggestions.
As it’s Alexa and Google-enabled, you can also get your voice assistant of choice to read out your sleep report each morning. As with all sleep trackers, this should be taken as a general insight - if you are concerned about your sleep, speak to a professional.
Relaxing before bed is a potent part of any effective bedtime routine, and Tempur-Pedic’s version here is in-bed head and foot massage. There are three levels of intensity to choose from, and you can experience massage vibrations in two or four zones. We’d use it directly before putting the smart bed base into a Zero Gravity position to simulate weightlessness. This takes all pressure off your back and joints, making it popular among those with neck, back and hip pain.
What is a smart bed?
A smart bed, also known as a smart mattress, is designed to track your sleep and various aspects of your health. They're either fully app-controlled or use a mix of manually controlled features, plus further functions available via a companion app (iOS and Android are common platforms).
Smart beds essentially do away with the need for an under-the-mattress or wrist-based sleep tracker because they have baked-in sleep tracking functionality. While the accuracy of sleep tracking functionality differs greatly between smart beds, most aim to track your sleep cycles and how long you spend in each, plus your overall sleep quality (represented by a sleep score), how long you slept for in total, how long it took you to fall asleep, and any interruptions to your sleep that the smart bed picked up on.
Smart mattresses can also monitor your resting heart rate, breathing and temperature during sleep. Some can be programmed to the exact temperature that helps you fall asleep faster and deeper, and Eight Sleep is one of the best brands for this – especially if you want a smart bed with independent heating and cooling.
How to choose the best smart bed for your sleep
Technology is a key aspect of smart mattresses and smart beds, and most work with a companion app, giving you access to greater controls and sleep tracking data. It’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of endless smarts with these beds, so we’d encourage you to think about what you actually want before you start shopping.
For example, if overheating in bed is your biggest sleep killer, then a smart bed that offers dual-sided cooling (and heating when needed) should be top of your list. You may also like to check out our best cooling mattress guide - they aren’t smart, but they are powerful allies in the fight against hot sleeping.
Dealing with back, neck and joint pain? Then the best smart mattress for you is one that offers tens of hundreds of different firmness levels that you can customize to your body weight via app or remote control. Smart air mattresses are normally top of the tree here, but we’d also recommend looking at a smart bed or bed base with adjustable positioning. The most well-known position for pressure relief is Zero Gravity, as this simulates a feeling of weightlessness. Integrated massage will also ease any pain, so look for either two or four-zone massage too.
While there are some smart beds that contain natural materials such as latex, you won’t find many with fully certified organic materials. So if natural, eco-friendly sleep is important to you, then consider an organic mattress instead. Out of the brands featured in our best smart mattress guide, Saatva is the closest you’ll get to your needs as it uses latex and botanical treatments.
If you have a favorite mattress topper that you’d like to use on your new smart mattress, make sure that it’s compatible and won’t interfere with the design of the smart bed, especially if it’s adjustable. As with standard mattresses, make sure you cover it in the best mattress protector for your budget to keep it safe from spills, stains and germs.
There’s no denying that a smart bed is expensive, so make sure the one you’re considering comes on a trial basis. If you get one on trial, you can test it thoroughly during that period and if it isn’t right for you, you can initiate a return and get a refund. Look for a good warranty too - our guide answering how do mattress warranties work will provide extra guidance.
Are smart beds worth it?
This is a fair question, considering the cost involved with a smart bed. As we explain in our best mattress guide, the quality of mattresses in general is much better now compared to several years ago, so it's entirely possible to get a decent bed for less. However, if you want the very best sleep technology packed into your mattress, plus custom control of heating, cooling and firmness, then there is no better way to get that right now other than with a smart bed.
So if you want to control various aspects of your sleep comfort, then a smart bed is worth the money. They are also ideal for couples with different sleeping preferences in particular, as you can usually control each side of the smart mattress independently to create the perfect sleep oasis for each of you.
We'd recommend keeping an eye out for various big mattress sales throughout the year, as these will deliver some sizeable discounts on smart beds that will help you snag one of these high-tech sleep systems for less.
If you have a much smaller budget or you're just looking to upgrade your guest bed, then take a look at our best budget mattress guide instead.