Smart Mattresses: Sleep Better in 2019
As we edge into another fresh year, perhaps you’re feeling frazzled from partying too hard…
Maybe one of your resolutions for 2019 is to make absolutely certain you get as much sleep as possible, and you don’t mind investing in yourself to hit that goal.
If you’re committed to optimizing your sleep health, the good news is that smart mattresses are now relatively commonplace.
The bad news? Well, the bulk of these smart sleeping solutions are not cheap. At all. That’s not particularly surprising since a regular mattress tends to cost a fair amount anyway without being rammed with tech.
Here at Smart Home, though, we always like to turn a negative into a positive, always present you with a solution to any problem you might be facing.
To this end, rather than outlining a random selection of smart mattresses that might well be out of financial reach, we’ll focus instead on Eight Sleep today so we can help every one of our readers rather than only the more affluent.
But if you do have a more fluid budget, don’t worry: one of these Eight Sleep mattresses we’ll look at later is a real showstopper. And if you don’t have the spare cash for a new mattress at all, we’ve got a surprise for you, too…
But first thing’s first, what exactly is a smart mattress?
What Is a Smart Mattress?
Put simply, a smart mattress can analyze the way you sleep.
By probing your unique sleep patterns, you can use this data to help improve your sleep quality.
Functionality varies dramatically just like with any smart home device or appliance. From the basics such as how long you sleep and the length of your REM sleep cycles right through to monitoring your body temperature and heart rate, smart mattresses are not all created equal. They all perform the same role, though: providing you with the information you need to enhance your overall sleep quality.
What Smart Mattresses Do
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, 20 million Americans suffer sleepless nights. As many as 40 million don’t just feel restless but have chronic sleep disorders. Overall, more than 1/3 of US citizens routinely fail to get enough sleep. An ongoing sleep deficit can cause serious health issues far beyond grumpiness and a feeling of lethargy.
Smart mattresses come in many shapes and sizes…
Some simply mine data so you can take action yourself based on this information.
Other smart mattresses actively perform certain useful functions to enhance sleep quality.
With the advent of the IoT, some smart beds also communicate with other devices in your connected home. Where initially this interoperability was limited to dimming the lights or tweaking the HVAC system, now there are smart beds capable of adjusting the position of the bed as you sleep and even ensuring there’s a piping hot cup of coffee waiting when you make it down to the kitchen.
We’ll laser in now on how smart mattresses differ and what you can expect if you decide to harness this pioneering tech your bedroom.
Different Functions of Smart Mattresses
We’ll walk you through 4 different ways in which smart mattresses can help you get a sounder sleep from the mere basics right through to something
1. The Basics: Sleep Tracking
2. Diving Deeper: Monitoring Your Body and Your Surroundings
3. Taking Things Further: Sleep Scoring
4. Smart Mattresses: Customization
1) The Basics: Sleep Tracking
Unlike wearable sleep trackers that might feel uncomfy or come adrift as you toss and turn through the night, smart mattresses offer sleep tracking the intelligent way…
Sensors throughout the cover are attached to hubs either wirelessly or via electrical outlets, you’ll get feedback across some or all of the following metrics:
• What time you get into bed: You can determine whether simply pushing bedtime forward as little as 30 minutes might help with your sleep cycles and promote a longer, stronger sleep.
• When you wake up: While you might not have quite the same flexibility here if you need to leave the house at a set time for work, you can certainly bring your alarm clock forward slightly. This will prevent you from being roused from sleep at just the wrong time.
• How long it takes you to fall asleep: If you’re continually taking a full hour or more to enter dreamland after turning off the lights, you should adjust the time you shut down. It’s easy to become agitated and stressed if you simply can’t drop off. Rather than fighting it, you can make changes and read for a while longer instead.
• How much deep sleep you get vs how much light sleep you get: We’re not to double down today on the full specifics of sleep cycles, but the time you spend in bed can be cleaved into light sleep and deep sleep.
• How many significant interruptions to sleep you experience each night. By this, we don’t mean simply stirring then immediately sleeping again. You’ll be able to see clearly how often you wake then fail to sleep again for a lengthy spell. You will also
• Your positioning throughout the night. The best smart mattresses can give you detailed feedback on how you physically sleep, whether on your back, your front or your side.
You might be surprised at just how value you’ll get from accessing the above data and acting on it. Any small measures you can take to get more and better sleep can have an amazingly positive knock-on effect on your overall health and general well-being.
How about extracting even more information, both physiological and environmental? Well, the best smart mattresses can help out there too…
2) Diving Deeper: Monitoring Your Body and Your Surroundings
Sleep tracking can go beyond the basics outlined above. With the same sensors already in place, some smart mattresses also measure the following factors:
• Heart rate and breathing cycle throughout the night: If you’re getting less than 6 hours of sleep each night, you’re at increased risk of developing heart problems according to a study by the European Heart Journal. This is not surprising since high quality sleep actually reduces the work your heart needs to do overnight. Optimum heart rate while you sleep varies enormously from as low as 40 BPM to 100 BPM or more. This means the only baseline that counts is your own. By giving you the lowdown on your nocturnal heart rate, you’ll be able to see whether your metabolism is working overtime. Data concerning your breathing can help you see whether you might have a sleep disorder like obstructive sleep apnea that demands specialist attention. Don’t underestimate the importance of heart rate and breathing and let a smart mattress give you information you’d otherwise be guessing about.
• Temperature of your body and the bed: If your room is too hot or too cold, there’s a strong chance your sleep will be negatively impacted. Your body will naturally edge toward sleep when your core temperature drops. A bedroom temperature of 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit encourages this. If your smart thermostat is set far outside these boundaries, you’ll at best be restless and perhaps even get less REM sleep. Again, rather than relying on what you think, let your smart mattress keep you informed based on cold, hard data.
• The amount of light in your bedroom: Ambient lighting that’s too bright can disrupt your body’s circadian rhythms and spoil your sleep. Since you’re sleeping, you’ll have no meaningful way of knowing how light from outside penetrates during the night and whether or not this might be causing you to stir. Based on this data fed back from your smart mattress, you might then consider investing in a physical solution like blackout blinds or curtains.
3) Taking Things Further: Sleep Scoring
Using some or all of the above critical sleep metrics, some of the best smart mattresses will tally things up and give you a sleep score.
A few mattresses even gamify the experience and allow you to set targets based on what you’ve discovered. If you’ve got a competitive streak, this is a nifty way to focus on your goal: getting more rest and a better quality of sleep.
4) Smart Mattresses: Customization In The Spirit of Smart Homes
As with all smart home products, some more upscale smart mattresses permit even greater customization.
• Firmness: Some smart airbeds let you fine-tune the amount of air you have in each of the chambers in order to optimize your sleep.
• Dual Climate Control: If you and your partner prefer radically different temperatures in bed, kissing goodbye to one of you boiling or the other shivering could be a thing of the past. With smart sleeping solutions, it’s now perfectly possible to create dual climate zones so you both get what you want.
• Positioning: Some smart beds will allow you to angle the bed in order to get a superior sleep.
• Smart Home Integration: Of course, seamless integration with other smart home devices like smart speakers, blinds, lights, and even door locks is one of their key selling points if you want a home automated as fully as possible. From Alexa to IFTTT functionality, setting alarms to playing white noise or guided meditation, smart mattresses now occupy a well-deserved place in any respectable connected home and can ease you toward the sleep you previously only dreamed about!
We’ve tried to keep the science to a minimum today while still outlining fully how smart mattresses can put you in a better mood, help you feel much more rested and energized while also protecting and improving your long-term health.
Sleep matters in more ways than one so we’ll now look at arguably the more robust smart mattress solution in a rapidly emerging sector from the mighty Eight Sleep. This brand offers something for everyone and manages to hit all price-points and we’ll break down now how you can benefit from their selection of smart sleeping products whatever your needs and budget.
The Best Smart Mattresses from Eight Sleep
With their company strapline reading Wake up in the future, Eight Sleep are a company managing to combine comfort and technology to bring you the very best sleep you could hope for.
We’ll look now at 3 Eight Sleep smart mattresses with a snapshot summary of what each does best…
Best Budget Smart Mattress: Eight Sleep Saturn + Mattress
First up, the Saturn + which is tailor-made for cost-conscious consumers who insist on the best smart home kit but don’t want to sacrifice quality in the pursuit of a bargain.
Available in 4 sizes from full to Cali King and designed expressly for couples, you’ll get 3 layers of responsive memory foam resulting in a medium-firm feel. With memory foam on top and ploy foam below, your spine will be perfectly supported. This mattress is ideal if you’re a back sleeper or suffer from any kind of back pain and it’s also remarkably affordable, cheaper than many dumb mattresses in fact!
Eight Sleep stand behind their products so firmly you’ll get a guarantee covering you for a full decade removing any jitters prior to purchase. The only thing we would say is that this company has only been in business for 4 years so we don’t have any data relating to long-term performance. To us, that warranty speaks volumes, though.
With the foundations laid for a comfortable yet supportive sleep, the hidden weapon is the smart cover included. We’ll glance at that next so you can see exactly how this smart sleep tracker can perfectly complement a mattress designed for optimizing your sleep without bankrupting you in the process…
Best Workaround: Eight Sleep Tracker Smart Cover
While it’s supplied with all 3 of Eight Sleep’s mattresses we look at today, if you’re on an even tighter budget, you can buy this smart cover separately and slip it onto your existing mattress.
You’ll get detailed feedback on 15 factors that impact your sleep quality from the amount of light and deep sleep you get through to tracking of your respiratory rate throughout the night.
You can set dual climate zones and the bed will warm up accordingly so neither you nor your partner needs to compromise and you can both enjoy the sleep you deserve.
Smart home connectivity is beyond reproach. You can use Alexa for voice control and enjoy full integration with products from the Philips Hue and Nest ecosystems. Control everything in-app on your Apple or Android phone and choose from 4 sizes so there really is something for everyone even if you thought a smart mattress was out of your price range.
Imagine not just acting on the data and improving your sleep but also getting a device that will dim the lights as you get into bed, turn them on gently as you wake after the personalized smart alarm rouses you at exactly the right time so you feel as rested as possible.
While each of the Eight Sleep smart mattresses has extras to help you toward a comfortable night’s sleep, the smart cover is the beating, intelligent heart. Either buy one of these awesome mattresses and get it thrown in free of charge or buy it separately for a true win-win.
Best Upscale Smart Mattress: Eight Sleep Mars + Mattress
While some people are always seeking the steal of the century, for others it’s “Only the best or nothing at all.” If you fall in the second camp, Eight Sleep’s line-topping Mars + is the obvious solution to all your sleep-related woes.
11 inches high and offering a medium-firmness, this is a hybrid mattress with 4 layers of memory foam and sleeved coils. This translates to a breathable mattress that’s also remarkably supportive.
The key advantage of this hybrid design is that the memory foam will mold to your shape yet it will also bounce back. The coils help to promote airflow and will keep you cool enough to sleep perfectly.
And the inbuilt kicker, of course, is that hard-hitting smart cover to round out an incredible sleep solution from a tech legend in the making.
Best Overall Value Smart Mattress: Eight Sleep Jupiter + Mattress
Again available in 4 sizes, the mid-priced Jupiter + also features the smart cover and offers exceptional overall value.
An inch shorter than the Mars + but still packing the same quadruple-layered memory foam, this medium-firm mattress is a great fit for all types of bases.
US-made and boasting the trademark 10-year Eight Sleep warranty, you can buy this smart mattress in complete confidence and extend your connected home into the bedroom so you can enjoy the sleep you need to get through your busy day without spending a fortune.
We hope you’ve seen from today’s sleep study that while you might want your bedroom to free of distracting devices and a sanctuary for sleep and intimacy, you can still take the best parts of technology and use them to help you achieve these rather than diminishing your sleep.
Drop us a line if you have any first-hand experience of using smart mattresses and be sure to come back to our home automation blog soon.