What Is a Smart Bed?

The night just got a little cozier

HiCan smart bed

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A smart bed is a bed that uses sensors and other technologies to gather data about how you're sleeping. It uses this information to self-adjust and improve your sleep.

Some smart beds also deliver your sleep information to your smartphone where it can report how well you're sleeping and offer tips on how to sleep better.

Other smart beds don't necessarily focus on improving your sleep but instead on creating a more enjoyable experience while in bed. For example, one might be a smart bed with a built-in TV or alarm. Another might offer smart bed sheets to adjust to temperature changes in the night, or offer built-in network connectivity to merge with your home automation devices.

As promising as a smart bed sounds, the industry is still in its infancy, which means that there's no clear-cut narrative as to what a smart bed should or shouldn't do. Whether or not a smart bed works for you is simply a matter of doing research to see which smart bed frame, sheet set, pillow, etc., suits you the best.

Smart Bed Technology

With a wide variety of beds considered "smart," there isn't a full list of smart bed features that encompass all of the products on the market. However, below are some examples of the features that can be included in a smart bed.

  • Sleep Tracking: Monitoring how you're moving while sleeping is one of the most distinguishing aspects of a smart bed's mattress as opposed to a regular one. Using a single sheet of "smart fabric" or several sensors spread throughout the bed, the smart mattress tracks a variety of information such as respiration, heartbeat, sleep restfulness, and pressure to determine how to give you the most comfortable night's rest.
  • Temperature Control: Smart beds sometimes come integrated with a built-in thermostat, which lets you (or the bed, if it can automatically) regulate the temperature of the mattress while you're sleeping.
  • Air Chambers: Inflated air tubes inside the smart mattress come packed with pressure sensors that allow it to adjust to your body posture while you sleep. These air tubes can also be controlled remotely via the smart bed's own app.
  • App Integration: Some smart beds connect seamlessly to the Internet of Things to control your other smart home items, including virtual assistants, thermostats, smart lights, coffee makers, and TVs, letting you control all these different devices without ever getting up.
  • Position Control: A smart bed with position control for the mattress includes two entirely separate zones that can be adjusted independent of the other. This means that one person could use the app or remote to physically move the smart mattress, like the head or leg area, while the other side can remain flat.
  • Self-Making: Although less-common than other smart bed functions, a self-making bed can arrange the bedding automatically. At least one iteration of this technology makes it work by using metal rails connected to sheets to stretch and smooth them over the mattress.

Popular Smart Beds to Choose From

Here are some examples of smart beds:

  • Sleep Number 360°: This smart bed lets you pick how firm each side of the bed should be and can pre-warm the bed before you get in. While you're sleeping, it senses how you're shifting around and automatically adjusts to keep you comfortable. Your SleepIQ score is sent to your phone every morning so that you can see how well you slept, and it includes personalized suggestions on how to sleep better.
  • ReST Smart Bed: Supports manual, targeted configurations for five areas of your body: head, shoulders, lumbar, hips, and legs. The bed keeps a memory of how you want to be comfortable and will adjust while you're sleeping to always ensure that your pre-chosen comfort level is met.
  • Eight Smart Bed: This smart bed from Eight Sleep tracks over 15 factors related to your sleep and shows them on your phone. It also features split temperature control and can wake you up when you're in light sleep. If you have a smart home, this bed can even trigger other things to happen when you sleep or wake up, such as turn off the lights or start the coffee. The same company offers The Pod.
  • HiCan: Unlike other smart beds, which are really just smart mattresses, HiCan's offering redefines the entire bedroom experience with a full-featured sleeping pod. It includes a 4K projector with HDMI ports, dimmable reading lights, a sound system, ambient lights, and privacy blinds. It's like walking into the future of urban homes.
  • Ohea: A bed that makes itself? That's exactly what you get with the Ohea smart bed.

Do You Need a Smart Bed?

A normal mattress or a semi-smart one that can adjust with a remote, is probably enough for most people. However, you might have the money and a specific reason to get one.

If you want to mimic a smart bed, you can get some of the features of one from a variety of sources. For example, there are sleep apps that can help you sleep or monitor your movements while in bed, heated blankets to control temperature, relatively inexpensive projectors you can beam to the foot of your bed, and wake-up lights/alarms.