Powerless Cooling Technology in your Bed? Check Out Sleep Number’s In Balance Bedding Solutions


If I told you that my bed was now high-tech, would you believe me? I would think that you would as there are all sorts of devices and electric beds that adjust firmness or contour. But what if I told you that the technology doesn’t require any electricity or batteries. You might be a bit more intrigued, wouldn’t you. So let’s get down to some basic issues that I personally have encountered while sleeping and then I will go into the Sleep Number solution that is making my sleep a bit more pleasant. For starters, I sleep hot. Yes, that’s right, I am one of those sweaters at night. My internal furnace has always been a bit high and I frequently wake up in the morning with a sweaty pillow and sheets.

Ewww, gross you say? Tell me about it! The problem is, my wife gets cold when she sleeps. So we pile on the blankets in the winter and still even have a heavy down comforter in the summer. So I spend many nights either sweating or with my leg hanging out of the bed attempting to get cooler or with a fan blowing across just me when I sleep. Yeah, I have no trouble sleeping but it’s the fact that I need to wash my sheets a bit too frequently that is a bit of a pain. Too much information? Sorry, but this is a pretty common situation out there – overheating in bed.


So, where does Sleep Number come into this equation? Pretty simple actually, they have some “high-tech” bedding solutions that can help to regulate the temperature of your bed in order to provide you with a better sleep. For the past week, I have been testing out two products, the Sleep Number In Balance Mattress Pad and the Sleep Number In Balance Classic Pillow Protector, both of which provide the same technology to keep you cooler at night. Both products claim to do two things:

  1. Minimize temperature swings while you sleep
  2. Absorb Excess heat

Also, both products are hypoallergenic which is a great thing, especially for my wife as she has allergies to dust.

I was pretty excited to test out Sleep Number’s cooling solution as my wife was getting a bit tired of having fans blowing at night. So, first I “installed” my bed mattress “upgrade” which consisted of a pad that goes right on top of your mattress. There are elastic bands that hold it snuggly into place onto the mattress and it was a good tight fit.


There are baffles that contain the technology which you can see in the picture above. Once you have the mattress cover on, you simply put your sheets right on top of it. There is probably about 1/2 of an inch of padding added to the mattress as a result of the “installation” which is a plus simply because it adds to the comfort level. The next thing that I did was put the pillow covers on to our two pillows. These are zipped covers which will protect your pillow in the process. This is another plus for me simply because I don’t do well with down-filled pillows (yes, they make me sweat also), so fully encasing the pillow is an added plus for me. Just put the pillow case on top of that and you are good to go.

A quick note about the Sleep Number pillow cover – the pillow cover actually has two sides to it, one with the tech built in and one that is just a cover. You want to be sure that you use the one with the cooling fabric built in. It’s easy to identify because it feels slightly stiffer than the non-tech-fabric side.

Once the bed was made, my wife and I put it to the test over a week. The results? For me, there was a definite improvement in sweat-less sleeping. An item to note, the experience is NOT like lying on top of ice or anything like that. The cooling is very subtle and works over time. Yes, it does feel cooler initially, but once you warm up the bed, it’s difficult to really distinguish much of a difference. But, the difference is indeed there. Without any other changes in my sleeping environment (I didn’t run the fan), I did notice that I did not wake up sweaty. Instead, I felt pretty comfortable. My wife as well did notice a difference. This will be critical as the summer heat creeps into our bedroom.


So what about the tech behind this cooling magic? The fabric itself powering the Sleep Number In Balance line is by a company called Outlast whose technology power a variety of other items as well. The fabric uses “phase change materials” that absorb, store and release heat in order to maintain a comfortable thermal level. Essentially, it absorbs the heat and then disperse it away from the skin. These phase change materials are called Thermocules which are permanently enclosed and protected in a polymer shell.

If you look closely at the mattress fabric, you can see a honeycomb design that shows this technology:


What these Thermocules are doing is essentially regulating your skin’s microclimate – as you get hot, they absorb the heat, as your skin cools, the heat is released back. This provides a balanced temperature throughout the night in terms of how it works with Sleep Number’s products.

Many people have heard about “wicking” technology which is common in many athletic apparel where moisture is pulled away from the skin. The Outlast technology is NOT that, it works prior to the moisture even being created by keeping the temperature regulated so that your body doesn’t have to do it by sweating. What that translates to is a sleep with fewer drastic temperature changes and much less sweating in my case.

HighTechDad Ratings

Yes, technology can exist on your bed and you don’t need to plug it in to make it work. And, it is a solution that you can use season-wide. The Sleep Number In Balance Mattress Cover retails between $229.99 for the extra long twin size and up to $329.99 for a king-size cover (Eastern or California). The Sleep Number In Balance Classic Pillow Protector sells for $27.99 for the classic size and $34.99 for the king size. While I find the prices to be a bit steep, I do have to balance that out with the fact that this is a year-long solution that I have tested to actually work. I am sleeping at a more regulated temperature and am not waking up wet with sweat. So in my case, the benefits of this type of solution are high. It’s easy to care for as well, you can machine wash them in a gentle cycle. And the installation is no different than making your bed, and you don’t have to change it every time you change your sheets.

EASY TO GEEK FACTOR – is the device easy to get up and running
FAMILY FRIENDLY – does the device fit well into family environments
RECOMMENDABILITY– would I recommend it to others (more means “yes”)
PRICE POINT – does the price reflect the product function
OVERALL – my general rating

Disclosure Text : I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. All opinions within this article are my own. More information can be found in my About page as well as here.  

HTD says: Want to sleep cooler and not wake up all sweaty but more rested? Give the Sleep Number In Balance product line a try!

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2 Responses

  1. I have fibromyalgia and this product sounds like a life changer for someone like me. I suffer from random fevers which I can control with medication. But if one of them comes on while I sleep I will wake up in a pool of sweat. Even without the fevers I struggle to maintain a constant body temperature. Thanks for sharing this, I really hope to try it out someday!

  2. I have to say we purchased this with we got our sleep number bed just a few months ago and I still overheat the material. I woke up soaked. I don’t know because of the cocoon affect the bed has at my sleep number and my lack of moving around now is basiclly causing heat soak. I’ve since taken the layer off but still having issues. Thinking about some type of water cooling pad for myself. Wife sleeps fine.

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Disclosure: This is a global disclosure for product review articles on HighTechDad. It does not apply to Automobile reviews and there are other exceptions. Therefore, it may or may not be applicable to this particular article. I may have a material connection because I may have received a sample of a product for consideration in preparing to review the product and write this or other content. I was/am not expected to return the item after my review period. All opinions within this and other articles are my own and are typically not subject to the editorial review from any 3rd party. Also, some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate” or “advertising” links. These may be automatically created or placed by me manually. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (sometimes but not necessarily the product or service being reviewed), I will receive a small affiliate or advertising commission. More information can be found on my About page.

About HighTechDad

Michael Sheehan (“HighTechDad”) is an avid technologist, writer, journalist, content marketer, blogger, tech influencer, social media pundit, loving husband and father of 3 beautiful girls living in the San Francisco Bay Area. This site covers technology, consumer electronics, Parent Tech, SmartHomes, cloud computing, gadgets, software, hardware, parenting “hacks,” and other tips & tricks.

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