Today's infrastructure clouds provide resource elasticity (i.e. auto-scaling) mechanisms enabling self-adaptive resource provisioning to reflect variations in the load intensity over time. These mechanisms impact on the application performance, however, their effect in specific situations is hard to quantify and compare. To evaluate the quality of elasticity mechanisms provided by different platforms and configurations, respective metrics and benchmarks are required. Existing metrics for elasticity only consider the time required to provision and deprovision resources or the costs impact of adaptations. Existing benchmarks lack the capability to handle open workloads with realistic load intensity profiles and do not explicitly distinguish between the performance exhibited by the provisioned underlying resources, on the one hand, and the quality of the elasticity mechanisms themselves, on the other hand. In this paper, we propose reliable metrics for quantifying the timing aspects and accuracy of elasticity. Based on these metrics, we propose a novel approach for benchmarking the elasticity of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud platforms independent of the performance exhibited by the provisioned underlying resources. ... mehrWe show that the proposed metrics provide consistent ranking of elastic platforms on an ordinal scale. Finally, we present an extensive case study of real-world complexity demonstrating that the proposed approach is applicable in realistic scenarios and can cope with different levels of resource efficiency.