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Select Comfort Sleep Number 5000 Pillowtop

If you're looking for the best mattress to ease your back pain, a Sleep Number bed should be your first consideration. Users find them comfortable, and their adjustable firmness is widely considered a great feature. However, a fair number of owners report a hump or sag between the air chambers, mechanical problems and/or air-pump noise. Still, Sleep Number's owner-satisfaction rating on SleepLikeTheDead.com is higher than that for most mattresses overall, and at least 30 percent of users report improved sleep quality.

ProsAdjustable firmness on both sides, Isolates motion well, Long life span, Good warrantyConsCan develop mechanical issues, May be noisy

Breaking it down

Comfort

Owners love the adjustable firmness. According to SleepLikeTheDead.com, about 25 percent of owners say the Sleep Number bed has relieved or eliminated pain, especially back pain. In addition, thanks to its electric pump, users on either side of the bed can adjust the Sleep Number's air pressure up or down to find the best level of support for their individual needs, an important consideration for couples who share a bed and want to accommodate the needs of a partner with pain issues without sacrificing their own comfort. SleepLikeTheDead.com notes that sagging and other support issues are less common with airbeds than other types of mattresses.

Value

Somewhat pricey. At $1,000 to $5,000 for queen size, the Sleep Number line of air beds costs well above the average price paid for other mattress types. Even so, the top price is lower than that for competitive adjustable air mattresses intended for full time use. Sleep Number warranties its mattresses for 25 years, although coverage is prorated after the first two. In addition, the warranty does not cover compression or body impressions. The company offers a 100-day trial period, and dissatisfied users can return the bed for exchange or refund. However, shipping and setup costs aren't refundable, and owners must pay to ship the bed back.

Durability

Relatively long life span. Sleep Number mattresses last a long time, since nearly any problem with the bed can be fixed with a replacement part. This includes not only mechanical parts like air pumps but also fixed parts like foam toppers. On average, owners keep their Sleep Number beds about 10 years, although at least one in five say their beds have suffered from some type of durability problem, such as leaking air chambers or controller malfunctions.

Our Sources

1. SleepLikeTheDead.com

Sleep Number Bed Review, Ratings, Comparisons and Complaints, Editors of SleepLikeTheDead.com, April 18, 2016

The Sleep Number bed garners an overall satisfaction rating of 77 percent from more than 1,705 users whose comments are analyzed on SleepLikeTheDead.com. Owners like its comfort and adjustable firmness, but some complain of an uncomfortable bump or sag in the middle, as well as noisy pumps and mechanical problems.

2. ConsumerReports.org

Mattresses, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated

ConsumerReports.org tests several dozen mattresses, including innerspring, memory-foam and adjustable air models, on criteria that include durability, vibration, firmness and support. Manufacturer claims regarding firmness are also put to the test. Two Sleep Number mattresses are among those tested.

3. ConsumerReports.org

Sleep Number beds differ in price not performance, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Aug. 12, 2014

In this free to the public article, editors of ConsumerReports.org give an overview of testing done on two Sleep Number mattresses -- one quite a bit more expensive than the other. They find that the less expensive Sleep Number c2 bed performs just as well as the Sleep Number i8 mattress.