The Sleep Number bed by Select Comfort is a mattress that owners seem to either love or hate. The majority of users say it relieves pain, improves sleep quality and lasts a long time. However, a significant minority sat the bed's drawbacks outweigh its advantages. These problems include a hump or sag between the air chambers, mechanical problems, noise from the air pump, increased pain and poor customer service.
Owners love the adjustable firmness. With an electric pump, users can adjust the Sleep Number's air pressure up or down to any of 100 firmness settings to find the best level of support for their needs. Dialing up the firmness can make the bed easier to move on and get out of, a useful feature for those who are heavy, injured or pregnant. At least one in five owners say this bed has relieved or even eliminated their chronic pain and improved their sleep quality. On the other hand, at least one in 10 say the bed has actually caused or worsened their pain. One reason is that Sleep Number mattresses may lose air during the night, reducing comfort and support.
For couples sharing a bed, Sleep Number has both pros and cons. The biggest plus is that the air pressure can be adjusted independently on each side. However, the middle of the bed often develops either a hump or a trench between the air chambers and the sides may start to slope inward, making the bed less comfortable for sex. Sleep Number beds isolate motion well, so restless partners are less likely to wake each other. Yet about one in 10 owners report that the supposedly "whisper quiet" air pump is noisy enough to wake a sleeping partner.
Pricey. Sleep Number mattresses aren't cheap. At $1,000 to $3,900 for a queen set, they cost well above the average price paid for other mattress types. Even so, they still cost less on average than Comfortaire, the top-rated brand of air mattress.
A bigger problem is Select Comfort's warranty and returns service. Sleep Number beds have a 45-day trial period, and users who don't like the bed can return it for an exchange or refund. However, the cost of shipping and setup aren't refundable, and owners must pay to ship the bed back to the manufacturer. This isn't nearly as good as the 60-day trial offered by Comfortaire, which includes return shipping costs.
Select Comfort's warranty is weak, as well. Although the bed is covered for 20 years, coverage is prorated after the first two, with the customer paying at least 20 percent of all repair costs. There's also no coverage for compression of the foam mattress topper.
Long-lasting, but prone to problems. 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, but many will experience a problem of some kind during that time. At least one in five say their beds have suffered from problems such as leaking air chambers, broken pumps or controller malfunctions. Another 10 percent say either the foam topper or padding has started to sag, a problem that isn't covered under warranty.
There has been a lot of publicity in the past about mold problems in Sleep Number beds, and it was even the focus of a class-action lawsuit in 2008. However, the lawsuit has been dismissed and data collected at SleepLikeTheDead.com indicates that mold problems in Sleep Number beds are actually very rare. No more than 3 percent of owners notice mold growth, and fewer still have had problems because of it. In nearly 600 reviews of Sleep Number beds at Viewpoints.com, fewer than a dozen report mold problems, and more than half of those say a call to customer service got all damaged parts replaced right away.
Review Credibility: Excellent This site compiles information about mattress satisfaction from more than 16,000 owner posts. Editors analyze mattress reviews in great detail, comparing customer ratings for each brand on criteria such as comfort, affordability and durability. Sleep Number by Select Comfort gets an overall satisfaction rating of 78 percent based on 1,641 reviews. While many owners love this bed's comfort and adjustable firmness, others dislike it strongly. Their complaints include an uncomfortable bump or sag in the middle, air loss, noisy air pumps, breakdowns, high price and subpar warranty coverage.
Review: Sleep Number Bed (Select Comfort Mattress), Editors of SleepLikeTheDead.com, March 1, 2013
Review Credibility: Good There are about 600 owner reviews here for Sleep Number by Select Comfort, which gets an overall approval rating of 72 percent. Another 250-plus critiques for specific Sleep Number models on a separate page post average ratings of about 78 percent. Owners give this mattress good but not great scores for comfort, durability, firmness and support. Positive comments say the mattress is comfortable and customer service is good; negative feedback complains about mold, sagging or sloping, breakdowns and the high cost of returns.
Review: Sleep Number Mattresses Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of April 2013