There are a large number of positive reviews of the sleep number bed from satisfied customers.
While smaller in number, there are also a notable amount of negative reviews of the product.
Perhaps because of this overwhelmingly positive view, other consumers have been tempted to buy one of these beds for themselves.
You may be wondering, however, what exactly is the upside of this type of bed?
Why has it gained such popularity in the last few years? Are the problems noted in the negative reviews significant? Is this type of bed the right choice for me?
Main Advantages of a Sleep Number Bed
Advantage #1: The Adjustability
This probably seems obvious, as it’s the main selling point of the bed. Air pumps, along with sealed air chambers, on each side of the bed allows the user to adjust how soft or firm the mattress is. This is a huge advantage, because it allows a couple to adjust their side differently, and also allows you to change the firmness should something warrant a change.
Advantage #2: Reduction of Pressure Points
Roughly 20% of Sleep Number owners report a reduction in pain that they used to feel in the mornings when using a standard bed. According to these consumers, reduced pain is felt mostly in the upper and lower back, shoulders, and other joints, like the hips or knees.
Advantage #3: Allergy Free
Since the sleep number bed’s core is an air mattress, it has much less fabric-based material within it to trap allergens. Additionally, the modular nature of it’s construction, as well as the “zip open” cover mean that you can open the mattress to vacuum it. Together, the much lower volume of allergen-trapping fabric, and the ability to clean the mattress contribute to an improved product for allergy sufferers.
Advantage #4: Portability and Ease of Movement
The Sleep Number bed is a modular system that is built with separate parts, like the cover that can be zipped off, and air chambers that can be fully deflated. Additionally, since the mattress “padding” is air, rather than foam, metal springs, or padding, it is extremely light. These features mean that the bed is easy to move around if you are redecorating, easier to move to a new house, and also cheaper to ship if you need to do so.
Advantage #5: Isolation between partners
Somewhat similar to a memory-foam bed, but accomplished in a different way…the sleep number bed does not transfer motion between the left and right hand side of the bed. Because of this, you won’t wake your partner up, or otherwise disturbe them if you move around, or get out of bed.
Advantage #6: A more restful sleep, with less tossing and turning
Because the sleep number bed offers a more even distribution of weight, with fewer pressure points, most owners report more restful sleep, with sharply reduced occurances of tossing and turning. Many report waking up in a more alert state, and are more ready to start their day.
While not scientifically proven, the theory is that fewer pressure points reducesemi-conscious turning, which results in a longer period of REM, or rapid eye movement sleep. REM sleep is the deeper portion of your sleep time that is commonly believed to provide the bulk of the resorative benefits of sleep.
Advantage #7: Pregnant or Overweight Owners:
Pregnant women tend to prefer the Sleep Number bed more than other mattresses due the ease of adjustment and high level of support. Because their bodies are changing month to month, and sometimes week to week, the ability to adjust the firmness with a simple dial is something other mattresses don’t offer. While their bodies may not be changing as frequently, owners that are overweight also appreciate the adjustability that can accomodate different sleeping positions.
Also be sure to read our article summarizing the disadvantages of the Sleep Number Bed.
Sleep Number Build Quality
The mattress in a sleep Number bed is built from two distinct air chambers, as opposed to a traditional mattress that uses traditional metal coils and springs to provide the primary support for your body.
This unique design, according to the manufacturer, allows the bed to provide better cushion and comfort, less transfer of movement between two people, as well as settings that are easily customizable to each person’s needs and preferences.
Sleep Number beds are developed and patented by Select Comfort, a U.S.-based manufacturer that not only specializes in the production of these unique mattresses, but also the development of optional accessories that complement this product. By making use of the ideal “Sleep Number” setting, a personalized numerical setting from zero to 100, the idea is that one can ensure maximum comfort and a great night’s sleep. This number generally represents the mattress firmness and comfort level, based on the level of support your body needs.
This seems to the main crux of their marketing campaigns, with the mantra being “What’s your Sleep Number?”
Medical Conditions That Can Improve With The Sleep Number Mattress
Sleep Issues that may improve with a Sleep Number Bed
There are many disorders and conditions that can interfere with proper sleep and cause increased fatigue.
A Sleep Number Bed may help with many of these issues, since they promote a more even distribution of body weight, allowing you to sleep more comfortably.
The following is a list of the most common. If you have these symptoms, you should consult your primary physician.
Insomnia: Can include difficulty falling asleep, waking during the night, waking too early or not waking refreshed. Some of the causes are behavioral or psychological; however, there are a variety of reasons for this condition.
Sleep apnea: Can include excessive snoring or disruptions in breathing. During sleep, the muscles in the throat become more relaxed. In obstructive sleep apnea, the person’s airway collapses, restricting air flow. In relatively rare conditions, it’s the result of the brain failing to properly signal the muscles which affect breathing. Depending on the cause of the disorder, treatment may involve behavioral modification or special equipment to help regulate the sleeper’s air flow at night.
Restless Legs Syndrome: Symptoms can include unpleasant or painful feelings in legs and arms, interfering with restful sleep. Some causes include excessive caffeine intake or prolonged inactivity, but often these are a secondary symptom of other medical conditions like diabetes, anemia or pregnancy.
Narcolepsy: Symptoms can include excessive drowsiness and a tendency to fall asleep at inappropriate times. The cause of this disorder is still unknown, but it typically afflicts teenagers and young adults. While no cure is known, there are several treatment options available to alleviate symptoms.
Fibromyalgia (FMS): Thought to be caused by a chemical dysfunction within the brain, causing widespread muscle pain and fatigue. It produces pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons – the fibrous tissues in the body. This pain can vary in severity from day to day, but it can and does interfere with the performance of even simple, everyday tasks. It is estimated that more than 6 million Americans suffer from FMS. Over 80% of FMS sufferers are women of all ages and ethnicities.
The exact cause of FMS is unknown and currently there is no known cure. Sleep disturbances are common with FMS, and traditional treatments are geared toward improving the quality of sleep as well as reducing pain.1
Arthritis: Arthritis is a chronic disease of the joints, distinguished by painful inflammation. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterized by the same type of chronic pain in joints, muscles and tendons, but without inflammation.
1 These statistics are based on information available from the Oregon Health Sciences University in conjunction with the National Fibromyalgia Research Association.
Selected Reviews from Satisfied Customers
First of all, the mattress can support two different firmness settings, one for each side of the bed. Select Comfort claims that there is no “one size fits all” in sleep support and comfort, which is the reason why these beds can accommodate a maximum of two users needs and settings at the same time, something a regular mattress definitely could not provide.
Because the bed’s settings can be adjusted at any time, you are able to change the bed as your preferences or needs change. This feature potentially cuts some of the gap between the relatively high price of the bed as compared to a regular innerspring mattress. You might avoid purchasing two different mattresses because of a life change such as weight loss or gain, pregnancy, back problems, etc.
Some chiropractors have also lauded the merits of using a Sleep Number bed. As people grow older, many will develop aches and pains in various parts the body. These aches and pains, according to the manufacturer, can sometimes be relieved by the bed’s unique support and design. While that claim can’t really be proven, studies do show that a good night’s sleep does wonders for one’s psychological and physical well-being. Waking up refreshed, without the hint of pain, is always ideal for anyone of any age.
The Sleep Number bed may also be beneficial for pregnant women. With the numerous body changes plus the burden of carrying that additional weight, many pregnant women find it very hard to locate a comfortable sleeping position. This can lead to annoying tossing, turning and perhaps sleepless nights. The mother-to-be can simply adjust the settings until she finds a suitable and comfortable number.
Recreational Vehicle owners seem to be particularly excited about the bed. Since the bed arrives from the factory deflated, they are able to install the bed into their RV without the hassle and bulk of a traditional bed. They can also easily deflate and move the bed if needed, or adjust the firmness based on whether the vehicle in moving, stationary, level or not level, etc.
Some have reported a few Sleep Number bed problems, including some consumers claiming that the felt like sleeping on a balloon, the material was too hot, the seam between the chambers was uncomfortable, etc. Do keep in mind that most popular mattress brands also have a fair number of negative reviews. A September 2014 survey conducted by sleeplikethedead.com, showed that that majority of Sleep Number bed consumers (around 78%) were quite satisfied with the product. That said, some of the points in the review may be worth noting, so do take note.
This bed is truly a different product, combining a unique idea with good quality and function. Try one now and you may feel the differences that other owners have noted. Because the bed is such a different design, and also because of the relatively high cost of any specialty bed, we do recommend that you carefully read our articles that cover both the advantages and disadvantages of the sleep number bed. It may also be a good idea to spend an afternoon in one of their showrooms and try the bed out.