What is a Sleep Number Bed?

A Sleep Number Bed is the brand air mattress bed made by Select Comfort. There are several other similar air mattress type beds made by other companies. The beds are a series of air chambers with a foam pad on top and enclosed in a cover. Either a single or double chamber can be purchased. The bed is fitted with an air pump that adjusts the firmness of the bed with the touch of a button on an attached control.



There are several advantages to this type of bed. First, if your back and joint problems are changing, you can adjust the firmness of the bed until you find a comfortable fit. A shared bed can also be adjusted on each side, if you have a dual chamber bed. This will allow partners to share a bed, and each be satisfied with the level of firmness. The separate chambers also eliminate disturbances made by a partner’s motion.


While, these advantages may seem appealing, there are many areas of concern that need to be addressed before purchasing an air mattress type bed. Many customer ratings websites, including Consumer Affairs, contain complaints siting mold, loss of air and poor costumer service. Because the plastic used to create the air chambers traps moisture, the air bed has potential to be a breeding ground for dangerous mold. Select Comfort claims that as of 2005 the product is made to be mold resistant, however there still seem to be some customer complaints of mold. It is also possible for the air chambers to spring small leaks and lose air and therefore shape over time. Many complaints included experiencing a dip in the center after a few years of use.  Other complaints report that the company was slow to replace or repair the mattress when a problem arose.

Smart Shopping

If you decide to purchase an air mattress, there are a few precautions you can take to ensure the best possible experience with your product. First, make sure the company guarantees against mold and note how they will carry out that guarantee if mold is found. Also, make sure you are aware of any return processes in the event that you are unsatisfied with the bed. Know how much time you have to make a return, and if you will need to pay any shipping or processing fees.  Last, be aware of any other product guarantees. Find out the expected life span of the mattress, how any worn or damaged pieces be can replaced and who pays the bill (you or the company).  An air mattress has the potential to be a comfortable bed, as long as you are a wise buyer!


Photo “Sweet Sweet Slumber” courtesy of Vox Efx

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