Pros: Fair price, adjustable, 20-year warranty, great back support, comfortable pillowtop, quality construction
Cons: Zipper not convenient, noisy pump
My wife and I enjoyed sleeping on our softside waterbed for nearly 20 years. But, some parts were in need of replacement and the manufacturer had gone out of business years before. Parts were no longer available. So, we decided to go shopping for a new bed. We both felt that if we were going to spend the money for a new bed that would hopefully last another 15 to 20 years, it needed to be one with good back support. We therefore ruled out getting another waterbed.
After watching a Select Comfort infomercial, I was immediately attracted to the concept of an adjustable air mattress bed. But, my wife was skeptical, mainly because she heard they were very expensive.
Neither of us wanted to go the memory foam route, as we had heard from various owners that those mattresses hold in the heat and can make you feel uncomfortably warm. They also are very expensive, very heavy to move and some owners complain of difficulty turning over in bed because the mattress conforms to your body countour.
All these thoughts resulted in us shopping around for a traditional innerspring mattress and foundation. We found them to be rather pricey, although in the store, most felt very comfortable. But, I had some concerns about going to an innerspring mattress after sleeping on a waterbed for 20 years.
I talked my wife into going to a Select Comfort store in a nearby mall. We had the same experience reported by many others in Epinions -- we received their standard sales pitch and tried out several different beds, following the salesperson's instructions. However, the salespeople were friendly enough and didn't seem to pressuring us like others have reported. Yes, the beds were very comfortable, but the prices were pretty steep.
So, I started looking on the Internet to see if anyone else makes a bed similar to Select Comfort. That's when I found out about Comfortaire. After reading a bunch of reviews of the Comfortaire Cerulean on Epinions' site, I was convinced that we should at least try one of these beds out. My wife agreed and we do not regret this decision.
I called Richard at NationwideMattress.com and ordered the King Cerulean. Placing the order was easy and painless. Richard told me the bed would arrive in 10 to 14 days, and that the "bonus" sheets, mattress pad and pillows would take 3 to 4 weeks. The bed arrived in 2 large, well-packed boxes in about 7 days. Through UPS tracking, we were able to know the exact day the bed would be delivered.
I was able to set it up myself in about 1 hour. This was very easy to do, although I have 2 minor complaints about the set-up process that you may have read in other reviews: (1) The zipper to attach the pillowtop to the bottom starts and stops at the top of the bed. This is not very convenient, as it's difficult to zip these pieces together while you are laying or kneeling on the mattress. And, you almost have to do this while on the mattress unless you have very long arms or the head of the bed is not against a wall. Comfortaire should consider improving upon this design. (2) To connect the hoses to the pump unit was a bit of a challenge, as the hoses were rather short, requiring this task to be done while the pump unit was underneath the bed. Another foot added to each hose would allow this task to be done beside the bed, which would have been much easier.
One other fact I will mention is that there was a 2-inch thick layer of white foam that was not shown on the instructions. I wasn't sure where this was supposed to go. I found out through a call to Richard that Comfortaire just recently started including this foam with this particular bed. Supposedly, the depth of the air bladders has been cut down slightly and the foam is to make up for this difference. Comfortaire is trying this out to address some complaints of hammocking. Richard told me this piece of foam is to go on the bottom, below the air bladders, but that the instructions have not yet been updated with this change. Not a big deal, but a note enclosed with the instructions explaining this would have been a good idea.
We've been sleeping on this bed now for over a month, and both of us really like it. It provides great support and of course, both sides are independently adjustable. Have experienced no hammocking. We love the pillowtop.
The pump is rather noisy, but we rarely use it. We can't see spending another $400 just for a quieter pump and to have the "sleep numbers" display. Once we inflated the bed to a level that was comfortable to each of us, we have seldom turned the pump on to make any changes. If you hit the "fill" button on the control, the pump will run continuously for a period of time (about 2 minutes), even though the air bladder may already be full. Richard said the pump is on a timer when you hit this button. The air bladder will NOT overinflate when you do this, but you will likely want to release some air before sleeping on it so it is not hard as a board.
The sheets, mattress pad and pillows arrived about 3 weeks after the order was placed. One thing we miss about our waterbed is the heater that took the chill off the bed in cool weather. So, we bought a heated mattress pad with dual controls for the new bed. This works great! We've not used the new mattress pad or sheets yet, but they seem adequate. Not top quality, but very serviceable.
All in all, we love this bed and are very happy with our decision to make this purchase. It should last much longer than an innerspring mattress and saved us several hundred dollars over a similar Select Comfort mattress. We were able to use the foundation from our softside waterbed, so that saved a few bucks, too. I do wonder how long the foam sides will last, so I inquired about replacement parts. It sounds like if they need replacing, the cost should be pretty reasonable.
If you are shopping for a new bed, I certainly would recommend considering the Comfortaire Cerulean and NationwideMattress.com. Other than the phone call to Richard to inquire about the "extra" layer of foam, we have had no reason to contact NationwideMattress.com for customer service.