First of all, I'd like to mention that I am a Doctor of Chiropractic having graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa in 1987. I am very much experienced in the care of the human body after having been a health care provider for more than 18 years. I also know about my own aches and pains and what causes them.
I have had a lot of mattresses through the years. I believe that maintaining good spinal alignment is an absolute necessity not only for a good night's sleep but for a person's overall good health. I personally know one of the owners and founder of a well known national brand mattress company. He has told me that the real useful lifetime of a mattress is seven years. Even if you buy a 30 year guaranteed mattress... the useful life is seven years. The useful lifetime of the mattress may become shortened for various reasons. One of these is if the users of the mattress are larger than the average person. I happen to fall into that category so I find my mattresses need to be replaced more often.
The whole concept of an adjustable mattress sounded very intriguing to me. It would be possible for both my wife and I to have the perfect combination of support and comfort. The Select Comfort Sleep Number 5000 in the Queen size was what I chose.
Just as probably thousands of others have done, I called the 800 number from a TV ad for these mattresses and requested a brochure and DVD. I looked it over and watched the DVD and then filed it all away. I wasn't quite ready to change mattresses at the time. We recently received a special sale flyer in the mail showing several models of the Sleep Number beds at drastically reduced prices. The mattresses were either used for display or were refused when shipped. So, they were called "factory refurbished" and each one would have a brand new cover. Instead of nearly $2000.00 for the Sleep Number 5000 I could buy one for $849.00 plus tax and shipping. So, for about $975.00, I ordered out the new mattress.
I was told when I placed the order that it would be approximately 2 to 3 weeks before it would arrive. It would be shipped via UPS and would arrive in two large boxes. It arrived only TWO DAYS later. I suppose being that I live within 300 miles of the factory outlet store that is the reason for such fast service.
My previous mattress was a King Koil and was only about two years old. The low profile foundation for that mattress is in perfect condition and fits in our four poster bed just fine. I decided not to buy the Select Comfort foundation for that reason. Also, that I had read on ePinions.com that the foundation they sell is a bunch of plastic parts that need to be assembled. Being a heavy individual, I decided not to tempt fate more than necessary.
The Sleep Number mattress arrived in two large boxes just as I was told. There is a quilted mattress cover with a pillow top that is removable by a zipper. The other components are four pieces of foam to form the outside edge walls, four plastic pieces to hold the foam in place in the corners, a piece of foam to go on the bottom, one for the top, and a strip of foam to go in between the two air chambers, and the two air chambers. There is also an air pump unit with two hoses and a remote control for the unit.
My first impressions were that I had paid way too much money for what I'm now looking at in the boxes. I also thought that I was lucky I hadn't paid the full price. But, I was bound and determined to give this mattress a good try no matter how much it looks like I'd been taken on the deal.
Setup went very easily. The instruction manual guides the assembly step by step. A person without many skills in assembling things could probably do it in about 30 minutes or so. I installed the Sleep Number 5000 on a custom built low profile solid foundation made especially for a high 4-poster bed. It was much more rigid and of higher quality than the plastic foundation that Select Comfort sells. (Select Comfort does not require you to purchase their plastic assemble-it-yourself foundation.)
It is necessary to air the air chambers up in order to make the mattress appear to be like most others. By that I mean a flat top and sides. At this point it is time to find your "Sleep Number". They also provide detailed instructions on how each person should find this ideal pressure setting. You should lay on the bed and adjust the pressure to 50 and then go up and down a little until the perfect comfort setting is found. Mine was 45 and my wife's was 50. But, being that I am much larger than my wife, those similar numbers meant that I would lay in about twice the depth of a depression than my wife.
I quickly found that it was difficult for me to get out of the bed. I would have to get out of a hole and up and over the sidewall to get up. I then found it easier if I would air the chamber up enough to make it hard (about 85) and then I could get out a lot better. My wife would then have to fight to keep from rolling into the hole I just left beside her.
We tried setting both sides to 50 with us laying on the bed as instructed. When we got up and then checked the pressure my side would be at 5 and my wife's at 10. It takes about a setting of at least 20 to keep the top of the bed looking nice.
I also found that it was a mistake that I had gotten the single wireless remote control. It would be must better if each person had a remote control and then they could fiddle with the settings all night long. Which is just about what we ended up doing.
Each air chamber (rubberized cloth air mattress) is about 24 inches wide. I always felt like I was in a balancing act when I wanted to turn over. It also seemed like I was laying on a bubble. If I would lay more to one side of the chamber the other side would balloon upwards. It felt very unstable. Also, the support for the spine was poor. It may be true that more of your body is in contact with the mattress but it doesn't have any way of supporting the spine, especially when laying on your side. It's a lot like a combination of a hammock and a camping air mattress. Certainly not what you would want to spend the greater part of many years on.
So, in conclusion, I have to say in my experience that this mattress is certainly nothing I would ever want to have again. I put it up on eBay to sell it as the factory outlet store won't take it back. All sales being final. It has poor support for the spine. It is very cheaply made. The normal sale price of nearly $2000.00 is about ten times what this mattress is probably really worth. It might be good for a spare bedroom. Especially if you never want to see your guests ever again.
Don't buy one. They are a complete joke and a waste of time and money. I just bought a new Simmons Beautyrest queen set today with the visco foam pillowtop. Now that's a mattress!
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