Beginner's Mattress Buying Guide

Select Comfort Sleep Number Beds

The Product Line

Sleep Number Beds are basically air mattresses that have two separate air chambers. Each side of the bed is controlled individually by use of a remote control.

Raising the sleep number causes the bed to inflate with air, increasing the firmness. Lowering the sleep number deflates the bed, making the surface feel much softer.

There are nine different models contained in three different series of Sleep Number beds. The main differences between models are the quality of the fabric used, the type and amount of padding and the type of remote control.

Classic Series

For example, the Sleep Number Classic Series 3000 (now called the c2) is the least expensive model, the original in fact, and it has the most basic adjustable air-chamber design. It has virtually no cushioning in the comfort layer so you're basically sleeping on top of an air mattress covered with fabric.

It also has a very simple wired remote with no digital number display and only basic firmer and softer adjustments. Essentially, this mattress has no Sleep Number! We don't recommend this model and feel that most people will be disappointed with the lack of cushioning and the non digital control.

Then there's the c3 which is a very similar nine-inch plush style mattress with breathable knit and slightly more foam. It has a little more cushioning (still not enough in our opinion) and a digital wired remote. It's $350 more in the queen size. This is probably the lowest model worth considering if you're looking at Select Comfort mattresses. We're assuming that most people expect their Sleep Number beds to actually come with a Sleep Number...

Innovation Series

On the far end of the quality and cost spectrum is the Sleep Number Innovation Series 9000 (now called the i10). It's loaded with features such as the Belgian Damask quilted fabric, plush stitching, pillow top design and Outlast Platinum material that automatically adjusts to your body's temperature so you're never too hot or cold.

It's available with your choice of two inches of high quality memory foam or the company's Intralux comfort material in the top layer. Two additional layers of foam wrapped around the air chambers add further comfort along with a blend of rayon and cotton boucle that surrounds the mattress. It's 13 inches tall and comes with two wireless digital remotes.

Strangely, this is the only model that comes with two remotes. It appears that you're required to share one for all the other models if you don't want to shell out for another.

Now, this looks like a mighty fine bed, but it's quite a chunk of change ($4000 for a queen size) and is probably more than most people need.

Performance Series

The most popular series is the Sleep Number Performance Series 5000 (now called the p5) that falls in the middle of the Select Comfort beds. With an eleven inch pillow top and three different zones for supporting your body's curves, the overall feel and comfort is very close to what we think people would expect from one of these mattresses.

It comes with a digital wireless remote and is $1700 for a queen size. Most models are available in twin, twin long, double, full, queen, king and California king sizes. The cover on all models is washable.

Select Comfort Adjustable Bed

One of the most versatile products they offer is the Select Comfort adjustable bed. Not only can you control the firmness level but you can raise and lower various parts of it. You can elevate the head of the bed if you want to watch television or you can raise the other end to relieve pressure on your feet.

It also has a full body massage feature if you really want to pamper yourself. Of course, the adjustable base adds over $1000 to the price of the bed, making this one of their most expensive.

The company also has a special line of Sleep Number Beds just for motor homes. Their RV mattress is available with all the same features as their standard offerings.

Are They Worth The Money?

The Stanford University Medical Center, Sleep Disorders Center in Palo Alto, CA compared Sleep Number Beds to premium innerspring mattresses.

Results found that 87% of Sleep Number subjects spent more time in the deeper REM stages of sleep than those sleeping on a regular mattress. REM is considered the crucial phase of sleep for restoring the mind. It should be noted that the study was funded by Select Comfort.

Opinions vary as to the degree of comfort provided by the Sleep Number Series. But when 17,444 online subscribers of Consumer Reports were asked for their opinion it was in the top three choices for beds that provide good comfort, price and overall satisfaction.

This is the study that we'd consider the most reliable since it's well known that Consumer Reports is a completely independent nonprofit organization and accepts no money from advertising.

In individual Select Comfort reviews, most negative responses were reported by those who decided after just a few days that this bed was wrong for them. The more positive responses came from those who had tried their bed for at least one week.

The benefit of two separate firmness levels in Sleep Number beds is the most positive feature reported among couples because of the ability to control two different sides in one bed. This is what really sets the brand apart from others.

In closing, here's one last important fact to consider. Select Comfort widely advertises that you can try out their product for thirty days and return if not satisfied. What isn't mentioned, however, is that you will be responsible for the return shipping cost which can be quite expensive due to the bulk and weight. This may be reason enough to visit a store instead of purchasing online.

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Sweet Dreams

In celebration of the premier of our new Facebook page we'd like to introduce a monthly mattress review contest!

Whoever writes the best review each month will win a $25 Amazon gift card.

Check out the rules and specifics at our Consumer Mattress Reviews page.

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