As you know from my other articles NO mattress works for everyone. This mattress is currently making 90% of the thousands of people who are buying give it 5 stars.
This is the mattress I currently recommend BUT read this entire page and related pages before you rush out and buy. As you know from my other articles NO mattress works for everyone. The only mattress I ever recommend is the one that you can easily return. You just don’t know until you sleep on it a few weeks. Costco stopped carrying their tempurpedic/sleep number combo type mattress so I have had to find other ones to refer people to. If you want to look at the reviews, here it is. Also this affordable mattress is also worth looking at.
Boy has that been a load of study today!
I will start off by stating that the below is a summary of data uncovered on the Internet, and that I have limited experience actually laying on the mattresses discussed.
If you found this article by searching, I am a chiropractor with a crud load of experience and am very well connected to a lot of sharp people in the know.
For me I have always thought about mattresses as the firmer the better. As my body has reached where it is now, 43 years old, and 233 pounds, I have found my needs have changed somewhat. If a mattress is too hard, as my 14 year old Ikea mattress on a platform bed is, it begins to cut off circulation, and also cause painful pressure points. I must say that the Ikea mattress and slatted platform bed turned out to be great bargains that lasted a long time.
Chiropractic is practically a miracle cure for a lot of things, but your bed can muck up a lot of it when you sleep.
I will start off by saying that I never thought box springs were a good idea as you are using springs to try to create a flat hard surface. It appears that most of the bed manufacturers are starting to agree with my idea. So the below is all about the mattress, as we are going to buy a bed with a flat, hard platform on it.
I spent about 4 hours today reading up on the current bed situation. For years I have been reading promotional material from Temper Pedic and used their pillows, and have watched Lindsey Wagner talk about the Sleep Number bed from Select Comfort for I think about 10 years.
I like the Sleep Number concept because it sounds like the air bladder would never compress. It could pop right? But never be sorta half supportive, and half not.
One of my patients who is a very, very smart man and has been the head of many companies, and has a very stiff back, told me that he has really liked his Tempurpedic bed, but that it is harder to roll over while staying in one place. I have also heard that Temper Pedic beds tend to overheat people.
I on the other hand have loved my tempur pedic pillows. The only problem with the pillows is that after 6 months, mine totally loses its support and becomes worthless. I used to be able to return them to Sharper Image and get replacements, but the last time I went there they said they could no longer do that. The memory foam in the pillow rocks, and really improves my neck. In fact I even take it with me when I travel. It just looses its cush and gets soft and unsupportive starting at about month 3 or 4 after being new, needs to be replaced after 6 months, and if kept for a year like mine is now, is fairly worthless for support. I do still prefer my worn out one to a hotel pillow, but this weekend I will be replacing my pillow. So I kept this known compressibility of Temperpedic memory foam in mind during my search.
I started off at Consumer Reports website. I highly recommend this site, and for about $20 a year you can gather loads of information. To have accumulated the same amount of data as they had on mattresses would have cost me a hundred thousand dollars and taken a good year, so thanks Consumer Reports! They did some testing and came to the following conclusions.
1. Everyone is different.
2. If you lay on the mattress in your normal sleeping position at the store for 15 minutes and are happy, you will probably be happy after a month sleeping on the bed. Their actual study was a bit more complex than what I just said, so read it there if you want the details.
3. None of the Sleep Number, Tempur Pedic, or traditional mattresses are the best for everyone, so you need to do some more legwork yourself.
The Sleep Number concept always made sense to me. They say they have a 20 year warranty, (more to come on that) so since it is simply a big bag of air the only thing that could go wrong would be a leak, right? With a 20 year warranty I couldn’t see how I could go wrong. I also liked the fact that you can adjust the firmness.
I did a lot of Sleep Number Research today, and started the day off all ready to buy and spend around $2100 for the mattress without the frame. My wife has her heart set on a Crate and Barrel platform bed that takes a mattress on top, and that part is non-negotiable!
I read on many sites, and really kept an eye out for reviewers and posters history. Were they long time posters on a site, or had they just registered and posted, which is an indication of paid posters who work for a company and will write well or poorly about a product to help their company.
It seemed that some people just fell in love with their Sleep Number beds. There were also a surprising number of dissatisfied customers. I would say most of these appeared to be from people who did not do their due diligence before buying. So here is a list of downers for sleep number beds to watch out for. I am not saying they are true, but simply do your own research and know they may turn out to be problems.
1. Sleep number beds are basically a plastic base, one or two big air bags depending on the model, a piece of foam that separates the two air bags, and a cloth sack that holds the two air bags. The cloth sack can have foam or other fluffiness where you lay directly on it so you will not feel the air sacks under you. One writer stated that he felt the only difference between the $1000 model and the $4000 model was the thickness of the foam you lay on top of. Plain old foam can be purchased for around a hundred bucks or maybe slightly more. One guy said when he saw it laid out on the floor in front of him just before he assembled it, he could not believe he had just paid as much as he had for what he saw. That is marketing.
2. The old version of the air bags tended to get moldy according to more than one author. It appears that if you call the company they will send you replacement bladders. The new versions apparently do not get moldy.
3. If you get the split bed with one side having a separate air bag from the other side, there is a foam divider between the air bladders. Some people complained that if you lay on top of this foam divider you feel it sticking up into you. Also over time one person said it breaks down and loses its ability to support weight. Also there may be a problem if you have the pressure set to one of the firmer mattress settings, that people tend to roll into the center. If one person has a full air bag, and the other one at a lower setting, then one person may tend to roll down hill away from the center. To be fair, I would have to sleep on one to make total sense out of this.
3. The settings can change while you sleep on them. More than one person complained that they would set the sleep number to a certain number, then later in the night they would wake up in pain, check the number, and find out the air had drained out and the number changed. I don’t know if this was a compressor problem, a setting problem or an air leak problem.
4. The warranty. It is promoted as a 20 year warranty which is what orginally sold me. If you read the warranty on their site it says that it is a full on warranty for manufacturer defect for 2 years. Then the fun begins. After 2 years you have to pay the first 20% of the cost of the replacement part plus another 4% for each year from the original date of purchase. That means if you return a part 3 years after purchase, you have to pay 24% of the cost. That should probably cover the Sleep Numbers factory costs in my guesstimate. After owning it for 10 years, you are paying 60% of the retail cost of the replacement, and are getting 40% off. At that point it sounds more like a sale to me on the replacement parts, than a warranty.
They also say they do not cover “mattress cover compression, foam compression” and a few other things. As I said about my Temper Pedic pillow, and my previous experience with foam, the reason they do not cover this is probably because any support created by the foam is gone within a few years.
So my summary on the above, based only on reading, not on use, was that you are spending a few thousand dollars on a bed that you can really count on for maybe 3 or 4 years?
On to the Temper Pedic beds. The base model for the mattress only starts at $1600. It would be totally worth it except for the fact that based on my own foam experiment with my pillow, I know the Tempur Pedic pillow only lasts about 6 months. For years they have sent me promotional info with discount pricing for the mattress and I almost bit many times. The pilow is a great product. I am sure the mattress feels wonderful to sleep on, as it does at the Sharper Image stores, but what about compression of the foam and the associated loss of support?
On the Temper Pedic website it says they have a 10 year warranty but again it starts pro-rating after year 5. So you have an appartently killer warranty up to five years, and then you have to pay 50% of the cost in year 6, 60% in year 7 etc. But what does it cover? If it covered the fact that the mattress breaks down and gets soft and does not support as well, then sign me up. The exact wording for the key part is as follows,
“For warranty purposes, “defective” is defined as: … 2) an area of compression in excess of 1″ when compared with edge height when the mattress is placed on a solid, flat surface; or …”
If I read it correctly, it sounds like it means that you set the mattress on a flat surface and you check does it sag down more than 1″?
Well, I weigh 233 pounds, so me laying on it is very different than a mattress sitting on the floor with nothing on it. You can have a 6″ high block of jello, and a 6″ high block of steel with nothing on them, but just because the block of jello is not sagging does not mean that it will support me as well as the block of steel.
By the way if you are with Sleep Number or Tempur Pedic and want to correct any of the above I will give you an excellent way to do so at the end of this article.
So my opinion on the warranties is that they know what they are selling you and how long it will last. If a company knows their product will last a certain period and they are sure, then they can warranty the product for that long. If you start having prorated warranties, it gives me a pretty good idea of how long the product is expected to last. If you consider that many retail products are marked up 100% to 400% or more, then my guess is that they consider the products to last maybe 3 to 5 years? Just my opinion.
So what to do? The problem we were trying to get away from is that a traditional mattress only lasts 10 years tops, and maybe even less.
I have some good connections with a friend who is very well connected to the origins of Costco , so I have some inside dope on the subject. My understanding is that Costco simply takes the price they buy a product at and increase it by about 10%. This is why I have recommended a lot of people to buy diamonds from Costco if you need to buy an engagement ring. Compare the prices if you don’t believe me, as they are roughly the same as discount Internet diamond sellers but from a company you can trust.
I checked online at Costco and saw you could buy a good quality traditional mattress for around $750. So lets say that lasts you for 3 years. In that case you could get a new one every three years for 10 years, and it would cost about the same as a sleep number bed or a Temper Pedic. But what if you don’t like it? I just e-mailed Costco and am waiting for a response. From what I can read, if you don’t like it simply call Costco up and they will come pick it up if you bought it online. If you buy it from the store it appears they charge you a bit to come get it. I will blog about what they say back in their e-mail.
Then I really started laughing when I found on the Costco site a mattress which is a two sided air mattress style, with 3 inches on memory foam on top. It kinda sounds like Sleep Number and Tempur Pedic had a little romance, and this is their offspring. It may turn out to be the princess and the pea solution.
So if it works out, then it will be $750 for the best of both of the new luxury mattress solutions. And if it turns out to be a total piece of crud? Costco can come get it. If it only lasts a few years? then it is no different from the reviews of the big money mattresses, at a third of the cost.
Now to be fair to the big players Sleep Number and Temper Pedic.
If there is any data above that is incorrect, please just e-mail me the correct data with the supporting document and I will change it. Would you like me to have my tens of thousands of readers here the real story? If you really think that I will be so blown away by the product that I will think it is worth the $2000, or whatever the cost is, and that it will really last, then send one over. I will sleep on it for a month or two or however you would like to lend me one, and then I will write my results. Based on what I read though, I would not want to purchase one until I have seen what it could do for a few years to really see the durability.
By the way I think the next thing Consumer Reports needs is a longer study on the beds that goes at least a few years to test the durability.
So to any of the mattress manufacturers, if you want to prove it to me, then just send me an e-mail and I will be more than fair with you. Otherwise I will be picking out a mattress from Costco in the under $1000 range over the next few days and trying it out on our new platform bed from Crate and Barrel.
So correct me if I am wrong, and if you want me to test out your product and discuss it here send me an e-mail and we can discuss it.
Much Love and sweet dreams!