SH Sean Harding/blog
I have no Sleep Number
Thursday, November 16th, 2006

If you live in the United States, you’ve probably seen ads for the Select Comfort “Sleep Number bed.” The claim is that the bed’s firmness is completely adjustable, to give each person their own perfect mattress. The king mattress has independent adjustments for the left and right side, to accommodate couples with different preferences. You have a remote control-like device to adjust the firmness of the mattress, and the control shows a number representing the setting you’ve chosen. Select Comfort says that this number is your “Sleep Number.”

This all sounds reasonable enough, I suppose. Last year when we were looking for new beds and mattresses, Becky and I briefly stopped in the Select Comfort store in a local mall and checked them out. We weren’t terribly impressed, either by the product or the sales staff. We didn’t really stick around long enough to find our “Sleep Numbers.” I thought maybe I hadn’t given Select Comfort a fair trial, but I also didn’t feel compelled to go back.

This week, I’m staying at a Radisson hotel, and the rooms have Select Comfort beds. I have little choice but to give the bed a real test drive, since I’m here for six nights. So far, I’ve tried a wide range of settings, and I haven’t been able to find any that are even remotely acceptable. Yes, it ranges from firm to soft. The firmness isn’t the problem. The problem is that it feels like a cheap air mattress! That’s not very surprising, since it is an air mattress, albiet a very expensive one. They put some padding on top (the more you pay, the more padding you get), but it’s still just an air mattress. If I crank the firmness way up, it loses a bit of the “air mattress” feel, but then it’s far too firm to sleep on.

Suffice it to say, I haven’t been sleeping very well this week.

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