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Sleep Number Beds

10/17/10

  12:03:57 pm, by Nimble   , 1041 words  
Categories: Distractions, Reviews

Sleep Number Beds

We have been looking around for a more comfortable bed for a long time. We also stay up really late on occasions, so we are often drawn in by late-night infomercials.

You can hardly flip a channel in the wee hours without happening across bed commercials for Tempur-Pedic and Ultramatic and Sleep Number beds...

It pays to try things out, though. After seeing reams of late-night commercials for Tempur-Pedic mattresses, we happened upon one at a Brick. Since it was set up with a plastic foot guard for trying it out, we hopped on.

We were disappointed. It felt uneven in its support, firmer than we thought it was going to be and I know it may not be fair, but it felt like it didn't "breathe", and that was disconcerting. In short, it felt a lot like being on a sleeping bag on top of a foam roll when camping, but more 'professional'. I don't mean that in a good way.

So despite all the hype, we gave Tempur-Pedic a miss.

Now for our fifth anniversary, we had nothing in the way of plans; having a one-year-old and a three-year-old just do that to you!

On a whim, we decided that perhaps it might be fun to just take a day out of the ordinary and go try a Sleep Number bed. Not at a mattress dealership, but give it a good workout on our own with no sales pressure.

Radisson Hotels advertise that they have Sleep Number beds available. As for the Radisson in Calgary, we saw some of the rooms upstairs when we went to a convention one year and it seems like a bit of a hole.

The next nearest Radisson was out in Canmore, and since that is nearby to Banff for a possible fun next-day outing, that is where we decided to go. Since it was our anniversary, we decided to go for the king-size bed! Woo!

The Radisson out there was much nicer, thank goodness!

We had read on TripAdvisor that some people were having problems with the Sleep Number beds in their room, so we tested ours upon getting into the room.

My side worked fine. There was a big wired 'remote' that had up and down controls for left and right, and a small calculator-like display for the number. If you hold the "down" control, air goes out of the mattress and it gets softer.

Oddly, you don't get to find out what the number is as you are going along. It seems to figure out what the number should be a couple of seconds after you let go of the button and then tell you. The numbers go by five, sort of. They do list the possible numbers on a nearby manual at the hotel. It starts at 20 and goes up by fives or tens. I guess it is supposed to be just a reasonable approximation. Fair enough.

If you push the "up" control, the air compressor starts going. Now, it's not as bad as a hair dryer, but you certainly won't be able to increase your Sleep Number with any sort of stealth. If you have kids that are afraid of vacuum cleaners, they will probably be afraid of this, too, as we found out, albeit to a lesser extent.

Dena's side of the bed, however, was not working. The air compressor would go when you hit "up", but it did not seem to do anything, and hitting "down" seemed not to do anything, either. The "remote" display alternately came up with all sorts of improbable numbers (ones not in the stated range) or stayed exactly the same.

When I phoned it in, the hotel actually dispatched someone very quickly. He came in, tested it out, agreed it was an issue, gave a worried bit-lip frown and said he would be back shortly with a new compressor.

He came back fairly soon, and proceeded to peel back covers from the back of the mattress. Upon doing this, he discovered that the actual cause of the issue was a kinked hose. He was very grateful for that, because the compressor is apparently fairly problematic to change. This may have been just because it was located in the boxspring and the room was small, but he did not go into much more detail.

As for the actual sleep, well, it was interesting. We experimented with some of the settings, and both ended up preferring it a little softer. It made getting out of the bed a little bit more of an ordeal, but it was a little better for sleeping on your back.

I'm mostly a side-sleeper, however, and I started having some comfort issues pretty quickly. I was okay as long as I was perfectly balanced, but I would find myself started to twist to one side or the other upon any sort of moving.

Sleeping on your front, if you tried to shift yourself with your arms, you would get your arms sinking in while your legs and head got raised up.

You know what it reminded me of?

A slightly under-inflated camping air mattress.

To be fair, once you find the right spot, it can suddenly prove to be really comfortable, but it's adjustments in position that get you, so if you do have one of these, maybe pantloads of pillows and maybe being on top of a down comforter might help.

So the top two infomercially-pimped mattresses are essentially souped-up camping equipment. That's my take on it, anyhow.

The sleeping issues on top of what looks to be a fairly high degree of maintenance required means that we will probably give the Sleep Number bed a miss.

What they need is some fantastic combination of all these technologies. Maybe a set of individual pocket air cells that completely seal off and which can be inflated or deflated in a pattern and then topped with latex chunks and a pillow top. And spam.

We'll find something.

On a side note, our children did not let us sleep hardly at all - they went completely bug-nuts with staying awake and/or crying and/or "oh god, not the cot!".

I think we need an honest-to-goodness date night - or day - by way of recompense.

1 comment

Comment from: Suzanne T. Conroy [Visitor]
Suzanne T. Conroy

Well thats not pleasant at all. Too bad. Though these mattresses give comfort and relaxation and hotels should have all their beds with this! haha!

02/05/13 @ 22:23
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