Thursday, July 31, 2008

What the Sleep Number Salesman Won't Tell You

<-----The Culprits

Something that people in pain have in common? We're always, always, looking for the perfect mattress. We think that if we find that perfect mattress, we will sleep pain-free and wake up refreshed! Bah!

I've had a Sleep Number bed for about a year-and-a-half now, ever since we moved into our present home. I did my research on it, you can be sure. First, I read all the reviews. Sure, there were some detractors, but they were mostly men who were less-than-impressed by the construction of the bed. I read nothing like the story I'm about to tell you.

My mother-in-law has one and loves it. My sister has one and hates traveling because she misses her bed. Everyone raved about these beds, and the salesman was quite persuasive. He nearly had us talked into the $5000 package with the big king-sized bed that had the adjustable platform on both sides (think Craftmatic), the super plush pillow-top, and his & hers controls. We were this close. And then we backed out. That was too much money to spend on a bed, we reasoned (rightfully so), especially on something that we were on the fence about (the Sleep Number story). After all - trying it in the store isn't the same as trying it for several nights in a row.

I mean, sure they say you have 30 days to return it (for a restocking fee) if you don't like it, but who does that with a bed? It's like returning a refrigerator. You already have all your stuff in it, and the old one has been hauled away. No one wants to be sitting there stuck without a refrigerator or a bed!

Eventually, we did take the plunge into the world of the fancy air mattress, but for a much cheaper model that was on QVC (which is also where my MIL bought hers). Soon, we received a couple of very large boxes in the UPS, which contained our bed. When we moved into our new home, our queen-sized extra-plush-super-pillow-top bed went to our son, the Giant. He had been hanging off his full-sized bed, which was never meant to hold anyone of his great height. Rather than seeing him continue to sleep diagonally, we gave him our bed and set up the Sleep Number bed in our new room.

The hubby had as much fun as a Dad on Christmas. There was swearing and kicking and voila! eventually a finished product. This bed sits on a super-deluxe, heavy duty plastic frame. There is no box spring, and the mattress is a conglomeration of soft parts. The sides of the mattress are made "firm" with super-deluxe pieces of thick foam rubber "guaranteed!" to hold their shape as long as you don't sit on the side of the bed too much. The innards of the mattress consist of air sacs that attach to a pump. We share a single controller that has separate pumps for each side so that we can each set our Sleep Number firmness. Nice, right?

Well, in theory, and if you don't have bulldogs, this might all work out. Seriously. When the dogs aren't on the bed, it's not too bad, (but I still wake up stiff in the morning). You see, when you add a 50- or 60-lb dog to the foot of your side of the bed, well - did you take science class? Remember the little experiments that demonstrated water displacement? Air mattresses work the same way. That air has to go somewhere. It goes right under your back!!!


I end up sleeping on a lump of air all night long, not realizing it because I'm sleeping. Sometimes, they both decide to come to my side of the bed, and I end up (instead of the set pressure of 40) with 110 pounds of dog displacing the air and putting it (you guessed it) right under my back!

You say there's a solution? Make the dogs sleep on the floor? You don't know my dogs. Many nights, Bodhi sleeps in the crate, but Lily never has. She's a big, spoiled-rotten baby and will sleep nowhere but with us. If we try anything less than that, she stands at one side of the bed or the other, doing her best sad-puppy-eyes and clucks. Yeah, she clucks like a strangled hen. It comes out something like awh-awh-awh-awh-BWAAAAAH! Meaning, "move the hell over, I'm not sleeping on the floor!"

When we went to Florida in February for our anniversary and again in June for Uncle Skip's funeral, we slept great. No displaced air. No clucking. Just peaceful sleep.

Despite the amount of money we paid for this bed and how much it's going to cost to get another one, hubby actually looked at me last night and said the magic words, "I see a new mattress in our future." It's hurting his back, too. I'm not happy about that part, but I am happy that we're going to start shopping around for a new set. YAY!

And when I sell this one for a nominal cost? I'm going to make sure to give full disclosure. Don't buy this bed if you have dogs that weigh more than 10 lbs. It just ain't gonna work.

Peace - D


San said...

A good night of sleep makes such a difference. I don't know what I'd do if our dog Trudy crawled on our bed. Her barking at the coyotes is disturbance enough. Truth be told, I sleep through that. It's my husband who reports her midnight wake-up calls.

Anji said...

I just passed by via Doris Mash. I really like the way you write. We have a king sized bed now which is still too small. I had a special matress for my back years ago which was really good. Unfortunately every time I turned it over or round it was so heavy - I hurt my back again.

Daryl said...

Thankfully both cats combined dont come close to the weight of one bulldog .. but they both like to get into bed and sleep with us ... and heaven help you if an arm or leg is uncovered .. Rose feels the need to lick it til you either push her off the bed (she'll come back trust me her feelings are not easily hurt) or you pull the covers up higher


RiverPoet said...

San - The next dogs, if there are any next dogs, will not be sleeping in the bed. I'm tired of losing my blankets to a snuggling bulldog!

Anji - Thanks for stopping by. I went to your blog, but I see you have several. I'll try to check them all out.

Daryl - Yes, cats are MUCH lighter. I have a little grey baby that sleeps by my head. She doesn't lick my exposed limbs, but she does occasionally sink her claws in if I'm moving around too much. I sleep much better in hotels! LOL

Peace - D

Not Afraid to Use It said...

I don't know what we are going to do when our mattresses give out. We brought them from Sweden with us and hate hate hate how American mattresses are made. (Did I mention I hated American mattresses?) I know we will have a Tempurpedic in our future. Even if we have to ship it from Sweden.