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14yo Sleep Number - should we replace bed or just parts? 08 Aug 2014 09:41 #1

I have a 14 year old sleep number bed. Chambers work fine. Air pump seems ok, but we just can't get comfortable. My chiropractor recommended just replacing the foam over the air chambers and the mattress top (that zips on). is that an good alternative in your opinion? I've done a little looking and I'm not sure where to even look for a new mattress top (we have a king size). My chiro's thought is that the mattress top and foam have broken down.

We are both 200+ pounds and have back problems. I'm a back sleeper with a flat pillow and towel under my neck to keep my neck aligned. We both have lower back and hip issues. We do have a Denver Mattress Company here in Wichita, Kansas, so we could look at a new bed. Definitely want something that keeps the spin aligned when sleeping on the back.

Any suggestions? Thank you.!

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14yo Sleep Number - should we replace bed or just parts? 08 Aug 2014 10:44 #2

Hi french2s,

I have a 14 year old sleep number bed. Chambers work fine. Air pump seems ok, but we just can't get comfortable. My chiropractor recommended just replacing the foam over the air chambers and the mattress top (that zips on). is that an good alternative in your opinion? I've done a little looking and I'm not sure where to even look for a new mattress top (we have a king size). My chiro's thought is that the mattress top and foam have broken down.


You can see some of my thoughts about airbeds in this article but if you were sleeping well on your mattress for the first few years then it's very likely that the polyfoam in the comfort layers have softened and broken down and replacing them could make a significant difference. The upper layers of a mattress are usually the "weak link" of the mattress in terms of durability. The "trick" will be to find the right type and firmness of material to replace the polyfoam that is currently in your mattress so the mattress is a good match for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) and this may take some trial and error but if it works out well then it would save you a significant amount compared to buying a completely new mattress.

There are some sources in the component post here where you can buy polyfoam layers in any size, grade (density), thickness, and firmness level and most cities also have foam shops where you can buy layers of polyfoam in the same size and thickness as the layers in your mattress that would give you the chance to test the firmness of the layer which may improve your odds of making the best possible choice. I would make sure that you use a minimum of 1.8 lb polyfoam and higher density would be more durable yet (the polyfoam in your mattress was probably less than 1.8 lbs).

We are both 200+ pounds and have back problems. I'm a back sleeper with a flat pillow and towel under my neck to keep my neck aligned. We both have lower back and hip issues. We do have a Denver Mattress Company here in Wichita, Kansas, so we could look at a new bed. Definitely want something that keeps the spin aligned when sleeping on the back.


If you do decide to look for a brand new mattress then I would start with the tutorial here which has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choices ... and know how and why to avoid the worst ones.

The better options and possibilities I'm aware of in the Wichita area are listed in post #4 here and Denver mattress would certainly be one of the better options in the area.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

14yo Sleep Number - should we replace bed or just parts? 09 Aug 2014 08:33 #3

french2s wrote: I have a 14 year old sleep number bed. Chambers work fine. Air pump seems ok, but we just can't get comfortable.


I have been in the same situation. The question is, do you want a perpetual DIY project or a bed to sleep on? When you start tinkering with an air bed you have a system with a lot of variables, not just the layers you add but the adjustable firmness of the air chambers (which you will undoubtedly end up changing once you change out the foam). For me it has turned out to be too many moving parts to ever optimize and I have given up that process after nearly five years.

Also, no layer you add can compensate for the underlying deficiencies of the air bed. My biggest issue is the change in firmness that occurs whenever the barometric pressure changes.

Good luck!

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