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Air Mattress Shopping - What I Learned

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10 Apr 2017 08:33 - 12 Nov 2018 03:37 #1 by awill
I've spent the last couple of days researching air mattresses and want to share what I've learned. Maybe it will help out someone else on their search. There are a lot of options out there!

My partner and I decided we wanted an air mattress. We went to the local Sleep Number store and tried all the beds. The sales people are very nice and try hard to sell you a bed. Whatever you do walk away! Don't make a big purchase like this quickly. I went online and started researching other brands and quickly realized there are much cheaper options!

This website and others were great for learning what actually makes up a bed. Learn as much as you can. Get up to speed on foam types. Figure out what you like and try some out in a store. I wanted a firmer bed and my partner was on the softer side. I like latex foam and partner wants memory foam

Here are the websites I looked at:
www.airbedsunlimited.com/
www.innomax.com
bestbeds.biz/adjustable-sleep-air-beds/
www.personalcomfortbed.com/
www.habitatfurnishings.com/
www.selectabed.com/adjustable_air_beds.htm
www.mattressmill.com/

I was generally frustrated by poorly designed websites, lack of specifics, and grainy pictures. There is a pattern that emerges from these websites. The beds are the same on Best Beds, Air Beds Unlimited, and Innomax. Personal Comfort and Habitat have their own unique type of mattresses (although I think they have the same pumps and bladders). But, Selectabed and Mattress Mill are in a whole different ball game! The offer independent lumbar support.

This made all the difference for me. You can adjust the lumber region (middle third) of the mattress independently. The head and foot regions share the same pressure. Because of this I focused on Selectabed Air-Pedic and Mattress Mill.

Air-Pedic compares their beds to the Sleep Number categories. They use traditional foam only. I called to ask about foam density and they sales guy didn’t know any densities, just that it was poly foam. They don’t offer latex at all.

Mattress Mill was amazing on all fronts. They offer latex and memory foam. They custom build the mattress with the comfort layers you want. Platinum mattress has two layers of 1.5” foam of your choice. They really seem to care about your comfort and satisfaction. I bought a king Infinity Platinum air mattress with medium latex + firm latex on one side and memory foam + medium latex on the other. I fully expect this bed to be better than the i10 Sleep Number bed. Mattress Mill’s comfort layers are set up so you can change them around or add/remove layers as you see fit. Truly customizable. I’m hoping this means I won’t feel like needing to return the bed because it’s to firm/soft.

Mattress Mill is a standalone store Montana. Seemed like real people running an honest mattress business (do these actually exist?!). I don’t think they do a lot of online sales. I spent a good bit of time talking with the Nan on the phone. She was very helpful and knows her stuff. She was able ship across the country and meet my delivery dates.

Warranties appeared similar for the vendors. A couple years of full warranty and the pro-rated for the rest. Make sure it covers dips and sags over ¾”.

Since its an online purchase I wanted a good return policy. My favorite was when they picked it up for a flat fee. I think Sleep Number does this for $180 and Selectabed was $400. Most required you pay return freight. From what I can figure this is probably around $400 for a king mattress. Mattress Mill said they would work with me and help me arrange freight company if it came to that.

Overall, with delivery and tax, Sleep number quoted $5,300 for i10 mattress, Selectabed quoted $3,396 for Air-Pedic 800, and Mattress Mill quoted $3,480 for Infinity Platinum. Besides the prices, difference makers were Mattress Mill’s lumber support (better than Sleep Number), latex foams (better the Selectabed’s poly foam), and amazing customer support.
Last edit: 12 Nov 2018 03:37 by Administrator TMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status

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10 Apr 2017 15:15 - 12 Nov 2018 03:38 #2 by Phoenix
Hi awill,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :)

Thank you for taking the time to provide such a detailed accounting of your search for an air mattress.

I’ll add a few comments to what you’ve already contributed.

My partner and I decided we wanted an air mattress. We went to the local Sleep Number store and tried all the beds. The sales people are very nice and try hard to sell you a bed. Whatever you do walk away! Don't make a big purchase like this quickly. I went online and started researching other brands and quickly realized there are much cheaper options!

Just like shopping for an innerspring mattress or a foam mattress, education is key, and you need to know about all of the componentry and foam layers within any mattress you’re considering, and you can use the guidelines in the mattress shopping tutorial for this. You tip on taking your time is a good one!

The beds are the same on Best Beds, Air Beds Unlimited, and Innomax.

Yes, these are facilitated through the Specialty Sleep Services location on Ealti Street in Denver, CO. Innomax is the main brand there, but I can’t speak to exactness of each mattress on the online retail sites you mentioned, as they are very short on meaningful information.

Personal Comfort and Habitat have their own unique type of mattresses

Personal Comfort is made by American National, and Habitat is from US WaterMattresses.

But, Selectabed and Mattress Mill are in a whole different ball game! The offer independent lumbar support.

Yes, both of these have a separate adjustment for the middle third of the mattress. I have talked with Rick before at Air-Pedic (Selectabed) about the design and I like that they have a separate air chamber under the lumbar/pelvis area which can help offset any sagging in the middle of an airbed which can be a fairly common experience with airbeds ... especially with softer settings.

I bought a king Infinity Platinum air mattress (Mattress Mill) with medium latex + firm latex on one side and memory foam + medium latex on the other.

I’m happy that you had such a pleasant experience dealing with Mattress Mill, and most of all, congratulations on your new mattress purchase! :cheer: I’m looking forward to hearing about your experience with the mattress once you’ve had a chance to sleep upon it for a while.

For others considering air mattresses, you can see some of my general comments about air mattresses here and in this article . While any mattress can be a good match for a specific person because each person's needs and preferences or the criteria that are most important to them can be very different, in general terms I advise caution to consider them unless there is a very compelling reason that an airbed would be a better choice in "real life" (outside of the many "marketing stories" that you will hear about them) than the many other options or types of mattresses that are available to you. For those that are committed to an airbed, there are additional listings of airbed options that are detailed in post #3 here .

Phoenix

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Last edit: 12 Nov 2018 03:38 by Administrator TMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status

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30 Nov 2019 09:34 #3 by TD-Max
Hoping awill may be subscribed and submit a follow up post his results. I too am on a similar mission. I liked the feel in the store of the Sleep Number, but find the Personal Comfort more appealing from a construction quality standpoint. That said Personal Comfort does not have the independent lumbar zone so I am looking hard at Selectabed.

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01 Dec 2019 08:05 #4 by awill
Yeah just saw this! It’s been over two years with the top of the line mattress mill bed described above and we are NOT in love with it. If we could to do it over again we’d go with a Sleep Number mattress. Buying a mattress online is tough. Maybe we bought too firm of layers, idk. 3/5 comfort. 4/5 quality. 5/5 customer service. Still feels like a glorified camping air bed, not like a nice mattress.

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01 Dec 2019 08:29 #5 by TD-Max
Being experienced in sleeping on latex it does sound like you went a bit "stiff" and also possibly a bit thin with only 3" of foam if I read correctly? Not sure where they get the 13" thickness from with only 3" of foam on top? Most of the ILD in the comfort layers on the air beds is much softer than a latex ILD ie: 14 versus 19 for soft latex and 30 for firm. I watched the video by Personal Comfort showing what is "under the hood" on the Sleep Number and it was quite cheaply built compared to Personal Comfort. I might have ordered the PC, but want the zoned air so I ordered a Selectabed 850 which is fashioned to follow the feel of the Sleep Number I-LE but with the zoned chambers and better components.

I have not seen the MM layout, but maybe you could order a foam set from Selectabed and swap into your MM setup?

One other thing I will add: My current Latex bed has a quilted top. Sleep Number has a stretch top as will my Selectabed. The best way I can describe the difference in what I feel is that with the quilted top I am sleeping ON the bed. With the stretch top I felt like I was IN the bed depending of course how much air pressure there was in the chambers.

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