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Based on 193 Actual Consumer Experiences
THE GOOD: Above-average owner satisfaction • comfort and pain-relief potential • above-average longevity • low-risk return policy • model variety.
THE BAD: Potential for air leaks, mechanical problems and comfort layer deterioration / compression like airbeds in general • so-so warranty coverage • most models pricey • pump noise.
THE BED: Comfortaire mattresses are mid- to luxury-level permanent-use airbeds. They use air and often foam for support instead of innerspring coils. An electric air pump operated by a hand-held controller can add or remove air from the mattress thereby adjusting firmness / comfort for each side.
THE COMPANY: Comfortaire – founded in 1981 – pioneered bringing adjustable air supported sleep technology to the retail market. Comfortaire (as of January 2013) is an independent subsidiary of Select Comfort / Sleep Number. Comfortaire is headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina.
THE RETAILERS: Comfortaire is available in most areas but sometimes as a house brand under a different name. The most prominent retailer is likely Relax The Back which sells Comfortaire under the name "RTB Airbed Sleep System." The mattresses are also available at Comfortaire.com.
Important: Comfortaire has recently transitioned to new models which have significantly different specifications than the models they replace. Ratings below are based mostly on owner experiences for the discontinued models. Ratings for the new models, nevertheless, will likely be mostly similar to the ratings below. Owner experience data was gathered using an unbiased, accurate methodology.
|Owner satisfaction||b||Comfortaire mattresses overall have 83% owner satisfaction. ( ) Learn more.
|Durability||c||Similar to other airbed brands, at least 25% of Comfortaire owners report mechanical problems at some point during ownership, such as faulty pumps and leaking / problematic air bladders. And about the same percent of owners report a fairly quick deterioration / compression of the topper. These problems and others, however, can be fixed. (See next entry.)|
|Longevity||b+||Airbeds, including Comfortaire, often have a longer lifespan than other mattress types because any problem with the bed can be repaired with a replacement part. With other bed types, such as innerspring or memory foam, if something goes wrong with the mattress it often needs to be entirely replaced.|
|Price / affordable||D-||Prices typically range from $1030-$6710 depending on model and size. The more expensive models tend to have better comfort layers, air chambers, covers, pumps, controllers and warranties than the cheaper models.
|Less pain and pressure points||b+||Like airbeds owners in general, Comfortaire owners generally praise their Comfortaire bed for its ability to relieve or prevent pain, including back, hip and shoulder pain. The ability of the air chambers to contour to one's body helps to provide above average support for many pain sufferers. (See mattresses and pain relief for general analysis.)|
|Adjustable firmness||b+||The mattress can be made more firm or less firm by adding or removing air through the use of an electric pump. 65 to 100 unique settings are possible. A model with dual air chambers can have separate firmness adjustment for each side, allowing each person to have his or her own firmness level.|
|Even and unob- structed sleep surface, i.e., no middle problem||c+||About 7% of Comfortaire consumers report that the bed can sag and or slope in the middle where the dual air chambers meet -- causing a sleeper to roll or slide toward / away from the middle. This problem tends to be more noticeable when the firmness setting of the two air chambers is very different. Models with the "edge-to-edge" design (see specs below) tend to have few complaints in regard to the middle.|
|Motion isolation||b-||A mattress that has good motion isolation absorbs one person's movement so that the other person is not disturbed. Motion isolation is usually a moderate strength for Comfortaire and airbeds in general.|
|Easy to move on / get up off||b-||Increasing the firmness makes the bed easier to move on and get up off. Pregnant women especially tend to appreciate this. Models with memory foam are often considered more difficult to move on than models with regular foam.|
|No initial odor / off gassing||c+||Comfortaire models with memory foam generally have the most complaints for off gassing which is a chemical-like smell a mattress can release when new. For general analysis, see memory foam off gassing.|
|No sleeping hot or cold||b-||Less than 5% of Comfortaire owners report a sleeping hot or sleeping cold problem. Models with a thick foam comfort layer are more likely to sleep hot.|
|Good for sex||c+||The lack of a significant middle problem on several models helps Comfortaire rate better on this issue than Sleep Number / Select Comfort. (See the mattress and sex comparison.)|
|No noise||d+||Historically, about 15% of Comfortaire owners have said that the air pumps are too loud, especially if used during the night because they may wake one's partner. Most owners, however, do not regard air pump noise to be a problem.|
|Ready to use||d||Like all airbeds, Comfortaire requires assembly. For a fee Comfortaire can ship beds pre-assembled or provide in-home setup. Owners who assemble the bed themselves usually find the task to be of easy to moderate difficulty requiring 1-2 hours depending on the number of people involved.|
|No rotating / flipping||b||The air chambers do not need to be flipped or rotated, but the comfort layer and / or support foam may benefit from the occasional flip / rotation. This can usually be performed by one person.|
|Lightweight||C||Thinner, less expensive models are often lighter than the thicker, more expensive models.|
|Availability||c-||Comfortaire is often available at one or more mattress showrooms in most major cities but perhaps as a private label under a different name. Model selection at these retailers may be limited. Comfortaire.com, however, has an extensive model selection.|
|Warranty||c-||The warranty is for 25 years with the first 2-4 years non-prorated depending on the model. After this period, owners will pay 20% or more of repair costs / replacement parts. (See mattress warranties: what you should know.)|
|Return policy||B+||Policy varies by retailer. Comfortaire.com offers a 100-day trial period and will pay return shipping, but the bed must be kept at least 30 days. (See returning a mattress: what you should know.)|
|Customer service||B-||Comfortaire overall receives somewhat above average ratings from consumers for its customer service.|
|Specs provided||A-||This rating refers to what extent Comfortaire discloses the specifications of its mattresses. Nearly all specifications are disclosed. The disclosing of specifications allows consumers to know what they are paying for and helps them comparison shop.|
|Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating||a||Comfortaire currently has an "A" BBB rating; the company has maintained a high rating for at least the past several years. The company has had 13 complaints filed against it in the past three years (three in past year), all for advertising / sales issues and product-related issues.|
|Sleep Like The Dead (SLTD) Rating||B+||SLTD rating of "B+" for Comfortaire is based on a combination of factors including product ratings by consumers, years in business, customer service, return policy, accuracy of marketing claims, transparency of specifications, warranty, Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating and rating stability, number of BBB complaints / business size ratio.|
Based on a sample of nearly 200 owner experiences, Comfortaire beds have 83% owner satisfaction. This is higher than the rate for both airbeds overall including Sleep Number / Select Comfort (78%) and all beds overall (innerspring, memory foam, latex, futon, water).
The various Comfortaire models (see below) all appear to rate similar to each other in owner satisfaction (83%).
Actual prices may vary by retailer. Foundations are not included in the prices below; they often cost $220 to $450 depending on size and type.
|Comfort Layer||Air Chamber / Support
||Cover||Edge To Edge
|6" latex cotton air chamber(s) / 1" foam support||firm||knit||no||25 y / 2 yr non prorated||Sleep Number c3|
|Comment: Not ideally suited for side sleepers due to high surface firmness • has less advanced pump that offers fewer comfort choices than other Comfortaire models.|
|6" latex cotton air chamber(s) / 2" foam support||med||bamboo||no||25 y / 2 yr non prorated||Sleep Number p5|
|Comment: Likely adequately suited for all sleeping positions.|
|6" latex cotton air chamber(s) / 1" foam support||med||bamboo||no||25 y / 2 yr non prorated||Sleep Number i8|
|Comment: Does not seem to justify its significantly higher price than G12. Likely well suited for all sleeping positions. Fairly tall profile.|
|2" urethane air chamber(s) / 4" foam support||med||moisture wicking knit||yes||25 y / 4 yr non prorated||Sleep Number i8|
|Comment: Likely well suited for all sleeping positions.|
|3.5" urethane air chamber(s) / 6" foam support||med-
|moisture wicking knit||yes||25 y / 4 yr non prorated||Sleep Number i10|
|Comment: 9 inches of foam makes it more a foam bed than air bed • tall profile.|
|17"||3" memory foam (4lb/ft density)||3.5" urethane air chamber(s) / 6" foam support, 2" pad||med-
|moisture wicking knit||yes||25 y / 4 yr non prorated||Sleep Number i10, Tempurpedic Choice Luxe|
|Comment: Extra tall profile • 9 inches of foam makes it more a foam bed than air bed • questionable value.|
|3.5" urethane air chamber(s) / 2" foam support||med-
|bamboo||yes||25 y / 4 yr non prorated||Sleep Number i10|
|Comment: Split-top design allows each side to have independent angle adjustment when on adjustable bed base.|
|15"||3" memory foam||3.5" urethane air chamber(s) / 6" foam support||med-
|moisture wicking knit||yes||25 y / 4 yr non prorated||Sleep Number i10|
|Comment: Split-top design allows each side to have independent angle adjustment when on adjustable bed base • 9 inches of foam makes it more a foam bed than air bed • tall profile.|
The following Comfortaire models may still be available while supplies last.
||Air Chamber / Support
|8"||--||6" latex cotton / 1" foam||firm||25 y / 2 yr non pro rated||Sleep Number c2|
|Comment: little or no comfort layer and not well suited for side sleepers • pump has no pressure readout or memory|
|6" latex cotton||firm||25 yr / 2 yr non pro rated||Sleep Number c3|
|Comment: minimal comfort layer and not well suited for side sleepers|
|6" latex cotton / 1" foam||med to firm||25 yr / 2 yr non pro rated||Sleep Number c4|
|Comment: potentially suited for all sleeping positions|
|11"||3.25" synth- etic latex||6" latex cotton / 1" foam||med||25 yr / 2 yr non pro rated||Habitat Furnishings|
|Comment: only model with latex comfort layer • bamboo cover|
|6" latex cotton / 1" foam||med||25 yr / 2 yr non pro rated||Sleep Number p6, Habitat Furnishings|
|Comment: bamboo cover|
|RTB 900||$2100 tw
|NA||NA||NA||NA||20 yr / 4 yr non pro rated||--|
|Comment: sold at Relax The Back|
|6" latex cotton / 1" foam||med to soft||25 yr / 2 yr non pro rated||Sleep Number i8, Habitat Furnishings|
|Comment: bamboo cover|
|15"||4" gel regular foam||6" latex cotton / 1" foam||med to soft||25 yr / 2 yr non pro rated||Sleep Number p6|
|Comment: Outlast fabric cover for temperature and moisture control|
|elite S||$2200 tw
|3.5" urethane / 2" foam||med to soft||25 yr / 4 non pro rated||Sleep Number p5 & p6, Habitat Furnishings|
|Comment: available in flat-top and split-top|
|elite 1||$2475 tw
|3.5" urethane / 6" foam||med to soft||25 yr / 4 yr non pro rated||Sleep Number i10|
|elite 2||$2874 tw
|17"||3" gel memory foam (5 lbs/ft density)||3.5" urethane / 6" foam||med to soft||25 yr / 4 yr non pro rated||Sleep Number i8 & i10, Tempurpedic Choice|
|Comment: gel foam tends to sleep 30% cooler longer than regular memory foam • learn more about 5 lbs/ft memory foam • very tall profile|
|elite 3||$4350 qn
|19"||3" gel memory foam (5 lbs/ft density)||3.5" urethane / 8" foam||med to soft||25 yr / 4 yr non pro rated||Sleep Number i10, Tempurpedic Choice|
|Comment: most expensive model • learn more about 5 lbs/ft memory foam • very tall profile|
|elite 4||$4050 qn
|17"||3" gel memory foam (5 lbs/ft density)||3.5" urethane / 6" foam||med to soft||25 yr / 4 yr non pro rated||--|
|Comment: split-tops • learn more about 5 lbs/ft memory foam • very tall profile|
Our ratings are based on 190+ Comfortaire owner / consumer reviews gathered from diverse sources using an unbiased, accurate methodology.
– Comfortaire's warranty is for 25 years with the first 2-4 years non-prorated. After this 2-4 years, owners will have to pay 20 percent or more for replacement parts.
– Comfortaire mattresses have 83 percent owner satisfaction which is somewhat higher than the Sleep Number Bed (78 percent).
– Comfortaire is often sold at one or more retailers in most major metropolitan areas but perhaps as a private label under a different name. Model selection at these retailers is often limited. Comfortaire.com, however, has a complete model selection.
IN THE NEWS: Sleep Like The Dead's research findings have appeared in such news publications as Barron's • Toronto Star • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Edmonton Journal • Woman's World • The Consumerist • The Gazette • Ottawa Citizen
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