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Based on 189 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 • so-so warranty coverage • pump noise.
THE BED: Comfortaire mattresses are entry- 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.
The ratings below are based on over 185 consumer reviews of various models. The data was gathered using an unbiased, accurate methodology.
|Owner satisfaction||b||Comfortaire mattresses overall have 83% owner satisfaction. ( ) This is higher than the rating for both airbeds overall including Sleep Number / Select Comfort (78%) and all beds overall (innerspring, memory foam, air, latex, futon, water).
The various Comfortaire models appear to rate fairly similar to each other. See model prices and specs below.
|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. Also, air support will not sag over time as will innerspring and foam support.|
|Price / affordable||D||Prices typically range from $720-$7000 depending on model and size. The more expensive models have toppers, air chambers, pumps, controllers and warranties superior to those available on the cheaper models.
|Less pain and pressure points||b+||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. Comfortaire touts its Box-Top Air Design for providing superior contouring support and comfort. Our collected owner experience data, however, does not show this to be a clear advantage over more conventional designs, such as that used by Sleep Number. (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.|
|Firmness options||b+||While firmness / comfort can be adjusted by adding or removing air, the general firmness of the bed is largely determined by the comfort layer thickness which can vary by model. The less expensive models have thin comfort layers making them firmer than the more expensive, thicker models.|
|Even and unobstructed 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. While this "middle problem" is fairly common among all airbed brands, Comfortaire tends to have fewer complaints on this issue than others, including the Sleep Number bed.|
|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 little or no topper are more likely to sleep cold, while models with a thick memory foam topper or latex topper are more likely to sleep hot.|
|Good for sex||c+||The lack of a significant middle problem helps Comfortaire rate better on this issue than Sleep Number / Select Comfort. (See the mattress and sex comparison.)|
|No noise||d+||About 15% of Comfortaire owners say 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.|
|No rotating / flipping||b||The air chambers do not need to be flipped or rotated, but the toppers may benefit from the occasional flip / rotation. This can usually be performed by one person.|
|Lightweight||C+||Comfortaire mattresses consist of air to a significant degree making them relatively light and easy to move and handle.|
|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. However, the bed must be kept at least 30 days. (See returning a mattress: what you should know.)|
|Customer service||B-||Comfortaire has historically received above-average ratings from consumers for its customer service.|
|Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating||a||Comfortaire is accredited with the BBB and currently has an A rating; the company has maintained a high rating for at least the past several years. The company has had 12 complaints filed against it in the past three years.|
Foundations are not included in the prices below; they often cost $120 to $260 depending on size. Also not included are temporary sale prices. Actual prices may vary by retailer.
|Price Twin||Price Full||Price Queen||Price King||Overall Thick-
|Comfort Layer||Air Chamber||Support||Firmness||Cover||Warranty||Comment|
|6" 24 gauge latex / cotton||--||firm||knit||25 years / 2 non prorated||pump has no pressure readout or memory|
|6" 24 gauge latex / cotton||1" foam||firm||knit||25 years / 2 non prorated||minimal comfort layer|
|6" 24 gauge latex / cotton||1" foam||med||knit||25 years / 2 non prorated||--|
|oc500||$1230||$1445||$1550||$1950||11"||3.25" synthetic latex||6" 24 gauge latex / cotton||1" foam||med||bamboo||25 years / 2 non prorated||only model with latex comfort layer|
|6" 24 gauge latex / cotton||1" foam||med||bamboo||25 years / 2 non prorated||good value potential|
|3.5" urethane||6" foam||med||Outlast fabric||25 years / 4 non prorated||same as elite 1 but with Outlast|
|RTB 900||$2100||$2600||$2800||$3200||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA||20 years / 4 non prorated||sold at Relax The Back|
|6" 24 gauge latex / cotton||1" foam||med||bamboo||25 years / 2 non prorated||--|
|cc1000||$3165||$4330||$4630||$5330||15"||4" gel foam||6" 24 gauge latex / cotton||1" foam||med||Outlast fabric||25 years / 2 non prorated||--|
|elite S||--||--||$2800||$3200||10"||3.25" convol-
|3.5" urethane||2" foam||med||premium knit||25 years / 4 non prorated||available in flat-top and split-top|
|elite 1||$2475||$3150||$3350||$3950||15"||3.25" convol-
|3.5" urethane||6" foam||med||premium knit||25 years / 4 non prorated||--|
|elite 2||$4170||--||$5630||$6330||17"||3" gel memory foam (5 lbs/ft density)||3.5" urethane||6" foam||med to soft||premium knit||25 years / 4 non prorated||gel foam tends to sleep somewhat cooler|
|elite 3||--||--||$6130||$6830||19"||3" gel memory foam (5 lbs/ft density)||3.5" urethane||8" foam||med to soft||premium knit||25 years / 4 non prorated||thickest / most expensive model|
|elite 4||--||--||$5850||$6650||17"||3" gel memory foam (5 lbs/ft density)||3.5" urethane||6" foam||med to soft||premium knit||25 years / 4 non prorated||split-tops|
Our ratings are based on 185+ 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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