Based on 185 Actual Consumer Experiences
THE GOOD: Above-average owner satisfaction and longevity • adjustable firmness on both sides • conforming ability • back-pain relief potential • model variety.
THE BAD: Potential for air leaks, mechanical problems and comfort layer deterioration / compression (like airbeds in general) • fair-at-best warranty coverage • many models pricey.
THE BEDS: Comfortaire mattresses are made-in-USA luxury-level permanent-use airbeds. They use air and often foam for support. 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 – headquartered in Greenville, SC and 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.
THE RETAILERS: Comfortaire.com has an extensive model selection. The beds may also be 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.
The ratings – based on 180+ consumer reviews gathered using an unbiased, accurate methodology – show how Comfortaire beds rate in comparison to the average mattress.
|Owner satisfaction||b||Comfortaire mattresses overall have 81% owner satisfaction. More.
|Durable / reliable||D+||Similar to other airbeds, at least 25% of Comfortaire owners report mechanical problems at some point during ownership, such as faulty pumps and leaking / problematic air bladders. About the same percent report a fairly quick deterioration / compression of the comfort layer. 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 spring or foam, if something goes wrong the entire mattress often needs to be replaced.|
|Price||D||Prices can fluctuate often and significantly but tend to range $1200-$5700 depending on model and size. More expensive models tend to have better comfort layers, air chambers, covers, pumps, controllers, warranties. Long-term cost for all models can be considerable as non-prorated warranty coverage ends after 2-4 years.
|Less (back) pain||B+||Like airbeds owners in general, Comfortaire owners generally praise their bed for its ability to relieve or prevent back pain. See mattresses and pain relief for general analysis.|
|Pressure point relief||b||The air support provides moderate contouring-to-the-body properties which can relieve pressure, but firm models (those with thin comfort layers) may be uncomfortable for some, especially side sleepers.|
|Adjustable firmness||b+||To an extent, the bed can be made more firm / supportive or less firm / supportive by adding or removing air using an electric pump. 100 unique settings are possible. A model with dual air chambers can have separate firmness adjustment for each side, allowing each person to have their own firmness level.|
|Support potential||A-||The adjustable air chambers allow a person to achieve an above-average level of support.|
|Firmness / model options||B-||In addition to adjustable firmness, comfort layer thickness contributes to overall mattress firmness. Models range from medium-soft to firm. Those looking for a soft mattress may need to look elsewhere.|
|Level sleep surface, i.e., no middle problem||c+||About 6% 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.|
|Motion isolation||b-||A mattress with 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 somewhat 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. General analysis: memory foam off gassing.|
|No sleeping hot or cold||C+||Less than 6% 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 helps Comfortaire rate better on this issue than Sleep Number / Select Comfort. (See the mattress and sex comparison.)|
|No noise||C-||While air pumps have become quieter in recent years, some owners (about 6%) still report the pumps are loud enough that they cannot be used during the night without the risk of waking a sleeping partner. Pumps that are defective in some way may be especially loud.|
|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 themselves usually find it 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.|
|Easy to lift, handle, move||B-||Thinner, less expensive models are often lighter than thicker, more expensive models. The ability to break the mattress down into its individual components make it relatively easy to move / transport.|
The ratings below – based on consumer experiences and the evaluation of Sleep Like The Dead – show how Comfortaire compares to the average mattress manufacturer.
|Warranty||D+||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 / replacement parts. (See mattress warranties: what to 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.|
|Marketing accuracy||C||Comfortaire claims that their beds "won’t break down or lose their shape." The beds, however, can break down due to leaks / pump failure, and they can to a degree lose their shape due to the comfort layer sagging / compressing. Aside from this, Comfortaire tends to be factual and set realistic expectations.|
|Specs provided||A-||Nearly all specifications are disclosed. This allows consumers to know what they are paying for and helps them comparison shop.|
|Time in business||B+||Comfortaire was founded in 1981 and as of January 2013 became an independent subsidiary of Select Comfort.|
|Better Business Bureau rating||a+||Comfortaire currently has an "A+" BBB rating; the company has maintained a high rating for many years. Seven complaints have been filed against the company in the past three years.|
|SLTD rating||B-||SLTD (Sleep Like The Dead) company rating of "B-" for Comfortaire is determined by averaging the above company ratings.|
Comfortaire beds overall have 81% 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 more expensive Comfortaire models appear to rate at least slightly higher than the less expensive models (see below).
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.
|Owner Satis- faction*||Prices**|| Thick-
|Comfort Layer||Air Chamber / Support
||Cover||Edge To Edge
||Main Compe- tition|
|6" latex cotton air chamber(s) / 1" foam support||firm||knit||no||25 y / 2 yr non prorated||Sleep Number c4|
|Comment: Not ideally suited for side sleepers due to high surface firmness.|
|6" latex cotton air chamber(s) / 2" foam support||med- firm||bamboo||no||25 y / 2 yr non prorated||Sleep Number p6|
|Comment: Likely adequately suited for all sleep positions.|
|6" latex cotton air chamber(s) / 1" foam support||med||bamboo||no||25 y / 2 yr non prorated||Sleep Number i8|
|Comment: Likely well suited for all sleep 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 make it more a foam bed than air bed. Tall profile.|
|3.5" urethane air chamber(s) / 2" foam support||med-
|bamboo||yes||25 y / 4 yr non prorated||Sleep Number i8|
|Comment: Split-top design allows each side to have independent angle adjustment when on adjustable bed base.|
|15"||3" gel 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.|
* Estimate to partial estimate.
** Prices fluctuate often at comfortaire.com. May include sale / discount prices.
Comfortaire has in recent years introduced new models which have significantly different specifications than the models they replace. Ratings are based significantly on owner experiences for the discontinued models. The new models, however, likely rate similar.
Owner experience data was gathered 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 81 percent owner satisfaction which is slightly higher than the Sleep Number Bed (78 percent).
– Similar to other airbeds, at least 25% of Comfortaire owners report mechanical problems at some point during ownership. Such problems and others, however, can be fixed relatively easily and conveniently.
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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