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Unbiased Comparison Based on 3,667 Actual Consumer Experiences
|SLEEP NUMBER||TEMPUR- PEDIC|
|Less (back) pain||b||b+|
|Ease of use||D||B|
|Easy to move on||b||c-|
|No middle problem||d+||B-|
|No initial odor||C||d+|
|No sleeping hot||c+||C*|
|Good for sex||c-||c-|
|Fast break in||C+||D|
|Easy to lift, move||B+||D-|
|Light person friendly||B||C|
|Heavy person friendly||B||B|
|No topper needed||C-||B|
|Mattress type||air||foam or springs|
* Rating is an average for both non-Breeze and Breeze models.
Sleep Number beds and Tempur-Pedic beds are mostly very different, yet they often compete for the same buyers.
The Sleep Number beds mainly use foam for comfort and air for support. Firmness and support can be adjusted by adding / removing air from the mattress using an electric pump. Each side of the bed can have its own setting.
By contrast, Tempur-Pedic beds use memory foam for comfort and regular foam or springs for support.
Our research findings are based on 3,665+ consumer reviews for various Tempur-Pedic models (Cloud, Contour, Flex) and various Sleep Number / Select Comfort models (Classic c2, c4, Performance p5, p6, Memory Foam m7, Innovation i8, i10).
Sleep Number and Tempur-Pedic overall have fairly similar owner satisfaction rates. Sleep Number has 77% while Tempur-Pedic has 81%.
Mattress durability refers to how well a bed will hold up to use without something breaking or deteriorating.
The somewhat mechanical nature of the Sleep Number bed means that more can conceivably go wrong with it.
Over the span of ownership, at least 20% of Sleep Number bed owners report having at least one durability problem – such as a leaky air chamber, broken air pump, malfunctioning controller, saggy comfort layer, bulging sides, compressed foam borders and failing edge support. Such problems often cause discomfort and undermine sleep quality.
By contrast, about 12% of Tempur-Pedic bed owners report durability issues, usually related to sagging, softening / hardening and body impression development.
Longevity refers to the lifespan of a mattress. Even though Sleep Number has historically had worse durability than Tempur-Pedic, it has similar or better longevity. This is because Sleep Number beds are modular – in other words any part of the bed can be repaired with a replacement part sent to the owner from Sleep Number / Select Comfort. Replacement parts can be not only mechanical parts, such as pumps and controllers, but also non-mechanical aspects such as support foam.
Tempur-Pedic is more often perceived as being a quality mattress than Sleep Number. The relative light weight of Sleep Number along with the fact that it is made mostly of fairly simple materials cause some owners to question its quality.
By contrast, the heavy weight and fairly unique material of Tempur-Pedic often gives owners the impression that it is a quality product.
The average price of a Tempur-Pedic mattress (queen) is about $3,200, while the average price of a Sleep Number bed (queen) is about $2,300. In other words, on average, Tempur-Pedic is about 28% more expensive than Sleep Number.
Sleep Number beds may require certain replacement parts / repairs over the course of their lifespans – parts / repairs that will likely be only partially covered or not covered at all under their warranty terms. Also, the air pumps use electricity to operate and thus contribute to an owner's electricity bill.
Tempur-Pedic models, by contrast, are less likely to need any repair / replacement and, consequently, they may have a lower overall cost of ownership even though their initial price may be higher.
* partial estimate
For both mattresses, the majority of owners regard them as no better than a fair value. Despite Tempur-Pedic's higher initial cost, however, it receives better value ratings from owners.
A mattress is considered supportive if it provides a flat, level sleep surface. Sleep Number beds are capable of providing at least slightly better overall support especially over the long term than Tempur-Pedic beds. Sleep Number bed support, however, can be partially undermined by comfort layer sagging, a troublesome middle area, and to a lesser extent sagging edge support.
A conforming mattress molds and contours to the curves of one's body, resulting in well-distributed support and minimal pressure points. Both beds perform above average on this issue, but Tempur-Pedic often performs somewhat better.
Sleep Number currently offers about nine models, while Tempur-Pedic offers 15 models. Model variety often results in consumers being able to find a mattress that suits them. It should be noted, however, that Sleep Number Bed stores usually carry all Sleep Number models, while most Tempur-Pedic retailers do not carry all Tempur-Pedic models.
For Tempur-Pedic models, firmness can range from extra soft to extra firm depending on the particular model.
While firmness can be adjusted on all Sleep Number beds, some models may be softer or firmer than others depending on the thickness of their comfort layer. For example, models with little or no comfort layer tend to be somewhat firm even on their softest setting.
Both brands overall perform well in regard to reducing pain – especially back pain – but also hip, shoulder and joint pain. Not all owners report less pain, however. Some, about 7% for Tempur-Pedic and 11% for Sleep Number, report new or increased pain.
Motion isolation refers to how well a mattress keeps motion on the bed localized. In other words, a mattress with good motion isolation allows one person to move on the bed or get up off of it without disturbing another person on the bed. On this issue, significantly more Tempur-Pedic owners report the benefit.
Tempur-Pedic beds are often more difficult to move on and get up off due to their tendency to use higher density foam and that sleepers tend to sink somewhat into them. Consequently, Sleep Number beds may be better suited for people who are weak, injured, sick, heavy, pregnant or elderly.
About 20% of Sleep Number bed owners report a problem with the middle of the bed where the two air chambers meet.
Some owners say there is a "valley" or "trench" in the middle, while others report a "hump." There also can be a problem with one or both sides of the bed sloping toward the middle which can cause a sleeper to roll or slide in that direction.
About 12% of Tempur-Pedic mattress owners report a problem (sagging or development of body impressions) in the middle area of the bed.
A mattress "sleeps hot" if it acts as a heat trap for the sleeper's body heat, resulting in an uncomfortably warm bed. About 6% of Sleep Number owners report heat problems versus about 14% for non-Breeze Tempur-Pedic models and 5% for Tempur-Pedic Breeze models.
At least 25% of owners of both beds report improved sleep quality due mainly to less tossing, turning and restlessness. Some owners also report sleeping more efficiently, that is, they sleep more soundly and can spend less time in bed as a result.
Off gassing refers to an odor that a mattress emits for a limited time when it is new due to the manufacturing and or packaging process. One of the main complaints for Tempur-Pedic beds is off gassing; about 17% of owners report it. By contrast, about 8% of Sleep Number bed owners report the problem.
About half of Sleep Number bed owners say their bed is suitable for sex, or at least no less suitable than other beds. The other half say their bed is not good for sex overall because of the presence of a "trench" or intrusion in the middle where the two air chambers meet.
For Tempur-Pedic, owners often report that the bed has some advantages in regard to this issue (comfort, traction, discretion) and some disadvantages (limited or no bounce, difficulty of body movement). Among the Tempur-Pedic models, the Flex models likely perform best on this issue due to their having some spring action and less difficulty of movement.
For more, see the mattress and sex comparison.
Tempur-Pedic mattresses tend to have at least twice as long a break-in period than Sleep Number. This is mainly a problem for side sleepers as they may experience some hip and shoulder discomfort due to high firmness.
Lighter people – namely those 130 pounds or less – tend to not sink significantly into Tempur-Pedic mattresses (especially firmer models) which can result in poor conforming support and low overall comfort. For Sleep Number, all but the m7 model tend perform at least fair for lighter people.
Heavier people – namely those 230 pounds or more – tend to exert enough pressure on a Tempur-Pedic mattress to fully benefit from its conforming ability. But this ability can also make it somewhat difficult to move one's body, change positions and get up off the bed. For Sleep Number, heavier people often have above average conforming support as well but usually with less difficulty of movement.
Tempur-Pedic mattresses are easy to use in that you simply lie on them and no adjustment is involved.
By contrast, Sleep Number beds involve a learning curve in that you must find which setting is right for you personally. Significant time and effort may be required to find one's optimal setting or "sleep number." Also, your preferred setting may vary depending on your sleeping position.
To some owners, Sleep Number beds can be somewhat noisy at times due to the electric air pump operation. They may also produce a rustling, crunching, or squeaking noise when moved on, say about 7% of owners. By contrast, Tempur-Pedic models are silent at virtually all times.
Less than 7% of Tempur-Pedic owners report needing to add a topper to their mattress to improve comfort / softness vs about 15%+ for Sleep Number.
Tempur-Pedic mattresses require no assembly, but Sleep Number beds do. Most Sleep Number bed owners say that assembly is fairly easy and takes about 40-90 minutes depending on whether one or two people are involved.
Upon delivery for an additional fee, the Sleep Number bed can be assembled by professionals.
Sleep Number mattresses are modular (can be broken down into individual components) and relatively lightweight.
This means they are not as integrated and stable as Tempur-Pedic mattresses which are heavier and fully integrated. Consequently, Sleep Number mattresses are more likely than Tempur-Pedic mattresses to move somewhat on their base and require occasional adjustment of their components.
In addition, Sleep Number beds may require replacement parts / components occasionally to keep the beds functioning properly and comfortable. Also, they may need occasional adjustment of their firmness setting. And to have a flat, pleasant appearance when not in use, the beds may need to be inflated to the firmest setting.
The comfort and durability of Tempur-Pedic models may benefit from the occasional rotation.
Tempur-Pedic mattresses are far heavier than Sleep Number mattresses.
The relative low weight of Sleep Number beds combined with the fact that they can be disassembled and broken down into individual components make them easier to handle, lift, move, and transport than Tempur-Pedic beds. About 17% of Tempur-Pedic owners complain that their bed is too heavy. By contrast, about 10% of Sleep Number owners praise their bed for being relatively light weight.
Tempur-Pedic beds are widely available at many mattress retailers, but seldom are all models available at any one retailer. Sleep Number beds are available only at Sleep Number bed stores. Both brands are available online.
Sleep Number's return policy consists of a 100-day trial period which allows the customer to send the bed back for an exchange or a 100% refund minus initial shipping and any setup fees. The customer is also responsible for return shipping fees. As a result, the cost to the consumer to return / exchange a Sleep Number bed often adds up to several hundred dollars.
Tempur-Pedic's return policy can vary by retailer, but on average returning a Tempur-Pedic is often easier and at least somewhat less costly than returning a Sleep Number.
For both companies, there are no returns or exchanges for adjustable bases, closeout or demo bed models.
The main difference between the warranties of the two beds is that Tempur-Pedic provides non-prorated coverage for 10 years, while Sleep Number provides non-prorated coverage for only the first two years.
|Sleep Number Warranty Terms|
|0-2 years after purchase||No cost to owner for repair|
|3-20 years after purchase||Owner pays 20% of repair costs plus 4% of repair cost for each year from original purchase date|
|21-25 years after purchase||Owner pays 96% of repair cost.|
|Tempur-Pedic Warranty Terms|
|0-10 years after purchase||No cost to owner for repair/replacement|
SLTD company rating is based on a combination of factors including years in business, customer service, return policy, accuracy of marketing claims, transparency of specifications / policies, warranty, access to reviews, integrity of reviews, Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating and rating stability, number of BBB complaints / business size ratio.
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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