5 Common Sleep Number Bed Problems and Complaints

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Sleep Number is known for their adjustable mattresses that help you find the exact level of firmness you need for a restful night’s sleep. Their mattresses are actually air beds that hook up to a hose and pump, so you can inflate or deflate the bed to your exact comfort level.

Sleep Number gets its name because each user gets their own “Sleep Number” —a number between 1-100 that indicates how soft or hard you like your bed. The hope is once you find your perfect sleep number, you know exactly how your mattress should feel to enjoy deep sleep.

While Sleep Number is definitely innovative, the technical aspects of it, along with the fact it is indeed an air mattress (though intended for permanent use), means it comes with a set of common complaints.

Here are the five most common complaints and problems we found  to consider when researching if Sleep Number is right for you:

1. Trench Effect. The most prominent complain throughout all Sleep Numbers reviews was talk about the “trench effect,” which is when the bed sags in the middle and one or both people on the bed slide into it. Because most Sleep Number beds come with two air chambers (so each person can adjust their side to their liking), if one side is significantly more firm or soft than the other, the bed is uneven and is susceptible to a sag in the middle.

Here is what one reviewer said: “I have had it less than a year and towards the middle of the bed I get a dip. I keep rolling into the middle because the outside of my side is higher than the middle side. I’ve ran it to 100 and let it sit, but as soon as I set it back down to comfortable BOOM back in the middle.”

2. Comfort. People have also complained about Sleep Number beds being uncomfortable. Some talk about the bed deflating too often and others say it simply feels like a glorified air mattress. Also, depending on the model you receive, some Sleep Number’s don’t come with a cushioned mattress pad, making the bed feel extra firm.

One Sleep Number user explained: “Basically your sleeping on a high priced air mattress. Feels like camping.”

3. Breakdowns and Malfunctions. Because there’s a decent amount of set up and technology that comes with a Sleep Number—including a hose, pump, and remote to work the adjustable air chamber—the bed is naturally susceptible to breakdowns, especially air deflation. People also spoke about the mattress cover itself falling apart after a few years. While the site has a good support section with videos and content to help troubleshoot issues, many unhappy campers only spoke about how things would break down every few years:

“After a few years, the bed required $600+ in parts (new side and center foam, the mattress cover itself (stitching on the seams separated) and an air pump (the controller died, but you have to buy an “assembly” that includes the pump and controllers)”

Sleep Number Firmness Control Sleep Number

4. Customer Service. Since Sleep Number is known for malfunctions, many reviewers also mentioned the lack of good customer service for when things did go awry. The first point, that came up a lot, was issues with their “100-night sleep trial.” Apparently, if you want to return your bed before the 100 nights is up, this guarantee only includes the mattress itself, not the bed frame or additional accessories. (The website’s fine print verifies this.)

Here is a user comment on this issue: “Upon attempting to return it, we were advised that “Bed” only refers to the mattress and not to the other components including the Adjustable Bases. Sleep Number told me they do not make the bases and therefore cannot stand behind them.”

Generally, customer service did not get rave reviews when people needed parts replaced or help with malfunctions: “The bed sleeps fine, but I am SO DISAPPOINTED in product support by Sleep Number!! I contacted my local store to see about a small replacement part, but they don’t carry parts. So, I contacted the main Customer Service dept. and was blown away! All I needed was a small white female connector for a hose, and I was told that I had to purchase a new pump and hose system for $200 (under partial warranty)! Absolutely ridiculous!

5. Price. Sleep Number prices are comparable to other foam or spring mattresses, with their Queen coming in around $800 (depending on your model). This may seem pretty pricey, given it’s an air bed. While it’s important to remember the adjustability and technological aspects of the bed probably hike up the price, it’s still at least 15% more expensive than the average permanent-use airbed.

Overall, it’s important to remember there are two sides to every story, and for every poor review, there was typically a great review of a Sleep Number product. Make sure to do thorough research before any big bedding purchase, and maybe find someone you know who owns a Sleep Number to get a personal opinion before getting your own.

Sleep Number Complaints

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Laura Schwecherl

Laura Schwecherl

Laura is a journalist with nearly a decade of experience reporting and covering topics in the health, fitness, and wellness space. She is also a marketing consultant, where she works with impact-oriented startups to build marketing and editorial strategies. Since joining the team at Sleepopolis, she quickly learned how critical sleep is, and enjoys researching how certain sleep products and techniques can improve our lives. Outside of work, you can find her reading Murakami novels, writing amateur poetry, or trail running in her hometown, Boulder Colorado.

28 thoughts on “5 Common Sleep Number Bed Problems and Complaints

  1. My biggest complaint (after the trenching and waking up barely able to get out of bed), is the ridiculous cost of sheets!!!!! $200 for a set of King sheets? We also have to replace our mattress cover – another $234? What a ripoff. I tell everyone who asks – don’t waste your money.

  2. I’m so disgusted with my E8($7,000 plus) nightmare. Worst investment ever. My loss and my fault. I should have read the reviews. I find myself sleeping on the sofa or in a recliner because I can hardly move in the morning after sleeping in the bed. This bed does not feel like the bed that I tested in the store. I have my side set on 100. My number in the store was around 40. Even on 100, the bed is not firm at all. I could have just set as match and burned my money. What a waste. Sleep number beds are a rip off. I can’t believe people can sell these beds or work for this company with integrity.

  3. I have been contacting Customer Service for over three years. Can no longer sleep in bed because the right side of bed sinks and you feel like you are rolling down a hill. When I wake up my back and neck hurts so bad. Has been the worst bed I have ever slept in. Don’t understand when I call about bed they are of no help to get it fixed. Don’t ever buy a Sleep Number bed they and Customer Service are really bad.

  4. I have had 2 sleep number beds I had the first one 20 years replaced the foam ,pump and controls now my Granddaughter is using it and it still does not sag in the middle We now have an I-10 half split King and love it. My husband is heavy and have no sagging. We highly recommend sleep number.

  5. I wish I had found this before I purchased! The pump broke on day 2 and customer service is horrendous! Took week to get to us because they forgot to push “submit”

  6. Good to know that I’m not the only one experiencing the “trench effect” we’ve had the bed for a few years and I’m hating it so much now. Can’t get comfortable on any setting. Every time my husband gets out of bed I have to set both sides to different numbers because I roll into the trench that feels like I’m sleeping on a plank of wood. Like others said, it’s just an overpriced air mattress.

  7. I wish I would have found this site sooner. Another dissatisfied customer of the sleep number bed! Very poor customer service. We have a ” squeaky” bed, very annoying.

  8. “Free” 100 day trial period excludes $199 delivery and $199 return fee, so if you decide to return your mattress you’re going to lose $400 plus tax.

    I discovered this after having this bed recommended to me by several people, but for me it induced lower back pain, regardless of the setting I used. On scheduling for return customer service kindly lets you know that you’re going to receive a refund minus $400. Oh, and you can’t choose to pickup or return the mattress on your own. Their stores do not have warehouses, so you have to pay the delivery and return fee. Insult to literal injury. If you do decide to try this mattress make sure you’re fairly certain or willing to pay $400+ to try.

  9. In my opinion this product is over priced for the materials that are used to manufacture this bed.I have experienced mattress issues from get-go.c/s always sends me parts with no hassle,but I feel as though this is the R&D location. Satisfaction depends on this fix, purchase another? DEPENDS

  10. Worst investment of my life, super disappointed. Both my husband and can barely sleep on the thing and wake up not feeling rested and having back and neck pain. Do not make the mistake we did, don’t buy this glorified air mattress.

  11. I have had nothing but problems with SleepNumber bed. My husband I bought the California King and so have 2 basically twin beds pushed together, which cost over $5000.00. My side has not worked from the start and like the reviews state above I sleep in a trench nightly because the air in the “Air Mattress” does not stay. I have to adjust the air to the bed nightly and after 1 hour it is completely trenched again with the sleep number down to 00.
    We called customer support, but was told that it was going to cost $199.00 just to come out and take a look at the problem – and that is before fixing anything. Additionally, the bed is under warranty, but apparently that is not covered. I am about to buy just a plain twin bed and take the AIR MATTRESS off the frame – since the Frame is not guaranteed by Sleep Number.
    DO NOT BUY THIS AIR MATTRESS – that is exactly what it is. You are buying an OVER PRICE Air Mattress and will NOT get any customer support without paying for it.
    I am really disappointed in this product. Too bad I didn’t read the reviews prior to spending a all that money – I should have gone to Jerome’s; at least they stand behind their product 100%.

  12. This $3800.00 + mattress is a joke because it is JUNK!!! The bs in their commercials should be considered a CRIMINAL OFFENSE. Lies and an inferior mattress. Wish I had never heard of Sleep Number and that I could take this excuse for a mattress and “put it where the sun doesn’t shine (like a sleep number executive’s ass)!!!!
    Gayle Mann

  13. I have no problem falling asleep (very quickly) when I lay down, and I typically sleep deeply. However, when I wake I feel like I’ve been beaten during the night. I’ve tried a wide range of firmness options, but that doesn’t seem to affect discomfort I awake with.

  14. I so wish I had read these reviews before spending $6000 on a queen Sleep Number bed. So disappointed! I kept saying “It feels like an air mattress.” They kept saying “Find your number.” I’ve had the bed two weeks and feel as though I’ve been had! I bought it because a friend loves hers. I so wanted to like it. But I am waking up in the morning with back and hip pain. Don’t make my mistake!

    • I know exactly what you’re saying. Spent 5700.00 on my bed only one week ago and haven’t had a good night sleep yet. I’ve tried all the different settings. I was under the understanding that I could try the bed out for a hundred days and if I wasn’t satisfied with it I could return it. Now I find out that I can only return the bed not the frame. No I have a 3000 dollar frame and mattress saver and no bed .please read everything they have you sign because you can’t trust a word that they tell you. It’s very sad that a company would have a sales staff that would intentionally mislead their customers like that . All I can say is buyer beware.

  15. Had a disgusting experience with the customer service reps at SleepNumber. After 2 years, the bed became nonfunctional due to a hole that developed around the air chamber which would make the bed deflate within 2 hours. The customer service reps said it would cost $400 to ship a new air chamber for a bed that they acknowledged was defective. I took the $400 and bought a new mattress.

  16. I purchased a Sleep Number Bed in 2017 and what drove me to it was all the rave reviews. Well I’m sorry I did that. What a piece of junk. As many of you say, it’s just an air mattress and like many of you I’m falling into the middle of the bed. Unable to get comfortable, stomach, back or side sleeping. The worst part is my back in the morning when I wake up, it’s killing me and I’ll be replacing it shortly. Sleep Number’s website has to be controlling who says what on their site and if so, there should be something done about it

  17. Bought my bed in February 2018 and am already experiencing the “trenching” effect. (I did not know there was even a name for it) After being on the phone with customer service, and playing “bed Tech” at the same time, they are begrudgingly sending out a service guy . Initially, they were going to charge me $99 to send someone out.
    The warranty is, shall we say, not anywhere near as good as the guy in the store said it would be.
    As of the last month, my wife sleeps on the couch and I sleep in a chair

  18. People will need to understand that these are air mattresses.. They’re limited in that aspect of design.. I’ve taken the bed apart piece by piece to see how well it’s been constructed, from pumps, hoses, mattress material, etc.. And I can definitely tell you, it’s cheaply made.. No doubt in my mind quality of the construction created many arising and current issues.. I couldn’t imagine how they’re R&D even came up with a warranty.. But guess what? It’s a LIMITED WARRANTY that leaves the burden on the consumer.. Smart for the company & it’s investors but horrible for its unknowing consumers.
    I could easily build a better bed by switching out a few major components that are reliable & of much lower costs than warranty repairs. And for the price points, I’ll stick to well-made conventional beds with added components.
    Some will enjoy it but with costs & others will hate it along with the same costs.
    Hope this helps someone.

  19. Look under the bed you are buying for the plastic snap together plastic base this is very cheep molded plastic and the top mattress slides around on the plastic plus the amount of foam sucks, then the sagging on each side, for the price is very pour in me view. I did not like it at all

  20. I HAVE A PUT TOGETHER AIR BED,,,I CAN BE DRAGGING A55 at night,,,,,,,but by morning i;m ready to go,,,again,,,,LOVE MY BED,,,,BUT WISH IT WOULD KEEP A 50 EVERY DAY,,,,,,WITH OUT ME PUMPING IT UP,,,

  21. Wow! I too bought a junk bed. Mine is in the baffling. They say that they can’t bend but I’m here to tell you they can. I’ve had it happen twice but Sleep Number has finally stood and replaced them twice even though they clearly didn’t want to they did. Thank you Sleep Number.

  22. After year 2, the bed deflates after about 2-3 hours. So…. I call for service because we have a warranty until, wait for it… 2040. Ha! It seems the extended warranty is useless, as you have to pay $199, upfront for the tech to come, with NO parts, then $199 to come back and fix it. When we purchased the bed/warranty, we were told that we were totally covered. Silly me, as this was our 2nd Sleep number bed, as we were also told that all the previous problems we were having, including warranty coverage, were fixed with the new C2 model. I’m a senior citizen, with severe back problems who can’t afford to piss away $3000 every other year. NRVER been more disappointed with any product in my life!!!

  23. Warranty isn’t what they say it is. When you have problems it isn’t 100% covered. I was told after only 4 years I needed a new pillow top and they pro-rated the cost for the years I had the bed and said it would be over $200! That did not make me happy when I spent a lot of money on this bed and had over 5 people I know buy from them.
    Terrible customer service.
    In addition I bought another bed from them around the same time. It was a queen and the bed sags in the middle between the chambers. Seriously? They wouldn’t fix this either, surprise, surprise. Never recommending this bed to anyone again.

  24. We were told there was a 25 year warranty on the bed. When we tried to use the warranty to replace the pump we were told that it was not part of the warranty. We didn’t get much assistance or empathy from the customer service either. We feel we were lied to at the time of the sale. I will never buy another item from Sleep Number and I will tell all my friends to not purchase a bed from that company.

  25. Warning !!! The Adjustable Base Can’t Be Reurned. it costs $3,100. Don’t Trust Them.

    When I bought the BED I was told I can sleep on the BED for 100 days and if I don’t like the BED I can return the BED. When I filled out the form I was told sign here and initial here here and here. I was told this was the paperwork for the loan. So after about a month of miserable sleep I tried to return the BED but was to,d the BASE isn’t returnable. Yes, I signed the paperwork so I’m out $3,100 plus tax. UNBELIEVABLE!!!
    I feel like i was lied to and am so angry. Trust me, I’m not the only person who feels that way. Don’t trust the people at the store. They will lie to get a sale. I got the split King mattress and asked about the gap and the lady looked me right in the eye and told me that when the mattress is flat I won’t even notice the split. Now that’s an out and out lie. So I returned the mattress and bought a great mattress from 𝘾𝙤𝙨𝙩𝙘𝙤, (by the way, 𝘾𝙤𝙨𝙩𝙘𝙤 doesn’t lie and you can return a mattress with ease).

  26. very poor representation of product.did not get what I was led to understand I would get.
    attempt to have bed removed and returned met with resistance at all tries. stuck sleeping in a chair for a week a more because of refusal to pick up and return product. attempt made to up price and still wait longer for what I understood I would be getting and did not.
    stay away from this company. extremely poor service !!!!!!

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