Since McCall and myself have different preference to how we like our mattress I thought a Sleep Number bed might be a good idea for us. A friend of ours recently got one and loves it so we decided to go to a showroom and give them a try. I liked them from the start, McCall was a little "iffy" but we both agreed that we really liked the one with the built in Memory foam topper. The problem with that was it was WAY too much money to spend on a bed, especially when you have a house under construction and two young children. The bed was $3,700 when you add tax and shipping it would come to about $4,100!!!!! I was thinking to myself "$4,000 for a fancy camping air mattress!"
at the store I was examining the way the mattresses were made (assembled) and the differences between the entry level model to the one we really liked. The differencein cost between the two was $2,700 but I could not see where the $2,700 was justified. To me it looked like all they did was add, a nicer mattress cover with 3" of memory foam built in. So I asked the sales rep, "what's the real difference? Do they use different pumps or air chambers?" He told me no, that the base equipment was the same on all of them, the only difference was the plushness and covers.
So, knowing that, I decided that I could buy the lowest level King size sleep number, buy a gel memory foam topper at Costco for $160 and assemble the bed myself to make my own mattress that would feel similar to the $4,000 mattress they were selling. Now I knew it would not be exactly the same since the cover they build is what actually creates the mattress (see the photos below) but I remembered that I have a fully enclosed cover on our existing memory foam mattress that would hold it all together as one. I was convinced it would work out; so all I had to do was get McCall on board. Luckily Sleep Number has a 30 day return policy so if my plan was a failure then we would just be out the shipping cost. We decided to go for it.
The Mattress, tax, shipping, memory foam topper and some cheep egg crate foam ended up costing us a total of about $1,400. We've been sleeping on it for almost a week and so far and I love it. Currently I have mine set at 80% and McCall sleeps at 55%. It's nice being able to roll over and spread out without being stuck in a crevasse. The memory foam topper is soft yet the air mattress below keeps the bed firm (set at 80). One thing I like about it is, if one day I feel like sinking into a soft bed after a long day, I can just adjust it down. When you set the mattress down to like 30 you sink in and the whole thing wraps around you.
I took a few pictures to show the process while I built and set it up. You'll note that we only bought the mattress, no base mattress or stand, since we already have the bed frame my Father and I built together a few years ago. I love that bed frame because it has large drawers and storage underneath the mattress. The storage was an excellent place to put the air pump and the solid plywood platform was perfect for the Sleep Number air chambers.
|part of the platform removed to place the pump and run the hoses.|
|pump in place, two side drawers are slid out.|
Here the plywood platform has been put back and the mattress cover (hollow mattress) has been laid out on the bed frame. With a Sleep Number you actaully have to assemble the mattress and it shipped to us in two smallish boxes. You start with 4 foam pieces that make up the boarder of the mattress. They are cut so they puzzle piece together.
|looks like a mess. That's the way I work.|
|starting to make a mattress|
Now that both air Chambers are full you can spread the top cover over and zip closed. We ordered the lowest model of Sleep Number bed they had so when I told the person at the store what I was doing they let me know it would be a good idea to put some egg create/foam on top of the air chambers like the upper models do because it will cut the noise from the pump and the air chambers. Plus another inch or two of padding never hurts.
|foam and zipping up the cover. The Sleep Number is officially made.|
Now that the topper was on all we had to do was zip up the other cover. The cover we used came off our old 14 deep memory foam mattress. The new mattress plus 1" if foam and the 3" topper comes out around 13 so the cover fit over it all nice and easy.
|I straightened out the cover after I took the picture :)|
So there you have my workaround to get a mattress similar to the $4,100 one sold at the store for less then $1,400. If anyone is thinking about doing this, give me a call and I can explain in more detail, also drop my name as Sleep Number has a referral program. $100 for each referral, a couple referrals and I could buy their full cover.