The Sleep Number Difference Is Mold

A recent class action claims that Select Comfort Sleep Number beds are nothing more than overactive allergen mills. According to the suit, the bed’s faulty air chambers allow moisture to form under the mattress foam, providing a perfect breeding ground for mold spores.

Select Comfort claims to have addressed the rampant mold problem, a claim that provides little solace to allergy sufferers whose beds are already infested with mold:

Margaret of Stanville KY (04/05/08)
Just found black mold growing under the foam top and on top of both of the air chambers. Purchased in October 2002 and notified Select Comfort today by email. I have allergies to mold and have been to Dr.’s concerning this. My husband has been coughing every night when he lays down in the bed. Just read the comments from others and hope we can reconcile this issue. The foam borders are flimsy as well as the bottom material of the top mattress cover. It has shredded and has holes in it.

Terry of New Lenox IL (05/04/07)
After less than 3 years of sleeping on our select comfort bed, we noticed a very bad odor coming from it. We proceeded to take it apart, piece by piece. The sheets were fine, the mattress pad was fine. But when we got down to the zippered comforter, it smelled terrible. Under the comforter, there is a foam pad, which was full of mold and bacteria. It smelled horrible. We are now sleeping on the floor, because we had to discard most of the bed.

Mold and bacteria cannot be removed from the foam pad, and the zippered comforter would fall apart if it was washed. We got burned badly on this one!

Lana of Brooklyn MI (9/3/03)
The Select Comfort system allows mold and/or mildew to form on the convoluted foam topper and on the air mattresses. Select Comfort’s solution ‘use a light bleach solution to clean the mattress.’ It’s impossible to clean the foam. Their product is unhealthy for people like me who have allergies to mold/mildew.

According to the class action:

Purchasers of the beds are being told by Select Comfort to return the beds, often at a significant cost to the purchaser. The Class Action seeks not only to have Select Comfort provide notice to purchasers of its Sleep Number® bed of the potential for mold infestation, but also to have the class members compensated for their losses, including the costs of shipping they have incurred or will incur to return their beds to Select Comfort.

Do you have a Sleep Number bed? Tell us in the comments if your experience was a 0 or a 100.

Select Comfort Sleep Number Bed Class Action Litigation
Select Comfort – Mold [Consumer Affairs]

Comments

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  1. ottawa_guy says:

    Wow. what a blatant flaw and the company should reimburse the customer 100% of the purchase price, the financing charges, the interest charges and the shipping fees in a nice check that they can go and spend on another brand of bed (anything other than them)

  2. mantari says:

    Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

  3. racordes says:

    The company already is having financial problems so this suit will probably wipe it out.
    So far no problems with my sleep number bed. I love it.

  4. Tempurpedic ftw! Stuff like the sleep number bed is more than I want to deal with.. more parts to break on something that shouldn’t need gizmos inside of it.

  5. Streyeder says:

    Old fashioned mattress and box springs ftw!

  6. karmaghost says:

    This is how I see these beds, correct me if I’m wrong. You adjust it to your perfect sleep number and then never change it. So, why not just shop around and find a mattress that suits your preference and save the extra money?

  7. davere says:

    I had heard great things about these beds and since I’m in the search for a mattress for me and my other half (we both have different preferences in mattresses) I thought that this may be the perfect solution. However, now I know I will not be buying this.

  8. parrotuya says:

    When I went shopping for a mattress a few years ago, the salesman steered me away from Select Comfort because he said that it was very low-quality. I bought a more expensive Sealy Posturepedic instead. I didn’t regret it. A few years later, Select Comfort turned into the “Sleep Number.” Select Comfort’s “sleep number” is little more than a gimmick that allows the company to charge more for the same shoddy product. I will enjoy watching this ship sink!

  9. BlackFlag55 says:

    Ewwwww, redux.

  10. DadCooks says:

    Afraid to look at what might be growing under our sleep number bed.

    The bleach fix will not only destroy the mold, but will also eat away the foam pad–not a proper fix.

    Our sleep number bed is about 6-7 years old and the foam sides have crumbled and compressed. The mattress cover has stretched.

    Select Comforts 20-year (very) limited guarantee is a joke (like most in the mattress industry).

    IF the product did not deteriorate so rapidly, it would be good–but I would not recommend Select Comfort Beds to anyone because they do not last–and now this poor handling of the mold problem.

  11. opfreak says:

    obivous flaw.

    What i want to know, is it really that have to make a matteress… The industry as a whole is a big scam, that makes money hand over fist for provided low-quality product at high prices

  12. jhofker says:

    Just canceled our order of one of these and bought a normal mattress. Probably the right decisions, especially now.

  13. bdgbill says:

    The Bionic Woman is pushing a bad product? I don’t believe it!

    A couple of hotel chains are installing these beds now. That’s kind of a creepy thought.

  14. JustaConsumer says:

    Yeah, the whole sleep number thing is a clever marketing scheme. It is just an airbed with a pump. I have no clue why someone would buy this.

  15. ChuckECheese says:

    On another advice site, several people have complained about problems with the sleep number bed and other foam mattresses. One woman said the foam in her bed looks like cheese, with a yellow and red crust and blue veining. Foam mattresses soak up and hold everything in the environment, like sleeping on your kitchen sponge. I’ll stick to regular mattresses.

  16. redrocksco says:

    If you don’t pee in the bed, you don’t have this problem.

  17. timmus says:

    I saw how scummy Sleep Number is when I stayed at a business hotel in Denver. The bed was really stiff and I couldn’t quite figure out how to work the controller, so I logged into the Sleep Number website to check the manual. Unfortunately you have to have a customer ID and password to see the owner manuals!! Three years later I see that nothing has changed. Assholes. On the plus side I did figure out the bed and get it working.

  18. glinters says:

    Just bought a Shifman mattress. Hand made with wool and silk. Pricey but so comfortable.

  19. seamer says:

    This article makes it sound like all select comfort beds are screwed, but the lawsuit page says between 1997 and 2005.

    Those of us with recent models…are we affected?

  20. Schmoopie917 says:

    Waterbeds are the best! No mold problems and we don’t have to worry about ever getting bed bugs either. We’ve had ours for 22 successful years.

  21. geoffhazel says:

    We have one and I haven’t smelled any mold,but you can bet I’ll check.

    Overall, I find the bed very comfortable.

  22. TWinter says:

    The mattress industry is nothing but scams. One of the TV news programs did a story on mattresses a few years back. Many of the major companies have multiple outer covers and names for the same mattresses which they then sell to different retailers. That means you may find Sealy/Serta/whatever at several stores in your town but you can’t comparison shop because they look like different lines. They also produce mattresses with lots of small variations so that salesmen have lots of room to get you to upgrade.

    The bed in my guest room has the cheapest mattress I could find on it and every person who has spent a night in that bed has raved about how amazingly comfortable it is. I think it’s the sheets not the mattress that makes the difference.

  23. homerjay says:

    I love my Tempurpedic. It took me about 4 months to get used to it (4 miserable months) but now I love it.

    There was a problem I heard about where people were getting some serious sagging in their mattress and the company wouldn’t stand behind it, but so far I’m good.

    I ALMOST bought one of these instead. Phew!

  24. C.S.M. Technophile says:

    It’s called maintenance! I’ve had my twin sleep number for about 8 years now, and have had no problems. Sure, parts of the foam inside have worn down a little, but what do you expect of something you spend 1/3 of your life in?

    Monthly I take it apart, vacuum the inside if necessary (usually don’t, dust doesn’t get in easily). No problems! In order for the mold to grow, there first has to be some fluid or organic substance inside! I really doubt that even a very high household humidity would be enough to cause this, so it must be coming in from somewhere else. The only other place that is likely is the owners! Covering the mattress properly should stop any fluid from getting in, so it’s either really messy people, or it’s poor care.

  25. atypicalxian says:

    I bought one in 2001 and just checked my bed after reading this post. No mold. I’ve been pretty happy with it, except that the foam I have is pretty weak and I roll into the middle of the bed sometimes where the foam is between the two chambers.

    I do notice from the picture that the cover and the foam between the air chambers are different from what I have. The blue foam pictured looks a bit more “deluxe” – mine is a cheaper charcoal grey. I didn’t get the higher model bed (the one where you can see the sleep number). Perhaps the different foam is the problem?

  26. Jay Slatkin says:

    @homerjay: I fell in love with my Tempurpedic instantly and that was over 5 years ago. It’s still just as comfy as when I bought it. You MUST have a solid base under it, not normal box springs. (Tempurpedic offers solid box supports) I suspect that is a large part of the “sag” issue.

  27. philipbarrett2003 says:

    Radisson has switched all their properties to Sleep Numbers, I disliked them because they tended to feel damp or clammy. Now I know why!

    PB

  28. MattO says:

    i just got a tempurpedit about 3-4 months ago….was the most expensive bed i have ever purchased, but was worth it 100000 percent. the absolute most comfortable thing i have ever slept on…i litterally look forward to going to bed every single night

  29. MattO says:

    edit: tempurpedic

  30. FourMat says:

    We bought our Sleep number last year on the recommendation of both set of parents, and several others. I spent 5 months trying to find the right mattress that would keep my back from aching at 5 in the morning, after a restless night of sleep. For us it was mainly an economic decision. Yes, the Sleep Number is more expensive than other mattress combinations, but the way that we figured it, we would be saving money because we wouldn’t have to buy 5 sets of mattresses with different firmnesses to find the right one that would still be comfortable after 6 hours…Also, we just checked ours and nope, no sign of problems….We are very happy with it.
    (not a paid endorsement)

  31. scoosdad says:

    My sleep number is [icanhascheezburger.com]

  32. Charred says:

    I’ve had mine for almost 10 years now. It was awesome when I got it, and it remains so today.

  33. Charred says:

    Omnomnom!

    Oh no! The comment monster has eaten my comment!

  34. muffinpan says:

    I just checked and my sleep number mattress is showing signs of mold spores. If you have one of these you’d better push back from the computer and have a look. There is a lot of humidity where I live and this looks like it’s going to be a real hassle shipping it back.

  35. Consumer007 says:

    @redrocksco: What a stupid, asinine comment. You obviously don’t understand the mechanics of the problem. The mold is from moisture within (INSIDE) the mattress, not what comes from the outside, moron.

  36. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @C.S.M. Technophile: Somehow, I feel as if I shouldn’t have to disassemble my mattress on a monthly basis to prevent its turning into a science fair exhibit. I’m so unreasonable.

  37. Consumer007 says:

    I’ve sent an email confronting Select Comfort with a link to the story – I’ll post on whatever response I get…

    Stay tuned.

  38. Consumer007 says:

    Oh lookie, how handy – this website shows you all the Radisson locations that have select comfort beds so you can avoid getting mold-cancer on your trip! Enjoy!

    [www.radisson.com]

  39. Consumer007 says:

    Oh lookie, how handy – You can see which Radisson locations have these beds to avoid getting mold-cancer during your stay. Enjoy!

    [www.radisson.com]

  40. Consumer007 says:

    sorry for the dupe – this site doesn’t seem to post comments as quick as I thought…

  41. Parting says:

    @redrocksco: Wow, real mature. I guess you’re an expert on the subject…

  42. homerjay says:

    @Jay Slatkin: From what I’ve read most of the people complaining have purchased the TP base. This isn’t happening to me so I have no complaints.
    I was freaking out after about 3 months that I spent $3500 on this thing and can’t get a good nights sleep. Then one day it clicked.

  43. nardo218 says:

    FWIW, your body gives off 1 pt of moisture during the night; most of it is evaporated, but the rest gets absorbed by your clothes, sheets, and mattress.

  44. kostia says:

    I bought my Sleep Number bed in October of 2006, so hopefully after the problem was rectified. I love it. It fixed my back pain.

    I already change the number regularly depending on how I feel that day, and I expect the ability to do that will be a godsend if/when I get pregnant and sleeping comfortably becomes a hassle.

    One big difference is I bought the one with ONE chamber, not two chambers separated by foam. I haven’t regretted that decision once.

  45. redrocksco says:

    @Consumer007

    I own two Sleep Number beds. One was purchased in 2000 and the other in 2003. I’ve never had a problem with mold in either one. Then again, I don’t pee in the bed.

    @timmus
    The UP arrow makes the number go UP.
    The DOWN arrow makes the number go down. Simple enough for you?

  46. redrocksco says:

    @Victo

    Yes, I am. How many Sleep Number beds do YOU own?

  47. katylostherart says:

    @redrocksco: a) ownership of an item does not make you an expert. i own a car, that doesn’t make me a mechanic.

    b) if we can take a guess at where you live it’s red rocks colorado. colorado’s a practical desert in terms of humidity and sunshine. if you lived somewhere that was a swamp before it was developed the chances are things that grow in dank areas will grow in your home is higher. live somewhere where mold is a common occurence and you might have a different expert opinion.

  48. KleineFrau says:

    Bought a TempurPedic (Rhapsody mattress) with adjustable base–best bed purchase ever. $5,000 for the queen, but worth every single penny. The adjustable base is much better than putting pillows under my knees all night, and I can sit up to watch television or sit up with my laptop. That action used to mess with my back and neck terribly, with traditional mattresses.

    My boyfriend agrees that, should we marry, there will be a split king TempurPedic with adjustable base (meaning that I can have the feet and head where I want them, and he can have his where he wants them).

    I also purchased an extra cover for the mattress, to go between the sheets and the mattress. I’ve spilled things on it before, and just removed the cover to wash. The mattress was without blemish.

    One thing to note: a friend of mine bought a TP on my recommendation, and he and his wife noticed a foam odor coming from the mattress for awhile, pretty bad. I never had that problem, so I assume that this comes from the fact that I purchased the extra cover, and my friend did not.

  49. rpm773 says:

    Bails of hay FTW!

  50. Priam3 says:

    I’ve always liked my sleep number bed. I live in the south, where humidity is constant, and I have never encountered any mold problems. It could be because of an extra sheet, but I don’t know. I think they are great, but I do see how one at a hotel could get kind of gross.

  51. backbroken says:

    $3,500. $5,000.

    Holy crap!!!

    Hollow out your old queen size mattress and stick an air bladder in there.

  52. Snowblind says:

    @karmaghost:

    Real simple, when you do too much housework/Yard work/excercise or whatever, you change your number to suit you that night.

    I know it is time to see the Chiro if it drops under 45 for me.

    My wife, she has arthritic joints, specifically lower lumbar area. Depending on the weather, she needs to change the firmness.

    Simply can’t do that with other matresses. Oh, and Temperpedic seems to use some latex in their manufacturing process, my wife is also allergic to it (related to the arthritis) so be aware of that.

  53. cashmerewhore says:

    @redrocksco:

    You do realize that no air is ever dry? You breate out moisture when you exhale. Do you have an attached bathroom? Moisture in the air.

    I’d bet money you’re sleeping on an overpriced moldbag.

  54. velvetjones says:

    People – this is OLD, OLD, OLD news. Our Sleep Number bed is about 5 years old and I took off the cover earlier this year, and saw the exact same thing- ON MY HUSBAND’S SIDE. Apparently, he sweats in his sleep. I called the company and they happily overnighted new parts, explaining that the newer models are treated and do not mold like the old ones. That said, I enjoy my sleep number bed because I like my side soft (almost deflated now that I am pregant) and my husband likes it more firm. Its been a great bed and if you’re young, moving from place to place the bed is ideal because the it’s incredibly portable, the largest piece is about 1’x3.’ Is this mattress The Answer? Hard to tell, but we’re happy.

  55. sdirge says:

    These beds are terrible, we have owned it for 6 years and the seams on the top cover have split twice and the bed platform (kind of a box spring) has broken. I haven’t checked for the mold but I would not surprise me!

  56. Me - now with more humidity says:

    Don’t be all hatin’ on Lindsey Wagner!

  57. cyberscribe says:

    Wow. That is truly gross. After reading this, I wouldn’t sleep in one of those beds if you paid me.

  58. FangDoc says:

    We’ve had a SleepNumber bed for about 4 yrs. now, and have loved it. My husband and I have never agreed on mattress firmness, so being able to set the sides differently has eliminated the mattress argument we’d had for years; to this day, any hotel stay or overnight visit with family leads to one or the other of us tossing and turning. However, the changeability is the important thing: I have back and neck problems and see a chiropractor, and both of us have sleep ranges rather than sleep numbers.

    When we first got the bed, we were having the “trough in the middle” problem, but that was fixed and has stayed fixed by repacking the center foam. We open it up probably every 18 months to check it out and repack (I’ve never had to vacuum it out.)

    And yes, I just went up and checked — no mold.

  59. DashTheHand says:

    @FangDoc: Was that a comment or an advertisement…

  60. dieman says:

    I have a sleep number bed bought in 2005, I have /not/ noticed any mold in it at all. We’ve looked inside the bedding before for unrelated reasons [dog turned mattress into pool of urine] and didn’t see any issues months after either.

    Being able to change the bed is the big plus. Normally I sleep on a softish bed, but when I have back trouble I turn up the hardness a bit and lay on my back and feel much better within a couple days.

    If you are suffering from this mold issue I would call Select Comfort and request a new set of affected foam. My guess is people are asking for refunds under the warranty which are graduated and likely require you to pay for shipping — I bet most people get less than half to a quarter of the beds cost back this way, at best. Buuuuut, remember, like most ‘idiot’ mistakes, you signed the contract. (for my next trick: convince my wife to read contracts)

  61. fizgigg says:

    I’ve had a Sleep Number Bed for five years. The first time I heard about the mold issue was probably three years ago. I’ve heard that at the sight of mold, the beds are replaced. A family member did have her bed replaced for free as soon as mold was reported (hers is older than mine – still replaced for free). This isn’t a new issue and the company does what they can, as soon as they can. I love my Sleep Number and not only would I recommend it to anyone I know, but anyone who has laid on mine would like to own one.

  62. vermontwriter says:

    My brother and his wife had a Nautilus bed and never had a mold problem. Instead, the seams on his gave out after eight months the first time. They replaced it free of charge with a year’s warranty. Exactly thirteen months later, the seams went again. Rather than buy a new mattress, he opted to use the frame and put in a normal mattress. Because of his experience, I’ve never been interested in any of those beds.

  63. LUV2CattleCall says:

    Re: All the Tempurpedic fans:

    Try Bedinabox [www.bedinabox.com]

    I first tried a Tempurpedic but the foam made my skin BAKE…so we tried the Bedinabox (not to be confused with an SNL skit!). The pacdown plus has a layer of down on top of the foam, which really helps get rid of the feeling-hot issues usually found with memory foam. Plus, the bed felt as great/if not better as the Tempurpedic, and only cost $550 for a Full size, shipped! It’s always nice knowing that 50% of the cost of your purchase didn’t go to infomercials and mall storefronts…

  64. bohemian says:

    We looked at one of these and I wasn’t really impressed with it for the price. After finding out about the rampant mold issue a few years ago I am glad we didn’t get one.
    We opted for an older style wood box framed baffled waterbed about 10 years ago. We have had to replace the bladder once at about $100 and have gone through one memory foam topper in that time. The topper lasted about two years. So in a decade we have spent $300 total since both bed frames were freebies.

  65. TheSpatulaOfLove says:

    I just went through the bed shopping experience – much worse than buying a used car – UGH!

    Anyway, my wife was all hell bent on buying one of these Select Comforts. I tried pointing out that the cost of the bed was extraordinarily high for a gussied up camping mattress and that supporting the mall storefronts, infomercials and sleezy sales people pushed the cost way up.

    We were attracted by the notion of being able to set each side’s firmness, so I humored her and we went to the mall to try one out. I quickly found the ‘Channel of Doom’ and pointed that out, where the snarky sales rep told me I’d get used to it (rolling eyes).

    As we got closer to buying, my wife really fought to buy one of those silly beds until I started printing reviews from various sites, including the information on the mold issues and poor customer service. That shut her up…

    We decided on a foam/traditional hybrid bed at a local mattress store and things have been a-ok since.

  66. bohemian says:

    BTW, the mold issue in the select comfort mattresses is due to condensation moisture from the temp difference in the air in the air mattress and the foam.

  67. Do many people have waterbeds? We had a waterbed once when I was a little girl in the eighties/early nineties. But I haven’t seen one yet. I don’t even know where one would buy one.

  68. themediatrix says:

    People, people! You should not get a foam mattress, ANY foam mattress.

    A foam mattress breaks down and disintegrates over time, is made of petro-chemicals, and your body absorbs toxins from it when you sleep. It’s a piece of trash surrounded by marketing, and the marketing is what you pay for when you buy one.

    Wool and cotton batting (organic if possible) are naturally anti-bacterial, keep you cool in summer and warm in winter, and are made by nature. Hand-tied craftsmanship and natural materials are what you want. Then you pay for quality, not advertising.

    I’m currently sleeping on a starter mattress which is basically an organic wool and cotton pad on top of a basic JCPenny (poison) mattress, but I’m saving up for a McCroskey.

    The pad (from Ikea) at least creates a barrier between me and the toxins. We have organic cotton sheets and organic goose down comforter. I can’t wait to make the last step! It won’t be cheap, but it will be worth it. [www.mcroskey.com]

    Seriously, don’t fall for the marketing of petrochemicals.

  69. e.varden says:

    @Consumer007:

    Dearest Fathead:

    Any moisture inside the (plastic) mattress remains inside (Las Vegas-like) the mattress. Any outside mold is the result of outside moisture.

    Get it now, simple person?

    ===
    Waterbeds are NOT good for any enthusiastic sex; good for cuddling after a romp on a firm surface, however….

  70. stitchinthyme says:

    We have had a Select Comfort bed for somewhere around 10 years now. Twice we have found mold inside — once when we moved from Florida and then again a couple weeks ago when we took our bed apart to move it. The first time, we could only see mold on the foam pillowtop; I emailed Select Comfort asking if I could order a new one and they sent me one free of charge. This more recent time, the mold was on both of the air chambers and the foam, so I emailed them again and they sent me all three parts, again free of charge. We like the beds and their customer service department has always been very good to us (during one of our moves the compressor unit broke and they also replaced that free of charge); in fact, last year we bought a second bed from them for our guest room. (And no, I don’t work there.)

  71. Consumer007 says:

    Hey I heard back from Select Comfort – This is their response. Whether we are to believe it or not would require checking models from several different years – bottom line, if you own one, open it up and check to be safe.

    Their direct email is below if anyone wants to hit up Thomas for a refund for mold or for the special-secret “anti-microbial treatment” he mentions.

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Select Comfort Customer Service
    Date: Sun, May 18, 2008 at 4:42 PM
    Subject: Re: Buying a Bed [REF:31998989692]

    May 18, 2008

    Dear ,

    Thank you for contacting Select Comfort. We understand your concerns about whether it is possible for mold to grow inside a Sleep Number bed. A small percentage of beds from before 2005 were reported to have mold growth on the air chambers, which sometimes spread to the bottom of the foam comfort pad. There is the potential for mold or mildew to develop inside most types of beds or upholstered furniture. Fortunately, Select Comfort has developed a special anti-microbial treatment for our air chambers which is effective in preventing mold or mildew from developing inside Sleep Number beds. Since March of 2005, all Select Comfort Sleep Number beds include the treated air chambers, and in the cases where customers with older beds have contacted us about mold, Select Comfort has replaced their old air chambers with the new antimicrobial chambers at no cost.

    Please feel free to contact us again about this or any other concerns you may have.

    Sincerely,

    Thomas Vessey
    Select Comfort Customer Service
    1-800-472-7185
    customerservice@selectcomfort.com

  72. Consumer007 says:

    @e.varden: Why don’t you try taking a reading comprehension course, kid. THAT”S EXACTLY WHAT I SAID, MORON.

  73. SacraBos says:

    @e.varden: Re: enthusiastic sex – Then you’re not doing it right! Please remove stiletto heels before boarding this ride, and keep your hands and all over your partner.

  74. FangDoc says:

    Speaking of enthusiastic sex, that’s my question about the Tempurpedic mattress. I laid down on one of those in the showroom, and noticed that when I sat up to get up, and my upper body was in line with my pelvis, my butt sank way down into the foam. Which made me wonder: has one of these mattresses ever eaten the person on the bottom?

  75. Fitwit says:

    Great bed. Had one 10 years. NO problems and best sleep I’ve ever had. Sleep # 45. Ahhhh. ZZZzzzz.

  76. Rode2008 says:

    re: enthusiastic sex on a Tempurpedic mattress……

    motion dispersion is minimal, thereby creating a significantly stronger lust-thrust.

    Rumor has it that Jimmy Hoffa was on the bottom position beneath a young Roseanna Barr and has not been seen since.

  77. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    We had to replace a mattress once when I was out of work and we didn’t have a lot of money. (Long story, but it involved someone being too sick to get out of bed.) Someone was going to give us a boxspring, so I went to Ikea to buy a mattress to go on top of it. Due to some miscommunication, the “boxspring” turned out to be another mattress. We shrugged and laid one mattress on top of the other on the full slat base of our Ikea bed (so sue me, I love Ikea).

    I slept like a dead woman that night, and we both got up feeling terrific. I’ve been on business trips around the world since then and in five years I’ve only been as comfortable in a hotel that boasted top-notch Tempurpedic beds. Face it people, hard beds are for the birds.

  78. Dullspork says:

    I bought a Sleep Number bed after spending a year and a half sleeping on a cheap air mattress (long story) and being more comfortable than I’d ever been on a traditional mattress. Got the two-chamber model for my wife and I. We change firmness periodically depending on our mood. I’ve never been happier with a bed.

  79. blackmage439 says:

    “Their product is unhealthy for people like me who have allergies to mold/mildew.”

    You don’t need to be allergic to be worried about the “Dreaded Black Mold.” Seriously, if you see that stuff anywhere within your dwelling, take immediate action. That stuff is dangerously unhealthy.

  80. ELC says:

    @TWinter:
    Twinter is right. Consumer Reports won’t even rate mattresses b/c they can’t.
    [blogs.consumerreports.org]

    “So buying a mattress should be a pleasant experience, right? (Watch our video report, right.)

    But it isn’t, say many of our readers, who find buying a mattress frustrating and tell us that they are not sure they’re getting a fair deal. A big contributing factor to these problems, as we noted in “Why Consumer Reports Doesn’t Rate Specific Models of Mattresses,” is that the model names of the top mattress brands differ from one store to the next, so there’s no way to truly compare models. What’s more, even for mattresses that retailers claim are similar, significant differences exist in quilting, padding, and springs, according to our experts.”

    Talk about irritating!

  81. Angiol says:

    @themediatrix: I’m sorry, but I personally find any sort of mention of “it’s all natural” or “DANGEROUS CHEMICALS” to instantly discredit the person who posted it. If you can show me actual studies showing that foam chemicals leach into your skin while you sleep, then sure. But not everything that’s ‘natural’ is good.

  82. YaronMinotaur says:

    I own one of the sleep number beds and have had NO problems with it at this point. We bought it in 2003 and took it completely apart to move in 2006. We saw no evidence of problems with it. What I am wondering is…1) was water spilled on the bed at some point and 2) does this only affect some of the bed models? You cannot account for poor up keep and I hope you take all the POV into consideration. Over time, the foam sides have softened, but we have adjusted the bed settings and still enjoy it. Overall, we are still happy with the purchase and love the sleep number bed. We can definitely tell the difference when we are on vacation!

    A.

  83. axiomatic says:

    Just had my wife check ours from home. There was nothing visible on the air mattress side but she did notice black “particulates” on the foam side.

    At what point do I begin to call Select Comfort for a replacement? Now?

  84. deb1ie says:

    I’ve owned a Sleep Number queen-sized mattress (top of their line) since 2000. I discovered mold in 2003 when I was moving and the bed was being disassembled to transport it to my new home. I called the company and they sent me a complelely new set of the “insides” of my bed, which included two new air chambers, and all new interior paddings, completely free of any charges. Since then, I’ve not had any more mold problems. I love this bed. I’ve never been more comfortable on a matress, never had a good night’s sleep until I experienced the Sleep Number bed, and I have recommended it to many of my friends. Some of these friends, who could not afford to buy a Sleep Number Bed, have asked me to leave them my bed in my Will when I die. They don’t want anything else from me, just my bed! Now, that’s an endorsement. And no, I don’t work for the manufacturer.

  85. SelectComfortSarah says:

    Hello, my name is Sarah Panus, and I’m the PR Manager for Select Comfort. I wanted to address your questions/comments about mold and correct some of the inaccurate information being shared.

    Select Comfort stands behind the safety and quality of our products. We wanted to respond to let each of you know that Margaret of Stanville, KY’s email (which starts this blog posting) to us on 4/5/08 was responded to within 24 hours, and she was shipped all new foam, air chambers and a new cover. All at no charge.

    If any customer has an issue with mold, we will do everything possible to remedy the situation, including replacing components of the bed, replacing the entire bed or providing a full refund. All at NO COST to the customer. If you have an issue, please contact Select Comfort Customer Care at (800) 472-7185. Our customer service agents will work with you to immediately address the situation.

    All key components of the Sleep Number bed – including foam, air chambers and fabrics – are treated with a tailor-made antimicrobial agent to deter the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria. For several years, Select Comfort has worked diligently with Sanitized AG, a global leader in developing antimicrobial agents, to create tailor-made treatments for components of the Sleep Number bed. In 2005, Select Comfort enhanced its antimicrobial treatment and, according to our data, there have been 0 confirmed cases of mold in Sleep Number beds sold after this enhancement was introduced.

    A few other things it’s important you know is that mold growth in beds is a rare occurrence, and it can occur in ANY mattress or upholstered furniture. Select Comfort does not have a problem with mold. There is no evidence that mold occurs more frequently in a Sleep Number bed than other mattresses and upholstered products.

  86. ChristopherCbazon says:

    From wiki…

    Because common building materials are capable of sustaining mold
    growth, and mold spores are ubiquitous, mold growth in an indoor
    environment is typically related to an indoor water or moisture
    problem. Leaky roofs, building maintenance problems, or indoor
    plumbing problems can lead to mold growth inside homes, schools, or
    office buildings. Another common source of mold growth is flooding.

    For significant mold growth to occur, there must be a source of water
    (which could be invisible humidity), a source of food, and a substrate
    capable of sustaining growth. Common building materials, such as
    plywood, drywall, furring strips, carpets, and carpet padding are food
    for molds. In carpet, invisible dust and cellulose are the food
    sources (see also dust mites). After a single incident of water damage
    occurs in a building, molds grow inside walls and then become dormant
    until a subsequent incident of high humidity; this illustrates how
    mold can appear to be a sudden problem, long after a previous flood or
    water incident that did not produce a mold-related problem. The right
    conditions re-activate mold. Studies also show that mycotoxin levels
    are perceptibly higher in buildings that have once had a water
    incident (source CMHC).

    Both our indoor and outdoor environment have mold spores present.
    There is no such thing as a mold free environment in the Earth’s
    biosphere.

    Spores need three things to grow into mold:

    Nutrients: Food for spores in an indoor environment is organic matter,
    often cellulose.
    Moisture: Moisture is required to begin the decaying process caused by the mold.
    Time: Mold growth begins between 24 hours and 10 days from the
    provision of the growing conditions. There is no known way to date
    mold

  87. David in Brasil says:

    I’ve had a Sleepnumber bed for about 8 or 9 years. Honestly, it’s the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in. Since we bought it, my wife’s sciatica problem has almost gone away. The mattress supports you in a completely different way from a standard mattress, no matter how firm it would be. At first, I was concerned that the air mattress would burst, but we haven’t had any problems – the mattress is made from the same kind of rubberized canvas that they make military inflatable boats from. No, I’m not affiliated in any way with the company or its dealers; just a satisfied customer. I haven’t seen any evidence of mold, even though I live in Brasil.

  88. DennisElephino says:

    We have had our Select Comfort bed since 2003 and have been very well pleased with it. Whenever I travel overnight away from my Select Comfort I am always reminded of what used to be a nightly occurrence of waking up with stiff, painful joints. My husband appreciates being able to adjust the firmness of his mattress when he is having extra back pain. A few weeks ago our compressor unit was fried during an electrical storm (no, we weren’t in the bed at the time.) When I opened up the bed to check things out I discovered mold on both air chambers. Select Comfort Customer Service told me they would send out two new air chambers along with all new foam padding at no cost to us. I was not asked to send back any of it. I was also told that since 2005 Select Comfort beds are treated with a mold inhibitor. The customer service rep was very courteous. We are satisfied with the service we received and hope Select Comfort stays in business for many years. I don’t want to sleep on any other mattress after having the sleep number. And, no, neither of us have any employment association or financial interest in Select Comfort.

    –Sleep Numbers 35 and 45

  89. cecilsaxon says:

    I bought one- stupid move. The thing is two giant air mattresses in a zippered pouch. There is a valley that you fall into in the middle and it is of varying comfort overall- lousy support. I was an idiot when I bought one.

  90. VaughanPython says:

    Dear Bloggers,

    If you think that the mold problem only happens to Sleep Number beds you are
    sadly mistaken.

    This problem happens to EVERY type of bed, it is just not as widely known as
    it is to Sleep Number Bed owners.
    This is because they can actually take the mattress apart and see the mold.
    Don’t think for a minute that this
    does not happen to all other mattresses – it does! You simply aren’t able to
    take the mattress apart and witness
    it for yourself.

    People who are sensitive to this type of mold and mold problem have known
    this for years.

    As a matter of fact, mold spores happen to be in most of your other
    furniture as well. Anything that is made out of
    man-made material and has some sort of padding for comfort is suseptible to
    mold. Do you perspire in your car seat
    while driving in the summer? This too is a perfect breeding ground for mold.

    Ask any manufacturer on the market today and If they are honest, they will
    all tell you the same thing.
    Most manufacturers use treated materials in their products to REDUCE the
    likelyhood of mold production,
    but there is NOTHING that prevents it entirely.
    Mold is a fact of life – people. We live in it, we eat it, it is all around
    us, whether we know it or not.

    When you purchase expensive products to make your life more comfortable,
    take the necessary precautions
    to limit your exposure to mold. If you buy an expensive bed, also purchase a
    waterproof mattress cover at
    the time of purchase. Then your bed is protected from the beginning.

  91. Anonymous says:

    We have a model 9000 king sleep number bed since 2003. The zippered topper has foam in it and soon after we purchased the bed the foam deteriorated. We purchased new foam from the Company this year, and again it has deteriorated to the point of grooves in each side of the matress. Now the Company is selling a memory foam insert for the topper for $334.00 plus shipping and tax. Also, the pump never did work right. This bed just keeps getting more and more expensive.

  92. Anonymous says:

    I have had my sleep number bed for over 10 years. I have never had a problem with it. I did place a matteres cover the one that came with the bed. I checked my bed today and found no problems with it. Best bed that I ever owned.

  93. Anonymous says:

    Had a Select Comfort 9000 for two years. It wasn’t bad or good. Recently purchased a Comfortaire GS 1100 with a POWER LIFT. What a difference .. now I sleep ALL night long & wake up ready to take on the day!

  94. Anonymous says:

    I have always loved my sleep comfort bed. Today, I found black mold. I called the company and they are sending replacement parts and someone to install them. They couldn’t have been more helpful. I was told this problem is only occurring in beds made before 2005, which mine was.

  95. tjaye says:

    I have had a king size Sleep Number bed for years, with no problems with anything. However, from day one (like every mattress I have ever owned) I attached a quilted, non allergenic cover over the top of the mattress…(held on with just four elastic straps.) We send it to the laundry to be cleaned. So, the top of the mattress is fresh and clean, and the original mattress cover underneath is still like new.

  96. Flyboy says:

    Wow, just opened up my ten year old Select Comfort bed. Mold everywhere. Washed air cell with bleach mixture and bought a new memory foam topper at Sam’s Club ($120). Will be calling Select Comfort in morning. How do I get the mold out of the $850. mattress topper that we sleep on? After ten years the foam pad was gross. We love the bed but not the mold…