Addressing Sleep Number Bed Problems and Complaints

Sleep Number beds are popular amongst couples and those who love cutting edge technology. But even the best mattresses have their problems.

By Nicole Gleichmann

Nov 19th, 2020

Sleep Number is an innovator in the mattress space. Their dual-sided, adjustable beds with sleep tracking offer a level of customization that has earned them countless loyal customers. But not everyone who buys a Sleep Number mattress has the perfect new mattress experience.

When shopping for the right mattress, it’s important to know what to expect. Part of this is what customers are saying, good and bad. In this review, we will outline the most common complaints shared by Sleep Number customers. We’ll also let you know what to do if you find yourself in the same situation.

  1. Firmness
  2. Deflation
  3. Sagging
  4. Pricing

Too Firm

One of the most common complaints with Sleep Number mattresses is that they sleep too firm. Being that these beds are adjustable, it may come as a surprise that no Sleep Number bed truly accommodates the needs of every sleeper. 

Sleep Number mattresses all have a similar construction—an adjustable air chamber topped with padding. However, the comfort padding layer varies from just 1.5” thick to 7” thick. Even if you set a Sleep Number bed with 2” of padding to the softest setting, it’s not going to offer the plush give that side sleepers and those who like softer mattresses require.

For those on the market for a new mattress, the solution is straightforward: buy a mattress that’s designed with your needs in mind. If you’re a side sleeper or someone who enjoys ample pressure relief, opt for a Sleep Number bed with thicker comfort layers. 

Related: Best Soft Mattresses


  • Some Sleep Number beds have minimal comfort layers, resulting in a firm to extra-firm feel. These mattresses are unable to accommodate those who prefer soft mattresses, even on the softest setting. 


  • Shop for soft mattresses made with thicker comfort layers.. 

Alternative Brands with Softer Beds:

  • Brooklyn Aurora: The Brooklyn Aurora luxury hybrid mattress comes in three firmness options: soft, medium, and firm. With plush foam atop supportive innerspring coils, the Aurora offers optimal contouring, comfort, and responsive support. Learn more about the Brooklyn Aurora mattress.
  • The Zenhaven Mattress: Saatva’s flippable natural latex mattress has a medium-soft side and a firm side. This dual-firmness gives you the choice between two different mattress experiences. Check out our Zenhaven mattress review to learn more about this all-natural mattress.


When it comes to Sleep Number mattress defects, one of the most commonly cited problems is deflation. For some, the air slowly leaks out, causing the sleeper to wake up throughout the night, refilling the mattress. For others, a defect over time results in uneven air distribution or rapid deflation. 

The way that Sleep Number beds adjust to your needs is through adding or releasing air from an internal air chamber. With an air pump, hose, and chamber, there are multiple parts that can leak, resulting in a defective mattress. 

If you experience this problem, you should reach out the Sleep Number’s customer service. As long as you are still covered by your Sleep Number warranty, chances are the problem will be fixed at no extra cost to you. 


  • On occasion, a Sleep Number mattress will leak air through the air chamber or hose. This is a sign that there is a defect in the mattress that’s typically covered under warranty. 


  • Contact Sleep Number’s customer service team to get the issue resolved. Or, shop for an adjustable bed/base pair that doesn’t use air. Check out our Sleep Number Alternatives page for a comparative mattress for each Sleep Number model.

Dipping in the Middle

Couples who share a Sleep Number mattress sometimes voice concern over a dip in the middle of the mattress. This complaint is common enough that it’s been given the name “trench effect.”

The trench effect doesn’t tend to take hold until couples have been using their mattress for at least one year. When it occurs, it feels as if the middle of the mattress doesn’t hold air as well as the outside of the mattress.

While we don’t know for sure why this happens, customer reviews point to two likely culprits. One possible cause is couples sleeping at dramatically different firmness levels, say a 90 and a 20. This variation in firmness from one side to the other could cause the mattress to weaken in the middle over time. Next, the trench effect appears to happen more often with heavy sleepers than light sleepers. The dual-sided chambers may weaken faster with greater weight.

Related: Best Mattresses for Couples

These reviews suggest that the Sleep Number bed is best for light to average weight people who have relatively similar mattress needs with their sleeping partner.  


  • Some couples, particularly heavy couples or those with different firmness needs, experience the “trench effect.” This is when the middle of the mattress sags, typically after a year or more of use. 


  • For heavyweight couples or those with dramatically different firmness preferences, look for a mattress that’s a better fit. There are some beds designed for heavy sleepers and mattresses with different firmness levels on each side that aren’t air mattresses. 

Alternative Brands that Support Heavier Sleepers:

  • Alexander Signature Hybrid Mattress: Thanks to 14” of comfort layers and innerspring coils, the Alexander Signature Hybrid achieves the right balance of support and cushion for heavy sleepers. What’s more, you can choose between three firmness levels with a different option on each side of the mattress. To find out more, head to our Alexander Signature Hybrid mattress review
  • Titan by Brooklyn Bedding: The Titan is a hybrid mattress designed to fix the common problems that heavy sleepers face. It sleeps cool, boasts exceptional edge support, dampens motion, achieves moderate contouring, and delivers reliable support. Read our Titan by Brooklyn Bedding review to learn more 
  • Saatva HD: The Saatva HD hybrid mattress pairs individually encased coils with 5-zoned Talalay latex, cushioning and supporting heavy bodies. For plus size sleepers with joint pain or back aches, the Saatva HD is designed to help. Learn more about the Saatva HD mattress.


When we read through user reviews, one common complaint amongst those who rated their new mattress at 2 stars or fewer was the price. Some consumers feel like their Sleep Number bed feels like an overpriced air mattress. 

Sleep Number mattresses are luxury air mattresses, and their price point reflects this. Most queen mattresses from Sleep Number cost between $2,000 and $5,000. While this price is fairly standard for high-quality airbeds, you can easily find equally comfortable mattresses for less. 

The key to finding a comfortable budget mattress is to look for less expensive mattress types. Memory foam mattresses tend to be the best bang for your buck, but even hybrid mattresses can cost less than Sleep Number beds.  


  • Sleep Number mattresses are luxury airbeds, with most queen size options costing well over $2,000. These beds cost more than most mattresses. 


  • Shop for a less expensive mattress. Memory foam beds are an excellent budget-friendly option, and hybrid mattresses fall between memory foam and airbed costs.
  • Check our our list of Sleep Number bed coupons

Alternative Brands that Cost Less:

  • Tuft & Needle: Tuft & Needle is one of the most popular bed-in-a-box brands. Their flagship Original mattress is an all-foam mattress designed for the average sleeper. Find out more in our Tuft & Needle mattress review
  • Bowery Hybrid Mattress: Hybrid mattresses achieve both responsive support and a contouring feel. The Bowery Hybrid is one of the best hybrid mattresses at a competitive price. Check out our Bowery Hybrid mattress review to learn more. 


With innovative sleep tracking technology and customizable support, Sleep Number crafts some of the most popular airbeds on the market. While most people who buy a new mattress from Sleep Number rave about how happy they are in their reviews, some consumers have had problems with their new Sleep Number mattress. 

Now that you know the most common Sleep Number complaints, you have the information that you need to decide if Sleep Number mattresses are the right choice for you.