Sleep is precious to a mother. I can vaguely recall the days before motherhood when “sleeping in” was within the realm of possibility and staying up late was enjoyable. And I can faintly remember the time period before children when the idea of taking a nap never crossed my mind or threatened to tempt me during the day. Now, with a toddler and another baby soon to be born, sleep is often the very one thing I long for, and when I finally can wind down for those few quiet hours it is like a slice of heaven.
I have often been frustrated, however, during the last couple years when my “slice of heaven” has been interrupted — not by my son waking me, but by the discomfort of our bed causing me to toss and turn and ultimately wake up feeling less rested than I did to begin with. As a mom to young children, there is little that is more stressful than not actually being able to sleep (or being awoken) when you finally do have that time to rest quietly without disturbance from your children or other responsibilities. It is disheartening to wake up from one of those “good nights” when your child actually sleeps through (and perhaps even past the crack of dawn!) and feel sore throughout your body or simply drained from trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in during the night. And, in my case, being 7 months pregnant does little to help the situation! Sleeping comfortably was enough of a struggle before I was pregnant, but now with a belly the size of a small whale, along with all the regular aches and pains that come from chasing a toddler around all day while growing a child within me, it has been even more difficult to get the rest that I so dearly need.
The last two weeks, however, have been much different for me!
I’m so excited to say that Sleep Number sent me one of their new m9 Memory Foam Beds to review, and it has totally changed my sleeping experience. I can’t wait to tell you about this incredible bed and how my sleep has improved.
This was actually my first experience with a Sleep Number bed. I had heard about them before, but never tried one, and didn’t really know much about them or how they were different from other mattresses. Since I really didn’t know what to expect, I met with the manager at my local Sleep Number store for a tour of their products. I wanted to get a general idea of what to expect before my bed arrived!
The Sleep Number manager was very nice and couldn’t have done a better job explaining how everything worked and giving me a thorough tour of their products. I got to test-drive nearly everything in the store and it was great! I was so impressed by all the sleep-enhancing products they offer in addition to the beds. Everything from specialized pillows and pillowcases to mattress covers and sheet sets. They have such a wide variety of products that regardless of your sleep preferences, they have something to make you feel as comfortable as possible. Have allergies? They have hypoallergenic and natural allergy-defense options. Sleep too hot? They have specially designed sheets, pillow cases and more that cool your body while you sleep. Want a truly unique pillow built to your exact specifications? They have a “create your own pillow” option that allows you to stuff them with whatever your want. Want memory foam on one side of the pillow and plush down on the other? They’ve got you covered. Plus, they have options that make it simple to enjoy your own comfort preferences while your partner chooses something else. For example, if you sleep cooler and your partner sleeps warmer, you can purchase a comforter that is thicker on your side and thinner on their side. Their products are truly ingenious!
Aside from the amazing beds, the product that actually impressed me the most was their In Balance collection. These sheets, pillow cases, pillow protectors, mattress pads, blankets and more are designed to help you maintain a perfectly comfortable temperature while you sleep. If you sleep too hot, they will cool you off; if you are cold, they will warm you. I prefer to sleep cold at night, and especially since I’m pregnant it can be difficult to keep cool! I tried out a Sleep Number pillow with just the In Balance pillow protector on top, and I was so amazed at how cool it made my neck and face feel–even 10 minutes later! The fabric is blended with a special “Outlast” material that makes it cool to the touch, absorbing excess heat and then releasing it as your body cools. It’s really quite a neat concept and I was impressed with how it actually worked. I would love to get a set of their In Balance sheets and pillow cases, and it’s definitely going on my wish list.
Of course I tested out the beds while I was there too! Sleep Number has a 3D Imaging Experience called the IndividualFit that they offer to customers who come in the store. This is a great way to figure out your “Sleep Number” and see exactly how the Sleep Number beds can adjust to your body for the ultimate comfort. You’ll lie down on one of the Sleep Number beds and then adjust the remote to the number setting that feels most comfortable to you, starting at 100 and working your way down until it relieves any pressure points and provides support in all the right places. Meanwhile, you’ll get to watch the 3D Imaging on a computer screen that pinpoints exactly where the most pressure is in your body (in red and orange) and then shows how it progressively gets relieved (turning yellow green) as the Sleep Number is adjusted down.
Here is a picture showing my pressure areas when I was lying on my back. The top image is when the Sleep Number was set to 100, and is probably about the comfort level of your average mattress. The bottom image shows how much pressure was relieved when the Sleep Number was set to 30. Look at the difference! And the difference wasn’t just apparent on the screen either, I felt it and it was amazing. I didn’t realize until then how comfortable a bed could be!
Before my tour at the Sleep Number store, I assumed that Sleep Number beds simply had adjustment controls that made each side of the mattress “firmer” or “softer.” But that’s actually not how it works, and the mattresses do so much more than that. It’s really pretty cool. The mattress is filled with air pockets all throughout it, and as you lower the number on the Sleep Number remote, the air starts to deflate exactly (and only) where your body is pressing on it, and only to the level of pressure that your weight is putting on it in that particular area. For example, it’s going to let more air out of the pockets in your hip area than from your feet area. This gives you a truly individual level of comfort suited for your body specifically. That means that even if your partner uses the same “Sleep Number” on their remote, their side of the bed is going to adjust differently than yours because their pressure areas are going to be at least slightly (if not very) different.
The Sleep Number bed that I tested out for the 3D Imaging was their c3 model, which is one of the less expensive Sleep Number beds. The m9 model that I received for review is actually one of the newest and most high-end models that they offer, and it is much different in that it has luxurious memory foam. Five full inches of memory foam, to be exact! Because of the difference in softness, and the fact that I sleep on my side rather than my back, my “Sleep Number” of preference has actually been 75 on the m9 Memory Foam bed, rather than the 30 that I found comfortable on the c3.
After my tour at the Sleep Number store, I couldn’t wait for my new bed to arrive! Finally the day came, and two Sleep Number movers arrived to deliver and set up the bed.
I was so glad that they set up everything for us, because the bed arrived in many different pieces and probably would have taken us several hours to figure out! As it was, though, they had the bed set up within a matter of 20-30 minutes and it was quite fascinating to watch all the pieces go into place. I was relieved to hear that we wouldn’t have to take everything apart to move the mattress or base. Once it’s set up, the mattress part can stay together and then you’ve only got the base and the layer of memory foam in addition to that. It’s great that we won’t have to worry about taking everything apart and putting it back together when we eventually move.
My husband is very tall and needs a long mattress, so we requested the California King size bed, the same size as our previous mattress. It’s very nice and spacious. I was pleased that all of our sheets and blankets fit over it, even with the added 5″ of memory foam.
Since we didn’t have a bedframe previously, Sleep Number provided us with a Modular Base for the m9 bed. They also sent us a set of standard size legs for the base. In retrospect, I probably should have requested the “low” size legs rather than the “standard,” because the bed became very, very tall with the standard size 7.5″ legs, plus the base, plus the mattress, plus the 5″ thick memory foam. I am not a tall person by any means (okay, I’m only 5’3″) and I basically had to climb to get into the bed at that height. We ended up removing the legs and just placing the base on the floor which works fine too, and it’s a much more comfortable height for me.
Once we got the bed situated, our Sleep Number experience began!
Admittedly, it got off to a bit of a rough start. The first night I could not get comfortable and there were moments in which I wondered if we would need to switch back to our old mattress. I don’t usually sleep well in a new place, or a new bed for that matter, so this wasn’t exactly unusual. The main thing I had a difficult time adjusting to was actually the memory foam. Our previous mattress didn’t have any kind of pillow top or memory foam on it, so switching all of the sudden from a semi-firm mattress to sleeping on 5″ of memory foam is a huge change. It’s a LOT softer and conforms to the body much differently, so it took my body a while to adjust to it. My husband had a similar experience and we started to wonder if the m9 was going to work for us.
Much to my relief, my body started adjusting to the idea of memory foam and the second night was much better. After several nights, it began to feel like heaven when I crawled into that plush softness every night. It took me a few nights to figure out just what setting I wanted my Sleep Number set to, but once I had that down and the memory foam was becoming more familiar, I was sleeping much better.
Now, two weeks later, I am getting quite attached to my m9 bed! I have been sleeping much more soundly at night and do not wake up with all the aches and pains that I used to. I am tossing and turning much less than I did with my old mattress, and as each night passes by, the m9 is feeling more and more like sleeping on a cloud. I love how it conforms to my body and yet cradles and supports it in all the right places. Being 32 weeks pregnant, I am delighted to say that the memory foam offers my growing belly the gentle support that it needs while I lay on my side, and any thoughts of needing a “pregnancy pillow” are out the window! My previous mattress never provided this kind of support and comfort at night. The m9 is infinitely more comfortable just to sit on, as well, which is important to me because I like to sit propped up in bed during the evening to read or blog, and will soon be up all hours of the night with a little one.
Overall, after my experience I highly recommend Sleep Number beds, and the m9 especially! It has certainly changed and improved my sleeping experience, and I can only envision it getting better and better from here on out.
You can purchase the Sleep Number m9 Memory Foam Bed
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Disclosure: I received a free Sleep Number® m9 Memory Foam bed to review from Select Comfort / Sleep Number for this post. The opinions in my reviews are purely my own, and others’ opinions may vary.