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Have you ever felt, when you and your spouse go bed shopping, that both of you have extremely different preferences in the way you nap? You might like sleeping on a firm surface, but your partner might want a 'Princess and the Pea' soft pad. So, what do you do?

Sleep number mattresses are a good option for solving these problems. You can make your sleep number mattress as soft or as firm as you want, as cold or as warm as you want, as level or as sloping as you want, and even as high or as low as you want. And the best thing is, you can have two different kinds of alternatives for two different sides. That means, you get the comfort you want, and your spouse gets the kind they are used to. You no longer have to crib about your crib!

How Do They Work?

Though these beds have been in the market for over a decade now, and though several celebrities have endorsed them in thousands of advertisements, they are still relatively unknown in their principle.

These pads are an actual patented invention of Select Comfort, an outfit based in Minnesota. Though Select Comfort is the inventor and several modifications have hit the market ever since, today we find dozens of companies gate-crashing the party. Of course, each gate-crasher has his/her own sets of advantages and disadvantages in comparison to the real sleep number beds. In fact, some people would prefer the later entrants. So, when you are shopping now, you must look out for the features that all companies provide, and then make your pick accordingly.

These beds work by maintaining an adjustable air layer above the mattress, and just below the sleeping surface. With the help of various coils and springs, these air layers can be adjusted. Users are provided with a remote control by which they can change the settings, and hence fine-tune it to the way they want to rest.

The Select Comfort site has quantified every person's sleeping comfort with a number between 0 and 100, which is known as the sleep number. This depends on several factors - your height, weight, and gender, the posture you sleep in, the level of tiredness you feel in the day, the intensity with which you slumber in the night ... all of these influence your number. There is a calculator on the website itself, where you can calculate it. Or, you can visit Select Comfort's stores and find out. This feature can be adjusted. Both ends of the bed can have different sleep numbers. That means, the two people napping can tune the bed to their own comfort.

The Advantages

The advantages are quite obvious by the principle of working. Since both partners will be able to adjust the bed according to their own preference, there will be no more compromises in the manner of sleeping. Also, they will be able to sleep restfully. This is very important in stopping snoring, which is always a nuisance. By changing the settings, a very peaceful rest can be obtained, so the partners can say goodbye to snoring forever.

Also, it really helps when the wife is pregnant. By changing the settings, she can adjust the bed to the exact degree of comfort she prefers, which could change during each week of the pregnancy. This is very ideal for providing a healthy restful nap to a pregnant woman, which is an absolute necessity.

The Disadvantages

These beds might require maintenance and repair often, but that depends on how you use these beds. They also have a large amount of coils and springs, and that does mean a lot of wear and tear. In addition, buying them and maintaining them is indeed costly, and hence they are not affordable to most people.

One more disadvantage, or rather limitation, is in the principle of working. The older beds used a closed air flow structure. This was not comfortable, because if one partner would sleep, the air would be directed to the other end of the bed, which meant that the other partner would have to sleep on that air cushion, whether they needed it or not. However, such a shortcoming is now removed by using open flow air beds.