one of the most helpful reviews on jcp's site was very helpful indeed! Although I think he was reviewing the non-built-in-pump version (Deluxe???) by what he says about using the pump.
Great for the price but will stretch initially
January 15, 2012
I bought this bed a few months ago to tide me over until I could afford a regular mattress. Overall, I would say that it has served me well. Hopefully, my experience will be useful to others.
Straight out of the box, the mattress does have a significant odor of plastic. For me, it started to fade quickly, but wasn't totally gone until about a week of use. I would recommend fully inflating the mattress and letting it air out for a few hours prior to use to reduce the odor. I would have done this anyway, if only to ensure the mattress is holding air, so it wasn't too inconvenient.
The AC air pump that comes with the mattress certainly does its job effectively. Flat to full inflation takes about two minutes or less, but there are two caveats. First, the valve on the mattress is set about one foot above the ground at full inflation meaning that the user will be holding the motor up while inflating. Secondly, the pump motor makes about as much noise as an upright vacuum cleaner when in operation. Those two points together should be considered for anyone with sensitive ears.
Many of the lower rating comments I've seen for this bed suggest it needs to be constantly re-inflated because it loses pressure or isn't the proper size. One key thing I've noticed is that the bed _will stretch_ during the first couple nights at full inflation.
The big downside to this is that the bed will go from firm to mushy during the first night (or two) of being inflated. To regain full firmness, the bed will have to be 'topped off' in the morning to compensate for the expansion. At the end of the first few nights, the bed has a much rounder and wide appearance than at initial inflation. Having reached this point, the bed should definitely be stable and large enough for a queen size set of sheets. I'm guessing many of the people who have complained about small size issues hadn't waited for a few days of consecutive use.
In the four months or so that I've had the bed, I've not had to re-inflate after the initial expansion period, aside from a couple small holes that formed on the bottom. The patch kit that comes with the bed did a nice job both times and the bed was back to a steady plumpness within a couple nights at each instance.
The height of the bed is a nice feature because it allows the sleeper to transition directly from standing to lying down (and vice versa). Again, there are a couple limitations to this. The first is that the bed alone (no sheets, covers, pads, pillows) weighs less than twenty pounds. The average person weighs considerably more than this and its (an unfortunate) consequence of the laws of physics that when a heavy object hits a much lighter object, the lighter object will try to move out of the way (see baseball). As such, the bed will tend move a little when someone tries to get on. As someone of lighter build (~135 lbs) I have to adjust somewhat for this and I might expect it to be even more pronounced for anyone heavier.
To further complicate matters, the natural way to get in a bed of this height is to half sit and then swing your feet up. Unfortunately, sitting concentrates your weight to a smaller footprint than lying and causes the edge of the bed to give substantially, so that the nice round 'bumpers' in the picture deform to slides directly to the floor. Again, weight will probably play a factor in this (as well as level of inflation). Rolling in head- or side-first from a standing position is a way to get around this, but can be unnatural or difficult for some.
The silver lining to the past two paragraphs is that adding the extra weight (and tension) of sheets, pillows, blankets, etc. helps to mitigate these issues. I would suggest throwing on more bedding for this bed than you'll probably use as a way to improve it accessibility and stability, especially if you have any problems with mobility.
Overall I would say the bed would be good for anyone looking for something affordable for mid- to long-term use. Using this bed for the occasional overnight will run into problems with it sagging during the night. It's lightness compared to a traditional mattress means that it is easy for one person to move around (for cleaning, bedroom rearrangement, etc.), but may take some getting used to for actual sleeping purposes.
The bed has provided me with many nights of comfortable sleep, despite some inherent limitations. I plan to continue to use this bed until I purchase a more traditional bed.
Pros Height, affordability, easy to move, holds a seal well
Cons Bed needs to be stretched for a few days, not as physically stable as a tradiational mattress.
Bunch of JC Penny gift cards you guys can buy first @ cardpool.com (or the like) that gives about 28% off the card... although it says that it will be delivered "within 24 hours"...I'd hate to buy the card/e-card then have this go OOS!!
Anyone know the difference between this one and the deluxe one that shows up on the side for the same price?
I bought both the Ultimate and the Deluxe and ended up returning the Ultimate.
I did not inflate the Ultimate, but it came on a Brown Box as the retail packaging. There were no pretty picture or enough information on the box for me to make an executive decision, unlike the Deluxe that came on a shiny, color printed box.
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