I've used a Sleep Number bed for about 20 years. At first I thought it was great. After a while, the sides began to stretch which made sitting and transferring more difficult than it should be. I'm sure the sides on your Sleep Number are also droopy. I considered buying another one recently, but after seeing that the demo unit that was in the showroom had the same issue I said forget it. I updated the topper with a 3" memory foam top when the mattress started causing shoulder pain, but it didn't really help that much. Also due to the way the Sleep Number inflates/deflates and the fact that I spend most of my time sleeping on my side, I think it's contributed to the small curvature/scoliosis that's in my back now. Many people on this site disagree with me, but I can only share *my* experiences. Here's a video that demonstrates what I'm seeing (around the 50 second mark):
For the past year I've only been able to sleep in my Sleep Number bed for at most ~5 hours. I wake up with extreme shoulder pain and sweating. I then transfer into my power chair and sleep another few hours tilted back. I just received the Purple mattress a few days ago and it was the first time in a long time that I was able to sleep 10 hours and wake up with no shoulder pain. I bought it on a fluke since I could return it for a full refund after 30 days. Of course YMMV, but I've been very happy so far.
The Purple mattress was surprisingly firm enough to easily transfer. Sitting on the side and transferring is *so much* easier than what I was seeing with my Sleep Number. I've also found it's easier to turn. The mattress is firm, but not, at the same time. I know that sounds weird. It's a different type of feel that's hard to describe, but I've found it really comfortable. I largely made my decision based on this video:
David, thanks. I just ordered one. 3-4 week delivery.
Turning is not only important to your skin, but to your lungs and renal system for good health. While you may get away without turning when you are younger, as you age it is likely to come back and bite you. And no, an alternating pressure pad (of dubious utility for pressure ulcer/injury prevention) is not at all the same as a turning mattress or bed.
So far I just use a regular medium firm mattress with a egg crate foam and a flat piece of foam that about 3 to 4 inches thick total and cover with comforter then use one to cover me when I sleep. I then put a couple of underpads between the comforter and the foam in case you have a accident. Usually I wake up with stomach craps before and use more on top of the comforter. Because when it happens its a 12 to 20 hour mess. I tried the cover that has a plastic cover but they break down and then you have to replace foam which is a lot cheaper than a bed. Am a para and have a king size bed and because my back hurts am all over that bed. Fell of off it one time years ago. Did have to replace the foam that one time because the plastic was cracked and it wreck one of the foam pads. But I move so much and sleep on my sides and my stomach most the time. Have replace the mattress a few times over the years because they sag after awhile. Not being able to move is a whole different story though.