The 850 Extra Pillow-Top Traditional Series by Air-Pedic, a division of Relief-Mart, is the same height (12½") as the Air-Pedic 800, making these the third highest models of Air-Pedic adjustable airbeds. According to Selectabed (the marketing website for Relief-Mart), the 850 is comparable to the Sleep Number iLE (Selectabed has a chart comparing Air-Pedic beds in general to Sleep Number beds).
The key feature of Air-Pedic mattresses, including the 850, is their 6-zone system, which they claim "offers full adjustable lumbar support" (ComfortAire, the original manufacturer of adjustable air mattresses, also has a 6-zone system). The six zones are three air chambers for each side of a two-person bed. The zones are for the head, torso and feet. This zoning follows the advice of Dr. Rick Swartzburg, a chiropractor.
The air chambers in Air-Pedic airbeds are made of medical grade polyurethane (not foam), which Air-Pedic says is "ultra-flexible." The original air bladders for pneumatic mattresses was rubber, followed by cotton-reinforced latex. The relative advantages of cotton-latex and polyurethane are still under review.
Air pressure in the Air-Pedic 850 is controlled by two remotes, one for each sleeper.
How does this help the lumbar? The lumbar is the part of the back in the waist, the narrow part between the hips and the ribs. Extra pressure in this area lifts the sleeping surface up to support this recessed area. Not only does this support the lumbar, it relieves pressure on the hips and shoulders. This same principal is used in all methods of zoned support in mattresses
Above the air chambers in the Air-Pedic 850 and the 800 are two foam "transition support" layers. These foams are a two varieties of polyurethane foam: Resili-Flex and Flex-Comfort. The Resili-Flex is a support foam, and the other a comfort foam. Above the comfort layer is the pillow top, filled with ultra-plush foam.
It is in the foam layers and the pillow top that the Air-Pedic 800 and the Air-Pedic 850 differ. the Resili-Flex is 2" high in both models. But the Flex-Comfort is 2" in the 800 and 1" in the 850. This is reversed in the pillow top, which is 1½" in the 800 and 2½" in the 850.
The cover of the Air-Pedic 850 is Kool-Flow, a fabric engineered for temperature control, which is quilted to foams.
A firm foundation is necessary to support an air mattress. Selectabed sells a number of foundations for Air-Pedic beds, including the 850. These include platform style bases, as well as adjustable beds from three manufacturers: Leggett & Platt, Reverie and Ergomotion.
Air-Pedic offers a 120-day sleep trial and a 30-year limited warranty.
Air-Pedic, Relief-Mart, Inc., 755 Lakefield Rd., Ste. H, Westlake Village, CA. 91361, (805) 379-4300, (800) 667-1969
Air chambers, 2-inches firm foam, 1-inch medium plush foam, pillow top with 2.5 inches ultra plush foam, temperature regulating top cover
Kool-Flow cooling fabric, quilted to soft materials
platform bed, solid base, or adjustable bed
6 zones of air support
Keep in sanitary condition, no abuse, and provide proper foundation