Bed Basics

Adjustable Bed FAQs: Everything to Know

So, you’re thinking about elevating your sleep with an adjustable bed base? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Sleep Expert® John McCarty answers all your burning questions about adjustable bases—because when it comes to better sleep, they’re not only bedroom accessories, but necessities.

Let’s jump right in.

What Is an Adjustable Bed Frame?

An adjustable bed frame is a mattress foundation that allows you to raise your head and/or feet to a customizable position. Also known as adjustable bases, they can help address some of the main sleep disruptors that keep you tossing and turning at night, including snoring, acid reflux, and aches and pains. Plus, they’re great for time you spend in bed before sleeping. Instead of piling pillows behind your back to read or watch TV, you can simply raise the head of your bed to a more comfortable and convenient upright position. Depending on the model you choose, an adjustable bed can be electric (with a remote control) or manual.

What Is the Best Adjustable Bed?

While there isn’t a single “best” adjustable bed, the right model for you might depend on the price, mattress compatibility, weight limitations and features that most suit your needs. Some popular functions include:

Zero gravity positioning: On adjustable bases with a zero gravity or “Zero G” button, your head and legs will raise slightly above your heart to form a neutral sleep position that supports every part of your body and provides a pressure-free feeling.

Massage options: Adjustable bases with massage capabilities provide gentle vibrations in your preferred location throughout the bed and at various speeds.

Advanced technology: Some adjustable bases are operable from an app or with a voice-activated device and/or offer Bluetooth capability, built-in USB charging ports, and under-bed LED lighting. Some models even come with anti-snoring technology designed to adjust your sleep position if they detect snoring.

Memory settings: An adjustable base with memory settings allows you to save your ideal sleeping and/or resting positions and adjust to them with a click of a button.

What Are the Benefits of an Adjustable Bed Frame?

Many sleepers have found that sleeping in an elevated position helps:

Improved comfort: Adjustable beds make it easy to find your best sleep position. They also make it more convenient to sit upright in bed to binge your favorite TV shows, read a book, or just kick back and relax.

Pain relief: Raising your upper and lower body while lying down can help reduce low-back stress and chronic aches. The customization of an adjustable bed allows you to find a sleep position that contours your body and feels most pressure relieving.

Easier breathing: Sleeping at an elevation helps remove pressure from the lungs and keeps airways more open, which can help with sleep apnea, snoring, acid reflux and allergies.

Increased circulation: Elevating targeted areas after a long day can help reduce swelling and improve blood flow, so your sleep isn’t disrupted by arm or leg numbness.

What Are the Disadvantages of Adjustable Beds?

While adjustable bases offer many benefits, some of the drawbacks include:

Cost: Because of their advanced features and functions, adjustable bases tend to be more expensive than other mattress foundations. There is also the potential of a malfunction and/or breakdown, which could be costly to repair if not under warranty.

Size: Adjustable bases may require assistance moving and transporting due to their bulkiness and weight. When used on a platform, the bed may also raise the overall height of the mattress more than desired.

Compatibility: Not all mattresses are adjustable base friendly, so you may need to ask a Sleep Expert® whether your mattress will work before committing.

Who Is an Adjustable Base Ideal for?

Because of the many benefits of an adjustable bed, anyone looking to improve their rest should consider one. Adjustable bases can be especially useful for those seeking relief from low back pain or mobility issues getting into and/or out of bed. In addition, new and expecting mothers can benefit from the elevated head position for breastfeeding and a raised foot position for swelling. Pregnant or nursing mothers or anyone with a health issue should always consult with their doctor to determine whether an adjustable base is right for them.

How Much Do Adjustable Beds Cost?

Depending on their features and size, adjustable beds usually range from $300 to $4,000+.

On the lower end: Lower-priced adjustable beds might only offer basic features, such as head-only adjustability and manual functionality or a wired two-button remote control.

On the higher end: Higher-priced adjustable beds offer advanced features, such as wireless remote controls, USB ports, massage options, zero-gravity positioning, snore-detection features and under-bed LED lighting.

Is an Adjustable Bed the Same as an Adjustable Mattress?

No, an adjustable bed is a frame that supports the mattress and allows you to adjust the angle of the bed. An adjustable mattress is a bed with electronics inside it that enables you to adjust the level of firmness or support. While not all mattresses are compatible with adjustable beds, adjustable mattresses can be used with standard bed frames. To create the ultimate sleep customization, use both together.

Can You Put Any Mattress on an Adjustable Bed?

Though the majority of modern mattresses will work with an adjustable bed, certain innerspring mattresses will not be compatible. Innerspring mattresses with connected coils will not work due to their inability to bend, however, mattresses with coils that are not connected and are individually wrapped or have individually pocketed coils will work because they can flex without damaging the mattress. All foam mattresses are also compatible. Depending on the features of the adjustable bed, most are suitable for any size mattress.

Can an Adjustable Base Hurt Your Back?

An adjustable base should help relieve back pain. However, certain sleep positions could potentially cause discomfort or strain. For example, those who sleep on their stomach or side may feel more comfortable sleeping on a flat mattress. However, an adjustable base can still offer benefits while reading, lounging or watching TV in bed.

Can a Side Sleeper Use an Adjustable Bed?

Yes, an adjustable bed can be a good option for side sleepers because it helps support the natural curve of your spine and relieves pressure from your shoulders and hips. If you sleep on your side, consider an adjustable bed with separate head and foot lifts for a more comfortable position.

Does an Adjustable Base Wear Out a Mattress?

No, most mattresses are designed with enough flexible and stretchable material to withstand the long-term use of an adjustable base. However, the frequency of adjusting your bed to different positions could potentially cause your mattress to wear out faster. Therefore, ensuring your bed is compatible with an adjustable base is crucial to expanding your mattress’s lifespan. Rotating your bed regularly and using a mattress protector can also prolong the lifespan of your mattress and help keep your bed intact.

How Long Will an Adjustable Bed Last?

An adjustable bed’s lifespan depends on the mattress pairing, quality of materials, and use and care. However, most should last well over 10 years. Most also come with a limited warranty from their manufacturer, providing coverage against accidental loss, part replacement, mechanical wear and tear, and electrical failures.

Can I Use My Headboard and Footboard with an Adjustable Base?

Most headboards and footboards can be used with an adjustable base. However, you may need to make some adjustments. In most cases, the legs of an adjustable base will replace the wood slats and traditional box spring to be positioned inside the existing bed frame. A zero-clearance adjustable base will be your best option if you have a platform bed with its own foundation or no box foundation. The same will apply if you have storage or drawers built into your bed frame.

What Is a Split King Adjustable Base?

A split king adjustable base is a mattress foundation designed for two twin XLs or one king. It divides down the middle of the bed from head to foot, allowing each side to adjust positions individually. A split king adjustable base is ideal for two people with different sleeping preferences who want to share a bed.

What Is a Divided King Adjustable Base?

A divided king adjustable base is a mattress foundation specifically designed for a king that can also be compatible with two twin XLs. It divides the middle of the bed horizontally, allowing the head and foot portions to adjust separately. A divided king adjustable base is ideal for single individuals or couples with the same sleeping preferences.

Do Doctors Recommend an Adjustable Bed?

While it’s always best to consult with your doctor, many medical professionals are supporters of adjustable beds, especially for patients with certain medical conditions or sleep troubles. In some cases, doctors may prescribe an adjustable bed that can be tax-exempt.

Is an Adjustable Bed Paid for by Medicare?

Yes, certain types of adjustable beds are covered under the Medicare Part B Benefit for qualifying individuals. Check with your doctor and medical provider for additional information.

Is an Adjustable Base Worth It?

Whether you’re looking for improved comfort or health benefits, an adjustable base can vastly improve the quality of your rest. Your mattress is one of the most used pieces of furniture in your home, if not the most, so investing in an adjustable base can be well worth it. Find one that fits your needs and wants, and you’ll be on your way to better zzz’s in no time.

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