Though the proliferation of adjustable beds may seem like a new trend, they’ve actually been around for years. Once associated almost exclusively with medical necessity and hospice care, adjustable beds are going through a renaissance. These days, consumers are finally starting the see the many benefits they bring to all individuals, not just at night, but for lounging throughout the day.
What Is It & How Do Adjustable Beds Work?
An adjustable bed is a bed that moves into different positions to maximize comfort and soothe health conditions and ailments. It may consist of two or more segments that can each be adjusted to fit your needs, using an electric or hydraulic motor.
Usually, these segments are associated with the feet and the head, though some beds also include a segment for the torso. To keep the mattress from sliding right off of the bed, adjustable beds have either a bar at the foot of the bed or grips on all four corners.
In recent years, most modern sleep brands have begun selling some type of adjustable bed in addition to stationary beds, mattresses, and pillows, though they are not always called by the same name. You may also see an adjustable bed listed as: an adjustable frame, adjustable bed frame, adjustable base, an adjustable bed base, hospital bed, or hospital/medical-grade bed.
Unlike the hospital beds of the past, which were controlled by wire-tethered remotes, modern adjustable beds are controlled wirelessly, either by remote or smartphone app.
Features of Adjustable Beds
Today’s adjustable beds offer a host of luxurious features, designed to improve comfort and health—and not just throughout the night. In addition to providing ideal support and alignment as you sleep, an adjustable base may also include features that facilitate daytime lounging, whether you’re reading a book in bed, watching TV, or even working. With adjustable beds, sleep brands aim to make your bed someplace to spend the entire day.
The following are some common features of adjustable beds:
Zero Gravity Support
Based on research by NASA, Zero Gravity, or Zero-G, support is the most covetable feature of any adjustable bed. It refers to the angles of the spine in relation to the torso, thigh, hamstring, and calf and is associated with pressure relief, spinal alignment, and optimal circulation. All the best adjustable beds include Zero Gravity support, meaning that the head and feet can be elevated at the same time to cradle your body at this optimal angle.
Some adjustable beds include soft lighting that lines the lower edge of the bed base. Like a nightlight, underbed lighting helps illuminate dark rooms in a way that does not disturb sleep. This feature is especially valuable for elderly individuals who may make frequent trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night and want to avoid potentially dangerous falls that are more likely to occur in the darkness.
Adjustable beds with a wall-hugging design feature a head segment that can be raised without increasing the distance from the wall. This way, your bedside table is always within reach.
The aim of any adjustable bed is to accommodate the comfort needs of each individual sleeper. For partners sleeping together, often this means split beds. For example, many king-sized adjustable beds are actually two Twin XL-sized adjustable beds pushed together, like a Split King bed.
Perhaps the most luxurious feature of any adjustable bed is a built-in massager. Usually, this is a kind of vibrating or “wave” massage that can be targeted at the feet, head, or full-body. You can control the intensity and focus of the massage using a remote control. Built-in massagers usually run in 15-minute increments—just long enough to put you to sleep!
Adjustable Bed Feet
Many sleep brands sell adjustable beds that not only feature adjustable segments but adjustable feet as well. By decreasing the effort required to stand up from the bed, taller bed feet make getting up in the morning much easier.
Because being connected is an indispensable part of modern life, many adjustable bed bases feature USB charging ports so you can charge your smartphones or other devices at any time of the day or night.
Benefits of an Adjustable Bed Frame
You’re probably wondering: Should I get an adjustable bed? The benefits of an adjustable bed are numerous and aren’t limited to comfort. Owning an adjustable bed is linked to a handful of life-improving benefits associated with your health, mood, and overall wellbeing, for example:
- Fall asleep easily – cradling comfort puts you to sleep in record time
- Potentially alleviate chronic pain – thanks to zero-g support
- Reduce snoring – an inclined head can stop regular snorers and soothe this sleep symptom
- Reduce position-associated indigestion – an inclined head promotes ideal digestion and reduces acid reflux
- Get out of bed easier – for those with mobility issues, like the elderly
- May improve circulation – by sleeping with raised feet
- Built-in massage technology lulls you to sleep
What Types of Mattresses Work With Adjustable Beds?
Most adjustable beds work with flexible mattresses, such as those made of memory foam, latex, reflex foam, gel foam, or polyfoam. However, many hybrid mattresses that include some pocket springs can also be used with adjustable beds.
In general, you can rely on a brand’s adjustable base to function with the type of mattress they offer. Always double-check that your mattress will work with an adjustable bed before purchasing.
Recommended Adjustable Beds
These are some of the most recommended adjustable beds:
Tips for Picking the Best Adjustable Bed
Trying to figure out how to buy an adjustable bed? To make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing an adjustable frame, here are a few things to keep in mind.
1) Choose an Encased Motor
Anything with a motor risks being loud and disruptive. To ensure the smoothest and quietest transitions, make sure the adjustable bed you choose comes with an encased motor. Most, but not all, modern adjustable frames already include this feature.
Our Recommendation: Dreamcloud for its silent, whisper-soft movement
2) White Glove Delivery
Some sleep brands offer optional white glove delivery with the purchase of an adjustable bed, but many do not. These bed frames can be quite cumbersome and heavy, and larger sizes may even be shipped in two separate packages.
Our Recommendation: Purchase from Saatva for complimentary white glove delivery
3) Sleek Design
To accommodate the motor and various mechanisms that control the adjustable bed, some bed frames are rather chunky. Certain brands, however, have managed to squeeze all that technology into a trim, streamlined package.
Our Recommendation: Choose Nectar’s ultra-sleek adjustable bed frame
Unlike most mattresses, adjustable beds don’t always come with a warranty. Some may offer a limited warranty, but very few offer extensive warranties.
5) Size Options
Often adjustable beds are not available in a full range of sizes. Twin and Full-sized adjustable bed frames, for example, are rare.
An adjustable bed can be a valuable bedroom addition for anyone who suffers from chronic pain or for anyone who simply enjoys lounging. What are the best adjustable beds? Browse our sleep brand reviews to discover more about adjustable beds and decide which one best fits your sleep needs! Where to buy adjustable beds is easy: click the links within our reviews to make a simple online purchase.