Adjustable bed bases have become quite popular recently, due to wider availability online and more affordable options than ever before. This type of bed offers owners the ability to adjust their position with simple controls and can be helpful for a wide range of people. Though previously associated with hospitals, modern adjustable beds blend seamlessly into home decor and offer a range of benefits for perfectly healthy people as well. In this article, we will go over the basics of adjustable beds of offer some tips for deciding whether or not an adjustable bed might be a good addition to your home.
Adjustable beds have actually been around for a long time; some evidence suggests rudimentary adjustable beds may have been used as early as the 16th century! Today’s three-part adjustable bases, featuring the ability to raise and lower each segment, were developed by Dr. Willis Gatch in the early 1900s. The Gatch Bed revolutionized health care due to its ability to elevate the patient into specific positions to promote healing through increased circulation and oxygen levels after surgeries. Anyone suffering from long bouts of bed rest also found them to be considerably more comfortable for a variety of activities, making sitting up and relaxing bed easier.
In order to extend this comfort to consumer markets, several manufacturers began producing home adjustable beds in the mid to late 1900’s. These were made popular by brands like Leggett & Platt, and targeted towards aging consumers. In addition to health benefits, modern bases also offer several comfort features like massage and are designed to coordinate with home furnishings. Now, adjustable beds appeal to wide range of buyers, from baby boomers to young couples. If you are trying to determine if an adjustable bed would be a good purchase, understanding the benefits they offer is a good place to start.
Therapeutic Benefits of Adjustable Bases
- Acid Reflux
- Post-Surgery Healing
- Back Pain
These types of beds were originally developed to aid health and healing, as therapeutic inclination can be used to aid a variety of health concerns. Poor circulation often causes swelling (edema) in the legs and feet which can be alleviated by elevating your feet above your heart. The Fowler’s position (upper body elevated 45-60 degrees) is a medical position utilized to facilitate breathing and to promote healing after some surgeries and childbirth. The serious heart burn caused by acid reflux, often referred to as GERD, is caused when stomach contents leak into the esophagus. By elevating the chest and head, this can be eliminated and tends to be more comfortable than sleeping on mounds of pillows. The “zero gravity” position, in which the head is slightly raised and feet are above the heart, can be helpful for relieving back pain and improving circulation as well. In addition to these specific positions, people can tailor the bed shape to fit their own personal needs and comfort preferences.
Comfort Benefits of Adjustable Beds
- Relax in bed more comfortably
- Massage benefits
- Customizable for couples
In addition to the health benefits mentioned, an adjustable base also offers creature comforts. Most people enjoy reading or watching TV while in bed and use a variety of pillows to prop themselves into an upright position, or experience uncomfortable strain on their back and arms. An adjustable bed eliminates this hassle by allowing the user to position themselves upright for reading, watching a movie, or enjoying breakfast in bed. You can also slip into a lounger position with knees slightly elevated.
More upgraded models often come with additional functions like massage, alarms, and even anti-snore controls. The massage is a vibration-based sensation that helps relax muscles and encourage circulation. Other types of features vary by model, but add to the comfort and luxury of your bedroom.
Couples can also benefit from adjustable beds that come in split models. Many brands offer split king and split queen bases on which each half operates independently. Thus, partners who have different needs and preferences can both be comfortable and sleep side-by-side as well.
In addition to the benefits, here are few other questions you might consider to decide if an adjustable bed is right for you.
- Do you have enough room in your budget? Home adjustable bases usually start around $1000. They are typically not covered by insurance, though some policies will cover them as durable medical equipment. While they may be a pricier item, these products are meant to last for upwards of 10-20 years and the cost is similar a mid-range mattress.
- What type of furniture do you have? Modern adjustable beds will work with a majority of bed frames and headboards. However, platform beds may not be suitable if the base’s legs cannot reach the ground, or if the platform is not designed to support the weight of the base and mattress. Wallhugger design is also an important feature to look for if you plan on using your base within furniture.
- Will your mattress work or will you need a new one? The average innerspring mattress is not meant for an adjustable bed. In order to avoid damaging the mattress and/or impairing the function of the base, you should use a flexible option like memory foam or latex. These materials mold to the base and prove durable.
- Can you set the bed up yourself? Adjustable bases do require some minimal assembly, and they are also fairly heavy items. If you have limited mobility and will need assistance taking the base from your door to your bedroom, look for a retailer that offers “white glove” delivery. This means that the deliverer will bring the bed into your home and set it up.
Choosing the Right Adjustable Bed
- A study by Burke Research on behalf of Leggett and Platt indicated that 90% of adjustable bed owners are happy with their beds.
- SleepLikeTheDead.com reports that 84% of people report satisfaction with adjustable bases overall.
The above figures mean that overall, people that buy adjustable beds are happy with their decision. So long as you take care to understand the features of the product you select and check owner reviews, it is likely you will come away satisfied.
When considering an adjustable bed, you should determine which features are most important to you, your budget and the size you will need. The other critical factor is the base’s warranty. Most reputable manufacturers will offer around 20 years of limited warranty coverage, but the full coverage periods can vary significantly from 0-5 years, and some warranties might exclude critical components like motors altogether.
You may run into difficulties finding quality adjustable beds locally, but don’t get discouraged as many online retailers offer good, affordable options. Buying an adjustable bed online will allow you to thoroughly research and compare products. While it is true that returning an adjustable base can be difficult or costly, this is true for local stores as well due to the nature of the product.
In previous articles, we looked at leading adjustable bed brands and manufacturers to see how they compared on dimensions like price, warranty, durability, and owner reviews. Three that stood out are both sold by Amerisleep and Zoma: the Amerisleep Adjustable Bed, Amerisleep Adjustable Bed+, and the Zoma Adjustable Base.
Their Amerisleep Adjustable Bed is an entry-level base offering head and foot articulation, programmable positions, under-bed lighting, and Zero-Gravity and Flat presets. We love this base because it starts at $1100 and comes with a 10-year warranty. Plus, it can be bundled with any of Amerisleep’s eight mattresses for a 30% discount.
The Amerisleep Adjustable Bed+ starts at $1800 and includes many of those same bells and whistles, but it also features dual wave massagers to enhance your comfort and pillow tilt angles to adjust the support behind your head. With these dual massagers, you can use your smartphone app to set a gentle alarm and wake up each morning to peaceful waves (instead of a blaring alarm).
Our favorite thing about both of these bases is their versatility. Both of the Amerisleep adjustable beds have a zero-clearance design and adjustable legs so they can be placed on any bed frame (or even on the floor) and work just fine. The Amerisleep Bed has 3-in-1 legs while the Bed+ has 8- to 13-inch legs that adjust in half-inch increments, so the Bed+ does allow for greater customization, but both beds work with almost all bed frames.
While Amerisleep offers two great adjustable beds, we also like the adjustable bed frame from Zoma Sleep. The Zoma Adjustable Bed has everything you need to upgrade your night’s sleep, including head and foot articulation, programmable positions, built-in presets, and a zero-clearance design. It’s compatible with all-foam mattresses (such as the Zoma mattress) and hybrid beds alike. It can also be paired with latex mattresses, but avoid using this frame with innersprings. Zoma sells their base on their website only—starting at $1100, it comes with free shipping and a 10-year warranty.
An adjustable bed looks like a traditional mattress by day, but at night it develops a unique personality, cradling the user in supreme comfort. The old institutional look is gone, replaced by clean lines, quiet motors, and hidden mechanics. In addition to health benefits, there are numerous comfort advantages to owning an adjustable base making it appealing for a wide variety of consumers. Considering your personal preferences and the potential benefits will help you decide whether an adjustable bed right for you.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.