What Is An Adjustable Bed Base? It’s Exactly What It Sounds Like (+ More)
What Is An Adjustable Bed Base? An adjustable bed base is a mechanical bed frame where you can raise or lower the head and/or foot of the bed for ultimate comfort, pain relief, or pressure relief. Adjustable bed bases run using a small motor, and the user controls the position using a remote. You will also hear people referring to them as “lifestyle beds”. They were first used in hospitals (you have probably heard of a “hospital bed”), but people are increasingly enjoying using them as their every day bed in their own homes.
Not only can you use an adjustable bed base to enhance your comfort levels while lying and sitting on your bed, they can also be a complete lifestyle changer for your bedroom with features such as: blue-tooth, speakers, USB ports, lighting, and even massage functions!
How An Adjustable Bed Base Works
An adjustable base bed is made up of segments joined by hinges. The hinges are where you can adjust the angle of the base.
Some adjustable bases have one hinge in the top portion of the base, allowing you to raise your head and torso. Other bases also have a hinge in the lower part of the base so you can raise your legs, too.
You control the adjustable base positions using a remote. Depending on the model you get, the remote may be connected to the base (like you commonly see in hospital beds) or you may be able to have a wireless remote .
Simply click the buttons on your remote, and the motor inside the base will move the base into your desired position. Some bases come with several preset positions, to make your selection even easier.
Benefits Of An Adjustable Bed Base
In the short video below, the director of one of New Zealand’s best adjustable bed sellers takes you through the benefits of having an adjustable bed in your home:
With an adjustable bed base, you can customize the set up of your bed to suit your exact requirements.
- Alleviate aches and pains: if you have specific aches and pains, such as in your lower back,
- Help with any breathing issues (like snoring, or congestion when you have a cold): set your bed with a raised head and torso. Raising your head takes pressure off your airways, allowing them to open wider to prevent the vibrations that cause snoring, or help you breathe easier when you’re congested.
- Alleviate acid reflux: raising your head and torso also helps reduce acid reflux, a common cause of sleep issues.
- Enhance your lifestyle: an adjustable bed allows you to use your bed like a couch, making it a lot easier to sit up for reading, watching TV, or even working. While I wouldn’t advocate for doing work or watching TV in bed right before you go to sleep, it can be great to have the option to set your bed up comfortably for these things if/when you need to. I’d love to be able to raise the head of my bed to read.
- Recovery: raise your feet. Whether you work in a job where you’re on your feet all day or you’re a busy athlete, being able to raise your feet in your bed helps circulation in your legs, promoting better recovery and performance.
- Help with arthritis: take pressure off your pain points by adjusting the height of your bed. Raise the bottom portion to take pressure of your legs. Raise the head of the bed to help get up in morning if you wake up stiff: this can be a lot easier than trying to get up off a flat bed.
How Much Does An Adjustable Bed Base Cost?
There is a huge range of prices for adjustable bed bases.
You can get a reasonable quality budget adjustable bed base for less than $500, or you can spend thousands to get top of the line models loaded with extra features.
I expect you to be able to buy an excellent adjustable bed base with amazing functionality and a strong warranty for around $1500 – $2000 (USD).
Best Mattresses For An Adjustable Bed Base
More and more companies are making mattresses that are compatible with adjustable bases. Often you can even buy bundles with bases and mattresses from the same company.
I’m going to make some general recommendations here, but always check with your mattress manufacturer to confirm your mattress suits an adjustable bed base.
- Memory foam mattresses: with their memory foam comfort layers and polyfoam cores, these mattresses are very well suited to an adjustable base because of their flexible nature. Memory foam is known for its conforming and pressure relieving properties, making it a great match for an adjustable base.
- Latex foam mattresses: natural latex is also pressure relieving, but with more bounce than memory foam. Naturally breathable and hypoallergenic, it’s a great choice for allergy sufferers and those looking for a bed made from natural materials.
- Hybrid mattress: with their pocket coil support core systems, these are more flexible than traditional innerspring mattresses. Check with your specific mattress manufacturer to make sure.
Mattresses that might not work so well on an adjustable base:
- Traditional innerspring mattresses with no other internal layers: these may not be flexible for use with an adjustable bed.
- Very high mattresses (15 inches or more) – these may not flex as comfortably atop an adjustable base, but check with your retailer if you like a high profile mattress.
What Is An Adjustable Bed Base? More Questions Answered
Are adjustable bed bases worth it?
This depends entirely on what you need. If you’re in a situation where an adjustable base could improve your health (i.e. alleviate snoring, take pressure off your legs), then I say absolutely. I firmly believe there is no price you can put on your health and an adjustable base is absolutely worth it for you.
Likewise, if you love to spend time in your bedroom reading, watching TV, drinking cups of tea, or even working, an adjustable bed could be a welcome enhancement to your space and your enjoyment of your time. We’re increasingly seeing people purchasing adjustable beds for these reasons, and they are legitimate!
For myself, who loves to read in bed just before I go to sleep, I really like the idea of having a bed base that I could tilt up before I go to sleep. However, as this 20 minutes of the day is the only time I would use it, it’s not worth it for me. Think about how much time you spend in your bed and how much use you would make of the adjustable features.
Do adjustable beds fit in a bed frame?
You will need to check the measurements of your bed frame against the measurements of the adjustable bed base you want to buy. There will certainly be bases that fit within bed frames, but I don’t want to give an overall “yes” answer that you then find to be wrong. Always check the measurements and you can’t go wrong!
Most adjustable bed bases work well with headboards, too.
Do you need a boxspring with an adjustable base?
Short answer: no. The adjustable base will fully support the weight of your mattress, no box spring required. If you buy an adjustable bed base, you can happily toss that old box spring.
What is the best position to sleep in an adjustable bed?
Again, this depends on you. As I talked about above in some of the benefits of adjustable bed bases, there are certain positions to set your bed which help with different medical conditions. Use the position that is most appropriate for you.
For example, if you have reflux, the best position for you will be on your back, with your head raised. If you get pain in your lower legs, raising your feet may help.
If you’re buying the bed as a lifestyle decision, you’ll be able to enjoy experimenting with the different settings of your adjustable bed base, and find out what is best for you.