Best Adjustable Bed for Back Pain
Jennifer Miller, PT, DPT
Dr. Jennifer Miller is an outpatient physical therapist. She earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy from Elon University, and a Bachelor of Science in Health Science from Minnesota State University-Mankato. She now specializes in Neurological, Geriatric, and Vestibular Physical Therapy and works in the medical field as a primary care provider treating neurological conditions. Dr. […]
Adjustable beds are among the best solutions for chronic back pain. They can put you in a more ergonomic position for sleep. They can take pressure off your spinal column. They may even come with pain-relieving features like massagers or heaters.
Below, we’ll talk about some of the best adjustable beds on the market for sleepers with back pain and discuss how they can help you.
Adjustable Bed+ Overview
Those who want quality, affordability, and luxury features should check out the Adjustable Bed+ by Amerisleep. This bed has it all, from massagers to technology and convenience features alike. It can do more than ease your back pain. It can take your sleep to the next level.
“As a physicial therapist,” says Jennifer Miller, “I always educate my patients that it’s great to see me once or twice a week but you spend the most time at home, so what you do there matters the most. The bed massage option is a great way to relax before bed and the adjustable settings would allow my patients to be in the best position to perform their daily stretches and get a good night’s rest.”
The Amerisleep Adjustable Bed Plus doesn’t just have tons of amazing features. It also comes with a robust 10-year warranty that attests to its quality and durability. That means you can upgrade your sleep for a full decade.
- Advanced Features
With smart home compatibility, vibrating massagers, and wall-glide design, the Adjustable Bed+ is a highly advanced option worth considering.
- Presets and Customization
Choose from one of the standard positions or save a favorite one.
- Well Reviewed
Rated a 4.8 out of 5 stars from over 500 consumer reviews.
The best feature of the Plus for back pain sufferers is the full-body rolling wave massager. This massager has three intensity settings so that you can choose the perfect massage to relieve your pain and relax you to sleep.
The Plus also offers tons of convenience features, like USB ports for easy charging, underbed lighting to eliminate the need for overhead lights at night, and even wireless connectivity so that you can use your phone or voice commands to position the bed.
“The underbed lighting option is fantastic to prevent falls at night when getting up to use the bathroom,” says Miller.
The Amerisleep Adjustable Bed Plus also has height-adjustable legs. So you can have the exact profile that matches your height. And the wall glider feature will keep you close to your nightstands. So you don’t have to adjust the bed or get out of it to reach your bedside things.
Zoma Adjustable Bed Overview
Those with active lifestyles should consider the Zoma Adjustable Bed. Like everything in the Zoma lineup, this adjustable bed is designed to offer restorative sleep to help you recover from an active day of training, physical work, or even just working out! So if your back pain stems from your active lifestyle, this might be the adjustable bed for you.
“I have recently transitioned from neurorehab to practicing pelvic health,” says Jennifer Miller. “And I’m always asking my patients with pelvic pain and incontinence if they have sleep apnea, as this can impact pelvic health—among many other areas of their life. Having a bed that elevates the head of bed can help reduce snoring and make sleeping with a sleep apnea machine more tolerable.”
One of the best features of the Zoma Adjustable Bed is its affordability. At just over $1,000 for a queen, this is among the most affordable adjustable beds that still feature things like massagers and underbed lighting.
- Pair with a Well-Loved Frame
Adjustable bed can fit inside most standard-sized bed frames.
- Ease Aches and Pains
Dual massager allows you to target different areas of your body with different massage intensities.
- Connect with Smart Technology
Can be paired with Amazon Alexa or Google Smart Home.
The Zoma features a dual vibrating massager with three intensity settings. This allows you to target specific areas of your body and decide how intense the massage will be for each area. You can have an intense massage on your back and a gentle massage on your legs, for example, or vice versa.
The Zoma also offers tons of convenience and technology features. It has USB ports, underbed lighting, and a programmable remote control that allows you to preset your favorite positions and get into them at the touch of a button.
The Zoma Adjustable Bed also fits inside most bed frames. This means you don’t have to give up your favorite frame just because you got an adjustable bed. And its adjustable legs mean you can get the right profile for both your height and your bed frame’s height.
Of course, the Zoma Adjustable Bed is perfectly capable of standing on its own. Its sleek, black lines offer a modern, minimalist look for anyone who wants that kind of style.
Saatva Lineal Adjustable Bed Base Overview
Those who want to feel like they’re sleeping in the lap of luxury should consider the Lineal Adjustable Bed Base by Saatva. The Lineal offers tons of fantastic features that can make you feel like you’re sleeping at a fancy hotel rather than in your own bed.
- Available in Less Common Sizes
Shoppers can choose an adjustable bed as small as a twin or buy one up to a king size.
- Full-Wave Massagers Target Areas
Relax with a full-body massage or have vibrations target the head or legs areas.
- No Need for Assembly Hassle
Saatva’s delivery team will set up the adjustable bed in a room of your choosing, and all for free.
The Lineal features one of the best massagers on the adjustable bed market. You can set up your massager to do a full-body rolling wave, head/shoulders, or leg massage. The massager also has three different speeds to offer you the exact level of relaxation you need to ease back pain and fall asleep.
The Lineal also has a wall-hugging design, thanks to its wall glider feature. The glider pushes the mattress towards the wall as it tilts your head upward. This means you stay right next to your night tables no matter what position you adopt.
The soft underbed lighting and remote flashlight also offer you safe illumination that won’t disrupt your sleep. So if you need to get up during the night, you don’t have to worry about disturbing your partner.
Finally, the Lineal offers free in-room setup. So you don’t have to worry about putting it together at all. You can simply point to the room you want it in, and Saatva’s friendly neighborhood delivery crew will take care of the rest. It couldn’t get more luxurious than that.
Amerisleep Adjustable Bed Base
Those who don’t care about luxury features and just want a high-quality adjustable bed at a great price should check out the base model adjustable bed frame by Amerisleep. The Amerisleep Adjustable Bed Base offers top-notch construction and durability without all the bells and whistles of the Plus model. This makes it the more affordable option of the two.
Don’t let the fact that it’s a base model fool you. The Adjustable Bed Base still offers lots of features. It also boasts Amerisleep’s generous 10-year warranty. So you can rest with peace of mind that your bed will last at least a decade.
- Affordable Prices
The base is highly affordable but doesn’t skimp on the features needed to improve a sleeper’s comfort and relieve back pain.
- Program Preferred Positions
Aside from the remote’s presets, you can save your favorite setups to return to over and over.
- Removable Legs and Adjustable Height
Set up your preferred bed height or forgo the legs entirely to pair the zero-clearance base with your bed frame.
The Amerisleep Adjustable Bed Base still has a backlit, wireless remote that offers one-touch positions. It comes with preset flat and zero-gravity buttons, and it also has programmable positions that you can customize yourself.
The Adjustable Bed Base also comes with an ultra-quiet motor, allowing you to adjust your side of the split king model without waking your partner. And it has a stability bar to ensure your mattress stays firmly in place.
The Adjustable Bed Base comes with adjustable, removable legs as well. These legs allow you to adjust your bed’s height or use the zero-clearance design to sit the adjustable bed in your own bed frame.
Last but not least, the Adjustable Bed Base comes with quick and easy assembly.
How to Choose the Right Adjustable Bed for You
With all the adjustable beds on the market nowadays, it can be tough to figure out which one is right for you. The good news is as long as you pay attention to quality and know which features you want, you could make the right call.
Those with back painneed to keep a few things in mind when considering their adjustable beds. Pay special attention to the height of the bed, its articulation, and, above all, the features it has that can help you with your pain.
“As I previously mentioned, the activities patients spend time doing at home greatly impact their overall health,” says Jennifer Miller. “Exercises are key but so is sleep, since we spend a great deal of the day asleep in bed.”
“In order to best support your spine and work towards being pain-free, it’s best to sleep on your back or side. Adjustable beds provide many options to achieve a comfortable sleeping position, which makes it easier to sleep in the correct position.”
The articulation of your adjustable bed refers to its range of motion. Some adjustable beds have better articulation than others. Some are limited to the zero-gravity position, but some have much deeper articulation than that. If you want to sit up fully in bed, you’ll need at least 60 degrees of articulation.
Those who suffer back pain would do well to ensure that each end of the bed can move independently as well. You may find that different degrees of elevation for your legs and head work better at relieving your pain than the true zero-gravity position.
So you’ll want the option to mix things up by elevating your feet and head at different angles. See our guide to finding the best sleep position on an adjustable bed for more information.
If you have back pain, chances are you should seriously consider the height of your bed, especially if you have comorbid mobility issues as well.
The ideal bed height is around the same height as a sofa or chair. You should be able to sit comfortably on the edge of the bed with your feet flat on the floor. If the bed is much higher, you’ll be climbing into it. If it’s much lower, you’ll be exerting a lot of energy dragging yourself out of it.
Also, don’t forget your bed height includes more than just your adjustable base. Your total bed height includes the bed frame, mattress, and any box springs or foundations. In the case of adjustable beds, the combined bed height will just be the mattress and adjustable base.
Keep in mind many adjustable beds now come with adjustable height. These adjustable beds have legs that can be stacked to several different heights to offer the one that works best with your mattress thickness.
Ease of Assembly
Adjustable beds can be as easy to assemble as snapping a few pieces together before slipping the adjustable bed into the frame– or they can take half the day to put together. Adjustable beds that come with easy assembly will usually feature that prominently.
You don’t necessarily need to look for easy assembly. If you’re handy, a bed that’s harder to put together may come with other perks, like a higher weight capacity or longer life expectancy. Other beds that are more complex to assemble may also come with a free setup. So it’s up to you how much you prioritize ease of assembly.
You may also want to consider whether or not you want to attach a headboard to an adjustable bed. Not only is this an added assembly step, but you may also need to purchase separate headboard brackets. Some bases may automatically include them, but not all do.
Adjustable beds have just as large a price range as any other bed frame. Of course, the more luxury features they pack, the more they’ll cost. The larger the adjustable base, the more it will cost as well.
If you want to save some money, you can skip out on luxury features to cut the price tag. But don’t skimp on quality. An adjustable bed is not a piece you want to cheap out on because it can ruin your mattress or even be unsafe. Expect to pay at least $700 for a quality piece, more if you’re looking to reap all the benefits of an adjustable bed.
Adjustable beds can be very basic – just a bed that moves up and down. Or they can be a lot fancier, with tons of special features and perks.
Common features include underbed lighting, massagers, USB ports, and wireless connectivity. Less common features include heating and built-in storage.
You need to be careful not to dismiss the warranty for your adjustable bed. The warranty is the best indicator of quality when it comes to adjustable beds. It offers a lot of insight into how long the bed will last and how willing the manufacturer is to stand behind their product.
Ideally, an adjustable bed warranty should be ten or more years. However, if you find exactly what you want with a warranty of less than a decade, that may not be an issue if you’re willing to take some risk. But you should never get an adjustable bed with a warranty of less than a year.
You’ll also want to check out the fine print in your warranty to ensure the manufacturer cannot use loopholes and caveats to evade offering coverage.
You’ll need to ensure your adjustable bed’s maximum weight capacity is sufficient. This means you’ll need to be aware of how much a mattress weighs and the weight of all the sleepers in the bed to be sure that your adjustable base can offer support.
If you’re buying a mattress after the adjustable bed, keep your bed’s maximum weight capacity in mind when you shop. Be sure to buy a mattress that’s light enough that it won’t exceed the max capacity even when all sleepers are in bed.
Mattresses Compatible with an Adjustable Base
Not all mattresses are made equal. And not all mattress types are compatible with an adjustable base either. In fact, one of the more popular mattress types in the country – innerspring mattresses – is not compatible at all.
If you place an innerspring mattress on an adjustable base, you could break the mattress, the base, or both. Innerspring mattresses come with networked coil systems called open coils.
These internal springs are wired together. This makes them stiff and unable to bend with the adjustable bed. So those who have an innerspring mattress will have to replace it when they buy an adjustable bed.
Thankfully, there are plenty of alternative mattresses that can go with an adjustable base, even for those who love the feel of an innerspring bed. Let’s take a look at some of the best kinds of mattresses to pair with your brand-new adjustable base.
If you want a mattress that has coils and is also compatible with an adjustable bed, a hybrid is virtually your only option. Hybrid mattresses have coils that come individually wrapped in their own fabric or foam case. These pocketed coils can move in independently of one another. This enables them to move independently of one another.
The pocketed coil support layer combined with hybrids’ layers of comfort foam means these mattresses are highly adaptable. They can flex with an adjustable bed as well as follow the shape of your body. This means hybrids are not just a great option for adjustable bases. They’re also a comfortable option for you!
Hybrids are just as adaptable as memory foam mattresses, and they’re a lot more breathable and responsive than all-foam mattresses. The only downside to a hybrid mattress is its expense. These mattresses are slightly less durable than memory foam mattresses and a lot more expensive, so expect to pay more upfront and over time for a hybrid mattress.
Be aware that not every hybrid is intended for an adjustable bed. Most are, but some may have coil systems that cannot take the repetitive motion of being raised and lowered night after night. So you’ll need to confirm with the seller that their hybrid is meant for an adjustable bed.
Memory foam is possibly the best mattress for adjustable beds. It’s light. It’s flexible. It’s durable. And it’s comparatively affordable, so if you spent a ton of money on your adjustable bed, you can make it up a little when purchasing the mattress.
Memory foam is also a good choice for people who have back pain. A memory foam mattress can mold its shape to fit yours to offer arguably the best spinal alignment in the industry. It’s one reason we recommend memory foam mattresses for back pain. This flexibility also means that memory foam can move with an adjustable bed in a way that other materials can’t.
Despite all the advantages of the best memory foam mattresses, the material does have some drawbacks. The biggest issue that memory foam mattresses have is their heat retention. Traditional memory foam used to be extremely hot.
Nowadays, there are lots of technologies that help combat heat retention – like gel infusions, open cell construction, and microbeads – but memory foam is still not as good at regulating its temperature as other materials. See our guide to the best cooling mattresses if you’re a hot sleeper seeking relief.
You can also mitigate this heat retention by choosing the best sheets for a memory foam mattress. Many are woven with highly breathable materials to minimize how much heat the mattress absorbs.
Another issue with memory foam mattresses is their slow response time. Memory foam can take forever to bounce back when you change positions. This may not be an issue for you if you don’t move around a lot at night, but if you’re an active sleeper seeking a mattress for combination sleeping, it may be a problem.
Natural latex is another fantastic option for adjustable beds. It is very adaptable and also highly durable. So a latex mattress can move with the adjustable base and stand up to night after night of being bent out of shape.
Natural latex fixes a lot of the problems inherent and memory foam. It’s naturally breathable, so it can regulate its temperature much better. It’s also highly responsive, making it a much better option for active sleepers. Natural latex is about the bounciest material you can get without springs.
Natural latex is also better for the environment because it produces less toxic waste during the manufacturing process and is recyclable and biodegradable.
One of the biggest disadvantages of natural latex is its weight. Natural latex is very heavy, and it may exceed some adjustable beds’ maximum weight capacities. That means you’ll need to pay extra attention to the mattress’s weight when shopping for latex mattresses.
Another disadvantage of latex is its upfront cost. It’s more expensive than any other mattress type on average, but its extreme durability makes up for this in the long run.
Is an adjustable bed the best solution for my back pain?
An adjustable bed can be a great solution for back pain. Adjustable beds help you get into better positions for back pain, such as the zero-gravity position. Sleeping with the head and legs elevated helps align the spine better than lying flat. This, in turn, takes the pressure off the spinal column and helps alleviate pain.
While you can get into elevated positions by using body pillows or piles of regular pillows, adjustable beds make the whole process much easier and more convenient. They also offer more stable and sturdy positioning than pillows. While pillows can sink and shift, adjustable beds will not.
What is the best mattress type for back pain?
There are several mattress types that can alleviate back pain. The aspects of a mattress that offer the most pain relief are support and contouring. Memory foam offers the most contouring. It can follow the curve of your body to provide total spinal alignment and pressure relief.
However, memory foam lacks responsiveness and isn’t great at regulating temperature. So it might not be the best for hot sleepers or active sleepers.
Hot and active sleepers who want memory foam’s pain-relieving qualities should consider a hybrid instead. These mattresses are still highly adaptable, but they feature pocketed coils for extra bounce and breathability.
Natural latex is also another highly responsive and breathable option for those who sleep hot or like to toss and turn. Latex is not quite as contouring as memory foam, but it’s still contouring enough to relieve back pain. Still, keep that in mind when you’re shopping.
Which mattress firmness is best for back pain?
While there are several mattress materials that can help alleviate back pain, there’s really only one firmness level that works: medium-firm.
When you suffer from back pain, you need a mattress that can both contour to the shape of your body and keep you lifted onto the sleep surface. Medium-firm mattresses do both.
They can prevent you from sinking into the sleep surface, keeping your spine in a neutral position. And they can follow the shape of your body to ensure your spine stays in a straight line and your pressure points are protected. All this means if you have back pain, consider a medium-firm feel.
Will an adjustable bed massage feature help my back pain?
The vibrating or rolling wave massage features in adjustable beds can help a lot of back issues. The gentle vibrating and light to medium pressure can help relax the muscles in your body, including in your back.
Of course, if your pain is due to tension, this obviously has a hugely positive effect, but relaxing the muscles in your back can also help if your pain is caused by joint or bone issues. Massagers may help calm nerves to ease pain as well. So if your pain is keeping you awake at night, a massager can help tremendously.
Is the zero-gravity pose the best sleep position for back pain?
The zero-gravity pose is typically the best position for back pain. It can take pressure off the spine to alleviate lower back pain. It can also help alleviate tension in the shoulders and neck to relieve pain in these areas.
Keep in mind that the zero-gravity position works for most people, but if a different position works better for you, then use that one. For example, you might find it more comfortable to sleep with just your legs elevated, which can help with things like edema.
Or you might like to sleep with only your head elevated. This can also help with snoring and sleep apnea. Whatever position works for you – the possibilities are endless!
Adjustable beds can be a fantastic option for alleviating back pain. Modern adjustable beds don’t just come with full articulation. They can also come with a wide range of features that can help calm nerves, relax muscles, and ease back pain.