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What is an Adjustable Bed: A Comprehensive Guide to Health and Comfort

Dr. Jordan Burns, DC, MS

Dr. Jordan Burns, DC, MS

Dr. Burns is an established authority in sleep health, combining over a decade of hands-on experience in chiropractic care with a deeply rooted knowledge of sleep science. A holder of degrees in Kinesiology, Life Sciences, Sports Science and Rehabilitation, and Chiropractic, his interdisciplinary background uniquely positions him at the intersection of wellness, ergonomics, and sleep […]

Mattress Resources
Read Time: 9 minutes

  • Customizable Sleep Positions: Adjustable beds allow users to personalize the position of their mattress, providing a range of angles for both the upper and lower body. This customization enhances comfort, promotes better sleep, and addresses specific health concerns.
  • Zero Gravity Position for Deep Sleep: The Zero Gravity position, achievable with adjustable beds, elevates the head and feet, mimicking weightlessness. This position optimizes relaxation, improves breathing, and enhances circulation, leading to deep and restorative sleep.
  • Versatile Features for Comfort: Adjustable beds come with various features like massage functionality, memory presets, under-bed lighting, and USB ports. These features contribute to the overall versatility and comfort, allowing users to create a personalized and enjoyable sleep experience.

An adjustable bed is a revolutionary sleep solution that allows you to customize the position of your mattress according to your individual preferences and needs. Unlike regular beds, an adjustable bed frame can be adjusted electronically, offering a range of angles for both the upper and lower body.

This flexibility allows you to elevate specific body parts, maximizing comfort and promoting better sleep. This comprehensive guide will explore everything you need to know about adjustable beds, how they work, their benefits, and more. So, let’s dive in and discover how adjustable beds can transform your sleep experience.

Understanding the Mechanism of Adjustable Beds

An adjustable bed accommodates various sleep postures, ensuring a restful night’s sleep for both you and your partner. This adjustable bed base consists of a surface that can be adjusted using an easy-to-use handset, which controls the near-silent electric motors. The whole bed base can be raised or lowered in different sections, providing you with the flexibility to find the most comfortable position.

Unlike some adjustable bed bases that offer only one lever action, Willowbrook adjustable beds utilize a 5-lever action mechanism for adjustable bases. This design provides enhanced flexibility and a broader range of comfortable positions. Each action is constructed using 37 rubber-mounted slats, ensuring optimal support for the mattress and your body.

By using adjustable legs and moving each section independently, adjustable beds offer various options for finding the most comfortable sleeping position. This personalized support promotes better sleep quality and helps alleviate aches, pains, and joint problems.

“While common advice often promotes sleeping on the back with a pillow under the knees, recent research 1 Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) Online resource offered by the National Library of Medicine and part of the National Institutes of Health. See the source 2 Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) Online resource offered by the National Library of Medicine and part of the National Institutes of Health. See the source 3 Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) Online resource offered by the National Library of Medicine and part of the National Institutes of Health. See the source suggests that slight adjustments in this posture could enhance relief,” said Dr. Jordan Burns.

“For instance, using an adjustable bed to elevate the legs slightly higher can align the spine better, thereby reducing lumbar strain more effectively than traditional methods.”

Controlling an Adjustable Bed

Controlling an adjustable bed is simple and convenient. The bed can be moved into various positions using buttons on the hand control. By pressing the appropriate buttons, you can raise or lower different bed sections to find the most comfortable position for relaxation or sleep. The infinite adjustability of an adjustable bed ensures that you can customize it to suit your specific needs and preferences.

When it’s time to get out of bed, you can use the raise back button to gently lift your foot positions and move yourself to a secure upright position. This feature allows for easy and independent movement, promoting safety and convenience.

Benefits of an Adjustable Bed

Adjustable beds offer several advantages over traditional beds, making them an increasingly popular choice under bed lighting and among individuals seeking improved sleep and comfort. Here are some of the benefits an adjustable bed can provide:

Deep, Restorative Sleep

One of the most significant advantages of an adjustable bed is maximizing comfort and promoting deep, restorative sleep. Flexible bed frames offer a Zero Gravity position. In this position, your head and feet are elevated above your stomach, mimicking the feeling of weightlessness.

This position allows for optimal relaxation, improved breathing, and enhanced circulation during sleep. By relieving pressure on tender areas, the Zero Gravity setting helps you wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Watching TV and Working from Home

An adjustable bed frame goes beyond sleep; it can elevate your lounging experience. Whether catching up on your favorite TV series or working from the comfort of your bed, an adjustable frame allows you to discover the ideal angle for these activities.

Adjusting the elevation of the top half of your bed frame will enable you to maintain a comfortable position while watching TV or using your laptop. This helps prevent neck and back strain from sitting upright against a headboard.

Flexibility for Sleeping Partners

Sharing a bed with a partner can pose challenges, particularly when there are differing sleep preferences. Adjustable beds solve this issue by allowing each person to adjust their side of the bed independently. For example, a Split King Adjustable Bed enables couples to customize their sleeping positions without compromising space.

By using two twin XL mattresses placed together on the Split King Bed, each person can enjoy the desired elevation level for their upper body or legs. This ensures both comfort and intimacy in a shared bed.

Alleviates Snoring

Snoring is a prevalent problem that can disturb the sleep of both the person snoring and their partner. Adjustable bed frames have a built-in Anti-Snore position. This position elevates the head and chest, reducing pressure on the airways and minimizing snoring.

Adjusting the bed’s position can alleviate snoring and promote a more peaceful night’s sleep for you and your partner. The wireless remote control provides convenience, allowing you to adjust the bed easily without disturbing your partner’s sleep.

“To maximize the benefits of an adjustable bed, it is crucial to pair it with a compatible mattress type,” says Dr. Burns. “Memory foam or latex mattresses are typically recommended because they are flexible enough to change shape and firm enough to provide support.”

“The American Academy of Sleep Medicine 4 Verified Source American Academy of Sleep Medicine Society focused on sleep medicine and disorders, and the AASM is who authorizes U.S. sleep medicine facilities. See the source also suggests that the slight head elevation, achievable with adjustable beds, can reduce snoring and improve sleep apnea symptoms, making it a practical choice for enhancing sleep quality.”

Personalized Comfort

An adjustable bed frame offers personalized comfort for picky sleepers or those who struggle to find a comfortable position during the night.

Unlike traditional beds, where pillows can shift or deflate at night, an adjustable bed’s incline holds steady. This eliminates the need to constantly readjust your pillow for optimal neck support.

Additionally, an adjustable bed supports and elevates your entire spine, allowing you to find your “just right” sleep position and wake up without stiffness or soreness.

“One of the most significant advantages of adjustable beds is their customization,” says Dr. Burns. “Personalizing sleep positions can lead to better spinal alignment, reduced joint stress, and quicker transitions into deep sleep.”

“Experimenting with different positions can help individuals find their optimal sleep settings, which for many results in improved sleep duration and quality, ultimately affecting overall health and well-being.”

Eases Symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs, like itching, throbbing, or shaking. These symptoms often worsen at night, making it difficult to fall asleep. An adjustable bed frame can help ease the discomfort of RLS by elevating the legs at a 45° angle. This elevation reduces pain and promotes relaxation, relieving RLS symptoms and improving sleep quality. Unlike a stiff elevation pillow that may shift at night, an adjustable bed frame ensures consistent elevation throughout the night.

Minimizes Sleep Paralysis

Sleep paralysis happens in the transition between sleep and wakefulness, causing a temporary inability to move or speak, often accompanied by auditory or visual hallucinations. The likelihood of experiencing sleep paralysis is higher when sleeping on your back. However, adjusting an adjustable bed frame can help minimize its occurrence. By tilting the foot of the bed at an upward angle, you can create a more comfortable and secure sleeping position, reducing feelings of vulnerability and the associated fear and hallucinations.

Features of Adjustable Beds

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Adjustable beds come with various features that enhance comfort and customization. Here are some standard features of adjustable beds:

Adjustable Head and Foot Positions:

– Allows users to elevate the head or foot of the bed independently for personalized comfort.

Remote Control:

– Typically equipped with a wireless remote control for convenient adjustments, making it easy to change positions without getting out of bed.

Massage Functionality:

– Some adjustable beds have built-in massage features, providing soothing vibrations or oscillations to help relax muscles.

Zero Gravity Feature:

– – Replicates a sensation of weightlessness by positioning the bed to distribute body weight evenly, alleviating pressure on the spine and fostering improved sleep.

Memory Presets:

– Allows users to save preferred positions, making it quick and easy to return to a favorite configuration with the push of a button.

Under-Bed Lighting:

– Illuminates the floor beneath the bed, providing visibility during nighttime without disturbing a sleeping partner.

USB Ports:

– Built-in USB ports on the bed frame for convenient charging devices like phones and tablets.

Wall-Hugging Design:

– Some adjustable beds are designed to move backward as they incline, keeping the user near their nightstand.

Adjustable Leg Height:

– Some models feature adjustable legs, enabling users to customize the bed’s height to their preference.

These features contribute to adjustable beds’ overall versatility and comfort, catering to individual preferences for a more enjoyable and restful sleep experience.

Important Considerations for Best Adjustable Beds

Before purchasing an adjustable bed, there are several important considerations to remember. These factors can impact your overall satisfaction and the effectiveness of the best adjustable bed in meeting your specific needs.

Weight Limits

Adjustable beds have weight limits to ensure optimal performance and longevity. It’s essential to check the weight guidelines the manufacturer provides before purchasing. For instance, single adjustable beds typically have an 18 stone (115kg) weight limit. If you exceed this limit, adjustable bed specialists can provide additional reinforcement for the bed frame box spring and heavy-duty motors to accommodate higher weights.

Noise Levels

While adjustable beds may produce some noise when adjusting the position, advancements in design have significantly reduced the noise levels. The minimal noise won’t disturb your sleep or bother your neighbors.


Adjustable beds provide a personalized sleep experience, typically at a higher cost compared to traditional beds. The cost of test adjustable beds will vary based on factors such as the bed size, the type of adjustable bed (lifestyle or profiling), and the specific model you choose. Prices for adjustable beds can start at around $1,500 to $10,000.

Suitability for Side Sleepers

Adjustable beds are suitable for side and back sleepers but may not be ideal for front sleepers who require a flat surface. Adjusting the head and feet slightly raised can provide added comfort and support if you sleep on your side.

The next section will explore the best mattress options for adjustable beds and provide guidelines for choosing the right mattress for a smart bed.

See Also: Best Adjustable Beds for Seniors

The Best Mattress for an Adjustable Bed

Choosing the right mattress is crucial to maximizing an adjustable bed’s features and benefits. Not every mattress is compatible with adjustable beds, as some may not flex easily or fit snugly within the bed frame. Let’s explore the key factors when selecting a mattress for your adjustable bed.

Suitable Mattress Types

Several types of mattresses are suitable for use with adjustable beds. These include memory, latex, reflex, gel, and pocket-sprung mattresses. These mattresses are designed to adapt to the movements of the bed and provide the necessary flexibility for adjusting the bed’s position.

While some standard mattresses can be used with adjustable beds, choosing mattresses specifically designed for adjustable beds is highly recommended. These mattresses are crafted with regular bed movement in mind, ensuring optimal performance and comfort.

Adjustable Mattress Costs

In recent years, adjustable bed mattresses have become more affordable. Adjustable mattresses start from around $500, depending on the size and specific mattress features.

Dimensions and Depth

When selecting an adjustable mattress, it’s important to ensure it fits flush within the adjustable bed frame and is secured when adjusting the bed’s position. Adjustable mattresses are typically 200cm (6’6″) long and compatible with the bed frame dimensions. The mattress should also be less than 10 inches (25cm) thick to adapt effectively to the bedhead’s and feet’ movements.


What is an adjustable bed?

An adjustable bed frame allows users to customize the position of the mattress and base to achieve various angles, offering enhanced comfort and support. It typically features a motorized mechanism that enables users to adjust the head, foot, or bed sections to their desired position.

What are the benefits of using an adjustable bed?

Adjustable beds offer several benefits, including improved comfort, enhanced support for various sleeping positions, and potential relief for health issues such as acid reflux, snoring, and back pain. Customizing the bed’s position can also provide a more personalized sleeping experience, contributing to overall well-being.

Are adjustable beds only for medical purposes?

While adjustable beds are commonly used for medical reasons, such as aiding individuals with specific health conditions, they are not exclusively designed for medical purposes. Many people choose adjustable beds for their versatility and the ability to create a customized sleeping environment that suits their lifestyles and sleep preferences well.

Can I use my existing mattress with an adjustable bed?

Generally, adjustable beds work well with different mattresses like memory foam, latex, and innerspring. Yet, it’s crucial to verify the compatibility of your particular mattress with the adjustable base and bed frame. Some mattresses may not be suitable for bending and may need to be replaced with models designed for use with adjustable bases.


In conclusion, adjustable beds provide various health advantages, such as enhanced circulation, pain relief, and improved sleep quality. They can also provide day-to-day advantages, such as smart features such as comfortable reading or TV-watching positions and customizable sleep positions for couples.

When choosing an adjustable bed, consider the type that best suits your needs and preferences, such as lifestyle or profiling beds. Select a compatible mattress that bends easily and offers the necessary support and comfort. So, why wait? Experience the transformative power of adjustable beds and upgrade your sleep experience today.

Harrison Wall is Sleep Junkie’s business strategist and sleep analyst. He also authors posts on bedding and mattress accessories. Harrison regularly coordinates with new mattress companies and tests their products to determine what really helps you get better rest and have brighter mornings.

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