Lower back and neck pain, arthritis, sleep apnea, acid reflux, and insomnia: These are conditions that cost many people a good night’s sleep. An adjustable bed—which is geared toward supporting your head and legs, alleviating pain and discomfort, and generally helping you to sleep like a baby—could be the solution.
Adjustable beds use multiple motors to raise your head and legs to an ergonomic position, and a handheld remote control—or a smartphone app—allows you to adjust them. The remote or app also provides multiple options for placing you in the optimal position for reading a book, watching TV, relaxing, and sleeping.
This guide will explore adjustable beds, review the factors you should consider when shopping for one, and provide a list of some of the best adjustable beds on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: AmeriSleep Adjustable Bed+
- RUNNER-UP: Classic Brands Comfort Upholstered Adjustable Bed
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: LUCID L150 Bed Base – Upholstered Frame
- BEST LUXURY: DynastyMattress DM9000s King Adjustable Bed Base
- BEST ELECTRIC: Wayfair Sleep Massaging Zero Gravity Adjustable Bed
- BEST MATTRESS & BED COMBO: LUCID Comfort Collection 10” Firm Gel Memory Foam
- BEST SPLIT ADJUSTABLE: Sven & Son Split King Adjustable Bed Base Frame
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Adjustable Bed
It’s important to consider several factors as you shop for an adjustable bed, including material, mattress and frame compatibility, remote control functionality, and additional features.
The material in an adjustable bed consists of two separate pieces: the base and the mattress. The base on an adjustable bed is much more complex than a standard bed frame. An adjustable bed base has mechanical parts that allow you to raise both the head and the foot of the bed between 40 and 70 degrees, either manually or via a motor. Given that these mechanical parts must support the weight of one or two people in addition to the weight of a mattress, they feature steel construction.
Mattress and Frame Compatibility
When it comes to choosing a mattress for an adjustable bed, flexibility and durability are crucial. The mattress needs to bend with the base while still resting flush against it. The mattress also needs to endure this bending action without wearing out. Three mattress options to consider include:
- Memory Foam: This is the most popular type of mattress for an adjustable bed. Memory foam mattresses have good flexibility, allowing them to remain flush with the base while still conforming to your body, whether in a flat or raised position. By contrast, some other types of mattresses won’t return to a normal position after being raised for an extended period of time. True to its name, memory foam will return to a flat shape even after long periods in a raised position.
- Latex: Though not as flexible as memory foam, latex mattresses, prized for their organic properties, still perform well in terms of bending with an adjustable bed base and retaining their shape when returned to a flat position. Latex mattresses tend to be more rigid than memory foam, so thicker latex models may float above the base when there is no weight on the mattress.
- Innerspring: Innerspring mattresses do not work well with an adjustable bed base. The innerspring design makes this type of mattress too stiff for an adjustable base, causing the mattress to float above the base rather than adhere to its shape, even more than a latex mattress. As a result, you’re more likely to feel uncomfortable pressure as opposed to relief from an innerspring mattress when it is in a raised position.
Couples often have different preferences with both mattress types and sleep positions. Reaching a compromise is one solution to this issue. A split bed is another viable option. A split bed consists of two mattresses placed side by side on two separate adjustable frames. This setup usually involves pairing two adjustable twin XL beds to create a single king bed frame.
This split bed design allows each partner to have a separate mattress and then independently raise and lower their respective side of the bed. While this arrangement can solve disagreements about bed position and mattress type, there are several compromises to consider. First, even if you use identical mattresses, you may still end up with a valley separating you and your partner, which makes cuddling a challenge. Separate sets of sheets are also required, which can be costly.
Zero-gravity describes the weightless feeling when being supported by an adjustable bed. This nirvana of sleeping positions reduces stress on joints and muscles by supporting key pressure points on the body to create a feeling of weightlessness. The result is reduced pain and a better night’s sleep.
Many adjustable beds include a zero-gravity setting, often indicated by a “ZG” button on the controller. When zero-gravity is engaged, the head and foot of the bed raise to the optimal angle to eliminate pressure on your back and improve circulation. Zero-gravity position distributes gravitational pressure evenly across your body by aligning your thighs with your torso and your knees with your heart.
Manual vs. Electric
Adjustable beds operate via two methods: manual and electric.
- Manual: Manual adjustable beds operate with a hydraulic lift that you control by winding a handle or using a foot pump. Manual beds are significantly less expensive than electric beds; however, they require substantially more effort to change the bed’s position. Having to get out of bed when changing it from one position to another is inconvenient as well.
- Electric: Electric adjustable beds use a motor to operate a lift system for the head and foot of the bed. You operate the motor via a remote control or smartphone app. Changes in position are gradual and smooth to prevent discomfort or injury and to allow for precise settings. Most motors are very quiet or completely silent.
Remote Control & Apps
A wired or wireless remote control will operate an electric bed. Most remote controls feature either two separate switches or a toggle switch for both the head and foot of the bed to control the up and down movement. Depending on the model, some remote controls also include additional buttons that serve as preset positions for reading, watching TV, and sleeping.
Some adjustable beds feature a smartphone app that allows you to adjust the bed via a Bluetooth connection with the bed’s motor. These apps offer the same functions as most remote controls.
Ease of Use
Since many people buy adjustable beds for therapeutic reasons, ease of use is an essential factor to consider when determining which type to purchase. Although manual adjustable beds offer the same pain-relieving positions as electric adjustable beds, the process of manually adjusting a bed can be too difficult for someone with limited mobility. Electric adjustable beds are much easier to operate since they use motors to power the head and foot adjustments.
Installation is also essential to consider when purchasing an adjustable bed. Adjustable bed bases can weigh more than 100 pounds, making them a challenge to move into a home or an upper-level apartment.
The actual assembly of an adjustable bed is typically quite simple. Most adjustable beds require you to unfold them and then attach the legs either with a screwdriver or by twisting them into place by hand.
Our Top Picks
The list below includes some of the best adjustable beds on the market from several of the industry’s leading manufacturers. Each of these adjustable beds is built with quality materials and is focused on ease of use to provide you with a restful night’s sleep.
AmeriSleep’s Adjustable Bed+ takes standard adjustable bed features and ramps up the quality and innovation. To begin, it uses a wall hugger design, which means that the head of the bed will not move away from the headboard when on an incline. This prevents your pillows from falling to the floor and keeps you close to your nightstand. While most adjustable beds include standard incline functions for the head and foot, the Adjustable Bed+ features a third incline function that allows you to tilt the pillow forward when on an incline to support your head even further.
Massage features are also popular options for adjustable beds. While many massagers focus on the head or foot of the bed, this model includes a full-body massager. AmeriSleep has also made noticeable improvements to the sometimes less-than-desirable aesthetics of an adjustable bed. By using friction to adhere the bed to the base, AmeriSleep eliminates the unsightly retainer bar that is characteristic of most adjustable beds, giving it a sleek look. A full-body massager, two USB ports, and a versatile remote control add to the appeal.
Classic Brands offers an affordable adjustable bed that doesn’t compromise on features. The head of the bed elevates to 65 degrees, with an elevation of 50 degrees at the foot. A wireless remote provides plenty of preset settings for zero-gravity, lounge, TV, and includes multiple programmable buttons. The remote also controls an integrated head and foot massage with three different speeds.
Charging your smartphone is easy with two integrated USB ports. The base’s innovative leg design allows for three height options: 5 inches, 7 inches, and 12 inches, and also includes a mattress retention rail, allowing you to better align the base to a headboard and footboard. A sturdy steel frame gives this adjustable bed a weight capacity of 660 pounds. Keep in mind that it does require some assembly.
LUCID’s L150 provides an affordable option with this sturdy steel-framed adjustable bed that supports up to 600 pounds. It features a maximum head elevation of 58 degrees and a foot elevation of up to 40 degrees, making it easy to find a comfortable position for sleeping, reading, or watching TV. A seven-button wireless remote controls the head and foot motors either simultaneously or independently with a preset option for returning the bed to a flat position.
The base offers plenty of under-bed storage with a full 11 inches of clearance. LUCID’s L150 is compatible with mattresses less than 14 inches thick, and the screw-on legs allow for a quick, tool-free installation.
With four motors and quality amenities like ambient lighting and built-in Bluetooth speakers, the DynastyMattress DM9000s is a top-of-the-line adjustable bed. In addition to the standard head and foot adjustability you expect in this kind of bed, the DM9000s also features both adjustable lumbar support and adjustable head support, allowing you to melt into that just-right sleeping position. The 18-button remote gives you control over the four adjustments on the bed and also includes a one-button setting for zero-gravity, a flat position, and two programmable positions. A head and foot massager and full-body vibration offer further comfort.
Additional features include under-bed lighting and USB ports, in addition to the Bluetooth speaker system for drifting off to sleep with music or your favorite sleep sounds.
This well-built and durable electric adjustable bed from Wayfair is a strong option at an affordable price. It features an all-carbon steel frame construction, giving it an impressive weight capacity of 700 pounds for its queen size. A wireless remote control features a multitude of settings for zero-gravity, TV, reading, sleeping, an integrated head and foot massager, and a child safety lock.
You can move safely around the bedroom during the night thanks to LED under-bed lighting, while two integrated USB ports allow for convenient overnight device charging. This bed sits 11 inches off the ground—providing for plenty of storage space under the bed—and assembly takes less than five minutes.
This combo from LUCID pairs a memory foam mattress with an adjustable bed base that offers both a head and a foot incline. The 10-inch thick mattress features SureCool gel-infused memory foam—which absorbs heat and provides a more consistent temperature for comfortable sleeping—while Pure Flow ventilation holes improve airflow through the mattress while also offering a softer feel. LUCID rates this mattress as firm on its mattress scale.
The base offers multiple user features for further comfort and convenience, such as two USB ports for smart devices and under-bed LED lighting for nighttime visibility. A wireless remote including preset positions for TV, reading, zero-gravity, and sleep controls the bed’s dual-zone massager function, and also provides one programmable position for additional customization. With its steel frame construction, this combo sits 12 inches off the floor and has a weight capacity of 750 pounds.
End the battle of soft versus firm and flat versus inclined with this split king adjustable bed base from Sven & Son. This unit consists of two XL twin size beds, each with a set of motors, allowing you and your partner to make adjustments without having to make compromises. Each side features a separate head and food control, allowing both parties to find the setting that brings the most comfort.
Two dual-charging USB stations provide plenty of charging capability on both sides of the bed, while dual head and foot massagers offer three intensity levels: pulse, wave, and full-body vibration. Matching remote controls feature one-touch options for anti-snore, zero-gravity, programmable memory, and flat position, as well as an emergency power-down feature. This split bed also provides ultra-quiet motors, so you don’t disturb your sleeping partner whenever you make adjustments.
The Advantages of Owning an Adjustable Bed
An adjustable bed offers many health and wellness benefits. With zero-gravity features, adjustable beds can support your head, neck, back, and legs, providing relief from aches and pains. By creating a better sleeping position, adjustable beds can also alleviate insomnia and sleep apnea to give you higher quality sleep. You might even realize additional health benefits from an adjustable bed, such as improved digestion, better circulation, and arthritis relief. The option to choose an upright position on an adjustable bed can be particularly effective at preventing acid reflux and heartburn.
- Zero-gravity support relieves neck and back pain.
- Reduction in insomnia and sleep apnea results in a higher quality of sleep.
- Health benefits range from improved digestion and circulation to arthritis relief.
- The upright position can be effective at preventing acid reflux and heartburn.
FAQs About Your New Adjustable Bed
If you still have unanswered questions about adjustable beds, read on to put those concerns to rest.
Q. How much does an adjustable bed cost?
Although prices vary depending on quality and size, the cost of an adjustable bed base (not including a mattress) typically ranges between $500 and $1,500.
Q. Can you use a regular mattress on an adjustable bed?
While you can use an innerspring spring mattress on an adjustable bed, it won’t be effective. This is because an innerspring mattress is too stiff and won’t bend properly with an adjustable base. In fact, placing an innerspring mattress on an adjustable bed can actually make the bed less comfortable than a standard bed.
Q. How thick should a mattress be for an adjustable bed?
The optimal thickness for a mattress on an adjustable bed is 10 to 12 inches. This is thick enough to provide adequate support and comfort but not so thick that the mattress won’t bend properly with the base.
Q. Is an adjustable bed good for side-sleepers?
An adjustable bed works well for side-sleepers because it can raise the upper body into a position where there is less pressure on the shoulders, hips, and neck. A side-sleeper will likely make slight adjustments to achieve optimal comfort versus someone who prefers to sleep on their back.
Q. Can you assemble an adjustable bed by yourself?
Assembling an adjustable bed is usually quite easy. Although an adjustable bed can be heavy, most consumers can install one in minutes with some assistance from a partner or friend. Installing the mattress on top of the bed is usually as simple as sliding it into place.