If you’ve ever had the misfortune to spend any time in a hospital than you’ve likely experienced what it’s like to sleep in a traditional adjustable bed.
These beds are created in such a way as to allow the incline of the bed to be changed so that you can reposition yourself depending on whether you’re awake or asleep.
Traditionally in the home market, adjustable beds were seen as the sort of bed an elderly person would buy if they were either confined to spending a lot of time in bed or they had specific mobility or pain issues that could be helped by having a bed that could be mechanically adjusted with the push of a button.
But over the past decade or so there has been a bit of a revolution in exactly what an ‘adjutsable bed’ can do, and who might be in the market for one of these beds.
So what exactly is an adjustable bed?
What Exactly Are Adjustable Beds?
In simple terms an adjustable bed is one that can be mechanically or electronically adjusted in some way.
There are two basic types.
1) Adjustable Bed Frames or Bases
The first type is similar to the hospital bed that we talked about above. These beds have a base that is articulated which allows it to hinge, so you can raise and lower the mattress as needed.
Traditionally these bases would hinge at one point somewhere close to the middle of the mattress so you were limited to raising just the top half of the mattress.
But newer versions of these beds can have as many as 2 or 3 (or even 4) hinge points along the length of the base which allows for much greater control over your body position while you’re sleeping or just lying in bed.
There are also beds of this type which split the base along the midline which allows the person sleeping or laying on either side of the bed to configure their side of the bed in what ever way they want.
2) Adjustable Mattresses
The next way that you can adjust your bed is by having a mattress that allows for some customization in it’s firmness or softness.
These types of mattresses are often known as ‘smart beds’ or ‘ smart mattresses’. They will often have tracking sensors within the mattress that are used to collect information about your sleep quality and quantity.
You can then use this data to make adjustments to the firmness of your mattress so that over time you find the optimal setting based on feedback you’re getting from the companion app about how well you sleep at a specific setting.
Again, these mattresses are available in ‘split mattress’ style so that both people sleeping on the bed can have their own optimal settings.
These truly are the future of mattress technology.
Who Might Benefit From An Adjustable Bed Frame?
The first population that might benefit from an adjustable bed are the elderly or people with a health condition that confines them to their bed during the day as well as the night.
The ability to tilt the head end of the bed up is ideal for people who need to stay in bed during the day.
This position allows you to read or watch TV from a much more comfortable position.
These beds, and in particular the adjustable beds with multiple hinge points, are also good for people who experience discomfort sleeping on a perfectly flat surface.
The perfect example would be someone who is dealing with back pain. Being able to adjust the bed in such a way to slightly lift the legs and bend at the knee can be a godsend.
Being able to raise the head slightly can also be good for people who have issues breathing at night (apnea’s/hypopneas) and it could also help with snoring issues.
And being able to lift the legs can be of use to people who have circulation issues.
So as you can see, being able to adjust the base of your bed can be useful in a wide range of situations.
Who Might Benefit From An Adjustable Mattress?
Having a mattress that you can adjust with the push of a button is something that truly can be of benefit to everyone.
You buy a new mattress so rarely that making the right choice is generally something that we’re not very good at.
In fact studies have shown that we tend to make poor choices more often than not which means we’re stuck with a mattress that doesn’t match our sleep needs.
This is where the new ‘smart mattresses’ truly come into their own.
You essentially learn over time what the ideal firmness of your mattress is based on feedback you’re getting from the mattress about the quality of your sleep.
And it could be the case that you may have a couple of different firmness settings that you use depending on the sort of activity you’ve been doing through the day.
The ability to adjust this firmness on either side of the mattress also means that both people in the bed are getting the best possible sleep.
Shopping For The Best Adjustable Beds
The first thing you need to do is figure out what it is you’re trying to get out of your new bed.
If there’s some specific health or medical issue that’s causing you to sleep poorly, then it could be the case that a bed with an adjustable base is the way to go.
You would want to talk to your doctor or maybe an occupational therapist about what the ideal sleeping position might be to help you sleep better. Then you can go outand find a bed that adjusts in such a way as to put you in that position.
So for example, if back pain is your issue then sleeping on your back with your legs slightly raised and bent at the knee might help.
In that case you would need a bed that has the hinge points positioned in such a way as to allow you to sleep in that manner.
If you’re going to be stuck in bed during the day a lot, then maybe you only need an adjustable bed that pivots up at the head of the bed.
Generally speaking these will be cheaper than beds with multiple hinge positions, so if you don’t need to buy one of those more complicated beds you shouldn’t.
On the other hand, if it’s more about comfort and customization of the mattress, than a smart mattress could be the way to go.
Tips For Buying An Adjustable Frame
- You’ll need to choose your mattress separately and make sure that the mattress you select is suitable for use with a bed frame that adjusts. Memory foam and latex mattresses are generally a good match due to their ability to flex. Inner spring mattresses may not flex enough to be suitable with adjustable beds.
- Don’t get seduced by features. If a bed has some whiz bang features that you don’t need, don’t buy the bed because of those features. More features generally means a higher price.
- But also be smart enough to look ahead and think about what features you might need in the not too distant future.
- Read adjustable beds reviews. One of the massive advantages of buying beds today is the easy availability of online reviews.
Without a doubt the best place to start when it comes to reading reviews is Amazon. You can head to the link below to start browsing through a wide range of adjustable beds and the reviews people have left for them
Adjustable Mattress Manufacturers
The Smart Mattress market is relatively new so there are only a few players right now.
The most well known of these is Sleep Number which you may have heard of before – they are generally considered to be the market leader in this category.
But other companies such as Personal Comfort are direct competitors who are having great success eating in to their market share.
It’s interesting to note that Sleep Number recently took Personal Comfort to court. Personal Comfort were using advertising that claimed their beds were ‘upgraded versions” of Sleep Number beds and were “better & preferred over Sleep Number“.
The interesting thing is that the court ruled in favor of Personal Comfort – so I’m not sure if you can take that as proof that they are better. But they’re definitely worth checking out.
Others manufacturers include