Is an Adjustable Bed Right for You?

Is an Adjustable Bed Right for You

Beds with adjustable bases have recently grown in popularity as they’ve become easier to purchase online, and the prices are becoming more affordable all the time. An adjustable bed base allows you use simple controls to change your position, something that can help a broad range of people. You may associate adjustable beds with hospitals, but these days such beds are designed fit in with ordinary home décor. Even if you’ve got no health problems at all, an adjustable bed can offer you plenty of benefits. This article will familiarize you with some basic information about adjustable beds, and help you decide if you should be considering one for your own home.

Adjustable beds are nothing new – there’s even evidence of a simple prototype being used as far back as the 1500s! The 3-part adjustable bed bases of today, which allow you to change the height of each section, were invented by a Dr. Willis Gatch during the early years of the 20th century. This Gatch Bed allowed patients to be raised into various positions that increased oxygen levels and circulation after a surgery, thereby promoting healing. It was nothing short of a revolution in health care. If you’ve ever had to spend a long time on bed rest, you know how much more comfortable you are when you can sit up with the help of an adjustable bed.

In the middle of the last century, manufacturers began to market these beds for consumers by creating versions for use in the home. Brands such as Leggett & Platt or Craftmatic popularized adjustable beds, especially for elderly customers. Along with adjustable height, these bed bases also have comfort features such as massage, and they are designed to look good with your home décor. Today’s adjustable beds are intended for a broad range of people, from young couples to baby boomers. If you understand the benefits these beds have to offer, you can make a good decision about whether you not they would be a good choice for you.

Health Benefits of Adjustable Bed Bases

  • Relieves swelling
  • Promotes circulation
  • Helps breathing
  • Eases acid reflux
  • Promotes healing after surgery
  • Relieves back pain

Because these beds were designed originally for therapeutic purposes, they are appropriate for a wide range of health issues. Bad circulation can cause edema (swelling) in the feet and legs, which you can relieve by raising the feet above heart level. After childbirth and certain surgeries, some medical practitioners may prescribe the Fowler’s position (elevating the upper body between 45 and 60 degrees), which promotes healing and makes it easier to breathe. Acid reflux, also known as GERD, causes serious symptoms of heartburn when stomach acid rises to the esophagus. Sleeping with the head and chest elevated can reduce or eliminate this reflux, and it’s much more comfortable to use an adjustable bed than to prop yourself upon a pile of pillows. A position known as “zero gravity” in which you elevate the feet above heart level and slightly raise the head can alleviate back pain and improve circulation for some people too. Beyond these specific uses, people can use an adjustable base to customize their bed to
suit their own individual needs and preferences.

Benefits of Adjustable Bed Bases for Comfort

  • More comfortable for relaxing in bed
  • Massage
  • Convenience/luxury
  • Customizable for partners

Even if you have none of the health issues mentioned above, you may enjoy the comfort of an adjustable bed. If you like to watch TV or read in bed you may find yourself using a lot of pillows to try and prop yourself up, and you may feel discomfort in your arms and back. Instead, you can use an adjustable base to position yourself for watching movies, reading a book, or even eating your breakfast! You can also elevate your knees slightly to move into a lounging position.

Some beds also include additional features such as alarms, massage and even an anti-snoring function. The massage feature is a strong vibration that aids in relaxation of muscles and encourages circulation. Different models offer different additional features to enhance the luxury and comfort in your bedroom.

If you sleep with a partner, you’ll be glad to know that you can get split adjustable bed models. Several brands include a split queen and a split king in their line, with independent controls for each half of the bed. If you and your partner have different preferences or needs, you can still sleep comfortably in the same bed.

More Considerations

Now that you know about the benefits of this type of bed, here are some other things you should think about when making your decision.

  • Can you afford one on your budget? Adjustable bases for the home start at about 1000 dollars. Insurance usually doesn’t cover them, although some policies may include them under durable medical equipment. They are a fairly big-ticket item, but they will usually last for 10 to 20 years. Also, the price is similar to that of a medium-range mattress.
  • What kind of furnishings does your bedroom have? Adjustable beds are now designed to work with most headboards and bed frames. A platform bed, however, might not work if the legs of the base don’t reach the floor, and the platform itself may not be sturdy enough for the combined weight of the mattress and the base. If you want to use the base within your existing furniture, look for Wallhugger design.
  • Can you use your current mattress? Most spring mattresses will not work on an adjustable base. A flexible mattress such as latex or memory foam is best; otherwise you may impair the base’s function or damage the mattress. Latex and memory foam are durable and will conform to the shape of the base.
  • Can you do the setup yourself? Some assembly is required with an adjustable base, and they weigh quite a bit. If your mobility is limited and you can’t get the base to the bedroom from the front door, try to buy from a retail who offers a “white glove” delivery service. This service includes delivery right to the bedroom as well as setup.

Choosing the Best Adjustable Bed for You

  • According to a Burke Research study commissioned by Leggett & Platt, 90 percent of customers are satisfied with their adjustable beds
  • • Another report by states that 84 percent of people are satisfied with their adjustable beds.

These studies show that by and large most people who buy adjustable bases are satisfied with their purchase. If you take the time to research the product and the features it offers, as well as checking reviews by owners, you will likely be happy with your own decision too.

You should decide what features are important for you, figure out what size you require, and think about your budget. It’s also crucial to look into what kind of warranty is offered by the manufacturer. A good company will offer a limited warranty covering about 20 years, with full warranty coverage from 0 to 5 years. Some warranties may not cover such critical parts as the motor, so be wary.

It may be difficult for you to find a good adjustable bed in a local store, but don’t give up. It’s much easier to find good quality affordable options online. Looking online also makes it easier to do thorough research and comparison shopping. Of course, it can be expensive and difficult to return an adjustable base, but the same is true even if you buy in a local brick-and-mortar shop because of this product’s nature.

Previously on this site we’ve looked at some of the leading brands of adjustable beds, and compared them in terms of durability, warranty, price and reviews by owners. The two most outstanding models were the Ergo Invincible from Amerisleep and the Prodigy base from Leggett & Pratt. The Amerisleep model retails starting at 1299 dollars. It includes a zero-gravity setting, massage, wireless controls, and it’s able to produce an upright angle of 70 degrees. The Leggett & Platt bed costs 1699 or more and includes wifi remotes, sleep timers, wave massage and an upright angle of up to 63 degrees. Both beds have high rates of owner satisfaction – more than 90 percent – so either model is a safe bet.

When not in use, your adjustable bed looks exactly like any other mattress, but when in use it has its own unique profile, pampering you with exquisite comfort. No longer do these beds look like they belong in a hospital setting. With their quiet motors, sleek lines and hidden machinery, today’s adjustable beds look right at home in any bedroom. These beds offer great health benefits as well as comfort features that make them appealing to a broad range of people. Take a look at your own preferences and the features that adjustable beds have to offer, and you will be able to decide if one of these beds is the right choice for you.