Adjustable beds are finding homes in bedrooms around the world. If you’re considering purchasing a new bed, you should take a minute to get to know about adjustable beds. They offer much more than simply new head and feet angles, with the capability of transforming how people sleep and relax.
In this guide, we’ll give you an overview of everything you need to know when shopping for an adjustable bed. Some of the things you will learn about are:
- Basic knowledge and terminology
- Sizes and other distinguishing features
- Common features
- Return & warranty policies
- Specific models and how they compare
You’re sure to learn much more, but those are the basic ins and outs of adjustable beds. After reading this guide, you should be able to make an informed purchase on a highly desired bedroom item.
The Basics of Adjustable Beds
As you’re probably aware, adjustable bases are beds with frames that allow the user to customize their head and leg angles. One of the major differences among adjustable bed frames is the degree of angle the bed is built to adjust to. Some adjust farther than others. Typically, a frame will adjust to between 60-90 degrees from parallel to the ground. Often, head and feet angle limits may be different.
So, why do people buy adjustable bed frames? Some people buy them to alleviate health and pain concerns. Sleeping on an adjustable bed can improve circulation, relieve pain and create a more restorative sleep due the ability to customize position. Positions like the “Zero Gravity” or semi-fowler reduce stress on the back and promote circulation. Kicking feet up can also help reduce edema, or swelling.
They have been shown to reduce snoring and acid reflux. When you sleep with your upper body slightly elevated, it is easier on air passage ways and also prevents acid from coming into the esophagus. While a similar effect can be achieved with pillows, and adjustable bed provides and more convenient and ergonomic solution.
Most people really enjoy the comfort of customization and ergonomics adjustable beds afford. In fact, many perfectly healthy choose adjustable bases just for the convenience and comfort factor. Watching television, typing on a computer or reading can also be much easier when your head is raised.
What sizes do adjustable beds some in? You can expect to find adjustable bases in the typical standard sizes other beds and mattresses are available in, though many brands only offer twin and full-size adjustable bases in XL sizes. These are 5 inches longer than the normal mattresses to accommodate an adult. Queen, king and cal king sizes are standard, but they are often offered as “split.” This means there are two separate halves to the base so couples can adjust their sides independently. Most split bases also have option to work in unison if the couple prefers to use one mattress and setting.
What is the difference between AC and DC? Adjustable bases are usually electronic and require energy to power their electric motors to raise and lower the mattress. While all electric adjustable beds need to be plugged into an outlet, some run on alternating current (AC) and others convert alternating current to direct current (DC). AC motors are more powerful and produce more noise, while DC motors tend to be less audible.
What weight capacity do I need for my adjustable bed? Weight capacities of adjustable beds are directly related to the quality of the frame. Lower-end bases tend to have lower capacities, around 350-450 lbs. Mid-range frames range about 450-550 lbs. and high-end bases can go up to 700lbs. Consider the weight of yourself, your partner and your mattress when deciding which is right for you.
Should my adjustable bed have the wall-hugging feature? Bases with the wall-saver or wall-hugging feature are designed to that the head of the bed stays near the wall as the bed is adjusted. This keeps your head near your nightstand, which most people find more convenient. Some models without this feature may not be able to work within bed frames and footboards.
What is the difference between legs and casters? With many adjustable bases you can choose between casters and legs. Casters are essentially wheeled legs. If you think you may need to move the bed frequently, casters could be the choice for you. Legs can provide more stability and many people think they offer an aesthetic appeal castors cannot provide.
Some Prominent Features of Adjustable Bed Frames
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into some of the more noteworthy aspects of adjustable beds. Not all adjustable beds have the features described in this section. Some beds may have many more or none at all. As with any purchase, you typically pay more for additional features and add-ons.
Here are some of the technologies and features often included with mid and high-end adjustable beds on the market currently:
- Wireless remotes. Adjustable bases can be controlled by either wireless or wired remotes. Wireless remotes obviously require additional batteries.
- Preset positions. Some adjustable beds have preset positions such as Zero Gravity. This is a position that is supposed to mimic the feeling of weightlessness. Many have a “flat” preset that returns the bed to a flat position with one press of a button.
- Programmable buttons. On both wired and wireless remotes, you may find some programmable settings. These are positions the frame “remembers” after you save the setting.
- Massage. This is one of the most common and popular features of adjustable beds. Using vibration, these beds help alleviate pent up stress and tension, helping users relax. Some beds have stationary massage and others have rolling massage features, moving from head to do.
- Smartphone/tablet compatibility. Techies take note. This new feature of some adjustable beds allows you to control your bed’s functions wirelessly using a smartphone or tablet.
- Snore features. Log-sawing is left to the lumberjacks with these snore-stopping features. Beds with snore features allow one member of a couple to hit the “snore” button when the other is snoring. This causes their partner’s side to raise slightly in order to reduce snoring.
- Safety Features. When the power goes out, adjustable beds without the proper safety features stay locked in position. Some beds are designed with backup batteries or systems that smoothly lower the bed in such events.
- Sleep/wake functions. Dislike noisy alarms? Some beds come with a feature for you. Using gentle vibrations, these beds wake you from your slumber at a preset time.
- Built-in speakers. Just as it sounds, some adjustable beds come with their own sound system. You can play music, white noise, pink noise, or listen to a movie through your bed.
Warranties and Return Policies
Adjustable bed frames have more moving parts than an average bed frame and have electric motors. As a result, their warranties and return policies can be more complicated than a mattress. You need to make sure you understand all aspects of your agreement before committing to a purchase. After all, a broken adjustable bed frame can be less functional than a normal frame, perhaps even useless, if stuck in an awkward position.
Given that, if you’re bed doesn’t have at least a few years of full protection on moving parts and motors, you may want to reconsider. Your full coverage should include the price of repairs for at least on year (mechanical issues will often show up soon). These are big-ticket items and you don’t want to be left holding the bag if something goes wrong.
After the initial full-coverage period, many retailers offer an additional warranty that covers parts for a few years. The labor involved with replacing the parts, however, is not covered.
Pro-rated warranties will cover a portion of parts that is indirectly proportional to the length of time you’ve owned the bed. That is, the longer you own the bed, the less the retailer or manufacturer will pay. Some pro-rated warranties will cover labor, also.
Be sure to check the return policy on your bed, too. You should be able to try your mattress for awhile in your home with the potential to return it if you’re not satisfied. But, adjustable bed frames will likely have more strict return policies and can be very costly to return even if the retailer does it allow, so be mindful going in about the agreement.
Comparison of Adjustable Beds
Now the moment of truth. We’ve compiled a table with various adjustable beds currently being offered from some popular brands. In one convenient location, you can compare and contrast the main features, prices, warranties and more.
|Brand / Model||Key Specs||Features||Weight Capacity (Queen)||Warranty||Price (Queen / King)||Reviews (Out of 5)|
|Astrabeds ErgoStar Evolution||60° head angle|
45° foot angle
Removable legs w/ casters
|550 lbs.||1 year full / 3 years limited||$1,999 / $3,798||4.6|
|Amerisleep Ergo Invincible||60° head angle|
45° foot angle
Removable legs w/ casters
|550 lbs.||1 year full / 3 years limited||$1,999 / $3,798||4.8|
|Bob’s Discount Furniture|
|Not disclosed||Not disclosed||5 years full / 5 years parts||$1,499 / $2,199 (with mattress)||2.1|
|Costco Sleep Science Adjustable Base||Wireless remote|
60° head angle
40° foot angle
Zero gravity, Reading, and flat presets
|700 lbs.||1 year full / 2-5 years parts||$1,189.99 / $1,599.99||3.3|
63° head angle
ND foot angle
|450-600 lbs.||1 year full / limited lifetime||Not disclosed||3.9|
|Golden Rest Supernal Hi - Low||Wallhugger|
65° head angle
35° foot angle
|Massage||600 lbs.||1 year full||$514 / $1,795||3.2|
|Leggett & Platt Designer Series||Wallhugger|
58° head angle
44° foot angle
|700 lbs||1 year full / 3 years limited||$1,500 / $2,800||4.7|
|Leggett & Platt S-Cape||Wallhugger|
60° head angle
58° foot angle
4” legs w/casters
|700 lbs.||1 year full / 2 year parts||$1,199 / $1,989||4.2|
|Sealy Reflexion 4||Wallhugger|
60° head angle
40° foot angle
Zero gravity, lounge, incline presets
|650 lbs.||1 year full / 3 year parts||$1,699 / $2,720||3.9|
|Serta Motion Perfect II||Wallhugger|
60° head angle
13° waist to knee angle
50° knee to foot angle
|Flat, Zero gravity, Reading presets|
|500 lbs.(Queen) |
400 lbs. (King split, per side)
|1 year full / 5 years parts||$1,700 / $3,800||3.6|
|Tempurpedic TEMPUR-Ergo Premier||Wallhugger|
70° head angle
9”, 6.5”, or 4.5” legs with Casters
|650 lbs.||5 year full / Lifetime limited||$1,999 / $3,798||3.8|
Top-Rated Adjustable Beds of 2015
Now that we’ve gone over the basics and some of the more popular models, let’s take a look at some of our top-rated adjustable beds of 2015. Here are the best values for this year’s adjustable beds.
Best Entry-Level Beds:
These beds have a lot of potential, but don’t cost a lot.
- Leggett and Platt Designer Series
- Golden Rest Supernal Hi – Low
If you’re looking for an adjustable bed, but don’t have much to spend, these beds are for you. The Leggett and Platt Designer Series (sold at retailers like Amerisleep) costs a bit more than the Supernal, but you get some bang for your buck with the additional features. The Designer Series also has a very contemporary furniture-style look with customizable upholstery colors that will look at home in the modern bedroom.
Packed with features, these beds are luxury items at a value.
- Astrabeds ErgoStar Evolution
- Sealy Reflexion
The Sealy Reflexion and Astrabeds ErgoStar Evolution stand out as having the most value for the price in the higher end adjustable beds. These products are long-lasting and a welcome addition to any bedroom. Be on the lookout around holiday sales, as Astrabeds and some Sealy retailers offer seasonal discounts.
There are many more additional features offered by manufacturers at a price and a broad range of adjustable beds out there to compare. We tried to list more general attributes and more popular models without adding too many confusing features . When adding items or features to your purchase, make sure you are getting what you pay for. Sometimes retailers price additional features higher than their value to make a bit more money.
Be discriminating: adjustable beds can take a chunk from any budget. Know that in many cases, if you buy the adjustable base and mattress at the same retailer, you could get a better package price than buying them separate. But, as with any big purchase, you want to make sure you get what you need from the bed for a good amount of time. If you take your time and keep your wits you’ll find an adjustable bed that fits your needs and budget.