The phrase adjustable bed is applicable to any bed base that can be lowered or raised for creating several sleeping positions in any bed.
Adjustable beds were used for the first time in hospitals in order to provide injured patients with a vertical angled sleep surface, and also for helping to reduce swelling and pain in the body.
More recently, several mattress manufacturers have launched customizable bed bases in the market, that share the same characteristics as those used in hospitals. Standard adjustable bed bases allow that both the head and foot of the bed to be inclined or declined, from which multiple profile positions for the sleeper’s lower and upper body are created. Other features may provide zero-gravity position, massaging, anti-snore position, wall sliding technology, silent alarms, remote control, the use of apps on wireless devices, and more.
This blog post will examine the advantages / disadvantages of buying an adjustable bed base, some important purchase considerations, and our choices for the best split-king adjustable bed bases in the U.S. marketplace – check them here.
Features of Adjustable Bed Bases
Most adjustable bed bases in the market today are designed to perform the following functions:
- Adjust the head and torso by about 58 up to 80 degrees.
- Adjust the lower body by about 30 up to 45 degrees.
- Support a minimum weight of 400 pounds.
- Adjust settings using a wireless remote control (older models using a wired, connected remote control.
An adjustable bed base may also include the following features:
- Zero-gravity position: the legs are elevated higher than the head for creating an S-shaped sleep surface resembling zero-g conditions. This position is typically ideal for sleepers with conditions such as high blood pressure and/or lower back pain.
- Anti-snore position: sleepers may snore when their head is not elevated and this feature will allow them to automatically raise it to their desired position with the remote control.
- Customizable height: some models may be adjusted at the legs for increasing / decreasing the overall height of the bed base.
- Timed adjustment: ideal for sleepers who enjoy adjusting their body position throughout the night via a sleep timer.
- Dual side adjustment: the bed may be split lengthwise down its middle, for providing customizable settings to both partners sharing it.
- Memory position: some adjustable beds will shift to the sleeper’s favorite position(s) via the one-touch remote control.
- Retention system: many adjustable beds have 4 retainer bars, 2 at the head and 2 at the foot or 1 at each corner. Other models instead use an internal hook-based system for keeping the mattress in place, and not slipping off the base.
- Wall sliding technology: it facilitates the transition into bed by gradually lowering the sleeper’s body as the bed inclines, and simultaneously ensuring that the space between the bed and the wall does not change.
- Built-in massage: the base is designed to create a rippling wave effect on its surface, allowing users to adjust the strength of the waves with the remote control.
- Silent alarm: they wake sleepers with wave-like sensations and/or gentle vibrations, instead of using music or loud noises.
- Headboard brackets: it may come with metal brackets that can be used to attach a headboard to the base.
- Lighting: This feature allows lights beneath the base that can be turned off or on using the remote control.
- USB ports and A/C plugs: this feature provides several built-in USB ports and/or plug outlets that allow users to charge their devices while they sleep.
- App accessibility: this feature will allow users to program the settings of the adjustable bed base using apps on their tablet, smartphone, or other wireless devices.
Benefits of Adjustable Bed Bases
- Reduced snoring: customizable head elevation can reduce snoring, and may be particularly helpful for people suffering from sleep apnea. Some adjustable bed bases feature a specific anti-snore setting that allows the head to be adjusted to multiple angles and positions.
- Pain relief: adjustable bed bases will often be able to alleviate pressure and pain throughout the body, via their customizable massage, comfort, and support settings built in the remote control. This makes them highly beneficial to sleepers with physical conditions that cause chronic pain, including arthritis, restless legs syndrome, and scoliosis. And by elevating both head and legs, adjustable bed bases can also help improving circulation throughout the body.
- Dual side adjustment: Bed bases that are split down the middle are beneficial for couples with different profile settings, and adjustable bed bases are often available in a Split King size, which is basically two Twin XL size bed bases joined together.
- Wireless controls: only older models feature wired remotes. Whether programmed with a wireless app or remote control, most contemporary adjustable bed bases allow sleepers to adjust and customize without relying on outlets or cords.
- Universal comfort: adjustable bed bases often provide surfaces and profiles that are comfortable to any user, irrespective of their weight, height, or preferred sleep position.
Drawbacks associated with Adjustable Bed Bases
- High cost: most adjustable bed bases are priced between $1,000 and $3,500, depending on the quality of the base, and the number of built-in features and settings.
- Noise level: most adjustable bed bases feature metal hinges and electric motors, which can produce significant noise while position settings are adjusted.
- Heavyweight: they typically weigh between 100 and 300 pounds, which causes some difficulty in maneuvering and moving them.
- Compatibility issues: mattress types such as latex and memory foam are often compatible with most adjustable bed bases, while others, such as innerspring and hybrids, can’t be used with certain adjustable bases.
- Short lifespan: breakdowns and malfunctions are fairly common due to the electrical components in adjustable bed bases, and repairs may also be costly and time-consuming due to specific warranty terms.
- Owner assembly: putting together an adjustable bed base can be time-consuming and difficult – although a few brands offer in-home assembly via the White Glove delivery option.
Warranty Terms and Return Policy for Adjustable Bed Base Shoppers
Warranty coverage and return policies are both common complaints among adjustable bed base owners.
The warranty of an adjustable bed base may span anywhere from 3 to 30 years in length, but many owners do not understand specific coverage terms such as prorated versus non-prorated.
Prorated coverage means that the owner must pay a certain percentage of the original base cost in order to repair and/or replace it when a malfunction arises, and normally increase with each year of ownership. In some cases, a 30-year warranty may only provide 1 to 2 years of non-prorated coverage.
Non-prorated warranty coverage means that the bed base manufacturer will repair and/or replace it at zero cost to its owner – besides the usual handling and shipping fees.
Return policy: mattress sales often provide a risk-free home sleep trial, allowing buyers to test it out for at least 3 months, and then return it for an exchange or refund if they are not happy with how it performs at home.
However, adjustable bed base brands do not typically offer home sleep trials, and many even prohibit returns. Some allow purchasers to exchange the base for another model, but this often entails costly handling and shipping fees, and upgrade charges. If returns are allowed, buyers can still expect to pay hundreds of dollars for a restocking fee.
Therefore, adjustable bed base shoppers should make sure their selected brand and model have warranty coverage plans and return policies that are fair and acceptable to themselves before finalizing the purchase.
Here is a final checklist of features, construction and factors to consider before finalizing the purchase of the adjustable bed base…
Does the adjustable bed base include…
- Zero-gravity position for elevating the legs higher than the head?
- Anti-snore position for elevating the head?
- Re-adjustment position that returns the bed base to a flat surface after a certain amount of time has elapsed, while you’re asleep?
- One or more memory position presets?
- Wall Sliding technology that eases the transition in and out of bed?
- Built-in massage capabilities using wave sensations to the body?
- Silent alarm for gentle wake-up?
- Lighting beneath the bed?
- A wireless app that can be used to adjust the settings, besides the remote controls?
- How much does the bed base weigh?
- How much sleeper weight can the bed base support?
- Does the bed base offer dual-side customization for both partners?
- Is the bed base available in the right size that corresponds to your current mattress?
- Is the bed base compatible with your current mattress, or will it require the purchase of a new mattress?
- Is the remote-control wireless or wired?
- How many degrees will the bed base incline for the upper and lower body?
- What is the bed base overall height?
- Can the leg height be adjusted, or are the legs fixed?
- Can leg extensions be bought?
- Is the bed base sold with headboard brackets, and are they compatible?
- Does the bed base use internal retention hooks or retention bars for keeping the mattress in the right place?
- What is the price for the bed base?
- Is the bed base available through more than one manufacturer or retailer — and if so, do the prices vary by a vendor?
- Is owner assembly required, or is it available White Glove delivery with in-home professional assembly?
- Does the manufacturer or retailer offer a risk-free home sleep trial?
- Will the vendor accept returns?
- What is the warranty length?
- How much of the warranty coverage is prorated / non-prorated?