Adjustable bed bases have been around for a little while and chances are you’ve seen one of the heavily advertised brands on TV or online. They are becoming quite popular, offering users the ability to customize sleeping positions and enjoy a greater degree of comfort. If you just started shopping for an adjustable bed, all of the different choices, brands, and features can seem intimidating. We developed this guide with you in mind, and in it you will find common terminology, key features to check, and tips for comparing different brands. Follow this adjustable bed guide to learn the basics.
Adjustable Bed Features
First, you will want to familiarize yourself with the features offered by adjustable bed brands. While they may go by somewhat different names, these core features include:
Wall Hugger – This term described beds which fit into traditional bed frames and adjust without creating a larger footprint. Bases with wall hugger features keep the head close to the nightstand for convenience.
Wired versus wireless remote options – The ability to control bed adjustments via a wireless remote control is considered an upgrade from adjustable beds with wired controls. One of the advantages of a wireless remote is that there are no cords to trip over, tangle or hide in bedding, and they can be placed anywhere. Advantages of wired controls include no batteries and no lost remotes.
AC and DC motors – Both found in adjustable beds and offer similar results, with slight differences. DC offers the quietest operation and is the most common; however some models may offer AC motors which provide a higher operating capacity. You will want to check to ensure the motor’s weight capacity is enough to handle your weight and that of your mattress.
Zero Gravity – This is a position which virtually eliminates pressure points and provides a sensation of near weightlessness. It is characterized by the legs being above heart level, at an angle that reduces pressure on the spine and encourages deep relaxation.
Massage – Massage is one of the most popular features on adjustable beds. It works via vibration, and is strong enough to be felt through most mattresses. About ⅔ of people find this feature useful on their adjustable bases.
Battery Backup – This allows the bed to return to a flat position when the electricity goes out, which is a valuable option for people who have difficulty getting in and out of bed.
Leg Styles – Some adjustable bases allow for operation with or without the legs attached, and most have multiple heights to accommodate different needs and furniture. Beds can also use either flat legs or casters (wheels).
Brackets – If you use a traditional metal frame attached to a headboard now, you will want to include headboard brackets with your adjustable bed. These allow a standard headboard to attach directly to the base. If you plan on using the base in a wood frame bed, you probably will not need this add-on.
Adjustable base sizes vary somewhat from traditional mattress sizes. Twin and Full XL sizes offer 80” lengths as opposed to the standard 74”, which makes them a good option for single adults. Queen and king sizes bases also come in split sizes, which allow each side of the bed to be adjusted independently. A split king size is considered ideal for most couples if space permits.
Warranties should be compared as they can vary tremendously even from a single manufacturer or retailer. Most offer at least a one-year full warranty, however after that parts and labor may be prorated for different lengths of time. Some manufacturers exclude certain components in the prorated warranties like electronics as well. Returns can also be complicated with adjustable beds due to their size and shipping costs. Read all warranties and make certain you understand them, asking questions on anything you are uncertain of. Pay special attention to motor warranties and electronics as the remainder of the bed is simply mechanical and less prone to breakage.
Looking at reviews is an important part of researching a purchase. This helps you get an idea of what to expect from a bed, and avoid costly mistakes. The most reputable reviews are those that verify the reviewer as a purchaser (a few third-party services offer this to retailers). The least reputable are testimonials, as these are hand-picked by the retailer and may not representative of most experiences. You can also look at third-party websites devoted to consumer reviews, like Viewpoints, Trustlink and others.
Choosing the best mattress to use with the adjustable base is imperative for comfort and satisfaction. Attached mattresses and innerspring mattresses are not desirable, as they will wear faster and offer less comfort. Memory foam mattresses and latex mattresses are supremely suited to this application, as they are able to conform to the underlying base and the sleeper without any loss of support. The best choice is a thinner model as thicker mattresses can hinder flexibility and be too heavy.
Comparison Shopping for an Adjustable Bed
There are many adjustable bed retailers out there, and because a majority of retailers privately brand their bases, it can be difficult to compare across stores. One way to make this easier is to systematically compare the beds you are considering based on the features most important to you. Begin by listing everything you must have, for example: queen size, massage, battery back up, wall hugger, and a price under $1500. Then, make a chart or spreadsheet to track how the different options you encounter measure up to your wants. Below is a sample of a few leading brands based on the sample criteria we mentioned:
|Average Review||4.6/5 (64 reviews)||4.6 (6 reviews)|
This comparison makes it easy to see how the brands differ and which meet our checklist. Though the adjustable beds appear similar, we found a pretty large range of prices and reviews. The option that meets every criteria in this example is the Astrabeds ErgoStar Evolution adjustable bed, which has the desired features, a solid 4.6 in reviews, and a competitive price. As we keep shopping, we would continue eliminating the options that didn’t stack up, and then compare prices and current sales on the viable bases to select the best overall value.
Being aware and informed on the available options when shopping for an adjustable bed will help you narrow down the marketplace and make a wise decision. Many manufacturers offer a basic, mid and high end model to choose from, with primary differences being features and/or warranty coverage. When shopping for your new bed, you will want to compare not only price, but also features and guarantees to get the best value. We hope you find out tips helpful and that this guide answered some of your basic questions. If you have more adjustable bed questions feel free to let us know!