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Beds, Bases & Frames

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What Is An Adjustable Bed?

Adjustable beds are VERY popular for ALL age groups. Good for the circulation, laptops and iPads, reading, or for watching television.

The position you sleep in greatly affects the quality of your sleep. Anyone may have noticed that the body just feels more comfortable in some positions than others. For even more comfy slumber, most people stuff pillows under different parts of the body just to alter the surface they are sleeping on. But what if you could actually change the bed itself to suit your comfort needs.

That’s exactly what you get by buying an adjustable bed. When in its flat position, the bed might look like just another sleeping platform but that could not be farther from the truth. The bed’s laying surface comes with multiple hinges on different points. These allow you to angle the surface in ways that conform to your body’s comfort needs. So instead of mere pillows, your whole bed can be adjusted. Sometimes, the bed may come with the ability to adjust the height as well.

What are the Parts of an Adjustable Bed

The adjustable bed is nothing close to rocket science when it comes to complexity. It only comes with a few fundamental parts.

The Bed Frame

This makes up the foundation of your adjustable bed. Not only does it hold your mattress but it also houses the motor, the engine behind all your bed’s movements. The bed frame determines the size of the whole bed, of course: single, double, king or queen size. While most bed frames are made from wood, adjustable bed frames are built from robust materials like metal, usually steel.

An ordinary bed will normally be fixed once you move it into position. But for the adjustable type, there will be constant movements up and down. This, as you might expect, can easily weaken the structure of the bed frame if the wrong material is used. That is why most manufacturers opt for steel. The metal gives the frame the extra strength it needs to stay intact under the shock of your bed’s adjustments.

This, however, comes with a disadvantage. The bed frame tends to be too heavy owing to the nature of the materials used. But that is a small sacrifice to make if you want a long lasting bed. Besides, you won’t have to move the bed every other time. You also don’t want a bed that creaks in the middle of the night as you adjust it. The assembly has to be as quiet as possible.

The Motor

For the electric adjustable bed, the motor is at the heart of the assembly. In modern beds, this is a DC motor that powers all the adjustments needed for that comfortable position. You don’t want the inconvenience of having to get up to adjust your bed and that is why modern ones come with remote controls.

One thing you don’t want during your slumber sessions is a noisy motor. Granted, most will be silent when you buy them, they may become noisy as they wear down. The durability of the motor will depend on the warranty of the manufacturer. Those with longer warranties will have longer lasting motors. It’s not rare to find something to last you from 10 to 20 years.

The Rollers

The other fundamental parts of the adjustable bed are the rollers. Their purpose is twofold: to move the bed and support the mattress. They usually come in any of three materials including metal, wood, and nylon. For the purpose of silence, some manufacturers prefer nylon. It is also loved for its durability. Metal and wood rollers tend to be too noisy when the bed moves and that doesn’t seem to do your sleep much of a service. You also can’t count on them to last as long as the nylon type.

The durability of your adjustable bed depends on two things: How durable the frame is and how dependable the motor is. And this is where the material of the roller becomes important. Metal and wood rollers seem to generate too much friction and this punishes the motor, resulting in premature failure. Nylon rollers are loved for their frictionless operation. That’s silence, durability, and frictionless operation for nylon.

What Should You Consider When Buying Your Adjustable Bed?

•    The Gauge of the Steel

Simply put, the gauge of the steel is its thickness. It is a no brainer that this will affect the durability of your bed. The smaller the thickness of the steel in the bedframe, the less load it can hold. The question you have to ask before you buy your bed frame, therefore, is how heavy the user will be.

A light person can jump up and down on it forever without punishing the support structure. But for a heavier individual, the whole assembly might come tumbling down in no time.

•    How Much Are You Willing to Pay?

Adjustable beds, just like most other things, come in different grades and these will be priced differently. There is something for all sorts of budgets from the basic bed frames, to more luxurious forms. Durability also weighs into the price heavily and that’s one reason getting the cheapest may not be the smartest idea. Most cheap manufacturers will skimp out on the steel thickness which results in damage-prone products.

As much as you can save money on these, your bed will soon lose its comfort in a short while with continued adjustments. It usually starts with the frame failing to hold the mattress properly, noises, and less smooth operation.

•    What’s Your Sleeping Position?

An adjustable bed won’t be all that practical for some sleeping positions. For example, if you primarily sleep on your side, lifting the legs will only result less comfort. The head part might use some elevation but other than that, everything else is better off flat.

Stomach sleepers may also find little use in having the leg end of the bed lifted.

However, very few people strictly sleep in one position. Most still relax on their back and that would be a good time to make full use of the adjustable bed. For example when you are reading a book, watching a movie, or eating, an elevated upper body can be comfortable.

•    Who is the Manufacturer?

The adjustable bed market is teeming with different manufacturers. As with anything, some of these are not worth your money. You would do well to go for a more reputable brand instead investing your money in an obscure manufacturer. Adjustable beds are different from ordinary ones since they come with moving mechanisms. The reality is that not every manufacturer is able to pump out quality products. The fact that these are long term items that last over ten years, it would be hard to judge how good a new manufacturer really is until you have seen some experience under their belt. Even if some of these beds may be cheap, it is better to go for something more robust to last longer.

•    How Heavy Will Be the Load?

This is another important things to consider. It is actually one of the most fundamental factors to look at. In this regard, you will have to go for an adjustable bed that has thicker steel if it will be used by someone heavy. The motor should also be robust to safely lift your weight for many years of usage.

•    How Easy Is It to Assemble

Although you only need to assemble the bed one time unless you have to relocate, you still don’t want a bed that gives you headaches just to assemble it. Choose one that does not require you to be master at calculus just to put it together. This again may go with the reputation of the manufacturer. You will find that some manufacturers are known for their easy-to assemble-beds.

•    What Inclinations Do You Want?

One of the things that differentiates one adjustable bed from another is the number and degree of inclinations each can make. Some beds can only be hinged in one place, meaning it has only two segments. Some come with two hinged spots. These will be able to angle in two places meaning they come with three segments.

You also need to understand the degrees through which the various segments can bend. If, say you find yourself comforted to have the head end of the bed inclined at 60 degrees, a bed whose head end can only turn through 50 degrees won’t suffice.

•    What Safety Enhancements Does it Come With?

An adjustable bed is a mechanical product. As such, it may pause some danger to the users, itself and other items. Make sure it comes with mechanisms that reduce the risk of injury while operating. For electric beds, it would be nice to get one that senses any obstructions, say a hand, or foot in the mechanism and acts accordingly.

•    Does it have the Right Features?

Adjustable beds come in different designs and with different features. What’s good for you may not be good for the next person. That is why you must understand exactly what features you want your bed to have. Equally importantly, check the design. Is the positioning of the buttons convenient enough for you? It’s important to try the bed out before buying. This gives you a more practical insight into what to expect.

•    Will You Need a New Mattress

You have to ask yourself whether you will need a new mattress or use an old one. What you have to know is that adjustable bed frames won’t work with just any mattress. Some, especially innerspring mattresses, are not all that compatible. They are not flexible enough and this may lead to a damaged mattress and an impaired bed frame adjusting system. Make sure that the mattress you buy is actually compatible both by size and type.

•    How quiet is it?

This mostly applies if you will be sharing your bed with another person. You wouldn’t want to wake them with your a noisy motor during your repositioning. If it is absolutely necessary that your bed remains silent during adjustment, get one labeled as having the most silent motor possible.

•    What Are the Maintenance Implications?

Although your adjustable bed is built to last long, you still have to carry out maintenance and repairs. You will have to clean and replace some parts where necessary. Ask yourself how easy the bed is to take care of. Is it too complicated? Does it come with unnecessary details that compromise its durability? If you happen to need some part replacement, will it be easy to find the parts?

•    What Are the Warranty Details?

Buying an adjustable bed takes up so much money. It should be worth every penny, and should it break down prematurely, make sure it comes with a warranty. Premature failure is not at all unlikely since the bed comes with so many moving parts. It’s not just about whether or not the bed comes a warranty; you’ll have to understand all the nuances of the agreement. Some warranties cover only certain parts and should any other component develop a fault, you have no right to make any claims.

Advantages of an Adjustable Bed

Adjustable beds were initially found in health institutions only. Today, they have and continue to become popular in today’s households. So what exactly has spurred these mechanical beds into such popularity?

Adjustable beds come with two main sets of advantages: medical and lifestyle advantages.

1.    Medical Advantages

These products have not been used in medical institutions for nothing; they come with several health benefits. That’s because even just tiny changes in the way your body is positioned as you sleep can have a serious impact on your health. An adjustable bed can put your body in positions that allows it to have better blood circulation, inspiration, and put the least amount of stress on your organs. This can reduce or even entirely get rid of all sorts of body pains and medical problems. These include:

Asthma: Any stress in the lungs may result in an asthma attack. Some sleeping positions put more stress on the lungs than others so by going for an adjustable bed, you can, for example place the bed in a more upright position to remove undue stress off of your lungs.

Arthritis: One way of relieving arthritis pain is to engage the different joints from time to time. If the joints stay stiff for a long time, moving them may prove painful. Adjustable beds may come with a message function to relieve you of nasty arthritis pain when necessary.

Diabetes: You can’t of course cure or even reduce the diabetes in your body with adjustable beds. However, you can alleviate the effects of the disease by using different bed positions. Diabetes takes a damaging toll on your blood circulation and by altering your sleeping position, you can enhance the blood flow to different body parts. If for example you have pain due to poor circulation of blood in your legs, elevating them may ease the problem.
Lower Back Pain: When the spine stays in an unnatural position for a long time, you may experience back pain. Make use of an adjustable bed to spread the pressure on the spine by positioning it in a more natural position. You can achieve this by lowering or raising the head end of your bed.

Heartburn and Acid Reflux: Heartburn is occurs when the contents of the stomach somehow leak into the gullet. Since there is acid in your stomach, your esophagus suffers burns. Raising your upper body can assist your in times of acid reflux.

Diet and Digestion: Although you shouldn’t eat just before going to bed, many people still do it and this comes with different health disadvantages. The main problem is that food flow becomes harder when the body is in a horizontal position, and the stress on the internal organs will make you uncomfortable and insomniac. By lifting the torso, you can aid your digestion as you sleep.

Insomnia: There is a number of reasons you may be find it hard to get some shut eye at night. One of them is that your body possibly can’t find a sleeping position that is compatible with its comfort needs on ordinary beds. An adjustable bed might be exactly what you need. The reduced stress will make it easier for you to sleep and stay asleep for long without interruptions.

2. The Lifestyle Benefits of Adjustable Beds

Even if you don’t need any therapeutic help from an adjustable bed, it comes with numerous lifestyle advantages you would find convenient. Here are some.

Lessen snoring: We all know how snoring can affect those sharing our bed: it can be unbearable. Snoring is caused by over relaxed nose and throat tissue which leads to obstruction of the airways. It is greatly caused by the position of your head and neck. Raising your head with an adjustable bed may help.

Some Activities Become More Comfortable: Ever tried to read a book or watch a movie while in bed with a mountain of pillows behind you? If yes then you know just how uncomfortable the pillows soon get. You have to keep repositioning and fluffing them every now and again. An adjustable bed can help with this.

All you have to do is raise the head end of the bed and you are in for uninterrupted relaxation. This also allows you to have long hauls of reading or movie watching without any body pains caused by improper spinal alignment.

Massage: Regular massage has been shown to come with different health benefits. It is said to reduce headaches, muscle tension, high blood pressure, and ease stress. That’s because of the enhanced circulation that results from firm but gentle pressure being applied on the muscles tissues.

Miscellaneous Features: Different manufacturers add different features to the bed. This includes programming the inclinations of the bed, alarms, and other more sophisticated features like the ‘zero gravity feature’ which allows the bed to provide you with a feeling of reduced gravity when you lie on it. It does this with a combination of the right mattress and the perfect body position. This gets rid of undue pressure on all your body parts and alleviates pain.

Convenient for Couples: Imagine you would like to keep reading your favorite novel but your partner would like to sleep as deeply as they can for some early morning appointment. A dual adjustable bed might be just what you need. With this, you can adjust your side of the bed, leaving the other as the user wants it to be.

Cons of Adjustable Beds

You have to know about some of the cons an adjustable comes with if you are contemplating making a purchase. But, it can be said that the cons fade in comparison with the advantages. That’s mainly because what an ordinary bed can do, an adjustable can too, and more. Here are the cons you should be aware of as you shop for your bed.

They are Costly

Compared with the ordinary type, adjustable beds come at a high price understandably. That’s because of the heavy and strong materials needed. Ordinary beds can use lighter and weaker materials like wood and composite boards. Adjustable ones on the other hand, need such tough materials like steel. The fact that it has movable parts makes it much more complicated to make than the ordinary bed. Furthermore, the sheer addition of a robust motor means the cost significantly shoots up.

Power Consumption

Adjustable beds use motors to make the changes in positions. This entails use of electricity and that should be considered as a running cost which ordinary beds do not come with. You should consider the wattage of the motor as you shop around to make sure it is in agreement with your ideal power consumption.

Part Replacement

Ordinary beds are as plain as rocks when compared to the adjustable type. They come with almost no serviceable parts. However, the adjustable ones are loaded with all sorts of small detailed components that may break and power components that can short. This should also be factored in when considering the long term cost of the bed.

What Mattress Options are There for Adjustable Beds?

There is a number of mattress options available to be used on adjustable bed frames. You can choose from memory foam, latex rubber mattresses, synthetic foam, and spring mattresses. The best among these is memory foam. In terms of comfort, memory foam tops the charts.

1.    Memory Foam

Ability to Adapt to your sleeping position

Memory foam mattress may be considered the best for its ability to follow the contours of both the bed and the body. This allows it to give your body minimal pressure points. Once you change your position, your body heat causes the mattress to change shape and mirror your body. What you get is a feeling of relief from pressure on certain body points, giving you pain-relieving comfort.


The ability to mimic your body shape is not the only reason you might want to get yourself a memory foam mattress for you adjustable bed. The mattress is also resilient. This is an important characteristic since the repeated compression and flexing causes damage to the structure of the mattress. The cellular composition of memory foam material allows it to retain shape even when subjected to extreme compression.

Health Reasons

One downside of using memory foam for your adjustable bed is that it comes with harmful chemicals which it slowly gives off over time. Some of these are toxic and long term exposure may not be in your health’s best interest. You may be able to smell some of these and this may lead to irritation of your airways and allergic reactions.

2. Latex Rubber Mattresses

A Latex rubber mattress is made from the rubber tree. Since this is a natural product, it comes with a myriad advantages.


Latex rubber mattresses, especially 100 percent organic products, are great for use on adjustable beds. They can be a little costly than the synthetic type, but that’s for a good reason. When buying a mattress for an adjustable bed, you want something that is resilient, firm, but comfortable.

Latex rubber mattresses have all those characteristics and more. Your latex mattress will be able to withstand all the adjustments your bed will make without losing its shape easily and becoming less comfortable. At the same time, it won’t be just one rigid mass. Latex mattresses are known for their comfortable structure, which is also cellular in nature for maximum resilience.

A healthy Option

Synthetic mattresses are notorious for one thing: mites. These unleash different problems on you and your mattress. For the most part, you will be at risk of allergic reactions when exposed to the fecal matter of the mites or even their dead matter.

This may trigger allergic reactions like asthma and others. The structure of latex rubber mattress does not allow mites to build up, making it the best option for those prone to allergic reactions.

3. Innerspring Mattresses

Spring mattresses are the least popular for use on adjustable beds. The problem is that they were solely designed with a flat surface in mind. All the inclinations of your adjustable beds may not be the best working position for your spring mattress. Since you are looking for uniform pressure across your body, these don’t fit the job description entirely.

That’s because their springs create uneven pressure when used on an adjustable bed. However, if you are on a budget, you may love innerspring mattresses for their low price.

Thickness Matters

The thicker the mattress, the more comfortable it will be. But there should be a balance since if it’s too thick, your adjustable bed frame will find it hard to bend. This will put undue work on the motors and adjusting mechanism. Those who sleep on their backs can make do with a memory or latex foam of 8 inches in thickness. If you are a side sleeper, you will need something a little thicker, about 10 to 14 inches.

How to Care For Your Adjustable Bed?

  1. Although beds are made with a particular life span in mind, how you take care of it a serious factor when it comes to how long your bed lasts. Here are some tips to help you maintain your bed for the longtime possible.
  2. Change the orientation of the mattress every month to give it uniform wear. What happens is that when your adjustable bed is in the sitting position, the majority of your weight is focused on only a small portion of the bed. The constant isolated pressure will leave a permanent depression in the mattress unless it is rotated.
  3. Don’t plug other appliances into the same power outlets as the adjustable bed as this may lead to overload. It is a good idea to have a separate outlet for your bed that will be undisturbed.
  4. Make sure the bed is well positioned. It should not be brushing against any object as it makes its adjustments. Any obstructions may lead to damaged bed surfaces and worse, impaired movement systems. The bed should be able to move freely and the only force it should work on is your body weight
  5. Avoid siting on the edge of the mattress unless you want it to get deformed prematurely. Adjustable bed mattresses come with a soft perimeter for maximum flexibility, Putting pressure on these parts may result in irreversible compressions.
  6. Avoid sitting on the foot end of your bed. The bed is designed to support the most weight on the upper part. Putting weight on the foot of your bed may expose the adjustment mechanism to forces it wasn’t meant to handle. It may fail prematurely.

Problems Your Adjustable Bed May Face and How to Deal With Them

What do you do if the bed seems to show no signs of power?

  1. Make sure the bed is firmly plugged into the power outlet
  2. Ensure you have power in the home circuit.
  3. Insect the power cable of your bed for damage. Sometimes, people push the bed too close to the wall and this causes the cable to erode away as the bed rubs against the wall. Make sure the bed is completely free.
  4. If you are using a remote controller, check if its batteries are in full working condition. Try replacing them then work the bed again.

Bumpy Adjustments

Sometimes, you may sense your bed making bumpy movements as it goes up or down. If the bed is new, this might be expected. That’s the result of the outer cover of your mattress rubbing against the surface of the bed during its movements. The problem goes away with use and should be nothing to worry about. But it could also mean there is an obstruction in the system, Make sure you check to ensure that the bed is free to move.

Need Expert Advice?

If you need any other information about Adjustable Beds and feel the need to improve quality of sleep for your family, friends or yourself, just pick up your phone and call. I will be glad to help. And you will be glad, you called. Guaranteed. 

Check out our other types of furniture including American made platform beds, dressers, imported platform beds, wood furniture, nightstands, panel beds, bedroom benches, and more.

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