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How Do Adjustable Beds Work?

Malena Piper


Adjustable beds raise the head and foot portions of your mattress 40 to 70 degrees. When you choose to purchase an adjustable bed, you will be able to raise just your head, just your feet, or both your head and feet at once. This inclined elevation provides sleepers with just the right amount of comfort they need.

In this article, you will learn how an adjustable bed works. We will discuss the various benefits of sleeping at an elevated position, as well as who adjustable beds are best for. Then we will touch on which mattresses will pair best with an adjustable bed base, and we’ll wrap things up by answering some of your questions about adjustable beds.

Benefits of an Adjustable Bed

Making the switch to an adjustable bed could be your solution to getting a good night’s sleep. There is a range of different benefits that you may experience when sleeping on an adjustable bed base. Here are just a few of the most important benefits:

Sleep Quality

You may discover that sleeping with your head, feet, or both raised allows you to fall asleep more quickly. In addition, once you’ve fallen asleep, most individuals report that they sleep more soundly throughout the night.


If you or your partner snore at night, an adjustable bed may be the perfect solution. The elevated position that this bed base offers lessens the restriction on your airways. Airway restriction is the most common cause of nighttime snoring. Your body will also be able to increase its oxygen intake with a more open airway.

Pain at Night

If joint, back, or arthritis pain is keeping you up at night, consider investing in an adjustable bed. The inclined angle that this bed base offers promotes a more even weight distribution. Even weight distribution will allow your joints and muscle to decompress, relieving painful pressure points. In addition, an adjustable bed base promotes a more neutral spine alignment, which will help with back pain.


By raising your lower body or your feet plus head simultaneously, you can increase the flow of blood throughout your body. Better circulation is key in avoiding blood clots and leg swelling.

Sleep Apnea

Those who battle sleep apnea will experience nighttime relief when sleeping on an adjustable bed base. The elevated sleeping position will open your airways to prevent obstruction. This allows for easier and uninterrupted breathing.

Acid Reflux

Heartburn can lead to the development of acid reflux when lying down at night to sleep. However, when you raise the angle at which you sleep, you’ll lower your risk of heartburn. The elevated angle that an adjustable bed provides prevents stomach acid from leaking into your throat.

Who Needs an Adjustable Bed?

Those young and old can benefit from a raised sleeping position. Regardless of which sleeping position (stomach, back, side, or combination) you prefer, an adjustable base can help you find a comfortable position easily without tossing and turning all night.

The elderly or those who have mobility issues will also find comfort from an adjustable bed. By sleeping at an incline, you’ll be able to easily get into and out of your bed. Furthermore, if you struggle with joint pain at night, an inclined angle may be what you need to enjoy pain-free sleep.

An adjustable bed is also an excellent choice for those who like to spend a lot of time sitting up in bed. If you like to work, read, or watch TV in bed you may notice that it causes some neck and back strain. By using an adjustable base, you’ll get the support you need while sitting up in bed.

Different Positions on an Adjustable Bed

The most beneficial part of an adjustable bed is the ease it offers sleepers to raise and lower the head or foot of their mattress. Which position you choose to elevate your adjustable base will depend on your unique sleep and support needs. Here are four different positions that you can try out on an adjustable bed.

Head Raised

By raising the head of your mattress, you’ll be able to keep your airway unrestricted and clear of obstructions. This inclined position will also lessen the strain on your neck and shoulders while you sleep. Those who snore, have sleep apnea, or suffer from acid reflux will find relief from sleeping with their head raised.

Feet Raised

When you raise the foot of your mattress, you will be able to soothe lower back pain. If you have issues with leg stiffness or pain in your knees, sleeping with your legs raised will provide soothing relief.

When your lowered body is elevated, your body can decompress and better circulate blood. This makes sleeping with feet raised ideal for those who have poor circulation, feet or leg swelling, back pain, or sciatica.

Head and Feet Raised

Raising both your head and feet at the same time can aid in soothing muscle and joint stiffness throughout your entire body. Moreover, this sleeping position will ensure that your weight is evenly distributed and helps with spinal alignment while you sleep.

Having both parts of your mattress raised may also make getting in and out of bed less challenging. You will also notice that this adjustable bed position makes your breathing more even and less strained. Those who suffer from COPD, asthma, or mobility issues should try this sleeping position.


The zero-gravity setting comes built into most adjustable bed bases. When you engage this position, it will allow your whole body to feel weightless. Some sleepers report feeling like they are floating on a cloud when resting in the zero-gravity position. Use this setting to soothe your pressure points and release any built-up tension in your muscles or joints.

How Do I Raise and Lower My Adjustable Bed?

You will be able to raise or lower the incline that your adjustable bed offers with the tap of a few buttons. A wireless remote control will allow you to adjust your sleeping position and angle without any difficulty.

Once you find your ideal sleeping position, you can program it into your remote. This preset sleep setting will allow you to ready your bed each night for a comfortable and supportive night’s rest. Place your remote on a nightstand by the side of the bed for easy access.

Mattresses That Pair Well with an Adjustable Bed

There are several aspects of a mattress that need to be taken into account before paring with an adjustable base. A mattress that isn’t thick enough or durable enough will not function well with an adjustable bed. Likewise, a mattress that is too thick won’t be able to handle the constant bending and flexing.

Support is also important to consider. It doesn’t make sense to pair a rigid, thin, or unsupportive mattress with your adjustable bed. Mattresses should be between 10 and 12 inches thick for best support. Below, we outline the best mattress types for an adjustable bed.


A hybrid mattress contains multiple layers of coils and foam. These layers can easily adapt to the changing elevation of an adjustable bed base. The best hybrid mattresses are made up of high-quality foam and pocketed coils, they are flexible enough to pair with an adjustable base.


Like hybrid mattresses, latex mattresses are high quality and thick enough to withstand the extra demands that come along with an adjustable bed base. Plus, the latex foam beds provide sleepers with the right level of support and pain relief.

A thinner latex mattress will go best with an adjustable bed. Keep in mind that a latex mattress may offer less plush support than a memory foam one.

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses are designed to hug and contour your body. Their flexibility and high-quality material make them a great choice for an adjustable bed. Your memory foam mattress will work well with your inclined sleeping position to offer soothing relief to your pressure points and areas of tension.


Innerspring mattresses will not pair well with an adjustable bed base. The padding that comes with this mattress is not thick enough or flexible enough to handle the raising and lowering of an adjustable bed. Plus, you won’t experience the right level of support if you were to pair an innerspring mattress with your bed.


How long do adjustable beds last?

An adjustable bed base will last, on average, 10 years. However, some higher-quality adjustable beds come with extended warranties. How long your adjustable base lasts will depend on the quality of materials used in production as well as everyday wear and tear. Consult your warranty to determine if it’s time to replace your adjustable bed.

Which bed frames go best with an adjustable bed?

Adjustable beds will pair well with a variety of different frames. Metal bed frames, wooden bed frames, and platform frames are all suitable options. If you are choosing a slatted bed frame, make sure that there are 2.75 inches or less in between each slat.

Do you need a box spring with an adjustable bed?

You do not need to purchase a box spring to pair with your adjustable bed. Adjustable beds already have enough support and height, so a box spring isn’t needed. Box springs can cause damage to mattresses. You should only use a box spring with an innerspring mattress.

Do I need special sheets for an adjustable bed?

You need to purchase fitted sheets with extra deep pockets for your adjustable bed. To keep your sheets secure to your adjustable bed, you will need special sheets. The sheets you purchase for your adjustable bed should match the size of your mattress.

Those with split adjustable beds need to buy two sets of twin or twin XL sheets, one for each side of the bed.

Are adjustable beds noisy?

Your adjustable bed should not be noisy, loud, or disruptive. The only noise you should ever hear from an adjustable bed is a low humming when you engage the massage feature that some beds offer.

If your adjustable base is making a squeaking sound or any unusual noises, it may be a sign that there are motor issues. Check to make sure nothing is caught or tangled in your motor. Contact the manufacturer to deal with any issues regarding the electrical components or mechanical components of your bed.


An adjustable bed base allows you to raise the elevation of the head and foot of your mattress. This inclined sleeping position can give you a better night’s sleep. Those who have nighttime pain, sleep disorders, or mobility issues will benefit from this type of bed. Adjustable beds should only be paired with thick, flexible, and durable mattresses.

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