Adjustable Beds vs. Regular Beds: Which One Is Best?
When you think of adjustable beds, you probably imagine the kind in a hospital or emergency room. But the adjustable bed has escaped the confines of the medical wing and taken the leap into bedrooms all over the world. The problem is that many people don’t know much about them.
What is an adjustable bed? How do adjustable beds work? Is an adjustable bed good for you? Do you need a special mattress for adjustable beds? Can you sleep on your side with an adjustable bed? How are adjustable beds different from regular box springs and mattress?
So many questions!
The point is this: If you’re shopping for a new mattress or bed frame, you want to know that you’ve got the facts. So, we’re going to take a look at these questions and make sure you get all the answers you need to make the best bed decision.
No matter what your personal preferences and needs are for sleep and rest, we’ve got you covered, head and feet and everything in between. Scroll down to discover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about adjustable beds and find your perfect mattress to go with them.
If you’re shopping for a new mattress or bed frame, you want to know that you’ve got the facts. So, we’re going to take a look at these questions and make sure you get all the answers you need to make the best bed decision.
What Is an Adjustable Bed?
Most people are familiar with the way beds work. You have 1) a bed frame, 2) box springs, and 3) a mattress. That’s usually all there is to it. Add some pillows and sheets, and you’re ready to go.
As far as standard or traditional bed frames go, that’s it. These are often referred to as “regular beds” or “box springs and mattress”. When you hear those terms, it’s safe to assume people are talking about good old fashioned bed frames.
But adjustable beds are a little bit different than this. They’re the same thing, but with improvements. As a result, they have special features and offer more customization.
So, what is an adjustable bed? An adjustable bed (sometimes called a “power bed” or “power base”) is a special bed frame that has the ability to raise or lower different portions of the base, usually somewhere in the range of 40-70 degrees, often capable of even supporting the zero gravity sleep position.
This has a number of special benefits for people, and some even come with all the modern bells and whistles:
- Easily raised or lowered
- Wireless remote control or smartphone app
- Infinitely customizable for consumers
- Conforms to body shape and preference
- Relief of back pain, aches and pains, etc.
- May help with sleep apnea and snoring
- Favorite positions presets and settings
- Often used in home care
- Simulates zero gravity sleeping position
- Tech integrations (Voice commands, sleep monitors, USB ports/plugs, even smart bed lighting and speakers)
People enjoy the ability to control their beds and customize their sleeping preferences. Of course, this can be used for better sleep, but also in order to read or watch TV in bed at a better and more comfortable angle.
An adjustable bed (sometimes called a “power bed” or “power base”) is a special bed frame that has the ability to raise or lower different portions of the base, usually somewhere in the range of 40-70 degrees, often capable of even supporting the zero gravity sleep position.
What is the Zero Gravity Sleep Position?
You might be wondering what the Zero Gravity sleeping position entails and what it looks like. Basically, the Zero Gravity position mimics the feeling you get when floating in space, like NASA astronauts do at the International Space Station.
This can also be achieved by using adjustable bed bases. When you set an adjustable bed base to the Zero Gravity preset, the bed frame lifts the legs and the head to the ideal angle that can prevent pressure on your back, and even help to increase your body’s circulation.
In the Zero Gravity sleep position, you’ll notice that both of your thighs and your torso are all aligned and your knees are bent at heart level. Since you’ll be experiencing equally distributed gravity across your entire body, this is supposed to help promote your own natural abilities to relax and get rest.
Additionally, some people experience less snoring as a result of the zero gravity position. Talk about a win-win!
The Zero Gravity position mimics the feeling you get when floating in space, like NASA astronauts do at the International Space Station. This can also be achieved by using adjustable bed bases.
Should You Get an Adjustable Bed?
Now you know what an adjustable bed is and a little bit about how they work. But the question remains: Should you get an adjustable bed? In other words, do you need to replace your regular bed with an adjustable bed frame?
As with so many things, the answer will depend on your needs and preferences. Everybody’s sleep and bed needs are slightly different.
If you find yourself having trouble getting to sleep at night or simply want an easier way to sit up in bed to enjoy a good book or TV show, then an adjustable bed might be perfect for you.
The human body is not flat — especially on your side. So, if you use an adjustable base to raise your feet a bit, you can more properly align the hips and spine. If you slightly raise the head, then you can alleviate pressure off the shoulders and provide better support for the neck and head (compared to using a pillow by itself). With all that in mind, an adjustable base is a perfect, ergonomic sleep tool even for side sleepers.
Naturally, if these things aren’t relevant to you, then an adjustable bed might not be a great investment. Generally speaking, a standard bed with box springs and mattress is likely to do the job just fine.
Then there’s the issue of bodily pain and suffering. If you tend to deal with issues involving upper or lower back pain (or related areas such as shoulder/neck), there might be a good reason to get an adjustable bed frame over the traditional variety.
An adjustable base is a perfect, ergonomic sleep tool even for side sleepers.
Of course, there’s also the question of sleep partner preference. What if you want to sleep in a different position than your partner? With a Split King or 2 Twin XLs, you can easily have a king size "bed", while retaining total independence and control of your side of the mattress. That way, each of you can get your best sleep in your ideal position.
In Consumer Reports, Jay Khanna, a Johns Hopkins professor of orthopedic surgery and biomedical engineering, says, “Adjustable beds may have some benefit for patients with back, neck, and other spine problems but are certainly not necessary.” That being said, they can be a heck of a lot easier to deal with than cramming pillows under the sheets or piling multiple pillows under your neck and head every night.
To put it another way: There are other avenues for dealing with back pain, neck or spine issues, and even daily aches and pains without investing money in a potentially expensive adjustable bed frame. That being said, each person is different and will need to do their own research to find the right products and solutions for themselves.
What Types of Mattress Work with Adjustable Beds?
If a bed frame is one half of the equation, the other half is definitely a mattress. For those that do decide to opt for an adjustable bed, you will need to know whether your existing mattress will do the trick, or if you need to get a brand new one to go with your fancy new bed.
The answer to this question is two-fold. If your current mattress is not “adjustable-friendly”, then you will definitely need to get a new one. And even if you don’t need to get a new one, you still might want to consider the options that are available that work best with adjustable beds. To put it another way, you can keep the mattress you’re already using if you want, or you can shop around for something new.
The two types of mattress that are recommended for adjustable bed frames are the following:
1. 100% Latex mattresses
2. Hybrid mattresses
In other words, there isn’t exactly a “best adjustable bed mattress” necessarily. Both of these mattress types will do a great job conforming to the mechanical whims of you and your new adjustable frame.
If your current mattress is not “adjustable-friendly”, then you will definitely need to get a new one. And even if you don’t need to get a new one, you still might want to consider the options that are available that work best with adjustable beds.
Latex mattresses made of 100% latex are great options for adjustable beds, as they’re very good at helping to alleviate pain in bed. They’re also considered conforming and supportive at the same time, and they provide pressure relief along the hips and shoulders.
A 100% organic latex mattress is a perfect choice for your adjustable bed base and provides flexibility and durability for the long haul. This is in direct opposition to a memory foam mattress, which can break down easily over time. There’s a good reason that your car tires aren’t made of memory foam.
And with a 10 year warranty, you won’t have to worry about getting a new one for a long time to come.
Another ideal option is the adjustable-friendly hybrid mattress. You might wonder, “What even is a hybrid mattress? Am I sleeping or cruising down the 101?
A hybrid mattress is a combination of coil support with layers of padding or cushioning material. It’s still a mattress — it just has a fancy new name.
Our favorite adjustable friendly hybrid is made from individually wrapped, independent coils and organic latex cushioning. The latex layers are flexible and adaptable, and the pocketed coils will last for ages.
AKA, no need to fret that your springs will break raising and lowering your head and foot regions. So, if you happen to prefer the feel of a coil mattress over a foam mattress, you can have your coils and flex them too!
What About a Memory Foam Mattress?
It might surprise you to learn that we do not recommend memory foam for an adjustable bed.
While they may work just fine, we do not suggest memory foam mattresses. This is due in part to the manufacturing process and potentially harmful chemicals involved.
But it also has to do with the fact that memory foam often gets hot and makes it difficult to reposition the body in bed. Our official recommendation is to opt for a latex mattress or hybrid mattress every time, no matter what kind of bed frame you decide to use.
Memory foam often gets hot and makes it difficult to reposition the body in bed. Our official recommendation is to opt for a latex mattress or hybrid mattress every time, no matter what kind of bed frame you decide to use.
Adjustable Beds vs. Regular Beds: Which One Is Best?
No matter what type of sleeper you happen to be, an adjustable bed might just be the right solution for you to get a good night sleep, as well as helping to alleviate lower back pain, aches and pains, and even enjoy a book or movie in bed at the end of a long day.
At Sleep 365, we know that finding the right adjustable bed frame and mattress is a tough decision. There’s so much to take in and tricky questions are constantly popping up.
We’re here to help.
Get in touch with us today for a free consultation and browsing experience to find out if one of our adjustable bed frames and organic latex or hybrid mattresses (with free shipping!) are the right choice for you — and for every good night.