Updated March 12, 2021Adjustable bed frames have been on the market for several years. Hospitals and health care facilities rely on these beds to help their patients find a healthier and more comfortable sleep position. Today, many innovative mattress companies have improved on the original adjustable bed design, making it sleeker, more modern, and even more high-tech.The head articulation that comes with an adjustable frame can help alleviate symptoms associated with acid reflux or heartburn, obstructive sleep apnea, asthma, nasal congestion, and snoring. Additionally, lifting the legs while you sleep can improve circulation, reduce swelling, and alleviate pressure on the lumbar spine.However, if you are in the market for an adjustable bed, you’ll need to consider several things before making your purchase. Modern adjustable bases come with several different features, and it can be difficult determining those that are actually worth the extra cost.But don’t worry. We are here to help. We break down the most common features of an adjustable bed and explain how they help promote better sleep. We also cover the various types of warranties and mattress selection you will find with an adjustable bed frame.Adjustable Bed FeaturesThe following features are typically found on most adjustable beds. However, the name of the feature may change from brand to brand, so it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with these details before shopping.Wall Hugger® TechnologyWall Hugger® technology is designed to keep the bed close to the wall even when in the upright position. Without Wall Hugger®, the top portion of the bed may move too far away from your nightstand and other bedside fixtures when lifted.This feature is also important if you plan to place your adjustable bed base on a decorated bed frame because it ensures the base doesn’t slide forward and hit the footboard as it rises.Wireless Remotes and WiFi ConnectivityAdjustable beds used in most hospitals have a wired remote control attached to the bed. However, modern adjustable bases offer a wireless remote that lets users change the position of the bed. With this feature, there are no cumbersome cords tangled in your bedding or lying on your floor.In addition to a remote control, some brands include WiFi connectivity and Bluetooth that allows users to connect their smartphone to the bed. Sleepers can then use the brand’s application to adjust the bed’s settings.WiFi connectivity and Bluetooth may increase the cost of the bed, so if they are not important to you, it is best to avoid models with this feature. A wireless remote is really all you need to change the position of your adjustable bed comfortably.AC and DC MotorsMost adjustable beds feature either an AC or a DC motor. While both serve the same purpose, these motors are slightly different. DC motors are the most common because they are ultra-quiet and allow users to make adjustments without disturbing their partner’s sleep.However, AC motors have a higher operating capacity, meaning they can lift more weight without overheating. Therefore, if you weigh more than 230 pounds, you may benefit from an adjustable base with an AC motor.Zero Gravity SettingWhen sleeping on an adjustable bed, users can achieve a zero-gravity position. This position helps eliminate pressure points and alleviates tension in the lower back so the muscles can completely relax. As its name suggests, a zero-gravity sleep position is meant to create the feeling of being weightless.While this sleep position can be achieved with all adjustable beds, some bases come with a preset zero-gravity option that makes it easier to find weightless sleep every night. If you suffer from chronic back pain, look for an adjustable bed that comes with this preset position, or find out how you can get the bed into a zero-gravity position.Programmable Memory PositionAchieving the perfect sleep position on your adjustable bed every night can be difficult. An adjustable bed with a programmable memory position will allow you to save your favorite sleep position, so it is easy to find night after night. As you shop, look for an adjustable bed with at least one preset memory position.MassageMore advanced adjustable beds may come with massage capabilities. The massage is typically achieved through vibration and is strong enough for sleepers to feel it through the mattress. Some brands may even include various massage settings, including rolling-wave or full-body.If you frequently have trouble relaxing and letting go of stress before bed, an adjustable bed with a built-in massage feature may help you unwind and drift off to sleep naturally.Backup BatteryMost adjustable beds have a preset “flat” button that automatically returns the bed to a flat position so users can get in and out of bed comfortably. However, if the electricity goes out during the night, your bed may be stuck in the upright position. A backup battery feature allows you to lower the bed even if it is not currently drawing power.For sleepers who are disabled or have limited mobility, this feature allows them to safely get out of bed at all times.Leg AttachmentsSome adjustable beds come with detachable legs. With the legs on, you can use the base as a stand-alone bed frame without an additional mattress foundation. Without the legs, you can place the adjustable base on top of most modern bed frames with a headboard and/or footboard.However, for proper support, the bottom of your bed frame should be solid or have slats spaced no more than 3-inches apart. The frame should also be able to handle the weight of the adjustable base and your body weight.If you plan to pair your new adjustable base with an existing bed frame, be sure to look for one with detachable legs.Under Bed LightingSome adjustable models come with built-in under-bed lighting. This feature illuminates a warm glow around the perimeter of the bed, lighting your path from the bed to the nearest doorway. If you frequently get up during the night to use the restroom, this feature will ensure that you don’t bump into any nearby furniture or stub your toe.Headboard BracketsTo attach a metal headboard to your adjustable bed, look for one with built-in headboard brackets. These brackets allow you to secure a standard metal headboard directly to your adjustable base. If you plan to place your adjustable base on a wooden bed frame, these brackets are unnecessary.USB PortsSeveral adjustable bed bases come with built-in USB ports, allowing users to charge their devices close to the bed. If your bed is placed far away from an electrical outlet, this feature is convenient and makes accessing your electronics more comfortable.SizeAdjustable bed frames are available in standard mattress sizes. However, they are most commonly found in twin XL, full, queen, king, and split king.Twin XL mattresses measure 38 inches wide by 80 inches long, making them 5 inches longer than a standard twin bed. This size works well for single adults and taller individuals.A split king size adjustable bed consists of two twin XL bases placed side by side. Split queen adjustable frames are also available; however, they are less common. Either split option lets couples independently adjust their side of the bed, helping each person find a sleep position suited to their needs.If you purchase a split king adjustable bed, you will want to pair it with a high-quality split king mattress.WarrantiesAn adjustable bed is a large investment, so you want to make sure you are protected if anything goes wrong. Most reputable brands offer full warranty coverage for at least one year. However, if a repair is needed, parts and labor costs are often prorated, meaning the customer is responsible for a portion of the cost.As you shop, be sure to read the warranty carefully. Some brands provide different warranty coverage for each part of the base. For example, the electric components and the motor may be covered for one year, while the base itself is covered for 5 years.Mattress ChoicePairing the right mattress with your adjustable base will increase comfort and ensure you are supported correctly. The best mattresses for an adjustable bed are those made with memory or latex foam because they conform to the bed and can easily move and bend with the base. Most hybrid mattresses also work well on an adjustable foundation.Innerspring mattresses with heavy, thick coils in the base are not flexible enough for an adjustable bed. Mattresses with an adjustable firmness option, such as air beds, are also not recommended for an adjustable base because the air channels within the mattress could become damaged if bent.Frequently Asked QuestionsDo you need a box spring with an adjustable base?No, a box spring should never be used with an adjustable base. Box springs are made of solid wood or metal and do not flex or bend. Placing a box spring on an adjustable frame could damage the frame and cause the motor to overheat.Can any mattress go on an adjustable frame?No, some mattresses are not flexible enough to move with the adjustable base. Memory foam mattresses, latex beds, and hybrid models are the best option for adjustable frames. Innerspring mattresses and air beds are often too heavy and inflexible for the motorized frame and may become damaged when bent.Are adjustable beds good for seniors?Yes, adjustable beds are a great way for seniors to alleviate aches and pain and find a comfortable sleep position. This is especially true for those with arthritis, fibromyalgia, sciatica (lower back pain), osteoporosis, and gout.Do adjustable beds stop snoring?An adjustable bed can help reduce snoring. When the head is elevated to a 45-degree angle, the airways are more open, making breathing comfortable. This position also causes the soft tissue at the back of the throat to fall forward rather than backward during sleep. Without this obstruction, air can pass through easily and reduce snoring.Can you attach a footboard to an adjustable bed?While you may not be able to attach a footboard directly to your adjustable bed, you can place most models on a decorative frame with a headboard and footboard. As you shop, look for an adjustable base with detachable legs. If you can remove the legs, you will be able to place the base directly on your existing bed frame.ConclusionThe best adjustable bed for you is one that fits your sleep needs and your budget. Therefore, make a list of the features that are important to you before you shop. This list will help you avoid paying extra for features you don’t truly need.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. 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