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What is an adjustable bed?

The Remedy II adjustable bed with lumbar support

If you’re shopping for a new mattress, chances are you’ve seen ads for adjustable beds underneath them. Many people think that these types of bases are only for health issues, but adjustable beds have come a long way since they started as hospital beds in the 60s.

What are adjustable beds?

There are a lot of terms for the same thing: adjustable bed, adjustable base, power bed, motion base, electric bed. The idea for a bed that could lift and lower or raise the head up started in hospitals as a way to help patients get in and out of bed and rest more comfortably. The first one was little more than a hinged frame, developed in the 1870s. They have been evolving ever since, eventually becoming electric. These moveable beds spread to home health use. As more studies showed the benefits of personalized sleep positions to getting better rest, adjustable beds began to be produced for anyone to use.

At its most basic, an adjustable bed is a base for your mattress that can move. Depending on the model, you may be able to raise the bed up and down, adjust the head and foot positions, and more. The base takes the place of the bed frame and box spring in a standard bed. Some require manual positioning, but more and more are electronic so that you can move and use the features with the press of a button. While it may only be the head that adjusts, it still provides the user with the ability to customize their position to get a better sleep experience.

What can they do?

Modern adjustable beds are still associated with health benefits, but they’re also about lifestyle. If the past year has shown anything, it’s that the bed is a place for more than just sleep. People are doing more in their most comfortable space, whether it’s working on a laptop, video-calling friends, or watching the latest show. An adjustable base can prop you up at just the right angle to be comfortable, and give you support. There’s no layering pillows behind your head, which move around, and you can get the back support you need. Once you set the position, it stays there.

Power beds nowadays also have luxury features like massage, added lumbar support, under-bed lighting, and outlets so you don’t even have to get up to charge your device.

What are the health benefits?

Adjustable beds started out as a way to help people heal, and they still offer a lot of ways to improve your health through better sleep. More studies than ever are showing that quality rest is important for every aspect of your life, from mental health to the immune system. There are a lot of factors to sleep, but finding the right position for your body may help you in ways you don't expect. Adjustable beds can help reduce snoring, acid reflux, and congestion by raising the head and upper body. They can also improve blood flow, take pressure off your back, and just generally reduce aches and pains.

If you can adjust your position to what your body needs to be comfortable, you’ll sleep better overall. That means waking up refreshed and ready to take on the day.

How easy is it to use an adjustable base at home?

Modern adjustable beds are made to be easy to use at home. You should have a grounded outlet to plug it in, and enough space for the bed to move, and for you to get in and out. Most power bases are designed to fit inside headboard/footboard/rail systems so you don’t have to give up your favorite bed. They’re made in a variety of styles and colors that blend with any décor without looking industrial.

One important consideration is the mattress you’ll use. Most mattresses produced today will be compatible with an adjustable bed base, although certain materials and thicknesses will work better than others. Memory foam, latex, and compressed coil work the best. Metal coils or springs may not work, because they scrape together when the bed is in motion. Check with the store or manufacturer to see if the mattress you want will work with a motion bed.

For setup, if you purchase an adjustable bed from a mattress store, you can usually get delivery and installation included. Even without that option, most adjustable beds require little more than attaching the legs and plugging it in. Because of the weight, you’ll want to have two people to move the bed. Then you can put the batteries in the remote and start working on finding your new favorite position.

Adjustable beds are a worthwhile solution if you are looking for health or comfort benefits that you aren’t getting with your current bed. If you want to learn even more about what an adjustable bed can do for you, check out our full lineup of Rize beds here.