Find The Best Mattress For An Adjustable Bed
Adjustable beds are becoming popular for their many unique features and customizability. They are perfect for couples with different sleeping preferences and can even ease the effects of medical conditions like GERD or sleep apnea. However, your adjustable base is only as good as the mattress you pick.
If you’re looking for a mattress for your adjustable bed, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about picking the right one.
What Is An Adjustable Bed?
An adjustable bed base allows you to change the position of your mattress from head to toe. They are highly customizable, so sleepers can raise or lower their bed to the elevation they find most comfortable. Being able to choose the comfiest position can help many sleepers rest more easily.
Originally designed for the elderly, adjustable bed frames are now more commercially available and have upgraded features like lighting, zero gravity, and massage settings. You might also opt for an adjustable bed if you share it with someone with conflicting sleeping preferences.
How Do Adjustable Beds Work?
Adjustable bases have the following primary components:
- Base: This sedentary structure is a foundation for the rest of the bed frame.
- Sleeping structure: This connects to the bed base through electronic joints.
- Joints: The electronic joints move different parts of the bed to suit various sleeping preferences. Sleepers can control these joints with a wireless remote.
Benefits Of Adjustable Beds
If you’re having trouble finding a comfy angle for sleeping, an adjustable frame may do the trick and help you doze off more comfortably. You can also reap many other lifestyle-related and health benefits from using adjustable bed bases, including:
- Chronic pain relief: Reclining your head and legs to a comfier position may help you sleep more comfortably, which can potentially relieve arthritis. Adjustable air beds have also been found to decrease pain and improve sleep in chronic pain sufferers.
- Ideal sleep conditions for couples: If you and your partner have opposite sleeper types, you can adjust separate sides of the bed.
- Support for mobility-related issues: Do you struggle to get in and out of bed during your daily routine? You can raise or lower an adjustable base to make movement easier for you.
- Snoring prevention: Sleep apnea can block airways and make breathing difficult at night. An adjustable bed can help you sleep upright, which has been found to improve sleep quality for apnea sufferers.
Read our guide on adjustable beds and snoring
- Enhanced lifestyle: Some people purchase adjustable beds for lifestyle enhancements. For instance, you can sit in an elevated position when you want to read a book or watch TV.
- Post-surgery/injury recovery: Adjustable beds can raise specific body parts while you’re recovering from surgery or injury. This increased elevation has been found to reduce swelling as part of treatment for soft tissue injuries such as ankle sprains.
Activities You Can Do On An Adjustable Mattress
With adjustable beds, you can adjust the elevation of various parts of your body, which, in turn, affects your sleep quality. Changing these angles also creates a more comfortable position for different activities, like reading in bed, lounging, or watching a show on your bedroom TV screen.
The convenience of adjusting elevations at any time means you can choose the best head and foot positioning to support your body, no matter what position you’re in. This will also help you maintain good posture as you do different activities in your bed throughout the day.
Recommended Positions For Relief And Comfort
Adjusting your mattress elevation and the angle at different points promotes neutral spine alignment. This can reduce strain on various pressure points such as your neck, shoulders, and hips. While your aches and pains may be caused by underlying health symptoms, these different positions may potentially alleviate specific problems and lead to more comfortable sleep.
Choosing The Best Mattress For Adjustable Beds
Not every mattress will work on an adjustable bed. For instance, when placed, a classic innerspring might feel uncomfortable on an adjustable base and get damaged by your frame. As such, you might prefer to choose a mattress with high flexibility and durability that is designed to work with adjustable bases.
When shopping for the right adjustable mattress, keep the following tips in mind:
- Think about mattress height: Just like mattress type, mattress height can also impact your sleep. Most mattresses less than 10 inches tall are suitable for use with an adjustable base.
- Pick the right mattress type: Not all mattress types suit adjustable beds. Most manufacturers recommend foam or latex mattresses for adjustable beds because of their flexibility and pliability.
- Consider a trial period: The best way to determine whether a mattress is the best mattress for you is to try it out. Prioritize manufacturers that offer trial periods or flexible return policies.
- Review delivery and set-up policies: Some adjustable mattresses require self-setup or come with white glove delivery. If your mattress requires a complex setup you aren’t confident you can handle, choose a provider that can take care of this.
Important Mattress Features For Adjustable Beds
Instead of focusing on marketing claims, look for the following features when considering an adjustable mattress:
- Flexibility: Specific mattress materials like foam and latex are more flexible than springs. A high-quality adjustable mattress should bend easily.
- Size: Most mattress sizes are standardized but can vary by a few inches. The best way to choose a mattress for your adjustable bed is to take exact measurements. Adjustable beds are available in every size but are more commonly limited to queens and larger.
- Firmness levels: The firmness scale for mattresses ranges from 1 to 10 (extremely soft to extremely firm). Most medium-firm mattresses are suitable for adjustable beds, though firmness will ultimately depend on your sleeping preferences.
- Split vs. solid design: Solid mattress designs adjust with the entire bed instead of separately and are best for couples with similar sleeping preferences. If you prefer to raise or lower your bed per side, split designs have a full separation down the center that can accommodate this.
- Weight: Some adjustable bases can only handle mattresses up to a specific weight capacity, so ensure that your chosen mattress is compatible with your frame. Foam mattresses tend to be more lightweight than latex or hybrid constructions.
- Noise levels: Because adjustable beds contain motors, they tend to make noise when you change their positioning. We suggest picking a mattress that is sound-absorbing, such as foam or latex. Avoid innerspring mattresses, as their steel coils creak when bearing weight.
- Temperature regulation: While memory foam mattresses work ideally with adjustable beds, they may retain too much body heat. Hot sleepers might consider a latex or hybrid mattress because of their breathable materials.
Our guide walks through the ideal sleeping temperature.
- Price: Adjustable beds already cost between $1,000 and $3,000, so expect to pay an equally hefty price for a compatible mattress. Not every mattress is compatible with an adjustable mattress.
- Pressure relief: An adjustable frame can allow you to adjust your sleeping position to reduce pressure from unwanted areas.
- Edge support: Better edge support means your mattress can withstand the extra pressure induced by an adjustable base.
7 Best Mattress Types For Adjustable Beds
The type of mattress that feels most comfortable to you will depend on your personal preferences, sleeping position, and other unique sleeping needs. When deciding between the following mattress types, consider what features best suit an adjustable base.
GelFlex Grid Mattresses
Definition: GelFlex Grid mattresses are made from hyper-elastic polymer, a flexible material that contours around the body’s natural curves. GelFlex mattresses are also soft and stretchy, so they readily adjust to weight and shape without quickly deforming.
Key features: Breathable, responsive design
Purple’s GelFlex mattresses are highly suitable for many adjustable bed frames because of their flexible and contouring GelFlex Grid. The soft, cushioning material of these mattresses cradles the body’s pressure points, like the hips and shoulders. Despite its superior body-conforming features, GelFlex mattresses don’t trap heat. Each GelFlex mattress has over 1,400 air channels, which can keep hot sleepers cool even when changing mattress positions.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Definition: Memory foam mattresses are made with flexible, soft comfort layers of memory foam on top. A firmer foam layer is used as the base for support. Memory foam mattresses can be made from open-cell foam, traditional viscoelastic foam, and gel memory foam.
Key features: Cozy, cradling feeling
Memory foam mattresses are soft, very flexible, and highly conform to the body’s pressure points, making them a solid option for adjustable beds. Note that different types of memory foam have different levels of temperature regulation, so check which kind is being used in your memory foam mattress if you’re worried about breathability.
All-Foam Mattresses (Memory Foam + Polyfoam)
Definition: All-foam mattresses are made of a firm polyurethane (a.k.a. polyfoam) base layer with comfort layers of foam on top. This mattress type comes in a variety of firmness options to suit a wide range of sleeping positions and body weights. Some types are made with the addition of memory foam to make them very soft, cushioning, and pliable.
Key features: Responsive, compressive surface
Sleepers looking for a very soft and pliable mattress might find that an all-foam mattress is most suitable for their sleeping needs and position. They come in a variety of density and softness options, and their pliability means they can conform to an adjustable bed without being deformed easily.
Definition: Hybrid mattresses are made with an innerspring coil construction core topped by a layer of memory foam or latex foam. In some cases, hybrid mattresses may have an additional transition layer for flexibility. These transition layers are typically placed under the top comfort foam layers, and they’re usually made of micro coils or highly compressible polyurethane foam.
Key features: High breathability and cushioning
Hybrid mattresses are very durable, responsive, and cozy. Because of their sturdy yet flexible construction, they readily conform to adjustable beds. They come in different levels of firmness too, so sleepers with adjustable beds can try and see which hybrid mattress model best addresses their sleeping preferences.
Definition: Multi-layered mattresses are made with a high-density foam core and several top comfort layers of foam on top. The firmest foam is typically found at the base of this mattress, though the layers of this mattress type can be rearranged to best suit the sleeper’s preferences.
Key features: Easy customization of firmness levels
Those with adjustable beds may also like the idea of quickly adjusting their mattress’ firmness or softness, making a multi-layered foam mattress a good option. This is especially helpful if you’ve recently changed sleeping positions and still haven’t settled on your preferred firmness, as you can quickly rearrange the layers until you achieve your desired mattress firmness level.
Pocketed Coil + Memory Foam Mattresses
Definition: Pocketed coil and memory foam mattresses are made with a pocketed coil core base and top comfort layers of memory foam. Because the metal coils are individually wrapped in cloth pockets, this mattress type tends to be quieter and more durable. The individual coils also reduce heat-trapping.
Key features: Cushioning and high breathability
Pocketed coil and memory foam mattresses can be a soft and comfortable option for hot sleepers with adjustable beds. Because of their flexible design and good airflow, they can keep you from enduring sweaty, sleepless nights.
Latex + Pocketed Coil Mattresses
Definition: Latex and pocketed coil mattresses are made with an individually pocketed coil core and top comfort layers of latex. The latex layers on top can be natural, synthetic, or a blend of both.
Key features: Excellent temperature control and comfort
Latex mattresses are soft as well as incredibly flexible and durable, making them a plush and comfy option for those who own an adjustable base. Latex is also less likely than other materials to retain heat, so hot sleepers can enjoy extra cushioning without getting hot and sweaty.
Still unsure what mattress to buy? See our best mattress guide.
Which Mattress Is Best For An Adjustable Bed Frame?
Now that you know what mattress types are compatible with an adjustable bed frame, the next step is choosing one. When shopping mattress types for adjustable beds, consider each one’s pros and cons.
Best Hybrid Mattress For Adjustable Bed
Who may find hybrid mattresses comfy?: Heavier sleepers and sleepers who want additional support
- Allows you to customize your sleep position in ways you may not otherwise
- Sturdy foundation
- Proper support for a mattress
- Can cost more than other mattresses
Best Split King Mattress For Adjustable Bed
Who may find split king mattresses comfy?: Couples with opposite sleepers types or medical needs such as sleep apnea
- Reduces motion transfer when you change bed positions
- Caters to multiple mattress preferences and needs
- Easier to move because they are essentially two twin mattresses
- A gap in the center of the bed might be bothersome to some
- Two sets of sheets, protectors, toppers, and pillows for each mattress
- Costlier than a traditional king-size mattress
Best Firm Mattress For Adjustable Bed
Who may find firm mattresses comfy?: Sleepers who suffer from back pain, which may be alleviated by a medium-firm mattress
- Can enhance the pressure-relieving qualities that an adjustable bed may offer
- Can help sleepers find the alignment coziest for sleep time
- Highly durable and long-lasting
- Provides extra support for plus-size sleepers
- Might be too hard for some
- This can lead to discomfort and stiffness for some sleepers
- Might have to “break in” with your adjustable base
Best Innerspring Mattress For Adjustable Bed
Who may find firm mattresses comfy?: Restless sleepers on a budget
- High responsiveness can reduce motion transfer if you toss and turn in your sleep
- Innerspring mattresses with pocketed coils provide targeted support for pressure points
- More affordable than other mattresses
- Most options are incompatible with adjustable beds
- Coils are prone to wear and tear and can break faster when used with an adjustable frame
- Less conforming and not as comfortable
- Loses support quickly
Best Mattress Topper For Adjustable Bed
While you can use a mattress topper with an adjustable bed, not all of them are compatible with one. When shopping for the right mattress topper for your adjustable frame, you’ll want to consider materials, weight capacity, and functionality.
These mattress toppers may be most suited for pairing with an adjustable bed:
Memory foam: With a firmer mattress, memory foam can potentially increase comfort with an adjustable frame. These mattress toppers don’t lose integrity quickly and easily contour to your bed’s position.
Bamboo: Using a mattress topper may trap more heat in your sleep. You can maintain breathability with a bamboo mattress topper, as it is airy and light.
Waterproof: If you plan to eat in bed, using a waterproof mattress topper can prevent spills from affecting your bed's electronic parts.
Choosing The Right Mattress For You
Ultimately, adjustable bed frames may be comfiest for people:
- Who shares beds with partners who are the opposite sleeper type?
- With medical conditions like sleep apnea, GERD, or acid reflux
- Looking for beds with additional high-tech features
If you fit into one or more of these categories, choosing the right mattress is imperative. You’ll want to look for an adjustable mattress that:
- Supports your body type
- Is flexible, responsive, and durable
- Has the features you require to achieve comfortable sleep
Adjustable Bed Sleepers Can Try The Purple Mattress
Purple mattresses can be a comfy, supportive partner for adjustable beds because of their proprietary Comfort Core and GelFlex Grid. Both feature cradle pressure points while supporting the body as you adjust your bed base. In addition, this mattress range has a SoftFlex Cover that responds well to movement, making it a solid option for couples who don’t want to disturb their sleeping partners.
If you want to try the Purple Mattress with your adjustable bed base, you’re in luck – it comes with a 10-year warranty and a 100-night trial!
Frequently Asked Questions About Mattresses For Adjustable Bed
Does an adjustable bed require a special mattress?
No, you don’t need to purchase a special mattress for an adjustable bed. Most modern mattresses are compatible with adjustable beds.
Mattresses you ought to avoid using with adjustable beds because of potential incompatibility include:
- Mattresses with built-in hard components like wires or panels
- Products that explicitly state incompatibility with adjustable beds
It is best to check with your mattress manufacturer for compatibility.
What mattresses fit on an adjustable base?
Adjustable bases come in most standard sizes. So most standard mattress sizes will fit on the same size adjustable base.
Can side sleepers use adjustable beds?
Yes, side sleepers can use adjustable beds. Side sleepers who struggle with issues like back pain can raise the head and foot of an adjustable bed. They may find that this can make sleeping more comfortable.
What is the zero-gravity feature of an adjustable bed?
“Zero gravity” on an adjustable bed elevates the head and knees above the heart to keep the lower back closest to the ground.
Do adjustable mattresses have a weight limit?
Generally, an adjustable bed can carry up to 500 pounds of weight. Some bed and mattress brands can provide heavy-duty motors and reinforcements if you weigh heavier.
Are adjustable beds noisy?
Adjustable beds can be noisy depending on the type of mattress you use. For instance, mattresses with a coil layer will creak more than all-foam mattresses. However, adjustable beds are silent when stationary.
Does an adjustable bed ruin your mattress?
An adjustable bed can ruin your mattress if the mattress is incompatible. Some mattress materials may wear out faster than others when used on an adjustable base.
Is a firm or soft mattress better for an adjustable base?
A mattress that is too firm may cause tension in the base and not conform to its curve.
Should you buy an adjustable base with an attached mattress?
Buying an attached mattress to an adjustable base is not necessary. Although purchasing an adjustable bed frame from the manufacturer your mattress is from will ensure it is compatible, it is best to speak with the manufacturer.