woman laying on mattrress with adjustable bed and frame
Buying Guides

Can An Adjustable Bed Work With My Bed Frame?

    Last Updated
    June 16, 2023
    min read

    Adjustable beds can adjust the incline at various points of the mattress with just a push of a button. This allows personalized sleeping angles for customized  comfort that many sleepers love. 

    If you’re curious to know, “Can an adjustable base fit inside my bed frame?” The answer can easily be found by measuring the inside of your existing frame and the outside of the adjustable bed. Depending on your bed frame and adjustable bed type, there may be a few extra steps to ensure the proper. 

    In this guide, we’ve outlined how to ensure bed frame compatibility with adjustable beds so that you can experience unparalleled sleep courtesy of custom comfort. 

    Purple’s adjustable bed frames add  personalized comfort to  the sleeping experience with presets for anti-snoring and zero-gravity along with fully customizable head and foot sections that elevate your work, nap and tv-watching setups. Browse our selection to find the best model for your sleeping needs.

    Purple Adjustable Beds

    Superior support for a healthy lifestyle. Purple Smart Base provides customizable support for your mattress.

    How To Know If An Adjustable Bed Frame Will Work With Your Frame

    adjustable base fitting inside a bed frame

    To know if the adjustable bed frame you’re eyeing will work with your frame, you need to take precise measurements. Here’s how:

    1. Start by measuring the outer perimeter  of your chosen adjustable bed frame. 
    2. Measure the internal perimeter  of your existing frame. 

    Your adjustable bed frame should be slightly smaller than your bed frame to fit properly..

    Adjustable beds are typically sized according to standard mattress and bed frame sizes such as queens and kings meaning a queen-size adjustable bed fits best in a queen bed frame and a king-size adjustable bed will fit snugly in a king bed frame.

    How Adjustable Beds Work

    An adjustable bed uses  mechanized joints to change the  incline at certain places on the bed. Typically, a remote control is used to  adjust the bed’s reclining angle to customize the perfect elevation 

    The words “bed” and “mattress” are often used interchangeably. However, when sleep product manufacturers refer to an “adjustable bed,” they are referring not to a mattress but rather  a bed base. 

    To better understand how adjustable beds work, here’s a quick explanation of how a base, bed, and mattress differ from each other:

    • A mattress is your sleeping surface, a.k.a. the soft or firm surface that primarily comes into contact with your body to support it while sleeping.
    • A bed frame creates a supportive railing around your mattress and prevents it from falling off on any side. While some bed frames come with a bed base, the most basic bed frames consist primarily of a footboard, headboard, and side railings.
    • A bed base or foundation is a supportive structure placed directly under your mattress. This foundation lifts your mattress off the ground, prevents sagging, and continuously supports your weight for a good night’s rest.

    How To Place An Adjustable Bed Within A Frame

    Once you’ve measured your adjustable bed frame and know it will fit within your existing frame, you’ll need to know how to place it properly. Here are some simple tips depending on your current bed frame, the type of adjustable bed base, and your frame’s support level:

    Identify Your Current Bed Frame

     Most bed frames can be categorized into two types: panel beds and platform beds. Here are the key differences between the two and how each  affect your adjustable bed installation:

    • Panel beds: Panel beds have wooden or metal slats for support and are fitted with a box spring to reduce mattress sagging. These beds traditionally have headboards and footboards, and they can fit both zero clearance and non-zero clearance adjustable beds.
    • Platform beds: Platform beds  can easily accommodate a zero clearance adjustable bed. Platform beds are typically lower in height than panel beds and lack a box spring. Instead, a solid bed base is built-in to support the mattress and your weight as you sleep.

    If the platform bed contains a solid platform, then you can use it with an adjustable base. If the platform bed has a sufficient number of slats, you can place the adjustable base directly on top of the slats.

    Decide Between Zero Clearance Or Non-Zero Clearance

    Be sure to confirm if the adjustable bed frame you’ll be using is one that requires extra space beneath or if it simply lies flat on the existing frame. These frames are known as non-zero clearance and zero clearance frames respectively. 

    Here’s how they differ from each other.

    Zero Clearance

    Zero clearance adjustable bed frames don’t require  extra space underneath.This means that zero clearance adjustable beds can replace the box spring during install and lie directly on top of the slats.

    A zero clearance adjustable frame fits snugly with your existing frame’s headboard, footboard, and side railings, so it’s best for those who own a platform bed without a box foundation or one with its own foundation. It’s also ideal for sleepers who want personalized support and comfort without changing their bedroom’s interior design.

    Non-Zero Clearance

    Non-zero clearance adjustable frames come with legs and are typically designed for standalone use. These frames don’t require a box spring, frame or foundation.  This type is not recommended for platform beds, as the legs will interfere with proper fit unless they can be removed or their height is adjustable.

    If you already have a panel bed frame and don’t want to change up your bedroom’s look, don’t worry – this type of frame can be fitted into your current bed frame. Simply remove your panel bed’s center slats with a socket wrench or screwdriver. This will allow your adjustable bed’s legs to rest on the floor and let the adjustment mechanisms run properly.

    Proper Bed Frame Support

    Support is another consideration if you’re asking yourself, “Can an adjustable base fit inside my bed frame?” Check if your existing bed frame can support the weight of your mattress and your adjustable bed frame.

    You can do this by looking up your bed frame’s details on the  manufacturer’s official website. Both adjustable bed frame and mattress manufacturers will typically indicate how much each product weighs. 

    Compare this to the estimated load that your bed frame can support. Make sure you take into account the weight of everyone sleeping on the bed as well.

    Alternatively, you can directly ask your frame’s manufacturer. Contact your manufacturer by asking an online specialist or talking to one at a brick-and-mortar location. 

    Confirm the frame’s  maximum weight to ensure it has the capacity to support your adjustable bed. Some manufacturers may even indicate if a frame is already compatible with adjustable beds.

    Upgrade Your Sleep With Purple

    Now you know how to ensure proper bed frame compatibility with adjustable beds, it’s time to make the switch to customized comfort with a Purple adjustable bed. No matter your preferred sleep position or preferences, these beds put the power in your hands to add the support as you see fit. 

    The Purple Premium Smart and Premium Plus Smart Bases do more than just give you personalized inclining or reclining angles. Here’s how they differ so you can choose the right one for your unique sleeping preferences:

    Purple Premium Smart Base

    The Purple Premium Smart Base comes with a zero-gravity preset for near-weightless resting, an anti-snore preset, and a sitting preset for extra support when you’re working or relaxing in bed. It fits within most bed frames and has adjustable height legs, so you can customize it to the most comfortable height for you.

    Purple Premium Plus Smart Base

    The Purple Premium Plus Smart Base has all of the incredible features of the Premium Smart Base, but with added conveniences such as lumbar support and pillow tilt for custom elevation near your head and neck. It also  features  a vibration massage mechanism , so you can pamper yourself before settling in for the night!


    About the authors

    April Seifert

    April has nearly a decade of writing experience, with 3+ years specializing in sleep content. Her work has been covered by sites like BuzzFeed, Entrepreneur, and Money Under 30. She has an M.A. in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism from Syracuse University and a B.A. in Communication Studies. As a self-proclaimed expert in all things cozy, she sleeps better at night, knowing her writing helps others sleep in comfort, too.

    Brooke Reynolds
    Senior Product Manager of Bases and Smart Comfort

    Brooke Reynolds is a Senior product manager of bases and smart comfort at Purple. She's passionate about designing bases specifically to support Purple mattresses and educating customers on how adjustable bases can improve sleep, provide targeted support and enhance your bedtime routine.