Which is the best adjustable bed base for you?

When buying a bed, you will probably consider the size, the look, and the feel – but it is all too easy to forget about the bed base itself. Even using the most comfortable and supportive memory foam mattress such as the adjustable airflow mattress, a bed can be uncomfortable if the bed base isn’t quite right. In fact, the bed base is the best place to start if you want to make long-term improvements to your quality of sleep and your sleeping posture.

What should you look for when buying an adjustable bed base?

An adjustable bed will be built on one of two types of bases: a solid bed base, or a slatted bed base.

Typically, electric adjustable beds with slatted bed bases can be available for under £1,000, while adjustable beds with solid bed bases can be nearer £2,000, and up to £3,000 or more. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of slatted and solid bed based?

What is a slatted bed base?

A slatted bed base is made of several ‘slats’ – or planks – of wood mounted horizontally across a frame to form the base of the bed. A mattress is then placed directly on top of this frame. The slats are often bowed in shape to create a cushioning effect, and this tension can be adjusted to suit your needs. Since the slats are often made from flexible soft wood, this bed base should absorb most of the stress and weight put on your bed.

What is a solid bed base?

A solid bed base provides a firmer, stronger supportive structure. Solid bed bases tend to come in one of the following three styles:

  • A solid or ‘platform’ top – with rigid, non-sprung panel often made from hardboard
  • A firm-edge divan – a bed base with large, heavy duty springs within a rigid, wooden-sided frame
  • A sprung-edge divan – the more luxurious of the solid bed bases, with smaller springs mounted on a wooden frame for greater shock absorption

Which adjustable bed base should I buy?

Each has its benefits, although the solid top tends to be the cheapest, while a sprung edge divan is the more expensive. Thankfully, it’s rare for adjustable beds to be built on divan bases, as the supporting nature of a good adjustable mattress makes springs in the base of the bed unnecessary.

Which base is best for an adjustable bed?

Our spines are not straight – nor are they supposed to be! Instead, they form a natural S-shaped curve. With this in mind, the mattress of an adjustable bed is specifically designed to suit the natural curves and contours of your body – meaning the base needs to work with the mattress to support you while you sleep too. The key to this is consistency.

The truth about slatted bed bases

A slatted adjustable bed is certainly an option, but is rarely the best long-term solution for you. Why? Because as you sleep you are bound to move, and over time this can cause your bed slats to move from their original position.

This means they will lose their shape and could even separate from each other – creating gaps in your bed base. When this happens, your mattress is very likely to sit out of place, or even fall between the gaps. Instead, you need a bed that stays in position and will support you no matter how much you may toss and turn.

Get the most out of your adjustable bed with a solid bed base

Adjustable beds are always tailor-made to suit your body’s needs, and therefore we consider a solid base to be a better long-term choice than a slatted base.

This is primarily because an adjustable bed with a solid base has a longer life expectancy, as there are no movable parts – such as slats – that may shift over time. Your back, and the natural curvature of your body, will therefore be consistently supported – allowing for a more restful sleep.

This is all the more important if you suffer from health conditions that affect your sleep or require support for conditions like sciatica, where maintaining this consistent support is key to improving your health and lifestyle.

Helping couples sleep better, together

For couples having sleeping difficulties and are thinking of switching to separate beds, a split double adjustable bed base could be the answer you’ve been looking for.

These beds consist of two separate mattresses, each of which can operate independently on a solid base. This allows you and your partner to adjust each mattress to suit your individual needs, without affecting one another’s sleep.

“I am over the moon with my Heritage Classic Adjustable Bed. It gives me a much better night’s night’s sleep than I had previously as it’s so comfortable and allows me to sleep in my most natural position.

I also suffer from Osteoarthritis, so the breathable Orthopaedic Mattress helps relieve the pressure on the parts of my body that give me aches and pains.”

Mrs Johnstone, from Sunderland

What else should you consider when buying an adjustable bed?

It’s important to note that a slatted adjustable bed is often more affordable than its solid counterpart, and can be a great starter adjustable bed that you can upgrade from in the future. However, an adjustable bed is a custom-fit piece of furniture that should be made to meet your needs. That’s why we will always recommend you speak to a trained bed specialist or professional before buying an adjustable bed. Give us a call on 0800 689 9823 (9am-5pm Mon-Fri), or drop us a message. We can organise a home visit for you to trial any bed or chair, as well as give you professional and reliable advice.

Interested in buying a bed or finding out more? Check out our expert adjustable bed buying guide for all the information you need to find a bed that suits your needs.