Who is an adjustable bed suitable for?

Not only does an adjustable bed make sleeping comfortable, it also makes it easier for you to get in and out of bed too. This means that whether you are looking for more independence in old age, or freedom from niggling aches and pains, an adjustable bed can help you to get a better night’s sleep. There is a wide range of adjustable beds to choose from, so finding out about what they offer can help you to decide if an adjustable bed is right for you.

What is an adjustable bed?

Once found predominantly in hospital settings, modern adjustable beds are now offering people better sleep at home too. While adjustable beds offer health benefits, their ability to be manoeuvred into different positions can help anyone to sleep more comfortably. In fact, your own adjustable bed can be used alongside a regular mattress if it’s flexible enough. However, we do recommend an airflow mattress, as this will guarantee the best flexibility when moving with the bed base.

There are two main kinds of adjustable beds, lifestyle beds and profiling beds. Lifestyle beds offer a sit up function, which makes it easy and comfortable to watch TV or read in bed. They also make it easier for you to get in and out of bed. 

Profiling beds offer more flexibility in your sleeping position, which make them a good choice for those with specific medical needs. Profiling beds let you control both the head and lower end of the bed, usually including the ability to bend the bed at the knee. This prevents you from slipping down the bed if you sleep with the head end raised. They also offer health benefits to those with certain conditions.

Why choose an adjustable bed?

By allowing you to find a more comfortable sleeping position, adjustable beds can give you a better night’s sleep. They make it easier for you to get in and out of bed, giving back independence to those who have difficulty doing this unaided. They can even help alleviate the symptoms of a range of common health conditions, including heartburn and snoring.

Some models also offer additional features, including massage functions and under-bed lighting. Adjustable beds offer a very different sleeping experience to a regular bed, but are adjustable beds worth it?

1. Back pain

One in six adults in the UK suffers from back pain, and of these more than half have severe back pain. Whether brought on by an injury or a medical condition, back pain can limit your enjoyment of everyday life. Back pain can also harm your quality of sleep, creating a vicious cycle of poor sleep and pain. 

Many adjustable beds offer a ‘zero gravity’ position, which holds your body in a neutral posture. In this position, your upper body and head are raised, and your legs and feet are slightly raised too. This forms your body into a gentle ‘V’ shape, with your feet also supported. Sleeping in this position puts less pressure on your spine than sleeping on a flat surface, which can reduce pain at night if you suffer from back problems. 

Adjustable beds also allow you to elevate your feet alone. This is useful for those managing the pain brought on by sciatica, as it takes pressure off of your lower back. Sciatica pain may also be relieved with massage therapy, a feature found in some adjustable beds.

Woman lying on a bed holds her back in pain.
Woman suffering a back ache on a bad mattress

In some people, soft tissues in their throat relax too much while they’re asleep. When lying flat at night, these tissues can fall back and partially block their airways. Snoring is the sound made when air squeezing past causes these soft tissues to vibrate. Adjustable beds can help reduce snoring by raising your head while you sleep. This helps to stop these soft tissues from blocking your throat. In fact, elevating your head makes breathing easier for everyone, snorer or not. For asthma sufferers too, sleeping upright helps to make breathing easier by keeping the airways open. Adjustable beds make it quick and easy to raise the head of the bed to a position that lets you breath freely and sleep with good posture.

3. Acid reflux

Elevating your head can also prevent painful acid reflux from disturbing your sleep. In a more upright position, stomach acid is much less able to creep up your throat. This means that heartburn, GERD, and hiatus hernia sufferers can sleep soundly, undisturbed.

4. Mobility problems and muscle weakness

If you have a mobility impairment or muscle weakness, then you may find getting in and out of bed challenging without help from another person. 

Adjustable beds can help people with mobility problems and muscle weakness regain independence by making getting in and out of bed easier. For example, a person who has had surgery on their stomach may find it challenging to move from sitting to lying (or vice versa), making navigating a regular bed difficult. On an adjustable bed, they can relax and let the bed move them easily from a lying to a sitting position. 

5. Lifestyle benefits 

Aside from making getting in and out of bed far simpler for those who may struggle with these movements, adjustable beds give you the ability to sit comfortably in an upright position without stacking up pillows – perfect for bookworms or watching a film in bed. 

6. Circulation problems

For certain conditions that cause poor circulation, the symptoms can be improved by elevating your legs. The benefits of an adjustable bed make it easy to rest and sleep comfortably with your legs lifted, which can help to manage the symptoms of poor circulation and related swelling. The massage feature available in some adjustable beds can also help to improve circulation. 

Image of a woman sat down, holding her painful foot.
Improve poor circulation by elevating your legs

7. Getting a good night’s sleep

Good quality, uninterrupted sleep is vital for general good health. Yet 54% of adults in the UK sleep for less than 6 hours each night, with pain and discomfort being cited as the major cause. With an adjustable bed you have control over your sleeping position, helping you find the one that makes you comfortable and get a long night’s rest.

What do adjustable beds look like?

Modern adjustable beds come in a range of styles, from timelessly traditional to sleek and minimalist. Many come with headboards, available in a wide range of shapes, fabrics and colours. There are optional features such as handrails and underbed storage available too.

Adjustable beds are available in standard sizes: single to king size. For couples, they also come as dual or ‘split’ beds which allow the two sides of the bed to be controlled independently to give you more choice and flexibility in your individual sleeping position.

What budget do you need for an adjustable bed?

Adjustable beds are generally more costly than box spring beds, but there are many options available, from budget to luxury options. 

At the lower end, you could expect to pick up an adjustable bed for around £400. However, as with regular beds, it is likely that the very cheapest adjustable beds available won’t be as durable as more expensive models, so you may be getting less value for money than you expect. 

To ensure that your adjustable bed stands the test of time, it’s best to go for the most reliable model you can afford. Look for the National Bed Federation’s mark of approval as the sign of a good quality adjustable bed. This mark demonstrates that the manufacturers have met certain standards and follow a code of practice.  

Size, durability and optional features all influence the price of adjustable beds. Luxury models, with features like massage technology and premium materials like latex, can be much more expensive. You can expect to pay up to £7,999 for the top end of the market. It’s worth writing down a list of the features you need and would like from your bed. You can then look for the best model that meets these needs, and avoid paying for features that you don’t want.