An adjustable bed is a bed that rises and falls mechanically at the head and foot. It provides a variety of different sleep positions and can be useful in addressing numerous health concerns such as snoring, sleep apnea, back pain and more.
The adjustable bed can trace its origins to the hospital bed of the 19th century (1). Those early beds were continually refined and eventually electric motors were added to raise and lower both the head and foot of the bed. Over the past three decades the adjustable bed has slowly made the leap from hospitals to private homes.
Today’s adjustable beds are attractive, dependable pieces of bedroom furniture that feature USB ports, wireless remote control and other features that integrate them more fully into the 21st century. Below, we’ve brought together the 10 best adjustable beds on the market for 2021.
1. Leggett & Platt S-Cape
Some will be impressed by the ‘white glove delivery’ L&P offers. We were more impressed by the bed itself. It’s comfy, spacious, reliable, quiet and has a massage feature that’s more than just a rumbling afterthought. A great choice for those wrestling with health problems or those who just want a great night’s sleep.
What we like: We like the 700 pound capacity. We like the wall hugger feature that keeps the bed aligned with the night stand. The bed is also very quiet (relative to other beds) as it rises and falls. So you can adjust it without waking up the whole house.
The massage feature is more than just okay and the bed as a whole has a very solid, substantial feel to it. Even though it is not physically imposing.
Flaws: One big reason the bed feels so solid is because it’s actually quite heavy. So don’t try setting it up yourself. It’s also pretty expensive.
2. Classic Brands Adjustable Bed
The #1 position on our list was pretty much a toss-up between the L&P S-Cape and this Classic Brands Adjustable Bed. Both are extremely comfortable, large and quiet. And both feature wall hugging design, charging ports and a massage function. In the end, the massage feature on this didn’t quite match up to that on the L&P. Beyond that though it’s a solid all-around choice.
What we like: We like how responsive the bed is. How quietly it moves up and down and the fact that it’s a wall-hugger. There are also two USB ports for charging your phone or other devices and the mattress retention rail prevents accidents.
With the right memory foam mattress this can be an incredibly comfortable bed that also just happens to offer a slew of potential health benefits.
Flaws: The massage feature isn’t going to put the local masseuse out of business. And, like the L&P S-Cape, it’s heavy.
3. Lucid L300 Bed Base
The Lucid L300 is well-named because the action of the bed is smooth as butter. With the right mattress you might wind up being regularly late for work because you don’t want to get up. As an added bonus you don’t have to pay through the nose to get it.
What we like: We like the wireless remote control, the 4 USB ports, the independently adjustable head and foot and the handsome upholstery over the frame. We also like the 750 pound weight limit and the fact that the remote has a built in flashlight.
The bed is reasonably quiet with nice smooth action in both directions. You can program it to assume your favorite position with one touch of a button and it’s affordably priced.
Flaws: Putting 2 side by side to form a king creates an awkward combination.
4. Leggett & Platt Williamsburg Plus Adjustable Bed
The design of the Leggett & Platt Williamsburg Plus is decidedly understated. But the level of practical comfort it delivers is anything but. It’s one of the quietest adjustable beds you’ll find. And with it’s independently controllable head section it’s great for reading or working in bed.
What we like: We really like the independent head tilt, the wall hugger feature, the dependable wireless operation and the 10 year warranty. We also like the 750 pound weight limit and the ability to return to flat with one press.
It’s also low enough to the ground that it won’t be an issue for older folks to get into and out of. And it has some nifty underneath lighting that acts as an effective night light.
Flaws: Twist ties are not a great way to secure the wires under the bed.
5. Blissful Nights Queen Adjustable Bed Base
Not everyone can afford a 4 figure adjustable bed. For those on a more restrained budget there is the Blissful Nights Queen Adjustable Bed. It does pretty much everything other, more expensive beds will do and will also fit easily into a lot of different bed frames.
What we like: The hydraulic motion is silky smooth in both directions. The adjustable legs allow for a degree of personalization. Action is quiet and reliable and accomplished via the dependable wireless remote.
There’s a lot to like here. It has a nice sturdy feel to it and the fact that it’s so affordable makes it maybe the best overall value on our list.
Flaws: No real lumbar support to speak of. And it might not elevate your feet as far as you want.
6. Reverie 7S Adjustable Bed
The 7S from Reverie is aware that some folks don’t want to use a ladder to get in and out of bed. It’s nice and low to the floor, has 4 corner restraints that keep your mattress perfectly positioned and features Bluetooth wireless control.
What we like: We appreciate the 850 pound weight limit and the dependable, quiet motors. We like how stable and comfortable it is. And we appreciate the Bluetooth wireless control. Lumbar support is among the best and the bed looks good enough to use without a frame.
Flaws: It’s not a wall hugger so you’ll be pulled away from the night stand. It’s also pretty heavy so you may need help setting it up.
7. DynastyMattress DM9000
If you’re looking for an expansive adjustable bed that’s comfortable and reliable the DM9000 should be on your list. The DM9000 features a mind-boggling 900 pound upper weight limit enabled by 4 durable, quiet electric motors. Control of the bed can either be handled via the wireless remote or by using the company’s smartphone app.
What we like: We like that the company has pulled out all the stops with speakers, USB ports, under-bed lighting and more. We like how responsive and quiet the bed is. And we like the ability to independently adjust the head tilt.
We also like that it’s a wall hugger, that it’s max capacity is 900 pounds and that there’s a smartphone app that allows you to control it without searching for the remote.
Flaws: Keep in mind the ‘split king’ is indeed split. Which kind of impedes snuggling, if you’re into that.
8. PragmaBed Adjustable Foundation
If you’re on a budget but still want to enjoy the benefits of an adjustable bed consider the PragmaBed. There’s none of those fancy-pants motors here. Everything is strictly manual. Also, none of that high-falutin’ upholstery either. Just a steel frame that you can adjust to fit your particular tastes. It’s on our list because it’s well made, dependable and provides adjustable bed benefits for those with limited resources.
What we like: ’Pragma’ is right as this is definitely an adjustable bed for pragmatists. There are no frills to be found. But on the other hand it costs about the same as a pair of running shoes.
It’s definitely well-made and easy to set up. There’s also plenty of storage space under the bed. And the bed is pretty easy to adjust (manually).
Flaws: This is strictly a manually operated bed with a complete lack of bells and whistles. Still, if you don’t need to adjust your bed very often it may be enough for you.
9. Serta Adjustable Motion Essential III
Serta has a long-established reputation for producing high quality sleep related products. Their Adjustable Motion Essential III is yet another testament to their commitment to providing value and comfort. It sets up easy, works flawlessly and is a good choice for those who don’t particularly care if they can recharge their phone through their bed frame.
What we like: We like the dependable Serta quality. The (relatively) easy set up. And there is no denying the bed is comfortable and quiet. Head and foot can be adjusted independently and the wireless remote is easy to understand and use. It also features ‘wall hugger’ technology.
Flaws: The base isn’t going to win any beauty contests. And at more than 170 pounds the bed is surprisingly heavy.
10. Giantex Adjustable Bed Base
The last of our best adjustable beds is this one from Giantex. While the massage feature is an important part of the marketing schtick here it was actually the overall comfort and silky smooth action of the bed that caught our attention. There are some bells and whistles besides the massage feature that are also worth mentioning, including the USB ports, remote flashlight and adjustable legs. It’s also very reasonably priced.
What we like: We like that you can raise and lower the head and foot either together or independently. We like the emergency battery backup power (though you’re not likely to use it). We also appreciate the USB ports, wireless remote and quiet operation.
Flaws: It’s not a wall crawler so you’ll need to adjust your relationship to your night stand. Older folks will also likely need help setting it up.
What is an Adjustable Bed?
An adjustable bed is a bed with a segmented base that uses a series of small electrical motors to elevate different portions of that base in order to enhance the comfort of the user. Sometimes called a ‘zero gravity bed’ adjustable beds have been around in one form or another for some time. But in recent years their popularity has skyrocketed and the number of features they offer has also greatly increased. Today’s adjustable beds are more versatile than ever, offer wireless control, have integrated USB ports for recharging your digital devices and even offer massage and other functions.
How We Ranked
With today’s adjustable beds offering so many features separating the worthy from the also-rans was not an easy task. In fact there is no doubt some fine beds did not make our list simply because there wasn’t room for them. That said, we looked at the type of adjustability the beds offered, with head and foot elevation being must-haves. If there was lumbar support that was a plus.
We were primarily concerned with the base; the features it offered, its build quality and usability. So if a particular bed came with a mattress we took note. But if it did not come with a mattress that fact by itself was not a deal breaker. If you need to choose a mattress separately make sure you choose the proper size to fit the base and that the mattress you have your eye on is compatible with being folded into various shapes.
Wireless control was something else we wanted to see. After all, if you can open your garage door from halfway around the world using your smartphone these days your bed should have a wireless remote. The only reason we would have looked the other way on a wired controller was if the bed itself was too good to ignore.
Materials and build quality were also important factors. After all, constantly folding and unfolding is going to put enormous stress and strain on the bed frame. If it isn’t built to last you’re throwing your money away. So we paid close attention to how the bed was made.
Finally, we considered price and warranty. Adjustable beds are like everything else in that it’s often a matter of getting what you pay for. However, we’re always on the lookout for value; that elusive combination of attractive price and high-quality. So if two beds offered similar features and build quality but one was less expensive we would tend toward the less expensive model simply because it provides better bang for your buck. And as for warranties, the longer and more comprehensive the better.
Adjustable beds may help prevent snoring. There are many potential causes of snoring but one of the most common is a blocked airway (2). A blocked airway occurs when the soft tissue of the airway becomes too relaxed while sleeping and vibrates as air passes over it. We hear this vibration as snoring. An adjustable bed allows you to elevate your head while sleeping. This in turn helps to open up the airways of the throat preventing the soft tissue from interfering with airflow. You don’t need to raise your head to a full sitting position to enjoy this benefit. Typically raising it just 8 or 10 inches will be enough.
Adjustable beds are very convenient. For example: sometimes at the end of a long day there are still a few things that need to be done. But you don’t feel like sitting at the table to do them. An adjustable bed can be positioned to allow you to work on your laptop, make calls, read or study for a big test. If you’re feeling a bit under the weather, or you are recovering from surgery or injury, you can still get things done without having to leave the bed. Adjustable beds are also extremely comfortable so when you’re ready to sleep you should have no problem.
Adjustable beds can help lessen the pain of arthritis. Arthritis is a debilitating degenerative disease that typically attacks the joints (3). People with arthritis often have difficulty sleeping (4) due to the pressure in their joints and the pain this pressure can cause. An adjustable bed can help reduce the pressure on affected joints like the ankles and knees. As a result a restful night’s sleep is much easier to obtain.
Adjustable beds can alleviate back pain. Back pain has multiple potential causes (5). But regardless of the cause the result is often a restless, sleepless night. An adjustable bed often does an outstanding job alleviating back pain so the sufferer can get a good night’s sleep. The ‘zero gravity’ position is thought to be particularly helpful in this regard. The zero gravity position is when both head and feet are elevated more or less equally. This position enables your back to assume a less stressful position and discourages sleeping on your stomach. Which can often aggravate back injuries (6).
Adjustable beds can help improve circulation. Often times when sleeping on a flat bed we get into unusual positions that interfere with proper blood circulation. When this happens we often wake up with numb limbs. An adjustable bed can go a long way toward preventing that. Also, with the body in the zero gravity position blood flows more easily and does not accumulate in the lower legs. A condition known as edema which we’ll discuss shortly. Elevating the upper body also allows for more normal breathing which allows for better oxygen distribution throughout the body as you sleep.
Adjustable beds can help treat edema in the legs. Edema (7) is a troubling condition wherein blood and other bodily fluids collect in the lower extremities and cause swelling. There has actually been something of an epidemic of edema in recent years as people move away from physical work and instead spend long hours staring into computer screens. Edema in the legs and feet is a potentially dangerous condition that can lead to blood clots. So anything that can be done to alleviate the condition is a good thing. Using an adjustable bed to raise your feet while sleeping is a great way to reduce or eliminate edema.
Adjustable beds can help prevent reflux. Laying down immediately after a large meal is never a good idea. Laying down flat with a stomach full of undigested food can lead to indigestion and possible acid reflux (8). Experts suggest you wait at least two hours before going to bed after eating to allow the digestive process to kick in. But that is not always possible. If you have an adjustable bed you can elevate your upper body and this will discourage stomach acid from leaking into your esophagus and creating reflux. A word of caution: Just because an adjustable bed will help fend off acid reflux doesn’t mean you should get in the habit of going to bed right after eating.
Adjustable beds can help prevent sleep apnea. And this is true regardless of the person’s age or how long they’ve suffered from the condition. Sleep apnea (9) is a little known and, outside the medical community, little understood malady that can lead to serious complications. During sleep apnea the soft tissue of the throat collapses into the airways, blocking breathing. Heart disease and death are possible results of this condition. If you suffer from sleep apnea you should have an adjustable bed. Why? Because studies have shown that elevating the head during sleep can be quite effective in fending off attacks of sleep apnea (10).
Adjustable beds are comfortable. You don’t need to suffer from a serious health condition to enjoy what an adjustable bed has to offer. Anyone who has found sleeping on a standard flat bed to be less than satisfying is likely to benefit from a better nights’ sleep using an adjustable bed. A good night’s sleep is not only critical to effective physical and mental performance (11) it also plays a huge role in determining our emotional state (12). So, if an adjustable bed can produce a better night’s sleep that alone should make it worth the price of admission.
Q: Will an adjustable bed cure my insomnia?
A: This is a question that does not have a single yes or no answer. That’s because insomnia has myriad possible causes (13), some of which (like depression) may not necessarily respond to a change in sleep position. That said, if your insomnia is caused by an uncomfortable bed, or if it is the result of arthritis pain at night, or discomfort resulting from a recent injury or surgery it is likely that an adjustable bed can help you get to sleep faster and obtain a restful night’s sleep. But as we mentioned, if your insomnia stems from a cause such as depression – which in all likelihood is not related to your bed – you will need to seek professional help to deal with it.
Q: What is meant by ‘wall hugger’?
A: If you’ve spent any time shopping for or researching adjustable beds you have no doubt come across the term ‘wall hugger’. It’s a curious term to be sure but it actually has a simple, easy to understand definition. Adjustable beds almost all offer the ability to raise the upper portion of your body while you sleep. However, they do not all achieve the raised head in the same way. Some simply tilt forward from the horizontal position and this has the tendency to leave the night stand behind you. That can be a problem. Especially if you suffer from back or neck pain. Because you’ll need to turn around at awkward angles to access the night stand. A ‘wall hugger’ solves this problem by sliding the bed platform as a whole back toward the wall as the head of the bed rises. In effect, ‘crawling’ up the wall instead of tilting away from it. This maintains the proper relationship between you and your night stand, no matter how vertical your upper body is.
Q: Can an adjustable bed help with lower leg swelling?
A: Yes, an adjustable bed can help with lower leg swelling. Edema (the scientific term for leg swelling) is a potentially serious health issue that can result in blood clots (14) and other health complications. There are a couple of ways you can deal with edema. During the day the best course of action is usually to wear compression socks (15). This will encourage proper circulation in the lower extremities and fend off edema. At night, the best defense against edema is to elevate your legs while you sleep. And an adjustable bed is the best and easiest way to do that. If you have a job where you are required to sit for long hours you should seriously consider getting an adjustable bed.
Q: Do adjustable beds offer a massage feature?
A: Some adjustable beds do offer a massage feature, but not all. The massage feature is one of those things that sounds like a good idea. In practice, however, it often amounts to little more than your bed vibrating in a strange way that may actually cause indigestion or headaches. A few manufacturers do offer a more sophisticated massage feature that, while not the equivalent of a professional masseuse, will nonetheless provide a sense of relaxation. It may also provide a certain level of pain relief for those suffering back pain or arthritis related pain. If a bed had a massage feature we felt was worth mentioning, we mentioned it.
Q: Can an adjustable bed really prevent snoring?
A: Yes, an adjustable bed really can prevent snoring for some people. Although there are many different causes for snoring, one of the most common is when the soft tissue of the throat interferes with normal breathing while you sleep. When this happens the air passing over that soft tissue causes it to flutter. And this is what we hear as snoring. Elevating the head while sleeping causes the soft tissue to settle in a more natural, out of the way position and snoring is prevented. Just be aware that if your snoring is caused by problems in the nasal cavity an adjustable bed may not help.
Q: Will an adjustable bed work with my existing bed frame?
A: That depends entirely on the type of bed frame you have. Some adjustable beds will slip into just about any type of existing framework. Others though, come with their own frame and are not intended to be used with a frame from another manufacturer. If you would like to use your adjustable bed with an existing frame make sure you take comprehensive measurements of the frame and compare them to the dimensions of the adjustable bed before you make the purchase.
Q: Do I need special sheets for an adjustable bed?
A: In most cases you should be able to use standard bedsheets on your adjustable bed. But to a certain extent it depends on how far the adjustable bed adjusts. If you have any questions about what type of sheets to use for your particular adjustable bed the best course of action is to contact the manufacturer. They may well tell you that you need a special type of sheet. But that should not be a big deal since there are numerous manufacturers out there that produce bed sheets for adjustable beds.
Q: Can an adjustable bed prevent DVT?
A: Deep vein thrombosis or DVT (16), occurs when a blot clot forms in the veins located deep within the tissue of the lower leg. DVT can often be effectively treated if caught early enough. But many people are not aware a blood clot has formed until it moves to their lungs and causes a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism (17). An adjustable bed can help stave off DVT by reducing or eliminating swelling in the lower legs that often causes the condition. That said, it’s important to know what to look for when it comes to DVT so you can obtain treatment if necessary. Symptoms of DVT typically include outsized swelling in 1 leg, warm skin that’s painful to the touch, throbbing in the leg, red skin in the affected area and sore, swollen veins.
Q: Will an adjustable bed alleviate back pain?
A: An adjustable bed can often do a good job alleviating back pain. Of course to some degree it will depend on the cause of the back pain. If, for instance, the back pain is caused by stress and strain on the muscles of the lower back, then an adjustable bed will likely be able to provide some measure of relief. Perhaps quite a bit of relief. If, on the other hand, the back pain is the result of a herniated disc (18) or a vertebral compression fracture (19) then sleeping on an incline is unlikely to do much to relieve the pain.
Q: Will an adjustable bed work with any mattress?
A: As is the case with bedsheets there are some standard mattresses that will work just fine with an adjustable bed and others that will not. Some extra-firm inner spring mattresses, for instance, may not have the necessary flexibility to respond to the adjustable bed. If you are going to purchase an adjustable bed the best course of action is to purchase an appropriate mattress at the same time. If the adjustable bed comes with a mattress (some do) then even better. Any questions about exactly which type of mattress to buy for which adjustable bed should be directed to the bed manufacturer.
The adjustable bed is looking more and more like an idea whose time has come. With so many of us leading increasingly sedentary lifestyles that lead to things like edema and deep vein thrombosis, the adjustable bed can be a powerful counteractive tool. Those with arthritis, those suffering from sleep apnea and those beset by acid reflux can also benefit from what an adjustable bed has to offer.
The 10 adjustable beds profiled above all bring considerable benefits to the table. All are well-built, feature rich and dependable. You’re sure to find one among them that will provide the type of relief you are looking for. Even if you are only looking for relief from your uncomfortable flat bed.
For cpoe.org’s #1 recommended adjustable bed, click here.