How to Choose the Best Mattress for an Adjustable Bed

Written by: Alex Savy
Read 8 minLast updated July 14, 2020

Best Mattress for Adjustable Beds

Getting an adjustable bed can make your life easier and much more comfortable.

But it can also give you a headache when trying to pick a suitable mattress for it.

Luckily, there are ways to make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Today, you are going to learn how to pick the best mattress for an adjustable bed so that you could make the most informed decision when shopping.

What Type of Mattress Is Best for an Adjustable Bed?

Memory foam and latex are considered the best types of mattresses for adjustable beds. They are flexible and durable enough to withstand constant bending and shifting. 

However, other mattress types may also work in some cases. 

Let’s take a look at the most common types of mattresses and how exactly they perform when paired with an adjustable bed.

Memory Foam

This material is among the most popular options for adjustable beds due to its superb flexibility. Memory foam has a slow response and offers close conforming. If you want to use an adjustable base to help deal with a medical condition, such as arthritis or fibromyalgia, a memory foam bed is a good option to go with thanks to its pressure-relieving properties (1).

When a memory foam mattress is used with an adjustable bed, it easily adjusts to its position without losing its supportive properties. However, this material may wear out sooner: while the average lifespan of memory foam mattresses is around 10 years, using it with an adjustable bed frame requires you to pick a model of higher density for better durability. Note that this may mean spending more money.

Polyfoam

Also being among the best mattresses for adjustable beds, polyfoam models offer excellent pressure relief and gentle cradling. Polyfoam is a bit denser than memory foam and has a faster response. 

Many mattresses use polyfoam as the base and combine it with memory foam comfort layers. However, you can also find all-polyfoam mattresses. Compared to those made with memory foam, they allow for easier movement on the mattress and slightly better breathability.

Latex 

Latex is also very effective when it comes to preventing pressure from accumulating in your pressure points. This material is perfect for adjustable beds since it’s very flexible and squishy. 

Now, unlike foam, latex has a bouncy feel, doesn’t let you sink too deeply, and sleeps very cool. Being an eco-friendly option, latex mattresses are also more durable but have an expensive price tag.

Innerspring

Offering solid support and good air circulation, spring mattresses are sometimes used for adjustable beds as well. However, if you want an innerspring, you need to make sure that the manufacturer uses pocketed coils rather than a solid spring block. This way, your new mattress will be easier to flex and adjust to the shape of the frame. 

Some users pick innerspring models due to their affordable price, but note that they typically have a firmer feel and may lack pressure relief.

Hybrid

Hybrid beds can offer consistent support, a good amount of cradling, and a balanced feel overall. But because they are typically thick and bulky, not all of them can be used with adjustable beds. If you’re certain that you want a hybrid, make sure to contact the manufacturer and ask about the compatibility with adjustable frames. 

Airbed

Airbeds allow users to control the support levels by letting more or less air in. However, if you want to use an airbed with an adjustable frame, it has to be made with thicker PVC. Also, keep in mind that models with air chambers work better than one-chamber mattresses.

“Using an adjustable base can help you improve blood circulation and relieve leg swelling (if you are prone to that). Additionally, it gives you a chance to enjoy other activities than sleep in your bed. For instance, you can sit up comfortably and read a book or your favorite magazine.”

Key Considerations to Make Before Buying a Mattress for an Adjustable Bed

Sleeping on an adjustable bed, just like sleeping in a reclining chair, may help you get more comfortable if you’re recovering after a surgery or have some medical condition. But this will only work if you choose a suitable mattress for your adjustable bed and, most importantly, a mattress that will work for your particular needs.

And to do that, let’s look at the key factors you may want to consider when shopping:

  • Firmness. The firmness level of your new mattress would depend on your weight and preferred sleeping position. Now, mattresses typically are rated from 1 to 10, with 10 being the firmest. If you are a strict stomach sleeper, you need a very supportive bed (around 7-8 for an average weight and 9-10 for overweight users). Back sleepers require a bit of cushioning for their hips and buttocks, so 5-6 would be suitable (or 7-8 if you weigh more than 250 pounds). As for side sleepers, they need generous cradling for the shoulders and hips and a soft-to-medium firmness level (3-5 for average individuals and 5-7 for heavier sleepers). Keep in mind that lightweight users usually need a softer level than that recommended for average sleepers.
  • Size. Adjustable beds might have slight variations in size, which is why you need to be attentive with the measurements when buying a new mattress for your adjustable bed frame. If you share your bed with a partner, you may want to consider a larger (Queen or King) model. However, if you two have different preferences, there are also split King and Cal King options.
  • Thickness. This factor is important since an overly thick mattress will not bend that well. And a thin one might not provide you with enough support. Typically, the best mattresses for adjustable beds range from 6 to 12 inches in thickness. 14-inch models may also be suitable, but it depends on the material (latex and foam should work). Keep in mind that mattresses using more rigid materials should be thinner.
  • Durability. A high-quality mattress should withstand regular bending when being used with an adjustable frame. In this case, you get what you pay for: cheaper models will wear out faster. Pay attention to the warranty as well. A longer one often means that the manufacturer is sure of their product’s quality. And speaking of warranty…
  • Warranty. While some manufacturers offer an extensive mattress warranty (which is awesome), using an adjustable bed frame may actually void it. So, read the fine print (or contact the customer service) before making a purchase. After all, a mattress is a serious investment and it should be protected by the warranty.
  • Budget. As mentioned before, a cheap mattress would wear out faster. And while you should realize that an adjustable bed is quite expensive on its own (plus it may require additional costs in the future due to motor repairs), it’s safer for you to invest in a good-quality mattress, even if it will cost you a bit more. This way, your bed will serve you longer.

“Sleeping in a slightly reclined position on an adjustable bed has many potential benefits. It might help you feel more comfortable when sleeping with a cold, as the gravity may relieve your nasal congestion. Also, adjustable beds are a good option for snorers (again, due to the gravity impact).”

Also read: TOP 3 Best Mattresses For Snoring

F.A.Q.

Do you need a special mattress for an adjustable bed?

No, you can use a regular mattress with an adjustable bed but some mattresses are not flexible enough to be used with adjustable beds. Foam (both memory and polyurethane foam) and latex are considered to be the most optimal solution for adjustable bed frames. Some innerspring, hybrid, and air mattresses may also be suitable, but it depends on each specific model.

How can you tell if a mattress is compatible with an adjustable bed frame?

Most mattress brands mention the compatibility on the product’s page. Usually, the majority of pocketed-coil, latex, and foam mattresses are compatible with adjustable beds. If there’s no information available online, it’s a good idea to contact customer service.

Do adjustable beds ruin mattresses?

No. If your mattress type is suitable for an adjustable bed, there will be no extra damage than the usual wear and tear all mattresses go through during years of use.

How often to flip an adjustable bed mattress?

This depends on the mattress you are using. Most mattresses today aren’t designed to be flipped at all.

How much should a Queen mattress for an adjustable bed cost?

The average price of a Queen mattress for an adjustable base is $1,000, but you may come across both more affordable and more expensive options.

How thick should a foam mattress for an adjustable bed be?

Typically, foam mattresses for adjustable beds are 10-12 inches thick. The denser and firmer the materials used in a mattress, the thinner it should be.

Conclusion

When it comes to adjustable beds, only certain mattress types allow users to make the most out of them. Consider investing in a good foam or latex mattress, and you will be able to enjoy all the perks your adjustable bed frame has to offer.

However, don’t forget that the material is not the only criterion. You should also pick the proper firmness, thickness, and pay attention to the warranty conditions.

What are your thoughts? Did this guide help you make up your mind? Let us know in the comments below!

References:

  1. Voice (Syracuse University) (2020, June 11). The technology of memory foam, from outer space to your bedroom. Retrieved from https://cwoodall.expressions.syr.edu/2018/07/05/the-technology-of-memory-foam-from-outer-space-to-your-bedroom/

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