what is an adjustable base

What is an Adjustable Bed?

Let’s be honest, getting a good night’s sleep isn’t as easy as it might have been when we were younger. As we age, aches, pains, stress, and discomfort can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. But what if your bed could be adjusted to meet your needs?

With an adjustable bed, you can customize your sleep position to find relief. Raise your head to help relieve acid reflux or congestion. Elevate your legs to improve circulation or reduce swelling. Adjust your whole bed to find the perfect position for reading, watching TV, or relaxing. Let’s pull back the covers on an adjustable bed.

What is an Adjustable Bed?

Unlike a traditional flat, bed platform or box spring, an adjustable bed allows you to raise and lower the head and/or foot sections. These versatile bed bases provide a unique sleeping experience by accommodating a variety of sleep preferences and positions for optimal comfort. Many of today’s models include massage capabilities, adjustable heights, health monitoring, lumbar support, and modern conveniences like wireless remotes, preset positions, and even phone apps for next-level customization. With advanced adjustable bed bases, like the Dawn House bed, and luxurious mattresses, you can experience sleeping in a bed that is tailored specifically to you.

Key Benefits of an Adjustable Bed [1]

Owning an adjustable base bed can improve your sleep quality and overall sense of well-being. Here are some of the beneficial features of an adjustable bed:

Elevation Control. A primary function of any adjustable bed is the ability to adjust the elevation of your head and feet to impact your comfort while sleeping. By raising your head and upper body, you can alleviate snoring and symptoms of acid reflux, while elevating your feet can enhance circulation. Raising the lower half of the bed can offer relief to individuals dealing with chronic back pain, arthritis, and joint discomfort. Also, adjustable beds cater to those who enjoy watching TV or reading in bed by helping them into a comfortable upright position. Adjustable beds let you tailor your comfort.

Bed Safety. For older adults and those with mobility issues, adjustable base beds make getting in and out of bed a safe and easier process, reducing the likelihood of accidents or injuries. Look for an adjustable bed that incorporate safety features, including support rails, underbed lighting, and bed height adjustment. By lowering the bed height, you may find it easier to get out of bed with your feet firmly planted on the ground for fall prevention. With an adjustable bed, you’ll sleep more soundly, knowing you’re secure.

Partner Compatibility. Split adjustable beds allow each side to be adjusted independently, accommodating different preferences and needs of couples who share a bed. Whether one person prefers an elevated head while the other opts for a flat position, or if activities like reading or watching TV in bed require personalized angles, there is no more fighting over the remote or waking each other up. Avoid a sleep divorce when each person can customize their half of the bed, minimizing nighttime disturbances, ensuring a restorative slumber for both, and allowing partners to continue to share a bed. Sleep in tandem, not tension!

Easier Caregiving. Adjustable beds can make it easier for caregivers or home healthcare providers to assist someone in the bed. The high/low function of an adjustable bed allows for easy adjustment to the bed height, eliminating awkward bending and lifting during care. Caring for someone at the right height minimizes the risk of back strain and improves the quality of care by making tasks less physically taxing for the home healthcare provider.

Therapeutic Massage. Many modern adjustable beds come equipped with massage features to relax. The soothing massage can help alleviate chronic pain, improve circulation, reduce stress, and relax tense muscles. Gentle massage can be a valuable addition to your bedtime routine, accelerating the onset of sleep.

Improved Breathing. Elevating the upper body with an adjustable bed can open airways, making breathing easier and alleviating congestion. This can be particularly beneficial for people with asthma, sleep apnea, allergies, or recovering from a head cold. Improved breathing will contribute to a more restful, uninterrupted night’s sleep while supporting your overall health and vitality.

adjustable bed reduced swelling

Reduced Swelling. Elevating the legs can help to reduce edema and swelling, especially in the feet and ankles. Elevating the foot of the bed can benefit those with health issues that cause fluid retention, such as heart conditions, kidney issues, and circulatory problems. By promoting circulation and helping the movement of excess fluid from the lower extremities, adjustable beds can help reduce discomfort and the risk of complications associated with swelling.

Increased Independence. Because an adjustable bed can be operated with a wireless remote or smartphone app, adjustments can be made without the assistance of someone else. These beds are helpful for individuals aging in place to feel more secure and self-reliant in their daily routines.

Aesthetically Pleasing. Beyond the functional advantages, adjustable beds are designed with aesthetics in mind. They are crafted to fit into most bedrooms and complement your décor seamlessly. Unlike traditional hospital beds, which appear sterile and out of place in a home, adjustable beds feature stylish designs, various size options, and decorative headboards. You can think of adjustable base beds as a hospital bed alternative.

Get Relief from Common Sleep Issues [2]

For individuals experiencing sleep-related health problems, adjustable base beds can offer relief and promote a better night’s sleep. The health benefits of adjustable base beds have been shown to help these common sleep disruptors:

Acid Reflux. Adjustable beds, when inclined, can alleviate the discomfort associated with acid reflux by preventing stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus.

Snoring. Elevating the head can reduce snoring. Some adjustable beds offer a preset anti-snore feature that gently elevates the head and upper body automatically. This feature does not only benefit the snorer but also their partner sleeping by their side.

Sleep Apnea. While CPAP machines remain the go-to treatment for sleep apnea, sleeping with an elevated upper body can help reduce snoring and open the airway for better sleep.

Restless Leg Syndrome. Adjustable beds offer potential relief from the nightly disruptions associated with RLS by finding the most comfortable position that minimizes the intensity of sensations and urges to move.

Back Pain. The impact of an adjustable bed on back pain can vary depending on the mattress and your sleeping position. Experiment with inclined and angled positions to target pressure points and relieve back pain. The versatility of an adjustable base bed helps you find what works for your body and finally get some rest in comfort.

 affording adjustable bed

Affording Adjustable Comfort [3,4]

When it comes to buying an adjustable bed, financial responsibility often falls on the individual as a private expense. Unlike hospital beds, many adjustable beds are not covered by Medicare since they’re seen as a lifestyle upgrade rather than a medical necessity. Prescribed hospital beds, on the other hand, are categorized as durable medical equipment, serving a medical purpose for those recuperating from illnesses, surgeries, or managing health conditions. Therefore, individuals who seek the benefits of an adjustable bed need to budget for this expense themselves or find an approved DME provider with a product that has been approved.

But keep in mind, as you age or face health-related challenges, you may not be at a point where a hospital bed is necessary or appropriate for your care needs. Hospital beds are often associated with clinical settings and may not align with the comfort and aesthetics you want in your home. For many, opting for an adjustable bed over a clinical hospital bed makes more sense, as it offers ergonomic support and age-friendly features while fitting beautifully into your home. An adjustable bed could be a good investment to sleep more soundly and allow you to stay in your home longer.

Once you have bought your adjustable bed, experiment with various positions to discover what suits you best. While some beds come with preset positions, like Zero-G® or auto anti-snore, feel free to use these or make adjustments to address your specific needs, such as acid reflux or back pain. Remember that adapting to a new bed system takes time, so give each position a fair chance before moving on to the next. The beauty of an adjustable base bed is the endless options to be tailored to your unique requirements. Invest a bit of time and effort into this customization process, and you’ll be rewarded with a better night’s sleep.




  1. https://www.sleepadvisor.org/sleeping-with-legs-elevated/
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/inclined-bed
  3. https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/durable-medical-equipment-dme-coverage
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/medicare/adjustable-beds-covered-by-medicare#eligibility

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