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How to Find Adjustable Beds for Seniors That Suit Your Needs

Beverley Byer has been writing professionally for a number of years. Her work has been published in magazines and newspapers.

What type of adjustable bed is right for you?

What type of adjustable bed is right for you?

If you’re in the market for an adjustable bed, knowing what to shop for can be tough. You have to consider your needs (and perhaps a partner’s), the type of adjustable base you should get, the type of mattress to complement it, cost, where to shop, and other factors. This article helps you answer those questions and more. It will also help you make the best (and safest) purchase possible.

What to Consider Before Shopping for an Adjustable Bed

  1. Learn about adjustable beds. The movable parts are in the base, not in the mattress. Since you will be purchasing them as separate items, they have to complement each other. Note: your current mattress will most likely be incompatible.
  2. What problem are you trying to solve? Are you buying the bed for improved health, ease of symptoms, more restful sleep, longer sleep, reduce tension, stress, snoring? Some medical personnel and bed manufacturers believe that adjustable beds can help relieve a host of health problems: pain management of the neck, shoulders, back, and muscles, arthritis, edema (swelling of the legs due to poor circulation), hernia, acid reflux, heartburn/ GERD, stress, tension, insomnia, sleep apnea.
  3. What kind of sleeper are you? If more time is spent sleeping sideways or on your stomach, an adjustable bed is not really conducive because of the way it folds: usually at the head and the foot of the mattress. Another question to consider: How many pillows do you use?
  4. Who else is in your bed? Are you sharing your bed with a spouse/partner? What are their health issues, sleep patterns, comfort level? How will you compromise?
  5. What are your soft vs. firm preferences? Do you prefer a firmer or softer mattress? Which was recommended, regardless of preference? What kind of mattress would accommodate you (and your partner): The standard Innerspring/coil? Keep in mind, they do not bend well with adjustable bases. However, some manufacturers have redesigned coil patterns, especially for the edges of the mattress, and added more padding to try to alleviate this problem.

Types of Mattresses

The main types of mattresses fall into three categories: memory foam, latex, and air.

Memory Foam

Memory foam is made from Visco-elastic polyurethane, and it responds to the heat and pressure of your body. If it’s denser foam, the mattress will soften and mold to the shape of your body in accordance with your body’s heat. Less dense foam will rely on your body’s weight to do the same thing, and once you move, the mattress returns to its original shape. There could be side effects such as chemical odor from manufacturing materials, feeling overheated in the summertime, and infant-safety issues because of odor and design.

Latex Foam

Latex is made from the combination of latex and air. Latex could be 100% natural, 100% synthetic, or blended version. Benefits include microbial resistance, so it’s good for folks with allergies, firmness, resiliency, and it contours to the body to limit tosses and turns.

Air Mattress

Air mattresses have foam compartments filled with air and a foam (usually memory) top cover. The main benefit is that firmness can be adjusted separately to suit the individual. As the body sinks into it and contours, the applied pressure causes the air to balloon out to the sides.

More Mattress Questions to Consider

  • Thickness: For utmost flexibility, a thickness of no more than 12 inches is usually recommended. Fabric quality: review for desired softness and smoothness.
  • Size of bed: What bed size would fit into your bedroom without taking up all/ most of your space: twin, queen, and king, single, dual or split (two halves within the base)?
  • Budget: How much are you willing or can afford to spend? The price of a quality adjustable bed usually ranges from $1,700 to $3,500. Cheaper ones are said to be of poor quality. You can also purchase beds for as much as $7,000. Adjustable bed companies include Craftmatic, Sleep Number, Tempur-pedic, and Orthomatic.
  • Research numbers 2 through 8 on the Internet. Seek recommendations from medical professionals, family, and friends. Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for manufacturers’ ratings, which will include ethical practices and product quality. The best rating is A.

Before You Purchase

If possible, it is best to shop in-store in order to consider the following:

  • Adjustable base and mattress specs: Check the base for heaviness, manufacturing materials, location of motors, noisiness (AC motors are noisier than DC motors), periodic maintenance of motors-if any, safety features in case of power failures. Regarding the mattress, check the type and quantity of padding. If it’s an Innerspring, ask about the coil design, and make sure it can respond to folding. Check the distribution of heat throughout the mattress. Determine the durability of both mattress and base. And don’t forget the remote control. Is it wireless? What features does it have; e.g., the ability to adjust both sides of the bed if it’s a split model, control temperature, heat distribution, firmness, number of posture positions, does it have a timer, is it automatic, is it programmable?
  • Your bedroom décor: Do any of their adjustable beds match the color scheme, window dressing, and other furniture in your bedroom?
  • Ease of use: Can the entire bed be moved easily for cleaning? Can you change linens without a hassle?
  • Comfort You (and your partner) should now test mattresses/beds to determine comfort and likeability for as long as you like.
  • Warranty: Find out what the warranty is for the base including parts (motors, gears, etc.) and electrical system as well as the warranty for the mattress. Do they offer in-home repairs and are they free? Make sure the answers are clear and will be in writing.
  • Assembly: Is assembly included in the purchase? If not, does it come with instruction written clearly, precisely, and in a language you understand? Would you need your own tools or special tools for assembly?
  • Delivery and removal: Will the store deliver the bed free of charge? Will they also remove your old bed free of charge?
  • Return policy: What is it? Make sure you have the return policy in writing.

All of your questions should be answered to your satisfaction before you consent to this important and expensive purchase. Continue to ask about anything that is not clear. And remember to read the fine print.

It May Be Tax Deductible

If you are purchasing an adjustable bed for medical reasons, it may be tax deductible.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Beverley Byer (author) from United States of America on November 21, 2016:

Thank you for your comment!

Zerogbeds on November 21, 2016:

As we grow old, the cartilage and ligaments that hold together our spine becomes weak. This leads to back aches and chronic pain in Spine. An adjustable bed can give you relief from back pains while you sleep & can be moved to any position easily.