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Adjustable Beds -- Understand Your Options Before Investing
Adjustable Beds -- As Pricey As They Can Be, It Pays To Research Before Buying
Adjustable bed bases vary greatly, with more and more manufacturers designing sleeker, less clunkier versions than the old "Craftmatic" variety with which we are all familiar. Also, our aging baby boomer population has discovered the benefits of having an adjustable bed, which can be inclined to help with everything from back and neck problems to managing acid reflux issues.
Younger adjustable bed shoppers like the flexibility of being to turn their bed into more of a piece of media furniture, since technology and television have permanently entered the bedroom, and beds often become lounging areas for work as well as game use.
Our advice -- go to a few stores, and try several different kinds of mattresses on adjustable beds, to explore how much incline you really need, or find comfortable. Most people end up only needing a slight tilt factor, not completely converting the bed into an upright "chair", as seen on many television infomercials. Since most mattresses respond well to only slight inclines, the kind of mattress you are looking for should be considered.
Also, make sure the warranty is solid, and that you are able to return the adjustable bed if you do not like it. Nowadays, competition is fierce for adjustable bed bases, so look for a good deal, too. Most people looking for an adjustable bed cannot necessarily buy the adjustable base with the mattress, so often you need to buy the mattress first, then consider your options with the adjustable base afterwards.
If you are looking for good quality, consider Leggett and Platt, or other well established companies that have been in the adjustable bed business for a long time.
What kinds of bedding materials work best with an adjustable base?
Memory foam, because it has a full range of flexibility and is ideal for use on adjustable base, is very popular. If memory foam is your preference, try a Tempur-Pedic or a good knock-off product, which will save you thousands of dollars.
Here's a link Tempur-Pedic's page about their adjustable bed, though it is very expensive. Other companies, such as Healthy Foundations, offer very similar memory foam mattresses, but at less expensive price points. Don't buy anything thicker than about 10" in memory foam for an adjustable base, as crimping and bunching can occur where the mattress bends.
If you are comfortable with a conventional coil or coil-foam combination mattress, try them as well, but on an adjustable base if possible. Most conventional coil mattresses are not designed for use on an adjustable bed, and it is important to use a mattress that is capable of being folded with minimal resistance and does not lose the original qualities for which you purchased it, when in an articulated (folded or upright) position.
If you own or are considering purchasing an Air Bed, remember that most models are not designed to be used on an adjustable base, since they may not fold or bend in a way that properly distributes air through the bladder system, thus resulting in deflation or over inflated areas. Select Comfort does make an articulating air bed with special hinges built into the perimeter of the bed that will allow for some bending and incline. The bed also has specially designed air chamber which are zoned so that they have hinge points built into them.
Almost any adjustable base available in the U.S. market today will offer a two point articulation system, meaning that it folds in two places, dividing the mattress into 3 sections, the head section, the middle section, and the foot section. Each sleep surface, or mattress, will react differently when folded and bent on an adjustable base.
If you are serious about an adjustable bed, then you should realize that few side sleepers will have a use for an adjustable bed in any other position than flat, so understand your sleeping habits and how they are affected by the use of a bed whose purpose is used mostly to elevate your head or legs.
Most conventional coil mattresses are not designed for use on an adjustable bed, and it is important to use a mattress, especially if you already have one or if you are intending to buy your adjustable base separate from your mattress, that is capable of being folded with minimal resistance and does not lose the original qualities for which you purchased it, when in an articulated (folded or upright) position.
An air bed mattress, for example, that is not designed to be used on an adjustable base, may not fold or bend in a way that properly distributes air through the bladder system, thus resulting in deflation or over inflated areas. A foam bed that is constructed of high density foam that is rigid, may completely resist bending or folding at all.
Our best advice: buy the adjustable base separately, shop it thoroughly on line, then buy the mattress, just making sure it will work with your base. If you want a good overview of the different adjustable bed options, see this article on Understanding Adjustable Beds.