A comfortable pillow and the right mattress are crucial for getting a restful, good night’s sleep. However, for various health reasons and sleep preferences, the bed you choose can also make a huge difference.
Adjustable beds are a great investment for different kinds of sleepers. But they are more beneficial to the seniors who struggle with various forms of chronic conditions or therapeutic injuries. Once reserved for luxury hotels and hospitals, adjustable beds are increasingly becoming popular for home use.
These modern beds are more future-proof and durable, and feature additional perks to the owners. The only problem is that there are so many options you can choose from, and finding the one that’s suitable for you can just be as daunting as finding the right mattress.
So, to help you navigate through your options, I created this guide to adjustable beds specific to the needs of older adults, seniors, and the elderly.
Best Adjustable Bed Frames for Seniors and the Elderly
Just want to see my top recommended adjustable beds for older adults? Here you are! Keep reading to learn which features and options I recommend for seniors and the elderly and more detailed descriptions of my favorite adjustable bed bases.
Important Adjustable Bed Features to Consider for Older Adults
It’s worth noting that most manufacturers won’t let you return an adjustable bed. so, you should do as much homework as possible before purchasing one. Here are the most important factors to consider:
The size of your bed is generally preferential and probably determined by the size of your bedroom. Most adjustable beds are available in all the same sizes as standard beds.
There is one exception though. Many of the king-sized adjustable beds come in a “split” option. This means that each side of the bed raises and lowers independent of the other side. This option is a great choice for older senior couples and co-sleepers because one person can be laying flat to sleep while the other can be in a raised position for reading or watching TV.
Older adults and seniors who choose a split bed option should also be aware that you will need two mattresses for the bed: one for each side. Usually, these mattress are the twin XL size.
Adjustable Height Options
While the height of your bed may not be a huge problem today, it could become a problem in the future. Some seniors and elderly people develop mobility problems later in life and the height of their bed affects how easily they get in and out of bed.
Most seniors will need a total bed height of 20 to 24 inches to safely enter and exit the bed. Don’t forget to include your mattress thickness in this calculation. So, if you are sleeping on a 12 inch mattress and a 12 inch high base, your total bed height would be 24 inches. You can learn more about the best bed height for seniors and the elderly here.
So, for this reason, I recommend older adults purchase an adjustable bed that has height adjustable legs. That way, you can adjust the height of the bed in the future should you ever need to accommodate changes to your mobility in the future.
Why is this feature on my list? If you have read my other guides, you’ll know I am a huge proponent of the use of night lights for elderly folks. Stumbling around in the dark is risking a fall and it’s no secret that falls have a significant impact on an older adult’s health.
So, I do recommend underbed lighting for adjustable beds for seniors and the elderly because it makes getting in and out of the bed safer in a dark room. Many adjustable bed frames have this option and some of them are even motion-activated so they turn on automatically when needed.
Set Up and Weight
Most adjustable beds are quite heavy. And, when ordering them on-line, there will probably be some set up and assembly required.
First, make sure you understand what you delivery includes. Will the delivery company drop the boxes on your porch OR will they carry them to the bedroom for you. Some companies offer a complete delivery and set up service too. Just be sure the option you choose matches your needs.
Second, understand how much assembly is required and how to do it. It’s a great idea to watch videos of the set up and assembly process. Of course, if it’s more than you want to tackle, you could ask a family member, neighbor or friend to give you a hand. In some areas, there are even services that will come to your home and put together items like this for you.
My recommendation is know what you are getting into before clicking the button to buy and ship an adjustable bed. Make sure you have a delivery, set up, and assembly plan in place.
Trial Period and Returns
Some adjustable bed manufacturers offer trial periods just like when yo buy a mattress. If you have never used an adjustable bed and aren’t sure what you are getting into, this is a great option.
With a trial period, you can return the bed if you are unhappy with it during the trial period. Make sure you read the company’s policy very carefully. Some will pay for the shipping back and some won’t. Some will give you all your money back. But others charge a “restocking fee” so you will only get most of your money back.
Mattresses For Adjustable Beds
If you sleep with a partner, you will want to carefully consider whether both of you will be sleeping in the same position. If not, a split adjustable bed design will be the way to go, since it will let both of you choose your own degrees of elevation.
It’s also important to choose a mattress that works with an adjustable base. Foam mattresses, such as memory foam, latex, or a combination of the two are usually the best mattresses for seniors with an adjustable bed frame. These mattresses are more flexible than coiled mattresses and bend easier when the bed moves.
Because mattresses are unique to the needs of the individual, most moving bed frames do not come with a mattress. So, it’s a good idea to have a mattress in mind or order it with your new bed frame so that you can make sure it is compatible.
Although some manufacturers won’t let you return an adjustable bed, the length of warranties available is quite reassuring. You can get up to three years of coverage on the mechanical parts and the rest of the base covered for 10 to 20 years. Some companies even offer a limited lifetime warranty.
Adjustable beds are more expensive than a standard bed frame of course. You can expect to pay anywhere from $700 to well over $2,000 for a frame alone. You can control this cost though by deciding which features are needed or you are willing to pay more to get.
The kind of features on an adjustable bed will considerably influence the cost of an adjustable bed. For example, some models come with LED lighting to guide you during night time trips to the bathroom. Others will come with charging ports for different devices, while others feature sophisticated alarm and massage capabilities. Decide if you will really use these extra features or if you are only interested because they sound “cool”.
My Top Recommended Adjustable Beds for Seniors
Considering the factors above, here are some of the adjustable beds that I recommend for older adults.
GhostBed Adjustable Base
- Sizes: Twin XL, Queen, Split King
- Height Adjustment: Order With 6″ or 12″ Legs
- Underbed Lighting: Ambient
- Set Up: Tool-Free Assembly in 20 Minutes
- Trial or Return Period: None
- Warranty: Limited Lifetime
- Free Shipping & Multiple Financing Options Available
GhostBed created their adjustable base for people who who wanted a feature-rich adjustable frame without having to pay a top of the market price for it. Many of these features have specific benefits for older adults as well.
Getting Comfortable With The GhostBed Adjustable Base
First, it has multiple pre-set positions which make getting to a comfortable position as quick as pressing a button. You can also fine tune the position of the bed to relieve an ache or pain because of the unlimited head and foot positions.
Your favorite position may end up being the zero gravity position which can take pressure off the body. Of course, the dual head and foot massage with 15 settings will help massage those achy joints and bones too.
GhostBed Set Up and Assembly
Shipping and assembly of this bed is easy too. The product is boxed so that it fits in regular parcel size shipments like those delivered by Fed Ex or UPS. The drawback is that these companies will only deliver to your door. Some people will need help getting it inside their home from there.
Once you have the bed in the area where it will be used, you open the boxes and lay the base upside down on the floor. Then, just unfold it and screw in the legs. Finally, flip it over right side up and you are ready to place your mattress.
Here’s a quick video showing you how this is done:
Getting the Proper Bed Height with GhostBed
While this bed doesn’t have adjustable legs, it can be ordered with the standard 12 inch legs or with 6 inch legs if you need a bed closer to the floor. With the standard 12 inch legs, the bed frame height stands at 15 inches, so you would need a 9 inch or thinner mattress to stay under my 24 inches bed height recommendation.
But, if you use the 6 inch leg option, the frame height would be 9 inches so you could use a thicker, more luxurious mattress. This will keep you within the recommended bed height range while allowing you to choose a more comfortable mattress too.
Other Senior-Friendly Features
This bed has the underbed lighting that I recommend. There is a simple light button you touch on the remote to activate it. And, it works on just your side of the bed on the split bed option. So, you won’t have to disturb your partner. USB ports are also part of the package.
Other senior-friendly features include an easy to see remote that uses black, bold print on white buttons. The buttons are backlit too making them much easier to see at night. The remotes are pretty intuitive to use with illustrations rather than words on many of them. There is a flashlight built into the remote as well.
Finally, the bed is built with a sturdy steel frame and medical grade motors for a long usable life. It even includes a limited lifetime warranty. The motors are super quiet. You could say they are as “quiet as a ghost!”
Nolah Ultimate Adjustable Bed Base with Wall Glide
- Sizes: Twin XL, Queen, Split King, Split Cal King
- Height Adjustment: None
- Underbed Lighting: Ambient
- Set Up: Tool-Free Assembly in 15 Minutes
- Trial Period: None
- Warranty: 10-Year Warranty
- Free Shipping & Financing Options Available
Nolah prides itself on being all about sleep and technology. The tech driven company offers its premium adjustable beds in four sizes: Twin XL, Queen, and Split King/Cal King. The Split King option is ideal for couples who like to adjust each of their sides independently. So, if you like reading while your partner is asleep, get the Split King.
Nolah’s Wall Glide System
One of their techy features that can benefit seniors and the elderly is their Wall Glider feature. When you raise the head end of most adjustable beds, your upper body is actually moved forward. So, you are often moved out of arm’s reach to your nightstand where your lamp or phone may be. You will have to lower the bed to reach those items.
But, with Nolah’s wall glide system, the bed shifts itself backwards as you raise your head. This keeps your body in the same position relative to the nightstand as it was. So, you can prop your head up and still be able to keep those items in easy reach.
Comfort With the Nolah Adjustable Base
Nolah built in several other features to help older adults relieve pressure, reduce aches and pains, and generally get more comfortable with their adjustable bed frame.
The remote is pre-programmed with the 3 most popular positions including Zero-G for pressure relief on achy joints and bones. Other positions include an anti-snore position which is self-explanatory and a flat position for safer getting in and out of the bed.
Plus, if you find other positions that you really like or that greatly improve your comfort, you can program up to 3 custom positions in the remote. Then you can go to that position at the touch of a button. No more trying to find it again with manual adjustments.
Also, relaxing head and foot massage functions will supplement your comfort and pain relief. The massage settings have three different intensity options so you can control the vibrations and get them to your preferred level.
Nolah Adjustable Frame Set Up and Assembly
Nolah’s adjustable bed frame is delivered in parcel sized boxes by UPS or Fed Ex who will generally deliver to your door only. You’ll need to have a plan to get the boxes to their assembly locations.
Once the box(es) are moved to where they will be used, assembly requires no tools and can even be done by one person (although two are recommended). The bed is pre-assembled and you’ll just need to screw on the legs and move the base where you want it. After that, connect the bed to the wall and test the remote.
Other Features Seniors Will Appreciate
This bed had multiple USB power and charging ports so that you can keep your mobile phone and other necessary electronics close by. You can also download an app to your phone that lets you use Alexa or Google Home to control your bed.
The underbed night lights that I recommend are standard on this bed too.
If you don’t need quite so many bells and whistles, Nolah offers a stripped down version of this bed that could save you a few hundred dollars.
Amerisleep Adjustable Bed+
- Sizes: Twin XL, Queen, Cal King, Split King
- Height Adjustment: 9″, 12″ or 15″ Options
- Underbed Lighting: Ambient
- Free In-Home Delivery & Set Up
- Trial and Return Period: None
- Warranty: 10-Year Warranty
- Financing Options Available
The Amerisleep is a great adjustable bed option for seniors who want a premium product and doesn’t want to have to set it up themselves. This bed has all my recommended options plus in-home delivery and set up is included!
Easy to Use Remote Control
I like that the remote control has less buttons than some of the other products I have recommended. Sometimes, the remotes of these products have so many buttons that they can intimidate a more elderly or tech-averse older adult. This one though only has 10 buttons that are clearly labeled with drawings of what the function is. This makes it easier to see, easier to use, and easier to understand what’s going to happen when the button is pressed.
Amerisleep Height Adjustability
The Amerisleep Adjustable Bed+ has several leg sizes (6 inch, 9 inch, or 12 inch) for you to choose from so that you can get the bed height you need. This gives you the option of a 9 inch, 12 inch, or 15 inch total height (plus the mattress thickness of course). This adjustment system doesn’t let you quickly change the bed height though. You would need to order a new set of legs should your bed needs change.
Other Beneficial Features for Older Adults
For comfort and pain relief, this bed offers a soothing rolling-wave massage with three intensity settings for a full body massage. There are also three preset settings to help you get into the perfect position quickly. Underbed “night lighting” and USB charging ports are also part of the package.
Finally, this bed is well built from steel components like steel legs, a steel retainer bar, and steel frame making it durable and long lasting. A 10 year warranty is in place should you have any problems with your bed during that time. The motors ae designed to be super quiet to keep you from disturbing others when moving your bed.
Layla Adjustable Base
- Sizes: Twin XL, Queen, King, Split King
- Height Adjustment: 5″ to 14″ in 3″ Increments
- Underbed Lighting: Plus Model Only
- Set Up: Simple Tool-Free Assembly
- Trial and Return Period: 30 Days
- Warranty: 10-Year Warranty
- Free Shipping & Financing Options Available
This adjustable bed base from Layla is packed with fun and cozy features and is a good choice for older adults. It is even one of the more affordable beds on this list too!
This bed frame is available in two different packages: the Layla Adjustable™ and the Layla Adjustable Plus™. The Plus model is an upgrade that does include several of my recommended options.
It is important to note that Layla normally offers an in home delivery option but that is temporarily unavailable due to the pandemic. But set up is similar to the other options. You unbox it, screw on the legs, and flip it over. That’s it!
Important Features of Both Layla Adjustable Bed Models
Both the base model and the Plus are fully adjustable beds with programmable memory positions and one touch Zero Gravity and Flat positions. These options ensure you will be able to find – and duplicate – your unique comfort and pain-free position. Other important features of both models that are important for older adults include an anti-slide deck, an easy to use remote, and USB charging ports.
Both models also offer adjustable height legs so that you can get the total bed height you need. The legs come in 3 inch sections that allow you to add or remove a section to change the bed height. This option gives you a total bed frame height (not including the mattress) of 5 to 14 inches off of the ground. This range gives you tremendous height options allowing you to choose as thick of a mattress as you’d like.
Upgraded Features of the Layla Adjustable Plus™
To get all my recommended features for seniors and the elderly, you would need to upgrade to the Plus. The Plus model adds the wall gliding /wall-hugging technology that keeps the head of the bed near the wall. This is helpful because it keeps the nightstand within reach so that you can have access to your lamp, phone, etc.
Multizone massage with variable intensity for soothing muscles and joints is another important option that comes with the Plus. If you (or your partner) snore, a built-in anti-snore position comes with the plus too. You’ll need to go with the Plus if you want the underbed lighting feature.
Finally, Alexa, Google Home, and a WiFi app come with the Plus too although those aren’t generally as important to older adults as the other features I’ve discussed.
Saatva Lineal Adjustable Base
- Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King, Split King or Cal King
- Height Adjustment: from 8″ to 13″ in 0.5″ increments
- Underbed Lighting: Ambient
- Free In-Room Set Up & Delivery
- Trial and Return Period: None
- Warranty: 25-Year Warranty
- Financing Options Available
If one of your main concerns is the delivery and set up of an adjustable bed, then check out the Saatva Lineal Adjustable Bed Base. This bed comes with many of the great features I recommend plus in-room delivery and set up is included in the price.
This is a fantastic base that comes with lots of great features, including zero-gravity positioning, head and foot incline, one-touch remote settings, TV lounge position, and full body massage options.
This bed also has the senior-friendly features that I recommend. Its wall hugging design keeps your side table in reach at all times. The underbed lighting works as a nightlight to reduce the chance of a fall at night.
The height of the bed is adjustable from 13 inches to 18 inches high in 1/2 inch increments using a push pin system. With this kind of adjustment, you can set it up to the specific bed height that is best for you. Although, to keep it under my 24 inch max bed height recommendation, the thickest mattress you should use is 11 or 12 inches.
The combination of these features makes it stand out from other similar products on the market today. The base is also priced well and the white glove service helps make the process of installation or assembly hassle-free.
Adjustable Beds for Seniors at Amazon
While all the companies above are highly reputable and have great online reputations, some people prefer to deal with companies they are familiar with when making large purchases like these. The following beds have all my recommended features and are available on Amazon:
iDealBed 4i Custom Adjustable Bed Base
This adjustable bed base comes in every size option and has all my recommended features: underbed lighting, adjustable height legs, multiple comfort positions with custom programmable memory, and variable massage options. Extras include USB charging ports and a backup battery.
Sven & Son Adjustable Bed Base Frame
This adjustable bed base frame from Sven & Son comes in most sizes (except Cal King) with a 5 minute assembly time. It too includes all of my recommended features for seniors: adjustable height legs, underbed lighting, head and foot articulation with zero gravity preset and interactive massage. Packages are available with recommended mattresses too.
Classic Brands Adjustable Comfort Upholstered Adjustable Bed Base
This affordable, entry-level adjustable bed base is surprisingly well-reviewed and also has most of my recommended options for older adults. It features programmable saved positions including zero gravity, massage features, and adjustable bed height (although it’s a bit limited). The main missing feature is the built-in underbed night-light.
How Adjustable Beds Can Help Seniors
Adjustable beds are very similar to the beds you see in clinical and hospital settings. Based on the model you choose, adjustable beds let you position certain areas like the feet, head, knees, or even the center of the mattress and the frame to raise and lower to allow the user to position themselves in the bed comfortably.
They are therefore ideal for anyone who enjoys sitting up on the bed to watch TV, read, or eat; this is often true for bedridden seniors. At night, however, the beds can be adjusted to help you sleep better while reaping a whole lot of benefits, including:
- Relieving body and back pains, such as those related to restless leg syndrome and fibromyalgia
- Relieving asthma, snoring, and sleep apnea
- Improving digestion and lowering the risk of heartburn and acid reflux
- Easing the transition process into and out of the bed for people with various kinds of mobility concerns
- Alleviating the symptoms of arthritis and many other degenerative conditions
- Improving circulation and easing inflammation throughout the body
All in all, seniors can enjoy a much greater independence and feel a lot more refreshed after a night’s rest by choosing the suitable adjustable bed for their lifestyle and needs.
Potential Drawbacks of Adjustable Beds for Older Adults
Incompatibility with existing mattresses
When you buy something like an electric adjustable bed, you will need to get a new mattress. This comes with the drawback of the fact that you will have to get rid of your existing mattress. Many companies usually remove your old mattress and bedding free of charge when you buy their adjustable beds, avoiding this potential annoyance.
Considerably more expensive
Owing to the wide range of benefits that electric beds provide its users, along with the fact that the technology used in adjustable beds is a lot more advanced compared to normal beds, the price for adjustable beds tends to be higher. Fortunately, there are a few tax reliefs available for certain buyers, especially those that need it the most.
Just as with any other technology, there are great variations in the quality of adjustable beds on the market, both in terms of the quality of the motor, and the quality of the mattress. This variation in quality should not detract you from buying one; it just makes the process of finding the right one much harder. Be sure to read reviews of adjustable beds from actual purchasers and users.
What Is the Best Adjustable Bed Mattress for Seniors?
Due to the level of comfort they provide, along with their ability to contour the body, latex foam, memory foam, and air mattresses are widely popular for traditional beds. And thanks to the level of flexibility the modern offerings provide, they are the most common types of mattresses used in adjustable frames today.
Memory foam mattresses are usually constructed from viscoelastic polyurethane, which allows them to respond to body heat and pressure, ideally molding onto the user’s body shape when in use and returning to their normal shape when not in use. They are incredibly comfortable, though they tend to retail body heat, which can be uncomfortable for some people especially during warm weather.
These mattresses are made from a combination of latex and air. When choosing latex mattresses, it’s important to pay attention to the kind of latex used in case of potential reactions or sensitivities. Some latex options are blended while others are 100% natural or synthetic. For most seniors, however, latex is a reliable and durable choice for its firmness and contouring abilities, not to mention it featuring anti-microbial properties.
These come with compartments that get filled up with air, as well as a form of foam topper – a special kind of memory foam typically used in higher end mattress options. Air mattresses essentially let you modify the firmness of the mattress with the touch of a button, with dual options on every side that can be adjusted individually.
I have a guide to the best mattresses for seniors and the elderly you should read if you want to learn more about mattresses specifically.
Advice for Couples Sharing an Adjustable Bed
When you buy a split-design adjustable bed, you will be minimizing, if not eliminating the problem of having a toss-and-turner who sleeps on the same bed. However, these beds come with their own pros and cons, but what makes them attractive is that they can be repositioned and calibrated to suit the kind of comfort you’re looking for, separately.
For instance, if you’re looking to sleep but your partner still wants to stay up reading, they can simply adjust their side of the bed to get the proper posture and be properly propped up. This shouldn’t affect you though, and you should be able to enjoy your own space while sharing the bed with you, such that it’s a win-win for both of you.
Guide to Buying an Adjustable Bed Online
In addition to the price, features, and mattress type, you should consider the following factors when purchasing an adjustable bed.
Bed Rails Safety
For extra safety and support, you can install bed rails on the bed’s frame. These can be bought from third party manufacturers and installed on the beds. Keep in mind that some adjustable beds can’t support bed rails.
Trials and Returns
Enquire from the seller if they have trial periods and for how long. Many retailers will give their customers a 30-day or 90-day trial period, during which you could return your bed and obtain a full refund.
Considering all the movement that’s involved in adjustable beds, you will probably want to buy some special sheets, either sheets that have deep pockets or straps, that are designed to cling onto the mattress. Many models will offer these sheets at a discount price when you buy a mattress. I recommend mattress protectors for adjustable beds to protect them from spills, dirt, and even incontinence if that’s a concern.
You will also want to inquire about the repair process of the adjustable bed, whether or not repairs are covered under warranty. Does the company send out a technician to fix a faulty bed or do you have to ship it back yourself?
Go through the fine print with regards to the warranty the bed comes with. This is especially true for the adjustable bed frame – there are often separate warranties for the parts, the motor, and the labor. Mattresses will generally come with warranties of a couple of decades.
Assembly and Delivery
Because of the sheer size and weight of adjustable beds, they can cost you a pretty penny to ship, especially if you buy one online. So, be sure to ask if they have free shipping offers. In addition, you want to find out if they offer free assembly services or removals for existing beds and mattresses. Look for “White Glove” delivery options that include delivery, set-up and removal of your old bed.
Adjustable Beds FAQs
Do Adjustable Beds Come Pre-Assembled?
For most models, your adjustable base will arrive pre-assembled. The assembly process entails attaching the retainer bars, the legs, and other small attachments as necessary. The required tools will be included if needed. The weight of the base will vary based on the size of the bed and the model. For people that are unable to lift heavy items, or just don’t have a helping hand, consider taking up a delivery service that includes set-up in your room of choice.
Should I Get a Special Mattress for an Adjustable Bed?
When you buy an adjustable bed, chances are you will need a new mattress. You want to make sure the mattress is able to withstand the folding and bending required for an adjustable bed. This is a drawback considering you will have to get rid of a mattress you already have. Fortunately, many companies will remove the old mattress and bed for free, which should help avoid the problems of having to dispose of an old bed.
Will the Adjustable Beds be Compatible with My Own Headboard or Footboard?
Sure. Most adjustable beds will accommodate a footboard and a headboard. In fact, many models feature brackets where you can install your footboard or headboard rather easily. Otherwise, you may opt to get a floating headboard, or simply place the adjustable bed inside your existing bed frame.
Does Medicare Cover the Cost of an Adjustable Bed?
No, Medicare will NOT cover the cost of an adjustable bed – the kind we are talking about here at least. They will pay for adjustable hospital styled beds that are used for home health care.
Home care adjustable beds are categorized as “durable medical equipment” which means that they can sometimes be covered under Medicare. However, there are some conditions that have to be met to warrant Medicare coverage for adjustable beds, including:
- Neurological disorders like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Epilepsy, and stroke
- Spinal injuries
- Lung and heart conditions
- Severe arthritis and other pain conditions
Although Medicare might only cover the cost of a hospital bed that is prescribed by a doctor, there are many forms of private insurance that could help cover some of the costs of more modern and luxurious adjustable beds for seniors.
We can’t go so far to say that there is a universal best adjustable bed for seniors. Everyone has their own wants and tastes, as well as different priorities and needs when sleep is concerned. However, if we had to recommend a good adjustable bed for someone looking for one, we’d say that you wouldn’t go wrong with any option on our list.
Don’t forget that the best bed is the one that will improve your sleep and your quality of life. There are many beds to choose from, and it’s important not to lose sight of the features you need (and those you don’t).
So, which adjustable bed are you considering for your home? We’d like to know in the comments below!