The Best Adjustable Beds For Seniors: An In-Depth Guide

By: Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

This guide will provide you with everything you need to know about adjustable beds for seniors, review the best adjustable beds for the elderly, and look at the different factors that may make one adjustable bed better or worse for older adults.

Income Disclosure: I recommend products based on my personal experience working with seniors. I may earn a commission on items purchased from links in this guide. Learn More.

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.

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:

Price

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”.

Mattress

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 more ideal.

A mattress that easily traps body heat could be an issue or a benefit to some, depending on how you like to sleep. Some users find that memory foam mattresses are uncomfortably warm, while others prefer the warmth it gives. If you’re a hot sleeper, you may be better served by a natural latex option.

Underbed Lighting

This is a feature I do recommend for seniors and the elderly because it make getting in and out of the bed safer in a dark room. I am a big proponent of the use of night lights with elderly folks and many of these beds have that option built in.

Weight

The mechanical parts in charge of controlling the bed can be quite heavy, which might be an important factor to consider if you intend to pick up the bed yourself rather than have it delivered. It can also be an issue if your bedroom is upstairs and the delivery service can only bring it to the front door.

Height

Look at the height of the bed off the ground and don’t forget to add in the mattress height too. It may not be a big factor today. But if the time ever comes when you have mobility problems or trouble getting out of bed, getting the right bed height of older adult is important. For most seniors, this will be a height of 20 to 24 inches. An adjustable height bed is the best option because it can be changed as your needs change.

Size

Adjustable beds are available in standard sizes with one exception – many manufacturers will substitute the extra-large twin mattress base for a standard twin. The full-size beds can also be more difficult to acquire than king, queen, and California King mattress bases.

Warranty

Although many 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.

My Top Recommended Adjustable Beds for Seniors

Considering the factors above, here are some of the adjustable beds that I recommend for older adults.

Nolah Adjustable Bed Base

nolah-adkjustabe-bed-base
  • Built-in night light improves safety at night
  • Affordable with great financing options
  • Excellent build quality
  • Quiet motors
  • No trial provision or a return policy
  • Frame is not height-adjustable
  • Features basic functionalities and is missing extras like massage and USB ports

Nolah prides itself on being all about sleep and technology. The tech driven company offers its adjustable beds in three sizes: Twin XL, Queen, and Split 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.

The Nolah Base doesn’t feature position presets, massage functionality, or USB ports. However, it makes up for this with an exceptional build quality, low pricing, and durability. So, if you’re looking for a well-made adjustable base with no unnecessary frills, Nolah is a great choice.


Saatva Lineal Adjustable Base

saatva adjustble base (1)
  • Adjustable bed frame height from 8″ to 13″
  • Comes with a 25-year warranty
  • Great feature set, including 3-massage modes and speeds, built-in night light
  • White glove delivery and setup come included in the price
  • Quiet operation
  • No home trials or returns either

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, full body massage options, wall hugging design, and under-bed lighting.

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.

Unfortunately, even at this price point, the Saatva Lineal doesn’t come with a mattress. You instead have to pay full price for the mattress, which makes the entire bundle quite pricey.


Amerisleep Adjustable Bed+

amerisleep adjustable bed frame
  • Incredible height adjustability from 3″ to 15″
  • Underbed lighting included
  • 4 customizable memory positions including one-touch flat and anti-snore positions
  • Advanced massage features including rolling wave, pulse, or full body massage with timer
  • Really quiet motors
  • Lacks lumbar support & elevation lift

This doesn’t look too different from other conventional consumer beds you might come across in the average bedroom. It’s designed to look modern while going against the norm of adjustable beds that are loud and come with a retainer bar.

It comes with a futuristic MicroHook retention system that creates a slight friction between the base and its width. This gives a modern refreshment to your room. If you prefer it, the Amerisleep Bed+ comes with an optional retainer bar. It also comes with a wireless, backlit remote that lets you adjust the bed’s position in a single click.


Layla Adjustable Base

layla adjustable base
  • Height adjustable from 4″ to 10.5″
  • Underbed lighting available on the plus model
  • Anti-snore setting
  • Dual-zone massage features with 3 different intensities
  • 30-day trial period
  • Some size options such as split California king aren’t available

This Adjustable base from Layla is packed with fun and cozy features. The bed is remote-controlled with flexibility to meet your needs. It also offers a zero-gravity option along with built-in foot and head massage features to help lull you into sleep in no time.

You can also upgrade to Layla adjustable base plus, with extras like under-bed lighting, wall-hugging technology, as well as compatibility with your favorite home assistant (Google or Alexa).


Zinus Jared Adjustable Bed Frame

zinus jared adjustable bed
  • Quick and easy tool-less assembly
  • Good value for money
  • Underbed storage
  • Not height adjustable and no underbed lighting
  • 100-night trial plus 5-years warranty
  • Only compatible with latex, memory foam, or adjustable bed mattresses

Zinus’ heavy duty steel frame is so quiet that even the lightest of sleepers won’t stir because of it. You can control the frame via a remote that clips onto the base. While the remote is not wireless (unfortunately), it’s perfect for the forgetful people as they will never have to worry about losing it again.

The feet and the head of the base independently decline and incline without affecting each other. The remote doesn’t come pre-programmed, and you can easily find what works best for you without being limited to the available or pre-set modes. The frame works with medium or low-profile memory foam mattresses.

The Zinus Jared is a great choice for older adult who value simplicity over features and who may have to assemble the unit themselves


Nectar Adjustable Bed Frame

nectar adjustable bed frame
  • Sturdy construction (metal) that can support up to 1,000 lbs.
  • 50 night return policy
  • Comes with a wireless remote control that’s easy to use
  • Versatile adjustability including TV and zero gravity
  • Heavy and tedious to setup, assemble, and move around
  • Not height adjustable and no underbed lighting

The Nectar Adjustable bed frame offers a wide range of positions, including zero-gravity, and couples have the option of choosing split style beds. The base comes with a sophisticated massage function that can be programmed to alleviate pressure in 3 different zones of the body.

Programmable memory settings let you adjust the bed to the positions you want with the click of a button. Every purchase comes bundled with a wireless remote, and the bed comes with a USB port on each side for charging devices at night.


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.

Quality variations

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

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.

Latex Foam

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.

Air Mattress

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.

Bedding expenses

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.

Repairs

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?

Warranties

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.

Bottomline

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!

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