Considering an adjustable bed? See how leading brands compare and learn how to choose the right base for your needs with our detailed 2015 guide.
Buying Guide for Adjustable Beds
When shopping for adjustable beds, it can be helpful to know the basics about features and specifications so you know what to compare and what to look for. In this guide, we’ll begin by introducing the “foundations” of adjustable bases and then get into brand comparisons. Many new adjustable beds come with loads of features, so there is a lot of information to keep track of.
Adjustable Beds 101
If you’re shopping for an adjustable base, you probably know that the main function of these bed frames is that they allow you to adjust the head and foot to different angles. More luxurious models come with an array of various features.
Unlike regular flat bed frames, adjustable beds can achieve a wide variety of angles and positions. Some retailers boast of an “infinite” number of combinations. This adjustability is beneficial for relieving back pain, aiding circulation, reducing swelling, improving breathing, aiding mobility and other concerns. The health aspects of adjustable beds have been known for years, which is why they’ve historically been used for the elderly and infirm. Now these beds are becoming common in the home for people of all ages.
Adjustable bases simply make relaxing in bed, watching TV, or reading more ergonomic and comfortable. Some models come with features like massage, snore buttons and other features designed to improve comfort and convenience to your best mattress, too. Not surprisingly, adjustable beds tend to make a bedroom get a lot more attention.
Adjustable bed = Adjustable base. Both of these terms refer to the same item, the foundation piece that actually adjusts the mattress. They can be found paired with different mattresses, but are often sold without a mattress as well. If you buy a mattress separately, make sure it is compatible with the frame you are getting.
Sizing. Adjustable bases largely follow standard US mattress sizing but many brands come in “XL” sizes for Twin and Fulls, which are 80 inches long rather than 75 inches to better accommodate adults. Split bases are also available in queen and king sizes, which allow couples to adjust their sides independently.
Weight capacities. Look for the weight capacity rating (usually somewhere between 250 and 600 lbs). This refers to the total amount of weight the base can support, including both the mattress and all sleepers.
AC versus DC. These are types of electrical currents used to power the adjustable bed motors. DC current is generally quieter than AC, but AC current is generally more powerful. The majority of bases on the market use DC current. AC current from a wall outlet is converted to DC by power converter in the bed’s motor.
Wall-hugger/wall saver. Bases that say wall hugger or wall-saver are designed to keep the head of the bed near the wall, which keeps your nightstand in reach. This is also important if you want to use a wood bed frame or footboard as these types of beds are more accommodating.
Wireless versus wired. Wired controls are mostly found on entry-level models. They have the benefit of never going missing or needing batteries, but the cords can be bothersome. Wireless controls offer greater convenience and don’t disrupt decor, but usually do need batteries.
Legs versus casters. Some bases come with casters (aka wheeled legs) which may be helpful for cleaning under and moving the base if you do not plan on using a wood bed frame. Regular legs can provide more stability and may be more aesthetically pleasing. Some brands offer legs and casters in multiple heights to accommodate your needs.
Mattress choices. If you aren’t buying an adjustable bed and mattress set together, you’ll need to choose a compatible mattress for your base. If you are buying a split base, know that you will need two mattresses (two 30”x80” halves for queens, 38”x80” for kings, and 36”x84” for cal kings. You will not need a box spring or a foundation, as the adjustable base supports the mattress.
Most memory foam and latex beds are inherently compatible with adjustable, and some innerspring may be as well. Check with the manufacturer to make sure it won’t void the mattress warranty, especially if it doesn’t specify adjustable bed compatible.
Bells & Whistles
Higher-end adjustable beds can also come with a wide range of additional features designed to enhance comfort or convenience. These aren’t your grandparents’ bed frames! Here’s an overview of the bells and whistles you might see, so you can determine which might be useful for you.
- Massage. Some bases have vibrational massage features, which can help alleviate tension and relax muscles. Rolling massage means the vibes roll from head to toe, while customizable options let you select the zone and intensity.
- Programmable buttons. Remotes with programmable buttons or memory let you save your favorite position(s) so you can get comfortable quickly, typically with one press of a button.
- Zero Gravity. This is a preset position on some remotes that places you in a specifically designed posture that mimics weightlessness with your head at a slightly elevated angle and your knees higher, above your heart. The Zero Gravity position eases the stress on various points of the body, helping to relieve lower back tension and boost breathing and circulation.
- Mattress retainer. This is a bar or lip at the foot of the bed designed to keep your mattress in place. Some brands also use retainers at the head or attach the mattresses in other ways.
- Smartphone apps. If you’re a tech junkie, you may like the ability to use your phone and tablet to move your bed. Some beds have this built-in, others use an add-on for smartphone functionality.
- Snore stoppers. If you have a partner that snores, some remotes include functions that allow you to slightly change their position without waking them.
- Sleep and wake functions. Some bases incorporate timing functions that put you in a sleep position at a set bedtime and gently wake with gentle vibration in the morning at a time of your choosing.
- Safety features. Battery backup is a helpful feature have in the event power goes out, as it will allow you to make the bed flat. Free-fall designs also help prevent injuries to limbs and pets that get between the base and frame.
- Built-in sound. A few bases also include speakers for a built-in sound experience.
Adjustable bed warranties can get pretty complicated, as they are mechanical and electrical items. Always read the detailed warranty terms before buying so you can make sure your investment is sound.
A decent bed should have at least a couple years of full coverage for the motor and moving parts, and include the cost of repair if an issue pops up. This coverage can last anywhere from zero to five years. Many brands also include a few years of “parts-only” coverage, which will provide parts at no cost, but does not cover labor charges. Pro-rated periods usually cover a portion of parts (and possibly labor) based on how long you’ve owned the bed (with the amount you pay increasing over time).
Comparison of Adjustable Bed Reviews & Specs
Below, we’ve compared popular adjustable beds from leading brands to give you a head start on shopping. In the chart, you’ll see the most important specification details and distinguishing features for each base.
We also collected warranty details (expressed with years of full coverage in parentheses), pricing details and consumer reviews. Pricing and review data comes from retailer and brand websites, consumer review websites, and third party review sites.
Note that some manufacturers do not allow reviews and do not publish pricing, and in these cases we put an “ND” to indicate we were unable to locate information or it was not disclosed.
|Brand/Model||Features||Warranty||Price (Queen / King)|
|Amerisleep Adjustable Bed||Head and foot articulation |
Flat & Zero G presets
3-in-1 adjustable legs
|10 years||$1400 / $2200|
|Amerisleep Adjustable Bed+||Head and foot articulation |
Built-in USB ports
Anti-snore and flat presets
Removable, adjustable legs
1 full / 3 parts
|$1900 / $3600|
|Zoma Adjustable Base||Head and foot articulation |
|10 years||$1400 / $2200|
Top-Rated Adjustable Bases of 2020
Based on our comparisons of features, reviews, and warranties, and other criteria, here are the three adjustable bases that we believe currently offer the best overall value.
We are fans of the Amerisleep brand because they offer sleep solutions for people of all needs and preferences. Zoma is another top-rated bed in a box brand, and we recommend their adjustable bed frame because it’s compatible with virtually any bed frame and is a great value.
First, let’s talk about the Amerisleep brand.
Amerisleep Adjustable Bed Frames
At first, Amerisleep offered only their Adjustable Bed+ plus, but they’ve recently released an entry-level Amerisleep Adjustable Bed. Both of these bases offer basic adjustability features and decent warranties. The Adjustable Bed+ costs a little more, but also comes with a few extra features and a longer warranty.
The Amerisleep Adjustable Bed offers sleepers the ability to adjust the angle of their head and feet, but it also comes with under-bed lighting, programmable positions, and Zero-G and Flat presets. This base also comes with a wireless, backlit remote to adjust with ease. This base starts at $1100 and can be combined with any Amerisleep mattress for 30% off your entire purchase.
The Amerisleep Adjustable Bed+ offers similar bells and whistles, as well as extra features like dual wave massagers, pillow-tilt articulation, app controls compatible with iPhone and Android, and snore presets. It also includes convenient features such as WallHugger® technology and a MicroHook™ Retention System. These technologies keep you and your mattress in place no matter how much you change the angle of your head and feet, you’ll never have to worry about a shifting mattress or adjusting too far away from your nightstand.
Both the Amerisleep Adjustable Bed and Bed+ have removable, adjustable legs that can be tweaked with to fit your base within any bed frame. Each base can also work as a stand-alone frame, so you don’t have to have a bed set at home to buy one of these. Plus, both frames have a zero-clearance design, so they can be set on top of platform beds, too!
As we mentioned with the Adjustable Bed, Amerisleep also offers bed packages. You can bundle either of their bases with an Amerisleep mattress of your choice for even better discounts and savings. However, we should note, the Amerisleep Adjustable Bed and Bed+ are compatible with any all-foam or hybrid mattress, so they can be purchased to complement your existing bed.
Zoma Adjustable Bed Frame
We are fans of the Zoma Adjustable Base for it’s hard-to-find zero-clearance design. It even has removable adjustable legs so you can modify the height of the frame.
Zoma’s Adjustable Base starts at $1100 and contains plenty of features to boost your quality of sleep. First, it offers head and foot articulation, like all adjustable beds, allowing you to find your favorite angle for sleep. The wireless remote that comes with this base also gives you the option to save certain sleeping positions for later, so once you find your favorite angle for sleeping, you can store it with the remote.
We also like this base for its zero-gravity preset. Sleeping in the zero-gravity offers plenty of health benefits, it improves circulation, eases pressure, and opens the airways, to name a few. All adjustable bases allow you to adjust to this position for sleep, but Zoma’s base comes with a preset to get you to that angle quickly and easily.
Zoma’s adjustable bed frame also contains convenient under-bed lighting, too. They sell their adjustable bed frame on their website and offer free shipping with every purchase. Every Zoma Adjustable Bed also comes with a 10-year warranty.
Finding the Best Adjustable Bed
If you’re trying to find the best adjustable bed, the key things to keep in mind are how you plan to use the bed, which features you feel would be most useful, the type of mattress you prefer, and, of course, your budget. Don’t stretch too far from your budgetary limits, but remember this is an investment in your health and comfort.
As with any major purchase, it is wise to compare the quality and specifications of bases to others on the market and see which offers you the best value for what you’re seeking. Make sure the guarantees, features, and pricing are in line with similar options.
Shopping online can eliminate the pressure to buy. Salespeople often come to rely on pressure-driven sales in showrooms or in-person presentations. It can be tough to escape once you’re engaged in enthusiastic negotiations. Online shopping eliminates the pressure and allows you to shop at your leisure in your own home.
Getting a new addition to your bedroom can be exciting, especially a luxury item like an adjustable bed. If you take your time and use your head, you will find the one you’re looking for at a price you can be happy with.
If you have any other questions about adjustable beds, feel free to drop us a line below!