There are a million and one adjustable beds to choose from. Most adjustable bed manufacturers claim that their bed is your best bet to relieve you from acid reflux, among other things. But are they all correct? Which one is really the best adjustable bed for acid reflux aka GERD? Read on to find out.
The best adjustable bed for acid reflux aka GERD
Before we get into manufacturers and models of best adjustable beds to combat GERD, let us look at some basics about this medical condition.
What is acid reflux?
Acid reflux is ‘reflux’ of stomach acids (hydrochloric acid) in to the upper esophagus and/or throat. The acids, which are meant to be restricted to the stomach, leaks into the esophagus and then travels up towards the throat. This causes a burning sensation which is often referred to as ‘heartburn’.
Is heartburn more common in the standing or sleeping posture?
Great question. In the standing position, the acids find it difficult to travel up against gravity. Therefore, acids very rarely go through the esophageal sphincter and into the esophagus in a standing or upright position.
In contrast, in the sleeping flat position, acids can easily go through the esophageal sphincter and into the upper esophagus. In the flat position, acids don’t have to go up against gravity; they can just passively flow into the esophagus and cause heartburn.
What is nighttime heartburn and how does it occur?
When acid reflux occurs at night, especially when one is asleep, it’s called nighttime heartburn.
How do you stop nighttime heartburn?
Medical experts recommend two corrective sleeping postures to prevent acid reflux aka nighttime heartburn aka Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). They are:
- For back-sleepers: sleep in an upward incline with your upper body elevated 6 to 8 inches above the lower body. This sleeping posture will prevent your stomach acid from refluxing against gravity towards the throat.
- For side-sleepers: DO NOT sleep on your right side; instead sleep on your left side. Sleeping on your left side with the upper body inclined is even better!
The principle behind the above recommendations is really simple as explained on the image above.
Can sleeping on an adjustable bed prevent GERD?
Yes, but not all types of adjustable beds can alleviate heartburn. In the current marketplace of residential adjustable beds, only a couple of models can help with this by facilitating inclination of both the upper body and lower body simultaneously. This is referred to as the reverse Trendelenburg position (RTP). Other adjustable beds can’t do this.
The following two adjustable beds are the best models to combat heartburn/GERD.
- Glideaway Elevation adjustable bed
- Glideaway Ascend adjustable bed (approx. $500 cheaper for the split-king model)
How does the Glideaway adjustable beds prevent GERD?
The Glideaway Elevation and Ascend beds prevent acid reflux by facilitating a comfortable inclined sleeping posture. Other adjustable beds can only tilt the upper half of the bed. In contrast, the Glideaway beds can tilt the entire body. The image below is self-explanatory.
- Back-sleepers: can sleep inclined all night long or they can even turn to their left or right sides occasionally, as they please.
- Side-sleepers: can sleep inclined on left or right recumbency all night long or they can even occasionally lie on their backs or stomachs, as they please.
Are other, ‘regular’ adjustable beds equally good at fighting acid reflux?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Adjustable beds incapable of elevating or adopting the reverse/anti-Trendelenburg position (RTP) are not as nearly as good as the Glideaway models in preventing acid reflux.
- Back-sleepers: you can sleep inclined for a couple of hours may be. But can you do it for 8 hours? Also, this position kind of folds your body in half just below the stomach. That can potentially further increase the pressure inside the stomach and propel acid into the esophagus.
- Side-sleepers: You don’t need to invest on an adjustable bed to sleep flat on your left side, do you? Sleeping on your left side in an incline is nearly impossible; if you do, it would be extremely uncomfortable. How would you flex at your hips when you’re lying on your left side?
The Glideaway Elevation adjustable bed is by far the best adjustable bed for GERD/ nightmare acid reflux. Whether you’re a side-sleeper, back-sleeper or a stomach-sleeper, The Glideaway Elevation and Ascend adjustable bases will let you sleep all night long, free from symptoms of heartburn.