18 PROS and CONS of Adjustable Beds

Split-king adjustable bed

Everything under the sun has a bright side AND a dark side. Adjustable beds are no exception to this rule. While there’s plenty of awesome qualities about them, there are also a couple of noteworthy drawbacks that you need to be aware of before buying one. Let’s discuss all of them below.

After you finish here, don’t forget to check out our 12 BEST Adjustable Beds – Reviews, PROS, CONS

Before you go to our 10 PROS and 8 CONS of Adjustable Beds, we want you to watch this video that underlines the 6 Most Critical features of adjustable beds. Once you finish this video, the Pros and Cons section will make much better sense.

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Adjustable Beds – PROS (Adjustable Bed Benefits)

Before jumping on to the 10 Pros, here’s an adjustable bed review we received from an adjustable bed user on a particular brand of adjustable bed.

“… this xxx adjustable base has completely transformed how we use our bed. Before this bed came into our lives, I have never slept with my head elevated; but now that I have, I can breathe considerably better and my girlfriend says she has not seen me snoring since. We use it as a bed, as a couch and even as a lounger. It has helped my girlfriend with her heartburn and she too sleeps much better now. This xxx bed frame has given life and interaction to an ancient concept and we’ll never go back to a conventional bed..” Anthony Hubert, WI

Since the above described benefits can be obtained from any brand of adjustable bed, we have blocked out the brand name.

OK, here are the 10 benefits of adjustable beds as promised

1. Relief from pain

Users of adjustable beds consistently report relief from pain resulting from back problems, arthritis, neck problems, frozen shoulder, and cramping. People with spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, and degenerative spondylolisthesis have found adjustable beds particularly beneficial. In addition, adjustable beds are also known to relieve people from insomnia, breathing/sinus/allergy problems , snoring, swollen legs, asthma, heartburn/acid reflux, heart/circulation problems, and restless leg syndrome (RLS). The beauty of adjustable beds is that you don’t need an expensive or advanced model to reap most of these health benefits. A high-quality, basic adjustable bed like this model priced under $500 is all you need to get started.

2. More comfortable than conventional beds

Inclines of no more than 30 – 45 degrees (semi-Fowler’s position) are most popular. Best rated models nowadays have programmable memory positions as well. That way you can reach that favorite sweet spot with the touch of a single-button instead of having to long-press up and down buttons.

3. Convenience factor

Lets you sit-up in bed at any incline/angle you want (infinite number of ergonomic rest positions). This makes watching TV, playing video games, reading a newspaper/book, typing on a laptop, having breakfast in bed, nursing/breast feeding, and even jumping in and out of bed a whole lot more convenient compared to a conventional bed

4. High ‘intimacy factor’

We’ll not go into details here and let your imagination run riotFeet up adjustable bed position

5. Independence

Move without disturbing your sleep partner. Especially with split-queen and split-king types of adjustable beds, one partner can raise/lower his/her bed independently of the other. Your favorite position may be 20 degrees elevated and his/her may be 12 degrees; no problem! You can have your own elevation without annoying your partner

6. Built-in massage

Many adjustable beds come with a built-in massage feature nowadays. Higher-end ones come with advanced features like different modes of massaging, timers etc.

7. Low maintenance

No pumping air; no changing water, no greasing… just assemble and hop on…

8. Up to 25 years of limited warranty (full warranty generally <5 years)

The steel frame, upholstered parts, motor, mechanical components etc. etc. have different warranty periods

9. USB chargers for phones, tablets

Don’t make your purchasing decision based on the number of USB chargers, however, if you can get one without having to spend extra, it’s certainly worth it because you’re likely to use them on a daily basis

10. Lumbar Support

Some models of adjustable beds like this one has something known as Lumbar support. As the name suggests, these beds have a separate bar jotting out to support your lumbar area; can be very helpful to those of you with lower back pain

“This is the best investment I did within the last decade. My wife has lower back problems and I’m told that I snore; I’m pretty sure I don’t 😉 . We ordered two twin XL’s for a split king; her back pains are gone just like my snoring. All this, with the same old spring-hybrid mattress we bought 6 years ago.” Bob W

Adjustable Beds – CONS (Drawbacks)

Below we discuss 8 drawbacks of electric adjustable beds.

1. Your current mattresses may not work

This type of adjustable mattress works best with adjustable beds while certain other types don’t

2. More expensive than conventional beds

3. Time consuming

There isn’t a pre-set miracle position that is the perfect sweet spot for every person on planet earth. You’ll need to play with it a few days (or nights) to find those custom angles that soothe you (and your partner) the best. With these adjustable beds, the angles matter more than the size! In contrast, conventional beds are ‘plug and play’

4. Mechanical failures

Whenever there are motors/electronics involved, there’s always the possibility of them failing. TVs, radios, cars, KitchenAid mixers, air conditioners, you name it… all of above can have mechanical failures at some point. Adjustable beds are no exception. However, the popular consensus is that, if they fail, they fail within a short period of you starting to use it. Because most adjustable bed manufacturers provide at least 1 year of comprehensive warranty, those defective units that are bound to fail, will likely fail within the warranty period. So, even though adjustable beds are not fail-proof like conventional beds, you have little to worry about because of the warranties offered by their manufacturers.

5. A touch of danger

If you poke your hand between the bed foundation and the frame while it’s being lowered, potentially, your hand can get injured. This won’t happen with a conventional platform bed. However, many modern adjustable beds have built-in safety features
to prevent your hands getting caught.

6. Heavy weight

Especially the high-end adjustable beds can be pretty heavy (over 100 pounds). This can be a problem during setup. Imagine your bedroom is upstairs and your delivery man leaves the bed on the curbside. You may need help to carry it upstairs and to twist and turn it until you get everything set up the way you want.

7. Aggravate back pain

If you buy the wrong adjustable bed, it can even aggravate your back pain! If you have seen the video above, you know how important wall hugging can be (video: 4:32 to 5:40 minutes). When the head is elevated on the typical ‘non-wall hugging’ adjustable bed, your whole body moves forward away from the headboard and away from the nightstand. So if you have to reach for something on the nightstand, you have to twist back awkwardly which can potentially give you back aches. This is why it’s important to be aware of what wall hugging is and to buy a bed with wall hugging if you use your nightstand often.

8. Making the bed

Most adjustable beds have mattress retainer bars; some have just one at the foot while others have as many as four on the four corners. These do a great job by preventing the mattress from slipping and holding it in place. Unfortunately, these mattress retainer bars can get in the way when you’re tucking the bed sheets under the mattress. This can bug you a tad bit; but I don’t know anyone that didn’t buy an adjustable bed because of these mattress retainer bars 🙂 Newer adjustable beds come with self-sticking microhooks or nano-beads that are supposed to ‘stick’ to the underside of the mattress, a bit like Velcro. But not all of them do a good job at holding the mattress in place. Their ‘stickyness’ also depends on the material on the mattress cover!

27 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Sheila,

    Thank you for stopping by Bedroom Solutions. May I know how ‘thick’ your memory foam mattress is? If it’s like 8″ or less, this can happen. I don’t want to recommend placing ‘something’ under the mattress without seeing the exact mechanics. As long as you’re sure it doesn’t get caught up between the moving parts of the adjustable bed, you may do so. Whatever that is, it will have to be flexible as well, because it will have to flex with the bed, correct?

    Instead I would have no reservation on placing a mattress topper on the current memory foam mattress. A 3″ topper should do the trick. But if I didn’t already have one at home, I would first try the option you propose before spending more money on a topper.

    Hope that helps and do keep us updated.
    Have a great weekend!
    Belinda

  2. I have a queen adjustable bed. I can’t sleep toward the middle because I feel the support bar. Can I put something under my memory foam mattress so I don’t feel this

  3. Hi James, thanks for the link to Tall Paul’s Tall Mall 🙂 I guess you got your idea of the ‘mattress support’ by looking at their ‘extend-a-bed’. At 5’6″, my brain never raised this question!! Thanks for opening my eyes and I too will be on the look out and will let you know should I stumble upon something.
    All the best!
    Belinda

  4. Thanks for your suggestions. I may have been a bit fuzzy in my needs.

    My bed does have an ‘elevation lift’ feature which I do use, but the problem persists, although even moreso when in ‘lounge’ position.

    As for https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KXXTDLR/ , unless I’m missing something, that page has only the filler strips and straps to unify dual-mattresses on king and california-king size beds.

    Your recommendation of the california-size bed is a very good one, one which would work if I had the space; at the moment my quarters will accommodate only a queen-size bed. And I still wonder what taller people do, the basketball players if you will. I would think the industry would have a solution for them, something longer than the california king.

    (A while back I raised my query on – tallpaulstallmall.com – and – peoplelivingtall.com – .)

    I’m keep looking and will report back.

    Thanks, and Cheers, James Bullock

  5. Hi James,
    Thanks for taking your time to comment on Bedroom Solutions. First let me congratulate you for coming up with a brilliant DIY fix to address your ‘problem’. Would you mind sharing pictures of what you have done? You can email them to us as I don’t think you can attach them here?

    James, may I know what size your bed is? Did you know that the California King is 84″ tall/long? That is 7′, a whole foot taller than you. I have the feeling that a California King would solve your problem. Does the ‘proportions’ problem only come up when you’re on the ‘raised’ position? When the head section is raised, naturally, the body ‘slips’ down a bit due to gravity creating an unused 6-12″ above your head. But if you get an adjustable bed with ‘Elevation Lift’ which are the most recommended adjustable beds for acid reflux, you can tilt the whole bed up instead of having to flex it at the hips. With your current adjustable bed, I presume you have to sleep on your back all night long if you raise the head section, correct? Sleeping on your side, with the upper body raised almost cuts you in half, that’s not a comfortable posture, is it? With elevation lift, you can sleep in a raised position on back, side or stomach sleeping as well. Check out the multiple diagrams on the above resource to understand what elevation lift can do for you.

    In conclusion, I feel like a California King size adjustable bed with ‘Elevation Lift’ can be your savior!

  6. Con: Bed is not long enough.

    I do like my adjustable bed, but… Reflux, so I must sleep with upper body raised, so, sputter, but…

    The proportions of my body – neck-head, trunk, hip-to-knee, and knee-down – are not quite those of my bed. Consequently, my feet are off the mattress. It’s not that I’m so tall (6′). It would be wonderful if there were some way to adjust the bed or compensate for proportions, some way to lengthen the bed.

    With 4″x6″ L-brackets attached to a piece of 1/2″ plywood 6″ longer than the knee-down segment of my bed serving as a mattress-support, with the retainer-bar attached to the plywood…. “hanging” the Ls in the lowermost “knee-joint” space between the segments space in the bed, I’ve allowed my mattress to slip lower, to the end of the 6″ extension. This extra 6″ keeps my feet on the mattress, and I don’t at all miss the 6″ of mattress which would have been above my head – there’s enough mattress still there to support my head and neck. Not ideal, subject to daily rethinking, but a real improvement.

    Which brings me to… I’m surprised there is nothing available to address this – “my” – problem. What do tall people do? There must be a huge market out there for extra-length adjustable beds, if only for basketball players.

  7. @Jean,

    There is something called the bed bridge/mattress bridge which does the job for you. Here’s a link to a sample product: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KXXTDLR/. We haven’t tested these, please do due diligence before purchasing; we would love to hear what you find out.

    4-5 inches seems like an awfully big space; I have a feeling that you haven’t assembled it correctly? If you want, we’d be happy to check out some photos if you could email them to us.
    Cheers!
    Belinda

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