Adjustable Beds for Seniors

The average individual spends one-third of their lives sleeping, and ample rest is essential in assisting many of body’s natural healing and restoring processes. This makes getting enough sleep especially important as we age, which means one should be as comfortable as possible in their bed.

For this reason, adjustable beds have been gaining popularity with people of all ages but particularly amid the seniors population. Here are some additional benefits of these modern beds and important aspects that should be considered such as choosing the right frame, mattress, accessories and the average costs.

The Benefits of Adjustable Beds

Adjustable beds are essentially the same as what you see in hospitals and clinical settings. Depending on the model chosen, they can allow certain areas such as the head, feet, knees and even the center of the mattress and frame to be raised and lowered to permit users to situate themselves in bed comfortably.

These are ideal for individuals who enjoy sitting up in bed to read, watch TV or eat and especially helpful for bedridden seniors. However, at night, they can be adjusted to help one sleep better while reaping a number of potential secondary benefits including:

  • Alleviating back and body pains including those related to fibromyalgia and restless leg syndrome.
  • Improving digestion while reducing acid reflux and heartburn.
  • Alleviating snoring, asthma and sleep apnea.
  • Enhancing circulation and easing swelling throughout the body.
  • Relieving symptoms of arthritis and other degenerative conditions.
  • Easing the transition into and out of bed for those with mobility concerns.

In all, seniors can enjoy greater independence and feel better after a night’s rest by choosing the right adjustable bed for their needs and lifestyle.

Adjustable Beds:  Sizing Considerations

One of the most essential considerations when choosing an adjustable bed is to pick the right size for your comfort needs. Adjustable bedding systems are essentially sized the same as traditional beds.

  • Twin:  38” x 75” — Twin beds are often ideal for seniors who sleep singularly.
  • Twin XL:  38” x 80” — The XL twin is recommended for taller individuals.
  • Full:  53” x 75” — Full size is recommended for those who prefer more width than a twin or are considering adding safety rails.
  • Queen:  60” x 80″ — A comfortable size for sharing with a partner.
  • King or Split-King:  76” x 80” — Ideal for those needing more space. Split/Dual-Kings are perfect for couples with different medical concerns and sleep comfort levels concerning mattresses, as they are two separate twins that adjust individually.
  • California King:  72” x 84″ — These are designed for taller individuals or those seeking more legroom.

With a size in mind, there are a several additional details to consider prior to beginning shopping.

Things to Know Before Shopping for Adjustable Beds

First, it’s important to note that adjustable beds may not be right for everyone, especially those who are stomach or side sleepers, as elevating the feet and upper body are not conducive to these positions. Here are other essential details to explore about adjustable beds before going shopping.

Explore Adjustable Bases and Mattress Options

Get more familiar with adjustable beds and the various options and amenities that each model and brand offers. Understand that these beds at minimum have a base or frame and a specialized mattress that must be compatible and complimentary to the frame. A traditional mattress most likely won’t work with an adjustable base.

Determine Desired Mattress Support Levels

Comfort is essential, but it’s also important to choose a mattress firm or soft enough to meet your sleep and pain relief goals. While some companies have designed innerspring / coil mattresses that will work with certain adjustable bed bases, most buyers invest in materials such as foam, latex or air-styled mattresses. To ensure the mattress adjusts properly, most of them are 12-inches or less in depth.

Calculate a Budget

Adjustable frames and mattresses vary tremendously in price range, with lower end models typically beginning around $500 for a base and mattress combination in twin sizes. Pricing for queen and king size adjustable beds typically begin around $1000 and top out at around $7000 for the highest quality and brand names. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of a headboard and footboard if desired and the cost of specialty sheets designed to stay attached to adjustable beds. The overall cost will depend on the quality level of the mattress, features of the adjustable bed frame and type of mattress chosen.

Desired Features for Adjustable Beds

How much do you want your bed to do for you? There are an array of specialized features present in many of the highest quality—and higher priced— adjustable frame models such as:

  • Remote Controls
  • Heat or Vibrating Settings
  • Smart Settings
  • Zero-Gravity Technology
  • USB Charging Ports
  • Wireless Capabilities

Common Types of Adjustable Mattresses

Because of their comfort and ability to contour to the body, memory foam, latex foam and air mattresses are widely popular in traditional bedding. Thanks to their flexibility, they are the most common types utilized upon adjustable frames today.

Memory Foam

Crafted from viscoelastic polyurethane, memory foam mattresses respond to pressure and body heat, allowing it to mold to one’s body shape when in use and return to ‘normal’ when the pressure is removed. While incredible comfortable, foam mattresses tend to retain heat which can make them uncomfortable in summertime or warmer weather climates.

Latex Foam

A combination of air and latex, it’s important to pay attention to the kind of latex utilized in case of potential sensitivities. Some latex is blended while others are 100% synthetic or natural. However, for most seniors latex is a durable and reliable choice for it’s firmness, yet contouring abilities in addition to being microbial resistant.

Air Mattress Options

This option features foam compartments that are filled with air and a type of foam topper, which is typically a memory foam in higher end options such as Sleep Number. Air mattresses allow users to adjust the firmness with the touch of a button, and with dual options each side can be changed individually.

Top Rated Adjustable Bed Companies

Amerisleep receives accolades from magazine editors and verified users alike. While they only offer one style of adjustable base in various size, their mattress selection includes an impressive array of features like dual body massage capabilities, pillow-tilt articulation and a one-touch capacitive remote. Sleep Comfort from Leggett and Platt seems to perform well under the scrutiny of reviews. However, they don’t publish their prices publicly making it challenging to decide upon good deals.

Tempurpedic’s Tempur-Ergo series of adjustable frames and beds are popular due to their 25 year warranty and extensive smart technology features and reliability. However, they do come at a fairly high price compared to other brands with similar options, with exception of even higher priced companies like Craftmatic and Golden Rest. Another highly reviewed adjustable bed company is Sleep Number. With a remarkable FlexFit™ Adjustable Base available in five sizes and a warranty of 25 years, many buyers find these beds worth the higher cost.

Average Costs of Top Adjustable Beds for Seniors

In addition to the cost of the mattress and adjustable bed frame, there will be considerations to be made for headboards and footboards and sheets for the bed. Let’s begin with pricing concerning a few of the most popular name brands of adjustable beds, bases and their sizing options.

BEDDING BRAND SIZE OPTIONS WIRELESS CAPABILITY WARRANTY LENGTH MATTRESS AVG. $$ FRAME AVG. $$
AmeriSleep Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, Split King YES 20 YEARS $1800-$3600 $2000-$4500
Classic Brands Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King YES 3 YEARS $350-$1100 $300-$1500
Costco Twin XL, Queen, Split King YES 5 YEARS $700-$1200 $850-$1500
TempurPedic Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, Split Queen, King, Split King, Cal King Split YES 25 YEARS $1900-$3700 $800-$3000
Golden Rest Twin, Twin XL, Full, Full XL, Queen, Split King NO 1 YEAR $3400-$5800 $3000-$7000
Sleep Number FlexFit™ Adjustable Twin XL, Full, Queen, Split King, Cal King Split YES 25 YEARS $600-$3000 $1000-$3500

Headboard and Footboard Expenses

All adjustable beds require some type of frame in order for each end to properly operate independently of one another. The good news is, that just about any type of headboard and footboard can be attached to these frames, so there is not any necessary added expense required if you have a compatible set currently.

Safety Bed Rails

Bed rails provide an additional barrier of safety between a senior and the edge of the bed to help prevent falling out of bed in addition to serving as support handles when getting on and off the mattress. Because of the motion of adjustable frames, most bed rails are about 1/4 or 1/3 the length of the bed itself with an average cost of $100-$350 per rail depending on mobility features.

Adjustable Bedding Sheets

It’s important to have well fitting sheets with elastic all around the perimeter and back straps that keep the sheet attached when elevated. While there are separate straps that can be clipped onto standard sheets, investing in specialized sheets is worthwhile. Quality is also important, and this of course will effect the overall price of sheet sets. On average, sheet sets for adjustable run about $100-$400 with higher-end sets often being designed for split king beds.

Does Medicare Pay for Adjustable Beds for Seniors?

Essentially, Medicare is not a viable payment option for those interesting in buying an adjustable bed. However, Medicare Part B considers them to be durable medical equipment, so they may cover the cost of a capped rental of a semi-electric twin size hospital bed if deemed necessary by a physician. Medicare will not consider fully electric or adjustable beds as necessary medical costs. However, certain types of private insurance might assist some seniors with the purchase, and adjustable beds may also be tax deductible when medically necessary.

Additional Considerations Before Finalizing a Purchase

Hopefully, buyers will be given the chance to shop in person for their adjustable bed, but many companies simply bring out photos and partial samples during home consultations and some are solely online businesses. Regardless of the purchase method, here are some last minute questions to ask before agreeing to buy an adjustable bed.

  • How long is the warranty for the base (motors, gears, etc), electric systems and the adjustable mattress?
  • How are repairs handled? In-home, via retailers, or mail-in? Are there any hidden costs during the warranty period?
  • Is delivery of the new bed included as well as removal of the old one? Is disassembly and assembly included?
  • What is the return policy and is there a trial period in which there is no penalty or restocking fee for returns?
  • Armed with this knowledge, seniors and their loved ones should have a solid start on choosing the ideal adjustable bed to get a better night’s sleep and boost overall health.