There was once a time when the adjustable bed was the standard only in hospitals, but that time is no more. Since the 1970s, we are catching up to its therapeutic benefits, and more units of this hinged apparatus appear American homes each year.
An adjustable bed is a hinged bed base that lets you (mechanically or automatically) lift your bed’s head and foot sections.
Most adjustable bases give you the ability to adjust the angle of your bed sections to anywhere from 40 to 75 degrees, allowing you to find the perfect shape for optimum comfort for rest, sleep, or lounging.
The many potential benefits that come from using an adjustable bed range from the profound to the mundane.
An adjustable bed’s far-reaching effects include the potential easing of symptoms of several conditions, including general pain, respiratory problems, digestive issues, and sleep disorders. Adjustable beds can also help improve the comfort levels of otherwise sick people, the elderly, and everyone else who could use some intensified relaxation.
On the superficial side of this, you get sleep gear that doubles as a giant recliner perfect for movie night, reading, or just lounging with these beds.
However, if you are reading this article, the chances are that you are aware of at least some of the benefits you get by using an adjustable base with your bed. The question on your mind is whether making this choice for increased comfort puts your high-priced, ultra-premium mattress at risk of damage.
Will an Adjustable Base Ruin Your Mattress?
Like with most questions regarding mattresses, there is no straightforward response to this question. The only answer that works is “it depends.” It depends on the type of adjustable base you are using, the type of mattress you have, and both items’ compatibility.
If your existing mattress is compatible with an adjustable base, the base will not damage your bed.
A good rule of thumb to avoid this problem is to opt for adjustable bed sets that include mattresses vetted to work with the base. However, if you consider buying an adjustable base for your existing mattress, your best bet is to figure out if your bed is compatible with one.
Using incompatible mattresses with adjustable bases can place excessive pressure on portions of the sleeping surface, causing heavy wear and tear and an overall shorter lifespan.
Note: Using incompatible mattresses with adjustable bases is also terrible for comfort as ill-fitting mattresses can often flex unduly on such bases creating pressure points that can cause significant discomfort to the sleeper.
3 Factors That Affect Mattress Compatibility
With mattresses and their foundations, compatibility can vary widely across brands. Hence, where possible, you should always check with the manufacturer to ascertain compatibility between your bed and the adjustable base.
Where viewing detailed product compatibility information or contacting the product makers are not options, you can follow this general rule to figure out if your mattress is fit for any adjustable bed base.
The right mattress for most adjustable bases must meet three criteria: the perfect flexibility, thickness, and weight.
With adjustable bases, the more flexible your mattress, the better. Unlike most traditional bed platforms, an adjustable base contains multiple moving parts.
Hence, using your mattress with this type of frame means the sleeping surface with often contort—a potential problem for more rigid mattress options. Firmer mattresses will have a more challenging time bearing the brunt of this constant distortion and may suffer an increased wear and tear rate.
In contrast, a softer, more flexible mattress will conform with ease to the base’s movement.
Consequently, a softer mattress will match the base’s contours more closely, offer a tighter fit, suffer less under the strain of the movement of the base, and provide superior comfort levels to the sleeper.
The loft of a mattress can also affect how well it works with an adjustable base.
Here, slimmer is better. However, you should avoid going so thin that you sacrifice comfort levels.
Most adjustable bases can work with mattresses that are up to 12 inches in thickness. We recommend that you aim for mattresses in the 10-12-inch range. Any larger, and it may not fit snugly on the base, and you risk ruining the mattress from the consequential damage.
The weight of the mattress is another essential requirement that you must consider. Heavier mattresses can place considerable strain on adjustable bases, potentially facilitating faster wear of both the base and the mattress.