Will an Adjustable Bed Wear Down Your Mattress?

Adjustable beds are a great option for people who experience back pain, acid reflux, or even sleep apnea.

However, a common question is which beds are best for adjustable frames, and if you can expect a shorter life expectancy on your mattress with frequent motion.

The answer will depend on which bed you use, how often you’re elevating it.

Read on for our answers on what you can expect from your mattress on an adjustable frame.

Benefits of Using an Adjustable Bed

Previously, you could only find adjustable beds in hospitals or when people had mobility issues. Now, anyone can use an adjustable bed to achieve an optimal sleeping position. With an adjustable bed base, you can experience a variety of benefits:

  • Enjoy easier entry and exit from the bed, especially if you have mobility issues

  • Rest comfortably to speed up injury recovery or minimize chronic arthritic pain

  • Prevent sinus problems, sleep apnea, or snoring by sleeping in a position that ensures unhindered breathing

  • Improve digestion and reduce the risk of acid reflux or heartburn

  • Reduce leg swelling by placing your leg in an elevated position while you sleep.
Illustration of a Man Looking Worried at His Adjustable Bed

Will an Adjustable Base Ruin Your Mattress?

To answer this question, we must first answer the underlying one: Can you use a regular mattress on an adjustable bed?

Regular foam mattresses can work on an adjustable bed base, but the constant bending and flexing of the mattress may wear them out sooner than expected.

A standard spring mattress may not be the best fit for an adjustable frame because the springs within the bed may limit how far it can bend. However, a mattress with pocket springs is usually fine to use with an adjustable frame, as the springs compress individually and shouldn’t compromise the structure of your bed.

If you already own an adjustable base and want to buy a mattress, make sure the beds you’re looking at are adjustable base compatible. These are made with frequent use in mind, and in most cases, using an adjustable base won’t void your warranty should the bed wear out.

Problems an Adjustable Bed May Have

While adjustable beds are great, they are not perfect. Some common problems include:

  • Mechanical and Electrical Failures: If one element fails, the bed may malfunction and you may not be able to adjust the bed during a power outage.

  • Large and Heavy: You might not be able to move it around easily.

If you buy a high-quality adjustable bed and service it according to the manufacturer's instructions, you can avoid most adjustable bed problems.

Illustration of a Person Setting Smart Mattress Up

Factors That Affect Mattress Compatibility

To determine which mattresses might be compatible with your adjustable bed frame, you'll need to examine several qualities of the mattress in addition to its size, including its weight, thickness, and ability to bend. To find out if a particular mattress is compatible with your adjustable bed's base, look out for these features:

    1. Flexibility: Since an adjustable base has multiple moving parts and bends the bed at various angles, you need a mattress that's flexible enough to bend with the adjustable base.

    2. Thickness: A thick mattress is harder to bend, so you need a mattress that's slim enough to move with an adjustable base. However, the mattress should also be thick enough to provide adequate comfort and spinal support.

    3. Weight: While potentially more comfortable, a heavy mattress will put a lot of strain on an adjustable base and could cause the motor to wear out more quickly.

Need help? Check out our best mattress for adjustabe beds guide here.

woman sleeping in adjustable bed

What Type of Mattress Works Best with Adjustable Beds?

Since the answer to whether you can use an adjustable base with any mattress is “no,” what types of mattresses can work with adjustable bases? Innerspring mattresses will rarely work unless they've been specially made for an adjustable bed and have individually wrapped coils. Your two best options are memory foam and latex mattresses.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam is the most flexible type of mattress you can find. Breathable enough to keep you cool while you sleep, the foam will conform to evenly distribute your weight across the bed and provide optimal spinal support.

Since the foam is pliable, it can conform to the movements of an adjustable base without wearing out or compromising on comfort. It won't lose its shape or firmness regardless of how much the adjustable base contorts it.

Find Out More: Best Rated Memory Foam Mattresses

Illustration of a Comparison of Memory Foam and Latex Mattresses

Latex Mattresses

The typical latex mattress is firmer than memory foam, but it's still malleable enough to conform to the various settings of an adjustable bed. However, note that slimmer latex mattresses are more malleable than thicker ones.

Latex mattress' flexibility comes from the elasticity of its natural rubber material. The product is also eco-friendly and light, and you can get it in various sizes to match your preferred adjustable bed frame.

See Our Guide: Best Latex Mattresses

How Long Do Adjustable Beds Usually Last?

The durability of an adjustable bed will depend on the model and make of the particular bed and how you use it. If you buy a high-quality adjustable base and regularly service it, it should last for at least ten years.

The best-quality adjustable bed frames get their durability from sturdy structural components made from steel and plastic. Due to the frame's durability, the most vulnerable part of the adjustable bed is the motor that powers it. Fortunately, if the motor breaks down, a qualified repair service can replace it.

couple relaxing in adjustable bed with two sides

Conclusion

The most important considerations when choosing a mattress for an adjustable base is that the bed is adjustable base compatible and covered under warranty. We recommend a memory foam, pocket spring, or latex bed for most adjustable bases to avoid unequal compression, or discomfort with bunching or folding of the mattress.

Content Writer

Jill Zwarensteyn is a content writer for Sleep Advisor and is enthusiastic about providing helpful and engaging information on all things sleep and wellness.

Based in Los Angeles, she is an experienced writer and journalist who enjoys spending her free time at the beach, hiking, reading, or exploring new places around town.

She’s also an avid traveler who has a personal goal of being able to successfully sleep on an airplane someday.

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