Suitability of an Adjustable Bed for Seniors
An Adjustable bed is an excellent solution for seniors who have trouble sleeping. The bed base will allow you to adjust the head, foot, or both ends of the bed separately to find a position that is most comfortable for your individual needs. The benefits go beyond comfort though, an adjustable bed can also help with other issues related to aging including pain, circulation, and getting in and out of bed. Now whilst we obviously can’t provide medical advice, having not met you etc, in an article like this, we can help to identify some of the key reasons so many seniors are purchasing adjustable beds every day and what are 6 things you should consider before your purchase.
If you’re considering buying an adjustable bed there are several factors you should consider first depending on your lifestyle needs and medical condition(s).
Essentially there are two main parts to most adjustable beds, there is the adjustable base or adjustable bed bases in the split, dual, or twin bed sizes, and the mattress. The adjustable bed base contains not only the bed frame itself but also the smarts of the bed. The motors, which the best adjustable beds will have Okin motors, also additional safety features can be found in the bed frame. Mattress support bars to eliminate mattress slip in any direction of the bed, which can be very dangerous, height-adjustable bed legs, (only the best adjustable beds come with multiple heights to set the bed too), bed legs that are inserted away from the edge of the bed so as to eliminate trips and falls, under bed illumination to ensure if you need to get out of bed in the middle of the night, you do so safely, and a bed base with a weight rating that exceeds 250kgs to ensure the highest quality bed always.
With the mattress portion of the adjustable bed, you will have to consider your comfort. No doubt you will be buying an adjustable bed to improve your sleep, so you will want to ensure the mattress forms part of your good adjustable bed and doesn’t detract from it. The best adjustable beds available will give you exactly what you require with regards to the features and functions of the electric bed frame whilst complementing that with all the comfort and support you require from your mattress.
But as you know, not all adjustable beds are created equal, so we have provided 6 things you should consider before purchasing an adjustable bed, to ensure of the many adjustable beds on the market, you purchase not only high quality, durable medical equipment but an adjustable bed which is the envy of all your friends!
What is my Budget for my adjustable bed purchase?
In the world of Adjustable beds, there are many different brands and styles to choose from. You will probably want an Adjustable Bed with a good warranty as well as one that fits your budget.
In order to figure out what you can afford on either weekly payments or if this is something you need to save up for, you should first set yourself a bit of a budget. After all, there is no point upgrading your bed if it also becomes the cause of your restless sleep due to added financial concerns!
Luckily the adjustable bed industry has come a long way here in Australia over the past 5-10 years, so there are plenty of bed options available for you to consider. If we were to consider a Queen Size Adjustable Bed for a moment, your research would show you could pay anywhere between $2,000 – $20,000 just for the adjustable bed frame/adjustable base (Bed base only excluding the mattress). Surprisingly the best adjustable beds aren’t necessarily the most expensive! Now the cheaper adjustable bed frames or adjustable bed base as they are also known will still allow you to select your sleep position, however, they may not offer the flexibility of independent head and foot movements, which, if you need the head elevation to work independently from the foot elevation in your adjustable bed, you may not want to consider these types of models. Typically the remote control on the cheaper adjustable bed base or electric adjustable bed frame will be hardwired, which can ensure it’s never lost, however, wired remotes on an adjustable bed offer far fewer functions than their more feature-packed wireless remote control counterparts.
Traditionally if you are wanting to increase your restful sleep and start relying on your alarm clock more, the type of bed that improves your sleep quality and quantity you will need to consider the many other bed’s functions that most adjustable beds either include or offer as add ons.
This list would include;
Split systems beds, which traditionally come in Split Queen, Split King and Split California King sizes. These options will come with an adjustable base (and remote) for you and one for whomever you share your bed, so the bed can be controlled individually. For example, you could have your head portion elevated to watch tv whilst your partner slept with the bed in a more contoured position.
Dual massage built into the bed – (head massage and foot massage for each side) so you could have yours on your foot end whilst watching tv, all the while your partner may not have theirs on at all after it automatically shut off after they fell asleep.
The ability to pre-set your favourite positions into your new remote, so you could return to your favourite sleep, watching tv, or relaxing position night after night.
Millimeter increments on high-quality motors so, for example, you can sit upright by adjusting the upper body to an elevated position, or adjust the foot portion of the bed to a position that ensures you relax comfortably by taking all the pressure off your lower back, hips, and knees, without worrying about noise coming from bed motors that may wake your partner.
When it comes to mattresses that will accompany most adjustable beds, again you will be spoilt for choice! A good quality Memory-Foam mattress is by far the Gold Standard option, however, you will find hybrid mattresses, box spring mattress ranges and other mattresses available on the market, depending on your budget.
When it comes to Memory Foam Mattresses you will want to ensure yours comes with the Cool-Gel infused, especially if you are a hot sleeper. Whilst your current mattress may already have box springs or you could already be sleeping in a hybrid mattress, you should consider an upgrade to a far superior memory foam option with your new adjustable bed base purchase, as it will prove to ensure that you sleep soundly whilst also offering superior support and circulation benefits especially to those of you that are suffering from chronic back pain or joint pain, circulation issues, acid reflux, sleep apnea or the last good nights sleep you remember was your first adjustable bed experience, which for most of us is in hospital beds, which allowed you to change up your sleeping position, watch tv comfortably by using the adjustable base to lift your head up without using 5 pillows!
An Adjustable Bed base, are they right for Seniors?
Of course, it depends on the person, but for most seniors, there are a number of benefits to owning an adjustable bed. Adjustable beds have been shown to improve quality of life and reduce pain in seniors by providing better support while sleeping. Some of the reasons we find people come to us looking at purchasing an adjustable bed include;
Increased comfort – You can adjust the bed’s settings so that you always feel comfortable. Whether your favorite sleeping position is on your back or front, with an adjustable bed you will never have problems getting into the right position;
No more waking up at night – An Adjustable bed can provide support throughout the night without waking you. Once in deeper sleep, your body naturally produces a hormone that prevents urine from being created, so by supporting better quality sleep, you’ll find that you don’t “wake up to go the toilet”.
Improved circulation – An adjustable bed, especially when paired with the Sophie or Tempur Pedic type mattress, offers better support and reduces pressure on the body. This in turn can improve circulation. The added benefit of sleeping in an adjusted position has also been shown to improve circulation.
In addition, an adjustable bed may help people avoid unwanted weight gain which is common among older adults who sleep less because they don’t have the support or comfort they require from their current bed or mattress.
What are the Pros & Cons of An Electric Adjustable Bed Frame paired with a new mattress?
The benefits of an adjustable bed for seniors or older Australian’s are numerous, but there are some disadvantages to buying an electric bed.
Adjustable beds make it easier for the elderly to get in and out of their bed without help, which reduces stress on caregivers or family members who don’t live with them full-time. An Adjustable bed may also reduce pain associated with over-exertion or age-related physical changes. Adjustable beds are also good for people suffering from chronic pain, whether it is back or neck pain or arthritis in the hips and joints. Of course, an adjustable bed does make it easier to change positions throughout the night if necessary which can help alleviate sleep apnea symptoms, especially when head elevations are beyond 30degrees or paired with a CPAP/APAP machine. And for those electric adjustable beds that also come with whole-body vibration therapy and Zero Gravity feature, an adjustable bed can significantly improve both your lymphatic and your cardiovascular (blood circulation) circulation.
Adjustable beds for seniors can help by alleviating pressure points. A high-quality adjustable bed can allow you to raise and lower the head and foot end independently, creating a customized sleep experience that aligns with each person’s body measurements which increases your sleep comfort and can promote better more restorative sleep.
There are very few known drawbacks to owning an adjustable bed, however, you should consider the height of the bed and not just the bed size.
Adjustable beds come in a variety of sizes which range from Single or King Single to Split King and California Split King but it is important that you measure your bedroom first because if you purchase an adjustable bed that’s too big for your room then the dimensions may be wrong, causing problems down the line with maneuverability in your bedroom, bedding and sheets that don’t fit, bedroom furniture and bed frames that can’t be used etc.
Also, consider if the model you are looking at purchasing can be fitted to your existing bed frame or between your current bedside table arrangement. Most beds available do not offer the flexibility of fitting to existing bed frames or built-in bedside table setups, however, at Sophie, your new bed will because our adjustable bases have been engineered to fit into almost every existing bed frame setup, even if you currently use bed rails or the like.
Why is Zero Gravity position so important on an adjustable bed?
An adjustable bed can provide so many benefits and additional features to people with medical conditions, including seniors. Adjust the bed in accordance with your comfort and ease of movement. Gravity is constantly working on our bodies when we lie down in a flat position. If you are unable to adjust gravity while lying in bed, it can cause pain points, flare-up old injuries and cause us to not get enough sleep. These injuries often persist even after you get up from bed. That is why the Zero Gravity function in your new adjustable bed is so important. It can help to alleviate the pressure points so your body can completely relax, allowing you to get as comfortable as humanly possible, ensuring you not only sleep comfortably but give your body the best chances of repairing throughout the night. Many beds don’t come with the Zero Gravity position, so be sure to ask before buying an adjustable bed. You’d hate to have it installed and realize a few things were missing, not all the safety features were included, the mattress wasn’t right and you couldn’t experience the features you set out to acquire that are only found in the best adjustable beds.
Will I continue to use a pillow with an adjustable bed?
That is completely up to you! The best adjustable beds are not made for one specific kind of person; they can be used by anyone. An Adjustable bed will offer a number of benefits, regardless of whether you’re young or old.
If you find that your sleeping habits change, we hear that a LOT of our clients go from predominantly sleeping on their side to back sleepers, once they experience the full-body support and comfort, especially when in the Zero Gravity position. Then you will also find that your pillow needs will change.
For example, side sleepers will traditionally require a thicker profile pillow when compared to back sleepers. And that is simply because when sleeping on your side, the space between your neck and your mattress is larger than the space you’d have between your neck and the mattress when sleeping on your back. If you have also upgraded to one of the highest quality memory foam options at the same time as purchasing your adjustable base, then you’ll find that the mattress will hug you a little, which can also decrease the profile of the pillow you use.
You may not even need a pillow at all once you transition to an adjustable bed!
That is why here at Sophie we sell a 3 in 1 pillow, so once your new bed has been installed with your new premium Sophie mattress, you can use the adjustability of the pillow to find your new perfect pillow profile, just make sure you set your alarm clock, you may find your perfect sleeping position first time and sleep until noon!
Is an adjustable bed good for side sleepers?
Adjustable beds are good for people who sleep on their sides. Adjustable beds offer more support by cradling your body and it is easier to find the perfect sleeping position when you can modify the bed’s height, lift your head up or down, tilt legs at different angles. Adjusting any of these features also helps with mattress comfort that side-sleepers often complain about.
Now because it is the mattress that will be doing all the supporting, it is critically important you select the best adjustable bed and mattress combination for your budget. A Memory foam, or rather, a Cool-Gel infused memory foam mattress is by far the gold standard for sleeping in any position including your side. It was engineered to evenly distribute your body weight across the entire surface area, helping to eliminate pressure points, which in turn helps the body to fully relax and those tired muscles to disengage, rest, and repair, whilst also helping to support better circulation. As there is no box spring pushing pressure back through the mattress into your body, which can restrict your circulation.
Many bed companies will tell you that to help eliminate acid reflux or to help reduce snoring and sleep apnea you will need to sleep on your back with the head end elevated, if you don’t suffer from these ailments, then there is absolutely no need to transition to sleeping on your back. So you can use the bed base adjustments to contour your body to help improve your sleep quality, which is exactly what you intended when you searched for adjustable beds for seniors, isn’t it!
Conclusion – Are Adjustable Beds for seniors and the elderly really worth it?
Adjustable beds have been shown to help seniors and the elderly stay active and independent longer. Plus, they’re great for personal wellness! If you want more information about adjustable beds or would like a free quote on one of our models, we invite you to submit your contact details below and one of our trained experts will reach out, alternatively, you can visit our Facebook page or our independent Product Reviews to view more stories about how our range of adjustable beds has helped thousands of Australian Seniors.