Adjustable bases for mattresses: a new lifestyle trend

Disclosure: This site receives a payment from Amazon when you purchase a product using any links to that company in this article

One of the latest trends in the mattress industry is the adjustable base (or as various marketers call them: power bases, ergo bases, lifestyle bases, etc). They have been around in one form or another for a couple decades, but until recently were mainly advertised for health issues. Now that more of us are using electronics in bed, adjustable bases are being advertised more and more to the younger crowd.

Additionally, almost all new mattresses these days can work with an adjustable base. All foam mattresses, most mattresses that use individually pocketed coils, and some models with “offset” coils that are tied together can work with an adjustable base.

Benefits of an adjustable base

There are no downsides to getting an adjustable base except for price. Worst case scenario is that if it does nothing for you, it still works as a foundation. So, here are some benefits.

  1. It makes it easier to do things like read a book, use a laptop, or watch TV in bed. (P.S. I don’t recommend doing those last two things. More on that in a bit).
  2. It can be comfortable to raise your feet and head up a bit, especially for a back sleeper.
  3. The massage feature that the higher end models have is very relaxing.
  4. If you have problems with acid reflux, elevating your head can help alleviate that.
  5. Elevating the legs is recommended for a lot of sports injuries, like a sprained ankle. It can also help with circulation issues.
  6. For older people, raising the head up can make it easier to get in and out of bed.

Like I said in number 1, I do not recommend using any electronics or watching TV in bed. Sleep experts say that using electronics and watching TV in bed will lower the quality of your sleep. It’s a little frustrating to me that the mattress industry is saying that adjustable bases will help you watch TV in bed. I don’t like saying that to my customers, because you shouldn’t watch TV in bed.

However, if you’re going to do that anyway and ignore the sleep doctors, it is true that an adjustable base will help you accomplish your goals.

Whew. I feel good to have that off of my chest.

All that said, the other reasons to get an adjustable base are valid, and they will be an improvement to your life, if you can afford the extra money.

Features to look for in adjustable bases

There is a big range of prices that adjustable bases are sold for, and the higher the price, the more features the base is likely to have. Here is a list of possible features you can get.

  • The ability to raise the head and/or feet up. On some models, you can just raise the head up. On others, you can raise both the head and the feet. Do you want to only raise the feet? Turn the head-only model around, or sleep on it the other way.
  • Massage feature. Models will have between 1 and 3 zones of massage (which is generally just a vibration feature). The most I have seen is 3 zones of massage, but there may be a model out there with more. On some models, you can control the intensity of the massage, and even change the pattern of the massage.
  • Memory positions. Some models will have the ability to save your favorite position and return to it whenever you’d like. These also tend to include a “flat” button to return the mattress to the flat position with one button press.
  • Wireless remote. Some remotes will be hardwired to the bed, and some will be wireless. There are pros and cons to each, but most people prefer wireless (and most of the more expensive ones will be wireless.)
  • Other advanced features. There are too many advanced features to list here in detail, but the higher end bases will all add their own little thing, like an iPhone app to control the bed, or a preset “zero gravity” position which is supposed to be good for you, or the ability for the feet to actually recline down below horizontal, not just up.

How much does an adjustable base cost?

The price of an adjustable base depends on the overall quality and how many features you get. On the low end, the cheapest adjustable bases only cost a few hundred more than a regular boxspring and frame. For example, in a queen size, the Falcon by Leggett & Platt runs about $800. A regular boxspring and frame will be about $400. So, instead of buying a queen mattress & boxspring set with a new frame for $1200, you can get the mattress and an adjustable base for $1600.

On the high end, you can spend $3,000 for the best adjustable bases. These bases add the advanced features listed in the previous section like massage features and smart control options.

Below, I will list a few models in different prices and explain what you get for each. I’m not necessarily recommending these exact models over their similarly-priced competitors, so feel free to shop around. I’m just using these as examples.

Leggett and Platt Falcon

Falcon base

The Legget & Platt Falcon base


The Falcon is one of the best adjustable bases for the price out there. For under $800 (at the time of writing this), you are able to raise the head and feet of the mattress, plus it has a wireless remote. Many others in this price range either give you a hardwired remote, can only raise the head, or both.

Serta Motion Select adjustable base

Serta Motion Select

The Serta Motion Select has a lot of advanced features to go along with the massage and adjustable features.

This model available at Amazon has just about anything you could ask for in an adjustable base as well as a 25 year limited warranty. It has an adjustable height off of the ground, a zoned massage feature, an “anti-snore” feature in which the bed will adjust slightly to break up whatever position is causing your partner to snore without waking him or her up, a preset “zero gravity” position, and a programmable remote. This is one of the best on the market, and it’ll run you about $1300-1600 for the queen size, depending on current sales.

There are other models for even more, but I don’t feel they add too much to be worth the extra money for most people.

In conclusion

An adjustable base is a great way to enhance your sleep experience. If you’re already getting a great mattress, you can make it even better with an adjustable base. If you’re getting a low-end mattress, you should take the money you would otherwise spend on the base and use that for a better mattress instead.

But, if you already have a good mattress, or are about to buy a nice mattress, and you can fit it in your budget, an adjustable base is a great idea. Thanks for reading.

Disclosure: This site receives a payment from Amazon when you purchase a product using any links to that company in this article

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Questions & Comments

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MattressNerd Says

July 23, 2017 at 6:39 pm

Yes.

Gordon Says

July 23, 2017 at 12:43 pm

Will most adjustable mattresses work on an adjustable base that was purchased with a Sleep Number mattress?

MattressNerd Says

July 16, 2017 at 10:56 pm

Most new mattresses are adjustable base friendly. But without knowing exactly which mattress you're referring to, I can't know for sure.

Colleen Says

July 16, 2017 at 1:34 pm

Is it possible to put a regular mattress on an adjustable base that was for a Sleep Number bed?

MattressNerd Says

June 22, 2017 at 10:52 am

That depends on the headboard and the adjustable base. If the headboard just attaches to a regular metal frame with bolts, then it will work if the adjustable base has a bracket to attach to. Most have that option. And no, a boxspring won't work. The adjustable base takes the place of the boxspring.

Judy Huern Says

June 21, 2017 at 10:16 pm

Will the adjustable base work with existing head board? If I get the motion select should I get a box spring also?

MattressNerd Says

April 10, 2017 at 1:43 pm

They're the same exact thing. If you buy a king adjustable base, you get 2 Twin XL bases.

nora Says

April 7, 2017 at 4:15 pm

We are buying a king adjustable bed...Do we get a King adjustable base or 2 XL Twin bases??? We are getting a king size whole mattress???

Jami Says

December 31, 2016 at 9:01 am

Hi, I have a temperpeidic coil/foam combination that I have had for a year and a half. It is a love/hate relationship. I have it on a regular metal bed frame which has a bar that goes up the center. I know I feel that bar. Also I wake up with stiffness and pain in my neck and shoulders (I have tried every pillow on the planet it seems like). I was wondering if it would make a difference in the feel of the mattress if I bought the adjustable bedframe by temperpedic. Thank you for your time.

MattressNerd Says

August 29, 2016 at 8:33 am

If the platform bed has slats that can be removed, then yes. The "platform" will just be more like a "shell" surrounding the power base.

Crystal Says

August 27, 2016 at 7:45 pm

Can I use a power base on a platform bed?

MattressNerd Says

August 7, 2016 at 3:48 pm

I haven't tried that one yet, but it must be a good mattress. Now whether it's thousands of dollars better than a mattress for say $3,000 is up for debate.

Nancy Reynolds Says

August 5, 2016 at 1:01 pm

Doing my research before venturing out to mattress stores. We know we want a split king, adjustable base. And I think we will end up wanting a latex mattress. And we absolutely do NOT want any mattress that "sleeps hot". I know you mentioned that you really liked the Reverie adjustable bases. What do you think about their Dream Supreme Sleep system? I'm intrigued with the "latex coils" that allow firmness customization. $7k is a lot to spend, but that includes their top of their line adjustable frame and their best latex mattress, along with white glove delivery and a 100 day return policy. I expect this to be the last bed and mattress that we will ever buy. Curious what you think... http://www.reverie.com/products/sleep-systems/dream-supreme-sleep-system.html Thanks!

MattressNerd Says

June 4, 2016 at 7:55 am

There aren't any Tempurpedics that are really easy to move around in. Some may be easier than others, but all of them have a very slow response. If you want to go with an all-foam mattress, one of the ones with latex foam would be good since you won't get that feeling of being "stuck." One of the softer latex mattresses will help relieve pressure. However, they're a little hard to find. Most of the big retailers won't sell latex mattress. They're most found in boutique stores, so you can try there. I think most of the online direct-to-consumer mattresses will be too firm for you. There are a few that have soft options, so you might have some luck trying one of those. The iComfort you tried may be a good option. I don't really follow the line of thinking about waking up on your stomach. That's bad for your back if you don't have proper support for your mattress, but memory foam is generally pretty good at contouring to your body in any position.

Joan Says

June 3, 2016 at 8:14 pm

I have back and siatica issues and am on my 4th mattress - obviously not getting much help from any of them - 2 being sleep number one plain top and the current one pillow top. I also have arthritis so sometimes side sleeping is not comfortable. The other 2 mattresses were coil and the one I liked best was a Kingsdown - all these being passed on to relatives as none were very old. At one point (in the store) I tried a temperpedic which was like quicksand and the other was icomfort which felt wonderful but since I often wake up in am I am on my stomach and that doesn't always help bad backs. Now I have been on line looking and the more I look the more confused I get - however I stumbled upon your website and found it very informative but never less still confused. As far as feeling is concerned, the feel That is very comfortable to me has been the temperpedic said that you can easily move in - any advise or help you could throw my way would be extremely appreciated. Other info you might need - female - 80 yrs - 5' - 126#. Thank you again.

MattressNerd Says

May 30, 2016 at 7:33 pm

It's usually more difficult to negotiate price on adjustable bases, since most tend to be sold at the same price everywhere. That said, I'm partial to the Reverie bases. Leggett and Platt makes some good ones, too.

Sam Says

May 30, 2016 at 9:28 am

We want to get the best adjustable bed with all the bells and whistles. My wife has been to Sleep Number store in the mall and I just checked out Revere. What do you think is the best and what kind of discount on price should we negotiate for? This site is an awesome resource!

MattressNerd Says

May 8, 2016 at 7:46 pm

The presets aren't a huge benefit, because you can just manually put it in the correct position otherwise.

Shannon Says

May 8, 2016 at 3:38 pm

We are trying to decide whether it is worth it to purchase a base with backlit remote and preset positions. Are the presets something that are very helpful? Thanks!

MattressNerd Says

April 24, 2016 at 12:58 pm

You might be able to, but Tempurpedic has their own legs. Contact Tempurpedic and ask them about getting longer legs.

Kristi Cobb Says

April 21, 2016 at 4:03 pm

I have a tempur-pedicure adjustable bed base, which we love; however, it sits a little too low which makes it difficult for my husband to get in and out of (he had a spinal cord injury which presents problems with getting up and down from low furniture). Can I use regular bed risers with my split King adjustable base?

MattressNerd Says

February 10, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Good question. That depends the exact adjustable base. A lot of them have brackets for either the headboard or both the headboard and footboard; especially the more expensive ones.

Jake Says

February 9, 2016 at 12:54 pm

Are you able to attach a headboard and footboard to an adjustable base?

MattressNerd Says

January 24, 2016 at 4:27 pm

The legs won't be the issue. Adjustable bases use a motor on the bottom to raise the head and the feet, along with all of the mechanical parts underneath. If the platform can come out, you should be able to put the bed inside of it, but other than that, I don't know of any that will work.

Jennifer Says

January 24, 2016 at 7:09 am

I already own a platform bed that I love. It has a solid wood platform no slats.Do they make an ajustable base where the legs come off? Or has a very slim profile as my bed already requires step stools to get in and out. Came with them from the store.

MattressNerd Says

January 12, 2016 at 9:08 pm

If you want the mattresses to be able to move separately, get two Twin XLs. If you don't care about that, and want the whole mattress to go up or down at once, just the one king mattress is fine.

LM Brown Says

January 10, 2016 at 5:45 pm

Thank you for your very comprehensive site. It has been a tremendous help in navigating the wilds of Mattress Buying! I have two questions: 1. For a split-King adjustable base, should I use a single king mattress or two XL twin mattresses? 2. Would you recommend a foam or innerspring mattress in this instance? (I should probably mention my husband is an "active sleeper"; lots of tossing and turning, while I I sleep fairly light. *sigh*) Thanks!

MattressNerd Says

January 6, 2016 at 10:18 pm

There shouldn't be a problem, no.

Lana Says

January 6, 2016 at 1:46 am

You haven't mentioned tempur-pedic adjustable frame. Would there be a problem using it with Simmons Beauty Rest Black Hybrid firm?

MattressNerd Says

December 28, 2015 at 10:42 am

No, the adjustable base should be all you need.

Elizabeth C Smith Says

December 27, 2015 at 11:18 pm

Have a Select Comfort~ Leggitt and Platt adjustable frame and thinking to get the Leesa~ do I need any other box spring or padding ?? My Select Comfort bed and experience has been Hell

MattressNerd Says

September 1, 2015 at 10:37 pm

Yes, Reverie is one of the big manufacturers of bases now. They make the high end ones for Serta. It's basically Reverie and Leggett & Platt and a bunch of smaller companies that make adjustable bases. Reverie has more of the new "cool" features in their adjustable bases, but I spoke to a L&P rep at Las Vegas and they said they were going to announce some neat new things at the January market.

Mike Says

September 1, 2015 at 7:24 am

Great website...curious if you have looked at/reviewed this company. Seems similar to the one you list above in the blog post. Interested in your thoughts.....http://www.reverie.com/reverie-8q

MattressNerd Says

July 26, 2015 at 8:36 am

I don't have any official recommendations on those (I've been trying out some direct-to-consumer sheet manufacturers, but none of them have impressed me so far), but Amazon is always a decent choice.

E C Martin Says

July 25, 2015 at 11:03 am

do you sell/ or where can I buy accessories for the leesa such as ... mattress protector ... sheet sets .... pillows ... thank You ...

MattressNerd Says

July 9, 2015 at 9:29 am

That depends on the base and the frame. If you have a wooden bed frame with slats, you should be able to remove the slats to keep the headboard and footboard. If you have a metal bed frame, the adjustable bases generally don't work with those, but some bases do have a headboard bracket in which you could attach your headboard. Most don't have a footboard bracket.

Mel Says

July 9, 2015 at 8:58 am

Would you be able to use an adjustable base along with an existing bed frame? Do they attach to a headboard/footboard?

MattressNerd Says

July 4, 2015 at 5:50 pm

I wouldn't recommend being on your side as it's raised. However, when most people sleep on their side they curl up a bit. Being on your back on an adjustable foundation in which the legs and head to up puts you in a similar body position as being curled up on your side. So even if you're not a back sleeper normally, you might be able to do it with an adjustable base.

Tom Says

July 4, 2015 at 4:30 pm

Do adjustable foundations work for a side sleeper who wants to raise the upper portion to help with acid reflux? Doesn't this put your body in an uncomfortable bend unless the legs can be lowered?

MattressNerd Says

June 12, 2015 at 4:54 pm

Yes, they can unless they specifically state otherwise. Almost all foam mattresses can be used on adjustable bases. Many with individually pocketed coils can also be used on an adjustable base. A few with traditional innersprings in which the coils are tied together can, but they're rarer.

Liv Says

June 11, 2015 at 3:47 pm

Can you use ikea foam or foam/latex mattresses with adjustable beds? Some of their mattresses are sold rolled, so obviously those are ok. But ikea has foam or foam/latex mattresses at a higher price point which come boxed like a regular mattress and not rolled. Can those be used on an adjustable bed?

MattressNerd Says

May 30, 2015 at 10:24 am

Do you have a link to the mattress? How old is the mattress? Mattresses just started becoming commonly adjustable base friendly in the past 2-3 years.

julie Says

May 30, 2015 at 8:29 am

Tried to find info on using my Waldorf collection mattress w/adjustable base. If i ask Sleepys they will say no just to sell new mattress with base. Do you have answer??? Thanks

MattressNerd Says

February 13, 2015 at 7:03 am

I've never tried the Dormeo, and the "octasprings" are something I have no experience with, so there's a limited amount I can say about that. As for Leesa, it can be used on an adjustable base. That's no problem.

Jerry Bollt Says

February 13, 2015 at 1:43 am

Jack, I previously contacted you regarding the Leesa mattress after reading your review, which impressed me about the mattress and your expertise. I just heard and read about the Dormeo memory foam mattress with "octasprings" and was wondering if you could shed some light on it. If I purchased the Leesa, please let me know if the mattress could be used on an adjustable base. Sincerely, Jerry Bollt

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