If you've decided that the benefits are an adjustable bed are right up your alley, it's time to pick out a mattress to match. Only certain types of mattresses will work with an adjustable bed. The best mattress needs to be flexible and durable to withstand the rigors of all that movement. A power base can bend the head and foot sections of a mattress between 40 and 70 degrees, which can wear out your mattress pretty fast. Worse, it can be just plain uncomfortable sleeping on something that’s not designed to adjust.
Your choice of mattress is also one of the main components to getting restful sleep, and there are lots of factors to consider to get one that suits your needs. A quick online search will reveal countless sites with all the information you need to help you decide. There are a lot of options out there! For now, we’re going to focus on how different types of mattresses work with adjustable bases.
Types of mattresses
Foam - The material used in a foam or memory foam mattress can adjust to your weight, adapt to your body shape, and recover to its original form. Different manufacturers use different materials, so there can be a big difference in quality and experience. This material is a good choice for an adjustable bed. It provides enough flexibility to bend easily with the moving bed, and not much resistance. The down side to using a foam is that if it’s not good quality, it can get compressed or crushed over time.
Latex – These mattresses are made of – you guessed it – latex. Similar to memory foam, latex mattresses give the feel and bounce of an innerspring mattress with the softness and adaptability of a foam mattress. These are another good choice for a power base. They tend to be more rigid and durable, which means they can last longer no matter how many times you raise and lower your bed. However, they have also been reported to be too firm when used at certain angles.
Gel – This one can cover a lot of different formats. Some mattresses claiming to be “gel” include just a layer on top or underneath of foam or other padding. Other manufacturers pour it into the foam, or use beads made of gel. Using gel started as a response to people experiencing extra heat from foam mattresses, so this type usually claims to be as cool as a cucumber. Gel mattresses are a good choice for a power bed, for the same reason as foam or latex. Beware – some types might still include innersprings or other layers that won’t adjust well, so it’s best to verify.
Innerspring - Innerspring mattress are made up of coil springs and a padded top. These were once the most common type of mattress out there by far, but more and more people are switching to other materials. An innerspring mattress can be cheaper than memory foam or latex, but they are not recommended for an adjustable base. They’re stiffer and less conforming, making it difficult to adapt to movement. Metal springs aren’t usually meant to bend the way a power base wants them to, so they can get out of shape, break, or lock together.
A diagram of a how a basic innerspring mattress is put together.
Hybrid – Usually this term refers to mattresses that area mix between memory foam and innerspring. A hybrid mattress can function better than a traditional innerspring mattress on an adjustable bed, but they still have a lot of the same issues.
Pocket coil – This mattress is still made of metal coils, but they are pre-compressed to create a firm surface that will move without the springs bending out of shape. The coils are also individually wrapped, which helps prevent the bends from rubbing against each other when they’re moving. This type will work with an adjustable foundation, but because it still uses metal, you might want to confirm.
Air bed – Air beds aren’t just for your extra guests! Air pockets are being included in high-end mattresses now, and just like foam or latex, they will bend with the motion of the adjustable bed. However, it’s extra important to make sure the type you buy is sturdy enough to withstand a lot of movement. If it’s not, you can get leaks or ruptures in your mattress.
Not sure - If you're not sure what type of mattress you have, there's a pretty easy rule of thumb to follow: if your mattress has a padded, metal border wire around the edge, it probably will not work with an adjustable bed. This usually means it's an innerspring model.
Almost every mattress except innerspring will work with an adjustable base, but there are a lot of different options and combinations out there. The safest thing to do is to verify before you buy. To get the most out of your in-bed experience, it’s important to know the mattress and the base are made for each other. If you're still not sure which adjustable bed is right for you, check out our lineup!