Adjustable beds, formerly available as medical equipment for patients with serious muscle and bone ailments, are now fixtures in many healthy people's homes. With an adjustable bed, the owner can control the angle and height of the bed by operating a series of motors until it's in the most comfortable position.
One of the biggest problems with adjustable beds is the variation from one model to another. Some adjustable beds offer a split, or dual-adjustment option, which allows two sleepers to adjust their sides of the bed independently of one another. Others lack this feature, forcing both partners to share the same settings.
Adjustable beds also come with either single- or two-point articulation, which refers to the number of points in the bed where it can bend and change shape. For someone used to a two-point, split adjustable bed, a single-point model without dual-adjustment may be very uncomfortable and offer few benefits. Adjustable bed shoppers must be careful to select the right model based on doctor recommendations or personal preference.
Adjustable beds use a series of electric motors and a remote control for adjustments, which uses electrical power that a standard bed doesn't need. Complex electrical motors represent another possible place for mechanical breakdown. In the event of a short circuit or power outage, an adjustable bed may be difficult or impossible to adjust.
Adjustable beds also make noise as they operate. While some models offer very quiet motors, others pose a risk of waking one's partner while making even a slight adjustment.
Adjustable beds are very heavy, with the weight of the electric motors and a heavy-duty metal frame added to the weight of the bed. Moving and transporting an adjustable bed takes much more effort than moving a standard bed with a collapsible frame. Adjustable beds may also produce excessive wear on carpets or flooring, due to their additional weight.
An adjustable bed also costs much more than a standard bed with a comparable mattress. While the additional sleep and rest quality may be well worth the cost for some buyers, others may find that an adjustable bed is little more than an expensive novelty. Adjustable bed buyers should do research and request a money-back guarantee before committing to a purchase.
Dennis Hartman is a freelance writer living in California. His work covers a wide variety of topics and has been published nationally in print as well as online. Hartman holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University and a Master of Arts from the State University of New York at Buffalo.