Adjustable bed frames: 7 disadvantages

When you were growing up, did you ever see those TV commercials for adjustable beds? Back then, these bed frames were really marketed toward older people who might have numerous health concerns.

Adjustable bed frames good and bad include potentially helping with back pain, acid reflux, improved digestion, snoring, sleep apnea, headaches, and insomnia. The bad include higher costs, reduced mattress life, and a higher chance of squeaks and creaks, structural and electrical, and electronic issues.

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It was rare in those days for anyone to have an adjustable bed unless they were spending time in a hospital. Today, adjustable bed frames are more common.

Several factors have made this possible. For one, technology has improved in recent decades, making most things smaller, cheaper, and more accessible for the average consumer.

This means that adjustable bed frames not only are more affordable but also that they are a lot sleeker and less clunky than they used to be.

In fact, many modern adjustable bed frames don’t appear bulky when compared with conventional bed frames. You may not realize that a bed frame is adjustable until someone shows you.

Let’s take a closer look at what an adjustable bed frame is and why you might want to sleep on one. We’ll also examine any downsides that might be attached to these beds so that you can weigh them in your decision-making.

TIP: If you and your sleep partner have different habits, then you may want to consider a split adjustable bed base. The split base makes it possible for you to continue sitting up to read while your partner lays down for sleep.

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Adjustable Bed Frames: Pros

1. Alleviate Back Pain

According to the American Chiropractic Association, approximately 80 percent of people will experience back pain at some point. Unfortunately, for a lot of those people, back pain is an ongoing problem. Me included.

Especially now that I am not getting exercise, I sit in a chair working on this website all day. And the flat bed is starting to really get to me.

Count yourself fortunate if you’re not one of the people who experience chronic back pain. It’s a debilitating condition that I’ve lived with for years.

Of course, because I’ve lived with it for years, I’ve discovered ways to cope with it. I regularly exercise, stretch every day, try to keep my weight under control, and try to avoid sitting too much.

The other critical component in my fight against back pain is sleeping on the right mattress. Better quality mattresses give your back and neck the support they need to maintain healthy alignment. That translates to less back pain.

The other essential component is using an adjustable bed. When you elevate your head at an approximately 45-degree angle, the compression on your lower spine is reduced.

Slightly elevate your feet to relieve compression on your middle back. By adjusting your head, feet, or both before going to sleep, you could eliminate your back pain.

Before you buy one check out my 15 tips first here and my top how to choose advice here.

2. Stop Feeling the Burn

Is there anything worse than heartburn? For those stubborn people out there (like me) who have a hard time giving up their favorite foods (hot wings) that they know will cause heartburn (I know, I know), an adjustable bed frame is a lifesaver.

Heartburn, also known as acid reflux, is a common problem that involves a burning pain in the chest and perhaps also a bitter taste in the mouth. For regular sufferers, it’s a nightmare because the symptoms get worse when you lay down.

The good news is that an adjustable bed may help you to banish heartburn or at least relieve your symptoms. Even slightly elevating your head keeps acid away from your esophagus and in your stomach where it belongs.

3. Say Hello to Efficient Digestion

It’s wise to not eat anything substantial for at least a few hours before bed. Nonetheless, it’s likely that your digestive system is still processing your last snack or meal.

Your digestive system performs best when you are in at least a somewhat upright position. This means that your stomach remains above your intestines, and that translates to more efficient digestion.

I found this information during my research and I find it interesting and it makes sense.

4. Ease Snoring and Sleep Apnea

If you snore you may not be getting the really quality sleep that you need.

It’s even worse if you have sleep apnea. A potentially dangerous condition, sleep apnea can come with a host of complications.

When you sleep in an adjustable bed, you have the freedom to elevate your head. This position can significantly alleviate snoring and sleep apnea. This means that you may sleep better.

TIP: If you try an adjustable bed and still have issues with snoring and sleep apnea, then it may be time to visit your doctor.

TIP: This is for hotel managers and owners: Please consider installing adjustable bed frames in a few of your rooms! My hockey buds and I travel at least twice per year to play in a hockey tournament.

Three of the guys would benefit hugely from this. Actually, 6 guys since most of us double up in a room so one guy keeps the other poor bugger awake (if he hadn’t had enough beer to knock him out).

I think that hotels could charge a premium to recoup and potentially profit from this option while providing an additional marketing angle.

5. Stop Waking up with Headaches

Lots of culprits may be responsible for waking up with a headache every morning. Chronic dehydration, grinding of the teeth, an allergy to dust mites, and just plain stress all may be responsible.

The other thing that could be responsible for those headaches is neck strain. This is a fairly common condition for people who sleep on traditional, non-adjustable bed frames.

Switch out your bed frame, and you just might not have to suffer from a headache in the morning again.

6. Fewer Bouts of Insomnia

Do you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep? If so, you’re not alone. Most people deal with insomnia at some point.

An adjustable bed frame may help with this condition, especially if your insomnia is caused by aches and pains or general discomfort in bed.

Every slight adjustment that you make to the level of your feet and legs or head and shoulders may have the power to help you relax and get the deep, healing sleep that you need.

7. Option for Two Sleeping Positions

This can be a huge benefit if you and your significate other have different sleeping position preferences. Some companies offer split adjustable bed frames and I think this is an awesome design innovation. Happy wife happy life.

Adjustable Bed Frames: Cons

1. They Cost More

This is to be expected I think. There are several reasons for the additional cost, including:

  • More engineering and research are required and that cost has to be passed onto the end user, us.
  • Automated models have motors, electrical, electronics, and often a remote control.
  • More materials and parts result in more weight, which equals higher shipping costs. And the bed industry includes the shipping price in the price so more weight equals a higher price.

    The heavier weight does not affect the shipping costs from factories in Asia as the rates are calculated based on volume rather than weight.
  • The low percentage of the overall bed frame industry sales does not allow for economies of scale. This results in a higher per-unit cost to produce.

2. They are Bad for Mattresses

Common sense tells us that a mattress that does not lie flat will know last as long as one that lies as it was designed to. Even if the bed is adjusted once and never changed, it is still causing uneven pressures and distorting the materials.

And the mattress will receive a LOT more stress if you are using your mattress on an electric bed frame and change positions often. Some mattresses can withstand this abuse better than others.

A good choice is foam mattresses with or without latex. A bad choice, or one more likely to have structural issues, is innerspring or hybrid mattresses.

3. More Chance for Squeaks and Creaks

There are more moving parts that allow more points of flex and fasteners. This increases the likelihood of squeaks and creaks so if you are in the market for an adjustable bed please make sure you buy a good quality one and not a cheap China model.

4. More Potential For Structural Issues

With more parts like hinges, rods, fasteners, support brackets, and footboard there is just a lot more things that can fail. So it is important to purchase one from a company that offers a long warranty.

5. Potential Electrical and Electronic Issues

Obviously, models with electric motors and controllers are going to have more issues than bed frames without any electrical components.

Remote control to adjust the height of the head of the bed

6. More Complicated Assembly Required

These are definitely going to take more effort to assemble and those mechanically challenged may want to invite a handy friend over for beer and pizza in exchange for an hour or two of their time.

TIP: Some companies offer “white glove” services where the delivery company will hump the bed frame to the bedroom and assemble the frame. The cost for this service is usually between $100 and $150.

And if you use this service you are saving about $30 – $40 on pizza and beer so that helps justify purchasing the service.

7. More Time Required to Make The Bed

I am curious about what percentage of the population makes up their bed each morning. I know my grandparents certainly did, and so did anyone on an overnight visit.

I only make a bed when visiting family or friends. Nobody sees my bed at home so I consider it a waste of time.

And making up an articulating bed is going to require more time. And a split bed frame on two different angles… fuggedaboutit.

Are Adjustable Beds Good or Bad for Side Sleepers?

Most of us have a preferred sleep position on the back, stomach, or side. Back sleepers probably derive the most benefit from an adjustable bed frame because they can take the greatest advantage of the bed’s ability to elevate the feet and head.

Nonetheless, side and stomach sleepers also may benefit from an adjustable bed frame.

That’s because even a small elevation of the head or the feet may help to place the spine and neck in more neutral positions that translate to less pain or discomfort during the night and the day.

TIP: According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, you may want to consider changing your sleep position based on your specific physical and health needs.

What Is an Adjustable Bed?

For many people, adjustable beds are the perfect sleep solution. That’s because these beds can be transformed with the touch of a button.

If you want to elevate your head and shoulders, press a button. This is good.

Want to elevate your feet? Press a button. This is very good.

Are you more comfortable with both your head and feet elevated? You have that option as well.

Why Would You Want an Adjustable Bed Frame?

People have many reasons for choosing an adjustable bed. Sometimes, they like the convenience of being able to sit up to read or watch TV without having to arrange a bunch of pillows.

Others like to be able to elevate their feet after a tough day at work.

Some people find that they sleep better when they can recline in a slightly upright position.

In fact, it turns out that there are lots of benefits that may come from sleeping on an adjustable bed. Let’s explore a few.

Is an Adjustable Bed Frame Worth It?

Many people swear that their adjustable bed frame has given them the best sleep ever. Other people are just as satisfied with an ordinary, non-adjustable frame.

How Do You Know Which One You Are?

Give some thought to how much time you spend sitting up in bed. Do you read, watch TV or surf the Internet with your laptop while in bed? If so, then you may want an adjustable bed frame for this reason alone.

Also, consider how good the quality of your sleep is overall. If you made certain that your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet and you’re sure that your mattress is the right one, then switching to an adjustable bed frame may be worthwhile.

Keep in mind that there may be drawbacks to adjustable bed frames. They tend to be more expensive and heavier than conventional frames. Additionally, your current mattress may not work with an adjustable frame.

If you’ve never slept on an adjustable bed frame, then give it a try. You just might discover that it’s exactly what you need to get a better night’s sleep.

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