Is an Adjustable Bed Right for You?

Sleeping on an adjustable bed may help alleviate your back pain—but it’s not right for everyone. Here are 3 questions to help you decide if an adjustable bed is worth your hard-earned money.

See Considerations Before Buying an Adjustable Bed

woman in adjustable bed In addition to back pain, an adjustable bed may also relieve your neck and shoulder discomfort.
Lean more:
Using an Adjustable Bed for Back Pain

Do you feel better in a reclined position?

As a general rule, if you find relief from your back pain by resting in a reclined position you will benefit from an adjustable bed. An adjustable bed may be especially beneficial if you suffer from one of the following conditions:

  • Degenerative spondylolisthesis. Sleeping with your knees and back elevated can ease your lower back pain caused by degenerative spondylolisthesis.
  • Osteoarthristis. Lying in a reclined position can reduce the osteroarthtis pain in your spine by minimizing joint compression.
  • Spinal Stenosis. Leaning forward can alleviate your spinal stenosis symptoms, so an adjustable bed may be a great pain-relief option.

See Getting an Accurate Back Pain Diagnosis

You may also want to consider purchasing an adjustable bed if you’re scheduled for back surgery—many people prefer sleeping in a reclined position during their recovery.

See Practical Advice for Recovering from Back Surgery

Remember that symptoms from certain conditions—such as ankylosing spondylitis—may be provoked by sleeping in a reclined position. To help you determine if an adjustable bed will relieve your back pain, try sleeping in the recliner in your living room for a night.

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What is your budget for an adjustable bed?

If you determine that sleeping in a reclined position helps with your back pain, the next question to ask yourself is how much you’re willing to spend on an adjustable bed.

Once you’ve settled on an amount, these 3 considerations will help you determine if an adjustable bed fits in your price range:

  • The term adjustable bed refers to a base that can tilt your mattress to create various sleeping positions. This means that you will have to purchase a new mattress if your current one is not compatible with an adjustable bed. If you can afford an adjustable bed, but will then be priced out of a comfortable and high-quality mattress, an adjustable bed may not be worth the investment.
  • See Mattresses and Sleep Positions for Each Back Pain Diagnosis

  • Not all adjustable beds allow you to raise or lower either half of the bed independently. If you sleep with a partner, you will typically need to pay more for an adjustable bed with this feature.
  • Some adjustable beds cost more because they include features that won’t help to alleviate your back pain. You can save money by avoiding adjustable beds with features like built-in speakers or USB-charging ports.
  • See Tips on Buying a High-Quality Mattress

Does the adjustable bed have a return policy?

After you find an adjustable bed in your price range, check to make sure that it comes with a hassle-free return policy. This is important because buying an adjustable bed is a tricky process—you typically only have a few minutes at the store to try out a base you may sleep on for thousands of hours. So while an adjustable bed may seem to ease your back pain at the store, over the course of a few weeks you might discover that sleeping in a reclined position isn’t best for your symptoms.

See Additional Factors That Affect Sleep Comfort

Of course, you can always keep your adjustable bed in a flat position—but you may want to return the base and invest in a different sleeping arrangement. Make sure to always read the fine print of your return policy as some companies make it especially difficult to qualify for a full refund.

See Pillow Support and Comfort

I hope all 3 of the above questions will help you to feel more confident in deciding whether or not an adjustable bed is right for you.

Learn More:

Choosing the Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain

Mattresses for Back Conditions

Post written by Andrew Moeller