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The truth about adjustable beds

February 07, 2021

With adjustable beds becoming increasingly popular, there is a lot of noise out there about what bed is better, what features you need and , who’s bed helps you sleep better at night.

Today we’re going to expose all the sneaky selling tactics and slimy ways these retailers are using to suck you in to hand over your hard earnt cash with them, so you can make more of an educated, informed decision and purchase your adjustable with absolute confidence that;

      • You’re not being over charged for un-necessary features

      • You are getting the features that suit you and your circumstances best.

      • You’re getting the right mattress that supports you and your body properly.

      • You’re buying a quality, durable product that will exceed the warranty period.

      • The person you’re speaking to is telling you accurate, up to date and honest information, and not just trying to make a grab for your credit card.

      • The after sales support is there, so you’re not left sleeping on the mattress on the while you send your bed away to get repaired

One of the biggest myths spoken about, often from big box retailers is that “all bases are the same, and that any benefit you get is purely because of the mattress”

And to be honest, they’re partially right,

The majority of adjustable beds do have the same function, that part we can’t dispute, but it’s the Toyota VS Deawoo debate. Both get you from point A to point B, just one gets you there for longer, and more reliably, less breakdowns -  less headaches,  Apart from that there are other various features some beds have that others don’t, from vibration massage, lumbar support, pillow tilt, USB   ports and more, but we will get into that one in a few moments.
You see, the biggest problem you face when you deal with large national “big box retail” companies that have hundreds, and often thousands of products, is that you get a sales representative who knows a little about a lot of different products.

The biggest issue we face when we deal with someone who knows a little about a lot, is that they are an expert at NONE.

When we’re sick, we go to a GP, but when he see’s we have a heart problem, he refers us to a cardiologist. A specialist, someone who knows everything there is to know about that one thing, someone who can give us the right advice for us, to help solve the problem we have.

If you’re looking at adjustable beds purely for the lifestyle benefits, those big box retailers could just be the perfect fit for you. BUT, if you’re looking at taking advantage of the health benefits adjustable beds can have, find a specialist, go and see them and deal with someone who sees you as a person, not a sale, someone who will take the time with you to ensure an adjustable bed could actually help you. You will probably find it to be better quality, and more affordable too.
The other major slimy gimmicks we see pop up are these “light weight breathable frames”  
They are essentially exoskeleton frames, with thin wire mesh for the mattress to sit on, and marketed to pose as a benefit to “help your mattress breathe” Where in actual fact, that thing wire mesh is around 1/3rd cheaper to manufacture then the ply support base quality adjustable beds have.

Some  companies are just trying to add perceived value to a cheap frame so they can charge you the same amount you would pay for a product of better quality.

During your travels looking at adjustable beds, lift the corner of the mattress up a little to ensure the support base is solid, and if its just the thin wire mesh, ensure the welds are welded properly at every point of contact with the steel frame.  (often over 100 points of contact throughout that base) The problem you can face is that if the welds break, you increase the likelihood of the wire tearing through that mattress as the bed elevates and lowers, and if the bed has the inbuild vibration massage feature, you have the possibility of hearing that broken weld vibrate while ever the massage is on.

The most difficult part of choosing an adjustable bed is selecting the right mattress.

Not every mattress works well with adjustable beds, the mattress needs to have the flexibility to bend with the adjustable bed, and the durability to last. Different sales people will tell you different things, depending on the product lines they offer, just remember that if you’re shopping at a big box retailer store, they’re usually always after the higher ticket, and not about ensuring it’s the perfect fit for you.

When I was working at one of Australia’s largest big box retail stores, I encountered so many people who just bought a new mattress, got it home, and “it was comfortable in store” but now they don’t like it and are shopping again for a new mattress. I’d say 90% of those people didn’t need another mattress. They needed a new pillow to suit their profile.

Its not entirely the sales person's fault, they simply don’t know , so they don’t ask the right questions, and you end up walking away with another mattress that ends up giving you the same grief.

If you’re looking to take advantage of the health benefits an adjustable bed can have, you really want to take 10 to 15 minutes on the bed, with an experienced consultant who asks the right questions, so they can give you the right advice, and set you into the right position. People who suffer with lower back pain may sleep different to someone who suffers from sleep apnoea. A mattress that’s too soft may not provide the proper support for the back pain, but it could be just right for the person with sleep apnoea.

Pocket spring mattresses might work for some systems, but might not have the flexibility to provide the optimal amount of support. There is no right or wrong mattress, it comes down to ensuring the mattress provides the optimal amount of support and flexibility to achieve what you want to use your bed for.

The biggest thing I would recommend, is steering clear of the “ it works with adjustable beds” models because they are usually designed for the flat base. Instead, look for a mattress that was designed and developed specially for adjustable bases.

Every adjustable bed has a remote, and as simple as it is, this little thing can be the key identifier to whether or not this bed is the right fit for you.

It can take a few minutes to find that sweet spot. The spot where all the pressure is taken off your back and you’re laying there in sheer bliss,  Now imagine if you had to toggle and play to find that sweet spot every night. So many models of remotes do not have a memory function, where you can save that sweet spot in to the remote so you can get back there with one click of a button. But trust me, it’s a life saver. Especially for those who are not so good with technology.

I was chatting with someone the other day while showcasing our adjustable beds at our local shopping centre when an older gentleman walked past, id say in his 70’s and told me how his daughter bought him an adjustable bed after his fall and it how it was the biggest waste of money. I asked him what he was struggling with, and it came down to the fact that he struggled every night to set his feet up in a position where it helped take some of the pressure off his back. I showed him how with our beds you can get a position and return to it anytime with the press of a button, and he soon changed his tune from adjustable beds being a bad product, to the company just wanting to sell him a bed.  His doctor recommended he get an adjustable bed to help his back, and his daughter, god bless her, rushed out straight away and bought him one, never having done this before, and thinking all beds were created equally , was sold an adjustable bed, by someone who claims to be an independent living specialist.

Do your research before committing to any adjustable bed, shop around, look at the features and benefits, look at your needs and the ease of use of the remote control.

Every year we see a new feature pop up, in a desperate attempt to offer something that’s different from everyone elses adjustable beds, but not all of these features have any real benefit, so you could save some money simply by working out if these features are really needed, or if they just sound good.


Wall Hugger.

The wall hugger feature is great, as the head of the bed raises, you move closer to the wall, helping you stay closer to your side tables.  It’s a great little feature, just something to keep in mind is that you will not end up right against the wall, so your side tables will still be a bit of a reach unless you move them out from the wall a fraction. The one real thing to look for with this feature is the mechanism that supports the bed to move towards the wall. You want to ensure it works on a quality roller system, some models of beds just use a plastic glide, but without frequent greasing, you run the rick or wearing through the glide.

The verdict – Great feature to have, but not a deal breaker if it doesn’t have it.

Lumbar Support.

In theory, this sounds like a great feature, and for people who have back surgery, and have plates in their back, it can help. But in the vast majority of the cases, the right mattress will do the job just fine. Things to consider with lumbar support is the quality of the bushes that enable the movement and that the additional hard continual compression on the mattress can decrease the  longevity of the mattress.  

The verdict – Can by beneficial for some, but for 99% of people, it’s a feature that won’t get used.

Pillow tilt.

It can be a good feature for someone who likes to sit right up in bed and read, but its not something I would recommend while you’re sleeping. The pillow tilt is designed to tilt your head forward, when you tilt your head forward to can decrease the amount of oxygen travelling to your lungs, while we sleep its ideal to keep these passageways open,  especially if you're someone who suffers from sleep apnoea, snoring or other respiratory conditions.

The verdict –  Can be appreciated by the avid reader, but its mostly just another feature used to increase the perceived value of the item.

Memory Positions.

Being able to save your ideal sleeping position so you can return to it each night with the touch of a button is amazing.

The verdict – A must have for ease of use


Can be useful for some with the ability to charge electronic devices, but are often the less quality USBs, increasing charging time required, and wiring can interfere with pinch points of the adjustable bed.

The verdict – Can be useful, but the often used USB1 ports are slow to charge devices. Mobile phone and tablet charges work best when ran off their original charger.

Wireless remote.

Often pitched to say you can adjust your bed from anywhere in your room, realistically, how often are you going to adjust your bed when your not already in it, or getting into it, however, wireless remotes are often the tell tale sign that the bed has memory positions (most basic, corded remotes will not), and they often have other hand little features like a small LED torch, which can help you find things on your side tables without turning on other lights

The verdict – Definitely a handy feature to have, Something you should aim to have.

Vibration Massage 

A definite must have, when used correctly, vibration massage can help stimulate blood flow around the body, helping people with poor circulation tremendously.
Its not a deep muscle massage, and more of a soothing vibration affect.

The verdict – a must have, the ability to raise your feet and turn on the vibration massage not only feels amazing, but can help your body repair and recover faster then it would otherwise.

Underbed Lights 

Under bed lights are a cool little feature to have. Not only does it help create a nice ambient glow that looks amazing, but they’re actually there to help you find your bed when coming back from getting a glass of water. You just turn on the underbed light so you don’t disturb your partners sleep.

The verdict – cool little feature to have, most models have them, but not a dealbreaker if It doesn’t.

Other things to consider...

Other things to consider when choosing an adjustable bed is whether or not the company has a fixed location, or if the only operate from pop up locations or are a mobile unit only.

Those people that don’t have a fixed location often rely on purchasing off the shelf. What I mean by this, is that they usually just order their stock from a wholesaler, meaning they have often taken no part in the product development, and or quality control of the items.

Many companies will tell you that their beds comply with Australian safety standards, whereas apart from the electronics part of the bed, there is no such standard. Its all down to the provider to ensure the beds are built to a salable condition.

While you’re shopping an adjustable bed, just remember to take a few minutes to decide what features you need, what features are a bonus but not necessary and importantly, when you’re dealing with the salesperson, try to work out whether they are simply trying to sell you a bed, or help you fix a problem.

If you have any questions, regardless of where you’re looking, or even if you’re just unsure about something a sales person has told you, I invite you us a call on 02 9018 9255, and one of our friendly sleep consultants can help you with honest, up to date and unbiased information to ensure you’re getting the right bed, at the right price.