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Selecting A Mattress for an Adjustable Bed

Updated on July 15, 2011

When you are buying an adjustable bed, you will discover that there are many types of adjustable bed mattresses to choose from. Each type of mattress has its advantages and disadvantages, and some work better for different body types or medical conditions than others. Let’s look at the four main types of mattresses that are commonly used with manual or electric adjustable bed frames: adjustable latex foam mattresses, adjustable memory foam mattresses, coil spring mattresses, and dual adjustable mattresses.

Adjustable Latex Foam Mattresses

Affordable and comfortable, an adjustable latex foam mattresses gives a moderately overweight sleeper support and cushioning. Latex foam mattresses are good choices for overweight people, who have unique sleep needs. An overweight person needs a mattress that will not compress rapidly and will be able to give the sleeper support, cushioning, and softness even after a few years of constant use. Latex foam gives a cushioning similar to the extra padding of a pillow top mattress, but unlike a pillow top a latex foam mattress is a good choice for overweight people. Pillow top mattresses will not last long if an overweight person is using it regularly. The extra stress caused by weights over 250 pounds will cause the pillow top to break down and compress rapidly.

Latex foam is similar to memory foam, as both give a uniform support and softness to the sleeper. Latex and memory foam are both designed to return to their original shape after pressure is removed from the surface. However, memory foam and latex foam are designed for use by people in different weight categories. Memory foam is not recommended for people who are over 250 pounds, since it will smash in too quickly and break down rapidly. Memory foam also has another problem: it tends to make people hot and sweaty at night. Latex foam mattresses do not have this same defect. Most latex foam mattresses are a good choice for people up to 300 pounds, and specialty latex foam mattresses are made for people who are 400 to 1000 pounds.

Thanks to their pliable nature, latex foam mattresses work very well with adjustable bed frames. There aren’t any springs or coils to worry about with a latex foam mattress, and the mattress can easily adjust to a large variety of positions. Latex foam mattresses are a popular choice for all types of adjustable beds .

Adjustable Memory Foam Mattresses

Although popular for many years, many companies no longer make or recommend memory foam mattresses because they have several drawbacks. First, memory foam compresses rapidly and turns hard and uncomfortable. People who are 250 pounds or more shouldn’t ever use memory foam because it can’t stand up to the constant stress of very much pressure. Another defect of memory foam mattresses is that they often make sleepers hot and uncomfortable. When you sleep on a memory foam bed, there isn’t any air between your body and the mattress. This causes many sleepers to get hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable at night.

Memory foam mattresses work well (structurally) with adjustable beds because they are so pliable. Memory foam easily molds to new shapes. Lightweight sleepers can be very comfortable with a memory foam adjustable mattress. Memory foam was invented by NASA, and it is still a good choice for lightweight people who have back problems.

Adjustable Coil spring mattresses

First invented in 1865, inner coil spring mattresses are still the bed mattress of choice by most Americans. Different types of coils can be used to make firmer or softer beds. Offset coils are the best at conforming to the body’s natural shape. Fabric-wrapped Marshall coils are less likely to poke through your mattress after several years, and can be used to make a bed firmer or give more support. The oldest type of inner spring mattress coils are Bonell coils; these come in different gauges that make the bed firmer or softer. The softer coils are usually found in more expensive mattresses (14.5 mm), while firmer beds usually have Bonnell coils that are in the 12.5 mm to 13.5 mm range.

There are many innerspring coil mattresses sold for adjustable beds, and this type of mattresses can be conformed and adjusted surprisingly well.

Dual Adjustable Beds

Dual adjustable beds are made for couples and allow the two sides of a queen or king sized mattress to be adjusted separately. Usually, a dual adjustable bed mattress is actually a combination of two individual mattresses set on top of a joint box spring. Some mattress companies make a joined dual adjustable bed that allows each side to be adjusted for softness and firmness, although the position of the mattress (sitting up, etc.) can’t be individually adjusted. A joined dual adjustable mattress can be made of any type of mattress material (latex foam, memory foam, coil spring, etc.).

A dual adjustable king sized mattress allows couples to still sleep together who have differing sleep requirements, a common condition as our bodies age. Even in our younger years, most couples already have differing comfort levels but couples often compromise on mattress preferences, although this can sometimes lead to uncomfortable sleep and back and neck pain. As we age, every person will develop different medical conditions or sleep preferences. You can enjoy better sleep and enhance your health by paying attention to these preferences and taking care of medical concerns. People with arthritis should not sleep on a firm mattress, for example, as this will cause increased pain, swelling, and discomfort. People with certain back problems, on the other hand, need a firmer mattress that will give their back the support it needs to prevent further back problems and back pain. If a couple selects a mattress that is medium firmness, neither of the individuals will be able to sleep pain free or receive the comfortable sleep they need.

Couples with differing mattress needs and preferences will enjoy a dual adjustable mattress. You can customize a dual adjustable mattresses, with each side giving the perfect softness or firmness for each partner. This is known as a custom dual inner spring mattress. This type of two-sided mattress is an excellent choice for adjustable beds, giving the added comfort of dual firmness.


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    • Reginald Thomas profile image

      Reginald Thomas 2 years ago from Connecticut

      Very nice article! Lots of valuable information. I enjoyed reading it.

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      Michelle Cole 5 years ago

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      and let me in my everyday living. Thank you.

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      Dustin Thompson 6 years ago

      Thanks you very much. We are glad you liked it.

    • deepu3 profile image

      deepu3 6 years ago from Kochi, India

      very good hub. will tweet it.