Do you need a special mattress for an adjustable bed? Yes, you need to use a mattress that is compatible with adjustable beds – and not all mattresses are. However, most foam mattresses can be used on adjustable bases. In general, you can use most memory foam and latex mattresses. Some hybrids are compatible and most innerspring mattresses are not.
WHICH MATTRESSES ARE COMPATIBLE?
In general, most memory foam and latex mattresses are compatible with adjustable beds. Both these mattress types are made from foam. They have an inherent ability to bend, fold, and adapt shape. This makes them a great choice for an adjustable bed frame.
Memory foam and latex mattresses have the ability to contour along the shape of the bed frame as it changes shape. If you raise the upper part of the bed, these mattresses will pivot and contour around the new bedframe shape. And, when the bed is returned to its flat natural state – so too will the foam mattress.
If you are purchasing a mattress specifically for an adjustable bed you should confirm with the manufacturer that it is suitable for an adjustable frame before you make your purchase. However, if you already have a foam mattress, there may be no need to purchase a new one.
Get in touch with your existing manufacturer and find out if it can be used. If it’s foam based – the chances are it is a good fit for an adjustable base. You could save yourself a lot of money for the price of a quick phone call. Below we cover the main points you need to consider when choosing a mattress for an adjustable base.
MATTRESS TYPES & ADJUSTABLE BASES
Below we assess the suitability of each of the main mattress types for an adjustable bed frame. We’ll take you through everything you need to know about each type and cover the key benefits and disadvantages.
MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS COMPATIBILITY
In general foam mattresses are a great choice for use with an adjustable bed frame. And, memory foam mattresses are one of the most popular choices. They are all-foam, contain no solid parts, and can be easily bent and contoured in line with the changing shapes of an adjustable bed frame.
Although most memory foam mattresses work well with adjustable beds – it’s always worthwhile checking with the manufacturer first. They may be able to offer advice on how to position the mattress and let you know if your existing warranty will cover use on an adjustable base.
Memory foam delivers a soft cushioning feel and slowly changes shape to cradle body weight. Below we take a look at the pros and cons of a memory foam mattress. And, if you need some help choosing a mattress, check out our guide to the Best Memory Foam Mattresses.
FLEXIBILITY – Memory foam mattresses are flexible and can adapt to different shapes.
SOFT CUSHIONING – They provide soft cushioning and contour the shape of your body.
PRESSURE POINT RELIEF – Weight is distributed and pressure points such as the hips and knees are relieved.
MOTION IS ISOLATED – They absorb motion and eliminate the transfer of movement and bounce.
HEAVY – Memory foam mattresses are heavy and can be difficult to lift and reposition on a bedframe.
RETAIN HEAT – The foam tends to retain heat and can sleep hot.
QUALITY CAN VARY – Beware cheap memory foams that are made from low-quality materials.
• For more check out the Pros and Cons of Memory Foam Mattresses.
LATEX MATTRESS COMPATIBILITY
Latex mattresses are another great choice for adjustable beds. Just like memory foam – they are all foam and contain no solid parts that can snap or break if the mattress bends. The Best Latex Mattresses are eco-friendly, hypoallergenic, and made from organic material.
Latex mattresses are made using the sap of the rubber tree. This natural material is processed to create a foam that is molded into a mattress. Synthetic latex mattresses are made using other materials that are designed to mimic the feel and qualities of natural latex.
Latex foam is a great fit for an adjustable bed. The foam has a natural bouncy feel and will easily fold and change shape in line with your adjustable bed frame. However, our advice is to check with the mattress manufacturer before you begin using your mattress on an adjustable base.
INCREDIBLY FLEXIBLE – Latex mattresses are highly flexible making them a great choice for an adjustable bed.
RAPID RESPONSE – A latex mattress changes shape rapidly in response to pressure and quickly bounces back to its original shape when pressure is removed.
SUPERB COMFORT – They are made from a soft cushioning foam that gently cradles body weight and delivers excellent comfort levels.
HYPOALLERGENIC – Latex mattresses are naturally hypoallergenic and are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction compared to other mattress types.
HEAVY – They are made using latex foam and carry significant weight.
LATEX ALLERGIES – These mattresses are not suitable for people that have a latex allergy.
PRICE – Latex mattresses are a high-quality product and come with a significant price tag.
• For more, check out our full guide to Latex Mattress Pros and Cons.
HYBRID MATTRESS COMPATIBILITY
Hybrid mattresses use a blend of technologies. Some can be used with adjustable beds, while many cannot. Most hybrids are made using a combination of innerspring and foam layers. Others contain mixes of different types of foam, for example, latex and memory foam.
For this reason – the suitability of a hybrid mattress for use on an adjustable varies depending on how it’s made. If you need some help choosing a hybrid, check out our independent reviews of the Best Hybrid Mattresses.
In general, all-foam mattresses are compatible with adjustable bases. And, innersprings are unsuitable. This means that some hybrids can be used on an adjustable bed and others cannot. For confirmation, you will have to contact your hybrid mattress manufacturer to determine if it is compatible.
COMPATIBILITY – All foam hybrid mattresses may be suitable for use with adjustable beds – check with the manufacturer.
COOLING EFFECT – Models with innerspring bases deliver an excellent cooling effect.
RELIABLE SUPPORT – They are a great choice for heavier people as they tend to provide more support than memory foam mattresses.
MULTIPLE SLEEPING POSITIONS – Hybrids work well for all sleeping positions – side, back, and stomach sleeping.
NOT FLEXIBLE – The majority of hybrid mattresses contain an innerspring base, meaning they cannot be used on an adjustable base.
HEAVY – Hybrid mattresses are some of the heaviest mattresses on the market.
CANNOT BE FLIPPED – Most hybrids cannot be flipped and must be kept in the same position throughout their lifecycle.
• For more see the Pros and Cons of Hybrid Mattresses.
Most innerspring mattresses are not suitable for use on an adjustable bed frame. They do not respond well to being bent and twisted. Innersprings are made using steel springs that are designed to move in unison. The springs can be either individually pocketed or connected in rows.
The rigidity and design structure means the vast majority of innerspring mattresses are not compatible with adjustable bases. However, all is not lost – some are. If you have an innerspring mattress our advice is to contact the manufacturer and ask them if it can be used on an adjustable bed frame. You never know, it could be your lucky day.
TRADITIONAL FEEL – Innerspring mattresses provide that traditional bouncy feel many of us are familiar with.
COOLING EFFECT – The gaps between the springs facilitate airflow which in turn helps keep the mattress surface cool.
AFFORDABLE – Most spring mattresses are more affordable compared to latex, hybrid, and high-end memory foam mattresses.
NOT FLEXIBLE – Most innerspring mattresses are not flexible and cannot be used on an adjustable bed.
NOISY – They can be noisy too as the springs begin to age and become stiff.
MOTION TRANSFER – Innersprings are bouncy and motion on one side of the bed can be easily felt on the other side.
WHAT YOU NEED TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A MATTRESS FOR AN ADJUSTABLE BED
Now that we’ve answered the question – do you need a special mattress for an adjustable bed – we’ll take a look at the main points you need to consider when assessing what type of mattress is best for adjustable an bed.
THE SIZE OF THE ADJUSTABLE BED BASE
The first thing you need to consider when choosing a mattress for an adjustable bed is the size of the bed frame. You need to get a mattress that comfortably fits the frame. A mattress that is bigger than the adjustable base is not going to fit on the frame.
Similarly, you don’t want to choose a mattress that is too small as it will constantly shift and change position as you adjust the bed. If you need some help selecting the correct mattress size, check out our bed size comparison chart.
THE FLEXIBILITY OF THE MATTRESS
Crucially you need to select a flexible mattress. The mattress must have the ability to bend and change shape in line with the adjustable bed. Most adjustable bases allow for the bed to be raised at both the top and lower segments. The mattress you choose must be able to bend along all the pivot areas of the adjustable bed frame. Foam mattresses are your best bet here.
THE DURABILITY OF THE MATTRESS
Make sure you choose a durable mattress. There’s no point forking out your hard-earned cash for a flexible foam mattress only to learn it wasn’t up to the task. Mattresses used on adjustable bed frames must be both flexible and durable. They must be able to withstand repeated bends and shape changes without showing signs of wear and tear or damage.
THE FIRMNESS OF THE MATTRESS
Firmness is key. Just because you are choosing a flexible mattress does not mean it has to have a soft feel. You should always choose a mattress with your preferred level of firmness. For example, many people prefer firmer mattresses with lots of support.
Others prefer softer mattresses with gentle cushioning. Choose the mattress with the right degree of firmness for you. You don’t have to choose a soft-feel mattress for use on an adjustable bed base. Go with whatever feels right for you. For more see the Benefits of an Adjustable Bed.
WHAT IS AN ADJUSTABLE BED?
An adjustable bed allows you to raise sections of the bed to change the profile of the mattress. They typically have two or three hinged points that allow you to pivot the upper and lower sections of the bed. Raising the upper section will allow you to sit up and watch tv, read a book, or eat a meal.
Raising the lower section will elevate your legs above your hips. Most adjustable beds are powered using an electric motor that allows the user to alter raise or lower sections at the press of a button. They are popular for their ability to increase comfort, help relieve pain, and ease snoring.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here’s a round-up of the questions that pop up when covering the topic – do you need a special mattress for an adjustable bed?
CAN YOU PUT A REGULAR MATTRESS ON AN ADJUSTABLE BED?
You cannot put any mattress on an adjustable bed. You must use a mattress that is compatible with adjustable beds. In general, most foam mattresses (such as memory foam and latex mattresses) are compatible with adjustable beds.
WHAT KIND OF MATTRESS CAN YOU USE ON AN ADJUSTABLE FRAME?
The best type of bed to use on an adjustable mattress is an all-foam mattress. Memory foams and latex mattresses work well. Always check with the mattress manufacturer if your mattress is suitable for use with an adjustable bed before using it.
CAN YOU USE A BOX SPRING ON AN ADJUSTABLE BASE?
No, you cannot use a box spring on an adjustable base. Box springs are not compatible with adjustable beds.
HOW THICK SHOULD A MATTRESS BE FOR AN ADJUSTABLE BED?
A mattress should be 8 to 12 inches thick for use on an adjustable bed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SARAH FOY – Mattress Expert
Sarah joined the MCG team in the summer of 2021. She is our in-house foam mattress expert. Whether it’s memory foam, latex foam, or straightforward polyfoam – she has you covered. Sarah has a particular passion for the unique body contouring effects and soft cradling support of latex and memory foam mattresses.
She has over 15 years of experience in the bedding, furniture, and textile industries. Sarah is a native of Arizona where she graduated from Northern Arizona University in the mid-noughties. When she’s not in the office she likes to tend to her apple tree orchard in Flagstaff where she lives with her husband and two daughters.