Can You Get a Mattress That’s Adjustable?

Yes, you absolutely can! 

This is great news for those of you who struggle to get some shut-eye. Adjustable mattresses can help you find the right position and give you options in terms of firmness. 

Perhaps your only experience of adjustable mattresses so far is hospital beds? The ones that raise and lower at the head and feet? Well, banish the thought! The mechanisms may be similar but the comfort levels are vastly different! 

Adjustable mattresses may be fairly new to the consumer market, but they’re not limited. There are lots of options and variations available. This can make choosing the right one quite overwhelming. 

Let’s take a look at what adjustable mattresses are and what they offer. 

Beds vs Mattresses

The first thing to note is that adjustable bed frames and adjustable mattresses are two different things. 

Adjustable bed frames can change the shape of the bed and the mattress on top of the bed. They raise and lower different parts of the bed to allow you to sit up, raise your legs, or put you in whatever position you need to be in. 

Adjustable mattresses are generally designed to allow you to change the firmness of the mattress. In most cases, you can adjust the firmness across both sides of the bed. Allowing both you and your partner to find the perfect sleeping conditions. 

Adjustable mattresses can, often, be used with adjustable bed frames to give you the most customizable experience possible. 

In this article, we’re going to explore adjustable mattresses rather than bed frames. 

How Do Adjustable Mattresses Work? 

In order to create adjustable firmness, these mattresses have been minutely designed and developed. The technology they use is incredible! 

Depending on what company and brand you go for, the base of the mattress and topper of the mattress will be different. 

Some use pocket spring bases others use foam. Hybrid adjustable mattresses are also available. In some cases, you’ll be able to get a choice from the manufacturer. Which you choose is really down to your personal preference. 

The topper will consist of a cotton or wool layer that helps wick moisture away from the surface. It also helps to keep you warmer throughout the night. This is important as the hollow air chambers can cause heat to dissipate. 

Beneath the top layer there will be a comfort layer.  This tends to be a few inches of foam or gel. It is there to provide a bit of added comfort on top of the air pockets. 

The key part of the mattress is the air pockets. This is how you control and adjust firmness of the mattress. 

Mattress 1

The mattresses have a number air pockets that can be inflated and deflated. When inflated, the pockets squeeze wedges of foam making them unable to sink and compress with your weight. If you prefer a softer mattress, then you deflate the air pockets. This allows the foam to compress and sink when you lay on it. 

The really ingenious part is that these mattresses often allow you to control each side independently. If you prefer a softer mattress but your partner prefers a firmer mattress, you can each adjust your own sides. 

Think about all the arguments it would solve! 

Why Would You Need an Adjustable Mattress?

The major reason you might want an adjustable mattress is so that both you and your partner can have the best possible sleep. 

You may simply have a different preference to your partner. But there may be medical reasons for the difference. Back injuries or pain are a common reason for needing a different firmness. 

If you do suffer from back pain then you’ll probably want to go for a medium-firm to firm mattress.  This tends to offer better comfort and support, especially for your lower back. 

Another reason for requiring different firmnesses is the way you sleep. Side sleepers tend to need softer mattresses as they tend to have joints in contact with the mattress. Softer mattresses put less pressure on the joints. 

Front sleepers need firmer mattresses to keep their spine more aligned as they sleep. The same is true for those who sleep on their back. 

Without an adjustable mattress, you’d probably need to compromise and go for a medium-firm mattress to give you both a chance at comfort. Adjustable mattresses allow you both to meet your needs. 

Using Adjustable Mattresses

Adjustable mattresses are either electronic or manual. Manual mattresses are much less common nowadays. This is simply because electronic mattresses are much easier to use. 

They are usually sold with a single remote which can adjust both sides of the mattress independently. This is pretty easy but you want to make sure you keep track of the remote! 

Some companies have an app that allows you to control the mattress from your phone. This comes in handy especially if you don’t want to have to argue over the remote. 

One thing you should remember is that making adjustments isn’t silent. The air pockets use pumps to inflate and deflate. If you’re making adjustments in the middle of the night then you may end up waking your partner. 

beautiful woman sleaping in white bed

Added Features

Some companies include sensors in the mattresses. These sensors allow you to track your sleep, movement, breathing and heart rate. This way you can accurately measure how much better your sleep is on the adjustable mattress. 

Another feature that you might find on these mattresses is the split head or split design. This allows you to use the mattress with an adjustable bed frame. The split head allows you to raise your side of the bed up without bothering your partner. 

The full split design is essentially two single beds that fit into a frame. You can adjust and change your position independently of your partner. 

Again, for both of these you’ll need to purchase an adjustable bed frame. You don’t necessarily need to purchase from the same supplier. As long as you make sure the mattress is the appropriate size. 


Adjustable mattresses are generally available in the usual sizes. Split mattresses are generally two singles placed side by side. This may not be suitable for everyone. If you know that single mattresses are uncomfortable or too small then you’re going to need to go with a different size. 

Final Thoughts

Adjustable firmness mattresses came to the market in 2001. Since then they have gone from strength to strength. They found early success with people with specific medical needs. They are becoming increasingly popular with couples who simply want to sleep better. 

If you are thinking of purchasing an adjustable mattress then you have lots of options in terms of materials, operation, size and extra features. 

There’s no denying the fact that these mattresses are expensive. They’ll set you back at least a grand. However, the unparalleled comfort and personalization is very much worth the cost. 

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