Stop Debating Firm Versus Soft With the Best Adjustable Mattresses
One of our faves adapts while you sleep.
Published May 6, 2022 10:30 AM
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Reading up on Domino’s shopping guides is like having your own personal product concierge. We do the tedious part—deep-dive research, hands-on testing, and tapping experts for advice—so all you have to do is hit “add to cart.” That’s why we call them Simply the Best.
It’s impossible not to think of The Princess and the Pea when talking about adjustable mattresses. You know the story: Some kooky royals decide to test a would-be princess by making her sleep atop a pile of mattresses with one single pea underneath. If she can feel it, she’s in, and without fail, the next morning the star of the story wakes up complaining about aches and pains caused by, again, a single pea.
Many sleepers, says Sleep Foundation product expert Keith Cushner, are the princess—beds feel good but not great, with too much support in some areas and not enough in others. That’s where the best adjustable mattresses come in. “They’re highly customizable, so you can really make tweaks to get more or less support in different spots,” he explains. This also makes adjustable mattresses a great option for couples: no more fussing over firm versus soft. Our top picks will have you drifting off to bespoke sleep in no time.
- The super-customizable one: Saatva Solaire
- The does-the-adjusting-for-you one: Sleep Number 360 C2 Smart Bed
- The memory foam one: Tempur-Pedic Tempur Adapt
The Super-Customizable One: Saatva Solaire
Who it’s for: Bed sharers who agree on everything, except the ideal sleeping conditions | Firmness: Default is firm, with plenty of options for tweaking | Hypoallergenic: Yes
What we like:
- Cooling for hot sleepers
- Couples can adjust each side individually
- Free in-room delivery
- The split-top option costs extra
- Adjustable base sold separately
Why we chose it: With 50 different settings, there’s a sweet spot for everyone.
This bed takes adjustable to a whole new level. Thanks to an extensive suite of settings that allow sleepers to raise and lower each part of the bed, custom-made sleep isn’t just something you’ll dream about—it’s something you’ll enjoy while dreaming.
Great for couples with different sleeping styles, it also comes in a split-top option, meaning you and your partner basically get your own individual beds (apart together, right?). It’s ultra-quiet, which means you’ll likely avoid being woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of your partner shifting in their bed.
The Does-the-Adjusting-for-You One: Sleep Number 360 C2 Smart Bed
Who it’s for: Sleepers who want the bed to do the heavy lifting | Firmness: Moderate | Hypoallergenic: No
What we like:
- Wi-Fi-enabled for sleep monitoring
- Adjustable on both sides
- Bases and frames sold separately
Why we chose it: This bed literally adjusts itself as you change sleeping positions.
A mattress that puts in work as you snooze, to ensure your body stays in its ideal position? Sounds like a fever dream, but it’s very real with the Sleep Number 360 C2 Smart Bed. Once you find the position that feels most comfortable (also known as your Sleep Number), the bed will adjust itself as you move out of that position while you’re sleeping. A monitoring system that connects to your home’s Wi-Fi also keeps track of how you sleep, and morning reports that elaborate on the length and efficiency of your sleep will help you understand how to get the best rest possible.
The Memory Foam One: Tempur-Pedic Tempur Adapt
Who it’s for: Anyone who loves the warm hug of a foam mattress | Firmness: Medium memory foam | Hypoallergenic: Yes
What we like:
- The most trusted brand in foam mattresses
- Available at a number of retailers
- Helps distribute your body weight evenly
- Some people don’t love the full-body surrounding feel of foam
Why we chose it: Foam lovers, rejoice: an adjustable bed rendered in a popular, pillowy material.
People who love foam mattresses really love them—the foam works to mold itself to your body, which in turn keeps your body supported throughout the night. Switching to something adjustable can be a challenge. Enter Tempur-Pedic’s Tempur Adapt, which can be used with either a standard or an adjustable base. The brand has been consistently turning out high-quality beds for years, and this adjustable version is no different. Cushner says foam is an ideal surface for anyone who likes to feel like they’re sleeping “in a bed versus on a bed,” with this one doing a great job of adjusting to your whole body.
How We Chose These Products
Let’s face it: Shopping for a sleep setup is overwhelming, and endlessly scrolling store and brand websites can make it feel even more stressful. Sometimes, though, you need a new mattress (or pillows or sheets or all of the above)—how do you figure out which product is actually worth the investment? At Domino, we strive to prioritize bedding brands that balance style, high-quality manufacturing, and eco-conscious attributes at a variety of price points. Our team conducts hands-on testing when possible, and we tap industry experts for their input, dig into brand stats, and conduct independent research. The thing is: There’s really no shortcut to finding your ideal mattress—you just have to try them (that’s why we like sleep trials!).
Our Shopping Checklist
Design and Materials
Most adjustable beds are made from a variety of materials in order to give you a custom night’s sleep. Some use more foam, while others use cotton and other materials to mimic the firmness you’d get from a traditional innerspring mattress.
One thing you’ll want to pay attention to here is weight, especially if you’re sharing a bed—some are designed to hold 1,000 pounds, while others have a lower weight threshold. Whether or not you want to utilize monitoring features is up to you; Cushner points out that while many people use phones or smart watches to keep track of sleep, having your mattress do the work can be an easy way to go screen-free in the bedroom.
Since many adjustable beds rely on some kind of electronic component, it can be a good idea to let the pros take care of this one—though many companies offer setup as part of delivery (more on this in the next point!).
If you’re shopping in-store, make sure you ask about delivery fees, which can sometimes be negotiable! If you’re shopping online, pay attention to what kind of delivery is offered—some companies will set everything up in your bedroom (and take your old mattress away), while others will only drop it at your front door.
Sleep Trials and Returns
Mattresses are super-personal, which is why we recommend looking for one that comes with a sleep trial of at least one month to make sure you’re really happy (hello, long-term investment.) You’ll want to take note of return options and return policies, too; in some cases, it may be on you to send the bed back, while others handle pickup for you.
When it comes to warranties, confirm whether or not yours covers user damage, general wear and tear, or manufacturer defects only. If your warranty is coming through a retail shop, find out if it handles issues directly or outsources to another service.
Adjustable Mattress vs. Adjustable Base: What’s the Difference?
If you’re asking this question, you aren’t alone—many people use adjustable bed to refer to mattresses and bases interchangeably. An adjustable base can be a great option for anyone who wants some flexibility with a mattress they already love, or anyone who wants to spend a little less money, since a base itself is usually less expensive than a fully adjustable mattress. One thing you’ll want to note: Sleep trials generally come with mattresses, but are not as common when you’re looking for a base. Warranties offer a wide range of coverage, with most focusing mainly on manufacturer defects. Here are some we like:
Avocado Adjustable Base
Warranty: 20 years of limited coverage
The materials here are top-notch: sturdy metal, organic cotton, and rubberwood legs. A zero-gravity mode is designed to reduce muscle tension, and an anti-snore position will help bring the noise level of your nights down significantly.
Luuf Adjustable Base
Warranty: 10 years of limited coverage
Controlled via a wireless remote, this one makes adjusting your bed as easy as pressing a button, and we love that it has a 1,000-pound weight limit, too.
Saatva Adjustable Bed Base
Warranty: 10 years
Who needs a spa when you have a bed that offers a massage function for your feet, legs, and head? That’s what this one has, plus a preset mode for weightless support. It also includes built-in underbed lighting so that when you do manage to pull yourself out of it, your relaxation mode is less likely to be disturbed by an early-morning bump into the frame’s corner.
Pottery Barn Ease 3.0 Power Adjustable Base
Warranty: 3 years of full coverage
This bed base is designed for convenience and safety—the zero clearance makes it likely to fit inside almost any bed frame, or use it with the four adjustable-height legs to let it do the job of base and frame. It also comes with a child-lock mode, which will ensure it stays put no matter how much jumping little ones do on it.
Q: I keep hearing about zero gravity—what does that have to do with adjustable beds?
Going zero gravity—which refers to chairs and beds that set your body into a “neutral” position, with your legs elevated to the same level as your chest—is popular right now with anyone looking to minimize muscle tension, aka most of us! If this is something you’re interested in, look for an adjustable bed with a zero-gravity setting that will get you there with the push of a button.
Q: What’s the best way to keep sheets on an adjustable bed?
Los Angeles–based interior designer Hema Persad says your go-to sheets for an adjustable bed should be ones with deep pockets: “The extra room in the corners will allow you to tuck the sheets under the mattress so they don’t slip off.”
Go one step further and invest in a set of sheet straps—some are made specifically for adjustable beds, but pretty much any set will work.
Q: Can you use a box spring with an adjustable base?
Mattresses and box springs go together most of the time, but here’s one where you’ll want to skip the box spring—its innerspring coils are too rigid to move with an adjustable bed’s base.
Q: Are adjustable beds noisy?
Adjustable beds sometimes get a bad rap for being noisy, but newer models are so silent you’ll barely know they’re working! In general, a mattress that is adjustable will be quieter than a bed base that moves.
The Last Word
If you’re having a hard time getting comfortable at night, adjustable mattresses offer a level of customization that will help you find the sleeping position that finally feels just right.