Our bodies need a lot more care as we age, which is why there is a growing demand for various assisted living devices to make life easier for seniors. From door grips to fitness wearables, these tech solutions are a must for seniors who want to live independently and people who want to give their loved ones the best in life. This is why when it comes to tech solutions, adjustable beds are worth a look.
It's no secret that we spend a lot of our time on our beds. In fact, the Huffington Post estimates that we spend over 33 years of our lives in bed sleeping—and that figure doesn't account for all the times we spend either lounging around, watching TV, or reading a book!
A great bed is key to having a comfortable life at home, and this is true for any age. However, as mentioned earlier, seniors need a bit more help in this regard to make sure they're as comfortable as can be. Adjustable beds for seniors are therefore a worthy investment.
The question is, how do you even go about deciding what kind of adjustable bed to get? To help you make an informed decision, we'll dive in and give you a comprehensive look at whether adjustable beds are worth the investment, how much they typically cost, and whether they're covered by Medicare.
All in all, this comprehensive guide should give you the confidence you need to make the right choice for yourself or the special senior in your life.
Before we dive into discussing the best adjustable beds there are available, it's worth looking at what these beds actually are and how they work. These mattresses are similar to a hospital bed in that you can adjust them as you wish, making them ideal for seniors who need help getting out of bed and/or maybe suffering from back and joint pain.
The adjustable bed frames are what differentiate it from your standard home bed frame. What most people don't realize is that different parts of the bed frame are adjustable, as they are all made up of joints that can rotate to a certain extent. This is why adjustable beds allow you to move your upper body but not your lower body, or vice versa.
According to projections by the CDC, over 78 million Americans aged 18 and above are expected to be diagnosed with arthritis. This makes investments like adjustable beds even more important, especially as you age. If you've ever felt random pains in your legs or back as you sleep, you have an idea of just how useful adjustable beds can be.
That said, adjustable beds don't just help with lower back problems and arthritis—they can do far more. Beds with adjustable bases can:
These living solutions are great even for seniors who don't have too many problems with chronic pains, as they don't have to rely on others to help them get in and out of bed. Your bedroom should be a place of comfort, and having an adjustable bed gives seniors the privacy they need to go about their usual sleep routine.
Another aspect of adjustable beds that is worth noting is their zero-gravity feature. Yes, you read that right! Best Mattress Brand's overview of this preset notes that it works by letting the frame counteract the effects of gravity on the body, which means lifting your head and feet at specific positions so that they're supported.
Of course, what is a bed without a mattress? While most adjustable bed options come with a mattress, this is completely optional. However, looking at a hospital bed should give you a good idea of what kind of mattress you need: it should be able to bend relatively well without being worn down. It also goes without saying that it should provide you with as much comfort as possible!
To this end, a memory foam mattress is your best bet. After all, an adjustable base won't do much if your mattress is tough to sleep on! The size of the mattress (split king, full Queen, and the like) will ultimately depend on the bed frame itself. We'll touch on this with more depth in the section on whether adjustable beds are worth the money.
A quick Google search will undoubtedly yield a number of beds available, and the sheer amount of resutls can get confusing. To help you start narrowing things down, below is a list of seven adjustable bed options that you might want to consider:
This is considered to be the go-to option for those on a budget and/or those who are just looking for the basics. This beds' adjustable frame offers head and foot articulation, a zero gravity preset (along with other presets), a wireless remote, and under-bed illumination.
Amerisleep's basic Adjustable Bed starts off at $1100. It supports Twin XL, Queen, King, Split King, and California King mattresses.
This option comes with the standard features of Amerisleep's Adjustable Bed, and then some. What makes this Bed+ different is that it also offers wave massagers (which will feel amazing when partnered with a memory foam mattress) along with stronger hook retention so your mattress doesn't fall off.
The Amerisleep Adjustable Bed+ starts at $1800. It supports Twin XL, Full, Queen, and Split King mattresses.
Because Zoma is known for theirmattresses, it's no surprise that this frame was made specifically to work best with any of their memory foam options. You can also get the frame on its own and it will be well worth your while, as it also boasts a wireless remote and programmable presets—including zero gravity.
Zoma's Adjustable Base starts at $1100. It supports Twin XL, Queen, Split King, King, and California King mattresses.
Saatva's adjustable bed has been touted as one of the quietest that money can buy, which may be a deciding factor depending on how many people are living in your home. Aside from that, the Lineal Adjustable Base is remote control operated, has zero gravity, and the same illumination underneath. The 25-year warranty includes full coverage for the first five years.
Saatva's Lineal Adjustable Base starts at $1199. It supports Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King mattresses.
TempurPedic is another well-known mattress brand, and it's good to know that the quality of their products extends to adjustable beds too. The TEMPUR-Ergo Extend boasts a quiet mode feature that makes the adjustable base as quiet as can be. The PerfectSeat feature allows for easy seat adjustment whether you're watching TV or reading a book, which is a perfect feature for a bed for seniors.
The TempurPedic TEMPUR-Ergo Extend starts at $1999. It supports Twin Long, Queen, King, Split King, California King, and Split California King mattresses.
Last but definitely not the least is Yaasa's adjustable frame. It's sleek and minimalist look will be the perfect compliment to any home, and it has wall-sliding technology that makes sure the adjustable base always stays close to the wall for support.
The Yaasa Adjustable Bed starts at $1199. It works with Twin XL, Queen, and Split King mattresses.
All the options on this list of the best adjustable beds for seniors covers options boast great functionality, but there are also options available for those who want a bit more out of their bed.
At the end of the day, these options are definitely better than your standard hospital bed — and they can be set up in the comfort of your own home!
Of course, you may have looked at those prices and thought to yourself, "Wow, that's a lot of money." Even with all the bells and whistles involved, it can be mind-boggling to justify spending close to $2000 on a mattress alone!
According to the Medicare website, Medicare Part B (which covers health insurance) covers a hospital bed as part of the "durable medical equipment" (DME) coverage that can be prescribed by a doctor.
Medicare covers up to 80% of the cost of your adjustable bed, which means you'll only have to pay 20% alongside any other deductibles. All in all, you're looking at huge potential savings for a piece of equipment that your loved one will definitely benefit from.
It's also important to remember that a doctor's prescription isn't the only thing you'll need to qualify for this aid. Indeed, there are a bunch of different criteria that needs to be met in order for you to first qualify for a DME, and then qualify for the DME to be paid for by Medicare.
To qualify for a fixed height hospital bed as a DME, the applicant needs to first fit certain physical criteria. While the specifics of this criteria may vary slightly across different insurance companies, the general rules are that the applicant must:
Any of these three criteria can apply, but for the third option it's imperative that pillows and wedges have already been considered.
If the following criteria has been met, the kind of bed needed will also depend on the applicant's weight and need for body adjustment. For instance, seniors who require frequent changes in body position will medically require for a semi-electric bed.
Applicants who need to change body positions frequently and weigh between 350 and 600 pounds will medically require a heavy duty, extra wide bed. Applicants 600 pounds and above will need an extra heavy duty bed.
To be eligible for a total electric hospital bed (like the adjustable beds we've mentioned that allow for both head and foot elevation), the applicant needs to meet any of the three criteria above as well as have any of these conditions:
It may also be possible for your mattress to apply as a DME. In order to qualify, this Activebeat guide states that the mattress must:
Let's say that your loved one has ticked all the necessary criteria to be eligible for an adjustable bed. The last hurdle is to get your bed actually approved by Medicare.
For your adjustable bed to be covered by Medicare, it has to meet the following criteria:
You can also rest easy knowing that Medicare can actually replace your DME. The Medicare Initiative states that any DME you own can be replaced "if it is lost, stolen, or damaged beyond repair in an accident or a natural disaster," provided that you have proof that any of the incidents actually occurred.
Your DME will also have to be used and in your posession for its whole lifetime, and no less than five years. Additionally, the bed must show signs of intense day-to-day use to the point that it cannot be repaired. If your DME has not reached the end of its lifetime, Medicare may be able to cover for repairs up to the cost of actually replacing the item.
However, should you qualify for a replacement, you will have to contact your primary care provider and ask them for a prescription that outlines why you need a replacement.
While the short answer is that adjustable beds are indeed worth the money, finding an adjustable bed that's eligible for Medicare means that you're potentially looking at an investment that will literally last you for years to come — and possibly even more. Indeed, knowing that your adjustable bed can be covered by Medicare allows you to stress less and focus more on looking for the best adjustable bed for seniors.
The potential savings on your adjustable bed also allows you more freedom to match it with right mattress. While some adjustable bed manufacturers offer discounts for when you buy a matching mattress, these options can also be quite costly.
Case in point, The Sleep Foundation's roundup of best mattress brands recommends Zenhaven's latex mattress as a top pick that works with an adjustable bed. This mattress costs around $2,000 alone; Awara's mattresses, which also come in the list, are valued at around $1,500.
So all in all, adjustable beds do require a bit of investment upfront. And it's not necessarily just in terms of money, as checking against multiple insurance providers and finding Medicare-approved suppliers can also take up a lot of time. That's not even counting the research it takes to look for different beds!
At this point, it's safe to say that we've gone through all the physical benefits of investing in adjustable beds for the elderly. However, it's also worth looking at the mental health benefits that this can provide for you and your loved one.
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, your home life is something sacred and important. While it may be a bit of a stretch to say that a great adjustable bed will magically solve all your loved one's problems, there's no denying that the comfort of lying down on a cozy bed at the end of the day can be more than enough. It also goes without saying that proper sleep can also benefit one's mental health and overall outlook.
Knowing that your loved ones are safe and well at home can give you some peace of mind as well. Not to mention, part of what has made the COVID-19 pandemic so difficult is that families have been separated from one another, making it impossible to check up on loved ones and care for them in person.
A study published just last May in Geriatric Psychiatry suggests that elderly mental health should be something that we watch out for, as this could be exacerbated under the current health crisis. Although it may be difficult to get the right adjustable bed shipped home right away, starting the research process and involving your loved one can be a source of comfort and support for you both.
For those who want to give the senior in their life the best living experience possible, an adjustable bed frame is well worth the investment. The health benefits of adjustable beds for seniors outweigh the costs of the items themselves, not to mention these adjustable bases can keep chronic pains (and thus expensive medical bills) away.
Thankfully, the array of both basic and premium adjustable bed options mean there's one for every preference and budget. And pairing your adjustable bed with a comfortable memory foam mattress ensures that seniors will get both the support and relief that they deserve.
As you've seen in this post, there are tons of adjustable beds and mattresses out there to choose from. In fact, you'll probably have a much harder time narrowing down your choices! This may be a hard decision to make, but imagine how happy your loved one will be once their bed arrives at their doorstep.
Hopefully after reading our guide, you're ready to go out there and pick the best adjustable bed for your loved one. If you want to learn more about other senior care products in the bedroom, check out our wide array of resources on the best options on the market today!