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Can You Use an Adjustable Base with any Bed Frame? How to Know if Yours Will Fit

By Maurice

Can You Use an Adjustable Base with any Bed Frame

Adjustable bed bases and bed frames seem incompatible in many ways. Good news for adjustable bed owners: you don’t actually have to choose between an adjustable base and a bed frame that you really desire. In this guide, you’ll discover if you can use an adjustable base with any bed frame, and what you can do about it!

How Adjustable Beds Work

A standard bed will have two components, a mattress/box springs and then the frame to hold the two. Modern bed frames have done away with the box springs, using wooden or steel slats to hold the mattress.

Adjustable beds are incredibly popular, and they work by using mechanical joints that allow the head or both head and foot of the bed to be raised and lowered to your desired comfort level.  Some adjustable beds have slats, and some have three to five larger panels that move when the remote is used.

These beds don’t work with box spring or platform designs, because the adjustable base is what supports the mattress, and it has legs of its own. This also means that you don’t technically need a frame with an adjustable bed base at all; a frame would be used merely for aesthetic reasons.

What Type of Bed Frame Can Be Used With an Adjustable Base?

If you have a bed frame with a headboard and side rails, your adjustable bed should fit in between that area, as long as it doesn’t rely on slats for stability. Additionally, you can usually attach a headboard to the base if you desire; this should not affect your bed when it moves up and down.

If you have a platform bed frame that is used in place of a box spring, you won’t be able to use an adjustable bed base with it. Why? Simply because an adjustable base is meant to replace a platform bed frame - they accomplish the same purpose.

Think of it this way: if your bed frame can stand on its own without anything in the center - no platform, no slats, etc - it can probably be used with an adjustable bed base.

How Do I Know If An Adjustable Base Will Fit in My Bed Frame?

The good news? In most situations, an adjustable bed base will sit perfectly inside a bed frame without slats. The companies that manufacture adjustable beds know that their customers want to be able to do this, so they make sure their products are sized according to modern standards. That said, it is impossible to know with 100% certainty whether every bed will work with every frame.

The only way to know for sure is to measure, then measure again. Take the dimensions of the bed base you are looking at, and then measure your bed frame. It’s all going to come down to a question of clearance: is my bed frame slightly longer and slightly wider than my adjustable bed base, or not?

Adjustable bases and bed frames are both made to the same sizing standards: twin, full, queen, and king. That said, bed frames can differ slightly in exactly how long/wide they are, which affects whether or not an adjustable bed base will actually fit inside.

So, even though your adjustable bed base should fit inside your bed frame, you need to make sure that the dimensions of the base are slightly smaller than the frame.

Choosing the Right Adjustable Base for Your Bed Frame

Remember not all bed frames will work with all adjustable bases. Even if you are assured by a website or sales page that it will fit, there are very few guarantees that it will actually fit. Here are four tips that will help you choose the right adjustable base for your bed:

  1. 1
    Measure: The more you measure, the more confident you’ll be in your decision. Simple as that!
  2. 2
    Compare Money-Back Guarantees: Most beds are sold with some sort of money-back guarantee or trial period attached. Try to only purchase from companies that will let you return the item if it doesn’t fit, no questions asked. That way, you’re only risking some frustration and lost time, not your hard-earned money!
  3. 3
    Consider a Free Standing Headboard: Free-standing headboards are a great way to add the look and feel of a bed frame without the risk of your adjustable bed not being able to fit.
  4. 4
    Consider Whether You Need a Bed Frame: At the end of the day, a bed frame is not necessary to use or enjoy the benefits of your adjustable bed. You can save a lot of time, money, and guesswork by simply leaving the aesthetics of a bed frame behind.

Can You Use an Adjustable Bed Base With a Headboard by Itself?

Yes, you can! The easiest way to use your new adjustable platform is to leave it as is and have it sit on the floor and anchor a headboard to the wall or to the base itself. This way, you’ll never have to worry about measuring and guessing.

Can You Put an Adjustable Base on a Platform Bed?

Not really. Platform beds, with metal or wood slats, aren’t compatible with adjustable bed bases. Platform beds are designed to hold up your mattress, just like an adjustable bed. You can’t use both at the same time, because they both do the same job.

In theory, you could take the legs off of an adjustable base and place it on top of a platform bed, but that makes little sense. You’d have a bed surface nearly 4 feet off the ground once the mattress is placed on top, and it wouldn’t be very stable at all.

If you have a platform bed frame that can stand up without using the slats, you can remove the slats and place the adjustable base inside. Outside of that, however, there is no safe, reasonable way to use a platform bed frame and an adjustable bed base at the same time.

Can You Use an Adjustable Base with a Storage Bed

Again, here, it is unlikely that you will be able to use a storage bed frame and an adjustable bed base at the same time. In most cases, there simply isn’t enough space for both the storage elements and the adjustable base at the same time.

That said, you may be able to place an adjustable base on a storage bed frame if you can make sure of the following:

  1. 1
    The storage bed can safely support the weight of the base (100+ pounds), the mattress, and the users without breaking
  2. 2
    The storage bed can support the shift in weight when the adjustable bed changes the sleeping position
  3. 3
    The combined height of the storage bed, adjustable base, and the mattress will still be an appropriate height for a bed.

If you’re able to confirm those three things, you may be able to bring your storage bed and adjustable bed desires to fruition.

What Mattresses Work Best with an Adjustable Base?

The optimal mattress for an adjustable bed is memory foam. Foam material allows for the flexibility that is needed when the bed is moved up and down. There are some great memory foam mattresses out there, with firmness's and thicknesses to meet anyone’s tastes.

Latex foam mattresses are another option, just as ideal for use with adjustable beds. Latex mattresses are similar to memory foam but are a bit stiffer, giving you more support - you won’t sink into them as much.  

Finally, hybrid mattresses - a newer type of mattress that combines small coils with memory foam - are great with adjustable beds, too. There’s a small chance that they’ll be a bit too inflexible for your adjustable bed, but most hybrid mattresses work perfectly.

The one type of mattress you do not want is the traditional innerspring. The coils are much too rigid and the mattress will never bend in the way it’s supposed to. Using an innerspring mattress for an adjustable bed is, however, a great way to convince your spouse to buy a new mattress, too!

Conclusion

Adjustable bed bases have tons of different strengths, but they don’t always fit You can use an adjustable base with most bed frames - the only thing you need to confirm is whether or not it will fit. With a little measuring and a willingness to buy a new frame if needed, you can stop worrying about this issue and get to sleeping in comfort and style ASAP!


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