Adjustable Beds Explained

Adjustable Beds Explained


Adjustable Beds Explained

Following on from the launch of our own Somnio range of electric adjustable beds and mattresses, we thought it may be useful to explain some of the options and jargon used to describe the type of adjustable beds that are available.


There are three main types of electric adjustable beds available that have clear attributes defining where they are commonly used.

Home Domestic Divan Style beds that look exactly like a non adjustable bed and you will struggle to tell the difference until you press a button on it's hand control.

Somnio In Motion Bed
Picture showing Somnio In Motion electric adjustable bed.

Home Hospital Style beds which are as the name implies a bed looking like you would imagine a bed in a hospital and care home would look like. This type of bed is a much diluted version of a full hospital bed with features needed in a home care environment.

;">Home care bed at low postion
Home Hospital Style care bed.

Hospital Beds which are exactly that. This type of bed is used in hospitals and care homes where a great deal of features are needed for professionals to carry out medical care. This bed would normally have very high specification that's not required in a domestic setting. We will not be going into detail on this style of bed as it is not available to the retail market through ourselves.

Full Hospital Bed for medical professional use.

We supply and install for our customers the first two categories of electric adjustable beds. We do not offer the full blown medical professional hospital bed.

All of our showrooms have examples of the adjustable beds we offer for you to try before you buy, something we would always recommend as comfort and support are very personal. A mattress that suits one person will not necessarily suit another.

Home Domestic Divan Style Adjustable Beds

The most popular home divan style adjustable beds are able to offer all of the features of the home hospital bed in the guise of a really nice looking domestic bed. This type of adjustable bed has an adjustable slatted frame that sits beneath the mattress. Using a handset, this can be adjusted to the most comfortable supportive position for the user. The head area can be moved up and down to suit and the leg region also. The whole frame has break areas which alter as the buttons are pressed to combine into the best positions. These mechanisms are commonly known as five part K frames, the more advanced models will have the best frames with better adjustment. These frames are powered by a motor casing powering both the head and foot end. The motors within the casing vary in quality quite considerably and it's very much a case of you get what you pay for in this respect. Showroom staff will always advise on the best place to lie on the bed to get the most from the adjustments.

6' Adjustable bed showing twin slatted mechanism without mattress.


Picture showing adjustable bed mechanism fully upright.

The handset can either be attached to the bed by a curly wire or the more modern beds will now have a wireless handset option. Generally the basic functions are controlled by 6 buttons on the handset. Other features that are available are memory buttons to automatically save your favourite position, and massage systems, to give that extra level of luxury and in some cases a little pain relief. Underbed lighting that can be automatic with sensors that comes on as you approach your bed or switched on via the handset. Some handsets even have a built in torch.

The bed frame itself will be made to order in the most common sizes. The standard 3' single, 4' large single, 4'6" small double for 1 person, king size 5' and super king 6', offering twin beds joined together with two separate handsets. Other sizes are available but less often ordered. The length of an adjustable bed is normally longer than standard beds at 6'6" but again can be made longer and shorter to suit if needed. The frame is then finished in a fabric of your choosing from the manufacturers swatch to complete the look. Matching headboards are nearly always available to complete the bed when needed. The in motion style beds have a head and foot board built in, so in essence come complete.

The divan style may not suit everyone so it is possible to have your bed made with a shallower base and wooden or metal legs. This allows space under the bed and is also useful if requiring a certain height of bed for your needs.

Side and end drawer storage is optional on the full divan style bed base but not on the shallow style bed base.

Electric adjustable beds need a power source nearby to operate, this is a standard three point power point. You should also have a battery back up built in to your bed to ensure it can be moved in the event of a power cut.

The bed should then be teamed with a suitable adjustable bed mattress of the correct size. There are differences in the type of mattresses available and not all are suitable for use with an adjustable bed. Therefore it is best to make sure that the mattress has been designed for purpose, that it has the flexibility to function correctly, is of the correct length and sometimes, not even considered, that the weight limit for the mattress is suitable for the user.

It goes without saying that all the mattresses that we supply are designed for use with adjustable beds. Mattresses take many forms these days and can be again put into 3 main categories, foam only, foam and pocket springs known as hybrid and pocket springs only. The foam used can be memory foam, latex, ortho foam to name three and are generally combined with other support foams to create the mattress layering. Pressure care foam mattresses are available for those at risk from pressure sores. Some foams are now infused with cool gel to create a cooler sleeping experience, very much appreciated by people who get hot when sleeping. There are also fabrics now that are cool to the touch, which increases the cooling effect to the maximum for users. We can make your mattress with this chill fabric as the top layer, this really helps with any over heating in the night.

For full details on all the options available please just come over to one of

our showrooms for advice and to try them for yourself.

Showroom adjustable beds ready for you to try.
A mattress made with chill cooling fabric top.

Home Hospital Style Bed

This style of bed is used for a home care environment when some care is being given to someone who wishes to be looked after in their own home. These beds are not designed to look like standard beds at all but do have a nice wood finish to brighten them up. Generally this bed will be a standard single 3' bed that can come with or without side rails. Normally as the person may well be in this bed for much longer periods it is common to use a pressure care mattress with this bed.

The bed has an adjustable mechanism similar to the home style beds but made from metal as opposed to wood. It operates on a handset attached by curly wire. The bed will offer leg and head area movement as standard but also allows the bed mattress to be raised and lowered. This is particularly important for care professionals to carry out their work. The beds also come in standard height and low height which allows to mattress down to floor level.

This style of bed is used a lot for enabling people to get home from hospital by allowing treatment to continue in their home. For this reason we keep stock of these beds so we can respond quickly to purchase requests.

Showroom adjustable beds ready for you to try.

Home Hospital Care Bed

Delivery and Installation

All of the adjustable beds require professional installation which we provide. Normally installation takes around 1 hour subject to easy access. We also offer a service to remove and dispose of your old bed at the same time as installation of the new one.


Follow this link on our website to see our Adjustable Bed Category

Follow this link on our website to our Adjustable Bed Sets Category

Follow this link on our website for Adjustable Bed Mattresses

Follow this link on our website to our Homecare Adjustable Beds


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