Do Adjustable Beds Fit in a Frame?

July 30, 2021 | Casper Editorial Team

An adjustable bed poses the perfect solution if you snore, desire comfort flexibility, or like to adjust your sleeping position. But as you explore different adjustable options, you might wind up with more questions than answers, particularly do adjustable beds fit in a bed frame? 

Because adjustable beds come in similar sizes to traditional beds—from twin to California king—the answer is yes

However, you’ll need to consider your frame type and the kind of adjustable bed to ensure you’re getting that perfectly adjusted trip to dreamland. 

With Casper’s Adjustable Bed Frame, you have the freedom and flexibility to customize your bed’s features to your unique sleeping needs.

How Adjustable Beds Work 

When we see the word “bed,” most of us think of the mattress or the frame. But, what is an adjustable bed and how does it differ? An adjustable bed is little more than a base on which a mattress rests. Mechanized joints allow you to control how the adjustable bed frame inclines and reclines, folding and unfolding the mattress attached to it. 

Okay. So what does that have to do with bed frames? A lot, actually. The type of existing bed frame you’re using makes a huge difference in the installation process. 

But first, let’s clarify what we talk about when we talk about beds:

  • The bed frame includes the headboard, baseboard, and sides—it’s essentially everything that keeps the mattress from falling off in all directions. However, some bed frames also include a bed base between the four sides.
  • The bed base is a horizontal structure that supports the mattress from below. This base serves as a mattress foundation, preventing mattress sagging and deterioration for a more comfortable night’s sleep.
  • The mattress is, well, the thing you sleep on.

An adjustable bed is simply the adjustable bed base. So, can you use an adjustable base with any bed frame? Yes, but as you’ll see, this depends on both the type of bed frame and the clearance level.

Choosing the Right Adjustable Bed for Your Frame

To find the right adjustable bed, you’ll need to identify your current frame type.

While the variety of different types of beds is seemingly endless, they can nearly all be placed into one of two categories of frame: platform or panel. 

If you have a high, elaborate, Victorian bed frame, it’s most likely a panel bed. This category encompasses most traditional designs. Other telltale signs of panel beds include:

  • Decorative features (headboards, footboards)
  • Solid wood or metal slats across the frame support the mattress
  • Box spring to prevent mattress sagging

On the other hand, platform beds have a more modern, minimalist look. What makes a platform bed? They have three key features:

  • A lower height
  • A solid, built-in bed “base” supports the mattress, whether it be a innerspring mattress or memory foam mattress
  • No need for a box spring

Chances are good that your bed frame fits into one of these two categories. If you’re not sure, lift up your mattress to see whether your base is solid or has a solid wood or metal slat structure. Regardless of whichever frame you own, there’s good news: both can accommodate an adjustable bed base. 

Outfitting Your Platform Bed

Anyone looking into adjustable beds should pay close attention to its “clearance”—an industry term that refers to how much space the adjustable bed needs below the top base to run through its mechanism freely. 

Your platform bed has what’s referred to as “zero clearance,” which means the adjustable base can sit flat on your existing bed frame. 

To install the adjustable bed base, simply place it on the mattress support part of the frame.

Outfitting Your Panel Bed

If you have a panel bed that you’d like to outfit with an adjustable bed, you have two options that will work with your existing setup. Your choice will impact how you install your new adjustable bed:

  • Zero clearance means that your adjustable base will rest flat on the existing bed frame. In this case, all you have to do is remove the box spring from off the slats and fit the adjustable bed base snugly in its place. As with all adjustable beds, they’ll fit neatly inside existing headboards, footboards, and side rails, provided you’ve matched the bed sizes (e.g., a queen frame with a queen adjustable base).
  • Non-zero clearance means that you need some free space below the adjustable base. This type can’t sit flat on the panels because of the bed frame’s legs. To fit a non-zero clearance adjustable bed into a panel frame, you’re going to have to remove the frame’s slats to allow the mechanism to run smoothly. This isn’t terribly difficult—it might only require a screwdriver or a socket wrench. 

Once you’ve removed the slats, your adjustable bed will fit right in the middle of the frame. If your frame is tall, have no fear—the legs on adjustable beds are, you guessed it, height adjustable.

While that may seem like a lot to take in for one sitting, you only really have to know your bed frame type and the clearance of your adjustable bed. 

Casper—Your Place for All Things Sleep

You’ve already decided it’s time to take your sleep to greater heights with an adjustable bed. Take a look at our selection of adjustable beds and bases which all have a drop-in option—compatible with nearly every bed frame.

And don’t forget, no bed is complete without the mattress. Read up about which types of mattresses work best with your adjustable bed.

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Do Adjustable Beds Help With Snoring?