MattressFirm Logo
Bed Basics
Bed Basics

Tips and Tricks for Styling an Adjustable Bed

A couple laying on an adjustable bed looking at a tablet.

Your bedroom should reflect your style and taste in a way that helps you to de-stress and get into a relaxed state before bedtime. Of all the elements in your bedroom, the most important is the mattress that enables you to get great sleep each night, and many people have further optimized their rest with an adjustable bed.

The combo of the right mattress on top of an adjustable base allows you to raise and lower the head and foot sections of the bed, depending on the model you choose. Health benefits from sleeping on an adjustable base include better circulation, a lower likelihood of snoring, and relief from back pain. Plus, they allow you to easily get in position to read or watch television before drifting off.

Most adjustable beds have a sleek and refined look with a low profile that’ll seamlessly blend in with your bedroom decor, but the movable components can lead to questions about the best headboard, bed skirt, sheets and other styling needs.

If you’re buying an adjustable bed and need help decorating it, we’ve compiled a guide to ensure you sleep better and feel great about how your bedroom looks.

Essential Tips for Styling an Adjustable Bed

Getting a great night’s sleep on an adjustable bed doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the vibes of your bedroom. Styling your adjustable bed is nearly identical to styling a standard mattress and base, with a few adjustments:

  • Keep it functional: Your adjustable base benefits your sleep and physical health due to its ability to move and shift positions. To optimize performance, don't limit the base’s functionality by overcrowding your bed with pillows or accessories.
  • Add the right bedding: Adjustable beds require specific sheets to accommodate maneuverability. Choose the right size and go with sheets with deep pockets to help keep bedding in place.
  • Conceal the base: Your adjustable base is designed to help you get your best sleep, but it may not check the design boxes to fit your bedroom’s aesthetic. Adding a bed frame or skirt can easily remedy this.
  • Give it proper space: You’ll want ample room to easily maneuver around your bed without hitting any walls, with room to place a nightstand next to each side. Keep 3 to 6 inches between the edge of your bed and the nightstand to help avoid knocking things over while the frame adjusts. Also, ensure none of your decor interferes with the adjustable base’s functionality.
  • Pick the right mattress: Many are adjustable-base-friendly, particularly memory foam, hybrid, or innerspring mattresses with individually pocketed coils. If you’re unsure if a mattress is compatible with an adjustable base, visit your local Mattress Firm Sleep Expert® for more assistance. 

How To Decorate an Adjustable Bed

Think of your bed as a foundation you can build upon—a mattress atop an adjustable base can look just as chic as one on a standard frame. Elements like a headboard, throw pillows, blankets, and bedding all play into the overall look of an adjustable bed.

Get Cozy Bedding

The sheets you choose should offer a blend of style and functionality: They should be able to accommodate the mattress shifting at the head and foot. Go with sheets with deep pockets or those specifically designed for an adjustable base that will snugly tuck around the mattress, making the fitted sheet less likely to slip off as the bed raises and lowers. If you’re still struggling to keep sheets on your adjustable bed, devices like sheet suspenders or corner straps can help keep your fitted sheet in place.

Some adjustable sets require specific styles of sheets:

  • Split king and California King adjustable beds allow each side of the head and feet of the bed to move independently. Sets for these beds typically include two fitted sheets, one flat sheet, and two pillowcases.
  • Split-top adjustable beds allow the head of each side of the bed to raise independently, so you’ll need specific sheets to fit your mattress. 

No matter what style of sheets you choose, comfort shouldn’t be a concern: You’ll find adjustable-base-friendly sheets in numerous styles and materials ranging from jersey knit to bamboo to flannel. If you enjoy snuggling under a blanket at night, use caution with the style you use on an adjustable bed. Be sure any blankets you add don’t have hanging tassels or other accents that could get caught while raising or lowering.

Accent pillows can spruce up your bedroom, but you should add them sparingly to an adjustable bed. While a standard flat mattress can look great with extra pillows, these could tumble down the mattress once the head raises on an adjustable base. Any additional pillows might need to be moved off the bed nightly before you get in a comfortable head-raised position.

Add a Bed Frame

To accommodate an adjustable base, bed frames need an interior space free of slats or support bars. Instead, your adjustable base will serve as the entire supportive foundation for your mattress, removing the need to use a box spring, platform, or slats, explains Mattress Firm Sleep Expert® John McCarty. “Imagine an open space, and the adjustable base just fits right inside it,” he says. “From an aesthetic standpoint, if you don’t want the base to show inside of the frame, you can just lower the legs of the adjustable base so it goes right inside of a traditional bed frame.”

Always check the frame’s dimensions to ensure your adjustable base will fit closely nestled inside it. Rather than be a functional frame for your mattress, it will instead sit around the bed’s perimeter, allowing the adjustable base to move into your desired position. So, frames with under-bed drawers or other unremovable parts may be incompatible. However, if your frame has slats, they may be able to be removed to accommodate an adjustable base.

Pick the Right Headboard

A headboard is a dapper way to draw the eye to the upper area of your bed. They can add flair and serve as central decor—if they work with your adjustable bed.

Since the head of the bed is movable, you’ll want to choose a headboard compatible with the adjustable base. Wall-mounted headboards are excellent options since they don’t attach to the bed setup. McCarty explains many headboards are compatible with adjustable bases so long as you add a headboard bracket to the adjustable base, which the Mattress Firm team can easily do. “If you buy a typically free-standing headboard, most come with legs that have a fitting or bolt that can easily attach to a headboard bracket on an adjustable base,” says McCarty.

Mitch Costner, Mattress Firm Senior Category Manager, explains that headboards can hook or clip onto bed frames like your adjustable base. However, if you’re looking for something with a footboard, choose an option that encases the adjustable base. “You want to look for something with no support system, meaning there are no slats.”

One thing to consider if you’re encasing your adjustable base in a frame with a headboard and footboard is the height of the frames. Costner recommends adjusting the legs of your base to the closest setting to the headboard leg height for the best result.

A tapestry can be an excellent alternative to using a headboard. Hanging a tapestry can be inexpensive and quick and has the added benefit of being easy to swap out often for a refreshed look. You’ll want to ensure your mattress and adjustable base are far enough away from a tapestry that it won’t pull the decor up or down as you adjust the base.

Throw On a Bed Skirt

If you prefer to conceal your base, a bed skirt or dust ruffle is a great option. Typically, this fabric piece sits beneath the mattress—if you previously had a box spring, it would sit between the mattress and box spring, covering the box spring to just above the floor. With an adjustable base, the bed skirt will sit below the mattress, covering the base and under-bed area.

There are a few considerations if you want to add a bed skirt to your adjustable bed. Since these bases move, a standard bed skirt pulled tautly can bunch or even tear. Another issue arises at the foot area of an adjustable base, which typically has a retainer bar to prevent the mattress from sliding down when you raise the head area of the base. Because of this, a standard bed skirt won’t lay flat over the frame.

Instead, you’ll want a bed skirt with panels or an elastic perimeter to help your bed skirt seamlessly move with the base as you adjust the head and feet. McCarty says custom bed skirts could be the best option. “Using a bed skirt can certainly be done, but it’s a bit more of a creative process,” explains McCarty.

Maximize Your Space

If you like to keep your space clutter-free, using an adjustable bed doesn’t mean you have to skip out on the benefits of under-bed storage. Like a typical bed frame, you can use the area below the adjustable base as storage space.

When it comes to ensuring nothing gets caught on adjustable bases as they move, McCarty says you’ll want to make sure the leg height of the adjustable base is taller than the height of the storage containers you choose. He explains these bases come with legs that allow you to decide which height is preferred, typically ranging from 9 to 16 inches tall. It can also be wise to store things in containers with lids to ensure nothing gets caught (for example, a winter coat that can puff up).

If you’d prefer to forgo the under-bed storage, McCarty mentions some adjustable bases can sit as low as 3 inches from the floor—ideal for those who prefer a low-profile look or want to keep pets from hanging out under the bed.

Arrange Your Room for Comfort and Functionality

When shopping for a mattress and an adjustable base, choose the size that best suits your sleeping preferences and bedroom space—there should be plenty of room to maneuver around your bed without touching any walls.

Your bedroom should be an area that evokes serenity, so think of details like calming colors, dim lighting, aromatherapy for relaxation, and a white noise machine to help drown out any disruptive sounds.

Don’t Forget the Entertainment

An adjustable base is ideal for reading or watching TV in bed with your head elevated. Thanks to this, it’s worth considering entertainment options to incorporate into your bedroom decor, like a wall-mounted television or easily accessible outlets for charging e-readers.

With additional reporting from Nathan Smith

Shop our Sleep Expert® recommended adjustable beds