If you suffer from disrupted sleep, you may need an adjustable bed. I recently tried out the FlexiSpot S4 Adjustable Bed Frame, which promises help with back pain, acid reflux, and other sleep issues. In this post I’ll share my perspective as a physical therapist on whether an adjustable bed can improve your sleep, with the FlexiSpot S4 as an example.
A Wake-up Call about Sleep Disorders
Every year over 50 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders such as snoring, sleep apnea, or insomnia. Regardless of what’s keeping you up at night, getting consistently poor sleep is frustrating—and even dangerous to your health.
Research shows that a lack of sleep can increase your risk for obesity, heart disease and infections. Anyone who’s shown up to work sleep-deprived can attest that disrupted sleep also leads to poor cognition throughout the day.
And it’s not just about the number of hours you get; sleep quality plays a huge role in your health as well. In order to feel fully rested, you need sleep that’s both sufficient in quantity and high in quality.
Connecting Sleep Disorders with Bed Setup
As a physical therapist, I work with a lot of people suffering from back and neck pain. Oftentimes they’ll ask me about bed setups, such as pillows, mattresses, and even adjustable bed frames like the S4 from FlexiSpot.
You may be surprised by how much a bed like the S4 can improve your sleep—and by extension, your overall health. So let’s take a closer look at the bed itself and the impact it can have on your sleep.
First, a disclaimer: although FlexiSpot sent me this bed frame and mattress to review, they did not pay me to write anything positive or negative about it. What follows is my honest opinion, both as a physical therapist and as someone who owns other FlexiSpot products, such as their standing desks.
Introducing the FlexiSpot S4 Adjustable Bed
The S4 bed frame is adjustable in two key ways. First, the head of the bed can incline up to 60º, which is practically sitting up. You can also adjust the foot of the bed to incline up to 35º, so your knees are bent but your feet remain level.
These hinge points move smoothly at the press of a button, allowing you to transition from sitting up to lying flat, and everywhere in between, in a matter of seconds.
With the wireless remote, you can adjust the head and foot of the bed independently from each other. You can also have the bed automatically reposition itself based on one of two saved settings. This “Memory” feature is perfect for smoothly transitioning from reading to sleeping, for instance, without having to fuss with micro-adjustments.
Besides feeling fancy, you may benefit from this kind of bed in a multitude of ways. Here are just 4 ways the FlexiSpot S4 can help improve your sleep.
The FlexiSpot S4 Adjustable Bed Vs. Your Sleep Issues
1. Back Pain
If you regularly sleep on your back, you may feel some irritation in your back upon waking up. That’s because sleeping on your back puts it into an extended position, sometimes with additional pressure on the facets in your back.
To relieve back pain, usually I recommend sleeping with a pillow between or even under your knees. But an adjustable bed is an even better solution. With the S4 bed frame, you can raise just the lower part of your mattress, bringing your hips and knees into slight flexion. This will offload the tension in your lower back and help your lumbar spine achieve a more comfortable, neutral position.
2. Acid reflux
Another reason to consider an adjustable bed is its ability to help reduce acid reflux. Acid reflux is primarily caused by stomach acid traveling back up your esophagus as you lie down at night. So by propping yourself up, you can use gravity to prevent any stomach acid from backtracking into burning acid reflux.
Although a stack of pillows could also do the job, it’s much easier to achieve the right angle for acid reflux with an adjustable bed frame. Why fight with pillows every night when you can just press a button and get right to sleep?
What’s nice about programming a position for acid reflux is that it probably will help with snoring as well. That’s because when you’re lying on your back, your nasal passages can narrow and amplify any snoring. But elevating your back, even slightly, can take the pressure off your nasal passages and allow for quieter, freer airflow.
Finally, one of my favorite benefits of the S4 adjustable bed frame is its Zero Gravity feature, available on the top of the remote. Zero Gravity simply means that your back is slightly raised and your legs are elevated above your heart, which can help reduce swelling in your feet and improve circulation. As a consequence, the Zero Gravity position can also help reduce snoring and acid reflux since it raises your back with your legs.
Other Features of the FlexiSpot S4
In addition to its adjustability, the S4 bed frame has a lot to offer. Made of construction-grade carbon steel, the frame offers solid support, capable of supporting up to 600 pounds on its six legs.
The frame is itself adjustable to heights of 3”, 6”, 9”, or 12” from the ground, allowing for some storage space. There are under-the-bed lights installed on both sides of the base so you can easily inspect what you’ve stowed under the bed.
Another nice feature to this bed is a side pocket you can use to stash the remote, allowing for quick and easy nighttime adjustments. I’ll also point out that the bed’s motor is fairly quiet, registering at 55 dB. That’s not silent, but it shouldn’t be enough to wake up your partner if you adjust the bed in the middle of the night.
If owning an adjustable bed sounds like a dream, FlexiSpot is here to make that a reality. Like all their products, the S4 gets you top value for a relatively low price, starting at $600 for a twin size and $800 for a queen. And keep in mind the S4 is their premium version. They do sell other adjustable beds for as low as $250.
Adjustable beds have always been a luxury. But over the past few years, the cost of adjustable desks and beds has lowered dramatically. Unlike other companies, FlexiSpot builds their products to last and backs their commitment with a 10-year warranty.
One last note about cost: you don’t necessarily have to buy a mattress with your new bed. To test out the S4, I used FlexiSpot’s 10” Dreamer Gel Mattress, but you could probably use your own mattress, provided it’s not too inflexible. To take full advantage of all of the features on this bedframe, I recommend using a flexible mattress made of memory foam.
Overall, I think the quality of the FlexiSpot S4 Adjustable Bed Frame matches the quality of the standing desk that I bought from FlexiSpot years ago. Based on my review, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the S4 frame to family members and friends who want an adjustable bed frame without spending thousands of dollars on a big-name brand.
To complete the look—and the ergonomics!— you could combine this bed with the FlexiSpot desk and chair to create a smart bedroom set that won’t break the bank. Ultimately, the adjustability of FlexiSpot’s products are designed to tailor your daily activities to your body’s needs, helping you sleep better, stand taller, and live healthier every day.