Bear Adjustable Base Review
Our full review of the Bear Adjustable Bed Frame, which is pricey and quite nice.
Last Updated: November 25, 2020
The adjustable base is becoming increasingly popular, as bed in a box companies have taken share from brick and mortar retailers. It seems like just about every online mattress brand has their adjustable base, alongside other accessories such as pillows, bed frames, sheets, and more. In this review we dissect the Bear Adjustable Base and discuss who we think it is best for.
Individuals that frequently watch TV or read before they go to sleep
Parents (it has a child lock feature)
People that snore (anti-snore position)
Individuals with back pain (adjustable bed frames can help alleviate pressure)
Anyone that owns a foam or hybrid mattress (most will be compatible with this frame)
Individuals that wants a squeak-free bed frame
Folks that want a bed frame with a headboard
Anyone that needs a lot of under-bed storage
People that want a cheap adjustable bed frame (this belongs in the premium tier)
Individuals that want a bed frame with built-in massager
Why Upgrade To An Adjustable Base
They might cost you a pretty penny, but adjustable bed frames can seriously upgrade your bedroom, especially if you frequently watch TV or read before bed. According to an internal survey of over 600 people, about 65% watch TV before bed three or more days per week. That, alone, is a decently compelling reason to buy an adjustable bed frame.
Beyond the convenience factor, however, there’s also a health/wellbeing case to be made. Adjustable bed frames can help to better align your posture and reduce aches and pains. In fact, a big reason as to why individuals, historically speaking, bought adjustable bed frames was due to back pain or a bad back, pregnancy, menopause and/or hot flashes, sciatica pain or lower back pain in particular, arthritis or joint pain, and the list goes on.
Essentially, the bed frame serves as another tool to help people get comfortable and wake feeling more refreshed. It’s not a fix-all for everyone, but it can definitely help, particularly if you need to train your body to sleep on your back.
Buying The Bear Adjustable Bed Base
Compared to Nectar’s Adjustable Bed Frame, Bear’s is expensive, but it also looks and feels more premium. You can tell that Bear made the strategic decision to stay away from the race-to-the-bottom pricing game. It’s a nice bed frame the company stands behind. In fact, most adjustable bases come with a one or three year warranty, while the Bear Adjustable Base comes with a 10-year warranty.
Here’s a look at pricing for the adjustable base. Keep in mind that the table below shows MSRP, not after-discount pricing. Bear frequently runs promotions on their website during major holidays. One thing that is worth noting is that while most companies just offer the split king (i.e. two twin XL frames next to one another) Bear actually offers a king size frame.
Like many things that you buy online, the bed frame comes with free shipping. Surprisingly, it only took about five days for the bed frame to be delivered. I say “surprisingly” because it ships in two separate boxes and the total weight is something like 180 lb for the queen size.
Interestingly enough, a lot of the adjustable frames that you can get on Amazon and Walmart might come with free shipping, but from what we’ve seen you need to schedule delivery and the first available date is typically two weeks or more in the future. So, the fact that Bear arrives in about five days, is really impressive.
Setting Up The Bear Adjustable Bed Frame
Given the design is different from your standard adjustable bed frame, the setup process is likewise also different. As noted above, the bed frame ships in two separate cardboard boxes, in which all of the various pieces to the frame are tightly packed. It’s almost like the bed frame version of Tetris—you could never get the bed frame back in the box.
Hilariously, removing all of the pieces from the box takes longer than the actual assembly process. One person can setup the bed frame, start to finish, in about 45 minutes, bearing in mind that you’ll have a lot of cardboard and packaging to deal with. And, for the record, this could easily be a one-person job as long as you have someone help you carry the boxes into your bedroom.
My experience with setting up the Bear Adjustable Base is best described by the following statement: make sure to read the instructions. Assembling the bed frame is actually rather intuitive if you take a second to think about how everything would logically fit together.
I didn’t do this. I just dove right in and started trying to fit things together without reading labels or carefully following the instruction manual. As such, I spent about thirty minutes nonsensically jamming pieces into place only to ultimately realize that I had put the rails on the wrong sides. Again, I think if you actually read the instructions from the get-go you could easily put it together in 45 minutes or under. Really, the hardest part is dealing with all of the packaging.
If you want a good idea of how the assembly process is supposed to go, here’s the intro video from Bear.
The video above shows you just how plug-and-play the bed frame is. I put it a notch below IKEA furniture in terms of difficulty to assemble. You won’t pull your hair out, but it’s not something you’d want to do for a living.
Design Of The Bear Adjustable Bed Base
The bed frame has a modern look to it with silver side rails, low profile legs, and a mesh bed base. That said, while we like the design, most of it will be covered by your mattress and sheets, so let’s focus on the practical stuff.
The pricing chart above only showed three sizes—that’s not an error. The Bear Adjustable Bed Frame, like many others, is only available in “adult” sizes because you’re not going to buy an adjustable bed frame for your kids. Here’s a look at the rough dimensions for each size.
- Queen — 79.7” x 58.3” x 15”
- King — 79.7” x 74.4” x 15”
- Split King (one side) — 79.7” x 37.2” x 15”
The bed frame has a two-tiered construction. You have (1) the bottom frame that houses the motors and (2) the top platform on which the bed sits. Our biggest complaint with the bed frame as a unit is that there’s a good deal of squeaking that happens when your move on and off the bed frame. In other words, unlike the Zinus SmartBase (not an adjustable base), this bed frame does not have a squeak-free design.
The bottom frame is only about 7″ off of the ground, which provides a limited amount of under-bed storage—not even enough to get your head under the bed. The storage space does not change when you have the top platform up or down, however, which is nice.
The sweet spot seems to be about 10″ off of the ground. Having said that, an extra 3″ of clearance would have made the bed frame as a whole too tall because the top portion sits another 2″ above the bottom frame.
One thing we really like, however is that the top portion (i.e. the platform that you put the mattress on) has four different sections with open space in between. This does a few things for you. Firstly, it reduces weight for when you go to move the bed frame. Secondly, it allows for the bed frame to articulate in some interesting ways. And thirdly, it means—with the mattress removed—you can reach through to grab items that you’ve stuffed into the middle under your bed.
You will notice that the adjustable base lacks a headboard—most of them do. We don’t really mind, especially since the design of the bed frame allows it to hug up of against a wall and still articulate just fine.
Here’s a screenshot from Bear’s website that shows a few of the angles/positions that are possible with the bed frame—of course, you can also do anything in between or any combo as well.
The four sections have distinct dimensions so that you can easily tell them apart, and they all have a mesh exterior, which does a great job of gripping your mattress.
The footer piece has a 5″ rail to keep your mattress in place when you adjust the angles. It works just fine, even on a 14″ mattress such as Bear Hybrid. We were surprised by how sturdy the rail was.
Motors And Electronics
Most of the bed frames that we’ve tested have a single motor that sits under the middle of the frame. The Bear Adjustable Base, actually has two motors on either side of the frame. This not only gives the bed frame a cool batwing type appearance, but theoretically means the bed frame is more stable as you’re adjusting it up or down.
We’ve had no issues at all with the motors, but we did notice that you cannot adjust the head and foot at the same time (aside from when you’re laying it flat), which is a mild inconvenience. That said, the mechanics feel very strong and powerful in comparison to other bed frames we’ve tested, including the Lucid L300 Bed Frame.
The bed frame is quick to adjust, but not too quick. It’s also surprisingly quiet and subtle. If you opt for the split king option, unless your partner is a light sleeper, we think you’ll be able to adjust the bed frame without fear of waking them.
As far as the electronics go, the bed frame is really simple. There are only four cables to deal with, only one of which plugs into the wall. The only interesting quark is that one of the cables needs to span the width of the frame under the middle platform to connect up both motors. We haven’t had issue with this yet, but we worry that it will get in the way of the available storage underneath the frame.
Features: Wireless Remote, USB Ports, Zero Gravity
Now we’re on to the good stuff. The Bear Adjustable Base has a few interesting features, but, it lacks a massager, which we think would have been nice considering a lot of other, cheaper bed frames include a massager. Unfortunately, it looks like due to the design of the frame, that’s not a possibility.
Let’s begin with the remote. It’s wireless, and that alone makes us happy. If you take a look at the remote, it’s really simple, but checks a lot of boxes, including a motion-activated backlight for use in the dark. This is a clever feature that will be completely under-appreciated. Similar story for the “child lock” button. Parents will love that the bed frame has this feature.
The remote gives you the ability to adjust the head/foot up or down, lay the bed flat, and enter your pre-programmed positions. The remote is missing a flashlight, which isn’t a big deal, but we’ve seen it on other remotes from other bed frames.
By default, setting 1 is the “anti-snore” position and setting 2 is the “zero gravity” position. I don’t snore or have sleep apnea, so I can’t comment on position 1 other than the fact that you can re-program the settings to be whatever position you’d like.
As for the “zero gravity” position, it’s supposed to help with circulation, back pain, and inducing sleep. I don’t know about all of that, but it is a comfortable position that really does seem to take the weight out of your body. It’s a pretty neat experience, though, it’s not unique to this bed frame.
The last feature that’s worth mentioning is the USB charging station. On either side of the bed is a single USB charge port so that you can conveniently charge your electronics. I didn’t find myself using them, but I still like having them.
Bear Adjustable Base Review: Verdict
I like it—and I should considering it’s one of the more expensive adjustable bases out there. Shipping was quick (and free). Setup wasn’t too bad. The design looks premium. It works as described. It made sleeping, watching TV, and reading more enjoyable. And it’s backed by a 10-year warranty, which screams to me “we really stand behind our products.”
I can’t tell you if it’s worth it over cheaper alternatives because the truth is most of them have the same features—and I don’t know your exact financial situation or personal preferences. I can, however, tell you that this is a really nice bed frame, but it could use another two legs or another cross-support to make it more stable and less squeaky.
We were sent the adjustable base by Bear so that we could test it out and publish a review.
As of now, the Bear Adjustable Base is only available online.
Most likely. It depends on your particular mattress, but most beds (excluding water beds) will work with the Bear Adjustable Base. That is regardless of whether you have a foam mattress or a hybrid mattress.
Yes, this frame has a child lock feature for parents.
If you’re by yourself, it may take around 45 minutes to complete the set-up process. If you have a partner to help, it will take less.