How To Choose A Hospital Mattress

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How to Pick Your Perfect Mattress

Ready for a new mattress? Here’s how to find the one that suits you best.

Getting a good night’s sleep depends on a lot of different factors — comfort, stress level, room temperature – but to get it right, you’ve got to start with the basics and your mattress is the first building block to a restful slumber.

If you’re in the market for a new mattress and have recently taken a stroll down the aisle of a bedding store, you know that there is a dizzying array from which to choose. How do you know which mattress is best for you?

To start, says Arya Nick Shamie, MD, associate professor of orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center, the mattress needs to support your body in a neutral position, one in which your spine has a nice curvature and your buttocks, heels, shoulders, and head are supported in proper alignment

"If the mattress is too firm, it will push on those main pressure points and take you out of alignment," Shamie tells WebMD. "If it’s too soft, those pressure points won’t be properly supported, so your whole body flops back." Both of these scenarios can lead to an achy morning.

Generally speaking, one type or brand of bed isn’t better than another, says Michael Breus, PhD, a WebMD sleep expert and author ofBeauty Sleep: Look Younger, Lose Weight, and Feel Great Through Better Sleep.But he does find that a firmer bed seems to be better for people with lower back pain.

In fact, researchers in Spain studied people with long-term back pain and found that on a 10-point hard-to-soft scale people who slept on a medium-to-firm mattress (5.6 on the scale) had less back pain than those who slept on a softer mattress.

Is It Time for a New Mattress?

How do you know if the bed you’re sleeping on is the right one?

"If you wake up in the morning and have some low back pain and can stretch and get rid of it in 15 or 30 minutes, that means you’re on an inappropriate mattress for you," Breus says.

The right mattress, on the other hand, is one on which you feel no pressure, almost like you’re floating in air, Breus says.

If you’re looking for a new mattress, experts suggest testing it in the store and laying down on each mattress in the position in which you normally sleep. Breus suggests spending at least 10 to 15 minutes on the bed. And, bring your own pillow! The more you can replicate the way you’ll be sleeping on the mattress once you get it home, the better your chances of picking the right one.


Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses are still by far the most widely used. They support you with coil springs, and in most built today, each coil is individually enclosed. This helps the bed weather years of use and prevents the coils from popping out of the mattress. On top of the coils are a wide variety of materials added for comfort, from pillow to latex to memory foam. It’s all a matter of preference.

Salespeople may try to sell you on the idea that more coils mean more comfort, but that’s not necessarily true, Breus and Shamie say.

"You don’t really need a coil count above 390," Breus says. Beyond that, the difference in feel is so small it would be difficult to notice.

Pros:There are plenty of innerspring mattresses on the market from which to choose. They range in firmness, the fluffiness of the pillow top, and in price to fit nearly every preference and pocket book.

Cons:There’s no direct relationship in most cases between price and comfort, but Shamie suggests steering clear of the cheapest innerspring mattress. If there aren’t enough springs and cushion to offer you proper support, he says, you’ll likely wake up with an aching back.

Conditions:For someone who is very overweight, spring mattresses may offer a firmer support, making them easier to get in and out of, Breus says. Firmer versions are good for people with back pain. But spring-based mattresses can be comfortable for almost anyone.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam mattresses are growing in popularity. They are made of layers of different densities of foam that respond to weight and temperature, and are known for comfort because they contour to the specific shape of your body. Memory foam toppers are also available.

Pros:By molding to the shape of your body as your weight shifts through the night, memory foam reduces pressure points, and relieves pain. Memory foam also absorbs movement, so if you sleep with a partner, you’re not likely to be disturbed by his tossing and turning.

Cons:One of the biggest complaints with memory foam mattresses is that because these mattresses are temperature sensitive, softening and molding with your body heat, they can make you feel extremely hot during the night. Breus also says memory foam mattresses have been known to emit an unpleasant chemical smell.

Conditions:"If you have a hard time getting comfortable, if you have chronic fatigue, or some type of muscle pain, then a memory foam mattress would work well for you, assuming you don’t have temperature issues," Breus says.


Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses are made from either natural or synthetic rubber, and are known for providing a very firm, bouncy support that is uniform throughout the bed.

Pros:"Quite frankly, I think one of the best materials is latex," Breus says. He likes it for being very firm and supportive, but also for providing comfort similar to memory foam. Unlike the memory foam mattresses, however, Breus says latex pushes back, ultimately providing more support.

Cons:If you don’t like the feel of a firm mattress, latex is probably not the right choice for you.

Conditions: Either a latex mattress or latex mattress topper is great for relieving back pain because they offer the best combination of comfort and support, Breus says.

Air Mattresses

We’re not talking about the blow-up mattresses you put your holiday guests on for a few days. Higher-end air beds look like a standard innerspring mattress, but use air-filled chambers instead of coils, and are covered by a foam layer on top.

Shamie notes that air beds have long been used for patients with spinal cord injuries who are lying in bed for a long time. They can be adjusted so they don’t continue to press on the same areas of the body, which helps to avoid skin breakdown in patients who can’t move.

Pros:"Couples who have dramatic differences in their individual preference for comfort and firmness levels might do very well with an air mattress," Breus says. The reason is that the firmness of each side of the bed can be altered. If you like it firmer than your partner, these beds can be adjusted for that.

Like latex and memory foam, you can also find air toppers for your mattress.

Cons:Shamie says people sometimes fail to make their air bed firm enough and wake up with back aches. Less sophisticated air mattresses also pop up on one side when you sit on the opposite end. For that reason Breus says, you want multiple chambers so that doesn’t occur.

Conditions:These beds are particularly useful when sleeping partners have different needs. If one of you has a bad back, one side can be made firmer than the other to provide greater support.


Adjustable Beds

These beds are able to bend and elevate at varying angles. As a result, the mattress has to be flexible. Different types of mattresses can be used on an adjustable bed – memory foam, latex, or air, for example. Spring mattresses are more difficult to use, however, because the springs don’t handle the bending well.

Pros:For people who have difficulty getting in and out of bed or who like to watch television in bed, Shamie says, adjustables can make life easier by moving you closer to where you need to be.

Conditions:If you suffer from sleep apnea, sleeping flat can make the condition worse by cutting off airways and causing the tongue to fall into the back of the throat, Shamie says. People who experience acid reflux can also benefit by sleeping in a bed that elevates their upper body.

Shamie also suggests adjustable beds for people with hip or back pain who have a hard time moving from a lying position to sitting up or standing.

Sofa Beds

When you have guests staying for a night or two, sofa beds come in handy. The mattresses in these beds tend to be very thin so they are flexible enough to fold and collapse into the couch. It’s a great convenience to have a sofa bed, but you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who raves about their comfort.

Pros:Sofa beds are convenient, especially if you have limited space. But from a health perspective, Shamie and Breus don’t see any advantages.

Cons:A night or two on a sofa bed is OK. But "this is probably the worst kind of bed you can sleep on long-term," Shamie says. The mattresses used in most sofa beds are very thin and the springs quite weak. "It really leads to an uncomfortable situation," Shamie says.

If you’re really tight for space and need a bed that folds up, Shamie says that futons, while not the most supportive, are better for your back than the typical sofa bed.

Conditions:There are no conditions for which a sofa bed will be helpful, according to the experts. But if you have a bad back or hips, these beds will be especially uncomfortable.


When to Part With Your Old Mattress

Today’s mattresses are made to last a lifetime. But you probably shouldn’t plan on keeping yours for that long. Our bodies change over time, Breus says, so the mattress that was once a joy to sleep on may no longer feel comfortable a few years down the road.

In addition, mattresses collect dust mites, fungus, and other germs that can exacerbate allergies and impact your sleep patterns. After 10 to 15 years, it’s time to think about buying a new bed.

Ultimately, the experts say that the best bed for you is the one that feels most comfortable. And remember, Shamie says, "There’s no mattress that’s going to save your body when you get only five hours of sleep." In order to feel your best, you need to get enough rest… no matter what type of mattress you’re sleeping on.


Arya Nick Shamie, MD, associate professor of orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery, Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center.

Breus, Michael, PhD, WebMD sleep expert and author ofBeauty Sleep: Look Younger, Lose Weight, and Feel Great Through Better Sleep

Kovacs, FM.The Lancet, November 2003; vol 362: pp 1599-1604.

Transfer Master

Hospital and Medical Bed Manufacturer | Made in USA

How to Choose the Best Hospital Bed Mattress

Selecting the best hospital bed mattress for yourself or for someone you care for can be challenging. There are many different hospital bed mattresses on the market, and the choice you make will affect the comfort and health of the patient.

In this article, we will explain what a hospital mattress is and how it is different from a standard home mattress. Then, we take a deep dive into the types of hospital bed mattress and the benefits they provide to patients.

How Is a Hospital Mattress Different to a Standard Mattress?

You may be wondering why you need a hospital mattress in the first place. There are thousands of consumer mattresses to choose from, ranging in price from less than $200 to many thousands of dollars. But for frail, immobile, and bed-bound patients, hospital mattresses have many safety, hygiene, and therapeutic benefits.

Hospital mattresses are designed to work with hospital beds.

While standard domestic mattresses are manufactured in sizes from 6 inches to 18 inches and beyond, hospital bed mattresses usually have a depth of 6 to 7 inches. They are as thin and flexible as possible without compromising support and comfort.

Hospital bed mattresses are designed to work with hospital beds, which include mechanisms for elevating the patient’s head and feet to achieve a variety of therapeutic and comfort positions . Thicker mattresses obstruct and reduce the effectiveness of the bed’s elevation mechanisms.

Hospital mattresses are designed for frail or immobile patients

Standard mattresses typically distribute pressure evenly across the surface of the mattress. That’s the right design decision for patients with full mobility and strength, but it can be dangerous for patients with reduced mobility and weakness.

Falling out of bed is a frequent cause of injury for patients who spend long periods in bed. Frail or immobile patients are also at risk of becoming entangled in the side rails, which can be fatal.

Some hospital mattresses include border edge protection with extra firmness towards the edges. Border edge protection helps patients to maintain a central position on the mattress and reduces the likelihood that they will slip off the bed. It also makes it easier to move patients onto and off the bed. These added benefits are why they’re a standard feature on our hospital bed mattresses.

Hospital mattresses are easily cleaned and include antimicrobial features

Hospital mattresses are designed to resist liquid ingress and to restrict the growth of microbes that cause bad odors and health hazards. As an added layer of protection, you may also want to consider a waterproof cover made of soft stretch vinyl to completely block liquids and odors.

Hospital bed mattresses are designed to support more weight

Standard bed mattresses are likely to be uncomfortable for bariatric patients, and they are not designed for long-term use or heavier weight capacities. Hospital bed mattresses are more robust and durable. They can support heavier patients in greater comfort and are designed for extended use.

Our standard hospital bed mattresses can support patients up to 500 lb and are available in larger-than-standard sizes for patients with specific bariatric requirements. For patients heavier than 500 lb, we provide bariatric hospital bed mattresses that can support up to 750 lb by special order.

How To Choose the Right Hospital Bed Mattress

Hospital mattresses are available in a wide variety of types engineered to support the requirements of patients who spend long periods in bed and who have specific medical conditions.

Spring Hospital Bed Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses use steel springs to support the weight of the patient. The firmness of the bed depends on the thickness of the springs. Spring mattresses have a support layer on top of the springs for comfort and to provide separation from the core spring layer.

Innerspring mattresses are inexpensive, but they are less suitable for patients who cannot change position easily or those with bariatric conditions. These patients are prone to bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers. Innerspring mattresses do little to prevent the formation of pressure ulcers or to help pressure ulcers to heal.

Memory Foam Hospital Bed Mattresses

Memory foam mattresses are made of viscoelastic foam. “Visco” means that the foam deforms in response to pressure and body heat. “Elastic” means that the foam regains its initial shape once the pressure and heat are removed.

Memory foam mattresses conform to the shape and position of the patient, distributing pressure and support more efficiently and comfortably than innerspring mattresses.

Multi-layer or laminate foam mattresses such as the Soft Touch Memory Foam Mattress use layers of foam with different densities to provide variable support. The core layer provides maximum support while other layers give suitable support for joints and extremities, reducing pressure on areas that are prone to pressure ulcers.

Laminate mattresses also include higher density foam towards the outer edges for border protection, which can reduce the risk of patients slipping out of bed or becoming entangled in hospital bed rails.

Pressure Relief Mattresses

Pressure relief mattresses – which are also called air-flow mattresses, low air loss mattresses, or alternating pressure mattresses – include air cells that can be inflated or deflated to control the amount of pressure that each zone of the mattress provides.

Pressure relief mattresses give the greatest control over the pressure that each part of the body experiences. Inflated cells provide firm support, while deflated cells reduce pressure.

These mattresses are ideal for patients who spend long periods in bed or who have difficulty managing their position. Bedsores can quickly form when constant pressure is exerted on the skin for long periods. Bedsores can be extremely painful and may lead to complications, including sepsis and decubitus.

Pressure relief mattresses allow patients and caretakers to adjust pressure over time or to relieve pressure in specific areas, preventing the formation of bedsores and promoting healing in patients with existing sores.

Pressure relief mattresses are available in non-powered and powered versions. For example, the unpowered PressureGuard® CFT®: Non-Powered Dynamic Treatment mattress automatically adjusts the pressure in its air cells for optimal pressure management across the surface.

Powered pressure relief mattresses such as the PressureGuard® APM2 Mattress can be controlled electronically, allowing the mattress to gradually alternate pressure over time. Lateral rotation uses variable pressure in the cells to gently reposition the patient to treat or prevent pressure ulcers.

Which Mattress Is Best for Extended Use and Bedsores?

As you can see from our descriptions of the various types of hospital mattresses, pressure-relief mattresses are the best solution for patients at risk of bedsores. That includes patients with bariatric conditions and patients who face challenges in changing position and who spend long periods in bed.

Balancing Cost With Additional Features and Longevity

Pressure-relief mattresses are the most expensive option. Foam mattresses are less expensive, and innerspring mattresses the least expensive.

Innerspring mattresses are often used on hospital beds, but they are only suitable for patients who don’t spend long periods in bed. Innerspring mattresses are also the least durable and will need to be replaced more frequently than foam or pressure-relief mattresses.

Laminated foam mattresses help to reduce the risk of bedsore formation, they typically have the longest useful life of all mattress types, and they are suitable for patients who spend extended periods in bed.

However, pressure relief mattresses are by far the most effective at preventing and treating bedsores and skin shearing. They are recommended for patients who spend more than 12 hours of their day in bed, particularly elderly patients, patients with limited mobility, and other patients who cannot adjust their position. For patients who already have significant bedsores on their torso, pelvis, or buttocks, a pressure relief mattress is essential.

If you remain unsure about which hospital mattress is best for your situation, don’t hesitate to contact us by email or phone to talk to one of our bed experts.

How to Choose the Best Hospital Bed Mattress

How to Choose the Best Hospital Bed Mattress

Hospital bed mattresses, also known as therapeutic or medical mattresses, are usually six inches thick and found in both clinical and in-home settings for the comfort and support of patients and loved ones.

Types of hospital bed mattresses

Innerspring mattressesare generally the most economical choice. Constructed with evenly distributed inter-mattress coils, this mattress can either be quite soft or rather firm, depending on personal preference. Innerspring mattresses are best suited for patients who experience several hours of mobility a day, and are not bedridden.

Foam mattressesare also economical, and lighter in weight than an innerspring. They don’t breathe as well as innersprings, but they do absorb some shock from motion. Many are designed to shift the user’s body weight, preventing bedsores and pressure ulcers.

Low air loss mattressesare for low mobility patients with bedsores. They reduce pressure on weight-bearing areas and reduce skin moisture. Many are ‘zoned’ for pressure points, where bedsores commonly develop.

Alternating pressure mattressesprovide the benefits of a low air loss mattress, while also aiding in circulation. Alternating inflation and deflation of air cells shifts a person’s weight gently, preventing constant pressure on vulnerable bedsores. This type of mattress helps keep lung secretions and other body fluids moving, and usually has side perimeters to prevent patients from rolling off the mattress.

Features to consider when choosing a hospital mattress

Patient size: average, tall, or bariatric?

Most mattresses come in a selection of lengths, to accommodate users of various heights. When selecting a hospital bed mattress,one rule of thumb is particularly trusty: choose a mattress somewhat longer than the user is tall.

Worth noting is that bariatric mattresses (designed specifically for heavier patients) come in both foam and pressure-relieving models.

Need for cleaning: frequent or non-frequent?

For patients who are incontinent,a mattress with anti-microbial covers and seams is a must – for both patient and caregiver health.

Many hospital mattresses on the market currently meet this requirement. You will also want to look for mattresses and covers which are waterproof and stain-resistant.

Mattress life: short-term or long-term?

You may be looking for a mattress that you or a loved one can use long-term, as in cases of chronic or degenerative conditions.

Or, you may simply need a more comfortable option for a period of recovery from illness or injury!

Either way,budget and cost is something worthy of consideration.Clearly, if the mattress will only serve a temporary need, it is wise to weigh cost against features so users don’t overspend on something they will not use in the long run.

User mobility: less than 12 hours spent in bed, or more than 12 hours spent in bed?

The more time a person will spend in bed, the more care must be taken to prevent skin conditions such as bed sores, ulcers, and skin shearing.

If a patient is going to spend the majority of their waking hours in bed, an innerspring mattress is not a good choice. Look for a foam mattress which distributes weight evenly. These usually are constructed with several ‘zones’ which accommodate the varying weight and pressure of different parts of the body, thus preventing bedsores.

An even better choice would bea low air loss or alternating pressure mattress. These do the best job of preventing bedsores and skin shearing.

Patient movement: low or high?

Some hospital mattresses feature perimeter guards. These guards give added protection against a patient rolling or falling off of the mattress. (For patients who are at high risk for this, hospital bed guard rails are also advisable.)

Shearingis a factor to consider. Shearing occurs when the skin rubs against the mattress and gets stuck there, decreasing blood circulation. The result is skin injury below the surface, and eventually, a visible sore.

For restless patients,a smooth mattress cover specifically meant to prevent shearing is recommended!

What are the best brands of hospital mattress?

We’d like to offer a quick overview of some of the top hospital mattresses available. These mattresses were rated on the basis of their durability, sizing options, cost-effectiveness, and versatility.

Most importantly,these mattresses were rated higher than most in terms of customer feedback.Each has its own outstanding features and benefits, so you’ll want to review these descriptions with your own particular needs in mind!

  • Drive Medical Therapeutic 5 Zone Support Mattress- This mattress is divided into five zones to create the perfect system of pressure redistribution, preventing bed sores and pressure ulcers from developing on delicate skin. The combination of strength, comfort, and cleanliness make this unit ideal for patients undergoing extended bed rest, as well as a perfect choice for hospitals and patient care facilities.

  • Medline Advantage 300 Foam Mattress- Customers report this to be an extremely comfortable mattress, partially due to the three sections which redistribute weight and pressure for the user. In the same way as Drive Medical’s mattress, the Medline Advantage 300 has an easy-to-clean vinyl cover. (However, it is not antibacterial.) This foam mattress has been reported to last much longer than a typical innerspring mattress!

  • Invacare Deluxe Innerspring Hospital Bed Mattress- This mattress received the most customer praise of any innerspring mattress in our catalogue! One notable feature is that the mattress comes equipped with a bed frame extender, eliminating any problems with fitting a mattress to user’s beds. According to customer reviews, this is both the most durable and the most comfortable inner spring hospital mattress available.

  • Invacare Solace Prevention Therapeutic Foam Mattress- This mattress is constructed of “fortress foam,” which offers a uniquely cushioned and comfortable sleeping surface. The customization options are unique as well. Not only does this mattress come in three lengths, but two of those lengths feature built-in side supports, while the third offers the option of a raised side rail support system and heel support section!

Reasons to purchase a hospital mattress

Caring for a loved one at home can be challenging, both physically and emotionally.Knowing that you are making them as comfortable as possible can ease some of this stress.Particularly for long-term care, a therapeutic mattress is a safer and more comfortable option than your standard bed and mattress.

If you or someone you love are either partially, mostly, or completely bedridden in addition to being cared for at home, then a hospital mattress(along with a hospital bed)will make your life simpler, healthier, and more comfortable.

Is the cost of a hospital mattress refundable?

It is important to note that, due to health considerations,hospital mattresses are non-refundable products.

Therefore, it’s advisable to consult with a doctor or other healthcare professionals to determine the best choice for you and your loved one’s particular needs.

Does Medicare typically pay for a hospital mattress?

Under Medicare Part B, your therapeutic mattress is classified under “air-fluidized beds and other support surfaces”. As long as it is prescribed by your doctor,a hospital mattress is covered by Medicare as Durable Medical Equipment(DME).

That said, there are restrictions. If the company you’re purchasing from accepts payment from Medicare, you will pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount, and the Part B deductible applies.

Medicare pays for different kinds of DME in different ways.You may need to rent the equipment, you may need to buy it, or you may have a choice.

In addition, Medicare has very specific rules for how it covers “support surfaces”, based on the patient’s diagnosis, degree of need for skin support, and degree of mobility.

We suggest you contact Medicare or your doctorto discuss your specific situation prior to purchase!

Will private insurance cover a hospital mattress?

Many insurance companies will consider a hospital mattress to be Durable Medical Equipment, if a hospital bed is also deemed necessary for the patient. Once again,it’s best to contact your insurance company directlyto determine what coverage is available in your situation.

What else do I need to know about purchasing a hospital mattress?

Selecting a hospital mattress for yourself or a loved one means considering matters of comfort, health, and budget. Even with plenty of information, it’s not always easy to weigh these options.

So that you are not forced to rush into a decision,it’s best to start the learning process as early as possible, and before the need is urgent.Seeking the input of a medical professional is also always a good idea!

RehabMart is proud to offer a variety of hospital mattresses from Drive Medical, Proactive, Medline, and Invacare.

Visit RehabMart”s catalog pageto review the full range of hospital mattresses available to you. You’re sure to find one that suits your needs!

Want to learn even more? Find dozens of videos featuring products and caregiver tips like these atRehabmart’s YouTube channel!

Co-founder/CEO of Rehabmart, Pediatric Occupational Therapist, husband, and father. Passionate about connecting special needs kids with superb nutrition, sensory integration, and complementary health strategies. Excited about Rehabmart"s mission to become the premier online educational platform which empowers caregivers by spotlighting innovative devices and interventions to achieve optimal patient response and recovery.

Top 10 Products in the Hospital Bed Mattress Category:

How to Choose the Best Hospital Bed: 4 Experts Share Their Insights

How to Choose the Best Hospital Bed: 4 Experts Share Their Insights

Hospital bedsare some of the most ubiquitous pieces of hospital furniture. We all know them, we know what they do, and we know what they are when we see them.

But modern hospital beds aren’t just designed for hospital inpatient rooms, they’re used for home care, assisted living facilities, and many other settings in which people may need a more medically accommodating bed either for short or long-term use.

Different from traditional residential beds, hospital beds are often adjustable both in height and position, allowing patients to lift their heads and/or feet for more comfortable positioning or recovery.

Often, they also include the ability to more easily attach medical accessories like IV poles, bed rails, and trapezes for convenient care all in one place.

Because of the range of models and options, it might seem overwhelming to choose a hospital bed for yourself or a loved one.

To help, we interviewed several respected experts in the hospital bed industry to determine their best advice for choosing a hospital bed.

These tips will help guide you through the decision-making process and how to choose the best hospital bed for your needs, or the needs of a loved one.

1. Med-Mizer

Brian Roth is the Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Med-Mizer. Headquartered in Indiana, Med-Mizer is an innovator in the healthcare industry, especially in bed design. They hold a number of patents for their state-of-the-art hospital beds, including an articulating bed frame, a retracting bed frame with 3 position side rail, a pivoting bed sleep surface, and an expanding bed frame relative to central frame.

Roth explained that the first thing to determine when choosing a hospital bed is how will you or your loved one safely enter and exit the bed.

At Med-Mizer, we routinely hear from our home care customers how difficult it is to transition into and out of a hospital bed,” he said. “Often times individuals looking to age in place have a condition or illness that makes this "routine activity" a challenge.

Not only is this a challenge for the individual using the bed, their spouse or loved one is usually the caregiver who assists them getting in/out of bed, and who is also at risk for injury.

We created thePivot Rehab Bedto help individuals safely enter and exit the bed, allowing them to enjoy the comforts of their home setting. It is the only bed manufactured in the US that turns to the side and sits the end user into a full chair position – using the built-in stand assist (high/low control) allows the end user to raise and lower the bed to a safe height for transfer.”

Roth additionally emphasized how important it is to determine fall risks, and to have solutions in place to prevent accidents.

Throughout our lives, we become accustomed to sleeping on queen or king-sized surfaces, and the majority of hospital beds are narrower, around 35/36” wide,” he explained. “An unintended consequence of having a narrower surface is someone accidentally rolling out of bed.

If a loved one accidentally rolls out of bed from a standard height hospital bed they may be prone to an impact or an injury. We created the AllCare Bed to have a 3.6” low height to help reduce this fall ‘impact’ and turn it into a roll instead.

We also provided the option to widen the bed to 42” using our Comfort Wide sleep surface. Providing your loved one with a wider, lower bed can help keep them safer and potentially reduce injury from a fall.

Roth also wanted to highlight the value of a good warranty, the consideration of where your bed is manufactured, and how this affects your bed purchase experience in the long run.

At Med-Mizer, we want home care customers to place all of their focus and care towards their loved one, not the bed,”he said.“We carry an industry leading warranty (Lifetime on the welds, 15 years on the frame, 5 years on the motor/drive system) which essentially covers all major components of our equipment throughout the first 5 years.

We are proudly made in the USA in Batesville, Indiana, and stock all of our parts here as well. Have you ever considered if your bed is manufactured overseas and if an issue happens, how long will the equipment be down? How long will it take to get parts? Are they stuck in customs?”

2. Invacare

Muhummad Husien is the Beds Product Manager for Invacare Corporation. Tracing its roots back to the Worthington Company in 1885, Invacare has come a long way since its original production of vehicles for people with physical disabilities. Their groundbreaking innovations changed the face of the medical equipment industry, and Invacare itself has grown from a small, privately-held company to a NYSE-listed global leader in home and long-term care.

Husien stressed the importance of knowing your needs, and what exactly you’ll need it to do for the user. He said,

“Ask yourself what functions does my hospital bed need for me or a loved one to be comfortable? That’s the most important question you can ask in the beginning steps to finding the right hospital bed.

Do you or a loved one have trouble getting out of bed, have a high risk of falls, weight capacity concerns, bed sore issues, ease of transporting the bed, caregiver support etc., the list goes on! These are the questions that need to be asked to find a hospital bed right for you.

I would recommend making a list of key features you need in your hospital bed and bring it to your local provider.”

He further explained specific features to look for, including:

  • Side rails
  • Trendelenburg/tilt option
  • Bed end colors
  • Height adjustment
  • Foam/air mattress platform

Husien then went on to explain that the next most important question to answer is how long you or a loved one is going to need the bed.

“As you will see through your searches, there are many different homecare and hospital beds in the market today. Knowing how long you will need this bed is a vital piece of information when you’re in the market for a bed.

Are you or your loved one recovering from an injury, surgery, or other illness? If this is the case, then you will likely need a homecare hospital bed for a temporary length of time. However, if the user will require long term or intensive care, then a long-term hospital bed could be a better option. These types of beds are built to last and many times have additional comforts and amenities.

A follow-up question I would ask is how long will you or your loved one spend in bed each day? This can help you choose between a manual, semi-electric, and full electric hospital bed.”

Husien additionally discussed quality vs. price, and how better quality can be the more cost-effective choice for the long run.

“The last thing you want to deal with (after finally choosing a hospital bed) are costly repairs,”he said.“To avoid this, you need to read customer reviews before clicking that “buy now” button.

Knowing up front the quality of the bed will put your mind at ease; knowing this bed is reliable and durable. A cheaper bed may be nice in the beginning, but after many costly repairs this bed can be equal to, or have a greater cost than the more reliable hospital bed.”

3. Gendron

Steve Cotter is President of Gendron, Inc.As a privately owned Ohio corporation, Gendron was founded in 1871. They design and manufacture medical equipment specifically formatted for bariatric patients and residents. Providing aid for home care, rehabilitation, long-term care, and acute care, Gendron specializes in mobility, patient seating, personal care, transfer/transport, and bariatric beds of all types.

In his collaboration for this article, Cotter provided an added dimension of advice for choosing a hospital bed that’s specifically geared to bariatric individuals, ensuring safety and heavy-duty construction for larger-than-average people.

“Be sure to choose a bed that best accommodates the patient’s physical conditions and weight. When selecting the weight capacity of the bed, take into account the possibility of any future weight gain.

For a patient that’s likely to experience weight gain, choose a bed with a weight capacity that best accommodates the patient and the width of the bed deck / patient sleep surface.

A width expandable bed allows adjustment for bed deck width to accommodate weight fluctuation and environmental access allowing transport from room to room or to treatment without transferring the patient.”

Cotter also highlighted the importance of choosing a bed to meet the unique needs of the user.

“Most hospital beds feature high-low bed deck functionality,”he said.“Make sure the backrest raises to the desired angle. Know if leg lift/knee flex articulation is needed, and if the patient requires bed deck articulation i.e. Trendelenburg / reverse Trendelenburg positioning.”

4. Drive Medical

James Jackson is an expert on Durable Medical Equipment (DME) for Drive Medical. As one of the fastest growing home healthcare companies in the industry, Drive Medical began as Medical Depot in 2000, quickly changing their name to Drive to better reflect the spirit of their mission to enhance the quality of life of the people who use their products.

Acquiring the esteemed DeVilbiss company in 2015, the multinational Drive is constantly growing and expanding with their comprehensive durable medical equipment lines that include, but are not limited to, mobility, wheelchairs, scooters, rehabilitation, pediatrics, bariatrics, sleep surfaces and beds.

Jackson emphasized the importance of determining the adjusting needs for the intended user, along with the basic height ranges offered by each type of bed. He said,

“Homecare beds come in three basic models: semi-electric, full-electric, and low beds. A semi-electric bed requires the patient or caregiver to use a crank in order to adjust the height of the bed, while the height of a full-electric bed can be adjusted with an easy hand control. This can be a major difference if adjustments are needed regularly and the patient or caregiver may have difficulty adjusting the bed manually.

Another concern is the height itself. In both a semi and full-electric bed, the minimum height without casters is 12.75 inches and maximum height with casters is 21.5 inches. A low bed can goes lower to the ground than any other model, featuring a minimum height of 9.5 inches without casters.

These heights are very important when the patient is transitioning in and out of a bed whether with a transfer board or patient lift. Also, patients may need to be raised or lowered when cleaning and caring for in bed.”

Jackson also talked about how crucial it is to find the right hospital mattress for the hospital bed, ensuring specific user needs are met.

“Even more important than the bed you choose is the mattress you select to go on top of it,” he said. “Like any mattress, not just hospital bed mattresses, selection is mainly based on preference and need. An innerspring is going to be the most cost effective, but be the least comfortable. Foam mattresses are a great comfortable option which help prevent the development of pressure ulcers.

We also carry Low Air Loss mattresses which help to treat pressure ulcers if they have already developed. Each one of these categories offers a good, better, and best option with more features and longer warranties.”

Along with the importance of choosing the best bed and mattress, Jackson went on to explain how accessories and other equipment for hospital beds can help improve the home care experience.

“Besides the mattress and the rails there are many other complementary items that go along with the bed to enhance the patient’s quality of life,” he said. “You have a “Bed in a Box” which comes with a fitted sheet, flat sheet, blanket, and pillowcase. Hospital beds are an odd size so standard bed sheets do not fit them well.

You can utilize an overbed table like the one used in the hospital which will make it much easier to eat meals, or a reacher to help grab those hard to reach items. We also offer bed wedges to help with positioning, or urinals to assist with bathroom needs.”


Along with their use in hospitals and care facilities, hospital beds are utilized at home to provide rest, healing, and accessibility to care. Whether they’re used short-term for convalescence from an injury, surgery, or illness, or long-term for senior or disability care, hospital beds provide adjustable height and positional support, enhancing safety and comfort for their users.

Through reaching out to experts, we found that knowing what features the user requires, their fall risk, how long the bed will be used, the bed’s weight capacity, and the positional requirements of the user are the most important considerations when choosing the right hospital bed.

Learn more about choosing the best hospital bed for home use, and how to select the best mattress, along with other helpful and supportive information at Caregiver University. Find the best hospital beds, durable medical equipment, and other tools for the job of living at Rehabmart.

Co-Founder of Rehabmart and an Occupational Therapist since 1993. Mike has spent his professional career working in multiple areas of Occupational Therapy, including pediatrics, geriatrics, hand therapy, ergonomics and inpatient / outpatient rehabilitation. Mike enjoys writing articles that help people solve complex therapeutic problems and make better product choices.

Hospital Bed Mattress Sizes & Weight Capacities

Standard Mattress: A typical home care hospital bed has a sleep surface measuring 36" wide and 80" in length. Most mattress systems in this category are constructed with either an innerspring foundation, solid dense foam, or a combination of both.

Bariatric Mattress: A mattress wider than 36" is usually considered a Bariatric Mattress. This category offers mattress systems with higher weight limits, capable of supporting obese patients, and most are constructed of dense foam.

Air Mattress Systems:There are several forms of Air Mattress systems designed for varying levels of therapeutic support and pressure redistribution. Alternating Pressure, Low Air Loss and Lateral Rotation Mattress Systems can be found in our Therapeutic Support Surface category, see: Medical Air Mattress Systems .

Mattress WidthMattress Length35"36"39"42"48"54"60"75"80"84"SoftForm Premier IPMYYYYYYYSoftForm Excel IXLYYYYSolace SPSYYGravity 7YYYYGravity 8YYYYGravity 9 Memory FoamYYYYYYYYLumex Select SeriesYYYLumex Platinum CareYYYYYLumex Memory FoamYYYYGeo-Matt-ProYYYYYYY1100 Memory FoamYYYGeo-Matt-PlusYYYYYYGeo-Matt-MaxYYYYYYPressure Guard CFTYYYYYYYYBARMATTYYYYHospital Bed Mattress">Lumex BariatricYY15312 Bariatric FoamYYGeo Matt AtlasYYYYYY

Wider sizes:

Shorter length 75" and 76":

Extra Long 84":

Sorted by Weight Capacity

250-lb Weight Capacity:
INVACARE-5185 – Innerspring Mattress
INVACARE-5180 – Innerspring Mattress
INVACARE-5185XL – Innerspring Mattress
DRIVE-15006 – Innerspring Mattress
GEO-MATT – Foam Mattress
GEO-MATT-HC – Foam Mattress

300-lb Weight Capacity:
LUMEX-316-319 – Foam Mattress
Geo-Matt-Pro – Foam Mattress

350-lb weight Capacity
INVACARE-SPS1080 – Foam Mattress
Drive-15019 – Foam Mattress
Home-Style-APM2 – Therapy Mattress
Pressureguard-APM2-SP – Therapy Air/Rotation Mattress
SPANAMERICA-TURN-SELECT – Therapy Air/Rotation Mattress
SpanAmerica-EasyAir-LR – Therapy Air Mattress/Rotation

400-lb Weight Capacity
GEO-MATT-MAX – Foam Mattress
Drive-15014 – Foam Mattress
GEO-MATT-PLU – Foam Mattress
Geo-Mattress-Wings – Foam Mattress

450-lb Weight Capacity
Invacare Softform Excel – Foam Mattress

500-lb Weight Capacity:
Lumex-516-519 – Foam Mattress
Invacare Softform Premier – Foam Mattress

1000-lb Weight Capacity:
Drive-15312 – Foam Mattress

See our complete catalog of Therapy Mattress Systems

Return to main Hospital Bed Mattress page.


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