Views: 4 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2021-07-23 Origin: Site
So many types of hospital beds. Electric. Manual. Innerspring mattress, foam or air. Which is best for the bedridden or disabled? Where do you start?
When looking for a hospital bed, there are lots of things to consider. You want to make the best possible choice for patient comfort and ease of care, while keeping costs as low as possible. But there's something that is much more important.
Customers ask us all the time, "what's the best hospital bed." The best answer is, the best hospital bed is the one that meets your needs the best. Are you heavy or light? Are you mobile or not, tall or short? How long will you be in that bed? The answers to those questions and more will determine what kind of hospital bed you need. Remember, you should not be looking for the best hospital bed without looking for which type is best for you.
What is the difference between an adjustable bed and a hospital bed?
A hospital bed adjusts head and foot heights, as does an adjustable bed, but the overall height of hospital beds can also be raised and lowered. Very few adjustable beds have this hi-low feature. An example of an exception would be the Flex-a-Bed Hi Low 185 pictured below.
Hospital beds also have optional side rails in various lengths and styles for a more secure and safe set-up to avoid falls and injuries when patients get in and out of bed. Adjustable bed side rails are much more limited in styles and capabilities.
Finally, there are several widths to choose from in hospital beds.
For the larger patient, you may need a bariatric hospital bed. These come in widths of 42-inches, 48-inches and 54-inches and can accommodate patient weights from 500 to 900 pounds. Most bariatric (heavy duty) hospital beds have full-electric capabilities.
The prices for these beds are higher than standard size hospital beds, so consider carefully as you determine if you need the extra width and weight capacity.
Adjustable beds use standard size mattresses only and are available in twin XL, full XL and queen sizes.
Does the height of the hospital bed really matter?
One of the great advantages of using a hospital bed is the ability to lower the off-the-floor height of the mattress in order to make it easier to get the patient in and out of bed. This also makes it easier for the caregiver to reach the patient without awkward bending or straining. And whether or not the patient is completely bedridden or not, this is a nice feature to have.
A hospital bed will have an adjustable height range as much as 17-inches, with the height off the floor to the top of the mattress as low as 15-inches, and with overall heights over 35", depending on the model. The most common height range from floor to the top of the mattress on a standard hospital bed adjusts about 21-inches to 29-inches.
If you need to go lower than this, in case of fall risk or for extra versatility and maneuverability, then a low hospital bed that goes as low as a 9.5-inches deck height off the floor will give you about a 15-inches to top-of-mattress height. This is also key for shorter patients who may not be able to get into a standard hospital bed even when it is at its lowest setting.
Do I need an electric hospital bed?
The kind of bed you need will depend on the mobility and size of the patient. Here are your options when it comes to manual and electric adjustments on your hospital bed.
Manual (hand crank) requires an able-bodied caregiver
This is the lowest price point, with every adjustment made by an attendant. The bed will have three hand cranks, typically at the foot of the bed. One crank raises and lowers the head, one does so for the foot, and one will adjust the overall height of the bed. This is a good option if the patient is fairly mobile and can help with shifting their own position and getting into and out of bed.
PRO TIP: Is a manual crank for you?
If you don't need to raise and lower the bed, and changes of position are not needed often, this can be a great solution. The drawback is that every position change must be made by an able-bodied caregiver.
Semi-electric gives the patient some autonomy
This type of bed has a slightly higher price point but gives the patient some autonomy over their movement. There is just one crank for the overall height adjustment, and an additional hand-held electric control to raise and lower the head and foot.
PRO TIP: Who needs a semi-electric hospital bed?
If the patient can get into and out of bed without raising and lowering the overall bed height, then semi-electric may be a good choice.
Full-electric provides the most independence
With a held-held control for overall bed height, head adjustments, and foot adjustment, this option provides the most independence for patients who need to get in and out of bed frequently, or do not have the help of a caregiver to raise and lower the overall bed height.
For long-term home care, a full-electric hospital bed often ends up being the most cost-effective choice with price points starting under $800 for a complete bed, mattress and side rails set.
Since a caregiver might not be necessary for every bed adjustment, the need for a 24-hour-a-day attendant means lower costs of overall care.
PRO TIP: When is a full-electric hospital bed best?
A full-electric hospital bed provides the most independence for patients who need to get in and out of bed frequently, or do not have the help of a caregiver.
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