Buying a new hospital bed for home use can be challenging by itself, but setting up a hospital bed without instructions? That can be a real nightmare! Hospital beds are heavy, bulky, and sometimes complicated devices that often require more than one set of hands to assemble.
Read our guide to hospital bed assembly to learn how to put your bed together the right way, the first time!
How to Set Up a Hospital Bed
No matter what hospital bed you buy, you’ll be following the same basic steps when assembling your hospital bed. With each different brand and bed, the steps will change slightly, but this is, generally speaking, the proper way to assemble a hospital bed:
- 1Unbox your hospital bed. It may be delivered in 2-3 separate packages, so it’s important to keep everything organized and get rid of cardboard/plastic as quickly as you can. It’s going to be much harder to assemble your bed if your floor looks the same way it does on Christmas morning!
- 2Attach the head and leg portions of the bed to each other. Your hospital bed will most likely be attached with pins or bolts that secure the head and leg portions. Make sure this point of attachment is very secure; if it isn’t you run the risk of your bed collapsing in the middle.
- 3Turn the bed surface on its side and screw/bolt on the legs. Again, make sure these legs are very securely attached to avoid any wobbling/looseness during use.
- 4Attach the drive shaft (usually just a long metal pole) to the motor or hand crank. The drive shaft is what connects the motor/hand crank to the bed and makes it move.
- 5If the motors of the bed are not already attached, now is the time. Make sure they are aligned perfectly to avoid an awkward/uneven bed motion.
- 6Plug in all the cables to the motors, remote control, and wall outlet. Double-check to verify that each cable is plugged into the correct place and is tight and snug.
- 7Pick up the bed and set it on its feet- test out the remote to make sure everything is good to go. If there are no issues, the bed is ready for use!
Tip: Use these videos to quickly learn how to assemble your bed.
How to Set Up an Invacare Hospital Bed
Invacare Hospital Bed Assembly Instructions
Because Invacare offers several different models of hospital beds, you should keep your owner’s manual handy to ensure you follow any slightly different assembly instructions. That said, here is the general step-by-step for assembling an Invacare Hospital Bed:
- 1Unbox and organize the hospital bed components.
- 2Set the head and foot portions of the bed on their side.
- 3Attach the center mounting latches of each portion to the other.
- 4Lay the bed flat on the floor, face-down.
- 5Attach the casters/legs to the bed securely.
- 6Attach the bed’s drive shaft to the hand crank or to the motor
- 7If your Invacare hospital bed is electric, now it is time to attach the motors and cables.
- Each model will have a slightly different configuration, so it’s best to refer to your owner’s manual or one of the videos below
- 8Turn the bed over and test it before use.
Video Guides for Assembling Invacare Hospital Beds
Invacare Hospital Bed Manuals
- Invacare G-Series Bed Manual
- Invacare 5000 Series Hospital Bed Manual (Sometimes referred to as “Invacare Homecare Beds”)
- Invacare Etude Plus Hospital Bed Manual
How to Set Up a Drive Medical Hospital Bed
Drive Medical Hospital Bed Assembly Videos
Drive Medical Hospital Bed Instruction Manuals
- Drive Medical 1500 Series (Full electric, semi-electric, and hand crank) manual
- Drive Medical 1000 Ultra Light Plus Manual
- Drive Bariatric 1000 Hospital Bed Assembly
Medline Hospital Bed Assembly
Medline Hospital Bed Step-By-Step Assembly
- 1Set the height of the headboard and footboard before assembling the bed to avoid having to lift the entire bed to adjust height later on.
- 2The platform/surface of the bed, on most Medline models, attaches to the headboard with hooks just like a traditional bedframe. Make sure that the headboard and footboard are firmly attached before placing the patient on the bed.
- 3If your bed has casters or wheels, turn the bed on its side and screw them on.
- 4Attach the drive shaft so that the bed will move properly
- 5Plug the motors into the control box, and the power cord into the wall
- 6Test the bed before placing the patient on it.
Medline Hospital Bed Assembly Videos
Medline Hospital Bed Instruction Manuals
- Medline Medlite Hospital Bed Manual
- Medline Bariatric Hospital Bed Manual
- Medline Hospital Bed General Manual
How to Take Apart a Hospital Bed (general instructions & links to good tutorial videos on Youtube);
Taking apart a hospital bed to move it, put it into storage, or sell it can be tricky if you don’t perform the disassembly in the proper order. For example, if you separate the bed surface before unplugging the motors, you can damage the cords and ruin your hospital bed for good!
Here is the proper order of disassembly for hospital beds:
- 1Unplug the bed from the wall and lay it on its side
- 2Remove the drive shaft from the motor
- 3Carefully unplug the motor, control box, and remote wires
- 4Remove the castors/legs from the bed
- 5Unhook the headboard and footboard from the bed frame
- 6Remove the bolt or latch that connects the two portions of the frame
This video will walk you through these steps:
Hospital Bed Rail Assembly
If you are using bed rails with your hospital bed, you need to make sure they are securely attached before placing your body weight on them. Failing to do this can result in a nasty accident!
Generally speaking, there are three types of hospital bed rails. Here are descriptions and basic assembly instructions for each type:
- 1Rails that attach to the bed frame with wing nuts/clamps that hold tight to the bed frame.
- These rails will come with a more specific set of instructions, but the gist of it is that you have to tighten the clamps/wing nuts onto the metal frame of the bed. Once they are tightened, it will take a lot of force to get them to budge.
- Example: Bed Guard Rails for Elderly (Bolts)
- 2Rails that have nylon straps that tie down to the frame of the bed
- Much like strapping a piece of furniture to your car or truck, there is no “perfect” method of tying a bed rail to a hospital bed. You only need to make sure that you tie it tight enough that the rail won’t slip around when the patient uses it.
- Example: Medokare Bed Rails for Elderly
- 3Rails that are simply placed between the mattress and bed frame and are held in place by gravity/a wooden board.
- These rails are a bit tricky to describe, but as long as they’re placed on the bed correctly, they don’t need to be secured or fixed to the frame. Because they have a wide base that sits in between the mattress and the bed frame, gravity and weight distribution holds them in place.
- Example: LumaRail Triple Safe Bed Rails
Beyond simply knowing the steps for hospital bed assembly, it’s important that you know the ins and outs of your hospital bed. While putting it together, try to pay attention to how it works and understand the mechanics of it – that will help you intuit how to use it properly and troubleshoot any issues that arise.
Have you put together a hospital bed before – and do you have any bits of wisdom for other readers you’d like to share? Or, are you still stuck with a hospital bed assembly conundrum? Leave your questions and comments below!