Ease of movement
Easy to Install
Getting a hospital bed is an intimidating yet important task. If you are a larger person, though, you may find that most hospital beds have a weight capacity that is too low to be safely used.
That’s why we put together this guide to help you find the best bariatric hospital bed for home use! We’ll review the top 4 models, mattresses, sheets, and go through some tips and tricks to getting the bed that’s a match for you. Let’s get started!
What is a Bariatric Hospital Bed?
Hospital beds are used in many homes; their adjustable features help patients feel comfortable and reduce the risk of falls. These beds are designed with the same components and features as standard hospital beds, but with added strength and sometimes added space. Standard hospital beds have an average weight limit of about 350 pounds; this weight limit is for the user and the mattress, not just the user.
Bariatric hospital beds have a much higher weight limit, usually between 600 and 750 pounds. This gives heavier users a safe and stable hospital bed that they can feel confident and secure using. Bariatric hospital beds are also wider than standard beds, ranging from 42 to 48 inches wide. Standard hospital beds are 36 inches wide; the extra width gives users more room to find a comfortable sleeping/sitting position.
Best Bariatric Hospital Beds: 4 Top Models
1. Best Bariatric ICU-Style Hospital Bed: HopeFULL Premium Full Electric Bed
This hospital bed isn’t technically a bariatric hospital bed, but it does have a very high weight capacity of 550 pounds. ICU-style beds are useful for seniors who have more serious medical needs; they give caregivers easier access to the user, and they are the easiest type of hospital bed to roll from one place to another with the user still in it.
HopeFULL beds are some of the most sought-after hospital beds on the market; people value the comfort and safety they provide. If a 550-pound weight capacity is suitable for you, you may want to consider this bed over wider, less-convenient bariatric hospital beds.
This bed has a very quiet motor and movement system, developed in Denmark, so you won’t be dealing with a noisy, “ratcheting” hospital bed. On top of that, it comes with battery backup, a great source of relief and comfort in the case of a power failure.
2. Best Invacare Bariatric Hospital Bed: Invacare Bariatric Heavy-Duty Bed
This bed has a 600-pound weight capacity and is 42 inches wide, great for nearly any senior’s needs. Even a non-bariatric patient can find great comfort in the added width! Invacare has a reputation for making high-quality, long-lasting medical products; this hospital bed is no different.
One great feature is that the bed has universal ends, meaning the headboard and footboard are exactly the same. This not only makes setup easier but also makes moving the bed into a new space easier. You don’t have to spend extra time pivoting the bed to get the headboard against the wall; simply put the bed against the wall and move the side rails to whichever end of the bed is now the head.
Finally, this bed comes with a specially-made bariatric foam mattress. Normal memory foam mattresses are great but lack the strength to support heavier users without wearing out quickly. This mattress still gives you the softness and comfort of memory foam, but has the strength required to support bariatric patients!
3. Best Medline Bariatric Hospital Bed: Medline Full Electric Bariatric Bed
This bed is available in three different configurations: 42 inches wide, 54 inches wide, and an adjustable-width model that expands from 37-54 inches! No matter what your needs are, there is a model that will fit you. The expandable model, in particular, is of great advantage; you can expand it when you’re set up in your bedroom but collapse it when you need to get through a doorway.
The Medline Bariatric Hospital Bed also has one of the highest weight capacities around- 1000 pounds. Even if you are nowhere near that weight, that ultra-heavy-duty construction should give you a lot of peace of mind in your new hospital bed! Outside of those two features, this bed is pretty standard across the board. You get the adjustable positions and height that other hospital beds have, a simple design, and a set of small but sturdy side rails.
4. Best Drive Medical Bariatric Hospital Bed: Drive Medical Heavy-Duty Hospital Bed
Drive Medical is a large company that manufactures products for seniors across a range of categories; their chief focus is on providing real medical benefits. This 42-inch bed has a weight capacity of 600 pounds, meeting the needs of most bariatric patients without going overboard.
If you’re looking for a “no-frills” bed that meets your needs and otherwise functions as a simple and comfortable bed, this is the one for you. It can elevate the legs, head/back, and move into a sleeping position at the touch of a button, and not much else. Of course, like other beds, the entire thing can be raised or lowered as well. But, that’s about all this bed has to offer, because that’s all it needs to offer in order to be a great, safe bariatric hospital bed!
Best Bariatric Hospital Bed Mattress: Medacure Bariatric Pressure Foam Mattress
This 6-inch foam mattress was designed specifically for bariatric patients. It comes in five different sizes, giving any bariatric hospital bed the exact right fit. The mattress is designed to disperse your body weight across a wider surface area, reducing the risk of developing pressure sores. This disbursement also takes some pressure off of the spine and lower back, which is a big concern for bariatric patients.
The mattress is made with three different layers of foam, ranging from very soft to very firm. This is what gives it the ability to feel soft and luxurious while still supporting the weight of even the heaviest users. Finally, the mattress includes a waterproof nylon mattress cover, preventing any damage from fluids or liquids that may or may not be part of your medical condition.
Best Bariatric Hospital Bed Sheets: Drive Medical Bariatric Bedding in a Box
This is a pack of two fitted sheets, designed to fit different widths of bariatric hospital bed mattresses that are up to 8 inches thick. They’re made of cotton and polyester and don’t wrinkle very easily, even when you frequently use the elevated or seated positions of the bed.
Truthfully, most hospital bed sheets are quite similar. The only things that matter are fit and price. That’s why these are the best sheets for bariatric hospital beds- they’ll fit nearly any type of bariatric bed, and they are very affordable!
The biggest downside of these sheets is that they aren’t water or stain-proof, and they don’t do anything to keep the bed sterilized. Hospital beds are a hotbed for microbes, so antimicrobial materials are very valuable. The good part is that, even though these sheets aren’t antimicrobial, the two-pack lets you wash and change them often.
Bariatric Hospital Bed Rental - Where to Rent
Make no mistake- bariatric hospital beds are an expensive item to purchase. If you only need a bariatric hospital bed for a few weeks or months, you may not want to pay the entire purchase price, just to get rid of it later. That’s where rental services come in!
Do a quick search for hospital bed rentals in your area, and you should be able to quickly find some great options. Most rental services are locally or regionally-based, which helps them cut down on delivery costs and provide an in-home setup for their customers.
The average cost of renting a hospital bed for a month is between $200 and $500. Compare that to the $1,500+ average cost of buying a bariatric hospital bed, and the advantages become clear. If you don’t need the hospital bed for very long, it can be much more reasonable to rent rather than buy!
How to Get a Free Bariatric Hospital Bed
Getting a free bariatric hospital bed isn’t easy, but it is very much worth the effort if you can. While there are some charities that provide hospital beds, wheelchairs, and other medical equipment to people who cannot afford them, the best way to get a bariatric hospital bed for free is through Medicare and Medicaid.
Hospital beds, including bariatric models, fall under a Medicare category called “Durable Medical Equipment” (DME). This term describes any medical device that helps a senior in their home or daily life and will normally last at least 5 years. When you are approved to get a hospital bed covered by Medicare, they will pay 80% of the cost.
Your supplemental private insurance, Medicaid, or your own wallet will be responsible for the remaining cost of your bariatric hospital bed. You can check your states’ Medicaid guidelines here.
If you want a bed covered by Medicare or Medicaid, you have to meet a few requirements. First, you must obtain a prescription from a doctor. This doctor must evaluate you and determine whether you need a bariatric hospital bed for home use or not. The doctor must also be part of the Medicare network. When they write you the prescription, you’ll also have to purchase the bed from a Medicare-participating provider.
It isn’t an easy process, but the good news is that everyone who truly needs a bariatric hospital bed will eventually be approved. Paying little to nothing for your hospital bed, compared to potential thousands of dollars, is more than worth going through the process.
Buying Guide: What to Look for in a Bariatric Hospital Bed
Bariatric Hospital Bed Cost
Bariatric hospital beds will typically set you back about $1,500. The cheapest models, without the mattress, cost about $700; the most expensive can cost over $3,000. The cost of mattresses should also be considered; hospital bed mattresses usually cost between $150 and $400.
One of the largest makers of medical devices in the world, Drive Medical enjoys a lot of popularity in the senior community. They make products that meet the various medical needs of seniors without breaking the bank. They should be your go-to company if you’re looking for a bed that will be durable and functional without trying to sell you on useless features!
With a long-standing reputation for quality and comfort, Invacare is one of the most popular brands for wheelchairs, hospital beds, and other medical products in the country. When you buy a bed from Invacare, you can expect to pay a higher (but still fair) price and receive a sturdy, comfortable product that you’ll appreciate for years to come.
Tips for Finding the Best Bariatric Hospital Bed for Your Needs
Find the Correct Width
Many people assume that wider is better, but that isn’t always the case. A 48-inch wide bed might give you a lot of space to feel comfortable and relaxed, but it will be impossible to get through most doorways. Before you make a decision, consider whether or not the ability to get through a door while still in the bed is important to you!
Bed Height (Minimum and Maximum)
All hospital beds have a variable bed height, but the minimum and maximum heights aren’t standardized. This is important for your own preferences and needs. Studies have also shown that using the bed at the lowest height possible can help reduce fall risks. If you know that you need an especially low (or high) bed height, make sure that the model you’re considering can accommodate that before you buy!
Full and Semi Electric
Full electric beds have motors that control the head/leg elevation and the raising/lowering of the bed height. Semi-electric beds, on the other hand, only have electric motors to control the positioning, not the height of the bed. You’ll have to use a manual hand crank to adjust the height of semi-electric beds. Getting a semi-electric bed can save you some money, but are otherwise pretty inconvenient; before you buy, make sure you know which type of electric function the hospital bed has!
The best bariatric hospital bed for home use is the one that meets your needs exactly; each bed is made slightly different, so it’s wise to consider all your options. However, you can have confidence that, no matter what model you choose, you will still have a bed that will perform the same important adjustable functions! Have you found the right bariatric hospital bed for your needs? Do you have any more questions about the models on our list? Let us know in the comments section below!