Becoming bedridden is a terrible ordeal for anyone who has to endure it. Whether it is due to age, injury, or weight related issues, being stuck in a bed can be damaging to a person’s overall mental health and wellness. That is why doctors invented the hospital bed trapeze. This device helps bedridden people regain some of their independence.
If you are looking for a hospital bed trapeze this is your go-to guide for all of the information you need to make the best decision. We go over the details as to what a hospital bed trapeze is, the pros and cons, the best units available on the market right now and provide helpful information for use and installation.
What is a hospital bed trapeze?
A hospital bed trapeze is a medical device that helps bedridden people move, get up and move around in the bed. The name is derived from the flying trapeze which is also an object that people need to hold onto for movement.
A hospital bed trapeze is made up of a handle, often in the shape of a triangle, a chain, a stand, and a frame. All together it creates a stable base for the handle to hand and allows people to grab onto it and use it for movement.
Pros and cons of having a hospital bed trapeze
- 1Improves independence
One of the best aspects of getting a bed trapeze is that it can vastly improve someone’s independence. Being able to sit up, transfer from the bed to a chair or move across the bed without help from another person can be a game changer for people who are bedridden. Independence is a critical factor in keeping senior people happy and is crucial for mental health as well.
- 2Multiple uses
Many people might think that a bed trapeze is only good for one thing: sitting up in bed. But that is not the case. There are many diverse uses for a bed trapeze. They can be used to transfer between a chair or scooter and the bed. It can be used for physical fitness and physical therapy. It can be used to help seniors get around in the bed itself which can allow people to have larger beds than the average hospital bed. All of these things can be extremely useful and freeing to someone who is bedridden. So don’t just think of a bed trapeze as a one trick pony because it most definitely is not.
- 1Can lead to further injury if used incorrectly
As helpful as a bed trapeze is, it can also be dangerous. Since they require pulling and hanging your weight on them, it can open the door to new kinds of injuries. If a person makes a mistake or ends up in an awkward position it can lead to strains or pulls. It can also lead to falls if someone loses their grip. All of these things should be avoidable but they can become a new avenue for potential mistakes.
- 2Doesn’t look great
If a trapeze is truly needed or prescribed this should be the last worry on your mind but it is worth mentioning. These pieces of equipment do not look good. They can be cumbersome and an eyesore in the home. You also have to make sure that there are no obstructions around the bed such as curtains, lamps, and other things that a moving trapeze could potentially interact with and damage.
Best Hospital bed trapezes available now
Best Overall: Medline Trapeze Bar Attachment To Bed
The Medline Trapeze Bar Attachment To Bed combines all of the best parts of a simple hospital bed trapeze into one standard package. It is affordable, strong, versatile, easy to use and install and comes to us from a brand we know and trust. There are many specialized trapezes or cheap trapezes from unknown brands online but this one is none of those things. If you are looking for a standard hospital trapeze for your bed this is the one to get.
It replaces a typical cloth strap with a heavy duty chain for extra durability. It only weighs 28lbs which is super light compared to some models. It has a 250lb weight capacity which is standard for most models. The frame is made from heavy-gauge, chrome plated, steel tubing for maximum strength that is guaranteed to stand up to constant rigorous use. Altogether you get a trapeze that hits all of the right notes and will be able to be used by a large number of people.
Best On A Budget: Drive Medical Competitor Trapeze Bar
Some hospital bed trapezes cost a lot of money, money that some people simply don’t have right now. That is unfortunate but luckily there is a trapeze, from a reputable manufacturer, that can fit nearly any budget. The Drive Medical Competitor Trapeze Bar can be bought for less than $100 and can fufill every task you have for it. It can be easily installed onto most hospital beds and nearly every Drive Medical hospital bed.
It features a steel frame, a heavy duty triangular grip, a thick strap and 450lbs of weight capacity. All of this is available for a super low price that can help anyone out who is in a budgetary pinch.
Best Heavy Duty: Lumex Versa-Helper Bariatric Bed Trapeze
There are a lot of hospital bed trapeze units available that have weight capacities that seem far too low for many people. How can you trust a trapeze with a weight capacity that is only 150lbs? The sad answer is there are many people out there who simply cannot. That is why Lumex put a lot of effort into designing their Versa-Helper Bariatric Bed Trapeze. This system is specifically made to carry larger weights more safely than other similar models.
The Versa-Helper Bariatric Bed Trapeze has a weight capacity of 600lbs which is incredible. That means this will work for nearly every bariatric person who needs it without them having to worry about a trapeze giving out on them. The Versa-Helper Bariatric Bed Trapeze derives a lot of its strength from the industrial frame that it holds it up. That includes the heavy duty floor stand that comes included. The whole system weighs 90lbs and offers a large amount of versatility and peace of mind for elderly and bariatric people alike.
The only downside is the price which comes in over $600 but that is because it is one of the few trapezes that are able to carry this kind of weight consistently. If you can stomach the high sticker price, this is an incredible piece of medical equipment.
Best Floor Stand: Graham-Field 2940B Bariatric Trapeze
The, also excellent, cousin to the Lumex bariatric trapeze system is the Graham-Field floor stand trapeze. This trapeze has a respectable weight limit of 450lbs which should be good enough for most people while still having a super solid floor stand keeping it stable. Everything about this trapeze is of the highest quality and if you do not want to trust your trapeze to be attached to the bed itself, this is the best floor stand model available.
It is available for around $400, which is a lot more than some basic trapezes, but is a lot cheaper than the full bariatric model. This is an excellent inbetween for anyone looking for a solid floor stand trapeze without needing to go straight for the heaviest bariatric trapezes.
Best Universal: Trapeze Bar Stand Bed Rail
If you are daunted by the number of options and restrictions that some hospital bed trapezes come with then you should look into getting a universal trapeze. That means that no matter what kind of bed you have, you should be able to get this trapeze to work properly. You do not need to have a hospital bed or compatible, separate, floor stand, you only need this system for the whole thing to work.
This is done thanks to a handy bar that slides under any bed and weighs the trapeze down without having to attach anything to the bed itself. This trapeze has a weight capacity of 250lbs and is fully adjustable. This allows you to put it to good use without having to worry about whether or not the trapeze will be compatible with your particular bed, because it will be.
Setup requires no tools and the design is based on other workout and sports equipment that you see all over the place. That makes the Trapeze Bar Stand Bed Rail a great choice for a universal hospital bed trapeze.
Best Lightweight: Invacare Trapeze Bar with Two-Piece Design
The Invacare Trapeze Bar with Two-Piece Design is a super simple and lightweight bed trapeze that has multiple ways to use it. If you are looking for something light and versatile, this is one of the best options available on the market. Other bed trapezes require heavy stands or hospital bed rails to install it properly, this one can be installed in multiple ways. You have the option of using a floor stand for a standard bed (sold separately) or installing it onto a bed with a metal headboard or hospital bed rails.
Without the stand, this trapeze only weighs 17lbs total which is light enough for anyone to manage comfortably. Despite being so light, the whole thing is made from strong steel and is built to last. No matter how you want to install it, setup is easy. It requires no tools or advanced knowledge of the product to install it properly and safely.
The Invacare Trapeze Bar with Two-Piece Design is super light, affordable, and easy to use making it a top choice for anyone looking for a simple trapeze to set up right away.
How to Install a Hospital Bed Trapeze
Installing a hospital bed trapeze can be a simple process but if you have never installed something like this before it can seem daunting. Proper installation of a bed trapeze is extremely important because people are going to be putting their full body weight on it. Improper installation can lead to failure and injury if you are not careful. Please refer to all warnings, guidance, and tips that are provided in your individual trapeze’s instruction manual.
Here are two simple and easy videos to help you wrap your head around trapeze bar installation for hospital beds.
Single Trapeze Setup
Installing a Trapeze
It would be extremely helpful to use these, basic, videos as a companion to your instruction manual. In fact, we have also included an instruction page that lists all of the standard parts and pieces you are likely to run into while installing your trapeze.
How to Use a Hospital Bed Trapeze
Tips and Final Words
There are multiple uses for a hospital bed trapeze. Each case has a slightly different way to use the trapeze but for the most part, using a hospital bed trapeze is straightforward.
First, you want to adjust the trapeze to the position that you need it to be in. Most trapezes have multiple adjustments including height and position above the bed. Setting this to the optimal position is step one.
The second step is going to be to firmly grip the trapeze. Once the trapeze is firmly in your grasp you can then move onto whatever task you need to do.
Now, you can adjust yourself, pull yourself across the bed, sit up, get up or transfer yourself to a wheelchair or other durable medical equipment. It might take some practice and some fiddling with the settings but overall the process is simple and will come naturally after just a few tries.
If you are curious about how these different positions work please take a look at this video so you get an idea of what to expect.
Lumex Bed Trapeze Video Guide
Buying guide: Tips for finding the best hospital bed trapeze to fit your needs
A. Decide on a weight limit
The first thing to do is to decide on a weight limit for your trapeze. Can you get away with a trapeze with a lower weight limit or do you need a heavy duty model? If the trapeze is not going to be used frequently or if the person using it is pretty small then a lightweight model might be the easiest thing to get. However, if you are not comfortable with the lower weight limits, some of which do not even reach 200lbs, you might want to make sure the trapeze you are looking at has a capacity you are comfortable with.
B. Floor stand or attached?
The weight limit is going to push you to decide whether or not you need a floor stand trapeze or a simple bed attached model. The floor stands often have higher weight capacities, stronger materials and more durability. However, they are also more expensive, require more assembly and are much heavier over all. You also need to make sure if you are goign to choose a trapeze that attaches to a bed that the trapeze is compatible with whatever bed you have. If you do not have an easily compatible bed you might need to get a floor stand trapeze.
Lastly, choose a budget. Some models can be much more expensive than others. If you are not willling to spend a ton of money on a hospital bed trapeze you might need to make sure that the models you are considering are not on the higher end of the price scale. If you take these three, critical, details into consideration finding the perfect hospital bed trapeze for you should be a breeze.