Serious injuries, surgeries, or long-term medical concerns make it necessary for some seniors to switch to using a hospital bed. This may not seem like the most exciting idea; after all, hospital beds aren’t exactly known for their style.
Still, switching to a hospital bed for home care comes with some great benefits, and is a decision/purchase that deserves attention.
Read through our list of the best hospital beds for home use and buying guide to learn more about these beds and how to find the one that’s right for you!
What is a Hospital Bed for Home Use?
Hospital beds are a type of adjustable bed designed to aid seniors and other people who are confined to a bed, either in the short or long term. These beds can adjust the elevation of the back and legs and are height-adjustable as well. In these ways, they are quite similar to adjustable beds.
Hospital beds usually have three features that are distinct from other beds: side rails, wheels, and IV poles. The side rails are essential for the safety of people who cannot get in/out of the bed without assistance. They’re also useful when transporting the user; the wheels on hospital beds make transporting the user possible without having to move them off of the bed. IV poles are convenient for people who need an IV for medication or hydration; the pole lets you place the bag with the bed and keep it right where it needs to be.
The main difference between hospital beds and other types of beds is the purpose. Hospital beds are designed to give caregivers easy access to their patients. They’re also intended to adjust to the physical needs of the users and allow them to keep medical equipment nearby. The adjustable height of hospital beds is also great for preventing falls or reducing knee/hip strain when getting in and out of the bed!
Benefits of a Hospital Bed for Home
Hospital beds keep their users safer at all times than a normal bed would. If you need to isolate a body part (a leg that has undergone surgery, for instance), hospital beds are the perfect choice for this. Similarly, if you need to elevate your back, head, or legs for comfort or rehabilitation, hospital beds are a more stable and efficient option than adjustable beds.
The rails on hospital beds keep users stable when entering/exiting the bed under their own power; being able to place your weight on the rails rather than the soft mattress or another piece of furniture reduces the risk of falls significantly.
The most important safety feature of hospital beds is their automatic raising/lowering: being able to instantly increase or decrease the height of the bed decreases fall risks drastically. This is important for people who may have back or leg issues that require a specific bed height for safe entry/exit.
Hospital beds are designed to be used to move a patient from one area to another without having to remove them from the bed. This helps reduce the risk of a nasty fall when moving someone from the bed into a wheelchair; it also makes responding to medical emergencies easier in some scenarios.
These beds have a few different points of articulation, very similar to the ones on adjustable beds. You can elevate your head or legs-or both- and sit in the bed like a chair, all at the touch of a button. The remote (called a pendant because it’s usually attached to the bed by a cable) lets the user control the bed without assistance, helping them retain at least a little bit of independence while confined to the bed.
Best Electric Hospital Beds for Home Use
1. Best Queen Size Hospital Bed for Home Use: Transfer Master Supernal 5000
This bed from Transfer Master is one of the most comfortable hospital beds on the market, and one of the very few available in a true queen size. This bed is easy to adjust to the needs of any senior, and is wide enough to be used by two people!
It has a memory foam mattress that includes a massage function, just like the less medically-focused adjustable beds that are popular these days. It is, though, a hospital bed first and foremost. This bed can raise and lower, elevate the head and legs, and even move to a “reverse Trendelenberg” position that makes it easy to get a person out of the bed and into a wheelchair.
The greatest feature of the Supernal 5000 is that it’s designed to hide all of its electrical components. This makes it look less like a hospital bed and more like a stylish queen-sized bed that can meet all your medical needs! If you’re looking for a laid-back, comfortable hospital bed for your home, this could be it!
2. Best Double Hospital Bed for Home Use: Drive Medical Heavy Duty Bariatric
This bed isn’t technically a double, but it is 42 inches wide, almost the same as the standard double bed dimensions. This makes it about 30% wider than the normal size of hospital bed, a great choice for anyone who needs a bit more room to spread out. It’s not so wide that it will be impossible to install in a bedroom, but it is too wide to roll through most doorways.
Who is this bed right for? Anyone who needs more space to stretch out and be comfortable in bed, or anyone who is too heavy for a normal hospital bed. This bed from Drive Medical has a weight capacity of 600 pounds and is made entirely from steel, so there’s little chance of it breaking unless it is completely overloaded.
The only real downside of this bed is that there is no mattress included. It’s already a slightly expensive bed, so having to purchase a bed separately can be a bit of a financial strain for some people. If you need a wider bed, however, this is a great choice despite any price concerns you might have.
3. Best Bariatric Hospital Bed for Home: Invacare Bariatric Full-Electric Bed
Invacare is considered one of the best companies that make products for seniors, and this home care bariatric bed is no different. First of all, it has a split-spring design that lets the bed adjust while still maintaining support and comfort.
Second, the ends of the bed are universal, which means there is no designated headboard or footboard; they’re both the same. This makes it easier to set up and move because there’d be no need to pivot or twist the bed to get the headboard in the right place. All you’d have to do is move the included bed rails to the other side of the bed and you’d be all set!
Finally, this bed comes with a perfect-fitting 6.5-inch deep mattress. It’s made without latex, so it will be safe for people with latex, and it has a nylon cover that will protect from any liquids that could damage the mattress. If you’re looking for a bariatric hospital bed, this model from Invacare has it all- including a 600-pound weight capacity!
4. Best Full-Size Hospital Bed for Home Use: Drive Medical Heavy Duty 48
This 48-inch wide bed has a lot to offer seniors and other people who need a hospital bed for full-time home care. First of all, it’s over a foot wider than the standard hospital bed, making it ideal for people whose needs require more space. It will be a little bit tight with two people, so it isn’t perfect for that, but it still provides more than enough room for almost anyone.
This bed also comes with four different rails, double the number that is typically included with a hospital bed. It’s a minor feature for most, but valuable for seniors who are worried about falls and accidents during transportation.
Additionally, this full electric hospital bed has a convenient remote that sits on the rail right next to the user. It’s easy to reach and hard to lose, something that most people cannot say about their bed remote! Lastly, this hospital bed has a stellar weight capacity- 750 pounds- which is higher than any other bed on the market!
5. Best Small Hospital Bed for Home Use: Drive Medical Ultra Light Hospital Bed
This bed weighs just 182 pounds, about half of what the normal hospital bed will weigh. Even though it’s compact and lightweight, it still has a sleeping area that’s equivalent to a Twin XL bed and a weight capacity of 450 pounds! This makes it a small hospital bed that will be comfortable for most users.
The motor on the bed is completely self-contained, which keeps it quiet and light. There is even a battery backup included, a shocker for such a light bed! If something goes wrong with the electric components, there is still a hand crank that you can use to raise/lower the bed; the motor can be safely removed and installed while the user is still in the bed.
One more thing: this is one of the most affordable hospital beds on the market. If you cannot get it covered by Medicare and Medicaid (or they only cover a certain dollar amount), this bed is a great way to get all the benefits of a home care bed without breaking the bank!
6. Most Comfortable Hospital Bed for Home: Invacare Etude with Softform Premier Mattress
This hospital bed comes with a three-layer mattress that emphasizes comfort. Being in a bed for too long can lead to dangerous pressure sores and muscular atrophy. No mattress can completely erase that side effect, but a high-quality mattress option such as this can help reduce it a lot!
The Softform mattress provides a great combination of support and softness, gently forming to the shape of your body without giving you a “sinking” feeling. The top layer is the softest, evenly displacing your body weight and reducing the pressure in areas that are prone to sores and bruises.
Unrelated to comfort, the Invacare Etude has one more advantage over other hospital beds: it’s very easy to assemble. Once you receive the package, going from delivery to using the bed takes about 20 minutes! That gives you or your loved one the comfortable, supportive bed they need faster and with less headache.
7. Best Adjustable Hospital Beds for Home: HopeFULL Premium 5-Function Hospital Bed
This bed is designed for more intensive home care and medical needs. It is modeled after ICU beds, so it might not be the most stylish bed in the world, but that should be the least of your concerns. If you have serious medical needs and would like a bed that can meet them, this model from HopeFULL is for you!
One of the nicest benefits of this bed is that it comes equipped with a battery backup in case of power failures. This can save you from frustrating and potentially dangerous situations if a storm knocks out the power. Most beds have a manual lever in case of this scenario, but not everyone has the ability- or help- to use the manual controls.
Beyond that, this bed has all the adjustable features you need. The bed raises and lowers, the head and legs elevate, and you can even recline into a “zero-gravity”- style position, one that will put your body at ease and keep you comfortable during the day. If you have serious medical needs that require an ICU bed, this model from HopeFull is for you!
Best Home Hospital Bed Mattresses
Hospital beds may or may not come with a mattress included in your purchase. Even when beds do include a mattress don’t always include one that’s very comfortable to use. This makes it necessary for many people to purchase a mattress separate from their hospital bed- here are some of the best and most comfortable options!
Air mattresses are the best way for seniors and other people confined to beds to avoid getting pressure sores and experiencing too much muscular atrophy. The mattress is made up of many different air chambers, which can fill and deflate independently of one another.
When the pressure alternating mode is activated, the air cycles in and out of each different chamber for 10 minutes. This slow and gentle pressure cycling relieves soreness, stiffness, and reduces the risk and presence of pressure sores. If you are going to be confined to a bed for a long time, an air mattress like this one isn’t a luxury- it’s a necessity!
It’s worth mentioning that this product is intended to be a mattress topper rather than an independent mattress. This makes it perfect for people who have a mattress already but want to upgrade it without spending hundreds on a complete replacement!
This mattress, made from start to finish in the USA, gives seniors 6 inches of gel-infused memory foam that will keep them cool and comfortable as long as they’re in a hospital bed. The thick memory foam forms gently around the body and help to evenly displace body weight, rather than concentrating it on a few spots.
The “gel-infused” feature simply means that the mattress is designed to draw heat away from the body. Many memory foam mattresses are too hot for comfort; gel infusion solves this problem. This mattress is also a bit firmer than the memory foam you might be used to; it’s designed to give more support and avoid the sinking feeling that people don’t like.
Furthermore, Excel Sleep makes this mattress in every hospital bed size, from standard to extra-wide bariatric. If you’re looking for a simple, comfortable mattress for your hospital bed, this could be the one for you!
This deluxe air mattress gives you 8 inches of soft air channels to keep you comfortable and help prevent pressure sores. It is designed for people who are at a medium-high level of risk for pressure injuries and has 5 different pressure modes to choose from.
There is an alternating and static mode for both the seated and flat bed positions; alongside those modes is a “max firm” mode that fills each air channel completely. Each of these modes can be selected from an easy-to-use remote that also lets you adjust the firmness to your liking.
If you, your loved one, or your patient is at risk for pressure sores due to being confined to a bed, consider how this mattress could help. It will help relieve tension and pressure, stimulate muscles and tissue, and do so quietly and without disturbing sleep!
Lastly, this air mattress has a nylon surface that resists moisture and microbes. Hospital beds are a place where germs and microbes concentrate, so having a mattress with anti-microbial materials is a big plus!
Best Hospital Bed Rails for Home Use
Just like mattresses, some hospital beds come with rails, and others do not. Additionally, the included rails aren’t a universal solution. Here are some of the most popular and helpful hospital bed rails that you can buy:
Half-length rails give users stability when getting in and out of the bed and safety during transport but stay out of the way otherwise. Compared to full-length rails, they’re much more convenient for people who do not need the added safety of rails that run the entire length of the bed.
These rails, from Drive Medical, fit nearly any hospital bed with a steel frame; they aren’t exclusive to the Drive Medical brand, so they should fit on your bed no matter what! Plus, they easily adjust- they slide down while still staying attached to the bed, out of your way but not out of reach!
These full-length rails fit on any bed with a steel frame and are exceptionally sturdy. If your hospital bed’s rails are flimsy, broken, or insufficient, consider how these rails could be of service to you! They attach easily, hold on tight, and are easy for almost anyone to slide down out of the way.
They’re 50 inches long and 15 inches tall, and strong enough to keep the user still during transport. For people who need guardrails to keep from accidents and falls, these universal slide rails are a great choice!
Buying Guide: How to Find the Right Hospital Bed
Dimensions of Hospital Bed for Home
Nearly every hospital bed is made in one size: 36 inches wide by 80 inches long. The height of a hospital bed is adjustable, typically ranging between 8 and 36 inches. There are, however, wider hospital beds, though they are not as easy to get. They are equal to the Double, Full, and Queen sizes of traditional beds/mattresses.
The normal dimensions of hospital beds are roughly equivalent to that of Twin XL beds, which are large enough to comfortably fit one adult. Bariatric hospital beds are wider, between 42 and 48 inches.
Before you buy a hospital bed, make sure that it is the right size for your needs. If you want to buy a wider bed, you should keep in mind that it may not fit through doorways easily. This takes away from one of the main benefits of hospital beds- that they can be easily transported with the user in them.
If you think a wider bed might be right for you and you do not need the medical benefits of a hospital bed, we would encourage you to think about getting a normal adjustable bed instead!
Types of Hospital Beds for Home Use
There are three main categories of hospital beds- standard, “ICU-style” and bariatric. Each type of bed has its own purpose, but there is a good deal of overlap between them. So, while you should try to find the category that best suits you, you can rest assured that all perform the same basic functions. They all raise, lower, and adjust to meet the needs of seniors and those confined to beds, so it’s hard to go wrong with any type of hospital bed!
Standard Hospital Beds
Standard hospital beds, like the Invacare Etude, are made using a steel frame with wood-grain head and footboards. They work much like an adjustable bed and are the least expensive kind of hospital bed. These beds are perfect for most users and are easily upgraded with air mattresses, IV poles, and other medical equipment.
ICU-Style Hospital Beds
ICU-style beds are like a step up from standard hospital beds. Typically, an ICU-style bed like the HopeFULL Premium is more stable and secure for patients who are at risk for a fall. In addition, they have wheels that are of a higher quality and allow for easier, smoother transportation. As far as the actual bed surface, though, these types of hospital beds are the same as standard ones.
Bariatric Hospital Beds
Bariatric beds, too, differ very little from standard hospital beds in terms of shape and overall functionality. What makes them different is that they are much wider than other hospital beds and have a much higher weight capacity.
Bariatric beds are typically 42-48 inches wide (compared to the standard 36) and can safely hold between 600 and 750 pounds (compared to 275-450).
These beds are ideal for people who need more strength-or space- than a normal-sized hospital bed can provide. With the added size and weight capacity, though, comes (just like always) a higher price.
What Type of Hospital Bed Should You Get?
It’s hard to go wrong with a standard hospital bed; unless you specifically need a bariatric or ICU-style bed, it’s wise to save money by choosing a standard hospital bed. If you need extra stability or know you may need to be moved often, an ICU-style bed is right for you. It will allow you to go from one room to another- and even to the hospital when necessary- safely and smoothly.
If you need more weight capacity or extra room, it’s best to go with a bariatric hospital bed. It will give you the strength and space that you need. For most people, though, a standard hospital bed is the right choice. What matters almost as much as the bed you choose is the mattress; more on that below.
Hospital Bed Mattresses
Not all mattresses are designed to have the same function or quality. You may find that, when your hospital bed is delivered, the mattress that comes with it is uncomfortable- if it comes with one at all.
There are two types of hospital bed mattresses that you can buy separately from the bed. The first is memory foam mattresses; these are soft, comfortable, and great for people who struggle to sleep well on stiff mattresses. The other is air mattresses, which have several small air pockets on the inside that can fill and deflate to help prevent the development of pressure sores.
If you don’t think that pressure sores will be a problem for you (for instance, if you can move around or get out of the bed from time to time), a memory foam mattress will serve you well. If you’re confined to the bed 24/7 and are starting to get pressure sores, it’s wise to get an air mattress so that you can stay healthy and recover/live comfortably!
Hospital Bed Mattress Toppers/Overlays
If you don’t want to replace your hospital bed mattress, you have the option of selecting a mattress topper that fits over the mattress. They’re much like normal mattress toppers, but they fit hospital beds more perfectly. Most of them are air mattress overlays; these are a simple way to upgrade your mattress without replacing it.
Cost of Hospital Bed for Home
Hospital beds aren’t cheap; they’ll typically cost over $1,000 to get a bed and a mattress. The least expensive hospital beds, like the Drive Medical Ultra Light, will only cost about $800 with a mattress included. Most, however, cost between $1,000 and $2,000.
Bariatric and ICU-style beds are more expensive- some high-end models cost more than $5,000! Mattresses for hospital beds aren’t cheap either, but they don’t cost any more than buying a mattress for a normal bed. You’ll pay between $100 and $500 to get a mattress for your hospital bed, depending on how thick it is and whether it is an air or memory foam mattress!
Medicare Requirements for Hospital Bed at Home
Does Medicare cover hospital beds? They do, but it isn’t as simple as it seems (or as it should be)! If you want to get your hospital bed covered by medicare, the first thing you need is a doctor’s prescription.
Usually, your doctor will prescribe you a hospital bed when you are in the hospital and preparing to transition to outpatient or home care. If they do not, however, you’ll have to schedule an appointment and let your doctor evaluate your needs. If they agree that you need a hospital bed for home use, they’ll gladly write the prescription for you!
When you have your prescription, you’ll be able to buy a hospital bed on Medicare’s dime- 80% of it, that is. Hospital beds are considered Durable Medical Equipment (DME), and are covered mostly by Medicare; the other 20% is covered either by you, supplemental insurance, or Medicaid where it applies.
Before buying a hospital bed online, contact your doctor to explore your options. There’s no sense in paying well over $1,000 when you don’t need to! If you cannot get your bed covered by Medicare or insurance, however, you’ll have to pay for it out of pocket.
Conclusion: Best Hospital Beds for Home Use
Hospital beds are convenient and very beneficial for the people who need them. They’re highly adjustable, very safe, and can be quite comfortable with the right mattress. If you’re looking into getting a hospital bed for home care soon, we’re glad you found our guide!
Do you have any more questions about hospital beds? Or, do you have suggestions on which hospital beds are the best for home use? Let us know in the comments section below! Thanks for reading!