At home, hospital beds are medical equipment that many people do not think about until they need it. There are multiple different types and brands that can cover a large price range that can easily leave the uninitiated frustrated or confused. In order to help you navigate the stressful world of durable medical equipment, we put together this best of guide.
In this buyer’s guide, we tackle the biggest questions you might have about semi-electric hospital beds including what they are, the best semi-electric hospital beds on the market, the key brands as well as options for people who don’t necessarily need to buy a brand new bed.
What Is a Semi-Electric Hospital Bed?
A semi-electric hospital bed is a bed designed to care for the elderly, sick or infirm from the comfort of their own home. Regular beds do not have the functionality needed to provide quality long term care for many people who need it and not everyone has the money or willpower to stay in dedicated medical facilities for months or years at a time. A semi-electric hospital bed fills that gap by allowing caretakers to administer the care they need with a bed that works better than a regular bed.
At home hospital beds are a different size from standard beds and also work differently. Similar to an adjustable bed, a hospital bed allows for individual adjustment of the head and feet areas of the bed to allow for different levels of elevation depending on condition. The thing that sets a hospital bed apart from an adjustable bed is that a hospital bed’s height is also adjustable.
Having an adjustable height helps the infirm get in and out of bed. It also helps to prevent falls. Tumbling out of a hospital bed is actually a common source of injury. Having a bed that can be kept low to the ground at all times or a bed that can be lowered when a person is getting in or out of it can go a long way to preventing those sorts of incidents.
A semi-electric bed must mean there is also a fully electric hospital bed. What is the major difference between those two key types of hospital beds?
Semi-Electric versus Fully Electric Hospital Beds: What Is the Difference?
A fully electric hospital bed has all three phases of motion powered by electricity. It can adjust the head, feet, and height automatically when powered. A semi-electric hospital bed only has two of the three types of motion powered. The adjustment left out is the height adjustment.
That means that on a semi-electric hospital bed the head and feet adjust via remote just like any adjustable bed but the height itself has to be manually adjusted. This is often done via a hand crank similar to any quality jack you’ve ever used on the market.
Eliminating the need for height adjusting motors saves the bed a lot of weight and can save you a lot of money.
Best Semi-Electric Hospital Beds
Best Semi-Electric Hospital Bed (Overall): Drive Medical Delta Ultra Light Semi Electric Bed Therapeutic Support Mattress
The best semi-electric hospital bed on this list comes to us from Drive Medical. This bed has the benefit of including all of the possible upgrades typical of a semi-electric hospital bed without incurring too much additional cost. This bed is available for less than $900 but comes with therapeutic support, extra strength safety rails, a stylish woodgrain paneled look, and a solid 450lbs weight capacity. Most semi-electric hospital beds come with a couple of these things but not all of them.
Additionally, it also has a super quiet 9V motor and included wheels that make moving the bed, with or without the patient, easy and fast. All of the components including the bed, side rails, and mattress were extensively safety-tested by SGS, a nationally recognized testing facility. Semi-electric hospital beds occupy an odd space between fully manual and fully electric and are often neglected in terms of quality upgrades and attention to detail but Drive Medical has turned that narrative on its head with the Drive Medical Delta Ultra Light Semi Electric Bed Therapeutic Support Mattress.
Best Invacare Semi-Electric Hospital Bed: Invacare 5310IVC Semi-Electric Homecare Bed
This package from Invacare has everything you want and need out of a semi-electric hospital bed. It meets all of the standard measurements and regulations while also including some welcomed additions. The Invacare 5310IVC comes with full length rails for added safety and has a weight capacity of 350lbs. The electronic components are quiet, waterproof, and built to last.
This bed also has the benefit of coming with a mattress included. You do not have to incur the extra stress and cost of also finding a well suited hospital bed mattress. The included mattress is a modern and form fitting foam mattress that increases comfort while reducing the hassle of buying a hospital bed.
Best Drive Medical Semi-Electric Hospital Bed: Drive Medical Delta Ultra Light Semi Electric Hospital Bed
Drive Medical is back with another solid semi-electric hospital bed that is both functional and stylish. Unlike other medical equipment, this bed is made with a woodgrain finish so that it blends in better than other similar pieces of equipment. The Drive Medical Delta Ultra Light Semi Electric Hospital Bed has a weight capacity of 450lbs and four wheels for easy movement after installation. The wheels will come in handy because this unit weighs 225lbs.
The included remote has large responsive buttons for the head and foot adjustments. The raising and lowering are done by a classic hand crank that is fluid and fast. All told, this is a fantastic package that is available for a fair price, has a durable construction, great reviews, and a classic aesthetic.
Best Medline Semi-Electric Hospital Bed: Medline Basic Semi-Electric Bed
The Medline Basic Semi-Electric Bed has two very strong things going for it. It is affordable and it is very lightweight. This is a great semi-electric hospital bed for anyone who is constrained by a strict budget or who needs a bed that is not hard to move around. The heaviest piece only weighs 42lbs and the total weight is 145lbs. All of that comes with a weight capacity of 450lbs.
Plus this bed is easy to raise and lower and easy to move and disassemble. These features all come together for a versatile, budget friendly and user friendly option.
Where to Find Good Used Semi-Electric Hospital Beds?
Finding used durable medical equipment can be tricky but it is not impossible. There are online stores that offer used and refurbished hospital beds for you to consider. If you are looking for something online your best bet is going to be checking out a refurbisher or perusing online selling forums such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
Many brick and mortar locations selling used or refurbished medical equipment are likely going to be small local businesses so doing a look about in your local area may be a requirement to find the deal you are looking for.
Due to their nature of, hopefully, being temporary in people’s lives many pieces of equipment, such as semi-electric hospital beds, do come on the market a lot but they are often being sold be individuals. Just keep your eyes peeled for a great deal.
Semi-Electric Hospital Bed Rentals - Best Places to Rent
In any decent sized city or area around a large hospital, there are often many places where you have the option of renting durable medical equipment rather than buying them. These places are often local and have to be found locally. There are no large online rental outfits that serve a large geographic area. You want to look for medical equipment rentals in your local ads or on your local search engine.
If looking for a place to rent on your own doesn’t yield any good results you can always ask either your doctor or your insurance company. They should both have a reference on hand of local places that can service your needs especially if a hospital bed was prescribed by your doctor for long term care.
How To Get A Free Semi-Electric Hospital Bed
In some cases, you won’t have to buy a semi-electric hospital bed at all. Some insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, have stipulations that cover the acquisition of a semi-electric hospital bed for a severely discounted price or even for free. Double check with your individual insurer to get more information as to whether or not this kind of durable medical equipment is covered.
If you are trying to claim a semi-electric hospital bed through Medicare or Medicaid there are a few stipulations that must be met:
If you have any questions you can check out this handy guide to hospital bed medical coverage.
Complete Buying Guide
Semi-Electric Hospital Bed Costs and Prices For Major Brands
If you definitely are in the market for a semi-electric hospital bed you are probably starting to worry about a budget. How much do these beds typically cost? How do you know if you are getting a good deal or not? Are certain brands cheaper than others? Here is what we found out.
A typical semi-electric hospital bed made for the home costs around $700. That is cheaper than a fully electric hospital bed of a similar size. The typical price range you can expect to see for semi-electric hospital beds runs between $500 and $1000.
Each unique bed’s price is going to be determined by multiple factors, including options, durability, and the brand. There are three main brands we covered in this guide, Drive Medical, Invacare, and Medline. Here is how their prices shook out compared to one another.
Drive Medical: $700 - $900
Invacare: $800 - $1000
Medline: $500 - $800
As you can see, all three of these brands operate in an overlapping area of similar prices. Medline has the most affordable prices available of the three while Invacare and Drive are very similar. If you do not have a preference on a brand, starting off expecting to spend between $500 and $1000 is a good place to start before narrowing down your options.
Tips For Getting The Best Semi-Electric Hospital Bed For You
There are a few key things to consider when getting your own semi-electric hospital bed to ensure that you get the absolute best product possible to fit your needs.
Many hospital beds are not light. Due to the many different components added to the beds they can weigh anywhere from 150lbs to 300lbs. That is a lot of weight to move around especially if you do not need the hospital bed all of the time. Make sure that when you are getting a bed, do not choose one that is way too heavy for you to deal with on a daily basis.
One of the most important considerations is your budget. How much are you willing to spend on a bed? If your budget is low make sure to check out some other options such as renting or having insurance reimburse you for your purchase. Do not simply rush out and buy a hospital bed because you need one. Make a budget, look over all of your options and choose the one that is right for you. Sometimes a rental makes more sense than a purchase.
Most hospital beds have generous weight capacities but not all of them do. If you are caring for someone who has a lot of extra medical equipment or someone who is bariatric you are going to need a bed with some extra capacity to help shoulder the load. Do not get a bed that seems like a great deal only to find out it has a 300lbs capacity when you need 400lbs. Always check the capacity before you buy.