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Hospital Bed Buying Guide

Basics

The Bed Frame

The bed frame makes a huge difference in the support and stability of your loved ones bed. Bed frames differ from bed decks (spring, grid, slat and full) which provide support for the mattress, features (Manual, Semi, Full Electric, Hi-Low, Trendelenburg, Bariatric...) and overall durability (weight capacity, warranty etc...) Manual and Semi Electric Beds are less costly than Full Electric Beds and are designed for loved ones that will be needing the bed for a shorter period of time.  Manual and Semi Electric Beds have spring decks and a less durable frame, so if you are looking for a bed that will be used more than 16 hours a day and/or a bed that will be used for longer than 6 months, a Full Electric Bed with a grid, slat or full deck would be more appropriate. High End Beds offer more features for your loved one and provides a much more stable and supportive bed.

When deciding which bed makes sense for your loved one, consider not only the length of time the bed will be needed, but which mattress and features are needed as well. High End Beds will come with higher prevention mattresses which will provide better support and overall skin care.

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Mattresses

While the bed’s functions and structure are important considerations, the mattress also plays a critical role in providing comfort and support. Mattress selection is especially critical in patients who are confined to their beds for longer than normal sleeping times, since these patients can be prone to pressure sores, or “bed” sores. Prevention Foam Mattresses, Low Air Loss Mattresses, Lateral Rotation Mattresses and other products can help relieve pressure and prevent skin breakdown that eventually causes sores to develop.

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Frequently Asked Question

When you are deciding which hospital bed would be best for your loved one, there are specific questions you need to think about to make sure you can make a proper comparison among products:

  • How many hours a day will your loved one be in bed?
  • How long will the bed be needed for?
  • Is your loved one at risk of falling out of bed?
  • What frame would provide the best support and stability for your loved one?
  • Looking to the future are there any additional needs that your loved one will have?
  • Will you need to have the bed set up?

Important considerations include how long your loved one will be using the bed and mattress, how mobile they are, whether they're at an increased risk of falling, how much care they'll need while in the bed, and who will be providing that care. Remember: Both the bed and the mattress play important roles in maintaining comfort for your loved one, so be sure to consider all aspects of care when making a selection.

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TYPES OF BEDS

Semi-Electric Beds

Semi-electric beds use an electric motor to perform head and foot adjustments, but height adjustment is still performed manually using a hand crank located at the foot of the bed. Head and foot adjustments are made using a remote control, enabling repositioning with the touch of a button. For patients who need to have the bed height adjusted, a fully electric bed might be a better option.

Benefit:

  • Economical
  • Remote-control head and foot adjustment

Disadvantage:

  • Height adjustment uses a hand crank mechanism
  • Strength is required to adjust bed height

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Full-Electric Beds

Full-electric beds use the same type of remote control as a semi-electric bed, but the remote controls the height of the entire bed as well as foot and head adjustments. Full-electric beds use a pulley system with steel cables to safely adjust the height for patients who need the bed to be lowered so they can easily get up, and for caregivers who prefer the bed to be higher for care activities or to change linens.

Benefit:

  • Adjustment of all features is fully electric, requiring no physical strength
  • Good choice for patients who leave the bed from time to time

Disadvantage:

  • Higher cost than manual or semi-electric beds