Things to Consider When Buying Hospital Beds

By: Yolanda Smith, MedicalSearch Writer
16 February, 2016

When in the process of buying hospital beds, there are many factors to consider. This article can help you to work through the aspects that may affect your decision before making a purchase.

Support and Stability

As the primary function of hospital beds is to provide a stable and supportive environment for patients to rest and recover, these should be prominent considerations when looking at possible beds.

The length of the frame should be suitable for both the patient and fit well into the room it is to be situated in. Some types, such as bariatric hospital beds, have a stronger and more durable frame to provide greater support and comfort.

There are also different types of mattresses for hospital beds, including foam, air and gel mattresses. Some are specifically designed to reduce pressure on particular areas of the body, which help in the prevention of pressure sores when patients are likely to be bedridden for extended periods of time.

Types of Hospital Beds

Manual hospital beds require a hand crank to be moved into a different position, which can be physically demanding, but may be a more cost effective solution.

Semi-electric hospital beds can allow electric changes of the head and foot positioning but rely on a hand crank to adjust the height of the entire bed.

Electric hospital beds can usually be adjusted into more positions and are easier to use, but require direct access to an electrical outlet. They are usually equipped with a hand control pad that the patient and caregivers can use to easily adjust the positioning of the bed.

Hi-low hospital beds are a type of electric bed that has the deck less than 20cm from the floor, which is useful to prevent injury for patients that frequently fall out of bed.


All hospital beds are equipped with some degree of flexibility in the positioning of the bed, but some models have features to improve flexibility. You should think about the ease with which you can adjust the height and positioning of the bed, as well as the ability to move side rails and other areas of the bed.

The ability to move the bed as needed is also important for some situations. Wheels on the bed help to improve mobility, although these should be securely locked when the bed is placed in the correct position.

When making the decision of which hospital beds to buy, it is important to consider all of the relevant factors of the beds, in addition to the specific environment in which it will be used. Your budget will also have an impact, although a well-made bed often offers greater value for more in the long-term, as the durability of the bed can stand the test of time.