Learn how to choose the best hospital bed mattress for your needs.
There are several different types of hospital bed mattresses available and it can be confusing what kind you need, so let's see if we can help.
First, answer these 5 questions
Before you can choose the best type of hospital bed mattress for you, you first need answers to these questions:
How much time per day will the patient be spending in bed?
Can the patient shift positions independently?
How many months will they need to use a hospital bed?
How much does the patient weigh?
How much muscle mass do they have?
When you have those answers, you're ready to make a selection. We help you do that below and make recommendations for the conditions listed in those bullet points.
You have 4 hospital mattress types to choose from
In general, a higher quality mattress with contouring for airflow and varying densities will keep bed sore risk and discomfort to a minimum. But, depending on how much time you or your loved one will be spending in bed, the best quality may not necessarily be necessary for you. Here are your options.
1. Innerspring mattresses – your low-cost option
Most basic hospital beds come with inner spring mattresses. This is generally the lowest-cost option and is what you will most likely get if you rent a hospital bed. This is the best choice if the patient does not spend significant amounts of time in bed, is agile and independant enough to roll over and adjust positions alone, and are not either significantly overweight which can cause heat to build up under the patient, or underweight which can put pointed pressure on joints like elbows and lower back.
PRO TIP: Innerspring mattress – your cheapest option, but is it good enough?
Innerspring mattresses are the best choice for patients who can roll over on their own, are not significantly over or underweight, and do not spend a significant amount of time in bed. Shop innerspring hospital bed mattresses here…
2. Innerspring mattresses with a foam top layer adds more comfort
A combination of innerspring and foam can be a great choice if the patient can roll over or sit up on their own, even if they spend significant time in bed. This hybrid form of mattress takes the basic innerspring construction with the added layer of foam on top of it.
PRO TIP: Is a foam layer enough?
This is a good choice for patients who can roll over on their own, even if they spend a significant amount of time in bed.
3. Multi-layer foam mattresses are optimized to prevent bed sores
Foam mattresses provide multiple layers of varying densities, each designed to support each part of patient separately. A firm base layer gives overall support while the other layers work together to ease pressure on joints. Each zone is optimized for maximum weight and pressure distribution. Most multi-layer foam mattresses have a higher density perimeter so the patient has a stable area to enter and exit the bed safely.
PRO TIP: Multi-layer foam mattresses get serious
This mattress is best for those who spend most of their time in bed, or who cannot shift position independently.
4. Air mattresses with pump provide the most customizable support for the best bed sore prevention
And then there is the air mattress. This is the most expensive of the types of hospital bed mattresses but provides the most customization. The patient can adjust the amount of air in the mattress to make it just the right density for their comfort level. Plus, air mattresses actively alternate the pressure of the air bladders to relieve the body’s pressure points. Higher end air mattresses will even turn the patient side to side for further body adjustments and pressure relief.
PRO TIP: Air mattresses – your best choice for comfort
This mattress is best for those who spend most of their time in bed, who cannot shift position independently, and who want or need the optimum in comfort.
Our Air Mattress Recommendations for Hospital Beds
Need help picking out a hospital bed too?
Hopefully these tips have helped you with your hospital bed mattress shopping. If you're also looking for a hospital bed, be sure to check out the "Hospital Bed Buying Guide" we wrote.
Usually the best deals on hospital beds are sold as a bed, mattress and side rails set. While you can buy them individually, many companies offer several set options to make sure you get the best mattress and bed for your needs, while still getting you the lowest price.
If all this seems overwhelming and you're worried about getting the wrong hospital bed and/or mattress, you don't have to be. Just head over to our store. If it's during operating hours, you can have a live chat with me right there. I'd be happy to help and I look forward to it.