We spend, on average, seven hours asleep in bed and perhaps another hour falling asleep and waking up. A comfortable bed helps us to relax and get a good night’s sleep, but think how much more comfort matters to someone who spends the greater part of their day in bed.
For a person who is bedbound or confined to bed by a medical condition for many hours a day, the comfort of their bed and room is paramount. They can’t get up to go somewhere else. Minor discomforts become major annoyances and even painful injuries; a lumpy mattress causes bedsores given enough time.
Already frustrated by their confinement, a patient’s quality of life and mental health depend on comfortable and pleasant surroundings. The right equipment, accessories, and conveniences make long-term bed rest more bearable.
Hospital Bed Mattresses
Aside from the bed itself, a mattress impacts comfort more than any other factor. Inexpensive inner-spring mattresses are adequate when all you do in bed is sleep, but they lack the pressure-distributing support for long-term comfort. High-quality hospital bed mattresses use progressive laminated foams or memory foam to adapt to the occupant’s body shape and position. They are engineered to distribute forces intelligently, mitigating the shear and pressure that causes bedsores.
Consumer-grade mattresses are not designed for home hospital beds. The adjustments of a home hospital bed work best with mattresses no more than seven inches thick. Thicker mattresses that might appear more comfortable are, in fact, less comfortable because they prevent the adjustments from properly shaping the bed’s surface.
The material the mattress is made of also affects comfort. Patients who spend a long time in bed need a mattress that handles moisture, odors, and bacteria. If moisture can’t evaporate, mattresses become a health-hazard. The filling and fabric of home hospital bed mattresses allow fast evaporation and have anti-microbial properties to maintain a hygienic and comfortable environment.
Hospital Bed Accessories
When you spend a long time in bed, small conveniences make a big difference. Hospital beds can be extended with ergonomic accessories with a wide array of functionality:
- Bed rails help patients to move around more easily and act as a barrier to stop objects—and patients—from falling off the bed.
- Hospital bed tables provide a surface for eating, reading, and using devices such as laptops.
- Accessible storage, such as bedside organizers and hanging caddy’s, help to keep the bed organized and uncluttered.
- Reachers and grabbers help patients to pick up and move items that they would otherwise need help to reach.
We covered other accessories in 5 Essential Accessories You Need When Confined to a Home Hospital Bed and we offer a range of accessories for Transfer Master home hospital beds.
People who control their surroundings are happier. Body position and the ability to change positions determine comfort to a large degree, but people with limited mobility and strength struggle to move into more comfortable positions. They are often forced to endure the discomfort until a caregiver moves them.
A powered adjustable bed allows people to manage their position from the bed via remote control. A remote helps them sit up when they want, to raise and lower the bed’s height, adjust the position of their head and legs, and even to tilt the surface of our premium home hospital beds with Trendelenburg and Reverse Trendelenburg adjustments.
Ill-fitting sheets cause considerable discomfort. They bunch up under moving patients, reducing comfort and contributing to bedsores. They work loose when the bed’s head and foot adjustments are moved. Patients become tangled, increasing the risk of falls. Poor-quality materials tear, ladder, and absorb moisture and heat.
We go into greater depth in our Hospital Bed Sheets Guide, but key guidelines include:
- Ensure that sheets properly fit the mattress. Be aware that hospital bed mattresses are often longer than consumer-grade mattresses.
- Choosing non-slip fabrics such as cotton and bamboo. Avoid silk.
- Avoid synthetic fabrics such as nylon and acrylic. They are less durable and more likely to degrade with frequent washing.
High thread-count cotton and percale—cotton or poly-cotton blends with a thread count above 180—are ideal for home hospital beds.
For many patients, a home hospital bed is not just a place to sleep. The bed and room circumscribe their world. A stimulating, convenient, and ergonomic environment makes an enormous difference to quality of life and mental health.
Contact an adjustable bed expert today to learn more about choosing the most comfortable and functional home hospital bed for yourself or a loved one.