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Medical Beds

Should I Buy a Bariatric Bed?

Typical beds and mattresses, even hospital beds, have a maximum amount of weight they can support. Usually, it is around 250 pounds for a twin or full-sized mattress. While this may be adequate for most people, it is not the case for everyone. People with excess weight, especially those who sleep with a partner, may find it uncomfortable or unsafe to sleep on a conventional bed. Doing so runs the risk of causing structural damage to the bed and mattress, especially for couples whose combined weight exceeds 250 pounds. It can also cause a number of other problems, including back pain.  

This is particularly problematic for people who use hospital beds at home. Home hospital beds can be a big investment, and getting one that doesn’t meet the needs of its user can be a costly mistake. Those who use hospital beds at home for medical or other reasons may find that the benefits are negated by their inability to provide adequate support, comfort, and mobility. Having a too-small medical bed at home may make it difficult for medical personnel or caregivers to safely give crucial medical and personal care. It can even lead to serious medical issues like bedsores.  

If you are experiencing these concerns with your current hospital bed or think you might need extra support, especially if you are currently a bariatric medical patient, you may want to consider getting a bariatric hospital bed for home use.

What is a Bariatric Hospital bed?

Bariatric hospital beds are designed to be adjustable, comfortable, and work well with all the accessories that can be used with a typical hospital bed while safely supporting patients with excess weight. These can range from side rails and trapeze bars to reinforced bedside commodes to accommodate higher-weight individuals. Although not always required, bariatric mattresses can also include specialized toppers and other accessories designed to prevent bedsores and help patients rest safely and comfortably for extended periods. Some bariatric hospital beds, especially those intended for home use, are designed to conceal the mechanical components. This allows their users to enjoy the benefits of a bariatric hospital bed that blends in with their home decor.

Reasons to Consider Buying a Bariatric Bed

Bariatric beds can make a significant quality of life difference for people with excess weight, especially those with additional health conditions or mobility issues. Here are some reasons why you might want to consider buying a bariatric hospital bed for your home.

Your Current Hospital Bed Doesn’t Comfortably Support Your Weight or Height

Not all hospital beds–or regular beds, for that matter–can adequately support people with excess weight, especially if they sleep with a partner.  

Based on the model, bariatric beds are designed to support around 500 to 750 pounds of weight. This means that couples can sleep in the same bariatric bed, provided their combined weight doesn’t exceed the maximum weight that the bed is designed to support. Bariatric beds also come in heavy duty and super heavy duty models, and can even be made with custom lengths and widths to accommodate people of all body types. 

Although bariatric hospital beds are often used by people with a high BMI, they’re not the only ones who can benefit from using them. People whose BMI is high, at least partially because they are taller than average, may find bariatric beds more comfortable than beds designed for people of average height.

You Suffer From GI Issues, Circulatory and Heart Diseases, Arthritis, or Other Health Issues

Bariatric hospital beds are commonly associated with people who have excess weight, and they are especially helpful for those who also are temporarily or permanently bedridden due to a medical condition. This is because they’re designed to allow people with mobility-hindering conditions to easily make fine adjustments using a remote without needing a caregiver or family member to help. 

Patients with excess weight who also have arthritis, GERD, sleep apnea, circulatory diseases, and strength and coordination issues can particularly benefit from sleeping on a bariatric hospital bed. Because their users can easily make adjustments to the head, foot, and back positions of a bariatric hospital bed mattress, they’re ideal for patients who need to sleep in a physician-recommended position, get in and out of bed without exerting themselves, and receive medical treatment from caregivers. 

Bariatric Hospital Beds Can Help Prevent Bed Sores

Did you know that if your bed is too small, it can lead to bedsores and other serious skin infections?

Bedsores are ulcers that develop on the skin resulting from prolonged pressure and shear force, or force caused by tension resulting from pressure from two or more opposing directions. They can be as insignificant as a source of inconvenience and discomfort if treated promptly but can become serious and even life-threatening if left untreated or treated inadequately. They tend to happen to people who spend a lot of time sitting or lying down without moving, like people who are bedridden or rely on wheelchairs. (Googling images of bedsores is not recommended).

For those who have to spend a lot of time in bed due to a medical condition or injury, not having enough room to move or adjust your position limits your mobility. This increases the chance of developing skin lesions or infections. Bariatric beds, which are designed to be comfortable and adjustable, allow patients with excess weight greater mobility than regular hospital beds. Some bariatric hospital bed mattresses even have features specifically designed to prevent bedsores. Bariatric mattresses that include low air loss or alternating pressure features, for example, are designed to prevent bedsores by distributing pressure along the body and helping to regulate skin temperature and moisture. 

Bariatric Hospital Bed Mattresses Can Offer Customized Comfort

Bariatric hospital beds are specifically designed to be comfortable and safe for people with excess weight. Some bariatric patients or people with excess weight who use bariatric beds at home may be temporarily or permanently bedridden. Since different people have different sleep needs depending on their personal preferences as well as any medical conditions they may have, it’s crucial to choose a bed and mattress that are comfortable as well as functional. Remember, sleeping on a comfortable mattress can improve the quality of your sleep, and bariatric beds are designed to be comfortable for people who may have a hard time finding a bed on which they can sleep comfortably.

Bariatric Beds Can Help You Become More Independent

Besides being comfortable and making it easier to provide medical treatment, bariatric beds are designed to help seniors, people with excess weight, and other people with mobility problems lead more independent lives. 

Bariatric beds are built with supports, servos, and gears that allow their users to adjust the mattress’s position in the ideal way for them while supporting more weight than typical hospital beds. The height range of bariatric beds from deck to floor, as well as the incline of the mattress, can also be adjusted. They are meant to be both durable and flexible, allowing people with excess weight to easily and safely transition in and out of bed regardless of any strength, coordination, or other mobility issues they may have. When combined with accessories like bed lifts, handrails, and mobility aids, bariatric beds can make everyday tasks easier to do independently.

Bariatric Hospital Beds Can Make Home Medical Care Easier

Most bariatric patients, especially those who might also be seniors, prefer to remain in their homes rather than take up residence in a hospital or care center. Still, in many cases, this is only medically advisable if the bariatric patient can receive medical treatment, or even certain types of medical procedures, while in bed at home. This can be difficult or even impossible for the medical professional or caregiver to do safely, depending on what kinds of treatment the patient needs. It can also be uncomfortable for their patients.

Having a bariatric hospital bed at home makes it much easier for caregivers to deliver many kinds of treatment. In addition to making it easier to get in and out of bed by oneself, their adjustable features make it easy to move patients comfortably and safely.

Choosing the Right Mattress For You 

You may want to consider several features when deciding on a bariatric mattress for a hospital bed. Depending on the height and weight of the person using the bariatric mattress, you might want to consider a wider or longer mattress. Some bariatric beds are designed to accommodate multiple people using split mattresses, which may be ideal for couples with different needs. Although having a specialized bariatric mattress isn’t necessarily a requirement, bariatric hospital beds function best when paired with a bariatric hospital bed mattress.

If you are considering getting a bariatric hospital bed or mattress for a loved one, it’s important to talk to them and to involve them in the discussion as much as possible. Remember that they’re going to spend a lot of time in bed, so it’s essential to listen to what they think and to try to be sensitive to their needs. 

If you have a question about bariatric hospital beds and mattresses, feel free to call or email a member of our team.

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About Transfer Master

Transfer Master has built electric adjustable hospital beds for the home and medical facility since 1993. We started with a simple goal that hospital beds should allow wheelchair users to transfer independently in and out of bed. Twenty-five years later, our customers are still at the center of everything we do. You’ll feel the difference.