Medical Beds

How To Buy The Best Adjustable Bed for Elderly Patients

A home hospital bed helps older adults to cope with age-related conditions and allows them to live independently in their homes for longer. But what is the best hospital bed for home use? As you research, you will realize that adjustable beds are complex pieces of medical equipment. There are many types with many different features. Their cost varies enormously, as does their quality.  

Home hospital beds can help seniors with a wide range of health conditions and physical capacities, including seniors with:

  • Stroke-related injuries and impairments
  • Degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease
  • Arthritis
  • Mobility limitations
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Heart and circulatory conditions
  • GERDS and gastrointestinal disorders
  • ARDS, COPD, and lung diseases

A home hospital bed is a significant investment, and you want to ensure that your choice is suitable for today and many years to come. In this article, we’ll help you choose the best hospital bed for your circumstances. 

Which Hospital Bed Adjustments Do You Need?

Adjustability is the most obvious difference between home hospital beds and standard consumer beds. The simplest adjustable beds have a single adjustment: the bed’s top section can be raised or lowered so the occupant can lie flat, lie on an incline, or sit up.  Beyond that, there are three basic categories of adjustable beds seniors should know about:

  • Two-function hospital beds add a leg adjustment—the lower portion of the bed supporting the feet and lower legs can be raised. These beds may also feature a knee break, which creates a raised area near the knee, providing improved support while sitting. These beds are useful for numerous age-related conditions, including back injuries, arthritis, muscle weakness, heart and circulatory disorders, and more.  
  • Three-function hospital beds add height adjustability, which is why they are often called Hi-Low hospital beds. The bed’s entire surface can be raised and lowered. Height-adjustable beds are invaluable for wheelchair users and people with disabilities that make it difficult for them to get into and out of fixed-height beds. 

Which of these adjustable beds for the elderly is right for you? A five-function home hospital bed is the most versatile: it provides comfort, safety, and treatment options for the most comprehensive range of age-related conditions. 

If you would prefer not to invest in a five-function bed, consider whether you need the height-adjustment feature of a Hi-Low bed: do you use a wheelchair or have muscle weakness, mobility challenges, or coordination and balance issues? These age-related conditions increase the risk of falling and overexertion when getting into and out of bed. The ability to easily adjust the bed’s height significantly reduces the risk.

Finally, if you do not need the height adjustment, consider selecting a two-function home hospital bed with head and foot adjustments, preferably with a knee-break feature. These beds will allow you to control the bed’s profile and comfortably support you in a range of sitting and lying positions. 

What Is the Best Bed Height for an Elderly Person?

Bed height measures the distance between the floor and the top of the mattress. If the bed’s surface is too high, a senior may have to stretch, twist, or even jump when getting on and off the bed. If it is too low, they may struggle to stand up safely or fall when getting into bed. The risk is even greater for wheelchair users, as explained in How to Transfer a Patient From a Wheelchair to a Home Hospital Bed.

The safest and most comfortable bed height differs for each person. Ideally, the bed’s occupant should be able to sit comfortably on the mattress with their feet flat on the floor and their knees at a 90° angle. This height lets people get into and out of bed with minimal exertion and a reduced risk of falling. It differs from person to person depending on their height and leg length. 

A height-adjustable home hospital bed can assume the perfect height for a wide range of elderly adults. For example, Transfer Master’s Supernal Hi-Low has deck-to-floor height adjustability of 10.5″ – 20.5″. The Supernal 5 has an even more extensive range: 12″ – 24″.

How Big Are Home Hospital Beds for the Elderly?

Hospital beds designed for the home are more compact and space-efficient than those used in medical settings. They are also available in more size categories. 

Standard full-size home hospital beds are 80″ long and 54″ wide. We also make a smaller size in some models: the twin-size, which is 38″ wide. Larger home hospital beds include the queen-size, which is 60″ wide, and the king-size, which is 76″ wide. If you need a longer bed, we also offer 84″ beds in some models.  To learn more about how to choose a bed with the right size and weight capacity for seniors, read What Size Hospital Bed Do I Need?

Controlling Your Home Hospital Bed

Modern, high-quality home hospital beds are controlled via a remote, which the bed’s occupant or caregivers can use. Transfer Master’s entire range of adjustable beds features motorized remote-controlled adjustments, which are far safer and more convenient than lower-quality beds with manual adjustments. 

Our beds include a wired or wireless remote control. The Supernal 5 and the Supernal Hi-Low include a backlit wireless remote control, and some models, such as the Night Rider, allow users to choose between a wired and wireless remote. Additionally, beds from our Rehab line offer voice-activated controls via electronic personal assistants, including Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. 

We also offer optional hand controls designed for seniors with vision and fine motor control limitations for the Night Rider Series or New Valiant Series hospital beds. These include the Joystick Hand Control and the Big Button Hand Control, available from our hospital bed options and accessories catalog.

The Best Hospital Bed Mattresses For Seniors

Standard consumer mattresses are not designed to work with home hospital beds. They lack the flexibility to work well with an adjustable bed. Seniors should instead choose a mattress designed and manufactured for adjustable beds. 

The best hospital bed mattress depends on your condition and needs. For most home hospital bed users, a progressive laminated foam mattress such as the Ascent Hospital Bed Mattress is ideal. A popular alternative is the Soft Touch Memory Foam mattress coupled with an anti-bacterial and deodorizing quilted cover or a waterproof stretch cover. 

Bedridden seniors and those prone to bedsores should consider a pressure-relief mattress. These mattresses are designed to prevent bedsores and promote healing. They include independently controlled air suspension systems that adjust pressure distribution to reduce bedsore incidence. 

The best hospital beds for home use can improve seniors’ quality of life, enhance their safety, and allow them to live in their own homes for longer. We offer adjustable beds for the elderly to suit a wide range of conditions and circumstances. To learn more, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly and knowledgeable sales team


Questions? Contact a Bed Expert.

Our friendly staff is here to answer your questions and can help configure a bed to fit your needs.

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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. Thirty years later, our customers are still at the center of everything we do. You’ll feel the difference.