Medical Beds

Five Features To Consider When Buying a Home Hospital Bed

You have decided to buy a home hospital bed, but which bed is right for you? Adjustable beds are available with different features at various price points, and they are designed to satisfy the requirements of diverse locations, environments, and individual circumstances. To complicate matters, hospital bed manufacturers use brand-specific terminology that makes it even harder to compare models and features.

In this article, we cut through the jargon and focus on five of the most impactful hospital bed features. Once you have decided on these features, you’ll have a much easier time selecting the best hospital bed for your circumstances.

Home Hospital Bed Adjustments

Adjustments set home hospital beds apart from standard consumer beds. They allow users and caregivers to modify the bed’s height and the sleep surface’s shape, providing flexible treatment options, safe and comfortable repositioning, and support tailored to the user’s individual needs.

There are four basic adjustments you need to know about:

  • The head or backrest adjustment raises the upper body to an elevated rest position or a sitting position. Here, “head” refers to the head of the bed, the area where your head and upper body rest.
  • The foot adjustment controls the lower limbs’ position relative to the rest of the body; that is, it controls the foot of the bed. An adjustable bed may also include a knee break that can lift the knees higher than the feet. 
  • The tilt adjustment angles the entire surface of the bed along the axis of the body. Tilt adjustments are used for the Trendelenburg position, in which the patient is on their back with their feet elevated above their head, and the Reverse Trendelenburg position, in which the head is above the feet.
  • The height or hi-low adjustment controls the height of the bed from the floor.

Luxury home hospital beds such as the Supernal 5 include all of these adjustments, but you can also buy beds with only head adjustments, both head and foot adjustments, only height adjustments, and other combinations.

The right choice depends on your circumstances: wheelchair users and people with mobility difficulties benefit greatly from height adjustments, whereas an otherwise healthy person with sleep apnea may see a substantial improvement from a simpler bed with a head adjustment.

If you want to learn more about choosing the best adjustable bed for your circumstances, don’t hesitate to contact our support team with your questions.

Adjustment Mechanisms and Control Interfaces

Once you have decided on the adjustments you need, the next factor to consider is how they are implemented and controlled. There are two basic options:

  • Manual adjustment mechanisms use human-powered ratchets and cranks. For example, manual height adjustments are often controlled via a crank handle that “winds” the bed up and down.
  • Motorized adjustments, also known as automatic or electronic adjustments, use mains-powered electric motors. There are obvious advantages to this approach, especially for people with physical limitations that make it difficult to adjust a heavy bed manually.

Motorized adjustments can be controlled in a number of different ways:

  • Wired remote controls are connected to the bed via a cable.
  • Wireless remote controls use the same technology as TV remote controls or more advanced radio-based networking to activate adjustments.
  • Sophisticated modern beds are equipped with integrated voice control that can be commanded via smart home devices.

The bed’s occupant can easily adjust motorized beds with remote controls while they are in bed, a substantial advantage over manual beds that don’t offer the same degree of independence.

Design and Aesthetics

Home hospital beds are medical equipment, and the less sophisticated examples have designed more suited to a hospital ward than a bedroom. But you don’t have to find a space for a bulky bed with exposed mechanisms. You can buy home hospital beds that look just like an ordinary bed when the adjustments are in their default position and the bed linen is in place.

Transfer Master pioneered the design and engineering necessary to build adjustable beds that don’t look out of place in a domestic bedroom. Our late founder was granted several patents for adjustable bed mechanisms that conceal the workings within what looks like a standard consumer bed but with all the flexibility and convenience of a motorized hospital bed.

All of our beds, including the Supernal 5 are designed to blend with your bedroom decor.

Weight Capacity

Home hospital beds are engineered with a maximum weight capacity. Exceeding the weight capacity can be dangerous and it can damage the bed’s mechanisms and electronic components. Typically, adjustable beds can cope with occupants up to 300 lbs, although the precise capacity depends on the model. Our Supernal Hi-Low has a capacity of 400 or 500 lbs, depending on the option you choose.

If the combined weight of the bed’s occupants exceeds those capacities, you may want to consider a bariatric hospital bed engineered for heavier individuals. We stock bariatric hospital beds with capacities up to 750 lbs.


The mattress is an important component of your home hospital bed. Standard consumer mattresses are not designed to work well with adjustable hospital beds. They are often too thick to work well with the bed’s adjustments, and they can damage the bed or be a danger to the occupant.

Standard mattresses are also unsuitable for bedridden people who spend much of their time in bed; bedridden people are at risk of bedsores, and specialist home hospital bed mattresses are designed to reduce the risk, and in the case of pressure-relief mattresses, promote healing. When you buy a home hospital bed, you should factor the cost of a suitable hospital bed mattress into your deliberations.

We have covered five of the most important features to consider when buying a home hospital bed, but you may also want to learn more about how an adjustable bed can save you time and effort or whether you should rent or buy your home hospital bed.

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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.