How to Choose the Right Size and Weight Capacity for Your Hospital Bed
The size and weight-bearing capacity of a hospital bed has a significant impact on the comfort, health, and safety of the user, especially if they spend much of the day in bed. We offer hospital beds in many different configurations, so it’s worth taking a few minutes to understand what the technical specifications on our beds mean.
If you’ve ever had to ask the question “what size hospital bed do I need?” Or “What do I need to know before buying a home hospital bed?” This article will explain everything you need to know.
In this article, we’re going to explain what you need to know about choosing the perfect size and shape for your hospital bed.
Start With the Patient
Whether you are buying a hospital bed for yourself or for someone you care for, the first step is to understand the needs of the patient. Only once you have a clear idea of what the patient needs can you make a decision you and they will be happy with over the long term.
Here are some of the factors that you should think about before you start browsing beds.
- How tall is the patient?
- Does the patient require a bed that is wider or longer than standard size?
- How heavy is the patient, and will the bed need to hold the weight of more than one person?
- Does the patient have mobility, strength, or medical conditions that require a bed with appropriate adjustments?
- Does the patient have trouble getting in and out of bed unaided?
If it’s not clear to you what these questions mean, don’t worry. We’ll go into greater depth as we explain.
What Are the Correct Dimensions and Weight Capacity for a Hospital Bed?
Let’s start with the height of the patient. A standard hospital bed is 80 inches long, which is 6 feet 8 inches, measured from inside the headboard and footboard. Headboard and footboard dimensions are not standard sizes like mattresses are, but our own headboards and footboards measure an additional 1.5 inches thick, making the total length 83 inches.
The standard length will comfortably fit most men and women. But taller patients may require a longer bed, which is why some models of Transfer Master hospital beds, such as the Companion and Night Rider, are also available with a length of 84 inches, which is 7 feet. We also have long and extra-long specialty length home hospital beds to accommodate tall patients with maximum comfort.
Hospital beds also have standard widths. Our beds start with the Twin size, which is 38 inches wide. Twin size hospital beds are suitable for smaller patients, including children, and are useful when bed space is limited.
A full-size hospital bed is 54 inches wide. A Queen is 60 inches wide, and a King is 76 inches wide. We also have a specialty three-quarter size that is 48 inches wide. The ideal width depends on the patient’s medical and comfort requirements.
There is one further factor to consider where width is concerned: some Transfer Master beds are available as a Dual King. That means the king-size bed is divided into two areas with independent height and position adjustments. Dual Kings are ideal for couples who would like to be able to adjust their side of the bed without impacting their partner.
Choosing the Right Deck Height for Getting in and Out of Bed
Many hospital beds are adjustable in several directions. One of the most important adjustments is height. The height of the bed is the distance from the floor to the deck, the upper surface of the bed. Keep in mind that a mattress will add approximately 6–7 inches to the total height of the bed.
There is no one ideal bed height for home hospital beds. Two similarly sized patients with similar mobility impairments may have completely different preferred deck heights for their transfers in and out of bed. The difference comes down to:
- Personal preference, technique, or type of transfer used (gravity vs manual vs mechanical assist).
- Severity of mobility issues.
- Availability and frequency of transfer assistance.
- The seat height of any wheelchairs or mobility devices used.
Adjustable height allows a bed to be modified to the height of other medical equipment, such as trolleys or wheelchairs so that patients can more easily move to and from the bed. It provides carers and medical professionals with easy and comfortable access to the patient. And it helps patients with limited mobility to more easily get into and out of bed. Lower positions are also helpful for patients who are at risk of falling.
The height-range, often called the Hi-Low range or the deck to floor range, is the amount by which this height can be adjusted.
For example, the Supernal Hi-Low bed has a maximum height of 20.5 inches from the floor and a minimum height of 10.5 inches. The Night Rider has an even larger height range with a maximum height of 24 inches and a minimum height of 12 inches.
How to Choose The Right Weight Capacity
The weight-bearing capacity of a hospital bed is an important consideration. Transfer Master hospital beds are built for high durability and weight-tolerance compared to standard beds, but each bed has a maximum weight tolerance that you should not exceed. Exceeding the weight capacity is unsafe, and it can damage the motors in beds with electronic adjustments.
The bed’s maximum weight capacity is listed in its technical specifications and may be configurable so that customers can choose the maximum weight capacity of their preferred model.
For heavier patients, we offer a range of bariatric hospital beds with much higher maximum weight capacities and more powerful motors. Our Heavy Duty (HD) beds, which include the Night Rider HD and the Valiant HD have a capacity of 600 lbs. Super Heavy Duty variants have a weight capacity of up to 750 lbs.
There is one more consideration when choosing the weight capacity of your hospital bed. In some cases, treatment requires a healthcare professional to be on the bed with the patient — some types of physiotherapy, for example. The additional weight of a healthcare professional should be taken into account when choosing the maximum weight capacity of your hospital bed.
Find the Best Bed For Your Needs
In this article, we’ve looked at how to choose a hospital bed with the right length, width, adjustable height, and weight capacity for you or your patient. If you have questions about these factors or if we can help you in any other way, don’t hesitate to contact one of our bed experts by phone or by email.