Last updated: August 21, 2021

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In this article, we will explain everything about one of the essential pieces of furniture used by patients who need to continue treatment at home or people who have difficulty getting around.

We will talk about the hospital bed. Indispensable for the maintenance and recovery of health of patients, and of great help to doctors, nurses and caregivers, the hospital bed can be found in several models. Below, you find out how to choose the best one.


  • The hospital bed has essential features to help in the treatment and ensure comfort and safety to patients and elderly, whether in hospital or at home.
  • The variety of models is quite large and, to choose the ideal bed, it is important to consider the clinical need of the user.
  • In addition, you should compare aspects such as: size, way of functioning and adjustment options.

The Best Hospital Bed: Our Picks

Hospital Bed: Shopping Guide

If you need to buy a hospital bed, either for a sick or elderly loved one, it is essential that you know in depth the characteristics of this type of furniture. Only then you will be able to understand the difference between one model and another and invest in the ideal one.

To guide you through this process, we have created this Shopping Guide. Below, you will find the main questions and answers that may arise when buying a hospital bed.

Mulher deitada em cama hospitalar.

A hospital bed is necessary for the recovery of patients undergoing long treatment. (Source: Sharon McCutcheon/ Unsplash)

What is a hospital bed?

A hospital bed, also called an articulated bed or orthopaedic bed, is a piece of furniture specially designed to help in the treatment of bedridden people, as well as ensuring comfort and safety. Indicated for the elderly, sick people, people recovering at home or with reduced mobility, the hospital bed is also necessary to facilitate the work of the caregiver and medical staff.

One of the main features of a hospital bed is the possibility of lifting and lowering the bed, which facilitates the entry and exit of the patient or elderly. With this, the risk of falls is much lower.

Várias camas em sala de hospital.

The hospital bed is not only useful in hospital, but also in homes. (Source: 1662222/

In addition, the various possibilities of adjustments and positioning of the hospital bed also have an effect on the user's health and treatment. Depending on the positioning of parts of the bed, the furniture can help improve breathing, blood circulation, among other conditions.

Some beds are even able to prevent bedsores. As today the variation of models of hospital beds is quite large, the ideal is that you analyze the needs of the user along with the doctor to know what aspects the furniture should have.

How does the hospital bed works?

Unlike the traditional bed, the hospital bed is usually designed with several joints and protective grids. It is these joints that allow you to raise or lower the entire bed or parts of it such as the headboard, the middle and the lower part. The various positions facilitate both the access of the patient to the bed as well as the performance of the caregiver, nurse or doctor, either in hygiene, feeding or clinical treatment.

In general, the configuration of the elevations and lowerings can be done electronically or manually. And despite the various possible movements, there is no danger of the patient falling. This is because the best hospital beds have side safety bars. The mattresses act as a further aid in the comfort and safety of the bedridden.

Did you know that it is important to choose the right mattress for the hospital bed? The mattress for this type of bed should help to control and relieve pressure on the body to avoid discomfort and the appearance of skin lesions. In addition, whenever possible, opt for waterproof models

What are the models of hospital bed?

Currently there are several models of hospital beds, from the most complete and modern to those that physically resemble a traditional bed. In general, they differ, mainly, by the form of operation, which, as we saw, can be electric or manual. Check out the following features and differences of each of these models:

Electric hospital bed Manual hospital bed
Activation of the positions Through remote control, which is at hand or fixed on the side of the bed Through levers or cranks
Advantages User has more autonomy to change the functions and positions alone Lower price
Disadvantages In the absence of electricity, the adjustments should be made manually Patient needs to get out of bed to adjust positions or rely on help from other people

What are the main positions of the hospital bed?

Each hospital bed model will provide one or more possible positions. To choose the model with the ideal options, you must take into account the user's needs. To do so, seek medical advice. But, to give you an idea, we will show you a little about the main positions that you will find in the hospital bed.

For example, the Trendelemburg position allows the upper body to be lowered while the lower body is raised. This position is indicated for those who have undergone surgery on their pelvic organs or abdomen. Besides this position, there are many others. Check out the main ones below:

  • Fowler: It is a position of the hospital bed in which the headboard is positioned between 30° and 90°, facilitating breathing;
  • Semi-fowler: In this case, the headboard is positioned at an angle of up to 30°, which facilitates breathing and prevents aspiration of liquids and secretion;
  • Sitting: With the hospital bed's back support at 90°, the patient will remain seated;
  • Vascular: In this position, the legs are elevated, with slight flexion of the knee and hip. With this, there is an improvement in blood circulation in the lower limbs and the appearance of bedsores is avoided.

Can the hospital bed be used at home?

Not only can, but in many cases it should. The fact is that there are several situations in which the traditional bed is neither efficient nor safe to be used in the home environment. Because of its functioning characteristics, the hospital bed is essential for people who need to spend a lot of time in bed.

Therefore, as we have seen, this is also the best bed for those who need to continue a medical treatment at home. As often the recovery after surgery or some treatments can be lengthy, and the cost of hospitalization can be high, having a hospital bed at home can be the solution to continue treatment safely. In addition, wheelchair users, who have reduced locomotion, or even the elderly, can benefit from the facilities that a hospital bed offers.

Rental hospital bed or purchase: Which is the best option?

When you need to acquire a hospital bed, you may consider the option of renting a used bed, mainly because of the high cost. However, you need to understand the pros and cons of this decision. The first factor that you should take into account when choosing between a new or used bed is the time of use of the furniture.

Renting may be more expensive than buying a new hospital bed.

If the patient is going to use the hospital bed for a short period of time, renting it may be a viable option. However, in most cases, it is not possible to specify the period of use. In this case, renting may be more expensive than buying a new hospital bed. Another important aspect is that the supply of used hospital bed for rent is small. In other words, if you choose to rent you may not be able to find the ideal model to meet your needs. Therefore, with few exceptions, the advantages of buying a new hospital bed will be even greater.

Purchase Criteria: How to compare hospital beds

Besides analysing which is the best hospital bed model, you need to look at other aspects that can make a big difference when using this type of furniture. Therefore, we suggest that you analyse the following criteria:

Below, we will detail each of these aspects.

Size, weight and design

Analyze well the size of the hospital bed. This is important both to provide comfort and safety to the patient, as well as to ensure that there will be available space in the room. In general, the sizes of hospital beds have a standard measurement of 1.90 m long by 0.90 m wide. But there may be variations for more or less depending on the manufacturer.

Mulher deitada em cama no hospital.

The hospital bed usually has a standard size, but there may be variations. (Source: Andrea Piacquadio/

As well as the measurements of the bed, also check the weight the furniture is capable of supporting. The safest models support up to 150 kg. As for the design, it is already possible to find resistant hospital beds, comfortable and with similar appearance to the traditional bed, either made of iron or wood.

Lowering and raising

We have already seen that depending on the model of hospital bed, they can have different types of positioning, elevation or lowering. We have listed the most common adjustments that can be found in hospital beds and which you should choose according to medical indication:

  • Platform height adjustment
  • Calf support adjustment
  • Lateral tilt adjustment
  • Back support adjustment
  • Thigh support adjustment
  • Headboard adjustment
  • Weight adjustment
  • Bed extension

Wheels and rails

Although most hospital beds come with rails, it is worth noting that very simple models may not come with this accessory. Moreover, in the case of beds with bars, you will find models with bars on both sides or only on one. And you must also assess whether these bars are fixed, removable and if they allow adjustments in height. Another aspect that deserves your attention is whether or not the hospital bed has wheels. The wheels facilitate the movement of the bed, but make sure that there are safety locks as well.

Warranty and assistance

As it is a piece of furniture with mechanical or electrical operation, the hospital bed is subject to technical problems. Therefore, choose a model with warranty and technical assistance in your region.

(Source of the highlighted image: corgaasbeek /