On a Hospital Bed, may I use a standard mattress?

The quick answer is, unfortunately, ” No.” Why? There are three factors that make using a conventional mattress in a hospital bed either impractical or inefficient.

1. Hospital beds do not fit standard mattresses.

A 36-inch by 80-inch mattress is required to suit a hospital bed. The dimensions of a twin mattress are normally 39 inches by 75 inches. The dimensions of a Twin XL are 39 inches by 80 inches. These three inches of excess breadth will obstruct the bed’s operation, potentially causing harm to the mattress and/or the bed. It can also put the patient in a risky scenario if the side rails or other safety elements aren’t working properly.

2. Hospital mattresses are made to flex in response to bed modifications.

Even as the bed adjusts and bends at the head and foot, a hospital bed mattress must conform to the bed. A normal innerspring mattress has internal architecture that is designed to keep it firm, preventing the patient from reaping the benefits of utilising a hospital bed and/or putting additional load on bed frame adjustment movements.

3. Mattresses for hospital beds help to prevent bed sores.

Bed-ridden patients who lie in bed all day might develop painful pressure ulcers or bed sores on their heels, elbows, shoulder blades, and lower back. It can be difficult, expensive, and time consuming to get them to heal once they have developed. It also takes up more time for the caregiver and causes the patient suffering. If an infection develops, it may be life-threatening or necessitate hospitalisation.

Hospital bed mattresses are meant to avoid pressure ulcers by:

Relieve stress

Mattresses must provide adequate support and pressure distribution so that no single point of contact carries an excessive amount of weight. This is especially crucial for people who spend a lot of time in bed or who are more likely to develop bed sores, such as those who are underweight because they have less muscle and fat between them and their mattress. For these people, foam and air mattresses are ideal.

Encourage the passage of air

Bed sores are more likely to form if there is a lack of ventilation to the skin. Patients with a larger body weight may be more prone to developing sores as a result of retained body heat. They will be less likely to develop bed sores if they sleep on a mattress that is designed for airflow.

While cost versus value should be considered when purchasing a mattress, you don’t want to spend the last few months of a loved one’s life, or the first few months following an illness or surgery, fighting bed sores.

The ideal way is to avoid it altogether, and having the correct mattress is a good start.

For a hospital bed, what kind of mattress do I need?

You must first answer the following questions before deciding on the best type of hospital bed mattress for you:

How much hours will the patient spend in bed each day?

Is it possible for the patient to change postures on his or her own?

How long will they have to stay in a hospital bed?

What is the patient’s weight?

Do they have a lot of muscle mass?

You’re ready to make a decision once you’ve gotten those responses.

Should I purchase a hospital bed and mattress separately or as a package?

The greatest hospital bed bargains are usually sold as a bed, mattress, and side rails package. While you can purchase them separately, many companies provide a variety of set alternatives to ensure you receive the greatest mattress and bed for your needs at the best price.

Is there anything more I need for my hospital bed?

Rails on the bed

Anyone who is at risk of falling out of bed should use bed rails (also known as side rails). While they are not designed to keep a patient confined to their bed, they are quite successful at preventing falls out of bed.

Bed rails are available in two lengths: half-length and full-length. Half-length side rails are appropriate for people who are able to get out of bed without assistance or who just need something to grasp onto while doing so. The patient can simply sit up and swing his or her legs over the side of the bed at the lower end.

Full-length side rails are for people who require assistance getting out of bed from a caregiver. They also provide the most coverage along the bed’s side, which helps to keep the patient from falling out.


While hospital bed mattresses require special fitted sheets, you may be able to utilise a Twin XL size fitted sheet for your hospital bed.

Because there will be some excess material owing to the extra 2-3 inches of width, tuck the sides in so they don’t get in the way of the side rails or the bed adjustment mechanism.

If you want sheets that are tailored to your mattress’s specific dimensions, these are readily available (check this website, for example). Instead of purchasing a complete sheet set, you can buy just the bottom fitted sheet and use your own twin size top sheet.

Tables with trapeze bars for hospital beds

Rolling tables (overbed tables) make tasks easier for people who are confined to their beds. They usually extend over the bed and come in a variety of heights. Some of them even slant. A table can improve the patient’s well-being and comfort, whether it’s used to eat, read, or write.


Trapeze bars can be mounted to a stand or the bed itself and are useful for adjusting positions in bed or assisting in getting in and out of bed.

Toppers for mattresses (overlays)

A mattress topper may be the appropriate answer if you have a basic mattress that requires an update for airflow or to help avoid bed sores. Gel, foam, or alternating pressure pads with pumps are all options.

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