(Top 4) Best Hospital Bed Mattresses & Buyer Guide
A hospital bed mattress, also known as a therapeutic or medical mattress, is designed to fit a hospital bed. They’re constructed with gel, air-filled pockets, innerspring, foam, or a combination of different materials. These mattresses address bed-bound patients’ issues, such as the risk of falling out of bed, back pain, and pressure sores.
Good sleep is essential for maintaining good health and recovery from various medical conditions and diseases. The right hospital bed mattress goes a long way in addressing medical issues and facilitating quality sleep in ways that a standard mattress can’t.
What Size Is a Hospital Bed Mattress?
Therapeutic mattresses come in an avalanche of sizes. A standard medical mattress must conform to the size of the hospital bed. Usually, a regular-size hospital bed measures 36 inches wide by 80 inches long, equivalent to a twin XL mattress size.
However, there are more extensive frame therapeutic beds that accommodate bariatric patients. The mattresses that fit in such beds range up to 76 inches in width and 94 inches in length.
With so many design features and options available in the market, choosing the hospital mattress for different patients’ health requirements may be tricky. With careful consideration, you will effortlessly narrow your options, getting the best-fit mattresses for your medical beds and patients.
4 Best Hospital Bed Mattresses
1. The Gravity 7 Hospital Mattress by Drive
The Gravity 7 utilizes different densities and memory foam to redistribute pressure points of the body and help relieve pain. This mattress is highly reviewed and comes with a waterproof cover that is easily removable when needed.
- High end pressure relief
- Redistributes pressure with multiple zones
- Memory foam
- Supportive high density foam base
2. The Med-Aire Alternating Pressure Hospital Air Mattress by Drive
This mattress is made to replace a standard hospital bed. It measures 8 inches thick and uses air bladders in order to alternate the locations of pressure on the body. This helps to decrease bed sores and allows for a more comfortable surface for anyone who will be in a hospital bed for longer periods of time.
- Alternating pressure locations
- Minimizes bed sores
- Highly reviewed
- 8 inches thick
3. The Quick n Easy Medical Mattress by Drive
The "Quick n Easy" Hospital mattress by Drive is a simple and affordable option for getting a quality hospital mattress at a great price. This mattress doesn't have any of the fancy features that some hospital mattresses have but is great for a short stay in a hospital bed. The bed uses high density foam for support and has a non-slip bottom with a waterproof cover that easily removes when necessary. If you are looking for a simple and effective hospital bed this is a great option.
- Waterproof cover
- High density supportive foam
- Non-slip bottom
4. The Gel Memory Foam Mattress by Gaintex
This gel infused memory foam mattress is 8 inches thick and is specially designed to fit on an adjustable bed or hospital bed. This mattress will sleep more like a traditional memory foam mattress and will have a more comfortable feel than some of the other hospital beds, however it is not made with many of the hospital bed specific features.
- Gel infused memory foam
- Made specifically for use with adjustable beds
- Supportive and comfortable
What Type of Mattress Is Best for a Hospital Bed?
Several mattress options are available on the market, calling for a lot of keenness when selecting.
The best types of therapeutic mattresses include the following:
- Bariatric mattresses
- Alternating pressure mattresses
- Incontinence mattresses
- Pressure redistribution foam mattresses
- Innerspring mattresses
A bariatric mattress is an extra heavy-duty medical mattress designed to safely and comfortably accommodate heavily built individuals in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation, and home-based care. They’re generally more extended, expansive, and weightier than the standard hospital mattresses.
Bariatric mattresses are made with denser and harder foam, enabling them to provide the support and comfort needed for your patients. These mattresses are ideal for patients weighing more than 350 lbs.
These mattresses are compatible with most hospital beds. A superior bariatric mattress can significantly improve your patients’ life quality. These mattresses are available in varying widths, going up to 60 inches.
Pros of a Bariatric Mattress
- Latex free
- Solid foam inner core that provides durability, support, and comfort in one-piece construction
- High-density bariatric patient foam mattress
- Fire retardant
- Waterproof vinyl bottom
- Easy-to-clean, fluid-resistant nylon top cover for extended life and service
- Provides maximum pressure redistribution
- Supports patients weighing up to 1,000lbs
Cons of a Bariatric Mattress
- It may be too firm for patients out of the recommended weight range
Alternating Pressure Mattresses
Skin breakdown is typical among bedridden adults, especially those who’ve lost the ability to move independently. To manage and prevent skin breakdown, we recommend an alternating pressure mattress.
These mattresses are ideal for patients with a history of ulcer development, pressure ulcers, or bedsores. They effectively manage skin moisture and relieve pressure by alternating the deflation and inflation of individual mattress cells, reducing contact points with the body.
Alternating pressure mattresses are ideal for patients with difficulty turning at night but are not yet at a high risk of developing pressure ulcers. The air pressure changes in the alternating pressure mattresses are modest as each air cell deflates slightly but in a manner that relieves pressure points on the patient. They promote blood circulation and flow for healthy skin and provide pressure point relief for enhanced comfort.
An entry-level alternating pressure mattress has pre-programmed treatment cycle times, generally set at 10 minutes.
On the other hand, more advanced alternating pressure mattresses have blower or compressor units that allow for selecting treatment time options of 5-, 10-, 15-, and 20-minute cycles. At the lapse of the pre-programmed or treatment chosen time, the deflated mattress cells refill to their original firmness as other cells from that point reduce slightly.
Pros of an Alternating Pressure Mattress
- Fits most beds
- Safe and durable construction
- Variable pressure pump
- Sealed air bubbles
- Relieves pressure points
- Effectively reduces pain from pressure
- Improves circulation
- It helps manage skin moisture hence promoting healthy skin and pressure ulcer healing
- It helps heal bed sores/ pressure ulcers
Cons of an Alternating Pressure Mattress
- The less expensive models provide less therapeutic support
Incontinence mattresses are specially designed for adults with incontinence and bedwetting. These mattresses are available in several models to provide signature nighttime protection while meeting the patient’s firmness preference. They provide exceptional pressure redistribution thanks to their ultra-soft, multi-density, dual-layer foam design.
An incontinence mattress provides the patient with night-long protection from accidents while keeping the mattress core dry. This unique medical mattress creation features a two-layer foam core and a memory foam-heal section for extra comfort.
An incontinence mattress heel section features an ultra-soft memory foam layer for enhanced blood circulation and pressure redistribution. Its firm-edge support design features two ultra-firm foam zones to give the user extra support when getting out of bed. The mattress also features a built-in fire barrier that provides an additional layer of fire protection and protects the foam core.
Pros of an Incontinence Mattress
- Delivers medium firmness
- Simple to clean
- Breathable, fluid-resistant cover
- Waterproof and hygienic
- Highly durable
Cons of an Incontinence Mattress
- Substantial adverse effects on pressure redistribution
Pressure Redistribution Foam Mattresses
Foam mattresses are the most common therapeutic mattresses with an avalanche of benefits. They provide patients with exceptional therapeutic support and comfort.
Foam mattresses are available in a wide variety, ranging from the most basic standard pressure redirection foam to the most sophisticated type that offers premium incontinence pressure redistribution.
Premium Pressure Redistribution Foam Mattress
Premium pressure redistribution foam mattress is the best option if your patient spends extended periods in bed throughout the day and is at high risk of pressure sores. This high-quality therapeutic foam mattress reduces friction and redistributes pressure. It elevates comfort and value thanks to its four latex-free foam layers.
Plus Pressure Redistribution Foam Mattress
Plus pressure redistribution foam mattress is an ideal choice for patients who spend much time in bed throughout the day and are not at risk for pressure sores.
Standard Pressure Redistribution Foam
Standard pressure redistribution foam mattresses are ideal for patients who spend a short time daily in bed and are not at high risk for pressure sores.
A pressure redistribution foam mattress has an open whole top layer of viscose-elastic memory foam that enhances pressure redistribution while improving the immersion. Its bottom layer further provides total horizontal length score articulation cuts that extend the mattress’ durability and life.
The mattress’s removable multi-stretch cover is vapor-permeable, low-shear, and fluid-resistant, protecting the patient’s skin from moisture and friction.
Pros of a Pressure Redistribution Foam Mattress
- Meets flammability standards
- Facilitates safe patient transfer
- Provides solid edge support
- Moves with the bed shape
- Compatible with most hospital beds
- Easy-to-clean healthcare-grade nylon cover
- Prevents pressure sores through pressure redistributions
- Conforms to patient’s body for optimum comfort
Cons of a Pressure Redistribution Foam Mattress
- It only assists in pressure sores prevention but does not help with their treatment
An innerspring mattress is the most basic hospital bed mattress. It works perfectly on a bed with no adjustable sleep deck.
This therapeutic mattress uses springs and a metal wire system to create a fabric-covered support frame. Its top features a cushioning material for extra comfort. The innerspring mattress has a quilted and smoother-feeling top compared to memory foam and hybrid mattresses.
Innerspring mattresses have spring bases and smoother surfaces made from steel coils, thereby lessening the motion. The mattress’s pocket coil spring base supports the entire spring system and wireframe while offering great support to the body. An individually wrapped pocket coil frame provides firmer support and is ideal, especially for patients who detest the sinking feeling.
Most coils in the innerspring mattress are steel. However, you’ll come across many other coils, including offset, individually wrapped, and continuous coils.
The number of coils, coil gauge, and spring shape varies from one innerspring mattress to another. This mattress’ basic construction design makes it an excellent choice for most body types and sleeping positions.
Pros of an Innerspring Mattress
- Provides plenty of airflow
- Substantial sleeping surface
- Has lots of bounce and gives a traditional feel
Cons of Innerspring Mattresses
- Only works with selected hospital beds
- It may be too firm for some patients
Things To Consider When Purchasing a Mattress for Your Hospital Bed
Given that some patients may spend months in the hospital, the mattresses they use should be easy to clean, durable, and comfortable. Additionally, hospital bed mattresses must conform to the hospital bed adjustments.
Below are factors to consider when purchasing a mattress for your hospital.
Consider the patient’s mobility when choosing a mattress for hospital use. Pressure-relieving and sturdier mattress will be an ideal option if your patient uses the bed for 12 hours a day. However, innerspring mattresses are better for mobile patients who spend less time in bed.
Age and Lifestyle
Chronic sleeplessness is quite common among the elderly, especially those suffering from pains in the hips, back, shoulders, and neck. A hospital bed mattress with proper structural support helps to minimize the pains and aches and contributes to a more restful sleep space which paces the patient’s healing process.
A therapeutic mattress created with an appropriate support level and proper alignment will protect the patient against back pain and provide a restful environment. The therapeutic bed mattress should effortlessly push up on the contours and curves of the body to counteract the body weight while enhancing the body alignment.
If the mattress is too firm, it won’t donate proper support to the patient’s body contours. On the other hand, a too-soft mattress can’t support the body’s neutral alignment.
A regular hospital bed measures 36 inches wide by 80 inches long, equivalent to a twin XL mattress size. However, other unique hospital beds are also created to accommodate larger frames up to 54 inches wide and 94 inches long. Choosing the right mattress size will ensure your patients get plenty of room for position adjustments.
You’ll need to pay attention to airflow and accompanying cooler sleep surfaces. However, patients with a lower body temperature or who get cold quickly require a heat-retaining mattress. Foam mattresses are an excellent option for heat-holding and warmer sleep space creation.
Duration of Service
Hospital beds are used day and night. As such, it’s imperative to go for a therapeutic mattress that stands the test of time. Foam hospital bed mattresses have the most extended lifespan of 10 years on average.
Innerspring mattresses, on the other hand, have counted on for slightly over eight years of service. These two are typically the most durable and comfortable mattresses for patients to benefit from a drier sleep environment and a more comfortable sleep surface.
Ease of Cleaning
A stain-resistant and waterproof therapeutic mattress is hugely beneficial for inconsistent patients. An antimicrobial hospital bed mattress will keep the sleep space clean. It’s relatively easy to clean. A hygienic sleeping surface is just as crucial as a pressure-relieving mattress.
Falling from bed is a significant risk factor as it may cause serious injury to the patient. Therapeutic mattresses with bolsters help minimize fall risk.
They guide the user toward the middle of the bed and away from its sides. This fall protection is achievable through form insertions around the mattress perimeter, usually built as a mattress cover or into the mattress itself.
Patients who spend much of their waking hours in bed are at an increased risk of developing pressure wounds. A therapeutic mattress that redistributes weight can defend such a patient against bedsores. The alternating pressure and low air loss medical mattresses can keep pressure ulcers from forming and prevent skin shearing.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Hospital bed mattresses.
Can you use a regular mattress with a hospital bed?
Regular mattresses don’t work appropriately with the hospital or adjustable beds. This is because they can’t contour to the bed positions.
Medical issues require unique treatment, from proper resting place to the right medication, making it only appropriate to use suitable medical mattresses in a hospital with a hospital bed.
How thick should a hospital bed mattress be?
On average, a hospital bed mattress should be six to eight inches thick. They should be as flexible and thin as possible without compromising comfort and support.
What can you put on a hospital mattress to make it more comfortable?
Add an egg crate mattress topper to make your hospital mattress more comfortable. This will help remove pressure from the patient’s back and make the sleeping surface softer. You can also use a bed wedge, a pillow made of firm foam meant for use while sleeping.
Given that some patients spend considerable time in the hospital, it’s imperative to ensure the mattresses they use are easy to clean, durable, and comfortable. Additionally, the therapeutic mattresses must conform to the hospital bed adjustments.
From our analysis, we conclude that bariatric mattresses, alternating pressure mattresses, incontinence mattresses, pressure redistribution foam mattresses, and innerspring mattresses are the most appropriate for hospital use.