Most hospital beds are made to hold a weight of 450 pounds. Bariatric beds are heavy duty beds that are designed to hold more weight, up to 1000 pounds. These beds are wider allowing more room for the patient. A typical hospital bed has a mattress size of 36 inches wide and 80 inches long. The bed’s exterior, including the outside of the headboard and footboard, measures about 38 inches wide and 84 inches long. Some beds have extension kits which will extend the bed another 4 inches. Home care beds can be purchased for those looking for more sleep space. Home care adjustable electric beds come in 3 sizes:
- Full size measuring 54 inches by 80 inches
- Queen size measuring 60 inches by 80 inches
- King size measuring 76 inches by 80 inches.
Why Bed Size Matters
Bed size is essential because it contributes to a patient’s recovery, safety, well-being, and comfort. If a bed is too small a patient cannot comfortably move. This makes it difficult to allow the patient to be mobile and immobility increases the risk of musculoskeletal injury. Another risk of an immobile patient is bedsores. If a patient is left lying in one spot over a long period, they may develop what is known as bedsores or pressure ulcers. This is caused by pressure to the skin that limits the amount of blood flow to the patient’s skin. A patient must be able to easily turn side to side without difficulty due to lack of space.
To care for larger patients’ caregivers must provide them with the proper sized hospital bed. A bed that holds a weight capacity of 450 pounds is a danger to a patient who may be 500 plus pounds. The bed could break causing more injury to the patient. If a bed is too narrow a patient could turn over and potentially fall off the bed causing more harm as well.
Another important reason for the proper sized hospital bed is that a caregiver must turn patients that have limited to no mobility for several reasons. Some of those reasons include:
- Wound inspection
- Pain relief
- Sponge bath
- Bed sheet replacement
- Bedpan changes
- Dressing changes
Beds that are unnecessarily wide can also have its consequences. Wider beds will make it more difficult for a caregiver to perform duties such as cleaning, bathing, bedpan changes, and dressing changes.
Here are some tips for buying a hospital bed:
- Make a list of important features and desired features.
- Keep the patient in mind when choosing between manual, semi-electric, and electric beds.
- Go for quality rather than price.
- Choose a brand with good reviews as well as a variety of beds and features such as Invacare.
- Mattress and sheet selection are important factors in the patient’s comfort.
When choosing a bed, you want to keep the patient and their needs in mind. You want a bed that provides safety, comfort, and convivence.