Shopping for hospital beds is never fun, but finding the right model makes it easier for caregivers to provide in-home assistance for patients with cancer, ALS and other chronic conditions. We selected our top picks based on customer reviews, cost, warranty and other factors.
Types of hospital beds
You have plenty of options to choose from if you’re shopping for a hospital bed for your home. Medical beds are available in many sizes, styles and designs, with optional features like side rails and trapezes. Read about the different types of medical beds to better understand which best fits your needs.
Full-electric hospital beds
Much as it sounds, this type of bed moves electronically. The height can be adjusted up and down, and the head of the bed sits up and lays down. The foot of the bed can be raised to provide support behind the knees. All of these movements are controlled by a remote or buttons on the side of the bed. A fully electric hospital bed might be best for someone who has limited mobility.
- Bariatric hospital beds: This type of full-electric medical bed is specifically designed for heavier patients. These beds have higher weight capacities and accommodate wider mattresses.
- Extended care: Each area of these beds adjusts, which lets people using them elevate their feet above their head or set up the bed like a reclining chair. They work best for those with chronic conditions or those going through ongoing therapy after surgery.
Semi-electric hospital beds
The bed height on semi-electric beds adjusts manually with a hand crank instead of with a remote or button. The head and foot of the bed are still powered by electricity. This type of bed works well for people who are able to get in and out of bed on their own.
Manual hospital beds
The only way to adjust these beds is by using physical effort to move hand cranks and levers. These beds tend to be the most affordable since the head, foot and height of the bed do not require motors to move.
A manual hospital bed works well for people with a reliable caregiver who can attend to their needs 24/7 since they cannot make the adjustments themselves. These beds are also good for people looking for a hospital bed at an affordable price.
Our top hospital bed picks
We started out by considering more than 60 hospital beds currently available to purchase online. To narrow it down, we looked at each model’s average customer rating and the total number of reviews. We also compared hospital bed dimensions, weight capacities, prices and warranties to select our top picks.
Graham-Field Lumex Patriot LX Hospital Bed
We like that this model features built-in SilverSolutions technology to prevent odors and bacteria. The Graham-Field Lumex Patriot LX raises and lowers with a self-contained crank, and it can be adjusted to and Trendelenburg positions.
An electrical control can raise and lower the head and foot of the bed simultaneously or individually. A 4-inch extension kit is available that fits on the head and foot of the bed.
Its easy-to-clean steel grid deck sleep surface provides mattress support.
Graham-Field includes a five-year warranty on the bed frame, a two-year warranty on electrical components and a one-year warranty on other durable components. Innerspring or foam mattresses must be purchased separately.
NOA Medical Light Hospital Bed
This fully electric, four-motor adjustable bed has a high-impact footboard and headboard with a quick-release function, four locking wheels and two directional wheels. The bed can elevate to the height of 16.5 inches, and the foot and head can move into almost any position.
NOA’s slat-deck design gives the bed a solid sleep surface and ventilates the mattress. Customers can select from assist rails and trapeze options. Headboard and footboard color options include light oak, walnut and mahogany.
The manufacturer includes a lifetime warranty on the welds, a three-year warranty on electrical and mechanical components and a one-year warranty on case goods and wood products.
Invacare IVC Electric Bed Package
This Invacare hospital bed package includes a steel frame, foam mattress, bed rails and electric motor system. The universal bed features head and foot springs and washable bed end panels that resist damage from scratches and impacts.
The ergonomic hand remote has a quick-release button that moves the bed rails into three positions: guard, assist and transfer. We like that this model is designed to be convenient for the patient and the caregiver.
The manufacturer includes a five-year warranty on the bed, a two-year warranty on the welds, a two-year warranty on the foam mattress and a one-year warranty on mechanical and electrical parts.
Drive Medical Electric Bariatric Bed
This Drive Medical electric bariatric hospital bed features a 42-inch-wide sleeping surface. We like that the bed has a split-pan design with removable bed ends for easy setup. The heavy-duty steel frame ensures the bed is safe and provides additional comfort.
A hand control adjusts the head and foot sections of the bed into multiple positions. There’s also a manual crank that can be used during emergencies.
The manufacturer includes a lifetime limited warranty on the welds, a five-year warranty on the frame and a one-year warranty on all other parts and components.
Invacare Etude HC Electric Homecare Bed
Invacare Etude HC features a beechwood headboard and footboard. The sleep deck height is adjustable from 7.8 inches to 18 inches. We like that the hand control has eight functions and includes a safety lockout function for the caregiver.
The bed also has full-electric adjustability with a quiet motor and Shear Management Technology (SMT) that reduces the risk of harmful friction while the head of the bed auto-adjusts. No tools are required for assembly.
Invacare provides a five-year warranty on the frame, a three-year warranty on actuators and a two-year warranty on the pendant and electronics.
Span America Q-Series Rexx Bed
Span America Q-Series Rexx is designed with precision-welded orthopedic grid decks that are easy to clean. The grid supports and ventilates the mattress while preventing sagging.
The metal bed components are individually coated with a flexible polyester anti-microbial finish to protect against bacteria and odor buildup. A remote control raises and lowers the bed 18 inches with virtually no horizontal movement. This model also features a high-angle vascular footrest and arched bed legs.
This bed has a larger-than-standard sleep surface. It’s compatible with plastic and metal bed rails (not included). The manufacturer includes a 15-year warranty on the frame and welds and a five-year warranty on mechanical parts.
Medline Alterra 100 Hospital Bed
The Medline Alterra 100 has a shin-friendly crank that drops out of the way under the footboard to prevent tripping. The crank can lower the bed's height to only 12 inches to reduce the risk of sustaining injuries from falling.
This bed can be locked in any raised position. It has four 3-inch locking wheel casters for easy, secure transport. Optional accessories include bed extenders, trapeze adapters and bed rails.
Medline provides a lifetime warranty on welds, a 15-year warranty on the bed frame and a four-year warranty on electrical components.
MJM International Low Bed with Headrest
This MJM International low bed model is designed for patient safety and caregiver convenience. The low bed height eliminates the need for bed rail restraints, and the multiposition elevated headrest comes in three different deck heights.
The bed is designed with smooth, curved corners and no sharp edges. It has 3-inch twin wheel casters that are rustproof. We also like that the double-walled frame supports a mattress at all stress points.
Available color options include yellow, red, black, gray, light blue, white and navy. The manufacturer includes a one-year limited warranty.
How to choose a hospital bed
Choosing the right hospital bed is more than a matter of comfort — it’s a matter of safety. There’s a fall risk anytime you get in or out of bed, so you want to make sure the hospital bed you buy has the features you need to keep you safe.
The right hospital bed largely depends on your condition and budget. For example, semi-electric hospital beds are less expensive than full-electric models, but they require more effort to move up and down. Here are six steps to help you select the right model.
- 1. Assess your medical needs
- When you’re choosing a bed, you need to consider your mobility level. Are you able to get in and out of bed by yourself? Are you able to adjust your position within the bed by yourself? Are you able to stand securely on your feet? These questions help you determine your mobility level and, ultimately, the bed features you need.
If, for example, you’re not able to easily adjust yourself within the bed, you may need a semi-electric or full-electric bed to adjust the bed into a Trendelenburg or an upright sitting position. Also, a typical hospital bed is built to accommodate up to 400 pounds with equipment. If you weigh more than this, then you need a bariatric bed that provides more support.
- 2. Consider how much time you will spend in it
- Think about how many hours a day you will spend in the bed. If it’s more than 15 hours, you want to ensure it’s comfortable and accommodates your specific needs. A full-electric bed is usually the best choice if you’ll be using it for the majority of the day.
You should also consider whether you’ll be using this bed temporarily or over the long term. Manual and semi-electric beds are designed for more short-term use.
- 3. Determine your budget
- Hospital beds can cost upwards of a couple of thousand dollars. Companies offer financing options and payment plans so you don’t have to sacrifice comfort or functionality — an important consideration if you’ll be using it long-term. Extended care and bariatric hospital beds tend to be the most expensive because they are fully electric and have extra support and functions.
- 4. Decide the features and accessories you want
- Some people feel safer with side rails to provide extra support. If you have seizures or move a lot while you sleep, you may also consider gap protection so you don’t get stuck between the bed and the sides. You might look for a bed with a built-in scale if you need to be weighed regularly and have limited mobility, and you should consider a bed trapeze to help you sit up in bed or transfer in and out.
You should also consider whether you want to purchase a new mattress. Most hospital beds don’t come with a mattress, so pay attention to the dimensions if you plan to use a mattress you already own.
- 5. Look at the warranty
- Hospital bed warranties can last anywhere from a year to a lifetime — it ususally depends on the bed component. Most bed frames and welds have at least a five-year warranty. Electrical and mechanical components typically have a one- to four-year warranty.
- 6. Ask about installation services
- Be sure to ask if the company provides installation services before you buy a hospital bed. Also, see if it offers routine calibration services and inspections to catch any problems before your bed requires a major repair.
Hospital bed FAQ
- How much is a hospital bed?
- The cost of a hospital bed ranges from around $500 to several thousand dollars. Hospital bed prices vary based on the type of bed and brand and whether it’s sold as a package with a mattress and rails or if you have to buy them separately.
For example, full-electric beds are more expensive than manual hospital beds. Semi-electric hospital beds are less expensive than full-electric models, but they require more effort to move up and down.
- Where can I buy a hospital bed?
- You can buy a hospital bed from a durable medical equipment (DME) retailer recommended by your doctor. You can also find electric hospital beds for sale from online marketplaces like Amazon. You may also be able to buy a hospital bed privately from local newspaper ads or Craigslist.
- Will Medicare pay for a hospital bed?
- Yes, Medicare pays for hospital beds. Medicare pays 80% of the cost for a hospital bed under Medicare Part B as durable medical equipment if your doctor prescribes it for in-home use. To find out how much your hospital bed will cost, talk to your doctor or health care provider.
- Are hospital beds tax deductible?
- Yes, you can deduct your hospital bed as a medical expense on your Schedule A form if your doctor considers the bed medically necessary. For it to be deemed medically necessary, your doctor must provide documentation that it alleviates or prevents physical or mental illness. Make sure to request copies of the documentation and get a receipt from your equipment supplier to file your taxes.
- How long is a hospital bed?
- A hospital bed is usually about 7 feet long. Most beds are 80 inches or longer.
- How big is a hospital bed?
- A hospital bed is generally about 3 feet wide and 7 feet long. They’re about the size of a twin mattress. Standard hospital bed dimensions are approximately 80 inches long and 36 inches wide. However, hospital bed sizes vary depending on the condition for which the model was designed.
- How much does a hospital bed weigh?
- A hospital bed can weigh anywhere from 40 pounds to more than 300 pounds, depending on the type of mattress and equipment it has. The average weight of a hospital bed is about 180 pounds.
- Can you rent a hospital bed?
- Yes, you can rent a hospital bed. It typically costs between $200 and $500 per month to rent one.
- How do hospital beds work?
- Hospital beds come with adjustable head and foot sections that raise and lower. The beds also have an adjustable height to reduce the risks of falls. Hospital beds adjust electrically with a compact motor or manually. They change positions by raising, lowering, elevating or reclining the frame.
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