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Hospital Bed vs Adjustable Bed: How to Choose The Right Bed

There are a few things to consider when choosing between a hospital bed vs. an adjustable bed. Both have their benefits and drawbacks, but one may be better for you depending on your specific needs. Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of each type of bed to help make your decision easier.

Hospital Bed vs. Adjustable Bed: Main Features

Hospital Bed Main Features

A hospital bed is designed for medical use needs, whether at a hospital, clinic, or at home. These beds are usually larger and sturdier than other types of beds and come equipped with features, such as side rails and Anti-decubitus technologies. They often include an attached metal frame and a headboard with rails on both sides.

Hospital beds usually sit higher off the ground than regular beds and may have more surface space to make it easier for hospital staff to attend to a patient without changing positions. This space also allows for the convenient attachment of medical equipment and medications without disrupting the patient.

Hospital beds can be adjusted in many ways depending on the patient's needs, including the elevation of the head and foot areas and the height of the entire bed. Most can also be converted into a chair or a flat surface for easy transfers and have locking wheels to transport patients from one room to another seamlessly.

Adjustable Bed Main Features

Adjustable beds are typically used in a home environment and can be utilized for therapeutic, leisure, and aesthetic purposes. They can come in many different styles and colors. Some of these home care beds do not have the appearance of a medical tool and easily fit in with home interiors.

What makes adjustable beds similar to hospital beds is that the head and/or foot rests can be lowered or raised to meet the user's convenience. However, not all will have wheels and can be raised or lowered as an entire unit.

This distinction is important when determining if a hospital bed vs. an adjustable bed will be the right choice for you. If you need to be transferred often and rely heavily on other people to move, a hospital bed may be a better choice

However, if you can manage yourself and only require the elevation of your head and foot area for different activities, such as eating, reading, or watching TV, an adjustable bed will prove to be a useful and stylish alternative to a hospital bed.

Hospital Beds vs. Adjustable Beds: 5 Key Differences

Hospital beds and adjustable beds both serve comfort and convenience, as well as flexible adjustment settings to suit patients’ needs. But there are clear differences in how they are used.

1. Hospital beds typically cost more.

Prices for medical beds range from $600 to $4,000, depending on their brand, features, and if they are manual, semi-electric, or fully electric units. Meanwhile, adjustable beds cost between $1,000 and $3,000, though pricing can go much higher if you go for the fancier brands with nice aesthetics.

2. Adjustable beds are wider and heavier.

Hospital beds are about 36" wide and are designed for utilitarian purposes, although they are sturdy enough to keep a patient safe, they are also easy to handle and transport in case of an emergency. Meanwhile, adjustable beds may come in all shapes and sizes and can even accommodate two people at the same time. Most models are also without wheels as they are mainly designed for comfort and relaxation purposes.

3. Hospital beds are better for hospital staff, while adjustable beds are better for the user's comfort and convenience.

Hospital beds typically offer more customization options to make it easy for hospital staff to deliver different types of care to patients, whether they're in an emergency area or in a quiet private room. Adjustable beds are ideal for homes and are not limited to medical purposes. They can be used both day-to-day and for specific activities such as watching TV or reading. 

4. Hospital beds are covered by insurance.

If hospital beds are a medical necessity, they may be covered by Medicare and/or insurance. On the other hand, because adjustable beds are mostly designed for leisure, you might have to pay for them upfront. 

Many mainstream adjustable beds have similar features as hospital beds, but since they are not subject to FDA standards, insurance might not cover them. The Consumer Safety Product Commission manages quality control for adjustable beds, but not for medical use. 

5. Hospital beds are easier to clean than adjustable beds.

Hospital beds will typically be covered in vinyl or some other wipeable, antibacterial material. This makes it easy for hospital staff to sanitize and disinfect in between patient turnovers. Adjustable beds, on the other hand, can be made of fabric, wood, and different types of materials. However, because its typical use is for the home, there's no need for frequent cleaning and turndowns.

Overall, the hospital bed vs. adjustable bed debate boils down to how you plan on using it. If it's for a facility that accommodates different patients with various medical needs, a hospital bed is the practical choice. However, if you need something that can double as therapeutic support and interior accent, a nice adjustable bed will be the better option. 

Amica Medical Supply has a wide range of hospital beds and adjustable beds to meet your exact needs. Browse through our roster of medical and therapy beds of different shapes, sizes, and uses to find the one that will work best for you and your facility. We also have patient lifts, massage chairs, wheelchairs, daily living aids, mobility scooters, and more in stock. 

Call us today at 1-877-960-0706.

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