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Types Of Hospital Beds

Types Of Hospital Beds

Have you ever wondered what goes into making a hospital bed? Whether it’s the adjustable head, foot,  and height options, caster wheels for easy transport, or safety features like guard rails- hospital beds are designed to provide comfort and an optimal therapeutic environment for patients.

If you’ve been curious about the different types of beds in a medical setting, this blog post will walk you through types of hospital beds everything from manual hospital beds to electric ones so that you have a better understanding of their benefits and applications. 

Types Of Hospital Beds

So, here are the 6 main types of hospital beds and their uses.

1. Standard Hospital Beds

These beds are commonly found in various healthcare facilities due to their versatility and cost-effectiveness. They come in different variations to accommodate a range of patient needs. 

Manual Standard Beds

Manual standard beds are the most basic type of hospital bed. They are manually operated, meaning their adjustments are made by using hand cranks. These beds are cost-effective and straightforward in design.

They typically offer adjustable features such as changing the head and foot positions of the bed to provide comfort and support for patients.

These beds are easy to operate and do not require electrical power. Manual beds are among the types of hospital beds for home use.

Semi-Electric Standard Beds

Semi-electric standard beds combine manual and electric controls. While the head and foot adjustments are still manually operated, the height adjustment of the bed can be controlled electrically.

This feature provides convenience to both patients and caregivers, as adjusting the bed height is a common action and can be done with minimal effort. 

Fully Electric Standard Beds

Fully electric standard beds offer the highest level of adjustability and convenience. They are equipped with electric motors that control all adjustments, including head, foot, and height positions.

Patients or caregivers can use remote controls to fine-tune the bed’s settings,  allowing optimal positioning for various medical needs.

These beds are particularly beneficial for patients with limited mobility who may struggle with manual adjustments. 

Who Should Use Standard Hospital Beds

Standard hospital beds are suitable for various patient scenarios due to their basic yet versatile features. Some common examples are:

1. Patients with General Medical Conditions

Standard hospital beds are well-suited for patients with general medical conditions who require basic comfort and support during their hospital stay. The adjustable features of these beds can help patients find positions that alleviate discomfort and promote recovery. 

2.  Post-Operative Recovery

After surgeries or medical procedures, patients often need specialized positioning to aid their recovery. Standard hospital beds can be adjusted to accommodate different recovery needs, such as elevating the head or foot to reduce swelling or enhance breathing. 

3. Elderly Patients

Elderly patients with mobility or other medical concerns can benefit from standard hospital beds. The adjustability of these beds allows caregivers to customize the positioning to prevent bedsores, promote circulation, and enhance overall comfort for older patients. 

2. Specialty Beds

Specialty hospital beds are designed to address specific medical requirements and patient populations. These beds go beyond the standard features to cater to unique needs, ensuring patient safety, comfort, and appropriate care. Here are three common types of specialty beds:

Low Beds

Low hospital beds are designed to be positioned closer to the ground than traditional hospital beds. These beds have a reduced height, which plays a crucial role in fall prevention, especially for patients at risk of falling or having mobility issues. The lower height minimizes the impact of potential falls,  reducing the risk of injuries. 

Low beds are handy for elderly patients who may have difficulty getting in and out of higher beds due to limited mobility or balance issues. These beds provide a safer and more accessible option for patients prone to falls. 

They allow them to maintain greater independence while still receiving the care they need. Low beds are also beneficial for healthcare providers, as they make it easier to assist patients without straining themselves. 

Bariatric Beds

Bariatric hospitals support overweight and obese patients. These beds have enhanced weight capacities and reinforced frames to ensure durability and stability under the increased weight load.

Bariatric beds are equipped with wider mattresses and frames to accommodate larger body sizes comfortably. 

Supporting patients with obesity or morbid obesity requires specialized equipment to ensure both their safety and comfort.

Bariatric beds play a crucial role in preventing injuries that can arise from using standard beds that might not be able to support the extra weight.

These beds often have reinforced side rails, heavy-duty motors for adjustments, and pressure redistribution mattresses to prevent bedsores. 

Pediatric Beds

These beds are scaled down to fit the size and requirements of pediatric patients. Pediatric beds often come with child-friendly designs and safety features to create a comforting and secure environment for young patients. 

Pediatric beds include colorful designs, side rails with playful shapes, and built-in entertainment systems to help alleviate anxiety and create a more positive hospital experience for children.

Additionally, pediatric beds are adjustable to accommodate the needs of growing children, ensuring they receive the appropriate medical care and support throughout their stay. 

3. ICU and Critical Care Beds

ICU (Intensive Care Unit) and critical care beds can help you provide specialized care and monitoring for patients who are critically ill or require intense medical attention.

These beds are equipped with advanced features to ensure the safety and well-being of patients in critical conditions.  

Advanced Monitoring Capabilities

ICU and critical care beds are equipped with advanced monitoring systems that continuously track a patient’s vital signs,  such as heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and more.

These real-time measurements are crucial for healthcare professionals to respond quickly to any changes in the patient’s condition. 

Pressure Redistribution to Prevent Bedsores

Prolonged bed rest can lead to pressure ulcers or bedsores, especially in critically ill patients with compromised mobility.

ICU beds are designed with pressure redistribution surfaces, such as air mattresses or specialized foam, to minimize the risk of bedsores by evenly distributing pressure and reducing friction. 

Integration with Life-Support Systems

ICU beds accommodate various life-support systems, such as ventilators,  infusion pumps, and cardiac monitors. These beds have built-in rails,  hooks,  and brackets to securely attach life-support equipment, ensuring seamless integration and easy access for healthcare providers. 

4. Long-term Care Beds

Long-term care beds are for those who require extended stays in medical facilities, such as nursing homes or rehabilitation centers. These beds prioritize patient comfort and improved quality of life over an extended period.

Unlike traditional hospital beds, primarily built for short-term use,  long-term care beds have features to ensure the patient’s well-being during extended stays. 

One of the critical features of long-term care beds is their emphasis on pressure relief. Prolonged immobility can lead to pressure ulcers, commonly known as bedsores, which can be painful and potentially lead to complications. These beds help to alleviate pressure points and minimize the risk of bedsores. 

They often come with the ability to adjust the bed’s positioning. The Trendelenburg and reverse Trendelenburg positions are particularly significant in managing circulation.

The Trendelenburg position involves tilting the bed so that the patient’s head is lower than their feet, which can aid in improving blood circulation to vital organs. 

Conversely, the reverse Trendelenburg position elevates the patient’s head,  which can assist in reducing issues like acid reflux and promote lung expansion.

Another notable feature of these beds is their accessibility. Patients who require long-term care may have limited mobility or be bedridden.

As such, these beds are equipped with features like height adjustment, side rails,  and easy-to-use controls, allowing patients and caregivers to adjust the bed’s settings without straining. 

5. Behavioral Health Beds

Behavioral health beds are for patients with mental health disorders and behavioral issues. These beds are meticulously crafted to prioritize safety and prevention of self-harm or injury, ensuring patients’ well-being while receiving the necessary treatment. 

These beds are tamper-resistant and ligature-resistant design. This design prevents patients from easily dismantling or altering the bed in a way that could lead to harm.

The goal is to eliminate potential points where patients could attach ropes,  cords, or other items for self-inflicted injury or strangulation. These beds often have smooth, rounded corners and edges to minimize risks further. 

The materials used in the construction of behavioral health beds are chosen carefully. They are sturdy and durable, capable of withstanding aggressive behaviors without compromising the bed’s integrity.

Moreover, these beds are often equipped with built-in alarm systems that alert healthcare staff in case of any tampering or unusual movement, allowing immediate intervention. 

Who Should Use Behavioral Health Beds

Behavioral health beds are primarily utilized in psychiatric wards and behavioral health facilities. Hospital psychiatric wards often deal with patients experiencing acute mental health crises, which might lead to impulsive actions or self-destructive behaviors. 

These beds provide a controlled environment where patients can receive the necessary care and treatment while minimizing the risk of harm to themselves or others. 

Both inpatient and outpatient behavioral health facilities cater to individuals with various mental health conditions, ranging from depression and anxiety to severe personality disorders.

These specialized beds are integral to such facilities,  ensuring that patients can access the required therapeutic interventions in a safe and secure environment. 

6. Birthing Beds

Birthing beds, also known as labor and delivery beds or maternity beds, are specialized hospital beds created to provide comfort and support during the labor and delivery process.

These beds are equipped with a variety of features that facilitate both the ease of the expectant mother and the medical interventions required during childbirth. 

They have remarkable adjustability. These beds can be easily adjusted to various positions to accommodate the different stages of labor and delivery.

The ability to raise and lower the bed’s head,  foot, and middle sections allows healthcare providers to optimize the position. 

It makes it more comfortable for her and aids in the progress of labor. The bed’s adjustability also allows for easier access and maneuvering for medical professionals during interventions such as epidurals or assisted deliveries. 

In addition to adjustability, birthing beds often come equipped with supportive features. These features might include padded stirrups to support the mother’s legs during delivery, handles or side rails to grip during contractions, and comfortable mattress surfaces designed to reduce pressure points and enhance relaxation. 

Some birthing beds also have built-in monitors and equipment trays to facilitate the monitoring of the mother and baby’s vital signs. 

Who Should Use Birthing Beds

Birthing beds are primarily utilized in maternity wards and obstetric units within hospitals. These beds are specifically designed to cater to unique labor and delivery needs, ensuring the comfort of the expectant mother and the safety of both her and the baby. 

In maternity wards, birthing beds are a central component, serving as the platform where mothers give birth to their babies.

Obstetric units, which focus on providing specialized care to pregnant women and managing childbirth, rely on birthing beds to support the entire process. 

The versatility and adjustability of birthing beds make them valuable tools for healthcare providers during labor and delivery.

They allow medical professionals to efficiently manage different delivery scenarios, from natural births to interventions like cesarean sections. 

By providing a comfortable and adaptable environment, birthing beds contribute to a positive birthing experience for the mother while facilitating effective medical care and interventions.

Their presence in maternity wards and obstetric units is crucial for ensuring the well-being of both mothers and newborns during this significant and life-changing event. 


If you’re searching for the ideal hospital bed type for your needs,  understanding the different types of beds available and their features can be helpful. Each variation is designed with specific purposes,  from long-term care beds to birthing beds.

You should consider the type of care needed,  the environment where the bed will be used, and any safety requirements to ensure you select a hospital bed that will provide maximum comfort and effectiveness. Once you have the right mattress, you can rest assured that your patients will have access to quality care.

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