Unlike a traditional bed, a hospital bed offers an extra level of support and comfort. It keeps you (or your loved one) safe from falls and makes it easier to get in and out of bed. And anyone could need a hospital bed, not just the elderly!
For disabled or simply unwell people (temporary or permanent), a hospital bed is an essential piece of medical equipment. Your doctor may even have advised you to get one. But that doesn’t mean you necessarily need to spend thousands of dollars on the first hospital bed you come across.
In this buyer’s guide to hospital beds for home use, we’ve researched and reviewed 8 different consumer-verified hospital beds for you to consider and provided a few tips on how to pick the best for you.
If you’re still unsure if you need a specialist hospital bed for your home, make sure you read right to the end of our guide! The helpful FAQ section is just beneath the 8 individual reviews and answers all your questions on Medicare coverage, how much you should budget, and more.
Buying a Hospital Bed for Home – Key Features to Look For
Searching for a hospital bed shifts your priorities. Even if you’re a pro at shopping for standard beds and mattresses, you’ll need to brush up your knowledge before you find hospital beds with specialist features.
Type of Bed
While all hospital beds are designed to be more adjustable and patient-friendly compared to standard beds, they aren’t all built equal. The most common type of hospital bed for home use is the full–electric bed, which simply means that all adjustments are made electronically via a remote or button panel. This is the best option for home use as it allows the patient to control the bed themselves via remote rather than relying on a carer or family member to help them operate it.
Other at-home hospital bed types you might come across include:
- Semi-electric – it’s pretty self-explanatory. Usually, the main component requires manual action (e.g. using a lever to adjust the height of the bed) while other smaller components that require less power (e.g. adjusting angles) are controlled electronically. This bed type will be more affordable but less suited to long-term use and those with mobility issues.
- Manual – Even though everything must be adjusted manually, a manual hospital bed isn’t the same as an adjustable standard bed frame. They’ll still have safety measures, larger weight capacity, and a different design that makes them more suitable for bed-ridden patients. This is the most affordable option and is only suitable if the person needing the bed will have 24/7 carers to manually adjust the bed for them.
- Specialist – specialist hospital beds are designed for a specific type of illness or patient. For example, we have a bariatric hospital bed for home use on our list, which is especially great for plus size users. Other specialist bed types you might come across include low hospital beds (best for those that might fall out during the night) and Trendelenburg hospital beds that offer flexibility to extreme heights and lows (moving you upright so you can get off the bed easier, for example).
Low hospital beds are usually around 1 foot from the floor, which makes them much easier to get out of, and it reduces the distance you’ll fall if you accidentally roll out during the night. Many electric beds will have adjustable elevation too, which means you can lower them when you need to get out.
Note: Lower isn’t always better, however. You should consider the elevation based on mobility and height. Lower beds can hurt your joints to get on and off. They’re also not suitable for very tall people, who will find a higher bed easier to get on with long legs.
If in doubt, find a hospital bed with adjustable elevation.
First, you need to consider safety when buying a hospital bed. Always stick to verified manufacturers with genuine customer reviews. We’ve already vetted the beds on our list, but if you find another hospital bed to consider, make sure you do your research. The last thing you want to do is buy a poorly made hospital bed that will collapse when you need it most.
For reconditioned hospital beds, you need to carefully check what procedures are used to clean and repair the bed to ensure it is sanitary as well.
Besides that, you should also consider the safety features of the bed itself. Rails (half or full) are there to stop you from rolling out during the night and the capacity of the bed should also be clearly outlined. Make sure that the weight of your mattress, bedding, and the person sleeping on it doesn’t surpass the maximum capacity.
Comfort and Design
Following on from safety, you also need to ensure that the hospital bed is comfortable as well as practical. Feeling comfy, stress-free, and happy in your home can contribute to your recovery. We’re not entirely sure how, but a positive attitude and happy state of mind can boost your immune system, as this study into mood disturbance and immune response found out.
Most hospital beds are compatible with Twin XL size mattresses of about 6 inches thick, which is thinner than average to help users get on and off the bed. If you want to buy a mattress separate to the one included with the bed, just look for Twin XL sizes that aren’t too heavy.
Finally, there’s also the design of the hospital bed. Some appear more clinical than others, but generally, you should be prepared to pay more for at-home hospital beds that fit in with the décor and don’t feel too sterile.
The 8 Best Home Hospital Beds: Detailed Reviews
We’ve thoroughly researched the at-home hospital beds available to narrow down the list to the top 8. All 8 come from different brands with different features and price points, so there’s something here for every patient and every budget.
If you want to jump straight to the best of the best, without reading our helpful individual reviews, here’s what you need to know:
1. Best All-Round: Invacare Full Electric Hospital Bed with Mattress
The Invacare Full Electric Hospital bed is priced around $900 depending on the type you get (see the editor’s note below) and has all the features you could possibly need.
It’s made from a very basic welded steel metal frame with rails and an electronic motor that adjusts the elevation from 15 inches to 23 inches, as well as positions the head and knee section.
While it doesn’t look particularly attractive, it is highly rated by customers. In particular, we found that users praise it for being so quiet as the motor runs and being easy to operate. You might not like the waterproof vinyl mattress options provided with this hospital bed, but it’s easy to buy your own separately, as it takes standard Twin XL mattress sizes (80 x 36 inches).
Editor’s note: Invacare offers many alternative options for this model (BED9-1633) so you can buy it without the mattress, with innerspring or foam mattresses, or with different rails.
2. Best for Bariatrics – Drive Medical Full-Electric Bariatric Bed
If you need the sturdiest hospital bed available, look no further than the Drive Medical bariatric bed. It’s fully electric and made from tough stainless steel.
To ensure your confidence in the manufacturing of this bed, Drive Medical offers lifetime warranty on the steel welding. They’re really not messing around here.
Designed for larger patients, this bed also has an extra-wide base that extends the width 6 inches wider than usual. Yet despite being so large, wide, and heavy, this bed is surprisingly easy to adjust. It is full electric with a semi-quiet and very smooth motor. There’s also a manual crank to adjust the elevation if, for some reason, the electrics aren’t working or the power goes out.
Editor’s note: We recommend you buy the bariatric mattress from Drive Medical too, as it’s designed specifically for this hospital bed with the 42-inch width.
3. Best Luxury – SonderCare Aura Platinum Luxury Hospital Bed
Hospital beds for home use don’t get more luxurious than this! The Aura Platinum luxury bed from SonderCare is the top-of-the-line model.
It’s roughly Twin XL sized, but a little wider for extra comfort. The main attraction to this bed is the luxury comfort and design that will look great in your home. Guests probably won’t even realize it’s a hospital bed.
But SonderCare hasn’t skimped on the technical features either. It offers the most varied elevation levels of all the beds on our list, plus it has Trendelenburg tilt functions, backrest and knee elevations, and optional rails.
Be prepared to spend between $5,000 and $10,000 to get this bed entirely ready. SonderCare offers mattresses, bed lights, premium sheets, a bed extender (for extra tall people), and a white glove delivery service… if you’re willing to pay hundreds of dollars extra for these features.
Editor’s note: SonderCare beds are not cheap, so make sure you buy from the official seller to ensure that you don’t waste thousands of dollars on a scam and that you get full manufacturer’s warranty.
4. Best Reconditioned – Hillrom Advance Reconditioned Electric Hospital Bed
A reconditioned hospital bed is a good idea if you want to recreate a hospital environment at home. While many people prefer the comfort of their own bed, there’s sometimes something comforting about the professionalism of a hospital bed! This might also be a good option if you have carers and nurses at your home who will be more at ease when using hospital equipment they are familiar with.
The Hillrom Advance 1105 Suite is a standard full electric hospital bed that’s been reconditioned for home use. It offers Trendelenburg adjustability and a quiet motor to change the elevation from 17 inches to 31 inches. Other unique features on a reconditioned hospital bed include a nurse panel at the foot of the bed, built-in night light, and the standard hospital cabinet and tray stand that come with the suite.
Editor’s note: With reconditioned hospital beds, make sure you find out how the bed is reconditioned. This one was disassembled for sanding, deep cleaning, and repair to sanitize it before it was repainted to look brand new.
5. Medacure Electric Hospital Bed with Half Rails
The Medacure Electric Hospital bed (available with half rails or full rails) is still several hundred dollars, but is considered super affordable compared to most other at-home hospital beds available! It’s a full electric bed with the simplest controls possible – everything can be operated from the remote.
Of course, for this bargain price, there are some negative aspects that you need to consider. For a start, the elevation can only be adjusted by 5 inches and some people may find that the lowest setting (15 inches above the floor) isn’t quite low enough. It’s also quite noisy to adjust the elevation, although adjusting the head and foot areas are quieter. This bed doesn’t have the versatility of Trendelenburg features.
You’ll also need to assemble this bed when it arrives, as it isn’t delivered in an operational state.
Editor’s note: This hospital bed for home use comes with a medical mattress which has a vinyl coating to make it waterproof. Sure, it won’t feel as comfy as a normal mattress, but it’s certainly more hygienic.
6. Hopefull Premium 5 Function Full Electric Hospital Bed
The Hopefull Premium 5 Function hospital bed for home use has some of the best features for bed-ridden patients. It has full Trendelenburg adjustability and can hoist you up into Fowler’s, semi Fowler’s, high Fowler’s, and standard chair positions.
If you will have a qualified nurse assisting you, then this is a great option as it has all the technical features a trained medic will know how to use.
The motor that operates this bed is also noteworthy. Made by a Danish company, the LINAK electric motor is smooth, quiet, and can be operated by the patient themselves via controls on either side of the bed.
The 5-inch aluminum caster wheels are very sturdy and practical. You can lock them via a central locking mechanism rather than each wheel individually.
Editor’s note: While this may be the ugliest bed on the list, and the one that looks most like a hospital bed, it also has some of the best features and a very reliable motor. So, swings and roundabouts.
7. LUCID L300 Adjustable Bed Base
Although not strictly a hospital bed, this adjustable bed is still a good option for those that are bed-bound at home.
If you don’t have any mobility issues but need to follow the doctor’s strict advice about staying in bed and keeping certain parts of your body elevated, this adjustable bed base is a good option.
While you cannot change the elevation, you can adjust the head area from 0 to 60 degrees, and the foot area from 0 to 45 degrees. It charges via a USB cable and is operated with a wireless remote. Don’t lose it!
The main draw to this bed style is that it looks very modern and won’t make you feel like you’ve brought the hospital home with you. As there are no bed rails or safety features, we cannot recommend it for frail or disabled users with mobility issues.
Editor’s note: As this is technically an adjustable bed rather than a hospital bed, you may be able to find it in different sizes including Full and Queen.
8. Medline Full Electric Basic Bed
One of the cheapest available to buy, the Medline Full Electric Basic Bed is very simple! The entire bed only weighs 42lbs which is a fraction of the other beds on this list. That gives you the first indication of quality. If you’re looking for a bariatric bed, then keep looking as this is not the bed for you.
It doesn’t come with a mattress or rails, so you’ll need to purchase those separately. You only have the limited 1-year warranty from Medline too (make sure you call them to set this up).
Overall, this is a last-resort option. If your budget is incredibly tight or you only need a hospital bed for home use for a very short time, then this could be suitable. For long-term use, we recommend spending a little extra for improved quality and performance.
Editor’s note: While this hospital bed is very similar in design to the Medacure bed, it is not the same with different branding slapped on it. This one is lower quality, cheaper, and has fewer features.
Hospital Beds for Home Use FAQs
Before you buy your hospital bed for home, here are a few common FAQs we receive. Don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below if you have a question not covered here!
Can I get hospital beds for my home?
Yes, you can. While you can’t take the hospital bed directly from the hospital, you have a range of options for buying one new. You can also find some reconditioned hospital beds, like the Hillrom Advance bed.
Why do I need a hospital bed at home?
Hospital beds offer a range of functions that a normal bed can’t. If you or your loved one is bed-bound, has mobility issues, or needs full-time carers for simple daily functions, a home hospital bed is essential. They offer safety features that normal beds don’t, such as rails, and make it easier to transfer the patient to and from the bed, for example.
Does Medicare cover the cost of a home hospital bed?
Hospital beds at home are partially covered by Medicare Part B. You’ll need to prove a medical need for the at-home hospital bed (e.g. your doctor has prescribed it). Medical equipment at home comes under the DME (durable medical equipment coverage), which you can learn more about directly on the official Medicare website.
What is the best hospital bed for home use?
The Invacare full electric hospital bed was the best we’ve found. It’s simple (which keeps the cost down) but also well-built and long-lasting. Invacare is a reliable brand that sells hospital beds across the US and in Europe too.
How much do hospital beds for home cost?
For electric and semi-electric hospital beds, you won’t find much under $500. From our research, we found that most fall between $700 and $2000. If you’re looking for more luxurious home hospital beds that have all the functionality you need without that sterile hospital design, you can expect to pay up to $6000.