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Hospital Bed Mattress Basics

Hospital Bed Mattress Basics

Although most people don’t think of comfort when they think of a hospital bed mattress, in recent years they quality and comfort level of the hospital bed mattress as been improved. While a hospital bed is still not the place most of us would prefer to spend the night, with today’s mattresses an enforced stay there can at least bring some restful sleep.

The main difference between a hospital bed mattress and a standard mattress is that those designed for use in hospital beds must allow for the mattress to flex. Hospital beds are created to allow the head of the bed to be raised into a sitting position and a range of positions in between. A good hospital bed mattress will flex as the head of the bed is raised without damage to the section of the mattress that is bending. This requires some special attention in the manufacturing process.

As with standard mattresses, you can get a hospital bed mattress with either inner spring construction or foam. Inner spring mattresses are generally cheaper, but they are not as comfortable and may have a sagging area over time if they are flexed too often with the movement of the bed. A foam mattress on the other hand offers superior comfort and stands up very well to the flexing motion of the bed. Foam mattresses can offer many levels of support for personalized comfort.

One of the most expensive types of hospital bed mattress is the low air loss therapy mattress, which treats the pressure ulcers common in patients who are unable to move for extended periods of time. This type of mattress functions by using air cells that circulate air over the surface of the patient’s skin, keeping moisture levels and pressure areas under control. Other types of pressure ulcer treatment mattresses include alternating pressure and lateral rotation styles of hospital bed mattress, both of which are also in the higher price range. For any patient who expects to be confined to a hospital bed for an extended period of time, this type of mattress is a good investment. Pressure ulcers are uncomfortable and also dangerous.

An alternating pressure pad and foam mattress or mattress topper can help to prevent pressure ulcer formation in the first place, but this type of hospital bed mattress can only do so much. The higher end pressure ulcer treating mattress options are best for long-term care.

The hospital bed mattress selected depends on the type of hospital room and bed use in question. In rooms where patients are easily able to get up and walk around, or will not be staying long, as in a labor and delivery room or similar setting, the quality of the hospital bed mattress is not as important. However, for a home hospital bed mattress or long term care ward, investing in better quality mattresses can prevent more problems from occurring due to the patient’s long stay in one position. For patients already suffering, an investment in a good mattress can make a world of difference.

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