About Hospital Beds

What is a Hospital Bed?

Commonly referred to as Electric beds, profiling beds or care beds. People also refer to them as hospital beds, although they are more commonly found in residential properties.

Height range is a key consideration when it comes do care beds, for example:

Do you require a standard height bed? These typically have a height adjustment of between 40cm to 80cm.

Or do you require a low bed that typically has a lower maximum height but can be lowered closer to the floor?

People often choose these for two reasons: 

  • To prevent falls and allow a user that rolls out of bed to safely roll on to a crash mat at the side of the bed without injury.
  • Allow a very short individual to enter or exit the bed easily.

Crash mats are available as an accessory.

Bed Width

The second main consideration is the width of the bed. Standard bed platforms are typically 90cm wide and 200cm long. We supply a broad range of mattresses for this standard size.

We also stock wider beds that include a mattress platform of 120cm (30cm wider) these are useful for larger users or for users that prefer a wider bedframe for comfort purposes.

Maximum User Weight

Before considering purchase it’s important to assess your own weight or the weight of the user of the bed. Our bed range includes beds with different maximum user weights from standard through to heavy duty or bariatric beds that can be used by a person who is over 50 stones in weight.

The heavy-duty beds tend to be more expensive than the standard beds so don’t buy a bed that is too higher specification than you need!

Features to Consider

Profiling beds have a number of features:

  • Electric Variable height adjustment features that allow the user to raise or lower the bed platform with the touch of a button to make it easier to enter or exit the bed or simply be at a height to watch television easily or eat a meal.
  • Rising electric backrest that raises and lowers with the touch of a button to assist the user to sit up in bed and find the most comfortable position and help with breathing and expanding the lungs.
  • An electric knee break function that prevents the user sliding down the bed when sitting upright in bed. Helps with comfort and reducing pressure on the backside.
  • Leg raise feature on bed allows the user to sit with the legs elevated. This can be useful in reducing leg oedema and swelling.
  • Trendelenburg and reverse Trendelenburg tilt functions are a feature of some beds Reverse Trendelenburg or forward tilt features that allow the bed to almost reach a full chair position. This position can help an individual sit up in bed to eat a meal or simply watch television. The Trendelenburg feature is used to lower the head and raise the legs when the user is lying flat. This is mainly used in the hospital in cases of patient dizziness or shock.

Hospital beds commonly feature bed rails, side rails or commonly called cot sides. These are designed to be used to prevent a user from falling sideways out of the bed but care must be taken when using to make sure that the gaps between the mattress and the bed frame meet the safety guidelines.

Shelden Healthcare UK will be happy to talk through the options with you before purchase and also recommend that you seek professional advice from your nurse, GP or occupational therapist.

Other considerations At Shelden we offer bedframes in a range of colours and styles to suit you individual taste or to fit in with your décor.

Buying the Right Combination

Buying a bed and mattress combination from a reputable supplier will mean consideration has been given to the compatibility of the bed and mattress package.


Accessories available include:

  • Lifting poles to allow the user to pull themselves up the bed or sit up.
  • Bed extensions to make the bed frame typically 15 cm longer than the standard for very tall users. Not all beds have this feature available and if an extension is used consideration must be given to longer side rails and a mattress infill to fit in the gap at the end of the bed.
  • Cot side bumpers are available in a number of lengths and styles and are designed to provide a comfortably padded covering of the bed rails and also to assist with preventing unwanted gaps and injury.
  • Crash mats to place at the side of the bed in case of rolling out of the bed frame.

Purchasing the right mattress that not only provides comfort but can assist with the prevention of pressure ulcers. We stock all types of mattresses at Shelden Healthcare UK we can guide you through all of the considerations to lead you to purchase the most appropriate mattress product for your needs.

Considerations are:

  • Personal comfort and choice
  • Mattress length and width
  • Compatibility with the hospital bed
  • Your weight
  • Your individual risk of pressure ulcers
  • Existing pressure ulcer damage
  • Care environment
  • Budget

Shelden Healthcare UK will be happy to talk through the options with you before purchase and also recommend that you seek professional advice from your Nurse, General Practitioner or Occupational therapist.