Mattress toppers are specialized items designed to improve the feel of an already comfortable mattress. However, extra care must be taken when selecting a topper for a hospital bed, as this mattress may need to accommodate a patient for long periods of time.
For the best protection against pressure ulcers, pick a mattress topper with a medium firmness and various pressure relief zones for use on a hospital bed. Patients who spend a lot of time in bed can benefit greatly from this.
Adding a mattress topper can raise the level of the bed, making it less of a challenge for patients to get in and out of bed. Read “Height of Hospital Beds and Inpatient Falls: A Threat to Patient Safety” from the Journal of Nursing Administration to find out more.
An unpleasant hospital bed can be made considerably more bearable with the addition of a mattress topper, allowing the patient to get the restful sleep that is essential to their speedy recovery. Some toppers are designed to elevate the patient’s legs, keep their core warm, and cradle specific body regions like their head or heels. To learn more about avoiding neck pain while you sleep, check out our guide to selecting a mattress topper with enough neck support. Don’t forget to look at other available choices at can you get a pillow top for your mattress.
A description of the types of hospital air beds available may perhaps pique your curiosity. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our supplementary article.
Reasons Why a Hospital Bed Can Be Uncomfortable
The experience of being a hospital patient is typically not a positive one. When thinking about how to make a patient feel at ease during their hospital stay, the hospital bed should be at the top of the list.
Because they are intended for medical staff rather than patients, hospital beds tend to be small and easily moved around. Additionally, hospital beds often have a mattress surface that is both slick and lacking strong support.
Reason 1. Hospital Beds are Designed To Make Patient Care Easier
Because hospital beds are made with nurses and doctors in mind, who need quick and easy access to their patients, they do not provide adequate comfort for patients. They have electrical controls and buttons to make it simpler for nurses to move the bed, bend over, and lift it. In order to protect patients from falling off the bed, certain hospital beds have adjustable side rails.
Reason 2. Hospital Beds Are Smaller In Size and Mobile
For practical and logistical reasons, hospital beds are typically quite compact. They may be rolled around the room or taken to a another location with ease. As a result of their thinner profile, they may be placed side by side in hospital wards while still providing adequate space for doctors and nurses to move around. Larger or heavier patients may have difficulty sleeping on the small bed. Read the ScienceDirect article “Transportation of hospital beds” for further information on the subject.
Reason 3. The Mattress Is Slippery and Lacks Firmness
Because of the frequent requirement for disinfection in hospitals, the beds themselves are occasionally made of PVC or another waterproof material. If the sheets aren’t tucked neatly under the mattress, they can slide around on the PVC, making it difficult for the patient to stay in place while they sit or lie down. Use this homecare mattress from Amazon to keep from sliding about on the floor. It includes a four-way stretch polyurethane cover that is both stain-resistant and machine washable. Additionally, because they are designed to bend with the frame, hospital bed mattresses aren’t firm enough to provide comfort and proper body support.
How Can You Choose a Mattress Topper to Prevent Bed Sores?
Bruises, bedsores, and even lesions can develop on the skin as a result of prolonged bed rest, inactivity, and physical restriction. Patients’ blood flow, muscles, and the rest of their bodies can all be negatively impacted by the lack of pressure point support provided by hospital bed mattresses. The patient could get too warm and sweaty on the mattress. Bedsores occur because of the combination of pressure and dampness. If you sleep hot or sweaty due to a mattress pad, check out our post about how to remedy it.
Bedsores can be avoided by selecting a mattress topper with a medium level of firmness, which will both cushion and support the patient. Bedsore sufferers can prevent further damage to the skin by using pressure relief mattress toppers.
This memory foam mattress topper with gel infusion and ventilation from Amazon is a wonderful choice for those who want to treat and avoid bedsores. Moreover, the cooling effect of the gel infusion aids in maintaining a neutral spine posture and keeps the body from overheating.
How Do You Choose a Pressure Relief Mattress Topper for a Hospital Bed?
The ideal pressure-relief mattress topper would provide a welcome boost in softness, firmness, and support for the sleeper. Pressure-relieving mattresses are designed to disperse the body’s weight in a way that encourages a neutral spine position and healthy blood circulation. To learn more about the various levels of firmness available in mattress toppers, check out our page on the topic. In this comprehensive guide, we’ve discussed every variety of mattress topper there is.
Select a topper with several pressure zones that disperse the patient’s weight across the mattress for optimal pressure relief when lying in a hospital bed.
To prevent any one section of the body from being compressed for an extended period of time, a completely immobile patient would require a high-tech adjustable mattress topper (like this water-filled mattress topper from Amazon) that can be inflated and deflated at specific times.
To reduce the stress on your hips, shoulders, and elbows, you should also use a mattress topper. Even though they can’t be adjusted, these mattresses still shape to the shape of the user’s body.
If you want to know more about how a mattress reacts to pressure distribution, I recommend reading this paper from Purdue University.
Recommended Mattress Toppers for Hospital Beds
There is a wide range of mattress toppers on the market to accommodate individual tastes and needs. Mattress toppers are a great way to improve the quality of sleep in a hospital bed, which are otherwise notoriously unsatisfactory. If you want your mattress topper to breathe easily and be pleasant to sleep on, you should also invest in a non-vinyl waterproof protector. This article provides advice on how to preserve a mattress topper and suggests suitable products for the task.
A mattress topper for a hospital bed can do a number of things, including increase the thickness of the mattress, change how firm it is, alleviate pressure, treat or prevent bedsores, moderate body temperature, and increase blood flow.
The following is a list of conditions that can be alleviated by using hospital mattress toppers:
Because of the one-of-a-kind nature of hospital beds, we recommend reading our piece on the subject of what’s the weight of a mattress topper before making any final choices. If your mattress topper is bumpy, you may also find our essay on the subject to be of use.
Will a Water-Filled Mattress Topper Help Make a Hospital Bed More Comfortable?
Baffled internal pods in a water-filled mattress topper aid to disperse the patient’s weight across the surface. Mattress toppers loaded with water allow for localized inflation and deflation, altering the mattress’s overall support.
An adjustable water-filled mattress topper can help a hospital bed seem more like home by providing a cooler and more pleasant sleeping surface and isolating the patient in the bed’s center.
A water-filled mattress topper helps distribute weight evenly throughout the bed so the patient wakes up feeling more refreshed. To prevent parasites and mildew from becoming trapped inside the mattress, water-filled mattress toppers allow for more airflow and do not trap heat or moisture from the body.
Mattress Toppers vs. Mattress Overlays vs. Mattress Pads: A Comparison
Finding the right mattress topper, mattress overlay, or mattress pad requires knowing the specific needs of the sleeper. For a more in-depth examination of the benefits of mattress pads and mattress covers, read our article.
The functions, materials, thickness, densities, and costs of mattress toppers, mattress overlays, and mattress pads vary widely. An additional layer of comfort and support is added by a mattress topper. Overlays for mattresses are a great way to improve the feel of your mattress without significantly increasing the thickness. Mattress protectors shield mattresses from wear and tear as well as potential damage from liquids, dirt, and dust. The use of any of these three accessories will lengthen the life of your mattress.
Comparing Mattress Toppers, Mattress Overlays, and Mattress Pads
The following is a brief comparison of mattress toppers, overlays, and pads:
Our associated article discusses where and how to save a latex memory topper for later use.
Other Tips to Make A Hospital Bed More Comfortable
Although mattress toppers have been previously suggested as a viable solution for improving the comfort of hospital beds, there are other options that are equally as effective.
High-thread-count cotton sheets and ergonomic additions to the hospital bed can greatly improve patient comfort.
Tip 1. Incorporate Ergonomic Accessories
Additional bed accessories can make a huge difference in comfort when you plan on spending a lot of time in bed. Patients and their belongings can be protected from falling off the bed with the use of bed rails. Moreover, they make it simpler for patients to get in and out of bed. When used properly, grab bars can greatly improve a patient’s independence by allowing them to reach and transport previously out of reach objects. It’s also helpful to have an overtable for a hospital bed so that you may eat, read, and use a laptop computer without having to get out of bed. A patient’s personal and medical things can be kept within easy reach by installing hanging caddies next to the bed. This bed rail from Amazon is great since it can hold an iPad or other tablet and rotates to face you while you sleep.
Tip 2. Add a Remote To Operate the Bed
It might be difficult for those with mobility issues to change positions in bed. They can change the bed’s height and angle with a remote control. Giving patients control over their bed settings allows them to choose the optimal position and level of comfort for themselves.
Tip 3. Choose High-Thread Cotton Sheets
The sheets on hospital beds can make a significant difference in patient comfort. Natural fibers like cotton and bamboo are great for hospital beds because they keep patients cool. A thread count of 180 or more indicates high-quality cotton used in the fabric. You can find some very well-received, ultra-soft cotton sheets here, with a thread count of 800.
Read “A Study on Examining User Comfort in Hospital Beds” for more information about the factors that contribute to patient satisfaction when using hospital beds. Additionally, our post on how to deal with a hot mattress topper may be of great use to you.
In a Nutshell
Mattress toppers can make hospital beds more comfortable and supportive, especially for reducing pressure points associated with protracted confinement for medical reasons, despite the fact that hospital beds are narrower and slightly less pleasant than conventional beds. Toppers for mattresses can be used to adjust the level of hardness or softness of the mattress, further customizing the level of support and comfort provided by the bed. Learn when to buy a mattress topper and how to keep it from sliding about by reading our related article.
Frequently Asked Questions About Comfort In Hospital Beds
What can I put on a hospital bed to make it more comfortable?
Since standard, mass-produced hospital mattresses are notoriously unpleasant, adding a mattress topper can help patients get a better night’s rest while they’re there. It’s important to have a mattress topper that allows for enough airflow and is comfortable to sleep on, so check to see that it is not made of vinyl and is waterproof.
How should you sleep in an institutional hospital bed?
Bring your own pillow and blanket, inquire with your assigned staff member about the possibility of requesting sleep drugs, have a regular day/night activity routine, and wear earplugs and a sleeping mask to improve your sleep quality in a hospital bed.