Questions On Buying a Hospital Bed - What You Should Know

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Questions On Buying a Hospital Bed - What You Should Know 
Before Making a Purchase of a Medical Grade Bed

Buying a hospital bed is normally something that you have to do in a
situation that is stressful and tramitic since these beds are normally
sold for partients that have some type of medical ailments and
knowledge of "hospital beds" is not a field of study for most people.

I buy and sell hospital beds for a living and not only sell them but have
had to use them for my own family members during their time of illness.

There are a few things to know and consider when purchasing a hospital bed.

1. What are the needs of the patient? Is the person going to be getting in and
out of bed and just needs assistance or is the person going to spend a vast
amount of time in bed?

If you need a bed for assistance with getting in and out of bed and the person
is mobile then any type of "full electric bed" will be fine and they can be purchased
from most companies starting off at around $700 and up. "Full electric" hospital
beds with have a motorized function to raise and lower the bed where as
"semi electric" hospital beds will have a crank to perfrom this function so
"full electric" are normally preferred. Cranking a hospital bed up and down can
be difficult for a caregiver but if the bed height does not need to move then
these will be a cheaper bed to purchase. 

Hospital beds that are "full electric" and what are used in hospitals and also
sold by some home care providers including "Invacare" and they will operate
with a remote control or with controls in the rail of the bed. Hill Rom
and Stryker are the 2 main hospital bed manufacturers in the USA and they
control and supply hospital beds in most medical centers in the United States.
For more information on the difference between full electric and semi electric
hospital beds click here

Many of these hospital beds are pulled from service and resold when the hospital
buys new beds and are an excellent option for nursing homes, home care,
nursing schools and other hospitals on a budget since they can last 20 years
or more and are solid steel frame beds made for commerical use.

If the patient is not getting in and out of bed and spending the majority time
in bed an "ICU" bed or Intensive Care bed is your best choice. "ICU" beds
are normally hospital beds made with a built in air mattress systems and these
air mattress systems are designed to prevent bed sores, skin ulcers and pressure
 which develop when the patient spends most time in bed. These mattresses
help distribute the pressure of heels, hips and other areas that get extended amount
of contact with the mattress. Some "ICU" hospital beds like the "TotalCare Sport" bed
will also do an auto patient rotation feature will will actually turn the patient to
help the caregiver from getting up and night and turning them manually. These
mattresses are often called "pressure redistribution" mattresses and  "low air loss"
mattresses will include a layer of air conditioned air on top of the mattress to
help keep the patient cool.

The main difference between a "med-surg" full electric bed and a "ICU" full electric
bed is the mattress. Med-surg beds have a foam mattress and ICU beds have an air
mattress. "Med-surg" beds can be converted to ICU beds by replacing the foam mattress
with an air mattress and hanging a bed pump off the foot of the bed. Although this can
be done it is preferred if possible to buy the ICU bed with air mattress system since the
mattress will conform to the movement of the bed with air bladders that inflate
and deflate when the bed goes into certain positions like "chair position". Both
mattress systems will work however and cost and bed price should be considered.
Normally refurbished ICU hospital beds like the TotalCare P1900 Treatment bed
and the Hill Rom P1900 TotalCare Sport bed are about the same price as a quality
new air mattress system and these beds provide much more functionality and
movement than a "med-surg" bed with a replacement air mattress.

What is the Size of the Patient?
a normal hospital bed is 36 inches wide and 80 inches long however some
patients that are larger in size may require a "bariatric hospital bed" or a
bed that will also hold a larger amount of weight. Most Stryker and Hill Rom
and Stryker beds hold a weight capacity of 500 pounds, bariatric beds will
have a wider width depending on the bed model and will accomodate weight
of up to 1,000 pounds for larger patients. 

For taller patients many beds have extendors like the Epic 2 bed from Stryker
and the CareAssist bed from Hill Rom providing up to 8 more inches of length
to the bed. 

Where is the Hospital Bed Going?
If the hospital bed is going up on a second floor or higher or going into
a residential grade elevator certain considerations need to be considered
since most Hill Rom and stryker beds are 400 pounds or heavier and
are steel frame beds that do not disassemble. In many cases an Invacare
5410 full electric medical bed may be a good option since it can be assembled
in the room and brought up in several boxes. These Invacare beds weigh about 120
pounds full assembled and are much lighter than commercial grade
hospital beds.  

What is My Budget for a Hospital Bed?
Price of a hospital bed is also a consideration. Refurbished full electric
hospital beds from Hill rom and Stryker will normally provide the
best quality at the best price but every bed and situation is different.
A refurbished Hill Rom Centra bed is about the same price as a new
Invacare 5410 bed model with one bed being new with a one year warranty
and the other bed being refurbished with a limited warranty. Refurbished
Hill Rom and Stryker beds are normally very reliable however this is a
consideration to make before buying your hospital bed. Hospital bed pricing
for Hill Rom and Stryker hospital beds click here 

These are some of the general questions and situations to consider when
buying a hospital bed and although there may be a wide range of beds that
can perform these functions. For more information on buying a hospital bed
call "Hospital Direct Medical Equipment Inc." for a free consultation. We carry
hospital beds from a wide range of manufacturers and ship from California,
Illinois and Virginia and sell both new and used - refurbished and reconditioned
hospital beds. Our phone numbers are 858-263-4894 and 858-652-1259.


Hospital Direct Medical Equipment
“New, Used and Surplus Medical and Hospital Equipment”
4901 Morena Blvd. #600
San Diego Ca., 92117
9AM to 5PM Mon-Fri
10AM to 2PM Saturday
USA Office phone: (858) 263-4894
USA Email:

or more information on purchasing or how to buy a hospital bed
visit our hospital bed blog at 

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Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information...I hope your holiday is an extra special one

Dec 21, 2016 07:19 AM #1
Sean Callahan
San Diego Business Resources - San Diego, CA

Thanks Kristin, best wishes to you on  ahappy and successful holiday and 2017 from your friend originally from La Crosse Wi. - Go Packers!!

Dec 21, 2016 08:26 AM #2
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