Hospital Beds 101: What They Are and How They Benefit Patients

Hospital Beds 101: What They Are and How They Benefit Patients

hospital bed is a specially designed piece of furniture that is made for people with medical needs. Hospital beds are also referred to as profiling care beds, and provide comfort and support whilst having the functionality to cater to different care needs. Those who benefit from a hospital bed include:

Originally, hospital beds were designed for use in acute hospital wards. However, more recently, those who are able to live at home and have care needs are investing in their own hospital beds. Using a hospital bed in a home care setting provides many benefits for both the user and caregivers, such as:

  •       Promoting better rest
  •       Reducing the risk of bed sores and improving circulation
  •       Improving quality of life
  •       Enhancing the recovery process

Additionally, hospital beds offer convenience by bringing medical care into the home, which can reduce the need for frequent hospital visits. They also provide safety features like side rails and easy access for caregivers, ensuring a secure environment for them to facilitate care.

A man using the side rails on a opera prfiling bed

In this article, we’ll explain the basics on hospital beds, their features and how they can help make life easier. Our collection of medical beds offers a selection of different styles, sizes and features to facilitate acute to advanced care needs.

For many people, buying a hospital bed for home can be a challenge – especially if it is for a loved one. At Opera, we have years of experience supporting family members in choosing the right hospital bed.

Our 20-minute consultation call lets our team understand your circumstances to provide you with the best solution. Choose how you’d like to get started and see how we can help.

People on a consultation call for a bed

Hospital bed features

Typically, hospital beds have the basic features designed to meet the needs of patients and care providers. These include:

Adjustable height: Hospital beds can be raised and lowered which helps facilitate easier access for the patient. By raising the bed up, it also helps prevent back strain and injury for carers when performing on the bed care.

Low Height: There are some hospital beds that have a super low height, commonly known as floor beds. The low height significantly reduces the risk of injury from bed falls. Our Solo beds can be lowered to 11cm from the ground which makes them suitable for vulnerable users and those with dementia.

An Opera bed at low height

Backrest adjustment: Hospital beds often have an elevating backrest which can be adjusted to different angles. This allows users to find a comfortable position and gives proper postural support. It also encourages independence for those who struggle to sit up by themselves.

Leg and knee elevation: Hospital bed users can elevate their legs and knees to promote circulation, reduce swelling and enhance patient comfort. There are many benefits to sleeping with your legs elevated, particularly for those with oedema or discomfort in their lower legs.

Side rails: Hospital beds with side rails provide extra security for those at risk of bed falls. Meanwhile, depending on the type of side rails, they can also be used as a grab rail to assist getting in and out of bed, like our Signature Comfort Plus profiling bed.

Trendelenburg and Anti-Trendelenburg positions: Certain hospital beds (such as our Classic profiling bed) offer the ability to tilt the entire bed frame, with the head lower than the feet (Trendelenburg) or vice versa (reverse Trendelenburg). These positions are useful for specific medical procedures or conditions.

Brake system: Hospital beds often have castors at each corner of the bed. These are equipped with brakes to secure the bed in place and prevent unintended movement.

bed wheels with brakes on them


How hospital beds can help with health conditions

Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep, but it can often be difficult if you have a health condition. Hospital beds are beneficial for a wide range of conditions, giving proper support when sitting or sleeping, and offering a range of adjustments for true comfort.

Respiratory conditions: Hospital beds can help individuals with respiratory conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or sleep apnoea. They can be adjusted to a semi-upright position, which facilitates easier breathing and reduces strain on the respiratory system.

Circulation issues: Hospital beds with adjustable leg and knee elevation features can assist individuals with circulation problems, such as oedema or deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Elderly care: Hospital beds are beneficial for the elderly who may have multiple health issues, limited mobility or are prone to falls. The back and leg rest adjustment gives enhanced comfort and alleviates pressure on the skin. Meanwhile, side rails and height adjustment provide easier bed access and ease caregiving tasks.

Mobility limitations: Adjusting the back/leg rest section of a hospital bed can help those with chronic conditions or individuals dealing with mobility impairments due to conditions like arthritis or paralysis.

an elderly lady having mobility issues

Pain management: Hospital beds offer multiple positions, allowing you to find the best position that alleviates pain and discomfort. This can help people with back pain, spinal injuries or musculoskeletal disorders. Elevating the back rest alleviates pressure on the lower spine and supports proper spinal alignment which can provide relief.

Hospital beds are versatile and are suitable to cater for various health conditions and individual needs. If you are unsure which hospital bed is required for you or your loved one, we can guide you to the best solution.

At Opera, we’re proud to be leading providers of hospital beds to care providers and people in their own home. We’ve listed some suitable hospital beds depending on your needs and preferences:


Homely-styled hospital beds

Hospital beds, and care equipment in general, are often associated with being invasive and clinical looking. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. At Opera, our approach balances medical functionality with attractive design with our hospital beds having contemporary wood finishes, materials, colours and headboard styles.

A homely styled opera bed

Our popular Signature Comfort profiling bed showcases a homely fully upholstered surround, whilst having all the nursing functionality for care at home. With a choice of 3 headboard styles and 6 fabrics, the Signature Comfort is versatile to suit any bedroom interior.


Hospital beds for couples

Needing a hospital bed shouldn’t mean sleeping in a separate bed from your loved one. Our dual hospital beds are designed for two people. Each side of the bed adjusts individually and comes with two handsets, allowing each person to find their most comfortable position.   

A hospital style bed but for couples

Our Signature Comfort Plus Dual bed is ideal if one, or both users require care at home. The height adjustment is controlled by a separate handset, which helps administer on-bed care. Meanwhile, the bed can be lowered down to 24.5cm – beneficial to those who struggle swinging their legs into bed.


Cost-effective hospital beds

The price of a hospital bed depends on the functionality and design. Fortunately, our collection includes cost-effective options. Our Classic profiling bed offers functionality and practically with its simple wooden design. The Classic includes all the standard hospital bed features needed for varying care needs at home.

a classic bed showing a cost effective hospital bed solution

All Opera products, including our hospital beds, are eligible for 20% VAT relief if you, or a loved one, has a named medical condition, disability or long-term condition. If you’d like more information, visit our VAT relief page.


Wide hospital beds

The size of our hospital beds varies, however, the most common size is between 80-90cm wide. Our comprehensive range of hospital beds includes a choice of widths to suit your needs, space and budget. 

people measuring a bed

If you require more space, we provide hospital beds in 3ft 6 (wide single) and 4ft (small double), which are designed for one person. Browse our wide hospital beds here.  For larger users, our Signature Bariatric is 4ft wide as standard with a higher weight capacity of 265kg/41st 10lbs.



Hospital bed can be a great investment for facilitating care at home and has a wealth of benefits – from promoting independence, enhanced comfort and support, to helping provide a better quality of life.

If you have a health condition, hospital beds can help both the user and care giver. The height adjustment lets you set the perfect access height, making it easier for people to get on/off the bed. It also helps those transferring to wheelchairs and other care equipment. Carers can benefit too by setting a hospital bed to waist level which reduces back strain.

There are different points to consider when looking to purchase a hospital bed, such as its features, design, size and cost. Our dedicated team of advisors are on hand if you need help finding the right solution.

We provide a virtual showroom visit too, where you can see our range of hospital beds via video call with an Opera advisor. Book an appointment today.

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