Bariatric Bed Options for Long-Term Care


Selecting a hospital bed that meets the needs of bariatric patients can be a challenge given the variety of options and budget available for capital equipment spends. The utmost priority is optimum comfort for the individual while prioritizing health and safety of both patient and caregiver/healthcare practitioner. And of course, managing costs is crucial.

There are various options on the market in Canada, with a wide range of features, price points, suppliers, sizes, weight capacity, and other specifications. Read on to explore bariatric bed options ideal for long-term care and senior living centres in Canada.

A note on bed rail compliance & safety

As with other types of hospital beds, bariatric beds are equipped with bed rails. Bed rails play a crucial role in preventing falls and providing a secure grip for the patient. As ministry inspections increase, auditors are increasingly investigating bed safety as part of their assessments.

Not sure your bed rails/systems are compliant? Here is a checklist to follow. For more help, contact our team of trained auditors and we will do the required compliance audits for you quickly and easily.

How to choose the right bariatric bed model

Size and weight capacity are just two of the factors involved in choosing a bariatric bed. Bariatric beds typically support between 600 and 1000 Lb weight capacity, so make sure the weight capacity exceeds the person’s weight. (In some scenarios, regardless of weight, larger and/or taller patients might need a bariatric hospital bed and mattress.) Check the width and length before buying to make sure it will comfortably fit the person.

Other criteria to look for include:

Bed frame and construction – Look for beds made from sturdy materials (e.g., welded steel) that can withstand the weight and provide stability. Reinforced frames, heavy-duty motors, and solid support systems are essential features to consider, ensuring the bed remains safe and reliable over time.

Adjustability and positioning – Bariatric beds should offer a range of adjustability options to meet the individual’s specific needs. Look for beds with adjustable head, foot, and overall height functionalities, allowing for easier transfers, positioning, and providing personalized comfort. Consider features like Trendelenburg and reverse Trendelenburg positions, which can be beneficial for individuals with certain medical conditions.

Ease of cleaning and maintenance – Beds in long-term care settings require regular cleaning and maintenance. Consider beds with easily removable and washable components, such as mattress covers, to facilitate cleanliness and infection control. Easy access for maintenance and repair is also essential to ensure the bed remains in optimal working condition.

Additional features/products to consider depending on the patient’s clinical and healthcare needs:

  • One-step locking system
  • Integrated weigh scale
  • Super low height option
  • Optional width expansion
  • Bed ends
  • Assist bars
  • Trapeze
  • IV pole holders
  • Warranty on welds, frame, electrical

What about the mattress?

Selecting an appropriate mattress (either foam or air) is crucial for both comfort and pressure management. Look for bariatric mattresses specifically designed to provide adequate support, pressure redistribution, and temperature regulation. A hospital bed of any size/type needs a hospital-grade mattress. Consider features like multi-layered foam, memory foam, or air-based systems to ensure optimal comfort and pressure relief.

Beds and mattresses are sold separately, so be sure to purchase a mattress designed to fit the exact specifications of your bariatric bed (check the measurements to be sure).

Bariatric bed packages for long-term care in Canada

At SFI Medical, we offer an array of bariatric bed packages to choose from. Click the link below to download our bariatric packages flyer.

Download our Bariatric Bed Flyer now (opens as a PDF).

Want expert guidance on choosing a bariatric bed and mattress combo?

At SFI Medical Equipment Solutions, we are experienced working with bariatric patients and will find the right combination that fits your needs and budget. If you need more help or have a specific question about LTC equipment, contact our experienced customer service team today.

SFI Medical Equipment Solutions is proudly Canadian owned and operated and we serve customers nationwide.

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