Adjustable bed vs Hospital bed

Adjustable Bed vs Hospital Bed

Most people often confuse hospital beds with adjustable beds. Although the two beds allow you to adjust the position of your feet and head, there are noticeable differences between them. The common feature between them is the adjustability feature. To unravel the mystery and confusion associated with these two beds, below are the differences between a hospital and an adjustable bed.

adjustable bed

adjustable bed

 Adjustable bed vs Hospital bed

Overall design

Adjustable beds are adorable in terms of aesthetics. They are designed with attractive metal or wooden frames that can match your existing bedroom décor. Besides, they also have independent foot and head platforms with adjustable angles. Adjustments can be done with the help of an electric motor. Most high-end adjustable beds feature pillow articulation that allows you to modify the neck support.

Hospital beds, on the other hand, feature utilitarian designs. These beds have a metallic build that makes them pretty simple to operate, clean and control by medical caregivers when caring for seriously ill patients. Although most hospital beds aren’t desirable for use in bedrooms, some makers have offered augmented types that feature a foot, head and side boards. These features make them ideal for use in most bedrooms.

Inclination and adjustability 

Adjustable beds have easy-to-manipulate frames that you can adjust to elevate the feet and head at varying angles independent of the other. You can alter each position separately for benefits such as improved blood flow and more. With an adjustable bed, you can also flexibly change the position of your head or feet to suit tasks such as reading or watching TV. 

Even though a hospital bed allows for foot and head angle adjustment like an adjustable bed, it only increases or decreases the entire height of the bed. The feature makes it ideal for moving disabled patients from their wheelchairs to bed. 

Added features 

What sets lifestyle adjustable beds apart is the included amenities. As a way of enhancing your bedroom experience, most high-end adjustable beds come with smartphone controls, presets and programmable capabilities. Some have USB charging ports and other connections for your electronic gadgets. They don’t just improve your bedroom aesthetics but also elevate your convenience like lighting your way at night. Hospital beds don’t have such amenities.


Portability is another notable difference between these two beds. Adjustable bases need to be disassembled before moving to another place. Hospital beds have strong wheels that make them easy to move from one place to the other without necessarily disassembling. The maneuverability feature allows for the easy transfer of patients from one room to the other for surgeries and tests. 


Many upgraded adjustable beds come with advanced control features such as remote or wireless controls. They have buttons for quick head-foot adjustments, massaging functions and other programmable functions. The remote controls for these beds are designed with the needs of the user in mind meaning they are user-friendly. In fact, an average user can control and use it conveniently. Others have smartphone applications with intuitive designs. This eliminates all the hassles associated with a regular bed. 

Hospital beds have both electrical and manual controls for adjusting the position of the foot and head. The manual feature is a backup that helps in case of power outage. However, it should be operated by an experienced person who understands the function of each button. 


Adjustable beds come in multiple sizes just like regular sleeping beds. It can either hold one or two people depending on the size you choose. Hospital beds are quite different. They are designed to accommodate only one individual who is the patient. As a rule of thumb, putting two patients in one bed can hinder the caregiving efforts of the medical practitioners. Their sizes are standardized to fit only one person. 


While mainstream lifestyle adjustment bed may provide the same functionality as a hospital bed, it is not necessarily subject to FDA standards. They are only subject to standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. They aren’t covered by any medical insurance policy and may not be recommended in case you want to use them for health reasons. Most of them don’t go down and up, and this may not help in case you’re battling with a specific health condition. 

Hospital beds are considered medical devices that are regulated by the Food and Drug Association. You can only acquire them via an acknowledged dealer of medical equipment. Hospital beds are usually covered under health insurance.

Type of mattress to use

While some may wonder which type of mattresses are best-suited for adjustable beds, this category of beds can accommodate a broad range of mattresses including Visco-elastic foam, adjustable air, natural latex and traditional coil. 

Hospital bed mattresses aren’t just made to conform to different sitting and resting positions but for durable use as well. This is because some patients may need to stay in the hospital for weeks or even months. The mattresses to use in a hospital bed should be thin enough to bend or thick to provide sufficient padding and support. They can either be foam or innerspring mattresses. 

Strengths and weaknesses of Hospital and Adjustable beds

Strengths of Adjustable beds

• These beds are a bit more innovative and offer several lifestyle benefits like reading, working, crocheting and knitting and much more. You can also surf the Internet from the comfort of your bed. 

• They are valuable as they offer the same benefits as those of a hospital bed without necessarily buying a full hospital bed. In fact, if you have conditions such as varicose veins, poor circulation, sleep apnea, GERD, snoring, leg swelling and back pain and more, an adjustable bed would be very suitable for you. 

• They have aesthetically appealing designs

• These beds are controllable via remote or smartphone apps. 

• They include other extras like charging ports, lighting features, and wake-up alarms. 

• Some have inbuilt massage features. 

Weaknesses of Adjustable beds

They are neither approved nor subjected to FDA specifications, thus not generally recommended for use for medical benefits. 

Strengths of Hospital bed

• Apart from the foot and head adjustment, they can elevate the whole mattress platform which is ideal for extremely paralyzed patients that need special care. 

• They are controllable through both manual and remote adjustments.

• The beds are subjected to FDA standards making them ideal for use for medical benefits. 

• Their utilitarian designs make them easy to clean and operate. 

Weaknesses of Hospital bed

Hospital beds lag in aesthetic appeal. They don’t possess the amenities contained in an adjustable bed like massage, light controls and USB charging ports. 

Bottom Line 

While a hospital bed may function as a lifestyle adjustable bed, it has other distinct features that set it apart. Hospital beds are limited in size and style, unlike adjustable counterparts that are designed to elevate your bedroom experience. The above are the differences between a hospital and an adjustable bed. 

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Last update on 2020-06-28 at 08:11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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