Mattress topper for hospital bed

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Tkthiede

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I received a hospital bed from someone and I tried to sleep in it. Worst night I’ve had in a long time! I’m able to still move around in the bed, though rolling is very difficult. I can’t get into my bedroom and my normal bed. I’m wondering if a mattress topper would help the hospital bed. I’ve searched the threads here and see people that recommend memory foam, Roho toppers, alternating pressure toppers, etc. On the alternating pressure toppers, is it the one with many different cells all over or the tubes that run side to side? Should I start with a memory foam and then change to the pressure mattress later? Help!
 

swalker

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I think a standard hospital bed mattress would be awful! My hospital bed has a pressure-adjusting air mattress. It does not alternate the pressure, but does adjust it to help reduce the likelihood of pressure sores.

There are many aftermarket ones to choose from. Mine came with the bed and is a Hill Rom brand. It works very well.

I would certainly replace the mattress if it is a standard hospital bed mattress rather than adding a topper.

Steve
 

lgelb

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Sorry to intrude, but if the hospital mattress is medical grade foam that is still new enough not to be "mushed in," I see no reason not to try a $100 "green" latex foam topper first (available in different thicknesses/firmness levels), especially since you still have some movement. If it doesn't work out, someone else in your orbit could probably use it.

There is avoiding pressure injury, and there is comfort. Avoiding shear during transfers and in any voluntary movement are more often keys to avoiding injury than any particular tech. Comfort can usually be attained through a solid foundation and a topper that accommodates the firm/sinking balance that is best for a PALS' joints. Often, joints such as the knees and elbows need extra cushioning, but that would be true even with a mattress with some kind of air cells.

Best,
Laurie
 

nona

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I agree with Laurie. I had much better luck with a natural latex topper over my hospital foam mattress than I had with either the alternating pressure mattress or the air bubble topper thing, which is like sleeping on hard plastic. The latex topper is comfortable and breathable. I got one that's two inches thick. I sleep on my side with a pillow behind my back and a body pillow between my knees. I hate to get out of bed in the morning. I can't really move all night but no sores.
 

Tkthiede

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What firmness would you all suggest I try in a latex topper?
 

nona

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I bought a Twin XL soft from Sleep on latex dot com.
 

Tkthiede

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Thank you, Nona, Steve and Laurie. I can’t afford to start with a new mattress right now but I’ll start with the overlay and if that doesn’t work, try to get a mattress approved.
 

lgelb

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Depends to what extent you would rather be a sinker, which, for example, if you get hot a lot, you might not, vs. supported. Weight plays a role also. At a guess I would say 2-3" with soft or medium soft firmness. I like the Pure Green brand on Amazon. For getting a sling under you when you need a Hoyer, you don't want the absolute softest. But you could get a different one down the line, too, or just use a moderately firm mattress pad on top of the overlay, under the sheet.
 
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wmilo

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I'm not sure about adding this question to this thread versus starting a new one, but it is somewhat germane:

I'm currently using a (loaner) hospital bed with a foam mattress and a 3" latex topper. It is fairly comfortable but the bed under the mattress uses a wire and spring support (kind of like a camp bed). It doesn't offer much support in the middle so it feels like I'm sleeping on a U-shaped surface that makes repositioning difficult.

Would it be better to try to obtain a bed with a solid surface under the mattress?

Thanks,
 

lgelb

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That sounds like an old hospital bed -- is it manual? You want a metal frame -- typically it will have welded slats for air circulation and reduced weight, rather than being completely solid, but solid metal, no springs, coils or thin bits. The best have four sets of buttons so you go bed up/down, lower body up/down, head up/down, tilt up/down.
 

wmilo

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Thanks, Laurie. It is electric, but I think a lower-end bed with the wire and spring mattress support, and not surprisingly no tilt (reverse Trendelenberg) capability. Given the amount of time we spend in bed and the importance of restful sleep, probably a good area to invest in.
Thanks again.
 

Fredlevin

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Alternating pressure mattress pad
We didn’t get it for a long time
When we finally got it, solved so many problems
A must to prevent bed sores!
Good luck on this journey
 

Ed340hp

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I have a hospital bed with the springs and wire links as wmilo describes (Invacare, it was free). The resulting hole or gutter in the middle was difficult to roll out of. A new mattress didn't help. I added plywood pieces over the wire mesh with breaks between the pieces to allow the head end tilt and foot end rise, held with zip ties. It reduced the center sag with a firm flat surface, but the center of the foundation is still lower than the edge frame. When I do it again I will have the springs and wire removed, and span from frame rail to rail with plywood sections to have a level foundation from edge to edge.
 

nona

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I've thought about doing that too.
 
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