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Hospital Bed Buying Guide for Healthcare Facilities

By CME Corp Staff | April 30, 2024

Choosing the right hospital bed is essential for ensuring patient comfort, safety, and well-being. With the wide range of options available, including manual, semi-electric, and fully electric beds, as well as various features and accessories, navigating through the choices can be time consuming.

This guide will discuss important considerations such as safety features, ease of maintenance, and compatibility with other medical equipment as well as explore the different types hospital beds, their features, and benefits.

We will cover:

For this guide, we have used the term “hospital bed” to describe the beds used for patient care. However, it is important to keep in mind that these beds can, and are, used in a variety of healthcare settings including long term care, mental health facilities, or ambulatory surgical centers.

Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hospital Bed

To ensure hospital beds meet the needs of both patients and caregivers effectively there are several factors that should be considered.

These include:

Bed Type: Consider whether a manual, semi-electric, or fully electric bed is most suitable for the intended use. Each type offers varying levels of adjustability and ease of use. Selecting the right type of hospital bed based on patient mobility and caregiver preference is important to ensuring the safety of both as well as the comfort of the patient.

Patient Needs: Assess the mobility limitations, medical conditions, and comfort requirements of the facility’s expected patient population. Choose hospital beds that offer the proper support, positioning options, and pressure relief for a wide range of patients and conditions.

Safety Features: Prioritize hospital beds equipped with features such as side rails, brake systems, and emergency controls. These features help prevent patient falls or other injuries.

Ease of Use: Hospital beds should be easy to operate for both patients and caregivers. Look for intuitive control mechanisms, accessible adjustment settings, and user-friendly features that simplify bed positioning, height adjustment, and other functions.

Durability and Quality: Invest in hospital beds constructed to accommodate a range of weight capacities as well as durable materials that can withstand frequent use and cleaning.

Compatibility with Accessories: Evaluate the hospital bed’s compatibility with accessories and equipment such as IV poles, overbed tables, and patient lifts.

Maintenance Requirements: Choose hospital beds with accessible components, removable parts, and easy to clean surfaces to facilitate sanitizing cleaning, maintenance, and service when needed.

Regulatory Compliance: Verify the hospital bed complies with relevant safety standards, regulations, and certifications set by regulatory bodies such as the Joint Commission.

Budget Considerations: Balance cost considerations with the quality and features best suited to the needs of the facility.

Careful consideration of these factors and conducting research to make informed decisions about the types of hospital beds available in the market can contribute to patient comfort, staff and patient safety, and higher levels of care.

Types of Hospital Beds

Hospital beds are available in several types, each offering different levels of adjustability, functionality, and features to accommodate the diverse needs of patients and caregivers.

Common types of hospital beds include:

  • Manual Hospital beds: Manual hospital beds use hand cranks or levers to adjust the bed’s height, as well as the head and foot positions. These beds are typically more affordable and suitable for patients who do not require frequent position changes.

  • Semi-Electric Hospital Bed: Semi-electric hospital beds feature electric controls for adjusting the bed’s height, while manual mechanisms are used to adjust the position of the head and foot. These beds offer greater convenience and ease of use compared to manual beds but do require some manual adjustment by healthcare professionals.

  • Fully Electric Hospital Bed: Fully electric beds offer effortless positioning with electric controls to adjust the height of the bed as well as the head and foot positions. These beds are ideal for patients who require frequent adjustment to safeguard their comfort as well as for easing the physical strain on the medical staff tending to patients.

  • Low Hospital Beds: With a lower height profile these hospital beds help reduce the risk of falls or injury to patients with mobility limitations. They are ideal for geriatric or extended care settings where the risk of falls is higher.

  • Bariatric Hospital Bed: Bariatric hospital beds are engineered to accommodate higher weight capacities with reinforced frames and wider mattresses to support larger patients safely and comfortably.

  • Pediatric Hospital Beds: Tailored to the unique needs of children, pediatric hospital beds feature smaller dimensions, colorful designs, and features adapted for smaller patients. These beds help ensure the safety of the smallest of patients.

  • Specialty Hospital Beds: Specialty hospital beds incorporate advanced features such as air mattresses, lateral rotation, Trendelenburg positioning, and pressure relief systems. These beds cater to specific medial needs such as intensive care, critical care, maternity, and wound care.

Understanding the distinct types of hospital beds and their respective feature gives healthcare providers and professionals the knowledge to select beds that best serve the comfort and safety needs of their patient populations as well as the physical wellbeing of the medical staff caring for the patients.

Partnering with equipment distributors with hospital bed expertise is essential to assuring the highest quality bed, equipped with the features you need, for your budget.

CME Corp branded logoShop CME for a comprehensive selection of hospital beds


Partner with CME for Hospital Beds

As a nationally recognized medical equipment distributor and the only one focused solely on medical equipment, CME has built relationships with industry leading hospital bed manufacturers in the United States.

Our expert account managers will work with you and the manufacturers’ representatives to ensure that you are purchasing the best hospital beds for your facility, at the best price for your budget.

Complementing CME’s focus on medical equipment are order management, direct-to-site delivery, and biomedical services. We are the only medical equipment distributor nationwide able to say we are truly a one-stop-shop.

Order Management Services

Working with administrators and procurement professionals, our single point of contact order management team can take the some of the stress out of purchasing hospital beds by working with manufacturers to ensure delivery dates are met and any issue that arise are resolved.

Direct-To-Site Logistics and Delivery Services

In addition to delivering medical equipment fully assembled when it is convenient for staff and clients, CME Direct-to-Site services can help take the stress out of large orders by receiving, inspecting and warehousing the order(s) for a single delivery. Our Direct-to-Site teams will deliver assembled hospital beds to their location in the facility and remove all packing debris, so the equipment is ready for immediate use.

Biomedical Services

Biomedical services have been at the heart of CME for over forty-five years. We are the only medical equipment distributor nationwide with an in-house team of biomedical technicians available to perform asset tagging, asset validation, hospital bed check-in, preventative maintenance, and repair.


CME Corp branded logoClick CHAT to begin a conversation about your hospital bed needs.


About CME: CME Corp is the nation’s premier source for healthcare equipmentturnkey logistics, and biomedical services, representing 2 million+ products from more than 2,000 manufacturers. With two corporate offices and 35+ service centers, our mission is to help healthcare facilities nationwide reduce the cost of the equipment they purchase, make their equipment specification, delivery, installation, and maintenance processes more efficient, and help them seamlessly launch, renovate and expand on schedule.

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