How To Choose a Hospital Bed Mattress

Compared to traditional mattresses, hospital bed mattresses are specialized to provide patient comfort and better care. They are waterproof, antimicrobial, and easy to sanitize. Patients recovering in a hospital bed or receiving long-term care will need to consider various factors when choosing a hospital bed mattress. To select the correct type of mattress, you will need to determine, "what are the needs of the patient"? Here are the factors MFI Medical recommends you consider when choosing a hospital bed mattress.

1. Type of Mattress

The first consideration you should have when selecting a hospital bed mattress is the type of mattress you will need. This should be the first consideration since the type of mattress may affect the type of bed frame. The primary types we will discuss are spring, foam, and air mattresses. 

Types of hospital bed mattresses:

  • Spring Mattress: Similar to traditional home mattresses, these mattresses are composed of springs and foam. Benefits of spring mattresses include a lower price point compared to other types of mattresses and easy adaptability for the patient. Spring mattresses are good for patients who will not remain in bed for an extended period besides a standard sleep schedule.
  • Foam Mattress: Mattresses made of polyurethane, memory, gel, latex, and other foams. Foam mattresses distribute the patient’s weight evenly and provide a more comfortable experience than a spring mattress. Foam mattresses are the best choice for patients who are not prone to pressure ulcers.
  • Air Mattress: Mattresses are made up of air cells that inflate and deflate, as therapies dictate, to prevent bedsores and pressure ulcers. This includes low-air loss, alternating pressure, lateral rotation, and more. Patients who will remain in bed for extended periods of time should consider a hospital bed that supports an air mattress.

2. Cost and Warranty

Cost is probably the number one factor any shopper has top of mind. However, when it comes to hospital bed mattresses, a low cost isn’t the only thing to consider when it comes to price. Hospital bed mattresses are an investment in the patient’s health. You may save some money with a lower priced mattress but gamble with the patient’s well-being. Consider a higher-priced mattress that includes a warranty to extend the life of your purchase, save you money in the long-term while providing the best patient care.

3. Specifications and Features

Once you have determined the type of mattress you need and the correct budget for your mattress, you can narrow your search with your specifications. How tall is the patient? Is the patient a bariatric patient? Bariatric patients will require a wider sleeping surface and a mattress with a higher patient weight capacity.


If the patient has trouble regulating temperature, you may need a breathable sleeping surface such as the Isolibrium Support Surface featured with the Stryker InTouch Critical Care Hospital Bed. This specialized sleeping surface has a low air-loss system that channels air towards the patient's skin. 

Now that you have determined your must-haves and have-nots with the above criteria, you are ready to choose a hospital bed mattress! 

Hospital Bed Mattresses FAQs

Have more questions? Our experts get questions all the time. MFI Medical sells hospital beds and hospital bed mattresses to medical facilities, government agencies, schools, long-term care facilities, homes, and many more. Here are some of the most common questions regarding hospital bed mattresses at MFI Medical.

How do I find the size/dimensions of the mattress?

MFI Medical provides the size of each hospital bed and mattresses under “Specifications.” You may also find (if available) the user manual of each bed under the “Literature” section of the product listing, where you can also find manufacturer specifications.

Can I buy an air mattress for any hospital bed?

No, if the patient is susceptible to pressure ulcers or has a therapy that requires an air mattress, you will need a hospital bed that can support an air mattress. 

Is a mattress included with a hospital bed? 

Yes, MFI Medical includes a brand new standard 6” hospital-grade memory foam mattress with every Certified Refurbished hospital bed. Specialty mattresses are available for purchase for certain models.

Which beds include an air mattress? 

The following models of hospital beds have a specialty air mattress that alternates pressure: