2019 UK Review: Hospital Beds for Home Care

Bedroom

If you’re purchasing a hospital bed for yourself or a loved one, you will no doubt be presented with endless options from several suppliers. There are different bed sizes, varying height ranges, function options, design choices and big differences in pricing.

Our editing team has a wealth of experience in buying nursing beds for domestic care, both for personal use and for family members. We’ve selected ten hospital beds to review, all of which have these essential functions as standard:

  • Height adjustment – the whole bed raises and lowers
  • Profiling base – adjustable back rest and leg/foot rest
  • Electric operation – functions are electrically controlled through a handset
  • Bed rails – the bed is available with bed rails to prevent falls

Our review is split into two sections, budget hospital beds and premium hospital beds. We rate each of the ten beds and conclude with our best hospital bed overall.

Budget Hospital Beds (<£800)

Invacare Medley Ergo

The Invacare Medley Ergo is a basic profiling bed that provides the essential functions needed for care. It is height adjustable up to a nursing height and comes with side rails as standard.

Key Specification

  • Height Adjustment Range: 40-80cm
  • Maximum User Weight: 145kg/23st
  • Width: 90cm/3ft
  • Trendelenburg (Tilt) Function
  • 12 Month Warranty

Mobility Home Rating

The Medley Ergo is a good choice if you’re needing a cost-effective hospital bed that has all the nursing functions required for care. However, the super-low price tag does mean quality has been compromised and if you’re planning on long-term significant usage it may not be for you.

The 4-section base looks and feels rather lightweight and the distance between the metal slats is clearly the result of keeping metal costs to a minimum. Also, the bed rails don’t feel particularly strong but they do have handy plastic finger handles for raising them. We’d give this bed a five.

✔ Pros ✘ Cons
– Offers all the essential functionality you need from a nursing bed.
– Easy to move with four braked castors.
– A low height version is available for improved access.
– The bed can tilt as well as raise/lower.
– The bed is only covered by a 12 month warranty for parts only.
– The 4-section profiling base does not look or feel very sturdy with thin slats spaced rather far apart.
– The bed rails are not very strong and should not be subjected to much, if any, sideways force.
– Not suitable for users more than 145kg/23st.

Suppliers

Complete Care Shop – £475

Complete Care Shop is an established online retailer that sells a vast range of daily living aids and mobility equipment.

CareCo – £685

CareCo sell a rnage of mobility devices and equipment from some of the industry’s leading brands. Visit in-store and online.

 


 

Days Casa Med Classic

The Days Casa Med Classic bed is a budget-friendly care bed that has all the essential care functions. It is commonly used across community care settings such as nursing homes and domestic homes.

Key Specification

  • Height Adjustment Range: 40-80cm
  • Safe Working Load: 140kg/22st
  • Width: 90cm/3ft
  • 2 Year Warranty

Mobility Home Rating

The Casa Med is basic, functional care bed that facilitates nursing and re-positioning. Covered head and foot boards also make it look less clinical than some hospital beds. However it is let down by poor build quality and limited warranty.

The bed rails are not at all robust and have a large, unsightly gap between them when lowered, meaning you can see all the motors and wiring underneath the base. Whilst the head and foot boards are covered, the surrounding wood is foil wrapped chip wood that marks easily and bubbles as moisture gets in. The price is attractive though and we rate the Casa Med as a four and a half.

✔ Pros ✘ Cons
– Super low price for all the functionality you get.
– Easy to move around as it has four-braked castors.
– The bed has good quality motors and handset.
– A 2 year warranty covers just parts which is a risk to take based on the quality of the bed.
– The wooden panels on the head and foot board are chip wood wrapped in a foil veneer. They scratch easily and if moisture get to the wood it will warp.
– The bed rails are poor quality and therefore unsuitable for users who may put force on the bed rails.
– The bed rails are operated by push buttons in the head and foot boards. In humid environments the wood will swell causing the buttons to stick.
– The rails do not collapse when lowered, leaving an unsightly gap that means you can see underneath the frame.
– Not suitable for users more than 145kg/23st.

Suppliers

Betterlife Healthcare – £475

BetterlifeBetterlife are a supplier of care mobility product to assist people who need support at home.

Complete Care Shop – £495

Complete care shop supply a range of goods for people who need some assistance at home.

 


 

Related Guide:  ‘Hospital Beds for Mobility and Nursing – All You Need to know ‘

 


Opera® Classic

The Opera® Classic is a functional and elegant nursing bed with height adjustment, 4-section profiling and Trendelenburg. The bed comes complete with bed rails and a lockable handset.

Key Specification

  • Height Adjustment Range: 40-80cm
  • Maximum User Weight: 170kg/27st
  • Width: 90cm/3ft
  • Trendelenburg (Tilt) Function
  • Length Extension Available
  • 3 Year Warranty

Mobility Home Rating

The build quality of the Opera® Classic is excellent and confidently backed by a 3 year parts and labour warranty. The bed is NHS approved and suitable for use in professional and domestic care environments.

Elegant, enclosed head and foot boards with solid wood surround make this bed more like a piece of furniture than a medical device. A choice of three wood colours also add to the aesthetic appeal. This bed gets a solid nine.

✔ Pros ✘ Cons
– Solid, quality construction backed by a 3 year parts and labour warranty.
– Approved product on the NHS Supply Chain.
– Enclosed, solid wood head and foot boards look great.
– Full length, solid wood side rails are sturdy and easy to use.
– Battery back up in the case of a power cut.
– A choice of three wood colours (beech, oak and walnut).
– Available as a low height bed.
– Optional length extension.
– Eco version (exposed head/foot boards) saves you £100.

– Slightly pricier than other budget beds but value for money is unquestionable.
– The castors are difficult to brake as the brake pedals are stiff.

Suppliers

Alpine HC – £695 (£595 for Eco version)

Alpine HC Beds and Mattresses

Alpine HC are the manufacturers and suppliers of the Opera® range of care beds and pressure mattresses. They have a rapid, nationwide delivery and maintenance service for care homes and private homes.

 


 

Drive Devilbiss Sidhil Bradshaw

The Drive Devilbiss Sighil Bradshaw bed is a robust community care bed 

Key Specification

  • Height Adjustment Range: 39-81cm
  • Maximum User Weight: 180kg/28st
  • Width: 90cm/3ft (120cm/4ft version also available for extra cost)
  • 2 Year Warranty

Mobility Home Rating

The Bradshaw combines nursing functionality with durable, robust build quality. It also looks attractive and is available in a range of wood colours.

The bed is very well made and you’re covered for two years by warranty. The durability isn’t very well disguised though and the bed has excessive metal framework as well as being a little clumsy to manoeuvre and operate. On the balance of things, we’d give the Bradshaw a seven and a half.

✔ Pros ✘ Cons

– Good quality build and comes with a 2 year warranty.
– Solid wood head and foot boards improve the appearance and durability of the bed.
– Available in multiple wood colours including beech, maple and elm.

– Good quality build and comes with a 2 year warranty.
– Solid wood head and foot boards improve the appearance and durability of the bed.
– Available in multiple wood colours including beech, maple and elm. – Design looks quite obtrusive and clinical for the home setting.
– The side rails are operated by push buttons which can become jammed if the wood moves or swells.
– Motors still visible even when the bed is in its lowest position.
– Doesn’t have Trendelenburg/tilt.

Suppliers

UKS Mobility – £789.65

An online retailer for healthcare products which helps those with limited mobility gain independence.

 


 

Drive Devilbiss Sidhil Solite Pro

The Drive Devilbiss Sidhil Solite Pro bed is a durable, functional hospital bed with height adjustment, 4-section profiling and Trendelenburg/tilt.

Key Specification

  • Height Adjustment Range: 39-81.5cm
  • Maximum User Weight: 190kg/30st
  • Width: 90cm/3ft
  • Trendelenburg (Tilt) Function
  • 5 Year Warranty (Reducing)

Mobility Home Rating

The Solite Pro is a real workhorse and all you’d expect from a functional care bed. It is designed for heavy use and withstands the most demanding of care requirements. An auto-regress backrest to reduce shear is a unique addition.

Its all about function over style with this bed. It looks very clinical and little effort has been made to make it more pleasant for care in the home. The metal bed rails are very institutional and are not very nice for the user of the bed. Whilst the bed is robust and practical, for the price you have to pay we think there are much better options. We give it a five.

✔ Pros ✘ Cons

– A five year warranty is extensive but only one year covers labour as well as parts.
– An auto-regress backrest reduces shear.
– Low height and extended length versions are available.
– The bed takes users of up to 30st.
– The bed is expensive for the features you get.
– The bed looks very clinical particularly for care at home.
– The metal bed rails are unforgiving if you knock against them and don’t look very warming either.

Suppliers

Glebe Healthcare – £789.99

Glebe HealthcareGlebe Healthcare is mobility equipment retailer based in Wiltshire but delivering nationally.

Manage at Home – £864

Manage st HomeA healthcare equipment supplier for those who are less mobile for in and around the home.

 


 

Wikipedia: Definition of a hospital bed

 


 

Premium Hospital Beds (£800+)

Arjo Minuet 2 Profiling Bed

The Minuet 2 bed by Arjo has been developed for use in care environments to provide postural support for the occupant and ease nursing for the carer. 

Key Specification

  • Height Adjustment Range: 25-66cm
  • Maximum User Weight: 160kg/25st
  • Trendelenburg Function (only when base is flat)

Mobility Home Rating

The Minuet 2 is a sturdy low-height profiling bed which has a neat appearance with wooden enclosed head and foot boards.

6.5 Rating

As it is a low bed, the Minuet 2 does not have side rails as you are supposed to sleep close to the floor to minimise floor injury. This is restrictive and the lack of nursing height also makes the bed unsuitable for taller carers. For these reasons we can’t give the Minuet 2 more than six and a half.

✔ Pros ✘ Cons

– Strong, durable build balanced with clean, elegant design.
–  Battery back up if the event of a power cut.
– Length extension is available.
– Bolt on metal and wooden side rails are available, but they are of a lower quality and appearance to the rest of the bed.
– Cannot be raised to a nursing height making it unsuitable for taller carers.
– The handset is confusing to sue and does not easily attach to the side of the bed

Suppliers

Arjo – £967

Arjo (formerly known as Arjo Huntleigh)  is a UK-based healthcare equipment manufacturer that specialises in patient handling.

 


 

Nexus Pro-Care

The Nexus Pro-Care is widely used in nursing and care home environments. Offering all the functional options of a profiling bed with a more homely appearance with the slim head and foot boards.

Key Specification

  • Height Adjustment Range: 40-83cm
  • Maximum User Weight: 170kg/27st
  • Width: 3ft 90cm/3ft (120cm/4ft version also available for extra cost)

Mobility Home Rating

The Pro-Care profiling bed is a standard height profiling bed suitable for carers to do nursing and washing on the bed. The scissor action motor underneath allows the head and foot boards to be much more attractive.

The bed has full-length side rails but they don’t collapse when lowered. This leaves an unsightly gap between them which means you can see the motors underneath the bed from the side. Also, the lack of design and wood colour options left us wanting a little. Still a respectable seven and a half for us.

✔ Pros ✘ Cons
– Width and length customisation available for different sizes of users.
– Neat, thin head and foot boards.
– Smooth-runner castors make moving the bed easy.

– Only available in a beech wood colour.
– The side rails are operated by push buttons which jam if the wood swells as a result of humidity/moisture.
– Restricted hoist access in some places due to the scissor action motor underneath.

Suppliers

Arden Care Supplies – £990

Arden CareArden Care Supplies is a supplier of care beds, chairs and medical equipment based in West Yorkshire.

 


 

Opera® Signature

The Opera® Signature is a design-led, premium profiling bed with an all-in-one height range that enhances mobility and eases nursing.

Key Specification

  • Height Adjustment Range: 24-73cm
  • Maximum User Weight: 185kg/29st
  • Width: 3ft 90cm/3ft (105cm/3ft6 and 120cm/4ft versions also available for extra cost)
  • 3 Year Warranty

Mobility Home Rating

We unanimously love the Opera® Signature profiling bed. It’s all-in-one height range means you don’t need to choose between a low and standard height bed. It lowers close to the floor to ease access and raise to a full nursing height for care on the bed.

The Signature looks great as standard but it is also hugely customisable. The bed is available with an upholstered surround, low foot board and can be specified in three different wood colours. The bed also comes in three widths and you can extend its length by 20cm/8″ if you’re taller than 6ft. The only reason we can’t give it a 10 is because it doesn’t have Trendelenburg.

✔ Pros ✘ Cons

– An extensive height range means the bed is suitable for nursing on the bed and as a low height bed to reduce the risk of injury from falls and to help when getting in and out of the bed.
– Solid, quality construction backed by a 3 year parts and labour warranty.
– Low, slim head and foot boards look great.
– Upholstery and design options ensure you can customise to your fancy.
– Available in three widths.
– A choice of three wood colours (beech, oak and walnut).
– Full length, solid wood side rails are sturdy and easy to use.
– Battery back up in the case of a power cut.
– Optional length extension.
– Doesn’t have Trendelenburg/tilt.
– Moist hoists work fine under the bed but access is not unrestricted.

Suppliers

Alpine HC – from £1195

Alpine HC Beds and Mattresses

Alpine HC are the manufacturers and suppliers of the Opera® range of care beds and pressure mattresses. They have a rapid, nationwide delivery and maintenance service for care homes and private homes.

 


 

Related Guide: ‘Pressure Relief Mattresses for Bed Sores – All You Need to Know

 


 

Invacare SB 755

The Invacare SB 755 is a premium design care bed that supports the user and assists the carer.

Key Specification

  • Height Adjustment Range: 35-82cm
  • Maximum User Weight: 200kg/32st
  • Width: 3ft 90cm/3ft (105cm/3ft6 and 120cm/4ft versions also available for extra cost)
  • 5 Year Warranty

Mobility Home Rating

The Invacare SB 755 is a standard height profiling bed of good quality with solid wood head and foot boards and a sturdy scissor action frame.

There are some fundamentals that let this bed down though. It isn’t available in a low height version which is limiting. Also, the manufacturers have cut corners with the bed rails and castors more budget than premium. All things considered, we’d give it a seven.

✔ Pros ✘ Cons

– 5 year warranty (parts only).
– Available in two wood colours (beech and light oak).
– Length extension available.
– Three width options.

– Only goes down to 35cm and there is no low height version available.
– Very complicated and hard to use handset with only a 2 year warranty.
– At certain points of the bed, there is limited hoist access due to the scissor action motor.
– The side rails are thin and should be better considering the price.
– The castors look big and ugly for a premium bed.

Suppliers

Health and Care – £2099.99

Health and Care are an online supply store selling mobility aids and equipment for the elderly and disabled.

 


 

Volker 2080

The BaKare Volker 2080 is a premium hospital bed which incorporates style as well as functionality. It has been designed for use in the home as a nursing bed.

Key Specification

  • Height Adjustment Range: 35-70cm or 40-80cm
  • Maximum User Weight: 190kg/30st
  • Trendelenburg (Tilt) Function
  • Available in lengths of 200cm or 220cm and widths of 90cm or 100cm
  • 3 Year Warranty

Mobility Home Rating

The BaKare Volker 2080 is a premium standard height hospital bed which is controlled by motors hidden underneath the bed.

It looks and feels great and the quality is evident in every area of the bed. The bed rails work well and the head/foot boards are nice and low. The limited height range is disappointing though and ultimately lets the bed down. We just can’t justify the price compared to other beds we reviewed.

✔ Pros ✘ Cons

– Robust construction.
– Elegant design for the home setting.
– Electric braking to secure the bed.
– Available in a range of different wood colours.
– A specialist lying surface (Micro-Stimulation-System) which supports pressure-ulcer prevention. 

– Still have to choose between height ranges, despite the price.
– The low verison only goes down to 35cm (most low beds go down to at least 25cm)
– A limited hoist clearance of 13 cm.

Suppliers

BaKare – £2499

A healthcare organisation who supply premium profiling beds and postural equipment to those in need of care. 

 


 

Mobility Home Recommends…

Opera® Signature Profiling Bed

We love this bed. It does everything you could ever need from a home care bed and more. The extensive height adjustment range makes getting in and out so much easier without compromising the high nursing height. The build quality is solid and uncompromising and the three year parts and labour warranty that comes with the bed gives complete peace of mind (warranty extensions also available).

Opera Signature Profiling Profiling Bed

It looks brilliant too. The low head and foot boards make the bed feel roomy and pleasant. Wood colour options as well as head/foot board styles and upholstered surround designs mean the bed can be configured to suit your style. The three widths options are the cherry on the cake and we’d definitely recommend giving yourself a little more room with a wide single.

Discover the Opera® Signature Profiling Bed

Thank you for viewing our 2019 review for home care beds. We hope you found our assessments useful and all the best in purchasing your bed!