What is the difference between medical bed and regular bed?

What is the difference between a medical bed and a regular bed?

If you’re looking for a bed for a sick loved one, you might have thought that a regular bed might not cut it. Beds are more than just furniture that we use for sleeping, especially for people with medical conditions. Beds are necessary to recuperate and if a sick person is not getting the rest they need, it might take time for them to heal, or worse, their condition might be aggravated.

In this latest blog post from Gilani Mobility, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between these two types of beds and their intended use to help you with your decision.

Design and development

Regular beds are beds that we typically see in every home, hotels, dorms and other lodging place. Design and development for regular beds are nothing special as long as there is a sturdy bed frame, headboard and in some types with handrails. Regular beds are usually made out of wood, metal or a combination of both. These beds are designed and developed with comfort in mind.

If regular beds were designed and developed for comfort, hospital beds on the other hand were specifically made for support. These beds are for those with health conditions and mobility limitations. These beds are also customizable to meet the requirements of the user and to make it easier for caregivers to provide care and support. These beds come with safety features like brakes, and side rails to prevent the patient from falling.


Conventional beds are immobile. Yes, they can be moved but it usually entails having to ask someone to help lift the bed. In some cases, regular beds even have to be disassembled to make moving them easier.

One of the most distinct differences between a regular bed and a medical bed is its portability. These beds have wheels or casters to make moving it inside homes or healthcare facilities effortlessly. With its mobility, it’s easier to move patients around to a different room, to an operating room or to transfer to an ambulance if necessary.

Portability of a medical bed


Mattresses used on regular beds are comfortable enough for sleeping daily. However, they are not suitable for those with medical disorders especially those who have chronic pain, breathing problems or pressure ulcers. Even if the mattresses used for regular beds are firm, these are just to accommodate sleepers who prefer to sleep on solid beds rather than to accommodate medical needs. 

Hospital beds come with special mattresses that help ease pressure points, lower chances of bedsores, and spinal alignment. These special mattresses have air-filled chambers and foam that meet the comfort preferences and medical requirements of the user, especially those that need extended bed rest.

Reading Suggestion: How Much Does A Hospital Bed Cost?

Accessibility features

There are no accessibility features for regular beds. 

Another major difference between the two is accessibility features. Since people with restricted mobility may find it difficult to get in and out of bed, regular beds that do not have any accessibility features will not be suitable. Hospital or patient beds on the other hand have the following accessibility features:

  • Grab bars
  • Side rails
  • Height adjusting mechanisms
  • Assistive equipment

These accessibility features make it easier for caregivers to provide care for patients and to lower the risk of falls or injuries. 

Key takeaway

It’s easy to decide whether what you need is a regular or a special bed for a patient since the differences between the two are obvious, depending on the purpose. If you are after style and overall comfort, regular beds will do. But if the bed needs to meet the specific needs of users with limited mobility or with health conditions, medical beds are the answer.

Bariatric Hospital Beds


Can you use a regular mattress on a medical bed?

No. Special mattresses are needed on these patient beds since regular mattresses are inflexible and will not be able to accommodate the different positions a medical bed can take.

What is the purpose of the medical bed?

The purpose of this type of bed is to provide support to patients with medical conditions or users who are on extended bed rest. The patient bed is also portable and has accessibility features to make it easier for caregivers.

What is another name for a medical bed?

Patient bed is another name for a medical bed.

Can a normal person sleep on a medical bed?

Yes. There are numerous advantages to sleeping on this type of bed designed for patients even if someone is well or able bodied. These benefits include better posture and reduced back pain which could lead to better and improved sleep.